Interesting fact: reading is the best exercise for your brain!
I am a natural book lover. One of my favorite activities (and also one of the rarest now that I have kids) is to spend a lazy rainy weekend day in bed reading an amazing book. Getting lost in a well-written story is pure delight and relaxation!
Reading is an avenue to learning, to adventure, to growth, and to enjoyment. I have very rarely come across a book from which I didn't receive a benefit because I love all types of books (well, except for textbooks – I would call that more of a “love/hate” relationship than a simple “love” relationship!). Since becoming a mom, I have always read to my kids; one of my biggest goals was to pass on my love for reading to my children.
So far I'm 1 for 3. To clarify, all my boys love stories. They love listening to stories and could do that all day long. They love the random facts and interesting tidbits. The adventure and the suspense keep them coming back for more. The hitch comes in the actual reading. My oldest (10 years old) didn't like reading until he reached a level of reading ability where the payoff (enjoyment) was greater than the work. I clearly remember him turning that corner in the 3rd grade. Now, he's a voracious reader, often finishing at least one book every few days!
As for my other 2 boys (ages 8 and 6), they are still in that spot where there is more work than enjoyment. Unfortunately for me, they are fighting the process of learning to read with everything they have! I feel confident we will get to the point where they don't hate reading…eventually.
In the meantime, my job is to KEEP READING with them and to them. To keep making it as fun and rewarding as possible until they reach that point when reading becomes enjoyable on its own.
Every summer, we do what we call “summer learning”: workbooks, reading, learning. This year we added in a reading program to help boost their reading skills.
I have compiled a list of books for grades Kindergarten through 2nd grade that is full of “must-reads” for my kids (and for yours)! And don't worry, here is a list for 3rd-5th graders!
This list is based on teacher recommendations, thousands of book reviews, and our own personal favorites that we read time and again. I will list the books by grade level, and I am also including a download that you can print and have with you for reference when you stalk your library to check out these books!
Here we go:
Kindergarten Reading List:
- The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Dieson
- Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae
- Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle
- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
- The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
- The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak
- What do you do with an Idea? by Kobi Yamada
- Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
- Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
- I Wish You More by Amy Krouse
First Grade Reading List:
- Mom and Dad are Palindromes by Mark Shulman and Adam McCauley
- Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne
- Babymouse series by Jennifer Holm
- Nate the Great series by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
- Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
- Down Girl and Sit series by Lucy Nolan
- Little Critter books by Mercer Mayer
- Flat Stanley series by Jeff Brown
- The Flyer Flew by Lee Sullivan Hill
- Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park
Second Grade Reading List:
- Geronimo Stilton Series by Geronimo Stilton
- Upside Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle
- Dragon Masters series by Tracey West
- Mr. George Baker by Amy Hest
- Time Spies series by Candice Ransom
- How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long
- Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki
- Cheyenne Again by Eve Bunting
- The Race of the Birkebeiners by Lise Lunge-Larsen
- Soupy Saturdays with the Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume
Being set for reading and learning all year long is a snap when you have a list to help you out! This reading list will have you covered. Go stalk your library (or stock your library, depending on what works best for your family) so you are ready to hit the ground running!
Does your family have any favorites that are not included on this list? If so, what are they?
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