Best Children’s Bookstores In Chicago

May 19, 2014 7:00 AM

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When it comes to independent bookstores for children, the Chicago area has plenty. From bookstores that focus solely on children’s books to stores with a strong children’s section, finding an independent bookstore that has something in stock for your youngest reader has never been easier. To get started in finding an independent bookstore for children in the Chicago area, check out the following list (you can also take a look at this article.

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57th Street Books
1301 E. 57th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 684-1300

Located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, 57th Street Books offers an assortment of children’s books that will delight any reader. The store, which is a branch of Seminary Co-Operative Bookstore, Inc., features a rotating display of children’s books that tie in with special events. For example, 57th Street Books recently featured an assortment of books by and about prominent women in honor of Women’s History Month. The bookstore also has storytime every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. While the kids make a selection, adults can also check out the bookstore’s fiction and nonfiction for adults.

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A Book Above
136 W. Vallette, Unit #6
Elmhurst, IL 60126
(630) 993-0133

Carolyn Carrillo, owner of A Book Above in suburban Elmhurst, has a philosophical approach to selling books for children. “The focus is on drawing children into reading, and to capture the attention of children towards reading. There’s so much drawing them away from reading. I am a proponent of a physical book, and I think physical books are getting dismissed,” Carrillo explained. At A Book Above, located behind Mamma Maria’s Pizza, an assortment of books are offered for children of all ages, including board books for small children and young adult fiction. The store, which opened in November 2013, hosts events including preschool storytime. To find upcoming events, check out A Book Above’s Facebook page



The Book Cellar
4736-38 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 293-2665

For families in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood, heading to The Book Cellar for new books is a one-stop shop for everyone. The store’s children’s section features best sellers and books from independent publishers. It also features young adult novels, including the Hunger Games series. You can also drop by the store for free storytime every Friday at 11 a.m. Adults who enjoy reading young adult fiction can also partake in the Book Cellar’s book club “Never Too Old: A Young Adult Book Club for Adults,” which discusses both classic favorites and new releases in the young adult fiction genre.

Related: Most Community-Centered Bookstores In Chicago

Open Books
213 W. Institute Place, Suite #207
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 475-1355

Located in Chicago’s Near North Side, Open Books is a bookstore with a mission. The nonprofit organization, established in 2006, sells used books both in its store and via its website, with the proceeds supporting its literacy programs. If you’re looking for a book for your child, then take a look around as Open Books has plenty of books to choose from, with approximately 70,000 for sale, 10,000 of which are children’s books. According to Open Books, it served approximately 3,900 students during the 2013-2014 fiscal year, and its programs include Open Book Buddies, Adventures in Creative Writing and Publishing Academy.

Unabridged Bookstore
3251 N. Broadway St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 883-9119

If you’re in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, check out Unabridged Bookstore. Established in 1980, Unabridged Bookstore features a wide selection of children’s books. Not sure what to get your child? Feel free to ask the store’s staff for help in selecting a book. Unabridged Bookstore’s staff also has a list of recommended titles for kids, including “The Pigeon Needs a Bath!,” “The Dark” and “Boxers.” Children of all ages can peruse the bookstore’s selections. Fiction and nonfiction are also available for adults.

Related: Best Book Stores For Kids In Chicago

Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at

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