Parents - 1st To 3rd Grade

Before starting, I want to mention the E.D.Hirsch books. What Your Child Should Know in the __ Grade.  E.D.Hirsch is the eminent American Cultural Historian. I first bought these books for my children so that they could be sure that my grandchildren were getting a proper curriculum in school. By the 3rd grade, my granddaughter was reading them  herself. They are great! Now on with the subject of individual reading.

Please treat the grade level designations loosely. They are only points of reference. Which reminds me. All those reading level designations on books are usually incorrect.  I recommend the following procedure:

  1. Let your child give the selected book a try. You will be able to tell within 5 words whether or not the child is comfortable with the book. It is important that independent reading be pleasant to do.
  2. If the book seems too difficult, just say – we’ll try that book again in a few months. Remember, your child is constantly expanding his/her vocabulary on a daily basis. So his/her  reading level is constantly improving.
  3. In the early years, there is a huge difference between read-to books and read-by-myself books. Since I am a big believer in do-it-yourself, always encourage your child to read independently. Reading aloud is great. As the child progresses to the 3rd grade level, be sure to let him/her read to you as well.
  4. There are hundreds of wonderful children’s books. These recommendations are only a starting point for you.

For starting  readers, my favorite recommendation is: The Cat is Back at Bat. I also recommend:
       Mice Twice by Joseph Low.
Wynken Blynken and Nod by Eugene Field 
I See the Moon and the Moon Sees Me by Jonathan London
Poems of Childhood by Joan Anglund

In general, poetry is marvelous for early readers. Not blank verse, but real rhyming poetry. It has rhythm and the rhyming enables the early  reader to pick up lots of new words..

Detective stories are wonderful because the reader's  mind has to work with the writer's mind. There are detectives for every reading level. The following are some recommendations that we have found to be of excellent quality and popular with the readers:

First Grade:
 Nate the Great detective
series. Then there's Henry & Mudge; Poppleton; Amelia Bedelia. Ruth Heller has created an excellent series on the parts of speech: Up Up and Away (adverbs); Many Luscious Lollipops (adjectives); Merry-Go-Round (nouns); Kites Sail High (verbs); Behind the Mask (prepositions); Cache of Jewels (group nouns). She is constantly adding to the list. They are a beautiful introduction to grammar, letting gorgeous pictures tell the story.  

Second Grade:
Cam Jansen; Zack Files; A to Z Mysteries.
All these series are lengthy and good fun. The Amber Brown series is excellent, but anything by Paula Danziger is excellent. She has a great sense of humor. Yes! Goosebumps are great 2nd grade reading. The scariest thing about them is the covers. Lots of creaky floors and squeaky doors. 

Third Grade:
Here, the list expands enormously in all categories. For detective stories, we recommend the Usborne puzzle adventure series. These are detective stories in which the reader helps to solve the mystery.  Roald Dahl's books are marvelously hilarious. Among others he wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Matilda; James and the Giant Peach; Henry Sugar; and much more. They are for 9 and up and up. 

If you enjoy reading to the children at these ages, we recommend Shel Silverstein, Aesop's Fables, and Just So Stories, among others.  

That's all for now. Yes! We stock all the books we recommend.  Please don't hesitate to e-mail requests or inquiries about other books. We ship everywhere.  

We would be delighted to hear from you with suggestions, questions or comments. Our e-mail address is: We look forward to your correspondence.



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