Story time isn’t just for little kids – older kids love to be read to, too! Elementary school teachers know that reading to their students increases their vocabularies (a proven predictor of academic success), as well as aiding with focus and attention span, and introducing new subjects in a casual, comfortable way.
As summer approaches, consider continuing this teacher tradition by reading aloud to your kids at home.The former-teachers on our team have curated a list just for elementary school students, including some of their favorite read-aloud picks. Check out these best books for middle schoolers and choose the ones your kiddos will love!
Best Books for First Graders
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst – Your kids have seen the movie – now read the story where it all started! From gum in his hair to a missing dessert, Alexander’s day just gets worse and worse. A terrific anecdote to a rough day.
The Wingdingdilly by Bill Peet – Scamp the dog is not satisfied with his life… until a witch turns him into a Wingdingdilly and he learns how much worse things could be! A great introduction to gratitude.
The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf – Teach your kids to stay calm and cool, just like peaceful Ferdinand. Despite his forever frolicking friends, Ferdinand would rather stop and smell the flowers.
Hot Dots Interactive Storybooks – Great for those struggling readers, this set of four interactive books features Ace the Dog and Kat the Kitty in a series of outrageous adventures. Ace – the Talking, Teaching Dog® brings the books to life, helping kids master key alphabet readiness and beginning phonics skills.
And a series…
The Arthur Series by Marc Brown – From Arthur’s Underwear to Arthur’s New Puppy and Arthur’s Family Vacation, kids adore Arthur and look forward to every adventure.
Best Books for Second Graders
A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon – “Be yourself” is the moral of this colorful story featuring Camilla Cream, a girl who learns first-hand what can happen when you worry too much about what others think. A great conversation starter!
Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen – This sweet story about breaking the rules features librarian Miss Merriweather and a lovable lion whoenjoys attending story time.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein – “Once there was a tree… and she loved a little boy,” begins this classic tale of generosity, friendship, and love, written in true Shel Silverstein style.
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl – James lives a loathsome life with his terrible aunts until help arrives in the form of an insect brigade living inside a giant peach. Once you’ve told the tale, watch the movie together – it’s just as tasty!
The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco – Anna learns that nothing is stronger than family and love lasts longer than a lifetime as she and her mother craft a quilt that will span generations.
Best Books for Third Graders
The Amazing Boneby William Stieg – Pearl and her talking bone show considerable courage as they outwit a dangerous fox in this tale full of fun language and imagery.Steig’sSylvester & The Magic Pebble and Amos & Boris are wonderful, too.
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White – A timeless tale of friendship, this classic story of Charlotte the spider and Wilbur the pig includes humor, kindness, and yes, some tears.
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen – Introduce the solace of nature with this quiet story of a girl and her father on a nighttime owling expedition through the snow.
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate Di Camillo –New in town, lonely Opal befriends a puppy who opens the door to all kinds of new relationships. A heart-warming tale of friendship and community.
And a series…
The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner – You may remember the Alden children from your own childhood, on their own but turning their travels into adventures and solving mysteries wherever they go!