Summer Reading for Lower School

Welcome to summer reading! These days, summer vacation is often a time filled with camps, activities and travel. However, we encourage families to make time for reading every day. Research has shown several things: 1) Academic achievement can almost always be correlated with the amount of time students spend reading; 2) children become readers in households where they observe reading habits modeled by their parents; 3) to develop fluency and comprehension, students benefit from some reading at a comfort level and some at a developmentally appropriate challenge level. Additionally, it is important to recognize that non-fiction reading (biographies, historical books, science books, magazines, etc.) requires a different skill set when reading, and it is important that students practice non-fiction as well as fiction. Exposing children to a variety of reading materials is the best bet for getting them “hooked on reading.”

In addition to independent reading, reading aloud has well-documented benefits for children of all ages. Reading to children instills a love of books and reading, models fluent reading and inflection, aids comprehension and understanding of story patterns, and develops vocabulary. Because listening levels exceed children's reading levels, particularly in the primary grades, books for reading aloud may be at students' developmental reading levels or above. Finally, reading aloud is an excellent shared experience for families. It forces us to slow down—at least for a few minutes in our busy schedules—and it creates opportunities for excellent discussions between parents and children.

As in prior years, our teachers have developed lists of suggested books and authors for your summer reading enjoyment. Many families ask, "How much should we be reading?" Rather than making recommendations, we reply, "As much as possible, as long as your child is enjoying it!" Realistically, students should be involved in reading for at least 20 minutes each day. Beyond that, the more the merrier!

Suggested summer reading at each grade level:


This Reading List is a compilation of books that are recommended for fun summer reading.

Monster and the Baby, Virginia Mueller

The Pigeon Finds a Hotdog, Mo Williams

The Mystery of the Missing Tooth, Williams Hooks

Will you be my Friend? Nancy Tafuri

If you give a Pig a Pancake, Laura Numeroff

Where’s Spot?  Eric Hill

Guess How Much I Love You, Sam McBratney and Garth Williams

Go Dog Go, P.D. Eastman

The Little Red Hen, Byron Barton

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Laura Joffe Numeroff and Felicia Bond

Mouse Count, Ellen Stoll Walsh

Freight Train, Donald Crews

The Snowman, Raymond Briggs

Time for Bed, Mem Fox

Owl Babies, Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson

Corduroy, Don Freeman

A House is a House for Me, Mary Ann Hoberman and Betty Fraser

Color Zoo, Lois Ehlert

The Snowy Day,  Ezra Keats

Bedtime for Frances, Russell Hoban

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Bill Martin, Jr

Clifford, Norman Bridwell

Curious George, H.A. Rey and Margaret Rey

The Carrot Seed, Ruth Krauss

Runaway Bunny, Margaret Wise Brown


The Oakwood kindergarten reading curriculum focuses on reading readiness skills as well as promoting a love for reading and books. We want to make reading an enjoyable experience! Summer reading should be fun. At this age, reading aloud to children is probably the best way to help them develop an enjoyment of reading. We encourage you to read books you and your child can enjoy together.  The following is a suggested list, but please let your child’s interests be your guide to selecting reading materials!

Allison's Zinnia, Anita Lobel

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do you See? Bill Martin, Jr.

I Do Not want To Get Up Today, Dr. Seuss

If You Give a Moose a Muffin, Laura Numeroff

Madeline, Ludwig Bemelmans

The Enormous Crocodile, Roald Dahl

Good Night Moon, Margaret Wise Brown

The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash, Trinka Hakes Noble

The Mitten, Jan Brett

Mother Goose Rhymes

Nana Upstairs, Nana Downstairs, Tomie dePaola

The Napping House, Audrey Wood

The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle

Is Your Mama a Llama? Deborah Guarino

The Jolly Postman and Other People's Letters, Janet and Allan Ahlberg

First Grade

Learning to read is the focus of our first grade classes at Oakwood. We work hard to make sure that this is an enjoyable experience. We do not intend for summer reading to be a pressured activity-it should be fun! At this age, continued reading aloud with children is encouraged as well as listening to children practice their beginning reading skills with books on their level.

The Hello Goodbye Window, Norton Juster

Is Your Mama a Llama? Deborah Guarino

Diary of a Spider, Doreen Cronin

Diary of a Worm, Doreen Cronin

Bread and Jam for Frances, Russell Hoban

A Tree is Nice, Janice May Udry

Make Way for Ducklings, Robert McCloskey

Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas, Cynthia Rylant

The Story of Ruby Bridges, Robert Coles

A Fine, Fine School, Sharon Creech

Wild About Books, Judy Sierra

Splish Splash, Joan Bransfield Graham

I, Crocodile, Fred Marcellino

Pigs in the Mud, Lynn Plourde

The Napping House, Don and Audrey Wood

The New Adventures of Mother Goose, Bruce Lansky

The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats

The Three Little Javelinas, Susan Lowell

26 Letters and 99 Cents, Tana Hoban

Second Grade

At this age, reading aloud with children is still an excellent way to help them develop an enjoyment of reading. We also encourage as much independent reading as possible, taking each individual student's reading level into account. We do not intend for summer reading to be a pressured activity-it should be fun!

Amazing Grace, Mary Hoffman

Lilly’s Purple, Plastic Purse, Kevin Henkes

The Call Me Woolly: What Animal Names Can Tell Us, Keith DuQuette

Lizards for Lunch:  A Roadrunner’s Tale, Conrad Storad

What Makes Day and Night, Franklin Branley

The Clubhouse, Anastasia Suen

Frog and Toad are Friends, Arnold Lobel

The Germ Busters, Rosemary Wells

Get Ready for Second Grade, Amber Brown, Paula Danzinger

Mr. Putter and Tabby Catch the Cold, Cynthia Ryland

Second Grade Ape, Daniel Pinkwater

The Bug Scientist, Donna M. Jackson

Oma’s Quilt, Paulette Bourgeois

Caves, Larry Dane Brimner

Girls A to Z, Eve Bunting

You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You: Very Short Stories to Read Together, Mary Ann Hoberman

Pinky and Rex and the Just-Right Pet, James Howe

Blueberries for Sal, Robert McCloskey

Three Stories You Can Read to Your Dog, Sara Swan Miller

Eaglet’s World, Evelyn Minshull

Albert, Donna Jo Napoli

Amelia Bedelia, Peggy Parish

Amazing Snakes, Alexandra Parsons

Henry and Mudge and The Tall Tree House, Cynthia Rylant

Animals Nobody Loves, Seymour Simon

The First Thing My Mama Told Me, Susan Marie Swanson

Mimicry and Camouflage, Mary Hoff

David Gets in Trouble, David Shannon

 If the World Were a Village: A Book About the World’s People, David J. Smith

Plantzilla, Jerdine Nolen

Under the Quilt of Night, Deborah Hopkinson

Math Man, Teri Daniels

Rufferella, Vanessa Gill-Brown and Mandy Stanley

Sidney Won’t Swim, Hilde Schuurmans

One Tiny Turtle, Nicola Davies

The Other Side, Jacqueline Woodson

Mr. Lincoln’s Way, Patricia Polacco

Early Chapter Books

Magic Tree House series, Pope Osborne

Nate the Great series, Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

Cam Jansen series, David A. Adler

Henry and Mudge series, Cynthia Rylant

Third Grade

The suggestions on this page are for students entering third grade in the fall. At this age, reading aloud with children is still an excellent way to help them develop an enjoyment of reading. We also encourage as much independent reading as possible, taking each individual student's reading level into account. We do not intend for summer reading to be a pressured activity. It should be fun! Some suggested reading materials include:

Novels and Picture Books

Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Richard and Florence Atwater

Cool Zone with the Pain and the Great One, Judy Blume

Doublefudge, Judy Blume

Frecklejuice, Judy Blume

Fudge-a-Mania, Judy Blume

Superfudge, Judy Blume

Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Beverly Cleary

Ramona, The Pest, Beverly Cleary

Ramona Forever, Beverly Cleary

Frindle, Andrew Clements

The Last Holiday Concert, Andrew Clements

Lunch Money, Andrew Clements

How to Be a Pirate, Cressida Cowell

How to Cheat a Dragon's Curse, Cressida Cowell

How to Speak Dragonese, Cressida Cowell

How to Train Your Dragon, Cressida Cowell

Diary of a Fly, Doreen Cronin

Diary of a Spider, Doreen Cronin

Diary of a Worm, Doreen Cronin

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, Roald Dahl

James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl

Matilda, Roald Dahl

The Twits, Roald Dahl

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Kate DiCamillo

The Tale of Despereaux, Kate DiCamillo

Class Clown, Johanna Hurwitz

Griffin's Castle, Jenny Nimmo

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, Robert C. O'Brien

Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, John Steptoe

Jumanji, Chris Van Allsburg

The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, Chris Van Allsburg

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, Chris Van Allsburg

The Stranger, Chris Van Allsburg

The Sweetest Fig, Chris Van Allsburg

Zathura, Chris Van Allsburg

A Dog Called Kitty, Bill Wallace

The Legend of Thunderfoot, Bill Wallace

Red Dog, Bill Wallace

Lon PoPo:  A Red Riding Hood Story From China, Ed Young