Recommended Reading: Early Readers

Most of the recommended reading lists you find are for middle school, high school, or adults with lists of classics, but reading is just as necessary-if not more- for elementary schoolers. At such a young age, students grow at a much quicker pace with each passing year, making their knowledge and capabilities as second graders vastly different from kindergarteners; therefore, we have compiled a few different reading lists for early elementary school students based on each grade level.

Recommended Reading Early Readers Pre-K Kindergarten first grader second grader


Early readers will catch the proverbial worm! When you impart a love of reading on young children, you will give them advantages in learning and comprehension that will follow them through all challenges of their lives. The skills learned through reading extends throughout all the subjects in school they must learn, but also all heightens creativity, independence, and social awareness.

Pre-K and Kindergarten Reading Lists:

  • Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess
  • The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
  • Piggies by Audrey Wood
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffie Numeroff
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  • Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  • I Know an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly by Nikki Smith
  • Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
  • Clarinda Cloud by Jodi Desautels
  • Turtle Wish by Murielle Cyr

 Reading List or First Graders:

  • Curious George by HA Rey
  • The Littlest Owl by Caroline Pitcher
  • The Three Billy-Goats Gruff by Ellen Appleby
  • The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
  • Rise and Shine, Mariko-Chan! by Chiyoko Tomioka
  • Fox on Wheels by Edward Marshall
  • Alphabet Mystery by Audrey Wood
  • The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle
  • Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matthew McElligott
  • Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
  • The Cat Barked by Lydia Monks
  • Stone Soup by Bill Martin Jr.

 Reading List for Second Graders:

  • Freckle Juice by Judy Blume
  • In the Ice Caves of Krog by Tony Abbott
  • Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
  • The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
  • Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon
  • Jaguarundi by Virginia Hamilton
  • Aliens Don’t Carve Jack-O’-Lanterns by Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones
  • Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg
  • The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale
  • Dinosaur Story by Joanna Cole
  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater
  • Tornado by Betsy Byars

Author: Nicole Acevedo, Program Manager at MathWizard, Inc.

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