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Book Lists for Elementary Students & Teachers – The power, elegance, and simplicity of a good book never fails to help one increase their chances of success.
I love to read as do my children. As of 2018, there have been 130 million books published but most people will only ever read 6,000 in their lifetime. So many stories go left unread!
With so many options, how do you know what books you should spend your time reading? My book lists have been vetted by my family and provide you a simple list of the books that you will want to read next.

Reading is Important

No matter your age, reading is essential to your success. Countless research articles have told us time and again that there is nothing better for us than reading.  Yet there has been a steady decline within our culture. The love of reading is fading into a distant memory and is being replaced with technology.

Reading is so important that the National Center for Educational Statistics releases a 384 page document on the latest statistics and results (2015-2016) on The Condition of Education. This coupled with my graduate degree research formulates the basis for many of the claims in this article.

Reading to Your Child

Research has taught us that reading to your child, regardless of age, is the best thing a parent can do to help their child become a successful adult. Science has allowed us to see that reading (and music) have effects on the child while in utero. Many parents read to a child until they can read on their own but the benefits still continue regardless of age.

Students 6-17 Reading

Scholastic Books does an excellent job of breaking down reading habits of students in grades K-12. This is the group that is most like to be found with a book in hand. One has to wonder if the influence of their teachers to read for fun and constantly exposing them to intriguing stories is why this group of people read so much.

Adults Reading

The latest numbers for adults reading were released by the NEA for the year 2015. The Washington Post wrote a great article regarding the decline of reading from 1982 to 2015.  Sadly, only 43% of adults will read a book sometime this year for fun.


Parents Read to Child ( 3-5 yrs.) Daily


Students (6-17 yrs.) reading a book for fun once a month


Adults (18+) reading a book for fun once a year

9 Ways to Build A Reader

A Free Parent Resource Guide to help parents support learning in the upper elementary classroom.

What are the benefits of Reading?

The benefits of reading are the same regardless of your age. One needs to read more than the latest comments on social media or the required documents at work. Research has proven that those who are most successful make time for reading every day.

.01 Improve Vocabulary

The more words you are exposed to, the more articulate and well-spoken you are. You become more confident in your abilities and decisions. This leads to academic and professional success.

.02 Improve Knowledge

We learn in school that books are the keys to knowledge. The hold inside them the answers that we are seeking. Whether reading fiction or non-fiction there is always something new uncover.

.03 Improve Writing Skills

Modeling is one of the most powerful tools we use inside the classroom. Reading provides many different models for how to reach an audience and draw them into the story line. This in turn gives you a bigger toolbox in which to work from when you are writing something.

.04 Improve Analytical Skills

You must use critical thinking skills to determine what is going to happen next, to predict how a character will handle a situation, or search for clues within the lines to solve a mystery. Developing your ability to collect and analyze date leads to improved mathematical capabilities.

.05 Improve Focus & Concentration

At the beginning of each year, teachers work hard to build up stamina for reading. Reading requires one to slow down and stop multi-tasking. Throughout the day, we split our focus in order to accomplish more. We watch television, text on our phones, and talked to our loved one simultaneously.  Through reading, we learn to focus and concentrate on one thing, giving it 100% of our time and attention.  In our fast paced world, this is a skill that one has to learn to develop in order to reach their full potential.

.06 Improve Social-Emotional Skills

When we read, we connect with the characters in our books and learn to empathize with the situation they are in. As reading has decline in our society, we have seen our levels of empathy decline as well. Reading teaches this valuable skill set.

.07 Reduce Stress

You know the old saying “lose yourself in a good book” … one can’t be stressed if they are lost in another realm, solving a mystery, or recounting a long, lost story from history. Reducing your stress level is the #1 thing doctors recommend for improving your overall health.

.08 Mental Stimulation & Memory Improvement

The brain is a muscle that requires exercise. How does one exercise their brain? Through continually challenging themselves intellectually. Reading has been proven to slow the effects of dementia and increase memory function.

.09 Fun & Entertaining

Stop by your local library for an afternoon of free fun and adventure. As a parent, I am always looking for ways to keep them busy without breaking the bank. The library is sure to have something for everyone.

Book Lists

Through out this list you will find my list of 9 books. I am always on the search for the next list of 9 to read. These are books I have read aloud to my students, have used in my classroom, my children have read, or I have read personally. You will never get a recommendation from me unless it has been read by someone in my family.
Book Lists by Age
Different books are suited to different age ranges. I have broken these down based upon my children’s preferences and a lot of research for what is the best books for each age.
Book Lists by Topic
Looking for books on place value, September 11, Thanksgiving, Growth Mindset, or another topic? Check out our archives. We are always adding to our list of book list topics.

Don’t see a topic you need? Contact me. I’ll do the research, read the books, and create a new list of 9 must read books just for you.

Book Lists by the Month

Every month I change out the recommended books to read. These may be the newest available, related to a topic we are studying, an author we like, or perhaps by specific genre. 

Book Lists for Teachers
Part of being a teacher is continuing to improve your skills. Each summer, I create a list of the top 9 professional development reads for summer. These are the books that I will be reading during the summer. Check out my blog for reviews of each book I have finished.

One book will be chosen for our summer book club series. Follow me on social media to vote for your favorite. Voting generally takes place at the end of April. Summer Book Club usually takes place at the beginning of June.