Elementary summer reading titles

Elementary Summer Reading 

Suggested titles for students in Kindergarten & Grade 1

Non-fiction titles

Gravel, Elise. The fly. 

Introduces the reader to flies, including several of the different species, how they live and reproduce, and their important role in the Earth’s ecosystems.

Kaiser, Lisbeth. Maya Angelou.

Looks at the life of African-American writer, performer, and teacher, Maya Angelou.

McAnulty, Stacy. Earth! : My First 4.54 billion years.

The Earth introduces readers to key moments in the planet’s life, from its formation over four billion years ago to the present, including the Earth’s position in the solar system, its layers, and when plants and animals began to inhabit the planet.

Sayre, April Pulley. Bloom boom!

A latest entry in the series that includes Raindrops Roll shares introductory flower profiles and combines vibrant photography with simple verses to celebrate the vibrancy and science behind the flowers that bloom in the spring.

White, Dianne. Who eats orange?

A unique exploration of different animals’ favorite foods and what color those foods are.

Williams, Bonnie. The scoop on ice cream!

Chill out with the fascinating history behind ice cream, the first in a fact-tastic Level 3 Ready-to-Read nonfiction series about the history of fun stuff! A special section at the back of the book includes relevant info on subjects like geography and science, and there’s even a fun quiz so you can test yourself to see what you’ve learned!

Fiction titles

Agee, Jon. The wall in the middle of the book.

A knight who feels secure on his side of the wall that divides his book discovers that his side is not as safe as he thought, and the other side is not as threatening.

Annable, Graham. Peter & Ernesto : A tale of two sloths.

Peter and Ernesto are sloths and the best of friends, but while Peter is content in their tree and never wants to leave, Ernesto wants to see the sky from everywhere on Earth, in their separation they grow closer, homebody Peter expands his horizons and Ernesto learn the importance of home. Graphic novel.

Blackall, Sophie. Hello lighthouse.

Explores the life of one lighthouse as it beams its message out to sea through shifting seasons, changeable weather, and the tenure of its final keeper. 2019 Caldecott Medal winner.

Bright, Rachel. The Koala who could.

Kevin is a koala who clings to his tree, and never comes down to play with the other animals–until one day his tree falls down, and Kevin learns that the ground is not as scary as he believed.

Broach, Elise. My pet wants a pet.

A boy’s mother, reluctant to allow him even one pet, is increasingly unhappy as each pet wants a pet of its own.

Covell, David. Run wild.

A celebration of the joy of being outdoors features a child who abandons his digital device in favor of joining a friend outside.

Doerrfeld, Cori. The rabbit listened.

When Taylor’s block castle is destroyed, all the animals think they know just what to do, but only the rabbit quietly listens to how Taylor is feeling.

Lin, Grace. A big mooncake for Little Star.

Reimagines the cycles of the moon as a mother bakes a big moon cookie and, despite Mama’s request to wait, Little Star begins nibbling at it every night.

Mack, Jeff. Mr. Monkey bakes a cake.

Mr. Monkey bakes a cake and enters it in a contest, but nothing goes as planned.

Martinez-Neal, Juana. Alma and how she got her name.

When Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela asks her father why she has so many names, she hears the story of her name and learns about her grandparents.

Meisel, Paul. See me dig.

A group of dogs that love to dig have a fun-filled day of making mischief, in this easy-to-read story.

Morales, Yuyi. Dreamers.

An illustrated picture book autobiography in which award-winning author Yuyi Morales tells her own immigration story.

Penfold, Alexandra. All are welcome.

Illustrations and simple, rhyming text introduce a school where diversity is celebrated and songs, stories, and talents are shared.

Rosenthal, Amy Krouse. Don’t blink!

A page turns every time you blink, bringing you closer to the end of the book–and bedtime.

Tabor, Corey R. Fox the tiger.

Fun-loving, mischievous Fox wishes he were a tiger. Tigers are big and fast and sneaky. So he decides to become one!

Tamaki, Jillian. They say blue.

A young girl describes where she finds colors in both the world around her and beyond what she can see.

Woodson, Jacqueline. The day you begin.

Other students laugh when Rigoberto, an immigrant from Venezuela, introduces himself but later, he meets Angelina and discovers that he is not the only one who feels like an outsider.

Suggested Authors

Tedd Arnold, Doreen Cronin, Matt de la Peña, Kevin Henkes, Yuyi Morales, Peter Reynolds, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Susan Verde, Melanie Watt, Mo Willems.

Suggested titles for students in Grade 2 & 3

Non-fiction titles

Arnold, Tedd. Fly Guy presents : why, Fly Guy? : a BIG question & answer book.

Buzz and Fly Guy answer a range of science based questions from “Why do I have to brush my teeth?” and “Why do cats climb trees if they can’t get down” to “Why do elephants have trunks?”.

Beaty, Andrea. Rosie Revere’s big project book for bold engineers.

Activity book featuring Rosie Revere provides projects to inspire would-be engineers, including designing a better bicycle, building a simple catapult, constructing a solar oven, and more.

Clinton, Chelsea. She persisted : 13 American women who changed the world.

Profiles the lives of thirteen American women who have left their mark on U.S. history, including Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Margaret Chase Smith, and Oprah Winfrey.

Lamothe, Matt. This is how we do it : one day in the lives of seven kids from around the world.

Follows the daily lives of seven children from around the world, including such places as Japan, India, Uganda, and Italy, and discusses how schools, meals, and play can be different or similar in different places in the world.

Markle, Sandra. What if you had animal eyes!?

Text and illustrations depict how a child would look and behave with the eyes of various animals.

McElligott, Matthew.  Mad Scientist Academy : The space disaster.

In graphic novel format, Dr. Cosmic’s class of monsters looks at gravity, comets, and the Solar system.

Messner, Kate. The brilliant deep : rebuilding the world’s coral reefs : the story of Ken Nedimyer and the Coral Restoration Foundation.

A nonfiction picture book that examines the ongoing efforts to save and rebuild the world’s coral reefs.

Milner, Charlotte. The bee book.

Introduction to the secret world of bees revealing their natures as industrious, social and highly productive workers whose pollinating behaviors are an essential part of the growth cycle and human food supplies, in an early reference that also explains what everyday kids can do to help declining bee populations.

Singer, Marilyn. Every month is a new year : celebrations around the world.

A collection of original poems about New Year celebrations throughout the year and around the world. Includes an introduction about worldwide New Year celebrations plus a map, information about calendars, New Year greetings in many languages, additional factual information about the celebrations, and author’s sources.

Valdez, Patricia, author. Joan Procter, dragon doctor : the woman who loved reptiles.

Looks at the inspiring story of Joan Procter, a pioneering female scientist who loved reptiles.

Fiction titles

 Butler, Dori Hillestad. King & Kayla and the case of the lost tooth.

Kayla places her tooth in a Tooth Fairy pillow, but it disappears before the Tooth Fairy has a chance to visit–can her dog King help Kayla find the missing tooth?.

Bates, Amy June. The big umbrella.

A spacious umbrella welcomes anyone and everyone who needs shelter from the rain.

Campoy, F. Isabel. Maybe something beautiful.

Mira lives in a gray and hopeless urban community until a muralist arrives and, along with his paints and brushes, brings color, joy, and togetherness to Mira and her neighbors.

DiCamillo, Kate. Good Rosie!

When Rosie’s owner takes her to the dog park, two dogs bound over and want to play, but she doesn’t know what to do to make friends with them.

Flintham, Thomas. Game over, Super Rabbit Boy!

When King Viking and his evil robot army attack Animal Town, and kidnap Singing Dog, it is up to Super Rabbit Boy, with some help from Sunny and his video game console, to save the day..

Kirby, Stan. Captain Awesome gets crushed.

Captain Awesome (otherwise known as Eugene McGillicudy) faces his latest challenge–making it through Valentine’s Day at school while trying to find out the identity of his secret admirer.

Kuipers, Alice. Polly Diamond and the magic book.

Polly loves words, writing, and telling stories, so when she finds a fancy book on her doorstep labeled “Special Delivery from the Writing and Spelling Department for Polly Diamond” she is thrilled; and when she finds that anything she writes in it actually happens she is really excited–but Polly soon realizes that she has to be very careful what she writes because that kind of power can be dangerous.

Lê, Minh. Drawn together.

A boy and his grandfather cross a language and cultural barrier using their shared love of art, storytelling, and fantasy.

Luciani, Brigitte. Mr. Badger and Mrs. Fox.

Having lost their home, a fox and her daughter move in with a badger and his three children, but when the youngsters throw a big party hoping to prove that they are incompatible, their plan backfires.

Mass, Wendy. Stealing the sword!

At the flea market nine-and-a-half-year-old Chase and his younger sister Ava acquire an old suitcase filled with rows of carefully packed strange objects, and when they handle one of the objects (a dragon-headed doorknob) they find themselves in King Arthur’s castle, on a mission to save the King–and pursued by a strange man whom they first saw at the flea market, who is after their suitcase.

Sell, Chad. The cardboard kingdom.

This graphic novel follows the adventures of a group of neighborhood children who make costumes from cardboard and use their imagination to create adventures with knights, robots, and monsters.

Staake, Bob. The Book of Gold.

Isaac isn’t interested in much, but when a mysterious shopkeeper tells him about a legendary book that holds the answers to every question ever asked, he embarks on a lifelong search for the Book of Gold.

Verde, Susan. I am peace : a book of mindfulness.

A child starts to get carried away with worry and rushing thoughts before taking a breath, steadying, observing thoughts, feeling kindness, feeling thankful, and experiencing the world.

Vere, Ed. How to be a lion.

When Leonard the lion and his friend Marianne, a duck, are confronted by a pack of lion bullies, they find a creative way to stand up for themselves.

Viorst, Judith. Lulu is getting a sister : (Who WANTS her? Who NEEDS her?).

Lulu is sent to Camp Sisterhood to learn how to be a big sister, but she makes it her mission to be the worst sister-in-training in camp history.

Winkler, Henry. You can’t drink a meatball through a straw.

Hank is nothing like his cousin Judith Ann. She’s perfect. He’s not. She’s a great chef. He’s not. When someone drops out of Judith Ann’s cooking competition, Hank has the chance to show her that he can cook as well as she can, if not better. At least he hopes so! Or does he?

Suggested Authors

Katherine Applegate, Betty Birney, Andrea Cheng, Kate DiCamillo, Dan Gutman, Abby Klein, Steve Jenkins, Megan McDonald, Kadir Nelson, Sara Pennypacker, Cynthia Rylant.

Suggested titles for students in Grade 4 & 5

Non-fiction titles

Brown, Dinah. Who is Malala Yousafzai?

Chronicles the life of the young Pakistani student who advocates for women’s rights and education, survived an assassination attempt, and in 2014 became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize-winner in history..

Dorling Kindersley, Inc. What’s weird on Earth.

Geography, history, STEM concepts, sociology, reading, technology, and more come together in this exciting and educational atlas that presents the world’s weirdest facts visually on maps.

McCarthy, Meghan. All that trash : the story of the 1987 Garbage Barge and our problem with stuff.

The true story of a garbage barge that didn’t have a place to dock– and was one of events that led to the recycling movement.

Mosca, Julia Finley. The girl who thought in pictures : the story of Dr. Temple Grandin.

A brief rhyming account of the childhood and work of Temple Grandin, an animal scientist who lives with high-functioning autism.

Motum, Markus. Curiosity : the story of a mars rover.

An illustrated nonfiction book about the search for life on Mars told from the unique perspective of NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity, focusing on its engineering aspects.

Roy, Jennifer. Jars of hope : how one woman helped save 2,500 children during the Holocaust.

Tells Irena Sendler’s story of saving 2,500 children during the Holocaust.

Thimmesh, Catherine, author. Camp Panda : helping cubs return to the wild.

Discusses the groundbreaking efforts in China to reintroduce the giant panda to its native habitat, and how similar techniques can be used to help other endangered species back from the brink of extinction.

Ziter, Rachel. Coding in scratch for beginners : 4D an augmented reading experience.

Provides an introduction to coding in Scratch, including step-by-step instructions that will make Scratch second nature in no time. Includes embedded links for added online instructional videos that can be accessed with the Capstone 4D app or code inside book.

Fiction titles

Arnold, Elana K. Bat and the waiting game.

In this story of friendship and change, Bat, an unforgettable boy on the autism spectrum, struggles when his older sister, Janie, gets a part in the school play and can’t watch him after school.

Beasley, Kate. Lions & liars.

Fifth-grader Frederick is sent to a disciplinary camp where he and his terrifying troop mates have just started forging a friendship when they learn a Category 5 hurricane is headed their way.

Brown, Peter. The wild robot escapes.

After being captured by the Recons and returned to civilization for reprogramming, Roz the robot is sent to Hilltop Farm where she befriends her owner’s family and animals, but pines for her son, Brightbill.

Clements, Andrew. The Losers Club.

Made an example of by a strict principal who forbids reading in classes that require attentive participation, Alec starts a club of one, intending to devote whatever time he can to his favorite books, before he is unexpectedly joined by a crush and an ex-best friend turned bully. By the award-winning author of Frindle.

Cline-Ransome, Lesa. Finding Langston.

Discovering a book of Langston Hughes’ poetry in the library helps Langston cope with the loss of his mother, relocating from Alabama to Chicago as part of the Great Migration, and being bullied.

Curtis, Christopher Paul. The journey of little Charlie.

When his poor sharecropper father is killed in an accident and leaves the family in debt, twelve-year-old Little Charlie agrees to accompany fearsome plantation overseer Cap’n Buck north in pursuit of people who have stolen from him. Cap’n Buck tells Little Charlie that his father’s debt will be cleared when the fugitives are captured, which seems like a good deal until Little Charlie comes face-to-face with the people he is chasing.

Hiranandani, Veera. The night diary.

Shy twelve-year-old Nisha, forced to flee her home with her Hindu family during the 1947 partition of India, tries to find her voice and make sense of the world falling apart around her by writing to her deceased Muslim mother in the pages of her diary.

Hollingsworth, Alyssa. The eleventh trade.

Determined to recover his grandfather’s stolen Afghan musical instrument, a penniless young refugee finds the instrument selling for a high price at a music store and negotiates a series of trades in the hope of collecting enough money to buy it back.

Holm, Jennifer L. The third mushroom.

When thirteen-year-old Ellie’s Grandpa Melvin, a world-renowned scientist in the body of a fourteen-year-old boy, comes for an extended visit, he teaches her that experimenting–and failing–is part of life.

Johnson, Varian. The Parker inheritance.

Spending the summer in Lambert, South Carolina, Candice discovers the letter that sent her grandmother on a treasure hunt, and with her new friend Brandon, sets off to expose the injustice once committed against a local African American family.

Medina, Meg. Merci Suarez changes gears.

Merci Suarez begins the sixth grade and knows things will change, but she did not count on her grandfather acting strangely, not fitting in at her private school, and dealing with Edna Santos’ jealousy. 2019 Newbery Medal winner.

O’Connor, Barbara. Wish.

A story about a girl who, with the help of the dog of her dreams, discovers that family doesn’t always have to be related–they are simply people who love you for who you are.

Thummler, Brenna. Sheets.

Marjorie Glatt feels like a ghost. A practical thirteen-year-old in charge of the family laundry business, her daily routine features unforgiving customers, unbearable P.E. classes, and the fastidious Mr. Saubertuck who is committed to destroying everything she’s worked for.

Varnes, Allison. Property of the rebel librarian.

Twelve-year-old June Harper, shocked when her parents go on a campaign to clear the Dogwood Middle School library of objectionable books, starts a secret banned books library in an empty locker.

Yang, Kelly. Front desk.

Recent immigrants from China and desperate for work and money, ten-year-old Mia Tang’s parents take a job managing a rundown motel in Southern California, even though the owner, Mr. Yao is a nasty skinflint who exploits them; while her mother (who was an engineer in China) does the cleaning, Mia works the front desk and tries to cope with demanding customers and other recent immigrants–not to mention being only one of two Chinese in her fifth grade class, the other being Mr. Yao’s son, Jason.

Kuhlmann, Torben. Edison : the mystery of the missing mouse treasure.

Presents the wordless story of two unlikely mouse friends who build an undersea vessel and travel to the ocean floor to search for a missing treasure, only to discover something even more amazing.

Suggested Authors

Katherine Applegate, Mac Barnett, Sharon Creech, Christopher Paul Curtis, Dan Gutman, Lisa Graff, Haddix, Margaret Peterson, Grace Lin, Wendy Mass, Rick Riordan, Raina Telgemeier.

The district is not responsible for facts or opinions contained on any linked site. Some links and features on this site require the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view. Visit the Adobe website to download the free Acrobat Reader. This website was produced by the Capital Region BOCES Communications Service, Albany, NY. Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.