Kids of any age may enjoy career-oriented books, but the books are likely to become more useful if parents guide kids through topics and discuss books with their children after reading together. It's natural for a kid to develop interests in many different careers over the course of a childhood and to experiment with work from each one. Many kids have strong ideas about what they want to be when they grow up, but it's just as natural for those ideas to change through time and especially later in life.
Kids Books About Careers
Encouraging kids to read books that cover information about specific careers can teach them more about the jobs that are available and the good and bad parts of each one.
A Day in the Life of . . .
The Rosen Publishing Group's A Day in the Life of . . . series covers basic information about many different careers by focusing on the daily tasks of each job. The books follow a nurse, a chef, an architect, an EMT, a carpenter, a coach, a librarian, a mayor, and a park ranger, among other careers. The publisher also has a series of similar books that contain information about jobs people held in colonial days.
Better Than a Lemonade Stand
Daryl Bernstein's book takes a step or two beyond the traditional informational approach of a career book and inspires kids to start their own small businesses. Bernstein encourages kids to think about their own strengths and interests and how they could turn those concepts into moneymaking ventures. He advises about start-up investments, buying supplies, advertising, selling to clients, billing, and treating customers with courtesy and respect. Bernstein also profiles several sample careers and gives kids ideas about how they could start their own versions of such jobs.
America at Work
The America at Work series from Kids Can Press profiles industries rather than careers, so kids get a taste of all of the jobs involved in an industry, how each job is important, and how the industry as a whole impacts the environment and other people. Books in the series include titles on fishing, forestry, mining, and farming. A Community Workers series, also from Kids Can Press, profiles community workers including firefighters, garbage collectors, and postal workers.
Women Working A to Z
This book by Maria A. Kunstadter intends to show young girls a variety of role models in many different careers. The women that Kunstadter profiles have jobs ranging from airline pilot to zookeeper to engineer, and by showing photos of each women as a child and as an adult, the author urges kids to realize that they can develop their skills as they grow older and pursue any type of career they want.
Make It a Family Discussion
In discussing books for kids on careers, parents should ask plenty of questions and listen carefully to what their children think about various jobs. Parents can also share information about jobs that aren't covered in books. For example, even though most kids know what it means to be a writer, very few children might realize the role that editors play in the development of books and articles, and it can be helpful for them to hear more about that type of career.
Lots of kids, especially very young children, don't realize that adults often have many different jobs throughout their lives. Parents can help teach kids more about careers and about the process of getting a job by telling more about different jobs they have held in the past and jobs that they might have in the future as well.