Tag Archives: reading

Recommended Read Alouds

In honor of a new school year about to begin, I thought I’d post my thoughts on a read aloud list.  Our youngest is ready to start kindergarten so I’m thinking about what books I want to read to him & trying to remember/compile an organized list to make sure I don’t miss any of the great ones.  The older kids & I have had so much fun reading together, it’s hard to choose which ones to start with, so a list by grade will make it easier.

Ideally, it wouldn’t it be great to have a list of books that each grade reads to prevent overlaps in school?  It happened to me.  You, too?  I had The Chronicles of Narnia read to me two years in a row!!  That’s all my fifth & sixth grade teachers had time to read to me by the time they got through the whole series, so that’s all I got.  And that was at a fairly small private school where the teachers EASILY could have asked each other what they read so there’s no reason for that to have happened.  But it did.  So I know it happens a lot.

Then there are the poor kids who never get read to!  That happens, too.  It is so vitally important to read out loud to children all the way through their grade school years.  Teachers often don’t start early enough on the chapter book reading, thinking kindergarteners or first graders can only handle picture books.  Or they don’t continue to do it in the upper grades thinking the kids can now read on their own or the teachers think it’s a waste of precious school time.  Not true.  It is SO important to continue reading to children, struggling as well as excelling readers.  Here’s a quick list of a few great reasons to read aloud:

  • It stretches & improves vocabulary.
  • It increases children’s attention spans.
  • It acts as a “promo” for reading.  You may just get them hooked!
  • It gets kids out of their comfort genre when you read a variety of books to them.
  • It helps them learn to make pictures in their heads vs. being so dependent on screens for visuals (MUCH needed skill in this generation!).

So here is the list I’ve compiled.  If a school (or family) went through it year by year, a child would get a great, well-rounded dose of books that would put them on the road to a life-long love of reading.  The numbers given behind the title is the general number of pages (depending on the copy you get) so you get the idea of how long it is.

Kindergarten:

  • Little House in the Big Woods (256)
  • Beezus and Ramona (176)
  • Ramona the Pest (240)
  • Winnie the Pooh (176)
  • The House at Pooh Corner (180)
  • The Story of Dr. Doolittle (176)
  • My Father’s Dragon (68)
  • B is for Betsy (144)
  • Back to School With Betsy (160)
  • The Tale of Despereaux (272)
  • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (228)
  • Pippi Longstocking (160)
  • Betsy and Tacy (144)
  • Cobble Street Cousins series (@65) – 6 books in the series
  • Nate the Great series (@80) – 26 books in the series (one for Christmas)
  • Flat Stanley series (@112) – 5 books in the series
  • The Indian in the Cupboard (240) (great for reading in November)

First Grade:

  • Charlotte’s Web (192)
  • Henry Huggins (192)
  • Homer Price (160)
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins (139)
  • Mrs. Piggle Wiggle (128)
  • Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (176)
  • When We Were Very Young (112)
  • Now We Are Six (112)
  • Little House on the Prairie (352)
  • Ramona the Brave (192)
  • Ramona & Her Father (208) (good for December reading)
  • Betsy, Tacy, & Tib (160)
  • Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s Magic (192)
  • The Return of the Indian (208) (read in November)
  • Marvin Redpost series (@80) 8 books in the series
  • Encyclopedia Brown series (@100)  29 in series so far

Second Grade:

  • Farmer Boy (384)
  • Ramona & Her Mother (224)
  • Betsy & Tacy Go Over the Hill (192)
  • Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s Farm (128)
  • Hello, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle (128)
  • Henry & Beezus (224)
  • Henry & Ribsy (208)
  • All of a Kind Family (192)
  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (128) (obviously read in December)
  • The Secret of the Indian (192)
  • A Grain of Rice (80)
  • Flat Stanley Worldwide Adventure series (@96) 9 books in the series so far
  • Boxcar Children series (@150) 154 books in series so far

Third Grade:

  • Because of Winn Dixie (182)
  • On the Banks of Plum Creek (352)
  • Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (208)
  • Betsy & Tacy Go Downtown (240)
  • Henry & the Paper Route (224)
  • Henry & the Clubhouse (224)
  • Ribsy (240)
  • The Hundred Dresses (96)
  • Happy Birthday, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle (192)
  • The Mystery of the Cupboard (256)
  • The Light at Fern Rock (64) (for reading in December)
  • The Sign of the Beaver (144)
  • Sarah, Plain & Tall (64)
  • The Courage of Sarah Noble (64)
  • The Bears on Hemlock Mountain (64)
  • The Cabin Faced West (128)
  • Nancy Drew series (@190) 61 books in original series
  • Hardy Boys series (@180) 58 books in original series
  • Bobbsey Twins series (@180) 72 books in series

Fourth Grade:

  • Sadoko & the Thousand Paper Cranes (80)
  • Number the Stars (136)
  • The Secret Garden (296)
  • A Little Princess (209)
  • A Wrinkle in Time (256)
  • Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of NIMH (240)
  • Five Little Peppers & How They Grew (224)
  • The Key to the Indian (288)
  • How to Eat Fried Worms (128)
  • Bridge to Terabithia (208)
  • Dear Mr. Henshaw (160)

Fifth Grade:

  • The Door in the Wall (128)
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond (272)
  • The Bronze Bow (254)
  • Fair Weather (160)
  • The Teacher’s Funeral (224))
  • Around the World in 80 Days (152)
  • The Devil’s Arithmetic (176)
  • The Breadwinner (170)
  • The Borrowers (192)
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (176)
  • The Westing Game (192)

What do you think?  Are there books you had read to you that were stand outs?  What grade were you when they were read to you?  Feel free to comment & add to the list!  Also, let me know what you think about my placing of each book in their grade.  Are there any you would change?  Comments welcomed.