Children’s literature blogs to follow – our 15 recommendations
Children’s literature blogs – finding reliable and trustworthy information written by a qualified and experienced professional can be quite challenging.
What to look for: blogs edited by people who are actively involved in children’s literature or children’s education tend to be the most trustworthy and reliable. Look out for reviews and suggestions from experienced teachers, working librarians and current children’s authors. Trade journalists and professional reviewers, independent children’s booksellers and publicists are worth reading for their industry experience. And for a different perspective, seek out experienced homeschoolers, blogging parents, and word of mouth from children and teens who read books.
What to avoid: if you’ve ever searched for children’s books on the internet or social media you may be disappointed by the first results that pop up. Some ‘influencers’ write glowing book recommendations in return for website links, gift-wrapped products, or less-than-obvious product placements called ‘guest posts.’ Some sites bestow greatness on every new book that comes to market. Others simply plaster their blogs with gorgeous book covers. Perhaps you have already seen websites that claim to be an expert on every facet of parenthood and education, yet the name of the writer is mysteriously absent. Be discerning and avoid clickbait!
Our children’s and YA literature blog suggestions: it can be hard to find original and trustworthy advice and knowledge in any field, and children’s and YA literature is no different! So, we’ve created this list of cracking children’s and YA literature review, recommendation and suggestion sites – that in our view – are consistent, independent, useful, original, and a great source of reading ideas and literacy advice for schools, parents, libraries, tutors and home educators.
Books Up North Kids’ Reviews
Run by literacy consultant Sarah Tyson, this blog caters for children’s books for 1-6-year-olds, 7-11-year-olds, and young adults aged 12+. And there’s a twist – the books featured on this blog are all reviewed by children. This blog is a great resource for teachers and librarians to follow current trends and see what will resonate with children. The BUN blog also provides an opportunity for children and teens to write reviews. The BUN website invites children aged 2-17 ‘who enjoy reading books or listening to stories’ to get involved by applying to join their junior review panel. Books Up North is highly recommended for teachers and our go-to children’s literature blog to keep track of what real children are really reading.
E Train Talks
A vlog and podcast where every middle-grade book is reviewed by an enthusiastic 6th-grade (that’s Year 7 in the UK) student. And it’s not just exciting book reviews, there are author interviews, podcast conversations, YouTube discussions and advice and virtual visits for teachers and librarians. This engaging and informative site is not only great to help motivate 10-14-year-olds and encourage wider reading, but also will also provide educators with a different perspective on middle-grade books, and particularly, reading for pleasure. Every child in your school book club will want a bow tie after watching these videos! Highly recommended.
Picture Books Blogger
There are hundreds of picture book reviews on this blog by Sarah Yewman, spanning many years of publication. Including numerous independent publishers, there’s bound to be a glut of titles that you are not familiar with, and this site is a goldmine for finding great bedtime reading, books for circle times, attention-grabbing books for primary libraries, class assembly ideas and moral tales for PSHE. With concise and informative detail, the reviewer focuses on the visual, using several photographs to illustrate each recommendation. It’s a great blog to peruse and find just the right book to read to your primary school class.
The Guardian Children’s Books
The Guardian’s mini-site covers news, reviews, interviews and round-ups in the children’s and YA literature world. The monthly picture book, middle grade and YA round-ups by Fiona Noble, Imogen Russell Williams and Imogen Carter are well worth browsing. The brief and engaging style of the short reviews makes them not only useful for educators when deciding which new books to purchase, but also for ‘selling’ new books to classes of prospective readers in library periods.
Michael Rosen’s Blog
This thought-provoking series of posts examines what the point of children’s literature is, and suggests how educators can use children’s books to improve their teaching. The articles challenge much of the tired thinking that can beset primary education and will be useful to teachers looking for literacy planning inspiration. HODs looking to enliven English department staff meetings, and SLTs who want to reinvigorate reading at a whole school level will also find this blog a useful resource. The posts on reading for pleasure and how children respond to literature will be of particular interest to primary literacy coordinators. Michael Rosen is a professor of children’s literature at Goldsmiths University of London, former Children’s Laureate, and a bestselling author of books for children.
Read It Daddy
This blog contains 10 years worth of cracking reviews, mainly covering picture books and short chapter books for junior aged children. There’s a particular leaning towards high interest, fun titles that will appeal to children who want excitement, fast-paced stories or visual awe and wonder. There’s nothing dull on this blog edited by a dad who enjoys yarn wrangling and ‘groovy welly walks’.
Curated by a Scottish writer and mum who reviews the books she reads to her children – BookBairn and The Wee Page Turner. The parent-focussed approach makes this a useful site to find books for birthdays and festive occasions. Also, if you are looking for books to read to relatives or books for siblings to share – this site is an excellent resource.
The 272 Book Blog
Written by Faith, a ’14-year-old bookworm’, this blog is a journey of reading that KS3, KS4 and KS5 librarians may well find invaluable. But it’s not just YA and teen novels that feature here – there’s also an emphasis on rereading younger material and reflecting on thought-provoking picture books. An interesting insight into themes that resonate and books that last.
Bellis Does Books
Run by an experienced children’s bookseller, this blog features a wide range of middle-grade fiction, YA novels and nonfiction for children aged 7+. Reviews are pithy, informative and include lots of illustrative photographs. Especially recommended for teachers of children in years 5-8.
Nayu’s Reading Corner
Nayu’s children’s lit blog contains over 11 year’s worth of middle grade, YA and picture book reviews. It’s a treasure trove of content, with reviews, interviews, and features on children’s fiction. We found it particularly useful for books that might have slipped under the radar and otherwise be missed.
This blog follows a primary school teacher and father who reads with his son every day. There’s a great mix of well-written picture books and short chapter books. The reviews are detailed. They tend to focus on what children will enjoy about the books and how they will promote imagination and discussion. This blog is an ideal source of bedtime reads and stories to share.
Run by experienced chartered librarian Mélanie McGilloway, ‘Library Mice’ is a good source of reviews for highly illustrated stories for primary aged children, graphic novels, and picture books for KS1 and KS2. The ‘features’ section includes some interesting think pieces that will appeal to teachers who want to understand more about how and why illustrated books appeal to young readers. There are also Q&As and interviews with authors.
Run by Clare Zinkin, an experienced editor and journalist who writes about children’s literature, teachers will appreciate the thorough and detailed reviews on this site. Middle grade and picture books for older children are particularly well represented. There are also articles about creative writing for children, and regular seasonal round-ups of new releases.
Books 4 Your Kids
Tanya Turek, an experienced elementary school librarian and former Barnes & Noble bookseller, presents this extensive blog of American children’s books. With global ordering and delivery much easier now than it was ten years ago – both online and through independent bookshops – it’s well worth keeping an eye on books published abroad. This site is particularly useful for finding interesting and lively lower KS2 titles.
Run by Catherine, a primary school teacher living in Germany, this blog presents an interesting perspective. It recommends books that have proved winners with bilingual children, children learning English as a second language, and children who have parents who are not native English speakers.
Books For Keeps
With over 12,500 reviews dating back to the 1980s, this website is a comprehensive resource for researching children’s books. Respected by trade booksellers, librarians and educators, Sir Philip Pullman said Book For Keeps is ‘The most important periodical in the world of British children’s books.’
Published on Aug 10, 2021, and last updated on .
If you found this page useful, you might also be interested in our latest children’s book reviews, our guide to children’s book festivals and events in the UK, our guide to annual UK children’s literature awards, our list of GCSE revision books for English language and literature and our directory of UK children’s book publishers.