Summer Reads for Rising First Graders

Summer Reads for Rising First Graders

With summer starting I thought I would make a list of some of our favorite book series to read over the summer. I just graduated my third kindergartener and a lot of the other moms in my youngest’s class have been asking me for book recommendations. Sometimes I forget that the first time around you are not in tune with what is popular for kids so I made a list of the books we have been recommending for kids just starting to get into chapter books. Most Kindergarteners will not be able to read these on their own but they are great to read as a family! I have also used the trick of reading to an exciting point and then leaving the child with the book to read on their own and this always results in my kids trying to read further on their own.

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Magic Treehouse Series – This is by far the favorite with all three of my kids. We are still on our original set I bought for my oldest daughter and they went through a friend’s kids in between my oldest two. These are also available as audio books at most libraries.

Synopsis: Jack and Annie find a magic treehouse in the woods that take them on adventures during key periods in history. The all start out the same which is great for early readers relying on repetition to help them decode the text. There are also companion Fact Tracker non-fiction books which go into more details about facts brought up in the books which are great to add in after kids are reading more fluently.


Franny K. Stein – We are huge fans of Franny K. Stein at our house and once again, all three of my kids have this series on their favorites list.

Synopsis: Franny does things a little bit different and loves to do mad scientist things that the other kids don’t understand at first. Once the kids get to know more about Franny the accept her as she is. These books also have a lot of repetition at the beginning which is great for earlier readers.


The Alien Next Door – This series is great because there is some mystery involved in trying to figure out if the new kid is actually an alien. My son in particular loves this book series. I like that they don’t discover if the new kid is an alien right away and once they do different conflicts come up that require some thinking to work through.

Synopsis: A new kid named Zeke moves in next door to Harris and the two of them navigate how to be friends even though they are from different planets. There is a lot of critical thinking and problem solving in these books and they are less repetitive which is great for adults reading aloud.


Princess in Black – Another great series that our middle daughter loves is the Princess in Black series. The books have great illustrations for kids just moving into chapter books that help them decipher the words.

Synopsis: Princess Magnolia does not fit the usual princess mold and is a secret monster hunter. The series follows her adventures trying to balance both the worlds of frilly princess duties and hunting smelly monsters with her horse.


Narwhal and Jelly – Narwhal and Jelly is a graphic novel series that my kids love to read. They are pretty light reading with silliness and fun. I will be honest that I have not read these in a while, but my middle daughter has loved them tremendously since she was in Kindergarten. We have also given these to friends who have loved them as well. Graphic novels are a great way to get kids reading and the pictures help kids decode the text.


I hope you find something new in this book list. I have really enjoyed the process of teaching my kids to read. Each one was different but I have tried to instill a lifelong love of reading with them.


What books to you recommend for Kindergarten/First Grade?


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