Summer Reading: A Grade-by-Grade Recommended Reading List for Kids

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There are hundreds of thousands of books written for children. The challenge is trying to discover the best age-appropriate literature.

I am grateful for the folks at Calvary Classical School—a classical Christian school in Hampton, Virginai, who have given me permission to reproduce this list below.

For outside reading, the books are divided into three levels. Books with a “+” denote that any title in that series would be acceptable.

I’ve tried to link to the paperback or cheapest version at Amazon. You can also, of course, look for the books at libraries and used bookstores.


First Grade Reading List

Read aloud by teacher in class:

Outside Reading

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3


Second Grade Reading List

Read in class or assigned for outside reading:

Outside Reading

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3


Third Grade Literature List

Read in class or assigned for outside reading:

Outside Reading

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3


Fourth Grade Literature List

Read in class or assigned for outside reading:

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3


Fifth Grade Literature List

Read in class or assigned for outside reading:

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3


Sixth Grade Reading List

A couple of notes on the nomenclature below: “+” indicates that any title in that series would be acceptable.

Some titles also contain a label:

  • L – Language
  • V – Violence
  • C – Coarse actions
  • M – Mature theme

Read in class or assigned for outside reading:

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3


Seventh Grade Reading List

Following is the list of adopted titles used for the seventh grade reading program. Although certain titles are assigned to specific grades, when necessary, teachers may use a list of titles above or below their grade. It is desired that at least 5 adopted books are read each year. Some books will be assigned and read in class, and others will be assigned for outside reading. Every effort has been made to pick the best available literature. As with everything, each book must be read with scripture as our final standard. All Landmark books are acceptable on the literature list.


Seventh Grade History List

This year in history the students will be studying Explorers to 1815. Students will be reading numerous books from this time period in class. Outside reading is also encouraged, especially historical fiction which engages the imagination and makes the time period come alive. We encourage you to read aloud with your children from books that may be above their reading level. Suggestions for reading are offered below. We are endeavoring to purchase as many of these titles as possible for the classroom.

Four books must be read from the following list:


Eighth Grade Reading List

Following is the list of adopted titles used for the eighth grade reading program. Although certain titles are assigned to specific grades, when necessary, teachers may use a list of titles above or below their grade. It is desired that at least 5 adopted books are read each year. Some books will be assigned and read in class, and others will be assigned for outside reading. Every effort has been made to pick the best available literature. As with everything, each book must be read with Scripture as our final standard. All Landmark books are acceptable on the literature list.


Eighth Grade History List

This year in history the students will be studying 1815 to Present. Students will be reading numerous books from this time period in class. Outside reading is also encouraged, especially historical fiction which engages the imagination and makes the time period come alive. We encourage you to read aloud with your children from books that may be above their reading level. Suggestions for reading are offered below. We are endeavoring to purchase as many of these titles as possible for the classroom

Four books must be read from the following list:

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