“One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish…” For many children, reading starts with the whimsical pages of Dr. Seuss. Read Across America Day—which purposefully takes place on Theodor Seuss Geisel’s birthday, March 2—is the perfect time to add to your child’s bookshelves. Amy Forrester and the children’s librarians at the Denver Public Library are ready to up your bedtime story game with made-to-checkout, customized book lists.

The online questionnaire starts with the basics: age, grade, and reading level. Then you pick how your child likes to read (book, ebook, audiobook), what genres they like they read, and finish by listing their three favorite books and why they love them. A librarian at the Central Library will personally handpick a list of perfect titles for your young reader, and within about a week, a custom reading list will be sent directly to your inbox.

The one-year-old program starts digitally, but Forrester says its goal is to get kids and families to the library, so kids can become comfortable and intrigued by the stacks.

“No matter if your kid is a reluctant reader or a super reader, we can find books that meet their level and interests,” says Forrester. “The more that you take them to the library, the stronger personal connection kids will feel. We want them to come in, see the books, judge them by the cover, and open them up.”

To get you started, Forrester gave us a sample of new and upcoming books for each age group (preschool, elementary school, middle school, and high school). To find more about events, updated book lists, and other resources, check out the Read Play Learn website from the Denver Public Library.


  • Frankie, by Mary Sullivan (April 4)
  • Making Faces: A First Book of Emotions, by Abrams Appleseed (May 2)
  • Pete with No Pants, by Rowboat Watkins (May 2)
  • This is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from Around the World, by Matt Lamothe (May 2)

Elementary School

  • Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics, by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael Lopez (March 14)
  • Charlie & Mouse, by Laurel Snyder; illustrated by Emily Hughes (April 11)
  • Clayton Byrd Goes Underground, by Rita Williams-Garcia (May 9)
  • Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt (A Narwhal and Jelly Book # 2), by Ben Clanton (May 2)

Middle School

  • 5 Worlds Book 1: The Sand Warrior, by Mark Siegel and Alexis Siegel; illustrated by Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, Boya Sun (May 2)
  • Amina’s Voice, by Hena Khan (March 14)
  • Higher, Steeper, Faster: The Daredevils Who Conquered the Skies, by Lawrence Goldstone (March 28)
  • The Lotterys Plus One, by Emma Donoghue; illustrated by Caroline Hadilaksono (March 28)

High School

  • Bull, by David Elliott (March 28)
  • A Face Like Glass, by Frances Hardinge (May 9)
  • The Inexplicable Logic of My Life, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (March 7)
  • Lumberjanes Vol. 6: Sink or Swim, by Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh; created by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke Allen; illustrated by Carey Pietsch, with Maarta Laiho (April 11)