Start with a Book

Common Sense Media says

Start with a topic, and site will you lead to a great book.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Each book contains a link to purchase it at Amazon.com, although the site does suggest going to the library to find books as well. WETA and the Park Foundation's logos are displayed on many pages. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

If you want to sign up for the newsletter or text message tip service, you need to provide your name, email, and/or mobile phone number.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Start With a Book is an exceptionally helpful site for parents and teachers who are looking for book suggestions, reading activities, and practical tips for teaching kids to read. Books are categorized by theme so you can choose subjects that you know interest your kid. This site is not really for kids to peruse, but rather for adults to find good reading resources to offer kids. (Make sure you're typing in ".org," as there is also a ".com" site with the same name.) 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion
  • reading
  • reading comprehension

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • asking questions

Communication

  • asking questions
  • listening

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

A powerfully comprehensive resource for parents, teachers, and librarians who want to find great books, activities, and reading tips in the topics that typically interest kids. There's so much information here that it's almost overwhelming.

Learning Approach

Kids will learn by reading, asking questions, discussing the book with their parent or teacher, and trying new activities related to the books and the books' topics.

Support

Users can purchase books directly from Amazon.com or print a book list for the library. The site has ideas for extended activities, including related apps and websites, and provides information from many sources on teaching reading.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion
  • reading
  • reading comprehension

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • asking questions

Communication

  • asking questions
  • listening

With the assistance of a parent, teacher, or librarian who uses this site, kids can learn how reading about a topic of interest to them can enrich their lives and their education. Kids also can learn how to ask relevant questions and discuss with others about what they're reading. While it's not user-friendly for young kids, adults are provided with many excellent resources to help kids learn to love reading.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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What's it about?

START WITH A BOOK gives practical suggestions to parents who want to foster a love of reading in their kids, grades K-5. First, parents choose a topic that their kid is interested in from a long list of subjects -- art, animals, nature, dinosaurs, and more. Then, they can purchase the books directly from amazon.com or print a book list for the library. The site also lists ideas for extended learning activities, including related apps and website, and it provides information from many sources on teaching reading and reading comprehension.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This site is a powerfully comprehensive resource for parents, teachers, and librarians who want to find great books in the topics that typically interest kids, and who want to teach good reading skills to kids. There's so much information here that it's almost overwhelming. It may be best at first to start with your kid's interest and gradually fan out on the site from there. It would be great if site creators would add a section just for kids; right now the site is generally for adults to find books, activities, and reading tips for kids, but not for kids themselves. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about taking time to read. Ask your kid what's good about turning off the TV, computer, and mobile devices for some quiet reading time? What's difficult about it? 

  • Set some reading time goals, and read with and/or alongside your child. 

  • Try some of the suggested activities to make connections between the books you and your kid are reading and hands-on learning.

Website details

Genre:Educational
Topics:Book characters
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Start with a Book was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
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