Books & Reading

The award is open to all K-3 age children in Illinois. The Monarch is designed to encourage children to read critically and become familiar with children's books, authors and illustrators. 
You can view this year's nominees and place holds in our online catalog.
The 2021 winner was Can I Be Your Dog by Troy Cummings

The award is designed for students in grades 3-5. Named in honor of Big Bluestem which is the state prairie grass, the award may include both timeless classics and current titles.
You can view this year's nominees and place holds in our online catalog.
The 2021 winner was Wedgie & Gizmo by Suzanne Selfors.

Graphic with words Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award 2022 Nominees

The Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award is an annual award given to the author of the book voted most outstanding by students in grades 4-8 in participating Illinois schools.
You can view this year's nominees and place holds in our online catalog.
The 2021 winner was Front Desk by Kelly Yang.

April is Sikh Awareness and Appreciation month in Illinois. We're celebrating the many ways that Sikh Americans have influenced American history, achievement, culture, and innovation. Visit our display in the Children's Department or place holds in our catalog.

graphic that says international women's day with 8 book covers of children's books

Celebrate International Women's Day and Women's History Month with these great reads!

Celebrating Black History Month graphic

Celebrate with your kids by checking out books honoring Black lives and heritage and extraordinary figures in Black history.

School District 95 Battle of the Books in green rectangle

Includes links to all formats we own. You can easily place holds to pick-up at the drive-up window.


Photo of Dragon Flying and Title Dragon Books

Movies and TV Series:

All the books included on these lists are available in ebook format from Hoopla or Overdrive

Pride Books for Kids Rainbow Handprint with Heart in the middle

Picture Books 

  • And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell (Hoopla ebook)
  • Eustace & Clyde by Marina Aizen (Hoopla ebook)  
  • A Church for All by Gayle E. Pitman (Hoopla ebook)  
  • Families, Families, Families! by Suzanne Lang (Overdrive ebook)  
  • Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino (Hoopla ebook)  
  • Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer (Hoopla ebook
  • 10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert (Hoopla ebook)  
  • A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss (Overdrive ebook)


  • The Gender Identity Workbook for Kids by Kelly Storck and Noah Grigni (Hoopla ebook
  • The Power Book by Claire Saunders, Georgia Amson-Bradshaw, et al.(Hoopla ebook
  • What's Gender Identity? by Katie Kawa (Hoopla ebook
  • LGBTQ Human Rights Movement by Theresa Morlock (Hoopla ebook
  • What's Intolerance? By Richard Alexander (Hoopla ebook
  • The Gay Rights Movement by Eric Braun (Hoopla ebook
  • Rise Up! The Art of Protest by Jo Rippon and Mari Copney (Hoopla ebook
  • Standing Up to Hate Speech by Alison Morretta (Hoopla ebook
  • Dictionary for a Better World by Irene Latham, Charles Waters, et al. (Hoopla ebook
  • LGBT Families by H.W. Poole (Hoopla ebook
  • The ABC's of LGBT+ by Ashley Mardell (Hoopla ebook
  • All Out by Saundra Mitchell (Overdrive ebook)  

Middle Grade Fiction

For Parents

image of hands with hearts Anti-racism books for kids

Picture Books


  • We Shall Overcome Series by Rachel Tisdale (Hoopla ebooks)
  • Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh (Hoopla ebook)
  • Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison (Overdrive ebook)
  • Rise Up The Art of Protest by Jo Rippon (Hoopla ebook)
  • All the Colors We Are by Katie Kissenger (Hoopla ebook)
  • What is Racism? by Amy B. Rogers (Hoopla ebook)

Middle Grade Fiction

Other Resources:

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

The Ela Library would like to help you prepare your child for kindergarten readiness.  One of the most reliable predictors of school success is being read to during early childhood. Sharing books with young children strengthens your relationship and promotes a lifelong love of books and reading. It's fun, free and every book counts! Click here to learn more. Visit our Facebook gallery to see photos of program finishers.


What to Read Next for Parents

If your child is in the beginning stages of reading and you’re not sure where to start, ask us for assistance finding the first reader section, leveled readers (letters A-M), easy readers and beginning chapter books. Many schools are now testing students to determine their lexile scores. These ranges can be used by parents and teachers to find books at the appropriate reading level for each individual child. You can use the Find a Book search on to find books within a lexile score or range.

Digital Reading & Apps

Visit our Digital Reading & Apps page to download books and magazines, to have books read to you online or find out about great new apps.

Novelist K-8

Wondering what to read next? Try Novelist K-8, an electronic resource that helps readers find new titles and authors to read. Looking for a book similar to Harry Potter? Want to read more stories about fourth grade girls?  Prefer your books action-packed and plot driven? Let Novelist give you some new suggestions.




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