Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Reading Child

Reading Child

Heidi's Elementary Book List

This list is not the be-all, end-all list of books for the elementary ages. (Not even close.) It is simply books we have enjoyed in our family (or in my own childhood) and books I have on our shelf waiting to be enjoyed. I am sure I have forgotten some, and I am positive I will have many more to add to the list in the coming years. Hopefully, I will keep the list updated every few months.

Disclaimer: I have not read all of these books. Levi has read many books which I have not had a chance to pre-read. Please use parental discretion.

Some of my favorites are marked with *.

Learning to Read

Levels 1 & 2

Levels 3 & 4

First Chapter Books

Simple Chapter Books

Chapter Books ~ Grades 2-7:

Ancient History/Themed Literature:

Tales From the Odyssey (series) (Mary Pope Osborne)
The Bronze Bow (Elizabeth George Speare)
Archimedes and the Door of Science (Jeanne Bendick)

Medieval History/Themed Literature:

The Door in the Wall (Marguerite de Angeli)
Crispin: The Cross of Lead (Avi)
Adam of the Road (Elizabeth Janet Gray)
The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow (Allen French)
Beorn the Proud (Madeleine Polland)
The Squires’ Tales (series) (Gerald Morris)
Beowulf the Warrior (retold by Ian Serraillier)
Augustine: The Farmer’s Boy of Tagaste (P. De Zeeuw, J.Gzn)
The Shakespeare Stealer (series) (Gary Blackwood)
Viking Adventure (Clyde Robert Bulla)

Late Renaissance and Early Modern History/Themed Literature:

Ben and Me and Mr. Revere and Me (Robert Lawson)
The Sign of the Beaver (Elizabeth George Speare)
(I’ll be adding more to this category at a later date!)

Modern History/Themed Literature:

*House of Sixty Fathers (Meindert DeJong)
*I Am David (Anne Holm)
(I’ll be adding more to this category at a later date!)

Pioneer/Rural America:

*Little Britches (series) (Ralph Moody)


The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (and others by author) (Joan Aiken)
Peppermints in the Parlor (Barbara Brooks Wallace)
The Westing Game (Ellen Raskin)
The Mysterious Bennedict Society (Trenton Lee Stewart)
Chasing Vermeer (Blue Balliet)


*The Chronicles of Narnia (series) (C.S. Lewis)
At the Back of the North Wind, The Princess and the Goblin, and The Princess and Curdie (George MacDonald)
Peter and the Starcatchers (series) (Dave Barry, Ridley Pearson)
A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L'Engle)
The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
Knight’s Castle and The Time Garden (Edward Eager)
The Dragon of Lonely Island and The Return of the Dragon (Rebecca Rupp)
Five Children and It (and other books by author) (E. Nesbit)
The Thief Lord (Cornelia Funke)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Ian Flemming)


All-of-a Kind Family (series)
The Moffats (and other books by author) (Eleanor Estes)
*The Saturdays (series) (Elizabeth Enright)
*Understood Betsy (Dorothy Canfield Fisher)
Here’s a Penny (series) (and other books by author) (Carolyn Haywood)
The Penderwicks (Jeanne Birdsall)
Mary Poppins (P. L. Travers)
The Famous Five (series) (Enid Blyton)


*Eight Cousins (and other books by author) (Louisa May Alcott)
Winnie-the-Pooh (A. A. Milne)
The Wind in the Willows (Kenneth Grahame)
The Peterkin Papers (Lucretia P. Hale)
Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson)
Heidi (Johanna Spyri)
The Jungle Book and Just So Stories (Rudyard Kipling)
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)
Peter Pan (J. M. Barrie)
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (Kate Douglas Wiggin)

Heidi’s Favorite Literature (all *):

The Railway Children (and other books by author) (E. Nesbit)
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (E. L. Konigsburg)
Swallows and Amazons (series) (Arthur Ransome)
Island of the Blue Dolphins (Scott O’Dell)
The Wheel on the School (and other books by author) (Meindert DeJong)
Anne of Green Gables (series) (L.M. Montgomery)
Star of Light (and other books by author) (Patricia M. St. John)
Treasures of the Snow (" St. John)

Humor/Tall Tale:

(Roald Dahl) (various books)
The Phantom Tollbooth (Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer)
The Willoughby’s (Lois Lowry)
Holes (Louis Sacher)
Hank the Cowdog (series) (John R. Erickson)
The Twenty-One Balloons (William Pene du Bois)


Smoky (Will James)
Charlotte’s Web (and other books by author) (E. B. White)
Runaway Stallion (and other books by author) (Walt Morey)
Freddy the Pig (series) (Walter Brooks)
Rascal (Sterling North)
Owls in the Family (Farley Mowat)
Kildee House (Rutherford Montgomery)
Rabbit Hill (Robert Lawson)
Misty of Chincoteague (Marguerite Henry)

Great Books for Boys:

*The Cricket in Times Square (George Selden)
Henry Reed, Inc (Keith Robertson)
The Great Brain (John D. Fitzgerald)
The Mad Scientists’ Club (Bertrand R. Brinley)
*My Side of the Mountain (Jean Craighead George)
*Homer Price and Centerburg Tales (Robert McCloskey)
Encyclopedia Brown (series) (Sobol)

What am I missing? Big Grin.


Renee said...

I was just shopping and making a wish list for our next year with medieval history! This list came at the perfect time...thank you so much for sharing!!!

Shell in your Pocket said...

My son this month had to read Homer Price and All in The Family...he loved Homer but thrilled when he was done with All in The Family...I thought it was cute!
sandy toe

Great List!
sandy toe

Edi said...

You mentioned one book by Elizabeth Enright - one of my favorite chapter books for children I only discovered a few years ago. Gone-Away Lake and Return to Gone-Away. Wonderful books by Enright.

A said...

Great list!

Tammy ~ Country Girl at Home ~ said...


I see lots of my favorites here too and a few that I will definitely look into!

Reading is such an adventure!

Mrs. E. said...

Thanks for this! I've already requested a few online from our library tonight.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I have to second Edi on the additional books by Elizabeth Enright. My fifth grade daughter is always planning a list of books that she would take to a desert island. The L.M. Montgomery (AofGG) series, all of Enright's books and both Penderwick books by Birdsall made the cut just last week.

Joni said...

I have LOVED this series and will be sad that it is over! How is it that I can have so many books and still enjoy getting new ones and even reading ABOUT books?! Like yours, my kiddos are book nuts as well. All the best, Heidi!

Heather said...

I love all your book lists and found that we have very similar favorites.
I went through your beginner reader lists last week and made a huge wish list on Amazon for my son almost six and picking up the reading pace quite nicely. We also are using Jessie Wise's phonics book in addition as our main source with others to supplement.
I only have one hand free to type right now or I'd say more. :)

Monika said...

I have been a silent fan of yours for a while now! Thank you so much for this amazing list. I plan to reserve several from the library right away. One of my all time faves was missing from your list, Where the Red Fern Grows. Curious your thoughts on this book?!
Thank you so much!

Heidi said...

Monika~ Hmmm. My thoughts on Where the Red Fern Grows.... I don't know that I ever read it. Simply because I don't do sad books about animals. :) I'm sure that it's a wonderful book, I just never much enjoyed realistic books about animals as a child. Pitiful, no?

Silly Bus said...

Nice List!! Thanks for sharing.

Silly Bus said...

Nice List!! Thanks for sharing.