When kids are in elementary school it is hard to find the right books to get them interested in reading, especially since they are first starting out. Also, girls and boys at this age have different interests so it’s important to have books that appeal to both. There are tons of lists that share great books for children to read. This is a condensed list of books that are perfect for primary elementary school children that have the potential to spark their reading interest.
For 1st graders:
• Both genders: Once Upon an Ordinary School Day by McNaughton- Everything about this boy is ordinary- his breakfast, his walk to school, even his thoughts. But when he goes to his classroom, everything changes. His new teacher comes up with an idea. Suddenly, an ordinary day is no longer ordinary.
• Girls: Little Ballet Star by Adele Geras- For Tilly’s birthday she gets to go behind the scenes at a real ballet performance. She witnesses backstage warm-ups, takes a trip to the dressing room, and has an unexpected wardrobe change for a surprise chance to take the stage!
• Boys: Goof Off Goalie by Betty Hicks- Goose wants nothing more than to play goalie for his soccer team. On TV it looks like so fun and easy. But Goose has some trouble focusing. Fortunately, his friend Henry is willing to train him. Just as Goose starts to improve, something happens and Henry isn’t able to help him anymore.
For 2nd Graders:
• Both Genders: The Jungle Grapevine by Alex Beard- Bird mixes up something Turtle says, and accidentally starts a rumor- the watering hole is drying up. One misunderstanding leads to another, and the animals begin making their own hilarious assumptions. Soon the animals are in an uproar from one end of the jungle to the other.
• Girls: Princess K.I.M. and the Lie That Grew by Maryann Cocca-Leffler- Kim is new at school and really wants the kids to like her, so she tells a really small lie- her name is really “K.I.M.”—for “Katherine Isabella Marguerite”—and she comes from a royal family! Soon all of the students know about Kim being a princess. She wears a tiara she got from dance class and big ring that she won. After awhile, her lie starts to grow.
• Boys: The Greatest Story Never Told: The Babe and Jackie by Ray Negron- Skippy and Connor are stuck in the hospital together as roommates, and they hate each other. One day the boys get a surprise visit from a batboy who takes them back in time. They go on an adventure and meet legendary baseball players. They learn some lessons along the way and form a friendship.
For 3rd Graders:
• Both Genders: The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies- Evan Treski is good at talking with people. His younger sister, Jessie, on the other hand, is not especially good with people, but great at math. So when a lemonade stand war begins, there is no telling who will win, or if it will ever end.
• Girls: Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude by Kevin O’Malley- Once upon a time there was a girl and boy who had to come up with a fairy tale and share it with the class, but they couldn't agree on the story. Will it ever be told, and will everyone live happily ever after?
• Boys: Goal Line by Tiki and Ronde Barber- At the start of ninth grade, Tiki and Ronde aree not only wiser and more mature, but they’re also taller and stronger. They couldn’t be more excited for football season. But Tiki wins a school-wide essay contest becomes the go-to person for advice and guidance. The school paper even wants him to have his own column! Tiki has to choose between playing football and having his on column in the newspaper.
This list is meant to give you some great book choices for your children to jumpstart their reading and help them take an interest. I hope you both enjoy them!