Q:

I read everywhere about the importance of getting my children interested in reading. I would like to start giving them books for birthdays and holiday presents. How do I select age-appropriate books with interesting story lines? -- Want to Start Shopping

A:

Relax. You can get great book ideas and age-appropriate book lists from people working in your local bookstore or the library. Also, you can visit our Dear Teacher Web site and search for "book lists" for even more ideas. You'll find annotated lists that describe the books especially helpful in selecting the right books for your children.

Ever since 1989, the International Reading Association has had teachers from all over the country select quality books that children of different ages would enjoy reading. On the association's Web site, www.reading.org, you will find annotated lists of all the books that have been selected. Just search for "Teachers' Choices." Here are this year's books, selected by grade and age category:

Primary winners (grades K-2, ages 5-8)

"The Best Story"

"Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation"

"First Dog Fala"

"Grace for President"

"Looking Closely Along the Shore"

"Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau"

"Nic Bishop Frogs"

"Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai"

"Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival"

"Yoko Writes Her Name"

Intermediate Winners (grades 3-5, ages 8-11)

"Abe's Honest Words"

"Animal Heroes: True Rescue Stories"

"Birds on a Wire"

"Colonial Voices: Hear Them Speak"

"Eleven"

"Lady Liberty March On!: The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World"

"A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams"

"When the Wolves Returned: Restoring Nature's Balance in Yellowstone"

"Yuki and the One Thousand Carriers"

Advanced Winners (grades 6-8, ages 11-14)

"The Boy Who Dared"

"Chains"

"The Freedom Business"

"Great Peacemakers: True Stories From Around the World"

"The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary"

"Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out"

"A Thousand Never Evers"

"Washington at Valley Forge"

"We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball"

"What the World Eats"