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I went on the internet today to find a list of "must read" children's chapter books but to my disappointment no such list exist. I am a future teacher; this list would be used for recommending different books to my students. I will kick off the list
Charlotte's Web- E.B White
Mr. Popper's Penguins- Richard Atwater
Mouse and the Motorcycle- Beverly Cleary
There is a series of books called What Every (fill in your grade level here) Grader Should Know. These books all give great lists of grade level your child or students should have read by the end of that particular school year. Our library used to print out these lists and make them available for parents. This might be a good place to start if you're looking to begin a classroom library.
Welcome to teaching. :-)
These sites should help...
I taught 3-5 for the last seven years and now teach 4th grade traditional. Chapter books I used or that the kids really enjoyed were:
Roald Dahl's books (The BFG is my favorite);
Hank the Cowdog series by Erickson,
Judy Moody books,
Monsterous Memoirs of a Mighty McFearless (awesome read-aloud written by Frank Zappa's son, Ahmet!),
the Harry Potter series,
Series of Unfortunate Events (kids liked them, I didn't),
Little Wolf series (Whybrow - for younger kids, but the older kids get a kick out of it, also. Great for teaching written communication skills),
Margret Haddix Shadow Children books - great for teaching all types of concepts in science and social studies,
Lloyd Alexander's - Chronicles of Prydain series, (kids who are into gaming with a medival touch, really like these)
the American Girl series,
Kate Dicamillo's books - Because of Winn Dixie, Tales of Desperaux,
Last Edited on: 8/4/09 6:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
A copy of Jim Trelease's Read-Aloud Handbook will come in very handy. Lists great books by age/ interest level and gives a synopsis. Also look into Kathleen Odean's books. Great books for Girls and Great Books for Boys.
I don't know what state you live in ...but ...Florida has Sunshine State Readers. This is a list the state public school librarians and teachers put out every year of excellent kids literature published the previous year. They have 2 categories K-2 and 3-5 (they probably have a middle and high school list too! I've just never checked.) If interested : http://myssyra.org/ I put the books on my wish list as soon as the list comes out and I am usually able to aquire about half before school starts! (Our school offers incentives for reading books from this list.)
I would be willing to guess that other state's have a similar program.
Missouri has a book award program for every level of readers. The Show-Me Readers program offers 10 of the best picture books for 1st-3rd grade readers each year. The Mark Twain Award Program offers 20 of the best novels for 4th-8th grade readers each year. The children of Missouri are the only ones allowed to vote for their favorites books. (no teachers, parents, etc.) Google these award programs for the lists of current books, plus past winners.
Missouri also has a Building Block Award Program for pre-school-K readers and the Gateway Readers for high school.
Check us out!
This is a great question, and would be fun to see what the PBS club "voted" as best for all sorts of genres. I will also add my two bits as an elementary school librarian:
Andrew Clements (especially for 4th - 7th grade) Frindle, Lost and Found, The Janitor's Boy, The School Story, Extra Credit ---his latest)
Kate DiCamilo (a Newbery winner --- twice! --- with Because of Winn-Dixie and Tale of Despereaux) and my favorite book of all time, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. I read it aloud to 4th graders for the past 2 years, and I have cried at the end each time, for a total of 8 times.
Younger children: grab the first Margaret Wise Brown book that you find, and you won't go wrong. In case you can't remember, she wrote Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, and about 106 books (some repeat titles) that are currently posted here on PBS (but there are at least 475 total with her name on them).
Older children: include Anne of Green Gables, Black Beauty, Black Stallion, Chronicles of Narnia . . . well, I could go on and on. I currently have 12,000 "favorites" in our school library. The American Library Association has a listing for every age group, and usually the New York Times can be counted on to express an opinion or two regarding books (tongue in cheek!), although I may quarrel with some choices.
PM me if you need more help!
I have to agree with you about The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. It is a marvelous book, and great as a read aloud. I read it to my third grade class every year. (I'm over half-way through this year already; we've been in session since august 5th). You can hear a pin drop; boys and girls love it equally. The kids so get the message. As a bonus, it helps kids understand theme, as well.