We're helping you navigate the transition from kindergarten to elementary school in the summer issue of home/school/life, but you know we're all about the reading lists. Whatever else you read, make time for these classics before middle school.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Don’t let the hype stop you: This book about a boy who discovers he’s been accepted to a school for wizards is pure read-aloud goodness, with plenty of adventure and a good mix of conversation starters.
Stuart Little by E.B. White
The adventures of a determined little mouse, born and bred in New York City, are related with matter-of-fact charm in this book for early readers.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
The BFG by Roald Dahl
A big friendly giant teams up with a little girl to take down naughty giants in this lesser-known Dahl tale that’s ideal as a readaloud or an early read-alone.
The Fairy Books by Andrew Lang
All those classic fairy tales are brand-spanking-new to your young child, and Lang’s color books are a great introduction. If you’re skeptical, remember that centuries of writers were reared on versions of these stories, so they show up across western literature.
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
The rollicking adventures of Rat, Mole, and Toad contrast perfectly with slower, more meditative moments in this classic that makes an ideal introduction to the specific pleasures of reading a book.
D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths by by Ingri d'Aulaire and Edgar Parin d'Aulaire
The classics of Greek mythology have major kid-appeal. Chances are, this book, which contains a good mix of myths, will be raggedy and dog-eared by the time your child hits middle school.
By the Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleischman
Even kids who claim to “hate reading” will find it hard to resist Jack’s Gold Rush adventures. (Yes, kids who love to read will love it, too.)