Summer Reading Grade-by-Grade
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Summer Reading Grade-by-Grade

A grade-by-grade guide for your child this summer.

Why Summer Reading Matters

Most parents know about the importance of reading to their children. But did you know that summer reading has its own concrete back-to-school benefits? "Research has shown that kids who read during the summer and participate in summer library programs do better at the start of the new school year," says Carole Fiore, a library program specialist in Florida and president of the Association for Library Service to Children. The reason: Once back in the classroom, summer readers don't have to relearn their study skills and kids who took the summer off from reading may have to. "If kids are used to sitting down and reading every night for 20 minutes, then sitting down to do homework when school starts is just an extension of that," Fiore explains.

Whether you are going on vacation or spending the rest of the summer at home, there is still time to break out the books and help your child get back in the reading habit. Here is a list of books -- some classics, some new arrivals -- guaranteed to get your youngster (even those too young to go to school!) hooked on books.

Special thanks to the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, and the Westchester (New York) Library System for helping us compile this list.

Birth to 3 Years

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

The Everything Book by Denise Fleming

Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt

This Little Baby's Playtime by Lynn Breeze

Max's Bath by Rosemary Wells

More, More, More, Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams

Jack and Jill and Other Nursery Rhymes by Lucy Cousins

Have You Seen My Duckling? by Nancy Tafuri

Trucks by Byron Barton

Pat-A-Cake and Other Play Rhymes by Joanna Cole and Stephanie Calmenson

Where Does the Brown Bear Go? by Nicki Weiss

Where's Spot? by Eric Hill


How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague

Cold Little Duck, Duck, Duck by Lisa Westberg Peters

Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

Sam Who Never Forgets by Eve Rice

Let's Go Home, Little Bear by Martin Waddell

How Do I Put It On? by Shigeo Watanbe

Abuela by Arthur Dorros

Ben's Trumpet by Rachel Isadora

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.

Corduroy by Don Freeman


Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelsmans

Stone Soup by Marcia Brown

I Need a Lunch Box by Jeannette Caines

Will I Have a Friend? by Miriam Cohen

Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis

Sam and the Lucky Money by Karen Chinn

We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins

Chicken Little by Steven Kellogg

There's a Nightmare in My Closet by Mercer Mayer

The Napping House by Audrey Wood

Grades 1 and 2

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

Miss Nelson Is Missing by Harry Allard and James Marshall

The Night Worker by Kate Banks

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin

Minnie and the Moo and the Musk of Zorro by Denys Cazet

Inspector Hopper by Doug Cushman

Alfie Gives a Hand by Shirley Hughes

Iris and Walter by Elissa Haden Guest

Just the Two of Us by Will Smith

Cam Jansen and the Mystery at the Haunted House by David A. Adler

My Brother, Ant by Betsy C. Byars

Grades 3 and 4

Radio Rescue by Lynne Barasch

Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard

The Doll People by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin

Surviving Brick Johnson by Laurie Myers

Freedom River by Doreen Rappaport

The Ramona series by Beverly Cleary

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

The Borrowers by Mary Norton

The Mystery of the Several Sevens by Bill Brittain

Julian, Secret Agent by Ann Cameron

No Such Thing As a Witch by Ruth Chew

Falling Up by Shel Silverstein

Grades 5 and 6

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Joey Pigza Loses Control by Jack Gantos

Digging for Bird-Dinosaurs: An Expedition to Madagascar by Nic Bishop

Crazy Horse's Vision by Joseph Bruchac

Space Race by Sylvia Waugh

The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

Dear Mother, Dear Daughter by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

Grades 7 and 8

A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck

Nory Ryan's Song by Patricia Reilly Giff

Samir and Yonatan by Daniella Carmi

The Wanderer by Sharon Creech

Visiting Miss Caples by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel

Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer

Kit's Wilderness by David Almond

Nothing But the Truth by Avi

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien