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Classroom favorites for independent reading


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A set of my favorite books for independent reading.

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Classroom favorites for independent reading

  1. 1. My Classroom Favorites for Independent Reading By Emily Kissner   Curate your own classroom library by selecting books that you love and with which you  feel a connection!     Picture Books for All Readers Picture books are an excellent way to build reading engagement and background  knowledge for readers of all ages. If you’re worried that your older readers may take  advantage of picture books, you may use these as a “Sometimes” bin or as “Friday  books”.    Beautiful Oops​: Barney Saltzberg. This book is a playful introduction  to turning mistakes into masterpieces. Even after a read-aloud, many  kids enjoy revisiting this book to explore the  illustrations.    Shortcut​: Donald Crews. This quick read is a  compelling story with great pacing and  suspense. In addition to having it in my classroom library, I like to  use it for personal narrative mini-lessons. An inexpensive  addition to the classroom library!    Previously​: Allan Ahlberg. This is an unusual book that looks  backwards at fairy tales. It’s another one that moves from  read-aloud to independent reading, because many students find  that one encounter is not enough.    Julia’s House for Lost Creatures​: Ben  Hatke. Lots to explore in the  illustrations with this book! A nice way to build up interest  to read Hatke’s other books, Zita the Spacegirl and Mighty  Jack.      Mr. Ferris and His Wheel​: Kathryn  Gibbs Davis. This short biography outlines the events leading up to  the invention of the Ferris wheel. I like to read aloud the main text  and let students borrow the book for independent reading to read  the remaining captions. 
  2. 2.   The Random House Book of Poetry for Children​: Jack Prelutsky. A classic  book of poems, this is a worthy investment for every classroom. Funny  poems, seasonal poems, rhyming, unrhyming...this collection has it all!        K-2 Cats vs. Dogs​: Elizabeth Carney. This is a fun nonfiction book  comparing cats and dogs. There are many books in the National  Geographic series, and they are generally inexpensive and  high-interest!    Elephant and Piggie​: Mo Willems. This fun series shows the adventures of  Elephant and Piggie, with lots of dialogue, humor, and friendship. Series  are a wonderfully supportive way to build early  reading skills.      Princess in Black​: Shannon Hale. Princess Magnolia lives a double  life, switching between life as a proper princess and life as the  Princess in Black!    Who Would Win?​: Jerry Pallotta. These  entertaining nonfiction books pit real-life animals  against each other in imaginary battles.    Diary of a Spider​: Doreen Cronin. One of a series of  several books, this diary includes engrossing  illustrations and a diary format.      3-5: Many of these books will appeal to older readers as well! Secret Coders​: Gene Luen Yang. This series of graphic novels includes  coding mysteries and puzzles.    Amulet​: Kazu Kibuishi. This engrossing graphic novel  series is a hit with readers! Collect all 7 books—-book 8 is  coming out in September of 2018!   
  3. 3.   Rocket and Groot: Keep on Truckin’!​ Tom Angleberger. A middle grade  Marvel book, this book might include the phrase “I am Groot” a time or  two!     Wonder​: R.J. Palacio. Told from multiple perspectives, this  book tells the story of Auggie’s foray into middle school. A  great choice for a book club or literature circle.     Space Dumplings​: Craig Thompson. This sci-fi graphic  novel enchants readers with a galaxy-crossing story as  Violet must find a way to rescue her father.    Heroes in Training​: Suzanne Williams and Joan Holub. This  series stars young Olympians as their adventures begin. A  great way to get kids interested in the world of Greek  mythology.     Aru Shah and the End of Time​: Roshani Chokshi. The first  book from the Rick Riordan Presents imprint, this fantasy  introduces the fun-loving, irrepressible character of Aru,  who lights a lamp to impress her classmates and  accidentally awakens the Sleeper.     Sisters:​ Raina Telgemeier. This family-centered graphic novel explores the  relationship between sisters. Kids enjoy the technique of colored flashback  pages, helping them to keep track of the events in the story.    5-7: Don’t forget to look at the books on the earlier lists as well! The Dumbest Idea Ever​: Jimmy Gownley. A  Pennsylvania author, Jimmy tells the story of  creating his first comic in this graphic novel. Wide  appeal with many students, especially those who  enjoyed the Amelia Rules! series when they were  younger.    Bone series​: Jeff Smith. One of the first graphic  novel series aimed at middle grade readers, assembling a complete set  of this series will be a task that will keep you working day and night.  But it’s worth it to see the delight it brings to readers.     
  4. 4. The Graveyard Book​: Neil Gaiman. I always talk with readers before I  hand them this book, because the first chapter is rather shocking, but  after that it explores what makes a family and what makes a home.  This book also has a two-volume graphic novel adaptation.    The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl:​ Shannon Hale and Dean  Hale. This quirky series finds new readers each year,  especially as they realize that Squirrel Girl is without a  doubt the best hero in the Marvel universe. It’s true.    All’s Faire in Middle School:​ Victoria Jamieson. This is a  fun realistic fiction graphic novel, combining  Renaissance Faire antics with the start of middle school.     Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard:​ Rick Riordan. My  classroom has bins and bins full of Rick Riordan’s  different series, and they are in high demand. Try one as  a read aloud to build interest.    The Strange Case of Origami Yoda​: Tom Angleberger. This  realistic fiction series is lots of fun. Told from different  viewpoints, it chronicles the adventures of middle  schoolers and one very mysterious origami puppet.    Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales​: Nathan Hale. Books in  this series tell about important events in world  history, with the help of Nathan Hale and...the  executioner? Students will devour these and then  bring up interesting tidbits of history that they have  learned!    The Boy on the Wooden Box​: Leon Leyson. In this  autobiographical story, the author describes his  experiences as a small boy on Schindler’s List.  Moving, heartbreaking, and important for students.    The One and Only Ivan​: Katherine Applegate. This book gets readers  every month. It is one of the most circulated books in my classroom  library of the last two years!