The event traces its origins to the early 2000’s. And, although it’s exact source is unknown, it was undoubtedly a dedicated librarian, encouraging youngsters to read a book (or two!).
Although it’s not compulsory to read a whole book today, it’s a great day to get started on the book that has been gathering dust on the bookcase or shelf that you’ve been hoping to get to… someday. It’s also a perfect opportunity to share a book that you love with your kids, donate books to a local library or organization, or just read aloud to someone who needs a bit of inspiration.
And don’t forget, e-books count! The main goal of National Read a Book Day is to encourage reading, by people of all ages, and especially children.
Does your child “hate to read?” Maybe he hasn’t found the right book, yet. Here’s a list of fabulous suggestions from teacher and author Christine Weis from For the Love of Teachers.
Early Reader Favorites
Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osbourne
An excellent combination of fiction and fantasy based on two characters that use their ‘Magic Tree House’ to go on adventures in amazing places while using clues to solve mysteries. These books are easy to read aloud and are easy to listen to. These books have short chapters and some illustrations at just the right parts. My son and I love the assortment of titles and topics to read both for enjoyment and for learning. I particularly like the Fact Tracker books in this series too. When teaching my third graders a unit of study on Ancient Rome, I used the nonfiction companion Ancient Rome and Pompeii: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House 13: Vacation Under the Volcano book to teach about Roman culture, Roman architecture, Roman lifestyle and clothing, military and more. These books get kids learning and they get hooked on the content.
Geronimo Stilton Series by Elisabetta Dami
Geronimo Stilton is about a mouse that works as a journalist and editor for the fictional newspaper, The Rodent’s Gazette. These books are filled with vibrant colors and big, bold letters that really attract young readers. The kids really seem to love reading these books just because of that, plus the stories are really good!
Middle & Upper Elementary School Must-Reads
The following books all focus on the theme of building relationships and friendships, which is especially important for building classroom community. I always start the year off with reading these books in my classroom and then within small student groups, but if your students didn’t already read these books, then encourage them to read them over the summer or better yet, encourage them to read them again! Adults will even enjoy reading these books and should be encouraged to read along with their child.
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
This timeless classic story of friendship between a spider and a pig is a must read for all children. I love to read this book aloud to first and second graders but this is a must read for fluent, independent readers. This book could be read over and over again.
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
A story about a bond between a girl and her dog brings together the people in a small Florida town and heals her own troubled relationship with her father. This is a great story to analyze relationships between characters. Summer movie night? Comparing the book to the movie is a great extension. The movie is fantastic too!
A Dog’s Way Home by Bobbie Pyron
A Dog’s Way Home is an unforgettable tale of the many miles, months, and mountains that divide two loyal friends—but that can’t possibly keep them apart. An emotional read!
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Tear jerker alert!! This story is about two fast friends, Leslie and Jess, who spend most days in the woods behind Leslie’s house, where they invent an enchanted land called Terabithia. One morning, Leslie goes to Terabithia without Jess and a tragedy occurs. It will take the love of his family and the strength that Leslie has given him for Jess to be able to deal with his grief.
The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo
Another best seller by Kate DiCamillo about two characters who learn to trust each other, and ultimately become friends, Rob and Sistine prove that some things—like memories, and heartache, and tigers—can’t be locked up forever. This books explores some deep underlying themes and emotions.
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Marty will do anything to save his new friend Shiloh, a young beagle in the hills behind his home. Shiloh belongs to Judd Travers, someone who abuses his dogs. So when Shiloh runs away from Judd to Marty, Marty just has to hide him and protect him from Judd and tries to keep this secret from his family, and most of all Judd. A heart touching story about loyalty and friendship between boy and dog.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, with a blend of humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson and Jacob Tremblay. Can’t wait!
Non-Fiction: Read to Learn Must-Reads for all Ages
Who Was? What is? Where Is? by Kate Boehm Jerome
For your curious and thirsty for knowledge readers, these books will do the trick. This is a non-fiction book series and are a hit with middle to upper elementary students. Book titles include famous people, places, “things” and more. I love their website WHOHG. Visit to explore their library and play games.
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
I AM MALALA is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education. This is a memoir of the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize who will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world.
These books come in a wide variety of topics for ALL ages. There are almanacs, Little Kids First Big Books, books about a single topic, ‘Why’ books, and so much more. There are beautiful photos, fun facts, and extended vocabulary for beginning, developing or fluent readers. There is a book for everyone!
Reading help in Delaware
If you typically spend your evenings reminding your student to finish his or her required reading homework, Back to Basics Learning Dynamics in Wilmington, Delaware can help!
Our experienced instructors will work 1-on-1 with your student to read, comprehend, retain and apply reading material. These sessions will provide students with the knowledge and confidence to complete any required reading-related assignments, such as reports, projects and tests.
Back to Basics’ tutors are available to travel to your home, day camp, or office, or work with your student at our Newark or Wilmington locations.
To learn more, please call Back to Basics at 302-594-0754.
Photo by Naypong and FreeDigitalPhotos.net. Book list printed with permission by Christine Weiss, For the Love of Teachers.