For a list of books specifically for kindergarten-age children, check out: 1st Graders Suggest Top Books for Kindergarteners
by Richard Michelson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis
Two young boys—one African-American, the other Jewish—forge a friendship and share their love of baseball and playing the violin in an era when racial differences keep people apart.
by Barbara McClintock
Adele tells her little brother, Simon, not to lose anything on the way home from school. This books is set in Paris in the early 20th century, and the siblings stop at various sites and landmarks along the way. Of course, Simon leaves something behind at each one.
by Janice N. Harrington, illustrated by Shelley Jackson
A little girl just can’t stop herself from chasing chickens on her family’s farm.
by Kelly Cunnane, illustrated by Ana Juan
A young boy’s day in a Kenyan village.
by Diane Stanley
Otto, a gentle and polite giant, follows Jack down the beanstalk to rescue his beloved pet chicken. Otto keeps running into Jacks from other fairy tales until he finds the one he’s looking for.
by Kate Banks, illustrated by Boris Kulikov
Max’s big brothers collect stamps and coins. Max wants to collect something, too. He collects words, cutting them out of newspapers and magazines and writing them down. He and his brothers arrange the words to create a story.
by Amy Hest, illustrated by Jon J. Muth
A 1st grade boy and a 100-year-old man learn to read at the same time.
by Lenore Look, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf
In this sequel to Ruby Lu, Brave and True, 2nd grader Ruby Lu is assigned to help her deaf cousin from China acclimate to school. She takes her role so seriously that she neglects her own work and has to go to summer school.
by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Michel Emberley
This collection of 13 two-page rhyming stories is written for children and adults to enjoy loud together.
The following selections are terrific to read aloud a chapter at a time to younger children. Older children (and their parents!) will enjoy reading these books on their own.
by Madeleine L’Engle
The story of Meg, her little brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin’s search through the universe for Meg’s father. The 1963 Newbery Medal winner.
by E.B. White
The classic story about Wilbur the pig and his spider friend, Charlotte, who saves his life. A 1953 Newbery Honor book.
by Jacqueline Woodson
Sixth-grader Frannie learns about the barriers that separate people when a new boy arrives in her class. A 2008 Newbery Honor book.
by Roald Dahl
Young James escapes his two horrible aunts and finds friendship and adventure inside a giant peach.
by Esther Forbes
The story of a young apprentice silversmith in Boston in the period leading up to the Revolutionary War. The 1944 Newbery Medal winner.
by Kate DiCamillo
A vain and selfish china rabbit learns the value of love.
by Jean Craighead George
The story of a boy who leaves home to spend a year living alone in the forest. A 1960 Newbery Honor book.
by Mildred D. Taylor
The story centers on the 9-year-old daughter of an African-American family living amid poverty and racism in the Deep South during the 1930s. The 1977 Newbery Medal winner.
by Patricia MacLachlan
A warm and moving story set in the 19th century about a Midwestern widower who advertises for a mother for his two young children. Sarah arrives from Maine to live with the family. The 1986 Newbery Medal winner.
by Kenneth Grahame
The adventures of Mole, Rat, Toad, and their woodland friends.