Good Reads lists are titles handpicked by librarians at Central Rappahannock Regional Library because of their quality and appeal to readers. Good Reads lists include nonfiction and fiction titles across all genres. The list for each grade has 20-30 titles geared for that age range, though students often select from other grade-level lists, depending on their reading levels and interests. This column will highlight a few titles from each of the elementary school lists, but complete lists for each grade can be found at https://www.librarypoint.org/good-reads/ .
Good Reads for Kindergarten and First Grade
Brave Enough for Two, opens a new window by Jonathan D. Voss
Hoot and Olive are best friends and do everything together. When they go on adventures and Olive gets nervous, Hoot reassures her and keeps her safe. On one adventure, when the tables are turned and Hoot needs help, Olive takes the lead and finds she is strong enough and brave enough to take care of Hoot, just like he takes care of her.
A Skunk in My Bunk!, opens a new window by Christopher Cerf
This beginning reader book is modeled after Dr. Seuss’ books for young children, with rhyming and frequent repetition of words to encourage independent reading. The multiple humorous vignettes written in a bouncing rhythm will surely lead children to read over and over again about the silly goats wearing coats and pigs in wigs.
Good Reads for First and Second Grade
The Awesome Impossible Unstoppable Gadget, opens a new window by Kevin Kelly & Rebecca Kelly
At Camp C.R.E.A.T.E., one camper comes up with an idea so great that all the other campers stop their own projects to work on his. All except the narrator, who is determined to come up with her own invention.
The Hen Who Sailed Around the World, opens a new window by Guirec Soudée
At age 24, author Guirec Soudée became the youngest person to cross the Northwest Passage alone. As this book tells us, though, he was not completely alone. He was accompanied on this long journey by Monique, a red hen. Soudée’s photographs capture Monique’s personality and adventures, putting her front and center on this remarkable journey.
Good Reads for Third Grade
Dragons in a Bag, opens a new window by Zetta Elliott
When Jax meets “Ma,” he doesn’t know what to think of her. When he finds out she is a witch and has three baby dragons that she needs to deliver to their home in a parallel realm, Jax really doesn’t know what to think. He does know he wants to join her, though!
Space Kids: An Introduction For Young Explorers, opens a new window by Steve Parker
A great introduction to space, with entry-level explanations about stars, planets, and gravity and descriptions of how astronauts live and work in space. The retro-styled illustrations give context and help young readers understand the scientific explanations.
Good Reads for Fourth Grade
Pie in the Sky, opens a new window by Remy Lai
Jingwen and his little brother Yanghao are navigating a new life in Australia: trying to fit in, trying to learn English, and trying to just get along after their father’s death. Though the difficulties are real, Pie in the Sky also shows the hilarious bickering between the two brothers, bringing levity to this engaging story.
The Sinking of the Vasa, opens a new window by Russell Freedman
In 1628, the massive wooden warship Vasa was built in Sweden and was intended to terrify Sweden’s enemies and strike awe into everyone. When launched, the Vasa was almost immediately sunk by wind gusts, and it remained underwater until a 20th-century salvage operation brought it up from the bottom of the harbor. The art in this book vividly depicts the salvage operation, showing the work of the people involved, as well as the sea life surrounding the sunken ship.
Good Reads for Fifth Grade
Roll With It, opens a new window by Jamie Sumner
Moving from Nashville to a small town in Oklahoma would be difficult for most 12-year-olds, but it’s especially hard for Ellie, who has cerebral palsy and is wheelchair bound. Determined not to be known simply as the kid with cerebral palsy or the kid in the wheelchair, Ellie focuses on making friends and facing challenges head on.
Strike Zone, opens a new window by Mike Lupica
Nick Garcia is the star of his championship-bound Little League baseball team and dreams of meeting his hero, Yankees pitcher Michael Arroyo. Amid all the excitement of baseball, though, Nick has a hard time keeping focused on the game because of struggles with his family.
Darcie Caswell is the Youth Services Coordinator at CRRL. This column originally appeared in The Free Lance-Star newspaper.