This week marks the 99th year of the National Children’s Book Week – and to celebrate, I thought I’d share what kids these days are reading and enjoying.
I got to fulfill one of my life-long dreams this year when I became the librarian for my children’s small school. Granted, it’s nothing glamorous. But once a week, I get to go into a room full of shelves of books (many of which I purchased this year) and try to inspire kids to “Read More!” – then watch their faces light up as they tell me all about the great book they just finished reading. That may not give everyone the warm fuzzies, but I love it.
Today – Library Day – I decided to survey each class and find out what their favorite books/series were from this past year. Each student got a chance to share. And honestly, my favorite part was hearing from certain kids who started out the year never wanting to check out or read ANY books. You’ll see below what made the difference for them. So if you’re a teacher or parent and you’re looking for some books for your kids (but don’t know how to get them reading), here is a list of books submitted solely by kids.
PRE-K / KINDERGARTEN
- Thomas the Train books
- Daniel Tiger books
- Lalaloopsy Girls books
- Dinosaurs for Kids, by Ken Ham
- Stellaluna, by Janell Cannon
- Monster Trucks/Cool Cars Flip book
1ST & 2ND GRADE
- Amelia Bedelia books (the old ones! They don’t care for the new “young girl” ones)
- Junie B. Jones books
- Jake Maddox sports books
- Ballerina Dreams series by Ann Bryant
- T is for Touchdown: a Football Alphabet, by Brad Herzog
- In a Dark, Dark Room and other Scary Stories, by Alvin Schwartz (this was literally checked out by every single kid in this class – including a non-reader)
- Gabby Douglas: Going for Gold, by Tori Kosara (also checked out by every girl – a great beginner reader book!)
- Spirit Riding Free: The Adventure Begins, by Suzanne Selfors (and sequel – because every class has a horse-lover).
3RD & 4TH GRADE
- Ordinary People Change the World books (great beginner biographies!! See ones on Martin Luther King Jr. and Amelia Earhart that were favorites)
- The Wingfeather Saga books (see AB’s review of these)
- The Inheritance Cycle books (think dragons – these kids love their dragon stories)
- Calvin and Hobbes comic books (yes, a non-reader finally started reading! His teacher is thrilled! He will read these for hours – so I kept buying more.)
- Ivy & Bean books by Annie Barrows
- Rick Riordan books (Heroes of Olympus, Percy Jackson series, The Kane Chronicles)
- Holes, by Louis Sachar (a bunch of guys got into this because of the movie … hey, whatever it takes.)
5TH & 6TH GRADE
- The Harry Potter books (once one got started, they were all reading these – I couldn’t keep them on the shelves)
- The Serafina books by Robert Beatty (see our reviews of them – also had these checked out every week).
- Any and all of the Minecraft novels (NOTE: In my opinion, these aren’t the greatest books as far as writing goes; however, there were at least 5 or 6 boys in this class that wanted nothing to do with reading; but as soon as I got these, they started checking them out every week. I’ve gotten to where I will get this kind of stuff if it gets them reading. We now have 12 of these and many are checked out every week in all grades – 1st-6th) – this is just one of many sets.
- The Red Rocks Mysteries by Jerry B. Jenkins & Chris Fabry – 15 total of these (might find sets on ebay), many of which were checked out weekly. The girls in particular would have “discussions” each week on who got to check out the next one in the series first.
- Book Scavenger, by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman (a super-fun mystery – the most checked-out “new” book I got).
- Jackie and Me, by Dan Gutman (for the kids into sports).