The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Age-Appropriate Children's Health Books

Young children are attracted to picture books that feature brightly colored images. They also want to listen to wordless stories like Mother Goose and nursery rhymes.

Ages 8 to 11

When 10-year-old Ava tries to fit in with her schoolmates by playing soccer, reading, and drawing, they tell her she’s too shy. But a trip to the countryside brings out her true personality, and she learns to be more comfortable. “This book helps kids realize that their anxiety is a normal part of life,” says one expert.

In calm, reassuring language, two trauma therapists explain the basics of children’s needs: food, a home, education, safety, and love. They also note that sometimes grown-ups can’t provide those things, and children need others to care for them.

Written by diversity advocate Nabela Noor, this heartwarming story follows a girl who worries she’s too fat after her mom and sisters criticize their weight. The book offers a nuanced take on disordered eating and positive body image, notes an expert from the Child Mind Institute. Ages 4-8. Published by Delacorte Press.

Ages 12 to 14

Kids this age are growing up and becoming more responsible for their health. They need to understand what risks they face from motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, and other activities. These childrens health books explain these hazards in an accessible way and demonstrate ways to prevent them.

When a girl with social anxiety becomes the secret writer of her school newspaper’s advice column, she can overcome her fears and find a new source of peer connection. “This book focuses on overcoming challenges and being brave, which is a good message for children with anxiety,” says an expert from the Child Mind Institute.

This book explains the many parts of our bodies with fun and colorful illustrations. It also answers common questions about healthy eating, stress, and vaccinations. The book has hands-on experiments and tips to encourage kids to make smart decisions about their health.

Ages 15 to 18

Reading to your child is a powerful tool that helps them develop logical thinking and pre-reading skills, builds vocabulary and object recognition, fosters curiosity about the world, and promotes school success. Great books can also help kids learn about their health and well-being, especially when dealing with traumatic events.

Written by two trauma therapists in calm, reassuring language, this book helps children understand what they should be able to count on from the grown-ups they belong to—basic needs like food, a home, education, love, safety, and good family life. It also normalizes the sad feelings that come with death. 

A boy with a facial deformity makes friends with classmate Conner, who has Tourette’s Syndrome, in this honest and heartfelt story. The book shows that differences should be celebrated and provides a window into living with a disability. 

Ages 19 to 21

Reading to kids improves their logical thinking and pre-literacy skills, builds vocabulary and object recognition, sparks curiosity about the world around them, encourages school success, and creates lifelong memories. But the types of books you select are important, too.

In this popular children’s book, a boy with a facial deformity attends his first public school and is surrounded by kind people who welcome him. But when he’s bullied, the book reminds readers that everyone has differences to celebrate. Written by two trauma therapists, the book uses calm, direct language to explain that it’s not okay for grown-ups to hurt children—even if they feel angry. Ages 4-8. Published by Magination Press.