Books for 1st Graders

If your first grader is just starting to read independently, begin with some of our readers. If you follow Lexile numbers or guided reading letters, most of these titles fall below a 300L and range from D-K.


Biscuit (series) by Alyssa Capucilli

Simple and easy to sound out words make this series about a sweet dog a great collection to build confidence and vocabulary for independent readers.

Charlie the Ranch Dog (series) by Ree Drummond

A fun series from the point of view of a country dog, these encourage independent reading with familiar vocabulary and words you can sound out.

Elephant and Piggie (series) by Mo Willems

Hilarious illustrations pair with simple, repetitive text to make these books fantastic  as either shared reading and independent reading books.

Fancy Nancy (series) by Jane O’Connor

A spin-off of the picture book series, these stories tackle some new vocabulary, slightly more complex sentences and plots, and are great for independent readers.

Fly Guy (series) by Tedd Arnold

Funny illustrations and storylines keep kids’ interest as they work their way through simple chapters and dialogue. Start with “Hi, Fly Guy” and “Fly High, Fly Guy” and work your way up.

Happy Go Ducky by Jackie Urbanovic

Based off the silly picture book series, Max the Duck is left in charge on a very pretty day.

Little Lizard’s New Bike by Melinda Melton Crow (and other titles)

Part of a collection called Stone Arch Readers, these simple stories are a true beginning reader book.  For your fledgling reader, these have great tips to help you support your reader’s growth and combine picture clues with simple text.

Lucky Goes to School by Gail Herman

Slightly longer sentences and simple dialogue help to stretch new readers, while picture clues and familiar vocabulary reinforce skills.

Summer Treasure by Margaret McNamara (Robin Hill School series)

A fun simple series about a group of students in an elementary school class. All of the Robin Hill books are ideal for beginning readers!

Trucktown (series) by Jon Sciezka

A series of stories reminiscent of the movie Cars – these trucks are funny and have lots of action and picture clues. Great for readers who need simple, bold text but still want some storyline thrown in.


Chapter Books

The Big Fat Cow That Goes Kapow by Andy Griffiths

In these ten easy-to-read stories, there is a mixed-up cow that says "meow," a mole called Noel who plays rock and roll in a hole, and a boy named Mike who rides a bike with a very big spike.

Boris Gets a Lizard (series) by Andrew Joyner

Boris has a lot of pets, but what he really wants is a Komodo dragon, so he comes up with a plan--and invites his class to come and see his lizard. This series has true chapters and introduces some new vocabulary, but also uses illustrations and familiar vocabulary consistently.

The Chicken Squad (series) by Doreen Cronin

They're darling. They're daring. They're chicks on a mission, and in this, their first (mis)adventure, the Chicken Squad launches a galactic backyard expedition.

Horse Meets Girl by Jessie Haas

Come along for a spirited ride as Bramble - a horse with interesting "little ways"- and her devoted girl, Maggie, make their debut in this inviting early reader.  This series retains a reader feel, but introduces complex sentences and a more in-depth plot.

The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale

Hiding her secret identity as a monster-fighting superhero, Princess Magnolia interrupts her fancy tea with the unsuspecting Duchess Wigtower to stop a big blue monster from endangering her kingdom's goats. A truly fun and engaging first chapter book that helps take the strain and stress of introducing larger chapters away. Varied vocabulary and longer text blocks make this a book perfect for shared reading if your reader is not ready to go it alone.