Reading List for Grades 1-6

Updated: Oct 5



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Reading List for 1st Graders

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Reading List for Grades 1-12



First Grade


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.


Second Grade


1. Could You? Would You? by Trudy White

A whimsical little book that will tickle young readers' imagination and encourage them to look more closely at the world around them. Could You? Would You? is a book full of questions ranging from silly ("Can you wiggle your ears like a rabbit?") to more serious ("When do you feel loved?") which makes a perfect conversation starter and a great family read!


2. Mom And Dad Are Palindromes by Mark Shulman

Bob had just learned that he is a palindrome after his teacher taught the class about it. He soon realized that there were palindromes everywhere. His pup, Otto, and even Mom and Dad! Keep your eyes open for the hidden palindromes in this book and see if you can find them all! A hilarious book to learn about palindromes which even reluctant readers will love.


3. A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech

A charming and amusing story about a well-meaning principal named Mr. Keene. He loves his fine, fine school so much that he decided to have the students go to school on Saturdays, holidays, and even school in summer! Mr. Keene is then reminded by a student named Tillie that sometimes students need a break from school and that learning can happen outside of school too.


4. The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill

There is no doubt that Mean Jean is the Recess Queen. She'd push, smoosh, hammer and slammer if kids crossed her! It wasn't long before a new student showed up at school. This new girl, Katie Sue, not intimidated by the bully, invited Mean Jean to play. Soon, they become best friends and make the playground a safe place for all. A story about bullying and the transformative power of kindness and friendship.


5. The Perfect Pet by Margie Palatini

Elizabeth wants a pet badly, but her parents say no to every idea she has. Instead, they gave her a plant. She likes the plant, but she still really really wanted a pet. Choosing the perfect pet is a topic that all parents and children will relate to in this funny picture book. This book will be a fun and easy read for a 2nd grader.


6. I Wanna New Room by Karen Kaufman

Since their baby sister was born, Alex has been forced to share a room with his little brother, Ethan. However, he cannot cope with sharing a room with his brother due to the constant destruction and noise. Determined, he wrote a letter to his parents to convince them to get his own room. Will Alex be able to have a space of his own? This is a cute and funny story that teaches persuasive writing.


7. Hey, Little Ant by Phillip M. Hoose

A funny and thought-provoking book about a surprising conversation between a boy and a tiny ant. The boy found an ant and almost squished it but the ant pleaded to spare him his life. This book will make for a fun read-aloud while it teaches young children different perspectives, empathy, and compassion.


8. The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

Sometimes, we feel like outsiders. There will be times when we walk into a room, and no one there is quite like us--and how courageous it is to move forward anyway. This story encourages kids to celebrate their unique selves while gently affirms that when they begin to share their stories to the world--"the world opens itself up a little wider to make some space [for you]". A heartwarming and optimistic book for kids starting a scary, new adventure.


9. The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

Unhei is a young Korean girl who moves to America and starts school at a new high school. But when the other kids can't pronounce her Korean name, she begins to wonder if she should choose a new name. Her classmates suggest different American names for her and helped fill out a name jar. During the process, Unhei eventually realizes the value of her name and the special meaning it holds.


10. Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

A heartwarming and cute story about an encouraging and loving father and a determined little boy. Jabari just finished and passed his swimming lessons. Now, he is ready to jump off the diving board. He is excited and also a little nervous but he doesn't want to let anyone know how he felt. However, his father knew what he was feeling and gently reminds Jabari that it's okay to feel scared sometimes and encourages him to try again. A beautiful story about conquering one's fears with the help of a supportive family.


11. Dear Max by Sally Grindley

Max is a nine-year-old boy who starts to write to his favorite author, D.J. Lucas. Max loves D.J.'s books and wants advice from D.J. on how to be a great writer. Max and his favorite author share their lives and struggles through their letters in this funny and enjoyable book. This book also teaches kids about creative writing and the power of imagination.


12. Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson

Ordinary Mary is a little girl who picks blueberries for her neighbor Mrs. Bishop, who then pays the kindness forward and eventually sets off a chain reaction of kindness and goodwill throughout the world. Children will enjoy this uplifting and entertaining story about being kind and how a simple good deed can make a big difference.


13. Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts

The only thing Jeremy wants is to own a pair of those shoes that everyone at school wears. However his grandmother tells him, "There is no room for want, just need," and what he needs are new winter boots. When his old shoe fell apart, Jeremy becomes more determined to have those shoes. Jeremy found a pair at the thrift store that was too small for him but he insisted on wearing them because "sometimes shoes stretch." But it isn't fun to have blistered feet. It doesn't take long for Jeremy to realize that he already has what he really needs -- new snow boots, a loving grandmother, and being able to help out a friend.


14. Patrick Picklebottom And The Penny Book by Mr. Jay

A wonderful story about a boy named Patrick Picklebottom who wants to buy a storybook but only has a penny. The kind-hearted store owner then sells him the book for a penny which delighted Patrick. On his way home, he met his friends playing with their smartphones and video games. But Patrick only wants to read his book. He knows that he can also explore faraway places and go on adventures through his imagination and love for reading. This beautiful and sweet book shows that while hi-tech devices and gadgets can often be a positive part of modern life, we can also find magic in reading a good book.


15. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

A little mouse goes for a walk through the deep dark woods. He comes across three hungry predators: a fox, an owl, and a snake! To scare them off, he made up a story about a scary monster called the Gruffalo. Soon, to his surprise, he met the real Gruffalo! Will this little mouse be able to escape and outwit this terrible monster?


16. Ten Ways To Hear Snow by Cathy Camper

The perfect book to read and share on a cozy winter day. Ten Ways To Hear Snow is a story about a young girl named Lina who woke up and everything was quiet. She looked out the window and it was snowing, which blanketed her city and muffled every sound. As she walks to her grandmother's place to help her cook, she discovers that there are many ways to hear snow--the sound of her boots crunching snow, a bird knocking down snow from a branch, people sweeping snow off their cars, and many more. In this touching and sweet book, we meet a modern Arab-American family who teaches us about mindfulness and empathy and noticing the little things around by listening and slowing down.


17. How To Read A Story by Kate Messner

How To Read A Story is a delightful picture book that describes the step-by-step process of reading a book and sharing it with a friend. Paired with captivating and vibrant illustrations with this sweet story will entice any budding reader to learn to love reading!


18. How To Write A Story by Kate Messner

A fun follow-up to How to Read a Story, this book guides young storytellers through the steps of creating their own story. From choosing an idea to creating their heroine or hero. This inspiring book teaches creative writing and has instructions that are easy to follow for young writers who are excited to write their own stories. This is a perfect book to read at home or in the classroom and helps teach Common Core curriculum skills.


19. Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer

Bernadette is mostly monsterly with her sharp ears, claws, and fangs. She causes all kinds of mayhem but also likes to pet kittens, pick flowers and bake cupcakes. However, her classmates in Monster Academy don't understand her. They would rather act like total monsters and eat snail goo and making creepy noises than group hugs and singing! Will Bernadette find a way to fit in while staying true to herself?


20. Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld

Cloudette is a little cloud and everyone calls her cute little names. But Cloudette wants to do big things. She wants to help a garden grow and make a waterfall fall, but she can't because she's too small. Then one day, a storm blew her away to an unfamiliar place where her help is needed. Soon Claudette discovers that she is capable of doing important things and eventually found her purpose. In this sweet and lovely story, young readers will learn that everyone can make a positive difference, no matter how small they are. A great read for any age group!


21. How To Make An Apple Pie And See The World by Marjorie Priceman

A young girl sets off to the market to buy the ingredients for her apple pie to find out that the local market is closed. So she embarked on a global adventure to find the ingredients --to Italy for the semolina wheat, cinnamon in Sri Lanka, and apples in Vermont! Take a fun, imaginary trip around the world as we follow the young girl searching for the best ingredients for the perfect apple pie! Plus a surprise feature at the back of the book!


22. A Tree Is Nice (Rise and Shine) by Janice May Udry

A Tree Is Nice is a classic story about the beauty of everyday life and the happiness and wonders that trees bring to our lives. This book has simple but beautiful text that even picky readers will appreciate, as well as illustrations that can inspire children to love and appreciate trees and the nature around them. Winner of the Caldecott Medal.


23. Nerdy Birdy by Aaron Reynolds

Nerdy Birdy likes reading and video games. He has big glasses and tiny wings, which keep him from being part of the "cool crowd." He then finds other nerdy birds just like him and invites him to be part of their big group. But what will Nerdy Birdy do when the cool birds and the nerdy birds don't like a new bird in town? A wonderful story of friendship, standing up for others, and being true to oneself.


24. This Way, Charlie by Caron Levis

A heartwarming and uplifting tale inspired by a real animal friendship, This Way, Charlie is about a friendship between a blind horse and a gruff goat. In the Open Bud Ranch, we meet Jack, a small goat who suffered abuse before being rescued and taken in by the ranch. At first, Jack is anxious about a new horse named Charlie, who is blind in one eye. He eventually befriends the new horse and guides him to his favorite sunlit field. A beautiful and moving story about kindness, patience, empathy, and accepting each other's differences, inspired by the real Wild Heart Ranch Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Oklahoma.


25. Enemy Pie by Derek Munson

This story is about a young boy enjoying his summer until Jeremy Ross moved into the house down the street and became his number one enemy. Luckily, his dad knows how to deal with enemies: spend a day playing with Jeremy, invite him for dinner and serve him a magical pie that turns enemies into best friends! A feel-good book that teaches kindness, friendship, and respect for others. This book is recommended by experts for children who are reading independently and transitioning to longer books.


26. Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli

Mr. Hatch leads a dull and lonely life. One day, he received an unexpected package from the postman. He opened it and found a heart-shaped box full of candy with a card reading, "Somebody loves you." The gift made Mr. Hatch so happy that he made new positive changes in his life and does good deeds for everyone in the neighborhood. But what will happen to Mr. Hatch when he discovers that the gift was not for him? Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch is a delightful tale that teaches children that caring for others and simple acts of love and kindness can go a long way. A great read-aloud around Valentine's Day or any day of the year!



27. Wild About Books by Judy Sierra

When Molly McGrew, the Springfield librarian, accidentally drove her bookmobile into the zoo, a wild and fun adventure begins! She begins to read to the animals who eventually discovered their love for reading. She finds the perfect book for every animal and --"She even found waterproof books for the otter, who never went swimming without Harry Potter." Written as a tribute to Dr. Seuss, this fun and witty rhyming story will make the kids go wild about this book!


28. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

Shy and quiet Rosie dreams of becoming a great engineer. But being afraid of failure, she won't let anyone see her brilliant inventions, especially after her favorite uncle laughed at one of the gizmos she made for him. She eventually found encouragement from her great-great-aunt Rose (aka Rosie the Riveter!). When Rosie discovered her great-great aunt's dream of flying, she gets to work to build a contraption to make her aunt's dream come true! A lovely and wonderful book that integrates women's history and aviation engineering with the positive message of persistence in pursuing one's dreams and viewing failures as learning experiences.


29. Diary Of A Wombat by Jackie French

Wombats are slow-moving, cuddly-looking Australian animals. This funny story is told through a week-long diary of a wombat, chronicling its daily routine--sleeping, eating grass, scratching, and training its new human neighbors to give him food! This entertaining story gives a humorous yet realistic insight into the unique life of a wombat which children will enjoy and laugh out loud at its antics.


30. The Gardener by Sarah Stewart

In the summer of 1935, to help her parents make ends meet, Lydia Grace was sent to live with her Uncle, a baker in the city. She brings a suitcase full of seeds to the city and plants flowers and vegetables while helping out in the bakery. She then found a secret place and is determined to make it a garden full of flowers to make her grouchy uncle cheer up and smile. This lovely story is told through a series of letters between an optimistic young girl and her family. A beautiful book with an uplifting ending.


Third Grade


1. Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes

Chester and his best friend, Wilson, each have their way of doing things. They ride their bikes together, they always cut their sandwiches diagonally, they even dress the same on Halloween. "Chester and Wilson, Wilson and Chester. That's the way it was." It wasn't long after that there was a little mouse named Lily who moved into the neighborhood. She too has her special way of doing things, which includes disguises and water guns. Chester and Wilson thought that the new girl is very strange and they avoid playing with her. Will Chester and Wilson accept Lily and find anything in common with her? Children will enjoy following the quirky trio's adventures while they learn about making new friends and being open to new experiences.


2. The Girl Who Thought In Pictures: The Story Of Dr. Temple Grandin by Julia Finley Mosca

At an early age, Temple Grandin was diagnosed with autism. She didn't like hugs or loud noises. But what sets her apart is her ability to see and think in pictures. After struggling with bullying at school, she moved to a ranch and discovered her passion and special connection with animals. With her unique mind, she eventually succeeded in developing groundbreaking improvements for farms and livestock. This inspiring story can provide comfort and confidence to anyone who feels different and doesn't quite fit in, as they learn Temple's journey of both struggle and success. The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story Of Dr. Temple Grandin is the first book in a new series celebrating the inspiring lives of wonderful and brilliant scientists.


3. Thank you, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

An autobiographical story about a young girl named Trisha, who struggles with dyslexia, and how a kind and observant teacher tries to help overcome her struggles and eventually helped her find confidence in herself. An uplifting and inspiring book about learning challenges to which children, even adults, can easily relate. This book is also a wonderful tribute to teachers everywhere.


4. A Bike Like Sergio’s by Maribeth Boelts

Ruben wants a bike like Sergio and his other friends have, but his family sadly can't afford one. One day, while Ruben is in the grocery store to buy bread, he saw a lady drop a $1 bill. Ruben picks it up and stashes it in his backpack without anyone noticing. When Ruben gets home, he realizes that the bill is actually a $100 bill. He got excited as he realized that he now has the money to buy the bike he always wanted! But Ruben soon was overwhelmed with guilt. Will Ruben try to get the money back, or will he get his dream bike? A helpful picture book to teach children about being honest and doing the right thing.


5. Save Me A Seat by Gita Varadarajan and Sarah Weeks

A story about two friends, Joe and Ravi, who are from very different backgrounds. Joe's best friends have moved away and left him on his own. Ravi, who recently moved to the US from India, can't seem to find a way to fit in at this new school. Follow Joe and Ravi as they become friends and allies and how they came together to stand up against their common enemy: the school bully. A great book that teaches about different cultures, friendship, and standing up for yourself.



6. The Feather Chase by Shannon L. Brown

Twelve-year-old cousins Sophie and Jessica don't have much in common. Sophie loves the outdoors and going on adventures while Jessica is a city girl who loves shopping. When the bad guys are running after them after finding a mysterious briefcase in the forest, the two cousins have to set aside their differences and work together to solve the mystery of The Feather Chase. A fun and captivating book perfect for elementary-age kids!


7. The Bear And The Fern by Jay Miletsky

A touching story about two unlikely friends, The Bear And The Fern, is about a potted houseplant and a stuffed bear who formed an enduring friendship when placed together in a room. The Bear, anxious to run around and explore, encourages the Fern to join him but the Fern always refuses to budge and claims that plants like her can never move. As time passed, Fern grew to realize that she could do whatever she wants and could always rely on Bear for support. This wonderful and sweet story about friendship also contains words that can help develop children's vocabulary.



8. Ranger In Time # 1: Rescue On The Oregon Trail by Kate Messner

Join Ranger, a time-traveling golden retriever, as he goes on different adventures! In the first book in the Ranger In Time series--Rescue On The Oregon Trail, we meet Ranger--a dog in training to become a search-and-rescue dog but can't officially pass his training because he keeps getting distracted by squirrels. One day as he was digging in his yard, he found an old first aid kit that transported him back in time to 1850 to a family who is making their way to the west on the Oregon Trail. This fun and exciting book is a great historical fiction novel with a science fiction twist that young readers will surely enjoy!


9. Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev

When the local pet club won't admit the boy's unusual pet--a tiny elephant, it is up to the boy to find a solution and show them that pets, just like friends, can come in all shapes and sizes. This sweet story combined with its vibrant illustrations teaches children the power of friendship, courage, and acceptance.


10. Sam And Dave Dig A Hole by Mac Barnett

A charming, multi-awarded children's book tells the story of Sam and Dave on a mission to find "something spectacular." Accompanied by a wise little dog, the boys begin to dig a hole--and kept on digging and digging. Will they be able to find it? An enjoyable and humourous picture book with an ending that will make young readers think.


11. The World According To Humphrey by Betty G. Birney

See the world from Humphrey's perspective, an adorable classroom pet, as he gets to spend his days at school and get to stay with a different student every weekend. You will enjoy following this very smart hamster as he solves problems and brings positivity and inspiration to those around him. The first book in a series that will appeal to young readers who enjoy reading about friendships and animals.


12. Sideways Stories From Wayside School by Louis Sachar

Wayside School was accidentally built sideways and was thirty stories high. Here you'll meet some of the wackiest kids in town--Bebe, the fastest drawer in art class, or John, who only reads upside down. This book has thirty short and easy-to-read chapters, and each chapter tells about a story of one student in the 30th story classroom. Children will surely enjoy this hilarious and engaging book!


13. Socks by Beverly Cleary

This story is about a cat named Socks who lives a good and happy life after being adopted by his affectionate owners, Mr. and Mrs. Bricker. Until everything changed one day when the couple had a baby, and Mr. and Mrs. Bricker had less and less time for poor Socks. Follow Socks on his adventures as he starts to get into all sorts of mischief as he tries to regain the couple's affection. This adorable read-aloud story with a happy ending is perfect for families.


14. Third Grade Angels by Jerry Spinelli

The prequel to the bestseller Fourth Grade Rats, Third Grade Angels is about Suds, who is finally in the Third Grade. Hearing about the schoolyard chant--"First Grade babies! Second Grade cats! Third Grade angels! Fourth Grade rats!" is getting him worried. Their teacher, Mrs. Simms, is holding a monthly competition for the most well-behaved person in the class and the winner will be awarded "the halo." Suds is determined to be the first to win the halo. Will he succeed? Children will enjoy this funny and relatable book to read in the classroom or at home.


15. Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary

Henry always wishes that something exciting would happen to him. One day, as he was enjoying an ice cream cone, he met a stray dog that wants his ice cream too. Soon, Henry named the dog, Ribsy and brought him home. They went on all sorts of adventures and were inseparable. But what will happen when Ribsy's original owners appear and want Ribsy back? A timeless classic for all ages.


16. Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater

Mr. Popper, a house painter, often dreams of Antarctica, penguins, and polar exploration. One day, he sent a fan mail to his hero, the polar explorer Admiral Drake. As a thank you, the Admiral sent him a male penguin. Soon after, the Poppers received a female penguin, and eventually, the family has twelve penguins living in their house! Will the Popper family be able to take care of these penguins? First published in 1938, Mr. Popper's Penguins has amused and enchanted generations of children and parents alike.

17. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

A beloved children's classic, Charlotte's Web is about a pig named Wilbur and his devoted friend, Charlotte, a large, gray beautiful spider who lives with Wilbur in the Zuckerman's barn. There is also a little girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur's life when he was born. A tender but powerful story of love, friendship, loyalty, and life and death. Whether young or old, everyone will love this timeless classic.


18. The Magical Ms. Plum by Bonny Becker

Ms. Plum teaches at Springtime Elementary, and every kid in the school knew that there is something magical happening in her class. It seems that every time a student goes into Ms. Plum's mysterious supply closet, they always come out with...something unusual. In this delightful and warmhearted chapter book, readers will enjoy learning about the kids in Ms. Plum's class.


19. The Year Of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes

What a way to start second grade! While on summer vacation, Billy Miller gets a massive lump on his head from a mishap at the statue of the Jolly Green Giant. Because of the bump in his head, though non-life-threatening, he soon begins to worry about whether he is smart enough for second grade. Follow Billy in this engaging and sweet book as he navigates second grade and figures out how to be a responsible brother and a reliable son to his busy working mom and stay-at-home artist dad.


20. Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

Wishtree is about Red, an oak tree who is many rings old. She is the neighborhood "wishtree" where people tie their wishes to her branches. She watches over the neighborhood along with her crow friend, Bongo, and other animals who live in her hollows. Soon, a new family moves into the neighborhood but it becomes clear that they are not welcome. So Red and her friend Bongo, begin to create a plan to help this new family connect with the community. A truly wonderful tale of friendship, acceptance, and love for animals and nature. This book also helps teach Common Core curriculum skills.


21. The Water Horse by Dick King-Smith

After a big storm, eight-year-old Kirstie finds a mysterious egg. She and her brother decides to take it home and places it in the bathtub to see if it will hatch. The next day, it hatched out a tiny, green creature with a horse's head, warty skin like a toad's, and a crocodile-like tail. Only Kirstie's grandfather knows what this unusual creature is: a Kelpie or The Water Horse, the sea monster of Scottish legend. The family kept the baby water horse and named it Crusoe. Crusoe grew up to be a loveable gentle giant. But as Crusoe keeps getting bigger and bigger, the family needs to find him a new home, where he will be safe from other people. Set in the 1930s, this sweet, magical story is a beautiful interpretation of the Loch Ness monster's origin. Suitable for readers of all ages.


22. Little Dog, Lost by Marion Dane Bauer

Told in wonderful free verse, Little Dog, Lost is about Mark, a boy who needs a dog. Then there is Buddy, a lost dog who needs an owner that will love and care for him. And a lonely Mr. LaRue, who lives alone in a mansion and just wants to belong. After a few twists and turns, these three will cross paths and will come together in this touching tale of friendship and kindness. Perfect for animal lovers and makes for a great read-aloud.


23. Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech

A heartwarming story about a boy named Louie, who befriends and takes care of a small, sickly, newborn donkey. Louie is determined to save him even when everyone warns him that it will probably die anyway. With his newfound purpose, taking care of the little donkey he named, Winslow, makes him feel less lonely about his brother, who is away in the army. This short chapter book teaches young readers about friendship, hope, and compassion.


24. Turtle In Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm

It is 1935, and eleven-year-old Turtle is sent to Key West, Florida to live with her mother's sister after her mother gets a new housekeeping job for a rich woman who doesn't like children. While there, Turtle has to adjust quickly to life with family members she has never met before, including her loud and spunky boy cousins. Soon Turtle and her cousins will go on adventures, treasure hunting, and even discovering family secrets! Turtle and her cousins' adventures in this heartwarming and funny book will definitely become a favorite among young readers.


25. Milo Imagines The World by Matt De La Peña

Milo is on his weekly subway ride through the city with his older sister. To pass the time and to distract himself from being nervous, he studies the faces of his fellow subway passengers and draws pictures of what their lives might look like. In his drawings, a young boy in a suit with bright white sneakers becomes a prince living in a castle, then there's the whiskered man doing crosswords who comes home to his cat and parakeets, and maybe the wedding dress lady will be whisked away by her groom in a hot air balloon. But when the young boy in a suit gets off the same stop as Milo, Milo learns a valuable lesson. This thoughtful and gentle picture book reminds us not to judge people by their appearance alone.


26. The Mouse And The Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

A timeless classic from award-winning children's author Beverly Cleary, The Mouse and the Motorcycle is about a young mouse named Ralph who lives in a hotel room. Ralph dreams about going on an adventure and exploring the hotel more but his mother wouldn't let him. One day, a boy named Keith and his parents checks in at the hotel. Keith has a shiny, toy motorcycle and when Ralph spotted the toy, he is determined to take it for a ride. Soon, Ralph and Keith formed a special friendship that the young boy even taught the mouse how to start the motorcycle. A classic read-aloud perfect for third graders.


27. The Bears On Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh

Eight-year-old Jonathan lives in a gray stone farmhouse at the foot of Hemlock Mountain. All his life he was assured that there are no bears on Hemlock Mountain and that there is even a little chant made about it. One day, his mother sent Jonathan over the mountain to fetch a large iron pot from his aunt. As he sets out alone in the mountain, he will now have the chance to discover if there are no bears in Hemlock Mountain. A great chapter book suitable for young readers.


28. The Cricket In Times Square by George Selden

After following the enticing aroma of liverwurst in someone's picnic basket, Chester Cricket found himself in the heart of New York City. There, he met Tucker, a city mouse, Harry the cat, and a young boy named Mario. Like any tourist, Chester is excited to explore the city and to experience new things. Pretty soon, the trio formed an unlikely friendship and have many adventures together. The Cricket in Times Square is an imaginative and charming story about friendship and loyalty. A must-have for every child's bookshelf!


29. The Littles by John Peterson

The Littles, a series of children's novels and a timeless favorite among elementary-school children, is about a family of tiny people with cute mouse-like features who lives in a house owned by the Bigg family. But what happens when the Biggs go on a family vacation and cats and mice appear? How will they get out of this trouble? Children will enjoy reading about the Littles and following them on their exciting adventures.


30. The Chalk Box Kid by Clyde Robert Bulla

Nine-year-old Gregory and his family move to a smaller house after his father lost his job. In this new house, he has to share a room with his rude Uncle Max and he doesn't have any space of his own to hang up his drawings. While exploring the new neighborhood, Gregory finds an abandoned chalk factory. Soon he began to draw a garden mural out of chalk on the factory's dark brick walls, finding his own place to create beautiful art. After a series of events, word spread about the chalk garden, which began to turn Gregory's life around. A heart-warming story about the healing power of friendship, respect for others, and finding hope.


Fourth Grade


1. Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda is an extraordinarily gifted young girl with a magical mind, who at age five-and-a-half can do math problems and read a lot of books. However, her self-centered parents constantly ignore her and refuse to acknowledge her talents. Then there is the cruel Miss Trunchbull, the school principal, who hurls kids out of the classroom. Luckily, there is Miss Honey, Matilda's teacher, who is very kind to her and has formed a strong bond with her. As Miss Trunchbull terrorizes the students, what will Matilda do to stand up against the principal? Will her parents ever love her? Children will enjoy reading this all-time favorite classic.


2. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Sixth-grader Miranda starts receiving mysterious messages from somebody who knows all about her, and whoever is leaving the notes can also seem to predict the future. She is instructed to write a letter and not to share her mission with anyone. But what will Miranda do when the notes tell her that someone is going to die and it might be too late to stop it? With a twist that catches readers by surprise, readers will enjoy this engaging and fascinating mystery book.


3. Island Of The Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

Island Of The Blue Dolphins is the story of Karana, a 12-year-old girl who lives alone on a deserted island in the Pacific. Isolated on the island for many years, she has learned to forage for food, make her own weapons and clothes and live with wild dogs. Based on a true story, this Newbery Medal winner is a story of survival, resilience, and hope.


4. The Quest Begins (Seekers # 1) by Erin Hunter

It is a thrilling animal fantasy story that follows three young bears from three different species: black, polar, and grizzly. They are separated from their families when they were young cubs, and soon, the three will meet to fulfill a destiny that none of them ever believed possible. Their journey is filled with great dangers, tragedies, and new landscapes, testing their will to survive. The Quest Begins (Seekers #1) is a perfect read for anyone who enjoys nature and animals.


5. James and The Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

James And The Giant Peach is about a young orphan boy who lived with his two wicked aunts, Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge. James meets a mysterious man who gives him a bag of magic crystals, telling him to use the crystals for a potion and great things will happen to him. But James accidentally spilled the magic crystals near the peach tree, and strange things started happening. James soon makes friends with strange insects and discovers new places he has never seen before. Throughout the generations, young readers have been captivated by the wonder of this children's classic.


6. Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

Meet Kyle Keeley, a class clown and a fan of board games and video games. Luigi Lemoncello, Kyle's hero and the maker of Kyle's favorite board games, built their new town library. Kyle is one lucky kid who wins an overnight stay in the new library with lots of food and fun games! In the morning, when the doors stay locked, Kyle and his friends have to figure out the puzzles to uncover the hidden escape route. Young readers will enjoy this fun-filled and creative story as they discover the "coolest library in the world!"


7. Where The Mountain Meets The Moon by Grace Lin

A young girl named Minli lives with her parents in the valley of Fruitless Mountain. During the day, she works hard in the fields, and at night, she listens to her father's tales of adventures and old folktales involving the Jade Dragon and the Old Man of the Moon. Having learned the directions to the Never-Ending Mountain, where the wise Old Man of the Moon lives, Minli sets off on a quest to ask him how to bring good fortune to her family and village. In her quest to reach the mountain, she befriends a dragon who accompanies her, and along the way, they meet various characters and magical creatures. A charming and engaging book based on Chinese myth and folklore, this book is perfect for families to enjoy together.



8. Dragons In A Bag by Zetta Elliot

This magical, urban fantasy chapter book tells the story of a young boy named Jaxon, who is forced to spend the day with a cantankerous old lady his mother calls Ma. Jaxon later discovered that Ma is a witch and that the mysterious package in her kitchen is baby dragons! Ma needs his help to deliver the baby dragons to a magical realm where they will be safe. They then traveled back in time, to the dinosaur era, to deliver them. Are they going to be able to deliver all the baby dragons safely? Young readers are sure to enjoy joining Jaxon on his magical adventures!


9. The Last Last-Day-Of-Summer by Lamar Giles

Otto and Sheed are two adventurous cousins and local sleuths in their town. On the last day of summer vacation, they encountered a mysterious man named Mr. Flux, who freezes time! With the help of some strange characters, the cousins' investigating skills are put to the test as they figure out how to restore time and defeat Mr. Flux before it gets too late! An adventure-filled, engaging book perfect for children who love science fiction and time travel stories.


10. Fenway and Hattie by Victoria J. Coe

Fenway is an energetic, excitable Jack Russell terrier. He lives in the city with Food Lady, Fetch Man, and his favorite short human and best friend, Hattie. Fenway has to cope with a lot of changes when his family moves to the suburbs. Although he loves the huge Dog Park and playing fetch, Fenway isn't thrilled about the Evil Squirrels that taunt him in the trees. Hattie starts changing as well--instead of playing with Fenway, she appears more interested in playing with her short human friend and plays ball without him. What could be happening? This heartwarming "tail" about two best friends, told from Fenway's perspective, will surely bring smiles to kids and dog lovers of all ages.



11. Because Of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni and her father, a preacher, move to Naomi, Florida. Opal feels lonely and sad as she adjusts to living in a new place and misses her mother, who left the family a few years ago. One summer day, Opal went to the Winn-Dixie supermarket and came home with a large, scruffy dog. She named him Winn-Dixie. Over the summer, with the help of Winn-Dixie, she eventually met a few friends around the new town. And because of Winn-Dixie, she was able to finally have the courage to ask her father about her mother. As Opal learned, everyone experiences sadness and difficulty in their own way. This heartwarming story is about friendship, forgiveness, love, and loss and is suitable for elementary-aged readers and readers of all ages.



12. Wish by Barbara O’Connor

Since fourth grade, feisty fifth-grader Charlie Reese has made a secret wish every day. She even lists all the ways she can make wishes, including cutting off the pointy end of a slice of pie and making a wish as she takes the last bite. But when her parents can't properly care for her, she was sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with her Aunt Bertha and Uncle Gus, who she barely knows. It seems unlikely that she will ever get her wish, that is until she meets Wishbone, a stray dog, and her neighbor Howard, who showed her what family really means.


13. Summer Of The Woods by Steven K. Smith

Brothers Derek and Sam move with their family to Virginia. While exploring the woods near their house, Sam discovers an old coin in the river. After learning about the history of the rare, vintage coins stolen many years ago from a museum, the brothers decide to solve the case. In this action-packed mystery, Derek and Sam run from danger while searching for the missing coins and trying to solve the decades-old mystery. An exciting start to The Virginia Mysteries series, this novel is suitable for all ages, including reluctant readers.


14. Houdini And Me by Dan Gutman

A young boy named Harry Mancini has always admired the famous escape artist Houdini, who died in 1926. Harry happens to also live in Houdini's former home in New York City. Harry knows a lot about the famous escape artist, however, when someone starts texting him claiming to be Houdini and texts him the secrets about Houdini's escape tricks, does Harry ignore what must be a prankster? or is Houdini really trying to contact young Harry from beyond the grave?


15. The Lion Of Mars by Jennifer L. Holm

Meet Bell, a kid who is raised on Mars. But Bell is still like a regular eleven-year-old kid--curious, funny, loves cakes and animals (especially cats!) He also has many questions about Earth and wonders why they can't communicate with other colonies. When a mysterious illness strikes the adults, Bell and the children are forced to take charge and discover why they have been isolated from the other colonies, to save their families and their future. Kids who love science fiction will enjoy this heartwarming story, and it will make a perfect addition to the elementary school science fiction collection.


16. Forever Glimmer Creek by Stacy Hackney

Twelve-year-old Rosie Flynn is a filmmaker. Rosie knows there is something magical about Glimmer Creek's miracles and she's determined to uncover the secret behind it through a documentary that she is filming. Through her film, she is also hoping to reunite with her absentee father. However, when someone goes missing, she may come to discover that Glimmer Creek's true miracle is quite different than what she's always believed. Forever Glimmer Creek is a heartwarming and uplifting tale about friendship and miracles that young readers can read alone or with their families.


17. Anne Of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

An orphan named Anne Shirley was mistakenly sent to the Cuthberts, middle-aged siblings named Matthew and Marilla. The siblings originally intended to adopt a boy to help with chores on their farm in Prince Edward Island. This much-loved classic recounts Anne's adventures and how she makes her way with the Cuthberts and within her town. Anne of Green Gables is a delightful and optimistic story that is suitable for all ages.


18. There’s An Owl In The Shower by Jean Craighead George

Borden's father is a logger in California's old-growth forests. When his father lost his job and is no longer allowed to cut down trees to protect endangered birds, Borden is angry and confused--"Why are owls being put first over the citizens?" But everything changed when Borden comes home with a starving owlet that needs his care—much to the displeasure of his father. Soon, the family grows to love the tiny owl while discovering the importance of protecting nature and caring for other species. Young readers will enjoy reading this heartwarming story as it introduces them to important topics such as endangered species and conservation while learning interesting facts about Spotted Owls.



19. Riding Freedom by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Charlotte Parkhurst was raised in a boys' orphanage, which suits her just fine. Playing with dolls doesn't interest her, and she enjoys working in the stables. Charlotte has a deep respect and affinity for horses and hopes to spend her life training and riding them. However, as a girl in the mid-1800s, she was banned from riding horses. Soon, she runs away and figures out a clever way to follow and live out her dreams. Charlotte and her journey is the focus of this fast-paced and inspiring book based on a true story. Readers will enjoy learning about Charlotte and her adventures.


20. Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunn

Cat and Chicken have always shared a special bond. Cat is one of the few people who can keep her brother, Chicken, happy and calm whenever he has a "meltdown". Caring for her younger brother on the autism spectrum, the recent death of her father, and her mother constantly busy, Cat is left with a lot of responsibility. When a summer trip doesn’t go as planned, Cat and Chicken wind up on a small island in North Carolina to live with grandparents they have never met. Over the summer, Cat learns to love her grandparents and for the first time in years, Cat has the chance to be a kid again. She also learns to let go of her feelings of always having to be there for her brother by letting others help her. Caterpillar Summer is a sweet, little summer story about family, love, and forgiveness, a perfect book for middle-grade readers (and parents too).


21. Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick

Truly Lovejoy and her family move to the small town of Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire, after Truly's father, a soldier, is injured and is having trouble finding work. Now the family takes over Lovejoy's Books, a struggling, old bookstore that has been owned by the family for many, many years. Helping out at the bookstore one day, Truly discovers a mysterious letter tucked inside an autographed first edition of Charlotte's Web. To unravel this mystery, Truly and her new friends will have to follow the clues to uncover the truth. With memorable characters, a mystery, and a good dose of humor, this is sure to be a good read for the whole family.


22. Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary

Sixth-grader Leigh Botts moves to a new town with his mother after his parents separate. Struggling with being the new kid in school, dealing with a lunch thief, and being angry towards his absent father, Leigh spends most of his time writing to his favorite author, Boyd Henshaw, whose books he has enjoyed. Mr. Henshaw responds, and an unexpected friendship begins between them that will change Leigh's life forever. Dear Mr. Henshaw is a quick but meaningful read which explores difficult topics like divorce, insecurity, and bullying and how to navigate and heal from life's challenges.



23. Who’s Afraid Of Fourth Grade? (Katie Kazoo, Switcheroo) by Nancy E. Krulik

Katie Kazoo and her friends can't wait to start fourth grade! However, Katie is now not so excited because she will not be in the same class as her two best friends. Now Katie is stuck with a new teacher and tons of homework, and to make matters worse, the magic wind strikes and she is transformed into Emma Weber, her new friend! With the pressure of school work, new teachers, and friends plus being trapped in her friend's body, what will Katie do? Who’s Afraid Of Fourth Grade? (Katie Kazoo, Switcheroo) is a fun and creative read that any fourth grader will enjoy.


24. Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan

An uplifting historical fiction mixed with fantasy and fairytale, Echo begins with a young boy named Otto. He is lost and alone in a forbidden forest and is rescued by three cursed sisters. Here begins the journey that will involve three children from three different timelines (pre World War II Germany, The Great Depression, a year after the bombing of Pearl Harbor) who will be bound together by a magical harmonica as they lean on music to get through life's tough challenges. Echo is an unforgettable story of hope, courage, and perseverance that will appeal to audiences of all ages.


25. Summer Of The Monkeys by Wilson Rawls

The story takes place in the late 1800s when fourteen-year-old Jay Berry lives in the Ozark Mountains. His life is turned upside down when he discovers a tree full of monkeys near a river's edge. His Grandpa explains that the monkeys are from a traveling circus and have escaped from a train wreck. Hearing about a big reward for catching them, Jay Berry sets off on an adventure in search of these monkeys! With its inspiring messages, humor, and adventure, this book will become an instant favorite among middle schoolers.


26. Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead

After five years, Livy and her family are back in Australia to visit her grandmother. Livy feels like she has forgotten something really important in her grandmother's house. And she was right. Meet Bob, a short, greenish creature dressed in a chicken suit Livy made for him years ago. He has been waiting for Livy to come back and has been hiding in Gran's closet. Five years ago, Livy promised Bob that she would help him find his way back home. And now Livy's back, it is time to fulfill that promise. A magical and endearing book about the power of friendship, Bob will surely capture the hearts of readers, young and old.


27. Just Like Jackie by Lindsey Stoddard

Robinson Hart AKA Robbie is not your typical eleven-year-old girl. She's the school's best baseball player, an auto mechanic, and makes maple syrup with her maternal grandfather. For as long as Robbie can remember, it's just been her and her grandfather. While she wishes Grandpa would tell her more about the rest of her family, she's learned over time that he often avoids talking about the past. And now, Grandpa's memory is starting to deteriorate. To make matters worse, she gets into trouble at school when she fights a school bully. As her grandfather's memories fade, Robbie has to stay out of trouble to help her Grandpa and keep her family together. A beautiful and inspiring story that gently explores Alzheimer's disease and mental health, as well as about family, love, and acceptance.


28. The Lost Girl by Anne Ursu

Iris and Lark Maguire are identical twins. Even though they are alike, they are not the same. Iris is smart, grounded, and rational while Lark is artistic, dreamy, and inventive. Iris and Lark do everything together and never left each other's side. When fifth grade begins, they are in separate classes for the first time, and they must learn to navigate this new experience without relying on each other. As they struggle to navigate the world without the other, something strange is also happening in their city. Things big and small seem to be missing without a trace. Now, it is up to Iris to find a way to keep her twin sister safe. This book offers young readers a page-turning tale of fantasy and mystery that keeps them intrigued and interested.


29. Fish In A Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Ally has fooled teachers year after year hiding her inability to read and write by creating disruptions and being a troublemaker. She is afraid to ask for help as she feels dumb and hopeless. Until her teacher, Mr. Daniels sees a brilliant and creative kid underneath the troublemaker and discovers that Ally struggles with dyslexia. He helps Ally gain back her confidence and also helps her realize that there is nothing shameful about dyslexia. In this touching and heartwarming story with a powerful message, Ally's experiences will resonate with a lot of children, teachers, and parents.


30. The Unteachables by Gordon Korman

The Unteachables are a notorious class of misfits, delinquents, and difficult students. Their class is the class that everyone avoids and isolated in Room 117. Mr. Kermit is a burned-out teacher and has lost his spark for teaching. When Mr. Kermit is assigned to teach the kids in Room 117, The Unteachables never expected to meet a teacher with a worse attitude than they did and Mr. Kermit never imagined he would care about teaching again. The Unteachables is a funny, heartwarming redemption story that will surely appeal to many young readers.


Fifth Grade


1. I Am The Ice Worm by Maryann Easley

Fourteen-year-old Allison Atwood from Southern California is flying to visit her mom in Alaska when her plane crashes above the Arctic Circle. The pilot is killed, and Allison is the sole survivor, cold and alone in the wilderness. She is rescued by an Inupiat hunter who takes her to their village where she is called the "ice worm," an outsider far away from her life in California. Through the villagers, Allison learns over time that life is much more than material wealth, and before continuing on her journey, she begins to see the world from a new perspective.


2. Baseball In April And Other Stories by Gary Soto

Based on Mexican American author Gary Soto's own experience growing up in California's Central Valley, Baseball in April And Other Stories is a wonderful collection of short stories with themes of love, growing up, and friendship and portrays the daily life of kids living in California. In addition to being entertaining and humorous, this book features honest and realistic messages that will appeal to middle school students, as well as those who enjoy reading short stories.


3. Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

Set in 1938, Abilene Tucker, an adventurous twelve-year-old girl, was sent by her father to the small town of Manifest, Kansas where he grew up. A pastor took Abilene in, and in the house's floorboards, Abilene found a box full of mementos and some letters that mentioned a spy known as the "Rattler" which they believed was a German spy in 1918. These sent Abilene and her new friends on a spy hunt that led them to discover secrets they never expected to find. Readers are sure to be left in awe by this beautifully written historical fiction novel.


4. The Million Dollar Shot by Dan Gutman

Eddie "Air" Ball has the chance of a lifetime: to sink a free throw at the NBA Finals halftime and win the million-dollar prize, only he has to win the Finkle Food poetry contest first. With the help of his best friend, Annie "Oakley" Stokely, Eddie won the poetry contest. Though someone is trying to sabotage Eddie's chances of winning the million-dollar shot, Eddie is determined to practice every day to provide a better future for his family. As Eddie tries to make the shot in this inspiring story of determination and hope, sports fans and non-sports fans alike will surely root for Eddie.

5. Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

Second-grader Jack hates poetry. He thinks that girls only write it, and every time he tries to write one, he feels like his brain is empty. However, the more Jack writes poetry and the more poetry assignments his teacher gives him, the more he learns to enjoy it. Written in free verse from a 7-year-old's point of view, Love That Dog is a clever, funny, and sweet poetry book which is suitable for middle-grade readers as it is easy to follow and a wonderful way for them to get introduced to poetry.


6. A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold

Starring an unforgettable young boy on the autism spectrum named Bixby Alexander Tam or Bat, A Boy Called Bat chronicles his experiences at school with his friends and teachers and his family life. In the first book of this middle-grade series, Bat's veterinarian mom brought home a baby skunk that needs to be taken care of before handing it off to a wild-animal shelter. Bat thinks the baby skunk may make a wonderful pet, but he has to convince his mom to allow him to keep it. The adventures of Bat make for a delightful read that readers will enjoy.


7. First Light by Rebecca Stead

Peter is very excited to go on an expedition to Greenland with his scientist parents where they are studying the effects of global warming. Once there, he started to experience strange headaches and have frightening, unexplainable visions. Meanwhile, Thea lives in Gracehope, a remarkable underground colony deep in the Arctic ice founded centuries earlier by people persecuted for witchcraft. When Thea and Peter cross paths, they will learn secrets about their pasts that will change their lives forever. First Light is a thrilling science fiction adventure that middle-grade readers will enjoy.


8. My Side Of The Mountain by Jean Craighead George

Living in a cramped apartment in New York City with his large family, 12-year-old Sam Gribley is miserable. So he decided to run away to his great-grandfather's abandoned farm in the Catskill Mountains to live off the land. As he eats and hunts for food, he also learns to make fire and befriends animals. Despite blizzards, harsh conditions, and loneliness push Sam to go back home, his need for independence and freedom prevails. There are several interesting wilderness facts in the book that will make this a fun read for readers who love outdoor and adventure stories.


9. The Year I Flew Away by Marie Arnold

A magical middle-grade novel features 10-year-old Gabrielle, who is excited to move from Haiti to America. Since her parents can't join her yet, she will be living with her Uncle's family in Brooklyn, New York. As Gabrielle adjusts to her new life in New York, she also realizes that American life isn't exactly what she envisioned. Learning a new language proved difficult for Gabrielle, especially when she is bullied due to her accent. So when a witch offered her to become a "perfect American girl" as a trade, she took it. She must, however, be careful what she is wishing for as it may not be what she really wants.


10. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Everything is boring and dull for Milo. So when a tollbooth mysteriously appeared in his room, he stepped into it right away. In this other land, everything is different. Milo begins with Expectations, where he seeks direction from Whether Man, who is full of endless talk. As Milo drives on, he encounters strange characters and places and even meets a talking, oversized dog named Tock. Experience Milo's adventures in the Lands Beyond in this educational and entertaining book filled with wordplay that will surely improve young readers' vocabulary.


11. Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

Sixth-graders Calder Pillay and Petra Andalee are classmates at the University School in Hyde Park, Chicago. Through their teacher, Ms. Hussey, they learned about the artist, Johannes Vermeer, and one of his paintings called "A Lady Writing". A few days later, the invaluable Vermeer painting disappeared on its way to Hyde Park. Calder and Petra drawn to this mysterious disappearance, decide to investigate. Soon, Calder and Petra are unexpectedly caught up in the labyrinth as strange events begin to happen around them.


12. Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

Ben and Rose both secretly wish for better lives. Ben's story starts in 1977, in Minnesota. Ben was born deaf in his left ear. His mother, the town librarian, died in a car crash, and he has never known his father. Meanwhile, Rose's story starts in New Jersey in 1927. She is deaf and is kept at home. Unhappy and lonely, she decides to go to New York City to see her idol, actress Lillian Mayhew. These two independent stories, set fifty years apart, seamlessly weave back and forth with Ben's story told in words and Rose's in pictures. In this moving and inspiring book, readers will discover how the two stories intersect as their journeys unfold and how their lives collide.


13. The Magician's Nephew (The Chronicles of Narnia) by C.S. Lewis

The story begins in London in the summer of 1900. One day, when Digory and Polly explore the attic that connects the houses, they take the wrong door and surprise Digory's Uncle Andrew, who believes he is a magician. His uncle then transports them to a different world, where they begin their journey to Narnia. The Magician's Nephew is a standalone novel, but if you want to continue your Narnia journey, you can read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, the second book in The Chronicles of Narnia.


14. The Invention Of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Hugo, a 12-year-old orphan, lives within the walls of a crowded Paris train station. To survive, he keeps the clocks running and steals food. By day, he works with clocks; by night, he works on an automaton, a human-like mechanical robot, determined to pick up where his father left off. Hugo's world is turned upside down when he meets a mysterious toy seller and his eccentric and bookish goddaughter. Readers across all ages will enjoy discovering the mystery behind Hugo's automaton, and the message his father has hidden within it.


15. Counting By 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

A touching story about Willow Chance, a twelve-year-old genius girl who is obsessed with plants, diagnosing medical conditions, and finding comfort in counting by 7s. Because her fellow middle-grade students cannot relate to her interests, she has a hard time making friends and fitting in at school. When she loses her adoptive parents in a car accident, her life is turned upside down. As a result, Willow is left to navigate a world that does not seem to understand her. Will she find a place to belong? As a heartwarming, coming-of-age story about family, belonging, and the power of love, Counting By 7s will resonate with readers of all ages.


16. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle

It was a dark and stormy night when the Murry family was visited by a strange visitor. Because of this bizarre encounter, Meg Murry and her little brother, Charles Wallace end up going on an extraordinary adventure--to the 5th dimension, to save their scientist father, who is missing for several years. With tesseracts, time travel, and alien planets, this fast-paced book will appeal to all science fiction fans.


17. Redwall by Brian Jacques

The gentle mice of Mossflower Wood are celebrating an abundance of peace and prosperity. All is well until Cluny the Scourge, the terrible one-eyed rat and his savage horde, threatened the tranquil community of Redwall Abbey. Hence begins the epic journey of a bumbling young apprentice to recover the lost sword of the legendary Martin the Warrior, and Mossflower's peace-loving inhabitants are compelled to become warriors to defend themselves from the invaders. As the first book in the beloved Redwall saga, this book is a great choice for fantasy and adventure book lovers.


18. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit

Winifred “Winnie” Foster, a young girl who lives at the edge of the village of Treegap, runs away from her overbearing parents. The next morning, Winnie discovers a small spring on her family's property and met a young man named Jesse Tuck. She learns that the spring grants immortality and that members of the Tuck family have drunk from it. While Winnie quickly develops a fondness for the Tuck family, will she be able to keep the family's secret of never getting old?


19. Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk

Echo Mountain is an untamed wilderness where Ellie and her family are trying to start a new life after losing everything in the Great Depression. With her new life in the mountains, Ellie has discovered a love of nature and newfound freedom. However, a terrible accident has left her father in a coma, for which Ellie is blamed. In hopes of finding a cure for her father, she climbs up to the top of the mountain in search of "the hag," the woman who possesses the healing secrets that can restore her father's health. Echo Mountain is a stunning tale of courage, resilience, and finding your own path.


20. Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar

Since elementary school, Tamaya Dhilwaddi and Marshall Walsh have walked together to and from Woodbridge Academy. The two friends' routine is disrupted when Marshall is challenged to a fight by the bully Chad. The two then take the shortcut on their way home through the off-limits woods to avoid Chad and not escalate the situation. They lost their way and found themselves in even more trouble than they could have ever imagined. The kind of trouble that could impact their future and the future of the world. Fuzzy Mud is a thrilling and suspenseful story suitable for middle school students and a great resource for vocabulary building.


21. When You Trap A Tiger by Tae Keller

The summer before seventh grade, Lily and her family move from California to Sunbeam, Washington to live with her Korean grandmother who is very ill. Lily and her big sister, Sam, had always enjoyed hearing Halmoni's Korean folktales, but when a magical tiger straight out of Halmoni's stories appears before Lily, she will uncover a family secret. Halmoni stole something from the tigers long ago, and now they want it back. When You Trap a Tiger weaves together several themes, such as loss, grief, identity, heritage, family, and friendships, all in a way that makes the story magical.


22. Chomp by Carl Hiaasen

Wahoo Cray and his father, Mickey Cray, a professional animal wrangler, takes a job with a reality series entitled, "Expedition Survival!"Aside from handling animals, Wahoo must deal with his short-tempered father and the reality show's obnoxious host, Derek Badger, who insists on using wild animals in his stunts. You'll find out what happens next when you join Wahoo Cray in this fantastic adventure set among the Florida Everglades.


23. Almost Home by Joan Bauer

Twelve-year-old Sugar and her mother lose their home in Missouri when her grandfather dies, and her gambling father takes off again. They move to Chicago to start over, but being homeless makes it hard. Despite their hardships, Sugar always tries to be grateful and kind no matter what. Sugar learns that, no matter what life throws at her, she can always hold her head high and remain optimistic with the help of her rescue dog Shush, her supportive teacher, and her love of writing. It is a story that inspires hope, resilience, and new beginnings.


24. Mrs. Frisby And The Rats Of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien

A widowed mouse named Mrs. Frisby must move her four small children to their summer home, as the farmer, Mr. Fitzgibbon, begins preparing for spring plowing in the garden where her family lives. However, her youngest son, Timothy, is ill with pneumonia. Timothy must not be moved and most certainly will not be able to survive the trip. Fortunately, the rats of NIMH, an extremely intelligent breed, help her out with her dilemma in an incredibly creative way. Mrs. Frisby And The Rats Of NIMH is an award-winning classic that has captured the hearts of children and adults alike for many years.


25. Dolphin Summer by Catherine Hapka

Lily is looking forward to a fun summer with her best friends. However, her summer plans are quickly shattered as her best friends leave for sleep-away camp. Lily is now stuck with a long list of summer reading while all she wants to do is hang out at the Coney Island Aquarium as she dreams of becoming a marine biologist someday. After discovering a stray dolphin in a nearby canal, Lily decides to watch over it. Lily and the dolphin formed a bond over time, but when the dolphin seems sick, Lily must find a way to help the dolphin find its way back home. Dolphin Summer is a fun, lighthearted read and is ideal for fans of dolphin stories.


26. Beyond The Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

Beyond The Bright Sea is a historical fiction novel, set in the 1920s that follows a twelve-year-old girl named Crow. Crow has lived her entire life in tiny and isolated Elizabeth Islands off the coast of Massachusetts. She arrived in the islands as a small baby, abandoned and stranded on a small boat. Osh, the man who raised her, and Miss Maggie, their neighbor, are her only companions. Crow discovers a mysterious fire across the water one night, which sets in motion her quest to discover where she came from and what family truly means. A middle-grade mystery that everyone will enjoy, Beyond The Bright Sea is a beautiful and captivating read.


27. The Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Neftali has always found beauty and wonder in the world since he was a young boy. Even as he endures taunts from other children and his domineering father, he perseveres by following his heart and following his passion for writing. The Dreamer is a fictionalized retelling of the early life of the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda that explores the power of imagination and creativity and serves as an inspiration for young writers and artists.


28. The Indian In The Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

During Omri's birthday, his best friend Patrick gives him a plastic Indian toy as a birthday present. Slightly disappointed, Omri puts his present in a metal cupboard and turns the key. What Omri doesn't know is that by turning the key, the plastic toy will come to life as a living and breathing Iroquois Indian named Little Bear. Omri and Little Bear soon become friends, but for how long will Omri keep this secret? A fun and enjoyable book for middle-grade readers, The Indian In The Cupboard is sure to become a favorite.



29. The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson And The Olympians by Rick Riordan

During a school trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of Percy Jackson's teachers, Mrs. Dodds, turns into a monster and tries to kill him. Percy's mother learns of the attack, so she sends him to Camp Half-Blood, a summer camp for demigods, where she knows he will be safe. Percy discovers at the camp that he is the son of Poseidon, God of the Sea. Percy soon embarks on a quest with his friends, a satyr and the demigod daughter of Athena, to track down Zeus's missing lightning bolt in the realm of Hades. Fans of Greek mythology will enjoy this fast-paced and thrilling fantasy story full of magic, mystery, and adventure.


30. The Last Kids On Earth by Max Brallier

Thirteen-year-old Jack Sullivan lives in a treehouse equipped with rocket launchers, catapults, flatscreen TV, video games, and an unlimited supply of Oreos and Mountain Dew scavenged from abandoned stores after a zombie outbreak hits his hometown. He is then accompanied by his best friend Quint, who loves inventing and experimenting; Dirk, the local bully, and Rover, his pet monster. He and his friends are busy keeping the monsters at bay and Jack trying to find and rescue his crush, June. This action-packed children’s illustrated novel features Jack and his friends toughing out the zombie apocalypse in a playful and funny story perfect for zombie and monster fans.


Sixth Grade


1. The Boy At The Back Of The Class by Onjali Q. Rauf

On the third Tuesday of the school year, nine-year-old Ahmet, a Syrian refugee, fills the empty chair at the back of Mrs. Khan's classroom. The whole class is curious about the boy because he seems unusual--he doesn't smile and talk much. But after learning that Ahmet fled a real war and was separated from his family as a result, a group of determined classmates tries to befriend him and come up with a plan to reunite Ahmet with his family. Throughout this heartwarming and hopeful story, we are reminded of the importance of friendship and the power of kindness.



2. Sweep: The Story Of A Girl And Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier

Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow works for a ruthless chimney sweep named Wilkie Crudd and spends her days sweeping out chimneys. While the work is dangerous and brutal, Nan has managed to overcome the odds. When Nan gets trapped in a deadly chimney fire, she fears the worst. Yet, upon awakening, she discovers that she is unharmed in an abandoned attic. And she is not alone. A mysterious creature--a golem made of ash and soot--is huddled in the corner. The story of Sweep is a touching and unforgettable tale of a girl and her monster, a brilliant blend of history and magic, a story of hope, courage, and friendship.


3. Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt

When Dicey Tillerman and her three younger siblings were abandoned by their mother somewhere in the middle of Connecticut, they must find their way to Great-aunt Cilla's house in Bridgeport as this is their only hope for staying together as a family. When they reach Bridgeport, they discovered that Great-aunt Cilla has died. They instead find her daughter--and the home they are searching for isn't what they expected to be. Homecoming is a moving and adventurous story of survival, courage, and hope. It is a wonderful read recommended for students in the 6th grade and up.


4. The Lottery Rose by Irene Hunt

Georgie Burgess never speaks about the abuse he receives at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend. Apart from his difficult home life, he is also getting into trouble at school. He learns to hide his hurt and finds comfort and escape in books depicting beautiful gardens and brightly colored flowers. After winning a small rose bush in a supermarket lottery, Georgie nurtures it with love and care, something he has never experienced before. Georgie is soon placed in a new, safe home away from his mother, which changes his life; however, he must still find a home for his rose bush. A heartwarming and moving story, The Lottery Rose shows hope