I’m often asked why Litkidz.com doesn’t cover books for older children. Although I have added a 12-14 category, it is really not the focus of this website, nor are older children. There’s one main reason, and that is because by the time children are over 14, they are making reading decisions themselves, based on peers. The impact that we have as teachers, parents, and grandparents is significantly decreased by the time the children are older.
That being said, it’s always good to try offering books as gifts to older children. So where would you go for recommendations? I have a few websites that seem useful. One is the Children’s Book Council, which has a search by age.
Another favorite source of good books for older kids is the UK-based Guardian, which has a special teen section written for and by teens. Excellent source of book information.
Finally, the School Library Journal has a Young Adult section as well.
I would add that there is one caveat to all these sites, which is that you really need to do the sifting for yourself. Just because the books show up on these sites doesn’t mean it meets all the criteria of valuable children’s literature. Many books they list for younger children are not books I would put on this site. However, at least it’s a starting place to see what stands out for you.
And let’s hope that by the time the young person in your life has reached 14, they have developed the kind of inner compass that you and they can trust wholeheartedly.