Reading Lists for Each Age {Pre-K – 5th grade}

We have always tried to foster a love of reading in our kids. Good readers make good students and life-long learners. But sometimes it can be tricky to judge which books are best for each age group, so this list is a great place to start. Please note that while these books are suggested for certain grade levels, the reading levels of kids can vary greatly so choose books at your kid’s pace and don’t get held up by grade levels. As long as they’re reading, they’re learning!

If you’re looking for options for older readers, check out our Summer Reading List For Teens!

Here are our top picks for the best books for each age!

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For babies and toddlers

For this age, books should foster interaction. Maybe they have a refrain that repeats throughout. Kids might have to make noises or look for certain things on each page. Whatever it takes to get them involved. You may quickly find that your little one has a favorite book memorized and can “read” it to you!


Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Bill Martin Jr and Eric Carle

I Went Walking by Sue Williams

Freight Train by Donald Crew

What Do You Say by Mandy Stanley

Preschool and Kindergarten

The world of picture books has such amazing resources for our young readers. I’m sure you have a long list of favorites! Here are just a few of ours.


Duck On A Bike by David Shannon

The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle

The Pigeon Finds A Hotdog by Mo Willems

Naughty Little Monkeys by Jim Aylesworth

Press Here by Herve Tullet

Picture books for Kindergarten – 2nd grade

I really don’t think it’s possible to have TOO many picture books around, especially with youngsters in the house! These are our top pics!


How Big is Your Brave by Ruth Soukup

Mighty, Mighty Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker

Who Wants A Cheap Rhinoceros by Shel Silverstein

The Empty Pot by Demi

Doctor De Soto by William Steig

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

You Are Special by Max Lucado

Chapter books for 2nd – 3rd graders

Around second grade, kids typically are ready to start reading chapter books. It’s an exciting milestone for their scholastic career! Here are some excellent choices.


Frog And Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel

The Cam Jansen series by David A. Adler

The Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne

Junie B Jones series by Barbara Park

Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew by Carolyn Keene

The Dream Traveler’s Quest series by Ted Dekker

Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol

Chapter books for 4th – 5th graders

Finding chapter books for kids to read that they have a high interest in is key. Listed here are some of our favorite chapter book series for kids in 4th and 5th grades.


The Dangerous Christmas Ornament by Bob Seigel

The I Survived Series by Lauren Tarshis

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

The Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Prince Warriors Series by Priscilla Shirer

The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis

The Hatchet series by Gary Paulsen

IMAGINE… series by Matt Koceich

Non-fiction books for K – 5th graders

Nonfiction makes up the majority of what adults read. But too often kids don’t get enough nonfiction reading. Here are 7 favorites for getting that non-fiction reading in.


A Picture Book of… Biographies by David Adler

Let’s Read and Find Out series by Franklin M Branley

Case for… Series by Lee Strobel

True Books series by Mel Freidman

Scholastic True or False series by Gilda and Melvin Berger

If You… series by Elizabeth Levy

Who Was series by Roberta Edwards and Janet Pascal

The I Can Read series by various authors

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