Summer Reading Suggestions
Organized by Grade

 

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.
— A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh.

Due to popular demand, I have put together this list of books organized by grade. Please keep in mind that these are just suggestions. Many of the books can be enjoyed by readers of various ages. For example, even grown-ups enjoy A.A. Milne’s books about the adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh. The humor of the Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems appeals to children of all ages, yet the vocabulary and text size make the books accessible to very young readers. Many high school students prefer to read adult bestsellers, and many older adults like to read Young Adult novels.

There are a few different ways to determine reading level. For example, Lexile scores are determined by an algorithm. If the book uses longer words and sentences, it will generally receive a higher Lexile score. To learn more about Lexile and other scoring methods read the article "Leveled Reading Systems, Explained" by Ruth Manna.

A simpler, less scientific, way of judging reading level is the "5 Finger Method." Ask your child to open up a book and start reading. For every word your child does not know, hold up a finger. If there are more than 5 words on a page that your child does not understand, the book may be too challenging. However, if your child is really excited about the book, give it a try! Kids are more likely to enjoy and succeed at reading books they choose themselves. 

Make reading a family activity. Being read aloud to is comforting and beneficial to people of all ages. In fact, the Commission on Reading report states "The single most important activity for building knowledge for their eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children." You may also want to read the same novels that your children are reading. This way you can talk about the books together and discuss issues, themes, and characters. 

The books in the following list are just suggestions. I have tried to include books of varying reading levels in each grade category. Not every book is right for every child or every family. The very best way to discover great books is to bring your family to the Library and explore the collection together. Librarians are happy to help you find "just the right book." 

Click on each title to find its location in the Library. Most entries include a picture of the book cover, a brief summary, and the number of pages.

Have fun exploring our collections, and please remember that grade levels are just suggestions. Read what you like. Read what excites and interests you. Read for the fun of it. 

-Rebecca Scotka
Children's and Young Adult Librarian


Librarian's Picks for Birth through Preschool
Baby Food by Margaret Miller
Baby Signs for Animals by Linda Acredolo
Big Bug by Henry Cole
Carry Me by Rena D. Grossman
Color Farm by Lois Ehlert
Count with Maisy by Lucy Cousins
Cradle Me by Debby Slier
Feast for 10 by Kathryn Falwell
Fire Truck by Peter Sis
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow
Freight Train by Donald Crews
From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Gossie series by Olivier Dunrea
Humpty Dumpty by Annie Kubler
In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming
It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw
Kipper's Book of Opposites by Mick Inkpen
Love is a Truck by Amy Novesky
Maisy's Rainbow Dream by Lucy Cousins
More, More, More said the Baby by Vera Williams
Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh
My Car by Byron Barton
Peek-a-Who? by Nina Laden
Piggies by Don Wood
Spot on the Farm by Eric Hill
Tickle My Ears by Jorg Muhle
Tickle Tickle by Helen Oxenbury
Time for Bed by Mem Fox
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
White on Black by Tana Hoban


Librarian's Picks for Entering Kindergarten though Second Grade

The Adventures of Beekle by Dan Santat
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
The Amazing Trail of Seymour Snail by Lynn E. Hazen
Anansi and the Magic Stick by Eric A. Kimmell
Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing by Judi Barrett
Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
At the Hotel Larry by Daniel Pinkwater
Ballet Cat series by Bob Shea
A Bargain for Frances by Russell Hoban
Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
Bee-Wigged by Cece Bell
Before I Leave by Jessica Bagley
Billy and Blaze series by C.W. Anderson
 Biscuit Plays Ball by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Book Fiesta by Pat Mora
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
Captain Duck by Jez Alborough
The Caterpillar and the Polliwog by Jack Kent
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr.
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type by Doreen Cronin
Corduroy by Don Freeman
Cork & Fuzz series by Dori Chaconas
Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff
Digby O'Day series by Shirley Hughes
Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea
The Dog That Called the Pitch by Matt Christopher
Don’t Throw it to Mo! By David A. Adler
The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins
Dragon was Terrible by Kelly DiPucchio
Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet Ahlberg
Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce
The Flying Beaver Brothers series by Maxwell Eaton
Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel
Froggy Goes to School by Jonathan London
George and Martha series by James Marshall
Get Ready for Second Grade, Amber Brown by Paula Danziger
Go, Dog. Go! By P.D. Eastman
Gooney Bird Greene series by Lois Lowry
A Great Big Cuddle: Poems for the Very Young by Michael Rosen
Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
Henry and Mudge series by Cynthia Rylant  
Hi, Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold
Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
Hotel Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins
How Do Dinosaurs Eat their Food?by Jane Yolen
How Do You Feel? by Rebecca Bender
Ice Cream Summer by Peter Sís
Ida, Always by Caron Levis
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Nancy Numeroff
It’s Only Stanley by Jon Agee
Joseph had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback
Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña
Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Ling & Ting series by Grace Lin
Little Bear series by Else Holmelund Minarik
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber
Me, Jane by Patrick McDonnell
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo
Minnie and Moo series by Denys Cazet
Miss Bindergarten series by Joseph Slate
Miss Nelson has a Field Day by Harry Allard
Mouse and Mole series by Wong Herbert Yee
Mr. Gumpy’s Outing by John Burningham
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown
My Dad by Anthony Browne
My Pet Human series by Yasmine Surovec
My Heart Fills with Happiness by Monique Gray Smith
Nanette’s Baguette by Mo Willems
Nate the Great series by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
No, David! by David Shannon
Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
One Fish, Two Fish,Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
Oops Pounce Quick Run! by Mike Twohy
Over the Ocean by Taro Gomi
Pete the Cat series by James Dean
Pinkerton series by Steven Kellogg
Pinky and Rex series by James Howe
Play Ball, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
President Squid by Aaron Reynolds
Princess in Black series by Shannon Hale
Rain Fish by Lois Ehlert
Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
Say Hello, Sophie! by Rosemary Wells
Silly Sally by Audrey Wood
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Swimmy by Leo Lionni
Ten in the Meadow by John Butler
This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
The Three Bears by Byron Barton
There is a Bird on your Head by Mo Willems
There's a Bug on My Book! by John Himmelman
Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexi
Transportation by Gail Gibbons
Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman
Trees by Lemniscates
Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales
We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen
We're All Wonders by R.J. Palacio
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats


Librarian's Picks for Entering Third and Fourth Grade

After Happily Ever After series by Tony Bradman
Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls by Meg Cabot 
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Babies, Burglars, and Other Bumps in the Night by Lenore Look
Amber Brown is not a Crayon by Paula Danziger
Babymouse series by Jennifer L. Holm
Ben and Me by Robert Lawson
Bink & Gollie series by Kate DiCamillo
Birds: Explore Nature with Fun Facts and Activities by Jill Bailey and David Burnie
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
Brad and Butter Play Ball! by Dean Hughes
Calpurnia Tate Girl Vet series by Jacqueline Kelly
The Chalk Box Kid by Clyde Robert Bulla
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Clementine series by Sarah Pennypacker
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
Diary of a Killer Cat by Anne Fine
Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon
A Dragon's Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans by Laurence Yep and Joanne Ryder
Esio Trot by Roald Dahl
The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Basil by Wiley Miller
Face to Face with Butterflies by Darlyne A. Murawski
Franny K. Stein Mad Scientist series by Jim Benton
Frindle by Andrew Clements
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
The Great Piratical Rumbustification & the Librarian and the Robbers by Margaret Mahy
Gym Shorts series by Betty Hicks
Heroes in Training series by Joan Holub
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Hilo: The Boy who Crashed to Earthby Judd Winick
Hoboken Chicken Emergency by Daniel Pinkwater
Homer Price by Robert McCloskey
Hooray for the Golly Sisters! by Betsy Byars
I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Lord  
Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans by Gary Northfield
Kingdom of Wrenly  by Jordan Quinn
The Last Gold Diggers by Harry Horse
LeRoy Ninker Saddles Up by Kate DiCamillo
The Life of Ty: Penguin Problems by Lauren Myracle
Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Little Wolf, Forest Detective by Ian Whybrow
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss  
Lulu series by Judith Viorst
Lunch Lady series by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne
Medusa Jones by Ross Collins
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
Ms. Rapscott's Girls by Elise Primavera
The Music of Life: Bartolomeo Cristofori & the Invention of the Piano by Elizabeth Rusch
My Pet Human by Yasmine Surovec
Mystery at Old Sturbridge Village by Julia C. Mahon
A Nest for Celeste by Henry Cole
Ollie’s Odyssey by William Joyce
The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
Rebecca the Rock ‘n Roll Fairy by Daisy Meadows
Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
Shark in School by Patricia Reilly Giff
Squish series by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos by Stephanie Roth Sisson
Stella Batts series by Courtney Scheinmel
The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems & Tony Diterlizzi
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
This is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration by Jacqueline Woodson
Time Warp Trio: Knights of the Kitchen Table by Jon Scieska
Tornado by Betsy Byars
Upside Down Magic by Sarah Mylnowski
Waylon! One Awesome Thing by Sara Pennypacker
Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton
The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry
The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney
Yang the Youngest and his Terrible Ear by Lensey Namioka
The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes
The Year of the Book by Andrea Cheng
 Young Cam Jansen series by David A. Adler


Librarian's Picks for Entering Fifth and Sixth Grade
Abe Lincoln and the Selfie that Saved the Nation by David Potter
 Amelia Lost by Candace Fleming
Amina's Voice by Helen Khan
Angus and Sadie by Cynthia Voigt
The BFG by Roald Dahl
Big Nate series by Lincoln Peirce
Blubber by Judy Blume
Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose
Book Scavenger series by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
Confetti Girl by Diana López
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
Dave at Night by Gail Carson Levine
El Deafo by Cece Bell
Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney
Dive Right In by Matt Christopher
The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon
Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
The Elephant Scientist by Caitlin O'Connell & Donna M. Jackson
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
Falling Over Sideways by Jordan Sonnenblick
Finding Buck McHenry by Alfred Slote
Girl Reporter Snags Crush by Linda Ellerbee
The Girl Who Could Not Dream by Sarah Beth Durst
The Girl with the Glass Bird by Esme Kerr
The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang
Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins
Guardians of Ga'Hoole series by Kathryn Lasky
I Got This: To Gold and Beyond by Laurie Hernandez
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood
The iPhone that Saved George Washington by David Potter
Jinx series by Sage Blackwood
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos
Just Like Me by Nancy J. Cavanaugh
King of the Mound: My Summer with Satchel Paige by Wes Tooke
The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer
Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar
Lucky Strike by Bobbie Pyron
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
Mighty Jackie: The Strike Out Queen by Marissa Moss
Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart
Motor Girls: How Women Took the Wheel by Sue Macy
Olivia Kidney series by Ellen Potter
Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Rain Reign by Ann B. Martin
Ratscalibur by Josh Lieb
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
Real Friends by Shannon Hale
Redwall by Brian Jacques
Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez
Roanoke by Jane Yolen
Royal Wedding Disaster by Meg Cabot
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Space Case series by Stuart Gibbs
Spirit Animal series by multiple authors
Spy School series by Stuart Gibbs
Stowaway by Karen Hesse
The Tapper Twins series by Geoff Rodkey
Three of Diamonds by Anthony Horowitz
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
Timmy Failure series by Stephan Pastis
Took by Mary Downing Hahn
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones
The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubacker Bradley
When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
A Whole New Ballgame by Phil Bildner
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle


Librarian's Picks for Entering Seventh and Eighth Grade

Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz
All the Answers by Kate Messner
The Ballad of a Broken Nose by Arne Svingen
The Batboy by Mike Lupica
Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly
The Breaker Boys by Pat Hughes
The Candymakers by Wendy Mass
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander|
Defeating Depression by Y.S. Lin
Doll Bones by Holly Black
Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell in Love by Lauren Tarshis
Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis
Endangered by Eliot Schrefer
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Forever or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter
The Forget-Me-Not Summer by Leila Howland
From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess by Meg Cabot
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus
Holes by Louis Sachar
The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
Joshua Dread series by Lee Bacon
Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Moonbird by Phillip Hoose
My Louisiana Sky by Kimberly Willis Holt
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Paperboy by Vince Vawter
The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in this Game Called Life by Kwame Alexander
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Pure Grit by Mary Cronk Farrell
Rules by Cynthia Lord
Running out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Samurai Rising by Pamela Turner
The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew
Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus
Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington
Tangerine by Edward Bloor
The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman
Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Treasure Hunters series by James Patterson
Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
The Underneath by Kathi Appelt
Unfriended by Rachel Vail
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt
Wringer by Jerry Spinelli


Librarian's Picks for Young Adults
1984 by George Orwell
Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid
The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoose
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
The Fault in our Stars by John Green
Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Freedom Summer by Susan G. Rubin
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Leaving Fishers by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Legends: The Best Players, Games, and Teams in Basketball by Howard Bryant
Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 
Looking for Alaska by John Green
March series by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner
Promise the Night by Michaela MacColl
The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano
See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Squashed by Joan Bauer
Stonewall by Ann Bausum  
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë