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Best Books: Grade 3–Grade 6

Best Books: Grade 3–Grade 6


Tags: teaching reading, teaching English, reading lists, teaching strategies


"Live always in the best company when you read," said Sydney Smith, a nineteenth-century clergyman. But how does one determine what is "best" when choosing books for young people? Good books, like good companions, should broaden a student's world, encourage him to appreciate what is lovely, and help him discern between truth and falsehood. These three concepts undergird the choices we have made for Best Books. The works listed in the general bibliographies are intended for recreational reading and focus on the first two ideas. The two sections titled "Books for Analysis and Discussion," one for grades 6-8 and another for grades 8-12, focus on the third concept and are included for the distinct purpose of helping students develop discernment. The annotated bibliographies as well as the final section, "Guidelines for Choosing Books," will provide valuable insight and help clarify how the works in these two sections might be used.


Alexander, Lloyd. The Truthful Harp. 1967. Fflewddur Flam is given a harp that sounds beautiful when played. However, he finds that some of the strings break on several occasions. He finally realizes that they break only when he tells a lie. This leads to Fflewddur Flam's trying to mend his ways. The illustrations effectively capture the personality of this amusing character.


Andersen, Hans Christian. The Fir Tree. 1970. The delicate and charming illustrations enhance the story about the little fir tree that gloriously serves as a Christmas tree but must later mourn its saddened condition.

---. The Little Match Girl. 1968. This is a moving story of a lonely, cold, little match girl who sees visions in the flames of the matches she cannot sell. The last vision is of the loving grandmother who is dead and comes to take the child. The illustrations are especially effective.

---. The Nightingale. 1965. The nightingale's lovely singing saves the life of the Chinese emperor. The text of this Andersen tale is highly enhanced by the rich detail of Oriental glamour.


Anderson, C. W. The Blind Connemara. 1971. As Rhonda works at a stable, she comes to love a beautiful white pony soon to be completely blind. She accepts the pony as a gift and compassionately trains it. Rhonda's story encourages many around her, especially some young handicapped children.


Bailey, Carolyn S. Miss Hickory. Illus. by Ruth Gannett. 1946, 1974, 1977. Miss Hickory appears to be a doll made of apple wood with a hickory nut head. When the family lives in Boston for the winter, Miss Hickory has all sorts of adventures with many animals in the New Hampshire home. The lithographic illustrations are delightful. The author won the Newbery Award for this book.


Bannon, Laura. Hop-High, the Goat. 1960. Singing Girl, a Navaho Indian, enjoys her bumbling, mischievous goat. The family considers making goat meat stew until the goat proves itself a hero by rescuing the lost sheep. The author's profuse illustrations enhance the appeal of the book.


Barr, Jene, and Chapin, Cynthia. What Will the Weather Be? 1965. This book summarizes the tools a weatherman uses, and how his predictions affect daily planning for vacations and other activities. The tools discussed include the thermometer, barometer, weather vane, and satellites.


Barrie, Sir James M. Peter Pan. 1904. Wendy, John, and Michael go with Peter Pan to Never-Never Land where children never grow up. Adventure abounds with the fairy Tinker Bell, pirates, and redskins. Adults can enjoy the mild satire while children appreciate the world of make-believe.


Baum, L. Frank. The Wizard of Oz. 1956. With the aid of a cyclone, Dorothy and her dog Toto are taken to the land of the Munchkins. In this dream world she finds Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion. They follow the yellow brick road to visit Emerald City and see the Wizard of Oz, who is supposed to help Dorothy return to her family in Kansas.


Baylor, Byrd. Coyote Cry. 1972. Antonio and his grandfather hear coyotes crying in the distance. Antonio learns not to be so afraid of the coyotes when he finds one of his missing pups is being cared for by a coyote.


Bennet, Rowena. Runner for the King. 1944. Roca must get a message to the Emperor, but the hindrances are severe. A puma attacks him, a landslide blocks his path, and the rope bridge high above the gorge breaks. But in spite of these odds, Roca successfully reaches the King Emperor of the Inca Empire to warn him of the imminent danger.


Blades, Ann. Mary of Mile 18. 1971. In Mary's snow-covered, isolated village, a wolf pup becomes a tagalong. Mary's father reminds her that no pet is allowed in the family unless it will be a help. The pup appears at the right place and time to give warning of an encroaching coyote. The pup finds a new home with Mary by showing how helpful he could be.


Branley, Franklyn M. Darkness in Daytime. 1973. The book discusses some superstitions regarding an eclipse of the sun. Today this phenomenon can be predicted by watching the predictable movements of the earth and moon. The author explains how one may safely look at an eclipse.

---. Oxygen Keeps You Alive. 1971. The author discusses the importance of oxygen in plants, animals, and man. Clear, colorful drawings.

---. Roots Are Food Finders. 1975. The roots of some plants spread widely, others grow deep. However, all roots provide the food and nutrition needed by plants. Animals which get their food from plants are also ultimately dependent on roots. Some easy-to-do experiments for children are included in the book.

---. Sunshine Makes the Seasons. 1974. The author explains that the tilt of the earth and the revolution of the earth around the sun bring our change of seasons.


Brecht, Edith. The Little Fox. 1968. Benjy's elderly friend, Slim, trusts him enough to leave his baby fox, Goldie, in Benjy's care. Benjy thinks he is a failure when Goldie escapes. Benjy awaits Slim's return, hating to tell him the news. But on the same day that Slim returns, Goldie appears also-with three of her own young pups.


Brink, Carol R. Andy Buckram's Tin Men. 1966. Andy builds four robots, the last one able to row a boat. During a storm, the robots more or less came to life after being electrified by lightning. The robots end up with Andy, a baby cousin, and a friend on a deserted island. The author comfortably and skillfully moves from the plausible to the fantastic in this story.

---. Caddie Woodlawn. 1973. Caddie is an adventurous tomboy living in Wisconsin in 1864. This is the first in a series of stories about her pioneer life, based on the reminiscences of the author's grandmother.


Bronson, Wilfrid S. Pinto's Journey. 1948. Pinto Goodluck is an Indian boy who wants some turquoise for his father. He embarks on a dangerous journey near Santa Fe, New Mexico, in order to get the turquoise, and he encounters numerous exciting adventures on the trip.


Burnett, Frances H. The Secret Garden. 1911. Mary realizes how unruly she has been when she meets her pampered cousin Colin. Mary and Colin both begin to change when they discover an abandoned garden that once belonged to Colin's deceased mother. Besides the garden, a robin and a boy who loves nature are instrumental in causing a remarkable change in Mary and Colin.


Burton, Hester. In Spite of All the Terror. 1968. This war story set in 1939 brings Liz, an orphaned city dweller, to an upper-class family in the country. The war draws the family and Liz closer as they experience some of the tragedies of Dunkirk. Later the family takes in Liz's cousin Rose, bringing Liz to a greater point of maturity.


Canfield, Dorothy. Understood Betsy. 1917. Elizabeth Ann, a spoiled, sickly girl, goes to a Vermont farm and in this wholesome but rugged environment becomes a stronger young lady.


Carroll, Lewis, pseudonym. See Dodgson, Charles Lutwidge.


Chrisman, Arthur Bowie. Shen of the Sea: Chinese Stories for Children. Dutton, 1953. This collection of Chinese stories reveals much about the thought and philosophy of the Chinese people. The tales of Ah Mee, the Rain King's daughter, and Ah Teha will amuse children while teaching them much about the Chinese people.


Clark, Ann Nolan. Blue Canyon Horse. 1954. Longing to be free, a young mare flees her pasture in the canyon and joins a wild herd. However, when her colt is born, she returns to the secure home she had enjoyed with her young Indian master. The story is told in verse.

---. In My Mother's House. 1941. From a child's point of view the story reflects the day-to-day life of the Tewa Indians. Illustrations are by an Indian artist.

---. Little Navajo Bluebird. 1943. Little Bluebird determines she will never go away to school. She has seen school turn her brother against the old ways of her Navajo people. However, she reconsiders when she learns the school has much to offer that will eventually help her.


Cleary, Beverly. The Mouse and the Motorcycle. 1965. Ralph, the mischievous mouse, rides a mouse-sized motorcycle through the hotel corridors. Keith, the owner of the toy, becomes good friends with Ralph in this fantasy.


Coatsworth, Elizabeth. Away Goes Sally. 1934. Sally moves with her family to the wilderness of New England after the Revolutionary War. In order to keep a promise that the house would not be abandoned, they travel in the house on runners pulled by oxen.

---. The Princess and the Lion. 1963. Princess Mariam plans for her brother's escape from prison because she thinks he will not be chosen as heir to the throne. Surprisingly, the old King announces Michael's promotion, causing Mariam to have to take a dangerous journey to tell Michael. If Michael escapes, it will mean certain death.

---. The Sod House. 1954. Use Trauble's family comes from Germany to find freedom in the New World. They join northern families who are settling in Kansas to keep a majority vote for their side. This pre-Civil War conflict finds the Trauble family standing firmly for their beliefs in spite of all difficulties.


Collodi, Carlo. The Adventures of Pinocchio. 1946. Pinocchio, a simple piece of wood carved by Geppetto, becomes a living marionette. His curiosity, adventuresome spirit, and quick mind get Pinocchio in and out of trouble. Finally, he gets his desire to become a real boy.


Dalgliesh, Alice. Adam and the Golden Cock. 1959. A young boy guards his sheep in Connecticut in 1781 when the French general Rochambeau comes through his hometown. The troops provide much excitement for Adam as they spend several days there before moving to aid General Washington's troops during the American Revolution.


DeAngeli, Marguerite. The Door in the Wall. 1949. In this medieval story Robin's plans to become a knight are foiled when he is permanently crippled. Robin is taken by a friar to a hospice where he is well cared for and regains his strength. He seeks new ways of service to his lord. His chance comes when the enemy thinks he is a harmless handicapped boy. He delivers a message that saves his lord from destruction.

---. Yonie Wondernose. 1944. Yonie got his nickname, Wondernose, because of his insatiable curiosity that often distracted him from his duties. On this occasion if Yonie can meet the challenge of getting all his work done, his father has a reward for him. Yonie not only gets his chores done, but he also saves the animals in a barn fire.


D'Aulaire, Ingri, and D'Aulaire, Edgar Parin. Abraham Lincoln. 1957. This biography focuses on Lincoln's early life.


DeJong, Meindert. Far out the Long Canal. 1964. Moonta is a nine-year-old Dutch boy who has never learned to skate. He is teased by his peers as he tries to skate but encouragement comes later.

---. The House of Sixty Fathers. 1956. This is a powerful story about a young Asian boy named Tien Poa who is separated from his family during wartime. During his journey through enemy territory, he saves the life of an American soldier who befriends and helps him.

---. The Last Little Cat. 1961. A little cat finds itself rejected by its mother and accidentally falls into the same kennel with an old, blind dog. The dog shares its food with the cat. Later, after separation, the cat finds its old friend, the dog, in the home of a kind man.

---. Smoke Above the Lane. 1951. A tramp becomes friends with a little skunk as they travel together in the boxcar of a freight train. Children will enjoy the humor of the skunk's appearance at a Labor Day parade, as well as the friendship formed by this unlikely pair.

---. The Wheel on the School. Illus. Maurice Sendak. 1954. Children from the Dutch village of Shora learn that storks once perched on the roofs of the people's houses. The children begin a campaign to get the storks back. They influence the whole village with their efforts and exhibit great courage against storms that threaten their goal. The illustrations are an integral part of this book and others by DeJong.



Dodge, Mary Mapes. Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates. 1954. Hans wishes to win the silver skates by winning a racing contest. He realizes that his chances are slim, however, with only wooden skates for the contest. Hans and his sister are fine examples as they care for their sick father while facing scorn and poverty.


Dodgson, Charles Lutwidge [Lewis Carroll, pseudonym].               1865. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Grosset and Dunlap, 1988. Alice has some strange adventures in a dream where she escapes to an underground world. There she talks with animals including the Cheshire Cat, March Hare, Mad Hatter, and Mock Turtle. In the second story, Alice embarks on a world behind a looking glass where everything is backwards. She meets some other fascinating characters, including Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Humpty Dumpty, and the Lion and the Unicorn.


DuBois, William Pene. The Giant. 1954. The story tells of a young, giant-sized boy who is trying to find a place where he can be accepted without fear or ridicule. The author finds the boy and helps him meet his objective. Behind the story is a message of tolerance and kindness toward others.

---. Twenty-one Balloons. 1947. Professor Sherman, ready for a change after forty years of teaching math, sets off in a balloon across the Pacific Ocean, only to find himself being rescued three weeks later in the Atlantic. This Newbery winner will provide a touch of unbelievable and delightful humor.


Edmonds, Walter D. The Matchlock Gun. 1941. Edward's mother, being left with the children, is uncertain of what might happen if the encroaching Indians get past the militiamen. Edward admires the matchlock gun hanging over the fireplace; he wishes his father would use it instead of his musket. Instead, Edward himself uses it against three Indians who would have destroyed the family and the house.

---. Two Logs Crossing. 1943. Young John Haskell wants to pay off his dead father's debts and support his mother, brothers, and sisters. He does so by going fur trapping with an Indian friend. By trapping each winter, he pays the debt and improves his family's condition.


Edwards, Julie. Mandy. 1971. This melodrama finds Mandy, a lonely orphan, discovering her own secret cottage. After a good cleaning, this place meets some of Mandy's needs.


Elgin, Kathleen. The Human Body: The Ear: 1967. The ear is described and illustrated so that children can understand its role in the hearing process and in the body's sense of equilibrium.


Enright, Elizabeth. The Four-Story Mistake. 1942. The Melendy family moves from their New York house to a four-story monstrosity in the country. But they find some intriguing adventures in the "four-story mistake."

---. Gone-Away Lake. 1957. Two children go on an excursion for their summer holiday. They find a swamp as they pursue a rare butterfly. Beyond the swamp are some dilapidated but elegant homes full of mystery. This delightful book is full of excitement, day dreaming, and pleasant summer breezes.

---. The Saturdays. 1941. Four children decide that they could have more fun than usual if they would pool their allowances with each one having his own special Saturday.

---. Spiderweb for Two. 1951. While their brothers and sisters are away, Randy and Oliver Melendy search out the clues of a mysterious treasure hunt.

---. Thimble Summer. 1938. Girls will enjoy reading about Garnet's experiences on a Wisconsin farm. Her summer days of happiness begin as soon as she finds a silver thimble in the dried creek bed. Thus, Garnet becomes convinced that the thimble is the cause of these good days.


Estes, Eleanor. Ginger Pye. 1951. Ginger, the dog in the Pye family, is lost just about the time a man in a mustard-colored hat appears. A clever three-year-old named Uncle Bennie helps the family find the dog and dispels suspicion of the man.

---. The Hundred Dresses. 1944. This is a sensitive story about a young Polish immigrant and her struggle to "fit in" at school. The story has a strong, positive message about the pain caused by senseless teasing.

---. The Moffats. 1941. The Moffat family lives in Connecticut around the time of World War I. Janey is the Moffat through whom the reader sees all the adventures of this lively but poor family. The story is sensitive but not sentimental. The pen and ink sketches allow the child to visualize the time period and give an enjoyable lift to almost every other page.


Faulkner, Georgene, and Becker, John. Melindy's Medal. 1945. Melinda is overjoyed when her family moves to a new housing project. However, she is not satisfied with herself because all the men in her family have won medals for brave war actions. She gets her chance to display courage when a fire breaks out at school, and she saves the lives of all the children. She, too, receives a medal of honor.


Fenner, Phyllis. Horses, Horses, Horses. 1949. This book contains a wide selection of excellent horse stories that anyone will enjoy. The selections include stories about palominos, pintos, polo ponies, as well as plow horses.


Field, Rachel. Calico Bush. 1931. This pioneer adventure story finds Maggie saving the lives of the England family to whom she had been "bound out." She does this by making a Maypole dance arrangement for some attacking Indians. The story imparts knowledge of the hardships of the colonial period in one of the first settlements of Maine.

---. Hitty Her First Hundred Years. 1929. Children and adults will learn about nineteenth-century life from Hitty, the doll made from mountain ash. She begins her life in a window shop of a quiet Maine village. Then she travels for the next one hundred years.


Fife, Dale. North of Danger: 1978. In order to warn his father, a scientist being sought by the Nazis, Arne manages to stay in Norway when the town is being evacuated. Arne braves a two hundred-mile trip with winter approaching. One of his concerns is a trapper, whom he mistrusts at first but later the trapper proves helpful in getting to Arne's father. This exciting account will attract even reluctant readers.


Froman, Robert. Mushrooms and Molds. 1972. Readers will learn that mushrooms and molds are different from most other plants. These plants reproduce by spores and do not produce their own food as other plants do. Suggested activities and demonstrations are given to help children understand these plants with which they have probably had little contact.


Gannett, Ruth S. My Father's Dragon. 1948. This nonsensical fantasy describes Elmer Elevator's trip to Wild Island to free the captive baby dragon. He succeeds by using such devices as chewing gum, toothpaste, and lollipops, but not before he encounters dangers from other wild animals.


Gans, Roma. Bird Talk. 1971. Birds "say" things that children are often curious about. This book reveals much about bird songs. There are mating calls, warning calls, songs of happiness, and songs of sadness.


Gardiner, John Reynolds. Stone Fox. 1983. This is a superb, heartwarming story about a courageous young boy and his love for his aging grandfather.


Gates, Doris. Blue Willow. 1940. This is a powerful story about a young girl named Janey and her migrant family during the depression years.

---. The Cat and Mrs. Cory. 1962. Mrs. Cory becomes the owner of a cat about the same time her convalescing nephew comes to live with her. From her newly purchased house, Mrs. Cory, her nephew, and the cat attempt to solve a mystery of several parakeet disappearances. The delightful cat has the uncanny ability to talk-but only to Mrs. Cory.


Goldin, Augusta. The Bottom of the Sea. 1967. Children seldom realize that the geography below the sea is similar to that above sea level. There are mountain ranges, cliffs, mudflats, and volcanoes below the sea. This book introduces children to an exciting new world.

---. Salt. 1965. Interesting information including the location of and the mining of salt. Also introduces the child to a simple experiment in which he sees salt crystals growing.

---. Straight Hair; Curly Hair. 1966. Hair texture, length, and fullness are discussed so that children understand some of the principles of heredity. Colorful and numerous illustrations help explain some simple experiments.

---. The Sunlit Sea. 1968. There is a busy world of plants and animals that live within the sunlit portion of the sea. Some creatures make noises, and others quietly wait for their food. The appealing illustrations teach about marine life.


Grahame, Kenneth. The Reluctant Dragon. 1953. This story tells of a young boy who makes friends with a dragon found in a cave. The dragon has slept there while the rest of his species has gone. The humor and delightful illustrations make this an attractive book.

---. The Wind in the Willows. 1933. This is a classic work about four rodent friends whose charming personalities and myriad adventures are made irresistible through Grahame's elegant style.


Hale, Lucretia. The Complete Peterkin Papers. 1960. The Peterkin family always seems to be in trouble, but the Lady from Philadelphia rescues them just in time. These humorous anecdotes are probably most effectively used with young people when read aloud.


Harris, Beth Coombe. The Little Green Frog. n.d. Biddy, a missionary's eight-year-old daughter, is forced by ill health to come to America temporarily. Her testimony and spirit endear her to the hearts of many who help supply money to build a hospital for Biddy's parents in China. Biddy herself faces a difficult decision in her efforts to raise the money when she finds out that her treasured frog is worth several thousand dollars.


Hawes, Judy. Bees and Beelines. 1964. Children will learn much fascinating information about bees from this book. They will learn how bees communicate with each other, not by talking but by touching other bees and by movements which signify certain messages. This book is written to make the scientific explanations understandable for children.


Hays, Wilma Pitchford. Christmas on the Mayflower. 1956. Giles, having been on the Mayflower for months, finally gets to go ashore. In this vivid but fictionalized story of the first Christmas in the New World, Giles helps the women decorate and tries to discover ways to make toys for the younger children. Great appreciation for these early settlers is a natural response from the reader.

---. Fourth of July Raid. 1959. With a warning that the British will soon attack, Tom and his family hide as many of their belongings as possible. Tom is anxious to go with his father to fight, but instead he displays his bravery at home. He helps a neighbor retrieve important papers, and he helps a group of men drive the British away against incredible odds.

Henry, Marguerite. Brighty of the Grand Canyon. 1953. Taken from a true story. Brighty is a little burro that lives in the Grand Canyon. He vindicates his friend, the old prospector, by helping to find his murderer. No one can read this book without gaining an enhanced picture of the canyon.

---. Justin Morgan Had a Horse. 1954. Justin Morgan, a plain workhorse, rises to fame as President James Monroe's horse. This is accomplished because a young boy loves the horse and rescues him from a cruel master. From this horse comes the famous American breed of Morgan horses.

---. Misty of Chincoteague. 1947. Each year ponies from the island of Chincoteague in the Chesapeake Bay are sold for children's use. This is the story of Phantom, one of these wild freedom-loving ponies, and her foal, Misty. Both are tamed by Paul and Maureen.

---. Sea Star 1949. Misty, a tamed wild horse, becomes involved in saving the life of a little, wild orphan horse. The orphan horse is discovered by the same two children who had found Misty earlier.

---. Stormy, Misty's Foal. 1963. This story is based on true accounts of a foal being born in the aftermath of a storm that virtually ruined Chincoteague Island.



Hess, Donna. A Father's Promise. Bob Jones University Press, 1987. When Nazi forces invade Poland and bomb his home city of Warsaw, Rudi finds out that because he is a Jew-and a Christian-he is Hitler's enemy. In the next few years, he learns how to survive in hiding, how to be truly brave, and how to overcome the hatred of his enemies.


Holling, Holling Clancy. Paddle-to-the-Sea. 1941. A boy puts his hand-carved Indian in a canoe in the water above Lake Superior. It takes four years for it to go through the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, and then out to sea. The book serves as a colorful geography lesson.


Howard, Milly. These Are My People. 1984. Set against the backdrop of war between Japan and China during the 1930s, this is the story of Gladys Aylward and her courageous mission work with the Chinese people.

---. Brave the Wild Trail. BJU Press, 1987. Josh goes along on a cattle drive through Florida's dangerous wilderness.

Hyde, Dayton O. Cranes in My Corral. 1971. Mr. Hyde raises birds and the sandhill cranes follow Mr. Hyde, and he learns to imitate the whooping dance with the birds. Migratory season causes the birds to leave Oregon, but Mr. Hyde finds them and returns them to his ranch.


Kaufmann, John. Streamlined. 1974. Children will learn from this account why certain-shaped bodies have the most effective mobility in water. Simple experiments are designed to help develop this understanding and to apply it to other things.


Kipling, Rudyard. The Elephant's Child. 1970. This is one of the stories from Just So Stories. The stubborn elephant's child goes to the "great, green, greasy Limpopo River" in order to find knowledge. Crocodile helps him find it, and as a reminder of his lesson, the elephant gets a trunk.

---. Just So Stories. 1952. Children will love these humorous, nonsensical animal stories, especially the explanation about how the elephant got his trunk and how the camel got his hump.


Kjelgaard, Jim [James Arthur]. Haunt-Fox. 1981. In this realistic animal story, a young boy and his dog hunt the fox and finally trap it. Because he did not catch it fairly, however, the boy sets the fox free. One will learn much through this story about the fox's care of his mate and cubs.

---. Snow Dog. 1980. This story of a wild pup living in the wilderness will attract dog lovers. This dog's stamina and intelligence help it to survive many difficulties. The pup is finally befriended by a trapper.


Knight, Eric M. Lassie Come-Home. 1978. Lassie finds her way back across miles of rough mountain country to her beloved young master. The boy's family has to sell Lassie because of a financial crisis, but Lassie's determination helps her escape from the Scottish kennels and get back to England.


Konigsburg, E. L. Altogether; One at a Time. 1971. Four short stories make the point that some things can be both bad and good at the same time.

---. Father's Arcane Daughter: 1976. Caroline, an older half-sister of Winston and Heidi, had been kidnapped and presumed dead seventeen years earlier. Therefore Winston and Heidi are guarded every waking moment. Not until Caroline reappears do the other two children enjoy any freedom and happiness.

---. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. 1967. This is a humorous tale about eleven-year-old Claudia and her younger brother who decide to run away from home and hide out in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The mystery they "uncover" on this excursion brings them to the home of the eccentric Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.


Lamb, Charles and Lamb, Mary. Tales from Shakespeare. 1906. Written in prose, twenty of Shakespeare's plays reflect the vocabulary and style of the original works, yet older elementary children will be delighted by them.


Landin, Les. About Policemen Around the World. 1964. This informational book describes the duties, uniforms, and other distinctions of policemen from France, England, Italy, Japan, Chile Australia, Canada, and America (past and present).


Lang, Andrew. Blue Fairy Book. 1948. Many old favorite fairy tales are included in this collection of thirty-seven.

---. Green Fairy Book. 1948. These forty-two fairy tales come from such sources as the Grimm brothers, Madame D'Aulnoy, Paul Sebillot, and the Comte de Caylus.

---. Red Fairy Book. 1948. This is a collection of fairy tales with over a hundred line drawings. The folklore comes from French, Scandinavian, German, and Rumanian sources.

---. Yellow Fairy Book. 1948. These forty-eight folktales are derived from such countries as Germany, France, Iceland, Russia, and Eastern European countries. Also included are tales from the North American Indians.


Langton, Jane. Her Majesty Grace Jones. 1974. This story is set in the Great Depression years when Pop is without a job, and the car must be turned in for cash. Grace escapes to her world of fantasy where she is the heir to the British throne. She writes to King George for help but finally realizes that she was being foolish and selfish.


Lawson, Robert. Ben and Me. 1939. In this fanciful tale, Amos the mouse finds his way into Ben Franklin's cap and from this new dwelling serves as Ben's advisor. Of course, Amos's advice serves Ben so successfully that it makes Ben a famous man in history.

---. Mr. Revere and 1. 1953. The accounts of Paul Revere's life and the American Revolution are told by Scheherazade, Paul Revere's horse, who advises and leads the American Revolutionary War hero to his glory. Children will love having this book read to them.

---. Rabbit Hill. 1944. The animal kingdom living around Rabbit Hill, especially Father, Mother, and Little Georgie Rabbit, are concerned about the new human inhabitants. With a hard winter coming, the animals are worried about whether these folks would be good providers for the animals. The animals find out all too soon that the winter will be tough.


Note: Readers can enjoy each of the following books in Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia as a fantasy story that stands by itself. These books are listed in series order, not in alphabetical order:


Lewis, C. S. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. 1950. In this, the first of Lewis's seven Narnia stories, Lucy, Susan, Peter, and Edmund discover the world of Narnia, and Aslan dies to save the traitorous Edmund from death.

---. Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia. 1951. In this second book of the series, the children help Prince Caspian and his talking beasts conquer the evil Telmarines.

---. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 1952. This intriguing tale tells how Prince Caspian and the children make their way eastward through the magic waters to the End of the World.

---. The Silver Chair: 1953. In this adventure the children and a marshwiggle named Puddleglum help the captive Prince Rilian escape from an underground kingdom ruled by the wicked Emerald Witch.

---. The Horse and His Boy. 1954. This story tells how a talking horse and a boy prince are directed by Aslan to travel from Calormen to save Narnia from invasion.

---. The Magician's Nephew. 1955. This book in the series explains how the four children were brought to Narnia, how the world of Narnia was created, and how Aslan gave the gift of speech to the animals who live there.

---. The Last Battle. 1956. In this last book of the series, the world of Narnia comes to an end, and the children are taken into a new paradise to live forever with Aslan.


Lindgren, Astrid. Mio, My Son. 1956. This book relates a magical story of a lonely boy who becomes a prince. He is carried away by a genie to a faraway land.


Little, Jean. From Anna. 1972. Things begin to change for Anna when she has to move with her family from Germany to Canada during World War H. She had been an awkward girl, sensitive, lonely, and unattractive. In Canada she realizes that she can make friends on her own, and a doctor finds that her eyesight is very poor. These events help Anna to have a new outlook on her life.

---. Kate. 1971. Kate, a half-Jewish friend to Emily, learns about her Jewish heritage and gains insight into relationships with her family and friends.

---. Look Through My Window. 1970. Emily, an only child, moves with her family to an eighteen-room house so that they can take in four of her "wild" cousins. Emily discovers that living in a large family is both fun and rewarding, especially after she meets Kate, who becomes a good friend.

---. Spring Begins in March. 1966. Meg, the youngest in the family, feels immense pressure from home and school burdens. With the discovery of her grandmother's diary comes greater understanding of Grandma and of Meg herself. Girls will enjoy reading about a character with similar struggles that they face.


Lofting, Hugh. The Story of Dr. Dolittle. 1920. Doctor Dolittle has so many pets in his house that his patients will not come to him; therefore, he treats only his pets. He sails to Africa upon hearing that an epidemic is breaking out among the monkeys there. These stories were actually written to the author's children while he served in the Irish Guards.

---. The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle. 1922. A Newbery winner, this story relates Tommy Stubbins's friendship with Doctor Dolittle. The two of them go on a voyage of discovery on which a series of unusual events occur. Doctor Dolittle discovers the key to the language of shellfish, he creates a scene as matador, and he is crowned king by some natives on an island.


Low, Elizabeth. Snug in the Snow. 1963. Jamie and his aunt are waiting to leave tomorrow after closing up their New England cottage for the winter. But a snowstorm is moving in. Jamie hopes that it snows enough to keep his aunt and him from being able to leave so that he can see the snow, feel it, and watch his animal friends find their food in it.


Lowry, Lois. Number the Stars. 1989. Annemarie Johansen, a ten-year-old girl, learns what true bravery is as she and her family struggle to survive the German occupation of Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1943.


McCloskey, Robert. Homer Price. 1943. In this episodic tale the charming character Homer Price uses his intelligence and common sense to unravel mysteries.


McClung, Robert M. Black Jack: Last of the Big Alligators. 1967. Young readers will learn about alligators by personally getting to know Black Jack. Included are the accounts of Black Jack's birth and the dangers he faces from other animals, hunters, and the weather. Children will enjoy reading about this fearsome reptile.

---. Buzztail: The Story of a Rattlesnake. 1958. Buzztail lets the reader personally get to know the timber rattlesnakes. Its multicolored diamond-shaped scales, its rattles, and its three quarter-inch fangs mark it distinctly. A young farm boy is bitten by Buzztail in this account, and the emergency steps of action are outlined.

---. Honker: The Story of a Wild Goose. 1965. Honker, a Canadian goose, travels along the Mississippi flyway during migration. This account of Honker and his flock reveals how dangerous the flight to a wintering area in the southern United States can be.

 ---. Ladybug. 1966. The life cycle of the ladybug is explained in this colorful, easy text. The reader will learn to appreciate the fact that this beetle eats insects which are harmful to plants.

 ---. Lung: The Story of a Moth. 1957. This story will interest youngsters as they learn of the lung moth's short life cycle. In only g few days, g female lung moth lays several hundred eggs. Only one of them survives from g cocoon to a caterpillar to g pupa and finally becomes g moth.

---. Redbird: The Story of a Cardinal. 1968. The many stages of a cardinal's life are depicted: hatching, learning to fly, mating, nest building, and egg laying. Students learn about the danger facing baby birds; one of the birds is seized by an enemy and destroyed.

---. Tiger: The Story of a Swallowtail Butterfly. 1953. This simple text tells the story of Swallowtail's first year. As he sheds his skin several times, each new skin shows a new design. After g long winter as a chrysalis, the skin splits open and the disheveled creature becomes a perfect tiger swallowtail butterfly.

---. Vulcan: The Story of a Bald Eagle. 1955. Vulcan is born in the crown of an old tree. At four months hum wings expand to seven feet. After the eagle finds hum mate, they build their nest and return each year until the nest um destroyed by lumbermen. This informational book, which reads like a story, will interest many children.


MacDonald, George. The Golden Key. 1976. This fairy-tale adventure takes Tangle and Mossy into a mysterious land. They separate where Tangle meets three old men and where Mossy begins to grow wiser and more beautiful. When they are reunited, they reach the rainbow and finally the "country whence the shadows fall."

---. The Light Princess. 1977. A spiteful aunt curses her infant niece in this fantasy. As a result, the child weighs nothing. The one thing she can enjoy um swimming, since her lack of gravity um no handicap in water. This ability allows her to meet a prince who brings her happiness ever after.

---. The Princess and Curdle. 1978. In this sequel to The Princess and the Goblin, Princess Iran lives with her father in the capital city of Gwynstorm. But danger follows her there.

---. The Princess and the Goblin. 1951. Curdle and Princess Iran go through bewildering experiences. The goblins who live in the caverns below the mines draw the two of them into danger. The children are led successfully out of danger with a magic ball of thread.


MacGregor, Ellen. Miss Pickerell Goes to Mars. 1951. This science fiction tale combines fantasy and fact that enliven children's curiosity. Miss Pickerell returns from vacation to find that a rocket ship is on her property. Before long she is aboard the rocket and finds herself on Mars. Humorous illustrations enhance the book's appeal.


Mason, Miriam E. Katie Kittenheart. 1957. During the year she spends with Grandma on her farm, Katie has special fun with a stray cat and a family of mice. These animals help her prove her courage and responsibility.


Note: Readers can enjoy each of the following three books in the

Bracken series as a fanciful story that stands by itself. These books are listed in series order not in alphabetical order:


Massi, Jeri. The Bridge. BJU Press, 1986. In book one of the Bracken series, Princess Rosalynn helps to save the kingdom of Bracken.

---. Crown and Jewel. BJU Press, 1987. In book two of the Bracken series, Young Princess Rosewyn stumbles onto a secret plot against her father's crown.

---. The Two Collars. BJU Press, 1988. In this final book of the Bracken Trilogy, Krea, a seven-year-old slave, finds friendship, excitement, and danger.


Note: Readers can enjoy each of the following Massi books in the Peabody series as an adventure story that stands by itself. These books are listed in series order not in alphabetical order:

---. Derwood, Inc. BJU Press, 1986. In this humorous story, the first of the Peabody series, a brother and sister detective team find adventure as close as the local mattress store.

---. A Dangerous Game. BJU Press, 1986. In this second Peabody book, Scruggs Grady gets caught up in an international spy ring.

---. Treasure in the Yukon. BJU Press, 1986. In the third Peabody book, Jack Derwood and Scruggs Grady search for lost gold.

---. Courage by Darkness. BJU Press, 1987. Jean Derwood is the focus of the fourth Peabody story. Her dreams of doing something heroic when the family goes to Alabama actually come true.

---. Llamas on the Loose. BJU Press, 1988. In the fifth Peabody book, Penny, Jack, and Scruggs find plenty of adventure while helping Doc Ericson on his new llama farm.

---. Abandoned. BJU Press, 1989. The last book in the series finds the Peabody gang stranded in the wilderness of New England.


Meadowcroft, Enid L. By Secret Railway. 1948. David Morgan befriends a freed slave boy in Chicago. A boarder with the Morgan family kidnaps the boy so that he can get the reward money. David proves his friendship by making a connection for the boy with the Underground Railroad. This story provides good historical information concerning Chicago in the latter half of the nineteenth century.


Means, Florence Crannell. The Rains Will Come. 1954. Lohmay, a Hopi Indian boy, is destined to become his people's religious leader in succession to his uncle. Drought and despair lead Lohmay into an ordeal with his gods. This paganism can be used to show the need of all to hear the gospel of the one true, living God.


Miles, Miska. Uncle Fonzo's Ford. 1968. Uncle Fonzo always manages to bungle things. If he picks Effie up at school, he is unable to get the top up on his 1910 model car. If he tries to fix a clock, it chimes fifteen times. But when he spills paint on Effie's new hat, he thinks of a solution that makes Effie accept and love Uncle Fonzo much more easily.

Morey, Walt. Gloomy Gus. 1970. Eric finds a bear cub in some woods near his house. Eric wants to keep the cub, but his father will not let him. With the help of his prospector friend, Ten-Day Watson, Eric and his beloved pet Gus are eventually reunited.

---. Kavik, the Wolf Dog. 1968. Kavik, a dog of one-quarter wolf lineage, wins the North American Sled Dog Derby. Numerous hardships overcome Kavik, including the loss of his mate. But Kavik is able finally to return to the one master who truly loved him.

---. Runaway Stallion. 1973. Known as Fly-by, this famous racehorse escapes and goes to the High Cascade Mountains in Oregon. He is found by Jeff Hunter, who has to rescue the horse from a bog. Jeff renames the horse Goblin, and together they face many adventures, tragedies, and victories.


Mowat, Farley, Owls in the Family. 1961. When Billy and his friends set out to have an owl as a pet, their adventures begin. They find Wol, a baby great homed owl whose nest has been destroyed by a storm. Within a few weeks, Wol is joined by Weeps, also an orphan whom Billy saves from certain death. The two owls become part of the family, pulling practical jokes on the family dog and generally getting into trouble.


Nye, Julie. In My Uncle's House. BJU Press, 1986. God uses a new friend and a magnificent horse to ease Travis McLarren's bitterness.

---. Scout. BJU Press, 1987. An injured dog, Scout, brings mystery and friendship into Jeff Wingate's life.


O'Brien, Robert C. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. 1971. This Newbery winner is seen by some as a commentary on life today, but children will simply enjoy the science fiction. Mrs. Frisby seeks advice from the rats concerning her mouse son, Timothy, who is sick. She learns that the rats had been part of an experiment at NIMH, and now they can read and write. Their advice helps her and she is able, in turn, to help them escape.


Orton, Helen Fuller. The Treasure in the Little Trunk. 1932. Set in New York State in 1832, this story is a fascinating mystery. Patty Armstrong's gold beads belonged to her grandmother. What happens to these beads and an adventuresome journey into the wilderness provide excitement for the reader.


Ransome, Arthur. Swallows and Amazons. 1931. This imaginative story has Roger, John, Titty, and Susan on numerous adventures finding buried treasure and finding Robinson Crusoe, Friday, and Captain Flint. These discoveries are made as they spend a summer on an island, sailing whenever and wherever they like.


Reid, J. Calvin. Bird Life in Wington. 1948. These simple stories that can be enjoyed by young and old provide principles for Christian living. The characters are familiar birds which illustrate human faults in humorous and skillful ways.


Repp, Gloria. The Secret of the Golden Cowrie. BJU Press, 1988. Connie Lawrence listens eagerly when Aunt Laura shares a puzzling secret with her.

Rich, Louise Dickinson. Star Island Boy. 1968. Larry is an eleven year-old orphan who is sent with seven other wards of the state to live with a family off the coast of Maine. At last he finds a real home.


Rounds, Glen. The Blind Colt. 1960. A wild colt is born blind and grows up with a band of mustangs. A ten-year-old boy adopts and trains the colt. The story is a good example of perseverance in spite of a handicap and of compassion for an animal.


St. John, Patricia. Star of Light. 1953. Kinza, a rejected blind girl in Morocco, is kindly received as a daughter by a missionary woman. Hamid, Kinza's brother, also receives food and hears Bible stories from the missionary. Hamid is saved through this ministry, and Kinza is given hope as she attends an English school for blind children.

---. Treasures of the Snow. 1951. Annette bravely and lovingly assumes the responsibility of rearing her newborn brother Dani. Later Lucien teases young Dani and causes Dani to hurt his leg. Annette becomes Lucien's bitter enemy until Lucien fights a blizzard to get help from a doctor for Dani. Both Lucien and Annette find true peace when they accept Christ as their Savior.


Salten, Felix. Bambi. 1970. Bambi is a young fawn enjoying the forest and curious elements around him. Avoiding sentimentality, the author paints a realistic picture of the struggles Bambi faces with his enemy-man.


Sandburg, Carl. Rootabaga Stories. 1922. These humorous nonsensical stories can be effectively read aloud. They reveal a picture of America's Midwest, but not without whim and symbolism.


Sawyer, Ruth. Roller Skates. 1964. Lucinda, a ten-year-old girl, explores New York on roller skates in the 1890s. She makes several friends as she passes by. This story is based on true accounts in the author's life.


Selden, George. The Cricket in Tines Square. 1960. Chester is a musical cricket that comes to New York's Times Square. He makes three new friends-Mario, a newsstand operator; Tucker, a Broadway mouse; and Harry, a wise cat-with whom he experiences the joy of special friendships.

---. A Tree for Peter. 1941. Children enjoy this story about a shantytown's reformation at Christmas time. A hobo brings happiness to Peter, who is handicapped and lonely. The man also helps Peter overcome his timidity and fears.

Seredy, Kate. The Singing Tree. 1940. Written as a sequel to The Good Master, the story for this Newbery honor book is set on a Hungarian farm during World War I. The Good Master's son turns the farm into a place of refuge for many needy people, including German orphans.

---. The White Stag. 1938. This Newbery winner is the legendary account of the founding of Hungary. Both a red eagle and a white stag lead the people into their promised land.


Shannon, Monica. Dobry. 1962. Dobry, a young Bulgarian boy who wants to become a sculptor, is encouraged by his grandfather to continue to fulfill his goal.


Sorensen, Virginia. Miracles on Maple Hill. 1972. Marly and her family move to the country in hopes of improving her father's health. Many miracles occur in the Pennsylvania maple sugar country, including miracles that are wrought by love in this family setting.


Spyri, Johanna. Heidi. 1945. This famous story of a Swiss girl and her love for the goats she attends in the beautiful highlands of the Swiss Alps has been enjoyed by children everywhere.


Sterling, Dorothy. Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman. 1954. This is a biography of a slave, Harriet Tubman, her escape, and the phenomenal feat of transporting groups of slaves to freedom. Also detailed are Harriet's efforts as a spy, scout, and nurse during the Civil War.


Taylor, Sydney. All-of-a-Kind Family. 1951. A Jewish family is depicted in this story of five girls. Although poor, the family shares a wealth of love and understanding. They explore the library, enjoy midnight snacks, play in their father's shop, and participate in Jewish holidays.

---. More All-of-a-Kind Family. 1954. A sequel toAll-of-a-kind Family, this book can stand alone, but it is greatly enhanced if one has read the first one. With interest, the reader follows the celebration of Jewish holidays and other activities by believable characters.

---. A Papa Like Everyone Else. 1966. Gisella, separated from her father for five years, hopes to be reunited with him, but World War I prevents it.


Terhune, Albert Payson. Lad: A Dog. 1919. Dog lovers will enjoy this account of a collie that lived on the author's estate. This is considered one of the best-loved dog stories of all time.


Thomson, Andy. Renegade in the Hills. BJU Press, 1989. Josiah Eagle tries to keep a greedy rancher from capturing him.

---. Sheriff at Waterstop. BJU Press, 1986. Waterstop needs cleaning up, and Bret knows that Pa is the man to do it.


Thurber, James. Many Moons. 1943. A young princess falls ill and thinks she will get well only if she can obtain the moon. As she sees the moon, she thinks it is small and is made of gold. The court jester solves her problems. This picture storybook won the 1944 Caldecott Medal.

Travers, Pamela L. Mary Poppins. 1981. Mary Poppins becomes the British nursemaid for the Banks family. However, there are clues that things are a bit unusual when she arrives via an east wind. She brings much adventure to Jane and Michael Banks with excursions to magical places.


Vandevenne, Jean. Some Summer! BJU Press, 1987. Charlie Scott has a great idea for the summer, but then Aunt Essie comes for a visit.


Voelker, Joyce. Dear Terry. BJU Press, 1990. Joyce doesn't know what to expect when Granny finds her a pen pal who lives in Vermont.


Walley, Susan. Best of Friends. BJU Press, 1989. Katie Crawford wants to be friends with Renee, the talented new girl in town.


Watkins, Dawn. Jenny Wren. BJU Press, 1986. A shy young girl comes to her new foster home with misgivings.

---. Medallion. BJU Press, 1985. Who shall be worthy to rule Gadalla? He must prove himself by winning the gold medallion. In this intriguing fantasy, Prince Trave, sure of his rights and disgusted with the selfish uncle who reigns in his stead, vows to get the medallion back. The only problem, he thinks, is to find it.


White, E. B. Charlotte's Web. 1952. In this barnyard setting with Charlotte, the spider, and Wilbur, the pig, Charlotte is able to save the pig's life by spinning messages in her web. Young children love this story of Fern's barnyard.

---. The Trumpet of the Swans. 1973. Louis is a trumpeter swan, but he is born without a voice. Even though he learns to read and write, without his voice he cannot court Serena, the lovely lady of his choice. Louis's father tries to help by stealing a trumpet for him. He travels about the country as a professional musician, earning enough to pay for the trumpet. He does win Serena's heart.


Wiggin, Kate Douglas. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. 1925. Undaunted by the somber home of her two maiden aunts, Rebecca wins everyone's affection. Her friendliness and imagination make her appealing in this humorous New England setting.


Note: Readers can enjoy each of the following books in the Little House series as a story that stands by itself. These books are listed in series order; not in alphabetical order:


Wilder, Laura Ingalls. Little House in the Big Woods. 1953. This first book in a series relates the life of Laura and Mary and their parents in the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Their log cabin was miles away from any neighbors. Struggles with blizzards, wolves, and loneliness were certain, but Laura finds plenty of adventure in this western way of life.

---. Little House on the Prairie. 1953. In this second "Little House" book, Laura goes with her family into Indian country.

---. Farmer Boy. 1953. Almanzo Wilder's boyhood is described in this "Little House" segment. His experiences on his father's farm in upper New York State almost a hundred years ago describe rural life.

---. On the Banks of Plum Creek. 1953. After a move to Minnesota, the Ingalls family contends with tough battles from nature. A blizzard and a grasshopper plague are the enemies in this book.

---. By the Shores of SilverLake. 1953. This segment of Laura's life finds her with her family on a Dakota homestead, miles from any other people.

---. These Happy Golden Years. 1953. This last "Little House" book describes Laura's school teaching and her marriage.

---. The First Four Y ears. 1971. This segment of Laura Wilder's life relates the events in the early years of her marriage to Almanzo. As they fight to keep their homestead claim in South Dakota, they find joy in their new daughter Rose, and in the little delights of nature around them.


Williams, Connie. Right-Hand Man. BJU Press, 1992. Sam Rogers is Mom-Jo's right-hand man, and he has to take a careful look at her prospects for a husband. But what happens when the wrong man shows up?


Yates, Elizabeth. Mountain Born. BJU Press, 1943, 1993. Wolves, weather, a black lamb, a trusty dog-all are part of young Peter's life on a mountain farm. His best friend is Benj, a wise old shepherd, who teaches him to care for the sprightly lamb that becomes his own special pet, his cosset. As Biddy grows into her place as leader of the flock, Peter grows too, learning the skills and joys of a shepherd's life.