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A Guide to Storytime

Reading by 9 logo, a guide to story time.
(Illustration by Dallas Steinberger)
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A Guide to Story Time is Reading by 9’s annual bilingual reading guide for parents and educators. It supports young kids as they develop their reading and literacy skills, which are crucial for future academic success.

Leer en Español | Download the 2021 guide | Last year’s guide

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Tips and tricks for our readers

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Book Recommendations

Babies to Kindergarten

  • By Salina Yoon
    A penguin finds a little lost pine cone in the snow and embarks on a journey to send the pine cone back home.

    Bloomsbury Publishing
    Buy here

  • By Gabrielle Union
    A book about the birth of a child highlights the fireworks of emotions that come with new life.

    HarperCollins Publishers
    Buy here

  • By Todd Parr
    True to its title, “The Family Book” celebrates different families in different ways.

    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
    Buy here

  • By Minh Lê
    A story about pressing buttons in an elevator shows a deeper journey that results in soaring hearts and imaginations with the flip of a page.

    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
    Buy here

  • By Nick Bromley, Nicola O’Byrne
    An angry crocodile eats his way through this interactive picture book.

    Nosy Crow
    Buy here

  • By Elana K. Arnold
    In this picture book, which explores creative gender expression, Riley wears clothes that feel right for the occasion, whether it’s a superhero cape to brave a visit to the dentist or a ball gown for an outing with family.

    Simon & Schuster
    Buy here

  • By Nikki Grimes
    Bath time becomes an adventure at sea — the faucet is a waterfall and a rubber duck is a sea creature.

    Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
    Buy here

1st to 2nd grade

  • By Mac Barnett
    Creations from magical yarn by a young girl captivate a community in this modern fairy tale reminiscent of a classic.

    HarperCollins Publishers
    Buy here

  • By Lucky Diaz
    The story of a main character who walks all around town looking for the Paletero Man until he realizes he has no money to spend.

    HarperCollins Publishers
    Buy here

  • By Jason Chin
    A boy discovers a book about redwoods and is transported to the forest as he turns the pages.

    MacMillan
    Buy here

  • By LeUyen Pham
    “Outside, Inside” celebrates essential workers and a community as it overcomes the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    MacMillan
    Buy here

  • By Michael Mahin
    When Carlos Santana would listen to his father play el violín, the world filled with love and healing. It inspires Santana to pick up la guitarra as he attempts to re-create that magical feeling.

    Simon and Schuster
    Buy here

  • By Margarita Engle
    Teresa’s family flees Venezuela for the United States. She is lonely in an unfamiliar place until her gift for playing the piano leads her to playing at the White House.

    Simon & Schuster
    Buy here

  • By Helena Ku Rhee
    At night, an office transforms into a whimsical kingdom of paper when a boy accompanies his parents to their cleaning job.

    Penguin Random House
    Buy here

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3rd to 4th Grade

  • By Ernesto Cisneros
    A young boy journeys to reunite with his family after his parents are deported to Mexico.

    HarperCollins Publishers
    Buy here

  • By Margaret Dilloway
    How a shy 11-year-old evolves into an activist by overcoming her anxiety through improv.

    HarperCollins Publishers
    Buy here

  • By Arisa White, Laura Atkins, Laura Freeman
    Winner of the Nautilus Book Award, this tale looks at slavery, racism and community healing in the United States.

    Heyday Books
    Buy here

  • By Jessica Kim
    An 11-year-old girl lives a double life pursuing her stand-up comedy dreams while taking test-prep classes to appease her mother.

    Penguin Random House
    Buy here

  • By Pam Muñoz Ryan
    A boy uncovers a family secret about an underground network of guardians who protect people fleeing a neighboring country.

    Scholastic Inc.
    Buy here

  • By Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee
    For Chef Roy Choi, food is a way to explore both the Korean and Los Angeles cultures he knows — that’s why he remixes food just as an artist remixes music.

    Readers to Eaters
    Buy here

  • By Shannon Hale
    Shannon and Adrienne’s friendship is put to the test as they navigate school and popularity.

    MacMillan
    Buy here

Receive a print version of last year's guide

Looking for print copies for your family, classroom or organization? We’re delivering last year’s guide for free! Fill out this form to request copies.

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Literacy Programs

826LA - Sunset Blvd location

Echo Park
More Info

826LA - Venice Blvd. location

Mar Vista
More Info

Access Books

More Info

CSUN L.A. Times Literacy Center

Northridge
More Info

News Literacy Project

More Info

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Support Services

Proyecto Pastoral Centro de Alegria

Boyle Heights
More Info

Proyecto Pastoral La Guarderia

Boyle Heights
More Info

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Libraries

Los Angeles Public Library

More Info

Los Angeles County Library

More Info

Orange County Public Libraries

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This supplement did not involve the editorial or reporting staff of the Los Angeles Times except where noted.

The guide is free to parents, educators and organizations working with children and families. To contact us with comments and questions or to receive more information, email public.affairs@latimes.com.

Los Angeles Times Public Affairs manages philanthropy, community engagement and corporate social responsibility at the nation’s largest metropolitan daily news organization. We broaden perspectives, empower storytellers and inspire our community to question and transform the world around them. For more information, visit latimes.com/readingby9.

A recipient of the nation’s highest honor for library service — the National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services — the Los Angeles Public Library serves the largest and most diverse urban population of any library in the nation. Its Central Library, 72 branch libraries, collection of more than 6 million books, state-of-the-art technology accessible at lapl.org and diverse programs provide everyone with free and easy access to information and the opportunity for lifelong learning.

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