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Book Suggestions by Genre for K–6 Readers

Book Suggestions by Genre for K–6 Readers

As a teacher, you often see a couple of types of students in your classroom when it comes to reading: those who always have their nose buried in a book and those who would rather have their teeth pulled instead of reading. While it may be simple to suggest titles for the former to check out, the latter often presents a unique challenge, as they may be reluctant readers or have an aversion to reading in general.

Nowadays, there are TONS of books for young readers that are sure to grab their attention and make reading fun for all! In celebration of International Literacy Day this month, here’s a list of books that will delight (or engage) the young readers in your class, grouped by genre, or category:

When Students Love Realistic Fiction:

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Fish in a Tree is an emotional and uplifting story about how everyone is unique. Sixth grader Ally has always dreaded school. She is called “dumb” by her classmates and is considered a troublemaker by teachers. Although she is great at math and art, her biggest secret that she won’t tell anyone is that she cannot read. When her new teacher realizes that she struggles with dyslexia, everything changes.

I’m an Immigrant Too! by Mem Fox

In lyrical rhyme, this picture book explores how immigrants have changed and enriched Australia. This book is the perfect way to introduce the topic of immigration and refugees to your young readers.

When Students Love Historical Fiction:

Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper

In this book about courage, resilience, and creativity, eleven-year-old Stella lives in the segregated South in the 1930s. When she and her brother witness Ku Klux Klan activity, she is forced into an understanding of the world around her and the struggle to stand up for what is right. It’s a great read for young learners to help them understand a difficult point in American history.

When Students Love True Stories:

Turning Pages: My Life Story by Sonia Sotomayor

Written by Sonia Sotomayor herself, Turning Pages shares her story about what inspired the first Latina Supreme Court Justice starting from her early days. Her secret? Books! They acted as friends and teachers, helping her deal with illness, death, and a future she imagined for herself.

She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lynn Fulton

In order to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein, this children’s book explains how Mary Shelley came up with the idea for her book. It’s perfect for young readers who love nonfiction and slightly spooky stories, and just in time for Halloween.

When Students Love Modern Fairy Tales:

The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

Based on the Haitian folktale, this is a great book for kids who love creepy stories that teach them how bravery and loyalty can save the day. The main character, Corinne, doesn’t believe in the evil creatures that come out of the woods called jumbies—that is, until they start attacking her town. Then, she learns from a good witch that she has magical powers and that she’s the only one who can stop them.

When Students Love Adventure:

The Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson

This humorous, fast-paced book was once called “Ocean’s 11 for middle schoolers.” Smooth operator Jackson Greene has sworn off pulling pranks until the girl he likes is in trouble. To pull off his biggest con yet, he assembles a group of friends to save the day.

Douglas, You’re a Genius! by Ged Adamson

Douglas the dog and his human friend Nancy are here just when you need a laugh. In this adventure, they’re playing baseball together until the ball goes through a hole in the fence. When the ball returns, it is followed by a note in a language they can’t decipher. Who is on the other side of the fence?

When Students Love Fantasy:

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

Possibly the greatest thing about the fantasy genre is that most novels are series. Keeper of the Lost Cities is a series that has it all. Twelve-year-old Sophie is a prodigy who can read people’s minds. She has always felt like a misfit until she learns she is from a magical world. With this realization, the adventure begins. Full of mystery, action, magical powers, and a strong female lead—your students won’t want to put it down.

There’s a Dragon in Your Book by Tom Fletcher

In this adorable new book, there’s an egg in the book that hatches into a baby dragon as you turn the pages. Quickly, your students will learn that dragons are trouble, especially when they sneeze fire.

International Literacy Day is all about empowering educators, inspiring students, and encouraging leaders with the resources they need to make literacy accessible for all. Celebrate in your classroom this year with Edmentum’s Free International Children’s Book Day Classroom Resources. Inside, you’ll find fact sheets, critical thinking questions, activities, and reference sheets exploring the history and significance of this fun reading-themed celebration.