Read aloud books for 1st graders
by: Roald Dahl, illustrated by: Quentin Blake - (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1982) 224 pages.
The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) is not a bone-crunching, child-eating beast like his vicious relatives — he’s a vegetarian. He even makes a human friend — an 8-year-old orphan named Sophie. This hugely entertaining, fast-paced fable is written in a garbled, whizz-popping, “giant” dialect that’s wonderful to roar, grumble, and listen to.
Perfect for: Kids who like making friends.
Find The BFG at your local library.
Poetry for Young People: African American Poetry
by: Arnold Rampersad, Marcellus Blount, and Karen Barbour - (Sterling Children's Books, 2013) 48 pages.
Accessible and impressive anthology that showcases the powerfully expressive language of African-American verse. Contains 34 poems by 27 poets, including Phillis Wheatley, James Baldwin, Countee Cullen, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, and Gwendolyn Brooks. With biographies, mixed media illustrations, a glossary, helpful annotations, and an explanatory introduction. An ideal intro to poetry for young readers.
Perfect for: Kids who like poems.
Find Poetry for Young People: African American Poetry at your local library.
The One and Only Ivan
by: Katherine Applegate - (HarperCollins, 2012) 320 pages.
Ivan is a trapped gorilla exhibited behind glass in an American mall. He doesn’t recall his jungle past, and he thinks he’s happy, until his friendship with a baby elephant re-awakens his stifled emotions and memories. This sweet, heart-breaking-but-funny tale presents unforgettable characters and raises profound questions about how humans treat animals. Based on a true story.
Perfect for: Kids who like animal stories and stories based on something that really happened.
Find The One and Only Ivan at your local library.
The Complete Little House Nine-Book Set
by: Laura Ingalls Wilder, illustrated by: Garth William - (Harper & Row, 1971)
Pioneer family classics describing 1800s life on the frontier viewed through the eyes of a girl growing up. Covered wagons, log cabins, frozen blizzards, loyal pets, hostile beasts, a blind sister, rural relationships, and the constant struggle to survive in the woods and prairies of Wisconsin, Oklahoma, and the Dakotas.
Perfect for: Kids who like stories about pioneers.
Find The Complete Little House Nine-Book Set at your local library.
by: Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by: E. B. Lewis - (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2012) 32 pages.
Maya is a new student in a rural school. No one will play with her — Chloe and her friends exclude Maya because she is poor. After Maya leaves the school, the teacher explains how even a tiny act of kindness can change the world. Gentle watercolors reinforce the anti-bullying message.
Perfect for: Kids who are different.
Find Each Kindness at your local library.
Inside Out and Back Again
by: Thanhha Lai - (HarperCollins Publishers, 2013) 262 pages.
As the Vietnam War draws to a close, Ha and her family flee Saigon. Not only is Ha leaving the only home she’s ever known, she is also leaving her father, who went missing during the war. The family ends up in Alabama, where everything is unfamiliar and the kids at school tease Ha for her language and wardrobe blunders. This feisty character bravely makes her way, even as she aches for the warmth and vibrancy of the life she left behind.
Perfect for: Kids who like to learn about other cultures.
Find Inside Out and Back Again at your local library.
by: Lemony Snicket, illustrated by: Maira Kalman - (Harper, 2010) 40 pages.
A great way to learn about all kinds of words, this picture book explains the meaning of 13 words: bird, despondent, cake, dog, busy, convertible, goat, hat, haberdashery, scarlet, baby, panache, and mezzo-soprano.
Perfect for: Inspiring young ‘uns to learn new words.
Find 13 Words at your local library.
Amos & Boris
by: William Steig - (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1971) 28 pages.
Perfect for kids who love adventure. A mouse named Amos and a whale named Boris quickly become friends after Amos goes sailing on the high seas.
Perfect for: Inspiring kids to make new friends.
Find Amos & Boris at your local library.