Knowing if a book is suitable or not for kids

There is a web site called which rates movies according to violence, adult content,etc.

I was wondering is there is a similar web site which rates the suitability of children’s books?



I refer often to the movie site you mentioned as it is unbiased and simply tells you exactly and specifically what to expect. It is a spoiler if you want to see the movie yourself but that is okay with me.

I do not know of any site for books but when teen DS has been assigned a book I am not familiar with I will read it myself or do a search on it for reviews. Hope that helps.

I have never used this site but it does give reviews for parents on various media, including books.

Yup! I just found it the other day when I was looking for the same thing for my kids at work. They rate movies, books, tv shows, websites, games, and music. Here is the main page and here is the book part directly.

lol. I was editing my post with a link here when you posted this. looks like a good site:D

What one group considers suitable may not be what you, as a Catholic parent, find suitable. The best way is to read the book yourself, or, ask around in your group of Catholic friends for a reccomendation.

Good point. It is ultimately each parent’s responsibility to make these kinds of calls. is a website that has a short list excerpts from books that may be objectionable by your standards, maybe not. They also have other lists such as “most challenged books of the decade”. Those are not nearly as helpful - no excerpts - but interesting. Some books like Little House on the Praire are on there (???).

Also - creating awareness of education standards is a website dedicated to examining the reading requirements of Kansas City, MO schools. Both have been a help to me but are not as helpful as kids-in-mind.

I’ve gone the other route and have purchased many used books from lists from trusted sources - there’s the Catholic homeschooling book lists, A Mother’s List of Books, and the list from “A Landscape with Dragons…” by Michael O’Brien (huge book list in the back). That way I just keep my kids busy with what we have lying around.

I read tons as a child (still do), so I suggest many books I liked to my children. For new literature, I used to pre-read everything but can no longer keep up with their reading pace. I can usually get enough of a sense of the book from amazon reviews or library websites that have a synopsis and reviews.

Good reviews also come from friends whose kids are slightly older than yours so they can preview the books for you. Or a helpful librarian at your child’s school or the public library. As well as knowing the plot twists, you’ll want to know how the characters react to events and the general tone of the book. The same events (say a divorce or underaged drinking) can be handled very differently depending on the author’s worldview.

I steer my children away from the instantly popular series type books (like Gossip Girls or Twilight) that you can tell in an instant are bad. Most anything written expressly as “young adult literature” these days is not worth reading. For younger kids, there are so many good books out there, that you can keep them reading non-stop without ever having to go near junk books. Using reading lists like 'Honey for a Child’s Heart", “A Landscape with Dragons” or “1,000 books” you can fill up your library card in no time!

I don’t know anything about book reviews…but kids-in-mind is a GREAT source for movie content reviews. Much better than the USCCB, which sometimes has an odd definition of what’s appropriate and what’s not.

(I remember one movie that condoned and celebrated extramarital teen sex – even showing a naked teen in one scene – and yet the USCCB didn’t even mention this scene in their review, declaring that the movie was morally sound. Yeah…the church is paying for this service??)

It’s hard being a parent these days. You gotta divide your time between working for a living and fighting off the secularist propaganda being thrown at our kids in the form of books, movies, and other media. It’s great that review sites exist to help busy parents who simply do not have the time to pour through thousands of books, films, music, etc…

I have “A Landscape with Dragons”, looked up and found “Honey for a Child’s Heart”, but what is “1,000 books”? Thank you!

This is a Christian (not specifically Catholic) homeschooling site. The book lists are divided by age and include many classics as well as Christian (again not Catholic) books that have good moral stories. A few are occasionally a bit too non-Catholic, but I haven’t had too much trouble with that.

Thank you! I’m sure I will use it!

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