Primary: Grades 1-2

As children transition into becoming more independent readers, their reading tastes vary from stories about children like themselves (realistic fiction), to the preposterous (humorous fiction), and fantastical (fantasy and science fiction). There is a wide range of texts available for children in this age group and there is a book out there for every type of reader and interest. For children who relish facts and have special interests and expertise, nonfiction is an ideal way to engage their interest in reading.   

Recommended Early Chapter Books:

Ivy and Bean, (2006), Barrows, A. & Blackall, S., The first in a series of books about two very different girls that become best friends.  The characters are well developed and the plotlines are realistic and appealing to children, especially girls.

My Father’s Dragon, (1948), Gannett, Ruth Stiles. Elmer Elevator sets out to rescue a baby dragon.

Lulu and the Brontosaurus, Viorst, J., Lulu always gets what she wants until now. When she asks her parents for a Brontosaurus, she is told “no” for the first time ever.  Thus begins her adventure to find a pet brontosaurus.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins, (1966), Atwater, R. Twelve penguins join the Popper family and change the course of the family and their own lives.

Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and A Prologue, (1962), Sendak, M. Pierre just doesn’t care about anything, until a lion swallows him.

The Stories Julian Tells, (1981), Cameron, A. Episodes in seven-year-old Julian’s life from losing a tooth to finding a new friend.

The Hundred Dresses, (1974), Estes, E. A story that addresses bullying and compassion when a young girl claims to have a hundred dresses at home, but wears the same one to school every day.

Freckle Juice, (1971). Blume, J. Andrew wants freckles so badly that he buys a freckle recipe.

Stinker from Space (1988), Service, P. F., An alien secret agent crash lands on Earth and must transfer his mind to another life form- a skunk!

Knights of the Kitchen Table, (1991), Scieszka, J. Joe gets a magic book for his birthday and thus begins the Time Warp Trio series that appeals to young male readers.

Horrible Harry and the Ant Invasion, (1989), Horrible Harry of Classroom 2B cuts back on his mischievous pranks after falling for Song Lee.

Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective, (1963), Sobol, D. J., The first in a series of short mysteries with the solutions in the back of the book.

Pinky and Rex, (1990), Howe, J. Rex and her best friend Pinky have many adventures together. First of a series.

Alvin Ho, Allergic to Girls, School, and other Scary Things, Look, L., Here’s the first book in the beloved and hilarious Alvin Ho chapter book series, which has been compared to Diary of a Wimpy Kid and is perfect for both beginning and reluctant readers. Alvin, an Asian American second grader, is afraid of everything—elevators, tunnels, girls, and, most of all, school. He’s so afraid of school that, while he’ s there, he never, ever, says a word. But at home he’s a very loud superhero named Firecracker Man, a brother to Calvin and Anibelly, and a gentleman-in-training, so he can be just like his dad.

Catwings, (1988), Le Guin, U. K. Four young cats with wings search for a safe place to live.

Sideways Stories from the Wayside School, (1990), Sachar, L. Funny stories from the class on the thirteenth floor.

Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective, (1963), Sobol, D.J. The first in a series of short mysteries with the solutions in the back of the book.

Abel’s Island, (1976), Steig, W. A mouse’s resourcefulness and endurance are tested as he struggles to survive a shipwreck.

The Year of Billy Miller (2013), Henkes, K., 7-year old Billy starts 2nd grade with a bump on his head and a lot of worries, but by the end of the year he has learned a lot from his teacher, his little sister, and his parents.

Ruby Lu, Brave and True, Lenore, L., Almost 8-year old Ruby Lu spends time with her baby brother, goes to Chinese school, performs magic tricks, and has adventures with old and new friends.

Anna Hibiscus, Atinuke., Anna Hibiscus lives with her whole family in a wonderful house in Africa. There is always somebody to laugh or play with. But more than anything else in the world, Anna would love to see snow.