Lists of Books!

Please note that this page may be slow to load due to graphics- sorry!

I am always searching for just the right book to us with just the right activity.  What I am trying to do on this page is create lists of books that you can use and search for your specific needs.  I did NOT create many (if any) of these book lists, instead these are books I have collected from different website (,, etc).   If YOU have any ideas I would LOVE to hear from you!

Great Books to Start the School Year/ Building a Community

Manners, Respectful Behavior and Accepting Responsibility

Holiday Books

Devices in Literature

Mentor Text for Persuasive Writing

Literature Circles

Read Alouds

Using Pictures Books in the Classroom

Excellent Book Lists by Frank Serafini

Using Books in Math

Professional Reading



Great Books to Start the School Year


These are some books that I *try* to read at the beginning of the school year to build classroom community.  I may NOT read all of these, or just pick and choose.  You can read more about these book selections on the Back to School page.


Click here for a printable version of this list






Manners, Respectful Behavior and Accepting Responsibility

I DID not create this list. I cut and pasted this list from a ProTeacher post.


Printable copy of this list






Holiday Books



Winter/ Christmas


I did not create this list.  I compiled it from suggestions



Click here for a printable copy of this list.







Christmas/ Winter Books

 Click here for a printable list.








Devices in Literature

This is a collection of lists I have found on the internet over time.  It seems like I am always looking for books to illustrate a concept!







Mentor Text for Persuasive Writing


Click here for a printable version of this list.





Literature Circle Books Lists

By Crystal

(This list is intended for fifth grade )

Indicates books in a series


From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Westing Game (very high level)
Something Upstairs by Avi (also works w/ Civil War unit)
 Bunnicula or Howliday Inn by James Howe  (Click here for reading contract for Bunnicula)
Any of the Chet Gecko mysteries (for lower readers)
Who Stole the Wizard of Oz? by Avi (for lower readers)
The Great Gilly Hopkins
Tuck Everlasting
Loser by Jerry Spinelli
Maniac Magee
Because of Winn-Dixie (for lower readers)

My Brother Sam is Dead (Revolutionary War)
Johnny Tremain (Revolutionary War)

The Hobbit (for higher readers...loooong!)
Bridge to Terabithia
Number the Stars

Redwall (higher readers or read-aloud)
My Side of the Mountain

A Single Shard
Harriet the Spy


Literature Circle Books for Fourth Grade

By Mandy

Indicates books in a series


Tales of a  Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

How to Eat Fried Worms by Rockwell

Indian In the Cupboard By Lynn Reid Banks

There's A Boy in the Girl's Bathroom by Louis Sachar

A Taste of Blackberries by  Doris Buchanan Smith

Skinnybones By Barbara Park

Shiloh By Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Read Alouds

This website lists great ideas for read alouds for grades Kindergarten to fifth grade!

Third Grade Read Alouds

(Collected from many different teachers. net postings!).  Please make sure to check with the grade above you to make sure they do not use any of these books instructionally!  I made this mistake once!

Indicates books in a series

Hank Zipper series
  Ramona Quimby, Age 8

Because of Winn Dixie
How to Eat Fried Worms
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Hank the Cowdog series

How to be Cool in 3rd Grade
Little House in the Big Woods
Muggie Maggie
Molly's Pilgrim
Mr. Popper's Penguins
Chocolate Fever

The Witches


Suggestions for Fourth and Fifth Grade

(Collected from many different teachers. net postings!)


Among the Hidden- Highly recommend this one!

Poppy- I always start the year with this one!

Kid in the Red Jacket- great for beginning of year
  Lion, Witch and Wardrobe
Wait Until Helen Comes
Crash- great for the end of the year if your kids are headed
to a middle school
Roald Dahl books
Where the Red Fern Grows

Inkheart- VERY long

Hank the Cowdog
How to Make a Million Bucks in Just Four Days
The Giver
Dear Mr. Henshaw

The Watsons Go to Birmingham
Freak the Mighty
Because of Winn Dixie
All of the Joey Pigza Books--probably a favorite. of my classes
Beauty--an animal tear-jerker
Wings by Bill Brittain--hard to find but awesome!! Strong
female characters
The Westing Game

George Washington's Socks

Go Free or Die - Harriet Tubman story
Tale of Desperaux

I love this book!  Candlewick Press has a FREE teaching guide on how to use this book as a read aloud and it is excellent!  Click here to see it.
La Bamba and Too Many Tamales - Gary Soto short stories
Bud, Not Buddy
Esperanza Rising

Gregor the Overlander



Using Picture Books in the Classroom

I use picture books on a daily basis in my fourth grade classroom.  There are so many wonderful books out there that it is easy to find a tie or a link to literature.  Many of my mini lessons in reading and writing are tied to a book.  Check out some of my reading mini lessons here. 


Here is an excellent list of ideas of how to use literature as a "springboard" for other ideas.


Another great site that matches skills to literature is Effective Teaching Solutions.  The author matches books to reading skills such as Cause and Effect and Context Clues.  Check out this great resource.


Below is a list of how Francie, a contributor to uses picture books.


Using Picture Books in the Classroom

By Francie


    I use these picture books each year in fifth grade with great results:

    How Many Days to America - Eve Bunting (I have the students compare and contrast the Pilgrims Thanksgiving and struggle to this modern day tale)

    Nettie's Trip South by Ann Turner - If you want students to feel how horrible slavery is, this is the book! (The students can write a letter to Nettie, and explain how they respond to her descriptions)

    Another story I use is "Do Not Open" - by Brinton Turkle for predicting. This is a great book to use! A woman isn't afraid of anything, not even a genie. I stop the book right before the students see the horrible illustration of the genie. They have to predict what it looks like, and how the story will end.

    We read for the first time: Luba: The Angel of Bergen-Belsen (Jane Addams Honor Book (Awards)) by Luba
    Tryszynska-Frederick (Translator), Ann Marshall, Michelle Roehm McCann (Illustrator)
     This is a very powerful tale of a woman in a concentration camp that helps starving children, that were left to die in the snow. We use this in our heritage unit.

    We also just read: Coolies.  The Author is Yin  and the illustrator is Chris Soentpiet.  It was very helpful in showing how tough life was for a Chinese immigrant during the building of the transcontinental railroad. Teaches empathy for the immigrant. We tied this in with an Open Court story on a Chinese immigrant (from My Name is America series: The Journal of Wong Ming-Chung: A Chinese Miner, California, 1852 by Laurence Yep - part of our Moving West unit

    Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson- another tale of slavery. We contrast Clara to Harriet Tubman, and compare their lives. My favorite read aloud for Harriet Tubman is Go Free or Die.

    A Bad Case Of Stripes by David Shannon "Camilla Cream loved lima beans..." Great to talk about conformity, learning to be yourself, and love yourself for who you are.

    Tuesday by David Wiesner- Great for teaching writing descriptive sentences about absolutely crazy events.

    Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco- I get choked up, because it is about a teacher who cares, and helps a child learn to read. This is good if you are going to teach about tolerance to others with learning disabilities, and that each student can be reached by a good teacher.

    The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest - Lynne Cherry I was taught this lesson plan from another teacher. I use this story in the first week of school to teach Dr. Sandra Kaplan's depth and complexity icons.  I especially love looking at things with "multiple points of view" - What if your dad worked as a logger, would you still think it is bad to cut down trees? What if he was going to lose his job, how would you feel about the issue then? Even if the teacher does not take that point of view of a logger, it helps the students see there are many sides to questions. They could look at this tale through an economist's perspective, from an environmentalist's perspective. They could develop the "language of the discipline" - words that this story is about: rain forest, animal names, environment, etc. Dr. Kaplan has great ideas,
    worth learning more about her, and attending any lectures she gives at GATE conferences.

    Swamp Angel (Caldecott Honor Book) by Anne Isaacs, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky . Great for teaching Tall Tales. Heroine, rather than a hero.

    Big Quiet House A Yiddish Folktale from Eastern Europe- Great illustrations, good tale. Great for teaching Eastern European heritage By Heather Forest Illustrated by Susan Greenstein. A classic Jewish folktale, retold afresh for a new generation. There once was a man whose house was very small, It was cluttered with things from wall to wall.  With a tiny, cluttered house, giggling children, and a snoring wife, the poor man in this story can't get a good night's sleep. If only, he thinks, I had a big quiet house! He throws off his covers and goes to visit the wise old woman at the edge of the village. Surely she can help him solve his problem. And she does, but not without giving him some very nonsensical advice. “Bring a chicken into your house,” she suggests. And when that doesn't work, she has him add a goat, a horse, a cow, and a sheep. The ending of
    the story proves, as so many ancient folktales do, that quite often, nonsense makes the best sense of all. Susan Greenstein's bold illustrations—white pencil on black surface with watercolor—carry the reader through the warm interiors and peaceful nights of the shtetls of Eastern Europe.

    Who Took My Hairy Toe? by Shutta Crum, Katya Krenina (Illustrator) Great read aloud for Halloween. Appalachian folktale. Stop and make the students predict what will happen next. Read it in your scariest, spookiest voice, "Who took my hairy toe?"

    Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester, Lynn M. Munsinger
     I hesitate to list this one, because if anyone in your classroom speaks with a soft "r", then they might be offended by this book. The hero has a problem saying "r" sound, and it makes for a great story, with the hero becoming quite proud and strong of himself in the end.

    That's Good! That's Bad! (An Owlet Book) by Margery Cuyler, David Catrow
    I haven't used this, but we love this as a family book. This would be a fun project to have the students pair up
    and write their own version of this delightful tale: The boy fell out of the stork's mouth, Oh that's bad, no,
    that's good....

    Verdi. Written by Janell Cannon Read this to make sure your students remember that us old folks are still alive and kicking.


    Below is a variety of quotes I have found on about using picture books in the classroom.

    Surprising Sharks is the best literary nonfiction I have come across in a long, long time. Full of facts, but the delivery is wondrous. Such writing! Great lead, fantastic conclusions and everything in between is great. I can't say enough about this book.  This is a fine model for nonfiction writing that is not dry. All traits. (From Lori)

    Shortcut- Excellent book for inference.  Very clever illustrations (from Ted and Lee Johnson).

    Excellent Book List By Frank Serafini

    I recently went to a conference where Dr. Serafini spoke and he was amazing!  He mentioned his website which has several different kinds of book lists.  For example, books about readers reading, favorite picture books and so on.  I found it very helpful.

    Dr. Serefini's Book List


    Using Books in Math

    Printable Copy of This List



    Professional Reading

    I have stacks and stacks of professional reading between my home and school bookshelves.  Some I have read and enjoyed and others...well, I keep on saying I will get to them some day!  I have a love affair with books!  Here are a few of my absolute FAVORITE books that I reference often.









    Click here to send Mandy an email!

    Click here to go home!

All Graphics are Copyright of