book bucks + reading list for 1st graders

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Earlier at work the kids came in the classroom all excited. It's time for book bucks again!! And I have to say, though I'm not the one getting to do all the fun and getting the prizes, I admit I get excited too when it's that time again.

I never had any sort of reading program when I was young and in school in the Philippines; I just sort of read on my own, and based off my cousin's and sister's recommendations. I'm wondering, did you ever experience the book bucks program? If so, were you as into reading then as you are now? And if you didn't get to do all that, how were your schools when it came to books and reading activities?

On another note, sort of related to that, I am wondering if you know any particular titles that are good for 1st graders. I remember reading Sweet Valley, Goosebumps, The Little Princess, among many others at that time, but I'd like to hear some more age (and school) appropriate titles that you may remember. I am trying to come up with a recommended reading list for 1st graders, and so far, it's been a challenge.

Looking forward to your thoughts and ideas!


  1. My suggestions:

    The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Book #1)

    The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker

  2. I loved Amelia Bedelia and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle.

  3. I loved Henry and Mudge and the Berenstain Bears at that age. Second grade I started American Girl, the Boxcar Children, and Baby Sitter's Club.

    As for your Book Bucks, my elementary school library had Author's Club - each month there was a list of authors born in that month. You had to read X amount of pages/books (varied by age) and have a parent verify you had read them. When you met your grades quota you got a prize from the Author's Club prize box. Mostly book and school prizes (bookmarks, erasers, pencils) but my favorites were the paper dolls. The librarian would remove the paper doll that used to come in American Girl magazine each month and put it in the box as a prize. 15 years later, I still have my coveted paper dolls :)

  4. My suggestions would be the Pinkalicious series, Berenstein Bears series and the stage 1 - 2 - 3 Disney books. The Backyardigans cartoon also has fantastic adventure books, I believe Scholastic.

  5. This brings back so many memories! :) When I was in grade one, we had this thing called the Book It program which was sponsored by Pizza Hut. Basically, if you read a certain amount of books each month, you got a coupon for an individual-sized pizza something that I obviously thought was the COOLEST THING EVER. It was such a huge motivator for me and I'm really, really glad that our teacher gave us that opportunity.

    As for books... hmm, what did I like? I was actually really into the Mary Kate & Ashley books (no clue why) and I know that my sister had a bit of an obsession with the Bailey School Kids series. Good luck with your list! :)


  6. I didn't know you used to live in the Philippines! That's so cool.

    My cousin teaches 1st grade actually, and she has a reading list that she and the kids go through in a given year:
    - Chris Van Allsburg's books (nearly all of them)
    - Where the Wild Things Are
    - Hooray for Diffendoofer Day by Dr. Seuss (she reads this on the first day of school)
    - Oh the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss (she reads this on the last day)
    - Sideways Stories from Wayside School (that's a second semester book, since it's a chapter-book)
    - The Crippled Lamb (she reads this at Christmastime; maybe teachers on the West Coast don't read it, but it's really popular where I live!)
    - You are Special - Max Lucado (there's a whole unit that goes along with this at the beginning of the year. Same comment as above - it may not be read much on the West Coast)
    - Math Curse & Science Verse
    - Basically anything by Jon Scienzka (The Frog Prince Cont'd and The Stinky Cheese Man especially!)
    - Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and anything else by Judi Barrett
    - and The Missing Piece by Shel Silversteen
    So...are you a teacher? I didn't know that - me too!

  7. Also, reading through the other comments, I might need to clarify:

    At my cousin's school, first grade corresponds to ages 6-7. While several of her students are already reading chapter books, she also has several kids who read below level, and always has a few ELL students. So the books she uses for instruction are usually medium-length picture-books.
    Also, any of the Caldecott-nominated/winning books are GREAT for first & second grade.

  8. Sounds like a fun program. When I was in grade school, we had Scholastics books to order from, my kids have the same thing today.
    My daughter loved the Junie B Jones books, those were fun :)