Where The Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak

A little boy named Max causes a rumpus before dinner and is sent to his room. In his room he goes on a journey where he becomes king of the wild things. He quickly misses his parents and his room and journeys back home to find dinner is waiting on him. 

After reading this book students could write about a time they got mad. They could also write about where they would like to go or if they have a place they like to go when they get upset. 

Lexile AD740L


Thank You, Mr. Falker - Patricia Polacco

Trisha loves to read just like the rest of her family. When she gets into school she realizes she isn't that great of a reader. Like many students Trisha was left behind and fell many reading levels behind her class. When she moves schools Trisha gets the help she needs from her new teacher Mr. Faulker. She and Mr.Faulker would practice every day he even saved Trisha from a bully. Trisha loved to read again all thanks to Mr. Faulker. 

This could serve as an anti-bullying book during the first few days of school.

Lexile: 650L

A Bad Case of Stripes - David Shannon

This was one of my favorite books growing up. I loved reading it over and over again. This book teaches kids that even if they like something everyone else doesn't keep liking it anyways. Camilla loved lima beans and the more she tried to prove she didn't the worse the stripes got. Until she finally owned that she loved to eat lima beans. 

I would use this in a lesson about cause and effect. It could also contribute to a lesson on character development. 

Lexile Level:AD610L

Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson

Jess and Leslie are two outcasts in a small town. They create their own world in the woods by Leslie's house called Terabithia. They go there to escape bullying and their life.

I would use this as a literature circle book. Students could discuss how the loss of Leslie effected them personally or how it effected Jess in the book. 

Lexile Level: 810L

Hooray for Reading Day! - Margery Cuyler, Arthur Howard

Jessica has a hard time reading especially in front of the class. The school is going to have a play and Jessica had to read in it. Jessica tries to rehearse her part but keeps messing up. She practices on her dog Wiggles and doesn't mess up. When she reads her part in the play she pretends to read to Wiggles and does amazing. 

I would use this book during the first few weeks of class to help students learn that it is okay to not be great at reading and that reading takes practice. It would also be a great introduction for reading buddies. 

Lexile level: AD500L

Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes - Eric Litwin, James Dean

Pete the Cat sings all during his first day at school about his new school shoes. 

I would use this as a first day of school book. I would give students a chance to sing along with me after the initial reading. I would give students a map of the school that is labeled. As a class we would circle the places that Pete went. It would help the student familiarize themselves with the school. 

Lexile Level: AD430L

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault, Lois Ehlert

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom can be integrated in many ways. This book is meant to be sung and can be incorporated into Music class. It also teaches the alphabet. I would use this to help my class identify the lower and upper case letters. 

Lexile Level: AD530L

Should I Share My Ice Cream? - Mo Willems

This is a part of the series Elephant and Piggie. Elephant has some ice cream and is conflicted about if he should share his ice cream with Piggie. As Elephant debates it his ice cream melts. Piggie comes along and shares her ice cream with Elephant. 

This book is for lower elementary grades. I would use this book to promote sharing and generosity. Let the students discuss times they has shared something with a friend. I would give out a small toys and run out on purpose. I would ask if there was any way everyone could have some. This would prompt some students to share and be generous. 

Lexile Level: 260L

Bud, Not Buddy - Christopher Paul Curtis

Bud is a child in the system with a vivid imagination. Bud escapes from the system and goes off on a journey to find his dad.  

Students would identify the theme, character, setting, and plot of this story. Students could discuss the many characters that Bud meets during his journey. 

Lexile Level: 950L

Amazing Grace - Mary Hoffman, Caroline Binch

Grace loved stories! One day the school has auditions for Peter Pan. Grace wants to be Peter. She is told by her class mates that she can not be Peter because she is a girl and because she is black. Her grandmother takes her to a ballet to see an African american girl who played Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet". Grace was inspired by this and on Monday she rocked her audition and got the part. The play was amazing and her classmates thought so too.  

I would use this as an aid in character development. Students would list the qualities they liked about grace. They would then draw a random name of a classmate from a hat and list three good qualities about that classmate. 

Lexile Level:680L

Duck! Rabbit! - Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Tom Lichtenheld

This book is about perspective. There are two people who see two different animals. 

I would use this book to start a discussion about point of view and the different types of point of view within a book. Things such as first, second and third person point of view. 

Lexile Level: AD300L

Are You My Mother? - P.D. Eastman

This book is about a baby bird asking all sorts of animals if one of them is his mother. 

This is a sweet book for lower elementary grades it can be used for identifying animals and their babies. 

Lexile Level:240L

Where the Sidewalk Ends - Shel Silverstein

This is a book of funny and cute poems for children. It is a great introduction to poems. 

In my classroom I would use this to get students interested in poems. As part of a lesson I would let students write poems using this book as an example. 

Lexile Level: NA

The Giver - Lois Lowry, Ron Rifkin

This is a story about a boy named Jonas who lives in a "Utopian" style community. This community is closed up from the rest of the world. As Jonas grows up to the age of 12 he gets a job. His friends get normal jobs within the community but Jonas is given the job of receiver. The receiver is given memories about the past. The giver delivers the past to Jonas through touch. Jonas experiences things such as color and snow for the first time but he also experiences war and death. Jonas realizes how bad the community is and runs away with a baby named Gabriel before the community kills the baby. They find a house that is decorated with lights. 

Color is a big part of this book. I would give each student a colored piece of paper and have them write about why the color means to them. I would also have them write what they think it would be like if we didn't have the color. This book should be used in 6th grade or above as it deals with euthanasia. 

Lexile Level:760L

The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

This book is about a spoiled little girl who's parents died of a horrible disease. She is sent to live with her widowed uncle. There she goes on many adventures and finds a few new friends. 

This is a book for upper elementary. I would use this lesson in association with history. This book was set in the late 1800s  to the early 1900s. The class would discuss the time period and what it might be like back then. The class would also discuss what was going on during this time in history. 

Lexile level: 640L

Holes - Louis Sachar

This book is about a boy Named Stanley Yelnats. Stanley is sent of to a detention camp for stealing shoes. He meets a boy named zero there and they become unlikely friends. Stanley and Zero get into some trouble so Zero runs away. Stanley goes after him into the desert. After Zero gets sick from eating some bad peach preserves Stanley carries Zero up a mountain. This breaks a long curse on the Yelnats family. The boys return to camp but dig in a hole where they found something interesting before. In the same hole they found a treasure chest with Stanley's name on it. The boys are released from the detention camp and are rich from the treasure inside the chest.

This is a great journey book about building character and a coming of age story. I would use this in upper elementary grades. I would use this book in literature circles to help introduce the students into longer chapter books. 

 Lexile Level: 660L