Reading List for 1st Graders
Updated: Oct 5, 2022
Introduction to the List
This reading list for first graders introduces parents to thirty well-loved stories. We love these books because as well as being fun, they also teach life lessons in an upbeat way. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
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If you are looking for a reading list for first graders that is free, check out the PDF we created for parents. It has hundreds of readings for first graders.
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1. The Camping Trip by Jennifer K. Mann
In this endearing tale, a young girl experiences her first camping trip. A delightful story of camping fun that will provide young readers with a solid foundation for what to expect on their first outdoor adventure.
2. If I Built A School by Chris Van Dusen
Jack is an inventive boy who dreams of building his dream school. He fantasizes about hover desks, a trampoline basketball court in the gym, and even a field trip to Mars! This is a book that inspires creativity and is full of imagination and fun.
3. Big Friends by Linda Sarah and Benji Davies
Best friends Birt and Etho play together on Sudden Hill and love building things using cardboard boxes. "Sometimes they're kings, soldiers, astronauts. Sometimes they're pirates sailing wild seas and skies." Will these best friends find room for three when a new boy wants to join in their play?
4. The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman
This children's book features all kinds of families and their lives together. There are pages dedicated to different aspects of home life--from houses to holidays, from schools to pets, from languages and hobbies to family trees. A fascinating and engaging book that celebrates different types of families.
5. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Chrysanthemum believes her name is beautiful until the kids tease her about it on her very first day at school. A classic favorite all year round, Chrysanthemum is an adorable and honest story about acceptance and self-esteem.
6. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
Ferdinand is a peaceful little bull who is content to just sit and smell the flowers under his favorite cork tree, while all the other bulls run, leap, and butt their heads together. With its timeless message of peace, tolerance, and courage to be yourself, this book is beloved around the world.
7. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin, Kimberly Dean and James Dean
Pete the Cat walks down the street in his brand-new white shoes. As he walks through piles of strawberries, blueberries, and other messes, his shoes change from white to blue to brown to wet! But Pete is such a cool cat that any little mud or pile of strawberries can't spoil his day. Pete keeps movin', groovin', and singing his song...because it's all good!
8. The Paperboy by Dav Pilkey
As the world is still asleep, a boy and his dog leave the comfort of their warm bed to deliver the morning newspapers. On his bike, the boy pedals along a familiar route with his dog running beside him. The two are enjoying a world, before sunrise, that belongs only to them and finding happiness and comfort in their familiar routine...Inspired by the author’s own experiences as a paperboy.
9. Roller Coaster by Marla Frazee
The exciting amusement park visit begins with a line of eager riders waiting for their turn—some have ridden on many roller coasters, while some have never done it before. This delightful and vibrant picture book will help readers forget their fear of roller coasters as they ride along with a hilarious range of reactions from the riders!
10. I’m Happy-Sad Today by Lory Britain
A delightful picture book helps young children in making sense of conflicting emotions. Happy, but also sad. Excited and nervous. Frustrated, but determined. It is natural to have mixed emotions, but they can also be confusing. This gentle and friendly book offers ways to help children understand their emotions and to discover new words to express complex feelings. This book also features a little girl who talks about her layered emotions, ultimately concluding, “When I have more than one feeling inside me, I don’t have to choose just one. I know that all my feelings are okay at the same time.”
11. Can I Have A Hug? by Rosie Greening
With simple, rhyming texts, a family of cute furry monsters teaches young children the comfort and joy of hugging. Inspired by the global impact of Covid-19, this sweet, charming book helps children deal with separation and how to stay connected even when they are apart.
12. The Caring Me I Want To Be! by Mary DiPalermo
This sweet book offers a way to teach children about kindness. It features a little girl who shares how she practice kindness every day by sharing smiles, hugs, and loving words. A simple story with simple ideas—that can make a powerful impact on young readers!
13. The Book Hog by Greg Pizzoli
The Book Hog is a big fan of books. He enjoys books because of the way they look, how they feel, and smell. And he'll take any book that comes his way! There's just one problem: he can't read! An enjoyable and funny book about the magic of reading and how an adorable and carefree pig discovers how much fun it can be to read with the help of a kind librarian.
14. When You Are Brave by Pat Zietlow Miller
A young girl and her family have to say goodbye to their beloved home to move to a new one in this uplifting picture book. Saying goodbye to her old home, concerned about making new friends, seeing the dark road ahead--In these moments, the young girl feels scared, unsure, and alone. But when she took a deep breath and looked inside herself, she realized that she has the courage she needs. An excellent book for young readers and adults adjusting to a new situation.
15. The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds
This book is a story of Jerome, a word collector who learns to appreciate the magic of words all around him: simple words that are two syllables or even words that rhyme and sound like little songs. This beautiful book captures the wonder of words and the power of sharing them.
16. The Night Before First Grade by Natasha Wing
It's the night before the big day—the first day of first grade. With her best friend right beside her in the same class, Penny is looking forward to the new school year. This amusing retelling of Clement C. Moore's classic tale has a perfect twist ending that will surprise readers and encourage incoming first-graders to face the first day of school with confidence.
17. Chicken on Vacation by Adam Lehrhaupt
Zoey the chicken is going on a vacation and she's taking her barnyard buddies with her! Using her great imagination, Zoey turns an ordinary day at the beach into an amazing one. Are Zoey and her pals going to find the buried treasure? Chicken on Vacation is an I Can Read Level One book--a perfect book for beginner readers learning how to sound out words and sentences.
18. Crunch The Shy Dinosaur by Cirocco Dunlap
A cute, read-aloud picture book about Crunch, a quiet dinosaur who wants to play but is a bit shy, but by being patient and encouraging, you will be able to make Crunch your new friend! This is an interactive book that guides the reader to befriend the shy dinosaur using familiar words & actions ("tell him your name," "hello", "thank you"). An adorable story for young learners.
19. Big Bug Surprise by Julia Gran
Prunella knows so much about insects but no one has time to listen to her talk about it. As she awaits her turn at Show-and-Tell, a swarm of bees invaded her classroom! With her quick thinking Prunella leads the swarm to a new hive and saves her class from disaster!
20. Very Short Fairy Tales to Read Together by Mary Ann Hoberman
This book is a retelling of classic nursery rhymes like Goldilocks and The Three Little Pigs. Designed with young readers in mind, every story is told in short rhyming dialogues--with each character's lines highlighted by a different color, allowing two voices to read it in turn or together.
21. Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House, No.1) by Mary Pope Osborne
A mysterious tree house full of books transported Jack and Annie to prehistoric times. They begin to explore and soon find adventure and real dinosaurs! Now they have to figure out a way home...before it gets too dark. This adventure book is perfect for young readers who are just beginning to read chapter books.
22. Nate The Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
Nate the Great, the world's greatest detective, has a new case! He received an urgent phone call from Annie, who said she had lost a picture and needed help finding it. It's now up to Nate to solve this new and baffling case by asking the right questions and narrowing down the suspects. Will Nate be able to solve this mystery?
This chapter book series is perfect for beginner readers and a great way to get kids hooked on reading!
23. Zita The Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
After Zita's best friend gets abducted by an alien cult, she jumps into action to rescue her friend and finds herself on a strange planet with strange creatures. Her adventures as an intergalactic hero soon followed her as she made some new allies! Will everyone's favorite spacegirl prevail? A delightful and quick-paced story that kids will love.
24. Good Rosie! by Kate DiCamillo
A heartwarming story about a little dog named Rosie, who loves going on walks with her human friend, George. However, she is lonely and needs a friend. When George takes Rosie to the dog park one day, Rosie discovers that the park is full of unfamiliar dogs, making her feel awkward and out of place. Will she be able to make friends with the other dogs? A lovely story about opening up to new experiences and making friends.
25. Mia Mayhem Is A Superhero! by Kara West
Mia Macarooney is a typical 8-year-old girl who discovers that she is a superhero! She thought she was just clumsy and a total "disaster-machine" her entire life, but she now realizes it's because of her superhero powers! Easy-to-read language and colorful illustrations make Mia Mayhem chapter books perfect for beginner readers.
26. It’s Brave To Be Kind by Natasha Daniels
An inspiring book that teaches kids the value of kindness through empathy, compassion, and bravery. Besides being a storybook, this is also an activity book that encourages children to practice kindness and share it with those around them through simple but fun challenges. A great addition to any child's bookshelf!
27. Bo the Brave by Bethan Woollvin
A delightful and original tale about a little girl named Bo. Bo isn't allowed to go monster hunting with her brothers so she sets off on a journey to find a monster of her own determined to catch the biggest and meanest monster of them all. Young readers will be inspired by the story of Bo the Brave with its message of courage and strength and not judging others based on their appearance. It's a fun book to read in class or at home.
28. May I Please Have A Cookie? by Jennifer E. Morris
Alfie loves his mommy's freshly baked cookies, and he wants one more than anything else! But when he tries to grab a cookie, his mom refuses. Alfie tried different funny tricks to get a cookie, but none of them worked. How can he ask for one? Alfie then realizes with mommy's help that he must politely ask for a cookie. Children will learn proper manners with this sweet story as Alfie's mommy teaches him to say the magic words.
29. The Magical Yet by Angela DiTerlizzi
Can't ride a bike? Yet! Can't learn to dance? Yet! When we were born, we are accompanied by a special companion--the magical Yet. There's no need to worry, with the help of the Yet, you will get there.
The Magical Yet is a perfect resource to help children persevere through challenging learning moments. With this uplifting and inspirational book, we learn the power of perseverance and determination to reach our goals and with the Yet as a guide, soon "you'll do all the things you can't do today".
30. I Wanna Be A Cowgirl by Angela DiTerlizzi
A funny story about a little girl and her cute pup and kitten as she pretends to be a cowgirl in her backyard! A sweet story combined with charming and vibrant illustrations can make young readers enjoy flipping through the pages as they follow the little girl on her adventure. A perfect book to practice reading or for fun read-aloud.
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