Over the summer, your child should receive a collection of four high-quality books to add to their home library. On this website, you will find several resources for each of the books. The “Activity Suggestions” is a template you can use to help guide you through reading the book together as a family. The template will provide suggestions for questions to ask your child throughout the book, fun activities to do to engage with the book, as well as other recommended titles to further your child’s interest and vocabulary about that book’s topic.
Each book also has a link to a read-aloud performed by a West Virginia educator. You can choose to play these recordings for your child so they can listen to the words as they follow along with their own book. It is important for your child to hear an adult read the text so they can hear proper pace and expression. Playing this recording is a good option for your child when they want to practice their reading fluency.
The Night Before First Grade – By Natasha Wing, Deborah Zemkwe
It’s the night before the Big Day—first grade. Penny is excited to start the year with her best friend right beside her in the same classroom. This humorous take on Clement C. Moore’s classic tale has a perfect twist ending that will surprise readers—as It’s the night before the Big Day—first grade. Penny is excited to start the year with her best friend right beside her in the same classroom. This humorous take on Clement C. Moore’s classic tale has a perfect twist ending that will surprise readers—as well as the “heroine” of the story—and help all about-to-be first-graders through their own back-to-school jitters.
How to Hide an Octopus and Other Sea Creatures – By Ruth Heller
Go on a fascinating nature hunt to find the camouflaged octopus, crabs, brilliantly-painted tropical fish, and other wonderful sea creatures hidden in the pages of this book.
The Loopy Coop Hens – By Janet Morgan Stoeke
Midge, Pip, and Dot are the silly hens of Loopy Coop Farm. Resting under the shade of a big apple tree, they are suddenly bombarded by falling apples–who could possibly be throwing apples at them? The three hens investigate, only to find a Midge, Pip Pip and Dot are the silly hens of Loopy Coop Farm. Resting under the shade of a big apple tree, they are suddenly bombarded by falling apples–who could possibly be throwing apples at them? The three hens investigate, only to find an unexpected explanation. With its surprise ending, short and punchy text, and Stoeke’s hilariously expressive pictures, this is a story kids will want to return to again and again.
From the author of the hit Minerva Louise series, this new rowdy reader about the Loopy Coop Farm hens is also a perfect lesson in reading.
A Pig, a Fox, and a Box – By Jonathan Fenske
Fox is sly and sneaky, but is he sneaky enough to play tricks on Pig? In this story designed to engage early readers, charming characters combine with simple text, lively illustrations, and laugh-out-loud humor to help boost kids’ confidence and create lifelong readers!
In the style of Mo Willems, Jonathan Fenske tells three humorous stories of two friends, Fox and Pig, and their shenanigans with a cardboard box. Fox tries to play games with Pig. First, Fox hides inside the box, only to be sat on and crushed by Pig. Next, he tries to trick Pig into thinking that Fox is crushed beneath a pile of stones. Pig, wanting to rescue his friend, tosses the stones over his shoulder—where they land on the box and crush his friend hiding inside.
With comic art and simple language, this title is sure to have kids rolling with laughter.
Exciting, easy-to-read books are the stepping stone a young reader needs to bridge the gap between being a beginner and being fluent.
Mouse Scouts – By Sarah Dillard
Meet Violet, Tigerlily, Hyacinth, Petunia, Junebug, and Cricket, six new Mouse Scouts who are trustworthy and strong, thrifty and brave . . . and destined to be friends to the end! Best friends Violet and Tigerlily can’t wait to start earning their merit badges. But their troop leader, Miss Poppy, is one strict rodent. And earning their first badge—planting a vegetable garden—is hard work. Will the troop drive unwanted pests from the garden and earn their Sow It and Grow It badge? And will they ever get Miss Poppy to smile?
The Missing Baseball – By Mike Lupica
Perfect for fans of Cam Jansen, #1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica begins an exciting new chapter-book series, featuring his trademark sports action and heart, and a lovable twin brother-sister duo who solve sports-related mysteries.
There’s nothing eight-year-old twins Zach and Zoe Walker love more than playing sports and solving mysteries. And when those two worlds collide . . . well, it doesn’t get any better than that. So when a baseball signed by Zach’s favorite major league player suddenly goes missing–the search is on! Luckily, amateur sleuths Zach and Zoe are on the case. Can they solve the mystery and find the ball before it’s lost for good?
In this first book of the Zach and Zoe Mysteries, bestselling author Mike Lupica begins a series for a new and younger audience, introducing readers to a sports-loving detective duo who can swing for the fences and catch the culprit in one fell swoop. With a recipe equal parts sports and mystery, the Zach and Zoe Mysteries break fresh ground for an author who has been called the greatest sportswriter for kids.
A Mouse Called Wolf – by Dick King-Smith
Wolfgang Amadeus Mouse (“Wolf,” for short) has a big name for such a little mouse. But the name fits. His favorite pastime is listening to Mrs. Honeybee, the lady of the house, play the piano. If only he could sing along to the music! One day, Wolf decides to try — and to his surprise, out of his mouth comes a perfect melody.
It’s not long before Wolf is singing everything from “Three Blind Mice” to Chopin to the Beatles, all to Mrs. Honeybee’s accompaniment. Then an accident leaves Mrs. Honeybee in danger, and it’s up to Wolf to save her… the only way he knows how.
Funny Frank – by Dick King-Smith
Being a duck isn’t all it’s quacked up to be.
But don’t try telling that to Frank—he’s a chicken with a dream. All he thinks about are webbed feet, waterproof feathers, and the cool water of the pond. So when Frank takes a dip and nearly drowns, his mood turns foul. Luckily, he gets a little human help—in the form of a man-made wet suit and a pair of flippers—and soon he’s the speediest bird in the water. And while Frank knows he’s ruffled a few feathers, he doesn’t care—there’s just too much for him to crow about.
The Magnificent Makers: How to Test a Friendship – By Theanne Griffith
Violet and Pablo are best friends who love science! So, when they discover a riddle that opens a magic portal in the Science Space at school, they can’t wait to check it out! Along with their new classmate, Deepak, the friends discover a magical makerspace called the Maker Maze. It’s a laboratory full of robots, 3D printers, an antigravity chamber, and more. Doors line the walls of the makerspace, with a new science adventure waiting behind each one.
With the help of a hilarious and odd scientist, the Magnificent Makers embark on out-of-this-world adventures that help them master the science concepts they are learning in school. This series will cover several scientific topics (at an age-appropriate level) ranging from human biology to ecology, while also exploring issues such as managing failure, teamwork, courage, and jealousy.
The Water Horse – by Dick King-Smith
An endearing animal fantasy story from master storyteller Dick King-Smith.
The story begins with a mysterious egg washed up on a Scottish beach, the morning after a great storm. Kirstie and her brother Angus find the egg and take it home. The next day it has hatched into a tiny greeny-grey creature with a horse’s head, warty skin, four flippers and a crocodile’s tail. The baby sea monster soon becomes the family pet – but the trouble is, it just doesn’t stop growing!
The Creature of the Pines Unicorn Rescue Society – by Adam Gidwitz
Are you ready to protect the creatures of myth and legend? Then you belong in The Unicorn Rescue Society. HURRY–THE CREATURES NEED YOU!
Elliot Eisner isn’t exactly thrilled with the first day at his new school. His class is going on a field trip to a creepy forest called the Pine Barrens. The trip is being led by Professor Fauna, the weirdest teacher Elliot has ever met. And the only kid who will talk to Elliot, Uchenna Devereaux, isn’t afraid of danger. She likes danger.
Elliot and Uchenna are about to become part of a secret group of adventurers, The Unicorn Rescue Society, whose goal is to protect and defend the world’s mythical creatures. Together with Professor Fauna, Elliot and Uchenna must help rescue a Jersey Devil from a duo of conniving, greedy billionaires, the Schmoke Brothers.
Join Elliot and Uchenna on their very first quest as members of the Unicorn Rescue Society in this fantasy-adventure series.
Pugs of The Frozen North – By Phillip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre
When True Winter comes, it’s time for the Great Northern Race! The best sled teams in the world must reach a mysterious man called the Snowfather. He will grant one wish to the winners. Young racers Sika and Shen want to win more than anything. But they don’t have big sled dogs—all they have is sixty-six yappy, yippy puppy pugs. Can this unlikely team make their dreams come true?
For early chapter book readers who are ready for something longer, the Not-So-Impossible Tales are packed with humor, action, and color illustrations on almost every page.