Students entering Grades 1-3:
Recommended Summer Reading List


Book Titles and Authors

Picture Books

  • And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson
    At the penguin house at the Central Park Zoo, two penguins named Roy and Silo were a little bit different from the others. But their desire for a family was the same. And with the help of a kindly zookeeper, Roy and Silo got the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own.              
  • The Kindness Book and others by Todd Parr                                                                                                                                                
    With his trademark bright colors and bold lines, Todd Parr takes on a topic more important than ever: being kind to each other. No matter what other people choose to do, you can always choose to be kind — and what a wonderful thing to be!
  • Mixed Me! by Taye Diggs                     
    Mike has awesome hair. He has LOTS of energy! His parents love him. And Mike is a PERFECT blend of the two of them.  Still, Mike has to answer LOTS of questions about being mixed. And he does, with LOTS of energy and joy in this charming story about a day in the life of a mixed-race child.
  • My Beautiful Hair (Stories And Fables From Around The World) by Ines Abassi                                                                                         Feeling different can sometimes be difficult for children. Being tall, or short, or simply having a different hair color can feel like a burden, but it shouldn't. This colorful illustrated non-fiction title shows readers how being different can make them unique and special.
  • Otis and Will Discover the Deep by Barb Rosenstock                                                                                                                                   
    On June 6, 1930, engineer Otis Barton and explorer Will Beebe dove into the ocean inside a hollow metal ball of their own invention called the Bathysphere. They knew dozens of things might go wrong but they were determined to become the first people to see the deep sea.
  • Ravi's Roar by Tom Percival                                                                   
    Most of the time Ravi can control his temper but, one day, he lets out the tiger within.  But who wants to play with a growling, roaring, noisy, wild tiger who won't share or play nicely? Ravi is about to discover something very important about expressing his feelings and making amends.
  • Rocket Says, Look Up! by Nathan Bryon         
    Rocket's going to be the greatest astronaut, star-catcher, space-traveler that has ever lived!  But first, she needs to convince her big brother Jamal to stop looking down at his phone and start looking up at the stars.
  • Ruby Finds a Worry by Tom Percival                                                                                                                                                             
    One day, Ruby finds something unexpected: a Worry. It's not such a big Worry, at first. But every day, it grows a little bigger, until the Worry is all she can think about. With the help of a friend, Ruby discovers that everyone has worries, and how sharing her feelings can help!                                                            

Picture Book Series

  • Beach Day/Garden Day!/Apple Picking Day!/Pumpkin Day/Snow Day! books by Candice Ransom                 
    This easy-to-read rhyming book series features a family creating their own fun while enjoying simple seasonal activities.
  • Elephant & Piggie series by Mo Willems                                                                                                                                                              Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can. Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.  Read about their adventures as they celebrate friendship and solve problems by working together.
  • Max and Friends series by Kyle Lukoff                                                                                                                                       
    This series explores Max’s journey as he explores his feelings about his identity, and navigates school and relationships with friends and family.  Written with warmth and sensitivity, this book is a sweet and age-appropriate introduction to what it means to be transgender.
  • The Mo Jackson series by David Adler                                                                         
    Mo may not be the biggest, the strongest, or the fastest player, but his passion for all kinds of sports means he never gives up!
  • Princess Cupcake Jones series by Ylleya Fields                                                                                                                                                  Cupcake Jones is a modern day Princess who loves her tutu and playing with her toys. But even princesses have lessons to learn and problems to solve.
  • Sports Illustrated Kids Starting Line series by C.C. Joven                                                                                                                             
    This series features a wide variety of sports and relatable characters to explore topics such as perseverance, sportsmanship, and inclusion

Chapter Book Series

  • Emma Every Day series by C.L. Reid
    Emma loves swimming, writing, and biking. She also loves her pet goldfish and tacos. Emma is deaf and uses sign language, as well as a cochlear implant to help her hear. Every day is a new chance to have fun, and conquer daily challenges with a positive attitude and nonstop determination.
  • Katie Woo series by Fran Manushkin
    These fun, lighthearted stories are about Katie Woo, a sassy, and stylish schoolgirl tackling the everyday trials of growing up.
  • Pizza and Taco series by Stephen Shaskan
    This young graphic chapter book series features two best friends who overcome differences by making compromises and keeping a sense of humor.
  • Sadiq series by Siman Nuurali
    Fun-loving third grader Sadiq has many interests, from soccer to video games to cooking (and eating!) samosas. But he's always ready to try something new with friends and neighbors.
  • Pedro series by Fran Manushkin
    Join Pedro and his friends as he enjoys adventures at school, on the soccer field and at home with his sometimes pesky younger brother Paco!
  • Yasmin series by Saadia Faruqi
    Yasmin is a spirited second-grader who's always on the lookout for those "aha" moments to help her solve life's little problems. A creative thinker and curious explorer, Yasmin and her multi-generational Pakistani American family will delight and inspire readers.
  • Jada Jones series by Kelly Starling Lyons
    Readers will enjoy engaging with the science-loving Jada Jones, in these simple yet fast-paced chapter books.  Jada navigates all kinds of fourth grade pitfalls, such as a best friend moving away, a science project, a sleepover, and a school dance, each being an opportunity to build confidence in herself.
  • Jake Maddox Sports Stories series by Jake Maddox
    Characters in these books face obstacles on the gridiron, the court, the ice, or the half-pipe, and meet mental and social challenges as well. Readers discover that fair play, persistence, and courage are just as important as athletic ability.
  • The Questioneers series (Rosie Revere, Ada Twist, Iggy Peck Chapter Books) by Andrea Beaty
    Three cheers for The Questioneers - kids with big dreams of becoming an engineer, an illustrator, a scientist, an architect, and even a future president! Celebrate STEM, the power of perseverance, and standing up for what you believe in as you read about these inspirational characters.


  • Ordinary People Change the World series by Brad Meltzer
    This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great--the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. Each book tells the story of an icon in a lively, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers and that always includes the hero's childhood influences.
  • Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers
    In this fascinating nonfiction picture book, the authors investigate a seemingly small trait of America's most emblematic statue. What they find is about more than history, more than art. What they find in the Statue of Liberty's right foot is the powerful message of acceptance that is essential to an entire country's creation.
  • The Shark Book by Steve Jenkins (or other titles by this author)
    This book explores one of the world's most notorious and fearsome animals. Learn what makes a shark a shark, what sharks like to eat, and how these predators of the deep have evolved.  Additional books by this author bring a variety of other fascinating creatures to life on the page.
  • Stephen Curry: The Boy Who Never Gave Up by Anthony Curcio
    This biography tells the story of a young boy who many said was too short to play in high school, too weak to play in college and not good enough to play in the NBA. Against all odds, this small boy follows his dream, makes it to the NBA, and becomes one of the greatest players to ever play the game of basketball.

    If you are having difficulty finding and acquiring a text for summer reading, please contact Nancy Aiken at in the Curriculum Department.