First Grade Summer Reading Lists Program

Reading Comprehension Theme Reading Comprehension Worksheets

In first grade, children will begin putting together the letter sounds that they learned in kindergarten. A balance between picture books and early readers is a great way to give them a good foundation for reading. When using early readers, point to each word as you say it. This will help the child begin to recognize the process of reading. Once they understand that each printed word is a spoken word, introduce audiobooks for variety. Use the corresponding book so that the child can point to the words as they are being read.

Make a Summer Reading Poster and allow the child to draw pictures of books or of him or herself reading on it. For each book read, the child can add a sticker to the poster. At the end of the summer, count the stickers and celebrate by re-reading the books that were favorites.

Weslandia by Paul Fleischman (Must Read)

Wesley chooses to spend his summer making his own world: Weslandia, instead of following what the rest of the kids are doing. He grows new plants, creates a new way of telling time, a new alphabet, and even a new counting system. When the other kids become curious, Wes allows them into his new world and finds that he has lots of new friends.


Art Dog by Thacher Hurd

Arthur Dog works at the Dogopolis Museum of Art. During the full moon, he becomes Art Dog and paints the city with his masterpieces. Meanwhile, an art thief is trying to steal the Mona Woofa and Arthur finds himself in the middle of the heist. Adults and children will enjoy looking at the artwork in this book and comparing the dog versions to the real masterpieces of Picasso, Matisse, and more.


Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm by Jerdine Nolen

Harvey Potter has an unusual farm. He grows balloons of all shapes and sizes with colors that have fantastical names like "Orange-Ray Sun" and "Jelly-Bean Black". One young girl is intrigued with Harvey Potter's crops and watches him by the light of a full moon, ultimately finding some magic she can use.


A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon

Camilla Cream has a problem. As the class recites the Pledge of Allegiance, she turns red white and blue with stars! She gets sent home from school and her troubles just get worse. Her appearance changes with every suggestion. She can only be cured by admitting her secret love for lima beans and embracing her individuality.


Little Bear (An I Can Read Book) by Else Holmelund Minarik (Must Read)

This is the first of the Little Bear series, and a fantastic easy reader. The gently loving stories are about friendship and family. They are simple and engaging. Children will enjoy reading about his adventures.


Whales and Dolphins (Hello Reader - Science - level 1) by Connie Roop

If nonfiction has not already become a staple of a first grader's literary diet, this is a good place to start. The Hello Reader books have one sentence per page with dynamic illustrations. This particular book teaches children some facts about whales and dolphins.


The Ugly Duckling: Level 1 (Easy-to-Read, Puffin) by Harriet Ziefert

This retelling of the classic story is told in simple sentences for early readers. Also a good book for discussion and comprehension, The Ugly Duckling provides an opportunity to talk about judging others by appearances.


The Three Little Pigs: Level 2 (Easy-to-Read, Puffin) by Harriet Ziefert

This is a very simple of version of another classic story. Houses of straw and sticks don't keep the wolf away from these little pigs... This is a very good beginner book and sets the stage for the next recommendation on the list.


The True Story of The Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith

Once first graders are familiar with the story of the three little pigs, they might get a giggle out of hearing the wolf's side of the story. It was, apparently, all a misunderstanding. The wolf simply needed an ingredient to finish a recipe. He didn't huff and puff on purpose! He had a cold that caused him sneeze gigantic sneezes!


Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Max puts on his wolf suit and gets sent to bed without his supper. Luckily, he manages to continue on his wild adventure through the forest in his room. Kids and adults will love this imaginative tale.


Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

How much fun can Harold have with his purple crayon? With his imagination, he can draw any adventure he chooses!


Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh

When three white mice with a white sheet of paper find jars of red, blue, and yellow paint, they have fun climbing in and mixing colors.