School is just a few weeks away, but that doesn’t mean kids should stop reading books for the summer! Here are some suggestions for a back to school reading list from HLS teachers to keep your kid’s mind sharp and ready for the return to the classroom.
Preschool and kindergarten — Mrs. Montoya
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
It all begins with a boy giving a mouse a cookie, and it ends with a charmed reader knowing exactly what will happen next in this circular story. It’s the first of Laura Numeroff and illustrator Felicia Bond’s collaborative If You Give… series, and it’s perfect for reading aloud or sounding out simple words. You can’t miss this classic book!
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect—until her first day of school. “You’re named after a flower!” teases Victoria. “Let’s smell her,” says Jo. Chrysanthemum wilts. What will it take to make her blossom again?
Young readers will love this fun book about teasing, self-esteem, and acceptance. Kids and parents alike will appreciate the beautiful illustrations along with the clever writing of this book by author and illustrator Kevin Henkes.
Grades 1-2 — Miss Pope
Magic School Bus series by Joanna Cole
Kids will get excited to go back to school when they read about the zaniest teacher ever! Kids will love reading about the adventurous field trips Ms. Frizzle takes her class on, from inside the human body to a beehive to outer space, and they’ll learn a thing or two about science as they read. Perfect for reading out loud or reading solo, these books will keep your young reader asking for more books in this series. And once readers graduate from the classic picture books, they can read the Magic School Bus chapter books.
Grades 3-4 — Mrs. Bankson
Horrible Harry Goes to Sea by Suzy Kline
Your child will love tagging along with third grader Harry and his many misadventures in Miss Mackle’s class in the Horrible Harry book series. Harry and his classmates get into all kinds of adventures involving green slime, dungeons, and riverboat rides. Join Harry and the class in books like Horrible Harry Goes to Sea as they ride a riverboat to experience what their ancestors experienced when traveling from Europe to America.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
There’s a good chance your child has seen the movie of the same name, but have he read the book it’s based on? Readers will relish the original story of a town blessed—and then cursed—by a town’s weird weather patterns that deposit food instead of rain and snow. Kids might even pick up some new food vocabulary as they read!
Grades 3-4 Challenge Books
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
Your ambitious reader will love the break from the heat that this novel set in Alaska provides. Join Julie, an Eskimo girl lost on the Alaskan tundra, as she makes friends with a pack of wolves to survive. Fans of other survival stories, like My Side of the Mountain, Hatchet, or Island of the Blue Dolphins, will adore this story of a girl who fights to survive.
“Life in the wilderness is a struggle, but when she finds her way back to civilization, Miyax is torn between her old and new lives. Is she Miyax of the Eskimos—or Julie of the wolves?” ~ HarperCollins
Grades 5-6 — Mrs. Carnoali
Gold Dust by Chris Lynch
Rookies Fred Lynn and Jim Rice (the Gold Dust twins) join the Red Sox in 1975. Seventh grader Richard longs to be like them. He becomes friends with Dominican immigrant Napoleon Charlie Ellis and they become partners destined for baseball greatness.
“Baseball fans will not be disappointed; Lynch’s acute understanding of the way a person’s passion colors his view of the world results in a credible, sympathetic protagonist, and the novel’s denouement is as honest as it is heartbreaking.” ~ Publishers Weekly
My Secret Guide to Paris by Lisa Schroeder
“From the author of the Charmed Life and It’s Raining Cupcakes series comes a novel of family, friends, and a Paris adventure that readers will never forget! Nora loves everything about Paris, from the Eiffel Tower to chocolat chaud. Of course, she’s never actually been there—she’s only visited through her Grandma Sylvia’s stories. And just when they’ve finally planned a trip together, Grandma Sylvia is suddenly gone, taking Nora’s dreams with her. Nora is crushed. She misses her grandmother terribly, but she still wants to see the city they both loved.” ~ Scholastic