Children reading together on the floor.image shared by toni

Even though a child is learning to read, don’t stop reading to and with them.

Just because a child is reading on his/her own doesn't mean that read-alouds are no longer important.  Fluency and rhythm while reading is greatly improved from listening to adults read.  Choose books a couple of levels above the child's reading level when reading aloud. For example, a 3rd grade reading level would most likely be too difficult for a 1st grade child to read on his/her own but is perfect for an adult to read out loud to the child.

Below are a list of favorite authors, books, and readers for kindergarten to 4th grade children.  Read-alouds for K-2nd and readers for 2nd-4th grade reading levels.

To check the reading level of a book visit the Accelerated Reader Website.  Read ABCJLM suggestions concerning reading with your child.

Print the Must-Read Books for Early Elementary list here.


A to Z Mysteries Series A to Z Mysteries Series -  A mystery for every letter of the alphabet.  3rd Grade Reading Level

Amelia Bedelia Book Series Amelia Bedelia Collection (I Can Read Book 2)Amelia Bedelia Book Series - Everyone's favorite literal-minded housekeeper, Amelia Bedelia, will keep you in stitches as you read about her adventures.  2nd Grade Reading Level

Annie and Snowball Annie and Snowball - Cute books about Annie and her pet bunny, Snowball.  2nd Grade Reading Level

Arthur Arthur - Stories of everyone's favorite aardvark.  2nd Grade Reading Level

Berenstain Bears Berenstain Bears - These classics stories have been enjoyed for many generations.  I prefer the older stories written by Stan and Jan Berenstain over the newer ones and caution the individual books that negatively display Papa Bear as the husband and father.  3rd Grade Reading Level

Biscuit Books Biscuit Books - Very simple stories about a dog named Biscuit.  1st Grade Reading Level

The Boxcar Children Mysteries The Boxcar Children Mysteries - Four siblings find themselves without a place to live until they discover an old boxcar. 3rd-4th Grade Reading Level

Clifford, the Big Red Dog Clifford The Big Red Dog Clifford, the Big Red Dog - Adventures of Clifford, the big red dog.  2nd Grade Reading Level

The Cul-de-Sac Kids The Cul-de-Sac Kids - A children's mystery series by Christian author Beverly Lewis.  2nd Grade Reading Level

Curious George Curious George - Adventures with the fun little monkey and the man in the yellow hat.  2nd-3rd Grade Reading Level

Dinosaur Cove Dinosaur Cove - Two boys find a secret dino world.  3rd-4th Grade Reading Level

Dodsworth Books Dodsworth Books - Bubs found these books at the library.  We have enjoyed learning about different European cities in each book as we follow Dodsworth and Duck through their travels.   2nd Grade Reading Level

Emma Kate Emma Kate - A book about friendship between a little girl and her elephant.  2nd Grade Reading Level

Encyclopedia Brown Encyclopedia Brown - Timeless mysteries perfect for boys.  4th Grade Reading Level

Flat Stanley Flat Stanley - Stanley has to learn how to deal with his new situation after a bulletin-board falls on him and makes him flat.  4th Grade Reading Level

A Friend For Dragon A Friend For Dragon - Author Dav Pilkey has several fun books about Dragon for early elementary aged children.  2nd-3rd grade reading level.

George and Martha George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends Collector's Edition (George & Martha Early Reader)

Henry and Mudge Henry and Mudge - Another popular series by Cynthia Rylant.  Amazon says it best, "Henry doesn't have any brothers or sisters or friends. What he does have is Mudge, a 180-pound dog who is Henry's best friend and protector. The pair share several adventures in this lighthearted and easy-to-read book."  2nd Grade Reading Level.

How Do Dinosaurs How Do Dinosaurs - Fun books explaining how dinosaurs do various activities.  1st Grade Reading Level

A Kiss for Little Bear Little Bear's Visit - A precious bear that you will fall in love with. 2nd Grade Reading Level

Little Critter Little Critter - Delightful books by Mercer Mayer.  1st Grade Reading Level

The Littles The Littles - This timeless classic about a family of tiny people.  3rd Grade Reading Level

Magic Tree House Magic Tree House - Enjoy the trips that Jack and Annie take in the Magic Tree House.  3rd Grade Reading Level

Mercy Watson Mercy Watson - Hilarious stories about a pig, Mercy, who lives with Mr. and Mrs. Watson in their home.  2nd Grade Reading Level

Mr. Putter & Tabby Mr. Putter & Tabby Bake the Cake - Mr. Putter and his cat Tabby enjoy daily adventures.  2nd Grade Reading Level

Poppleton - City pig Poppleton adjusts to life in a small town with his new friends.  2nd Grade Reading Level

The Puppy Place Series The Puppy Place Series - Books for puppy lovers in your home.  4th Grade Reading Level


Many of the books on the below "Book of the Week" lists for the ABCJLM Preschool Curriculum are 1st and 2nd Grade Reading level as well.


Early Reading Series

These books are specifically designed to help children learn to read.

Bob Books Bob Books  are also excellent books for Beginner Readers. We use these with our children. Be sure to read the back cover to get the gist of what the overall story is about. Read some suggestions and print of Bob Book Reading Checklist .

  Fun Tales - This is another Beginner Reading set. Similar to the Bob books, the small books are 8 pages long with very short phonetically-correct words and sentences. Each story is about an animal or group of animals. On the back of the book learn about the real animals. I prefer the Bob Books over this set because this set uses nonsense words which are harder for beginning readers to figure out.

Step-into-Reading Step-into-Reading, Step 1  - Books specifically adapted for the early readers using rhyme and rhythm, picture clues, big type, and easy words.  Many, many books to choose from.

Discover More Ideas


I have not read all of the books written by each of the authors listed above. Please preread the books before sharing the suggested books with your children or students.


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