Girl Reading in LibraryWith school out for the summer, many parents want to know what kinds of books their children should be reading.  The following suggestions are taken from our sister-school Golden View Classical Academy.


Download the summer reading list


Kindergarten – Second Grade

Kindergarten

The most important thing you can do to help your incoming Kindergarteners is to read to and with them. Devote some time every day to reading aloud with your child, and help your child think about the book by asking thoughtful questions as you go. For instance, why do you think a character does what she does? What do you think they are thinking about when they do something interesting or notable? If your child is especially interested in a particular character or passage, ask him or her to repeat part of the story to the rest of your family. Visit the library and explore new subjects. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes, by Robert Frederick Publishers
  • The Arnold Lobel Book of Mother Goose, by Arnold Lobel
  • The Classic Treasury of Aesop’s Fables, by Don Daily

First Grade

As with Kindergarteners, students in the First Grade benefit greatly from reading aloud with parents. At this age, listening to a parent read will expand their vocabulary and broaden their interests. Here are some suggestions that a First Grade student might enjoy:

  • The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss. Other rhyming books are great, since rhymes help students hear, see, understand, and remember the building blocks of words.
  • Aesop’s Fables: The Tortoise and the Hare, The Lion and the Mouse, The Ant and the Grasshopper, etc. (By all means, keep reading fables if your child likes them; doing so will not spoil those read in the next grade.)
  • Curious George books, by H.A. Rey
  • Books by Beatrix Potter, including The Tale of Benjamin Bunny, The Tale of Tom Kitten, and The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck.
  • Fairy tales, including The Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks, The Velveteen Rabbit, The Ugly Duckling, etc.

Second Grade

As with Kindergarten and First Grade, students in Second Grade should read aloud with parents and, if they can, take turns reading. At this age, listening to a parent read will continue to expand their vocabulary and broaden their interests. Here are some suggestions that a Second Grade student might enjoy:

  • Aesop’s Fables: The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Dog in the Manger, The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, The Maid and the Milk Pail, The Fox and the Grapes
  • Stories by Hans Christian Andersen (Parents should read these ahead of time to make a good selection, since there are some more adult scenes.)
  • Just So Stories, by Rudyard Kipling
  • George and Martha series, by James Marshall
  • The Biggest Bear, by Lynd Kendall Ward
  • The Magic School Bus books about weather, magnets, tools, the body, insects, animals, and plants.

Third – Sixth Grade

Beginning in Third Grade, students are assigned one or two particular books as part of their summer reading.

To help students think about these books, here is a list of productive questions for every grade:

  1. Who are the important characters?
  2. What is the story’s setting? In what place and time period does the story occur?
  3. What are the major events of the story, and in what order do they occur?
  4. What conflicts arise, and how are they resolved? Do any remain unresolved?

Third Grade

  • Little House on the Prairie (ISBN: 978-0064400022)

Fourth Grade

  • Guns for General Washington (ISBN: 978-0152164355)

We also recommend the following books:

  • The Reluctant Dragon, by Kenneth Grahame
  • The Sword in the Tree, by Clyde Robert Bulla

Fifth Grade

  • The Shakespeare Stealer (ISBN: 978-0141305950)

We also recommend the following book:

  • Number the Stars (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Lois Lowry

Sixth Grade

  • The Golden Fleece (ISBN: 978-0689868849)

We also recommend the following non-fiction books:

  • Herodotus and the Road to History, by Jeanne Bendic
  • Archimedes and the Door of Science, by Jeanne Bendic
  • Augustus Caesar’s World, by Genevieve Foster
  • Up From Slavery (Dover Thrift Edition), by Booker T. Washington

Upper School

In the Upper School, students should make notes in the margins to develop a habit of slow reading. It is good practice to write questions where puzzling passages or ideas arise, when repetitions occur, when characters are introduced and developed, and in general anything that strikes them as important.

To help students think about these books, here is a list of productive questions for every grade:

  1. Who are the important characters?
  2. What is the story’s setting? In what place and time period does the story occur?
  3. What are the major events of the story, and in what order do they occur?
  4. What conflicts arise and how are they resolved? Do any remain unresolved?

In High School, there is a main question paired with each book that students must answer. Each answer must be one page and one-sided, typed, double-spaced, in Times New Roman and 12-point font size. These answers are due on the first day of school in literature class, and will be collected for a grade. The late policy for homework will apply.

Seventh and Eighth Grade students do not have assignments to turn in, but must be prepared to discuss the books on the first day of school.

Seventh Grade

  • Watership Down (ISBN: 978-0743277709)

Eighth Grade

  • The Last of the Mohicans (ISBN: 978-0120000302)

Ninth Grade

  • The Odyssey (ISBN: 978-0140268867) – What kind of man is Odysseus?

Tenth Grade

  • Beowulf (ISBN: 978-0393320978) – What kind of man is Beowulf?

Eleventh Grade

  • My Ántonia (ISBN: 978-0486282404) – What is the American West?

Twelfth Grade

  • Anna Karenina (ISBN: 978-0679783305) – What kind of woman is Anna Karenina?