Children benefit from reading in many ways. It strengthens their brains while also helping them build their imagination, their vocabulary, and their knowledge about the world. It can be a challenge to get children to read. That’s why it’s so important to introduce young children to books that are entertaining and attention-grabbing. Fortunately, there are a large number of books that meet that criteria and are well-loved by young readers.
The following is a list of books that are popular with kids between kindergarten and 4th grade.
Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary – Beezus and Ramona is the first book of the Ramona Quimby series. Told from older sister Beezus’ point of view, this book tells the story of Beezus and her frustrating relationship with her annoyingly rambunctious little sister Ramona. Published in 1955, it’s suitable for young readers 7 years or older in the 2nd grade or higher.
Come On, Rain Come On, Rain by Karen Hesse – In this beautifully illustrated book, a young girl named Tess wishes for rain during a heatwave. When she spots rain clouds, she eagerly anticipates a summer rainstorm. Children from kindergarten to 3rd grade enjoy this book and its celebration of rain.
Dude, Where’s My Spaceship? by Dan Greenburg – Published in 2006, Dude Where’s My Spaceship? follows alien siblings Klato, Ploo, and Lek who’ve crash landed in the Nevada desert. When Ploo is captured and taken to a military base, her brothers must find a way to steal her back. This is the first of the author’s Weird Planet series and is suited for young readers in the 2nd grade or higher between the ages of 7 and 10 years old.
Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes by Jane O’Connor – This Fancy Nancy story is a Level 1 I Can Read book. Young readers follow Nancy as she tries to remember all of the details of making cupcakes for her school’s bake sale. The book includes a glossary of words to help young readers who are between 4 and 8 years old.
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl – Lonely James lives with his two wretched aunts until he accidentally and magically grows a giant peach. Through the peach, James meets fantastical new friends and embarks on an adventure. Published in 1961, this book is still a favorite of kids who are in the 4th to 6th grade.
Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook by Michael Garland – Storybook characters come to life in this fun story about a 2nd grader whose teacher has a magical storybook. Every time Miss Smith reads from her book, the characters fill the classroom until the story is done. When Zack’s teacher is late, everything gets wildly out of control. Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook is a favorite of kids in the 3rd grade up to the 5th grade.
Painted Dreams by Karen Lynn Williams – Painted Dreams tells the story of a young Haitian girl who dreams of becoming an artist. Despite not having the tools to paint, Ti Marie the protagonist finds unconventional ways to create her art. The book is a favorite of children 5 years old or older in kindergarten or higher.
The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling – John Midas loves chocolate, but he doesn’t like to share. When his touch starts turning everything into chocolate he discovers that it’s actually possible to have too much of a good thing! This book is suitable for kids who are in the 3rd to 6th grade.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate –This is the story of Ivan, a gorilla who lives on display at a mall. A dog and an elderly elephant are his friends. He loves art and he’s content in the only life he’s ever known. He doesn’t realize what he’s missing until the arrival of a young elephant. The One and Only Ivan is based on a true story about a gorilla named Ivan that was also kept on display in a mall from the time he was captured as an infant. It is a popular book for readers who are in the 3rd grade or higher.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak – Where the Wild Things Are is a classic children’s book that’s still loved today. This colorful picture book tells the story of a little boy named Max who behaves like a wild thing and is sent to bed with no supper. In his room, his vivid imagination takes him to the land of the “wild things.” It is a book favored by younger readers such as those in kindergarten through 2nd grade.