Books for Independent Reading

VERY EASY

Mowing
by Jessie Haas
Greenwillow 1994 (24p)
Nora helps her grandfather mow the fields by looking out for birds and small animals.
Happy Birthday, Dr. King
by Jean Marzollo
(Multicultural)
Scholastic 1993 (32p)
The life of Martin Luther King, Jr. Available in Spanish asFeliz cumpleaños, Martin Luther King, Hijo.
Chang's Paper Pony
by Eleanor Coerr
(Multicultural)
Harper 1988 (64p); also paper
Chang and Grandpa Li have come to California from China to seek gold.
Peppe the Lamplighter
by Elisa Bartone
Lothrop 1993 (32p)
Peppe's father wants more for his son than a job as a lamplighter.
America the Beautiful
by Katherine Bates
(Music)
Atheneum 1993 (32p)
The story of how “America the Beautiful” came to be written.
Wagon Wheels
by Barbara Brenner
(Multicultural)
Harper 1993 (64p); also paper
An African American family travels to Kansas in the 1870s.
Knoxville, Tennessee
by Nikki Giovanni
(Multicultural)
Scholastic 1994 (32p)
A poem that celebrates community life in the summer.

EASY

Amelia's Road
by Linda Altman
(Multicultural)
Lee & Low 1993 (32p)
A young girl finds a way to overcome the hardships of moving.
When I Was Young in the Mountains
by Cynthia Rylant
Dutton 1982 (32p); also paper
The author describes her childhood in Appalachia.
The Long Way Westward
by Joan Sandin
Harper 1981 (64p); also paper
Story of a Swedish family on their way to America in 1868.
Fly Away Home
by Eve Bunting
Clarion 1991 (32p)
A homeless father and son live in an airport.
Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing
by James Weldon Johnson
(Music)
(Multicultural)
Scholastic 1995 (32p)
The illustrated lyrics to the song often called the African American National Anthem.
The Golly Sisters Go West
by Betsy Byars
Harper 1986 (64p); also paper
The irrepressible May-May and Rose head west in search of adventure.
Giants in the Land
by Diana Appelbaum
Houghton 1993 (32p)
Giant pine trees, over 259 feet, once grew all over New England.
Autumn Across America
by Seymour Simon
Hyperion 1993 (32p)
A breathtaking look at the country in its most colorful season.
Gonna Sing My Head Off! American Folk Songs for Children
by Kathleen Krull
(Music)
Knopf 1992 (160p)
A collection of toe-tapping, hand-clapping tunes celebrating America's history.

AVERAGE

Sarah, sencilla y alta (Sarah, Plain and Tall)
by Patricia MacLachlan
Text in Spanish.
Skylark
by Patricia MacLachlan
Harper 1994 (64p)
During a drought, Sarah takes Anna and Caleb to her home in Maine, but soon the children miss the prairie.
A Child's Alaska
by Claire Murphy
(Multicultural)
Alaska Northwest 1994 (48p)
An inviting look at Alaska and its native peoples.
Immigrants
by Martin W. Sandler
Harper 1995 (96p)
Details the journeys of immigrants and their lives in their new country.
The Heartland
by Diane Siebert
Harper 1989 (32p); also paper
Poems that celebrate the farms and farmlife of mid-America.
On an Island in the Bay
by Patricia Mills
North-South 1994 (28p)
A photo essay that celebrates the remote islands of the Chesapeake Bay.
Spanish Pioneers of the Southwest
by Joan Anderson
(Multicultural)
Dutton 1989 (64p)
Hispanic influences in the southwestern United States.
If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island
by Ellen Levine
Scholastic 1983 (80p)
Profiles Ellis Island and why many immigrants came to America.
Powwow
by George Ancona
(Multicultural)
Harcourt 1993 (48p)
A photo essay of a contemporary powwow including Crow, Cree, Lakota, Cheyenne, and other Native American peoples.
Sugaring Time
by Kathryn Lasky
Macmillan 1986 (64p)
The Lacey family of Vermont makes maple syrup.
In Coal Country
by Judith Hendershot
Knopf 1987 (48p) paper
A girl tells what it was like growing up in a coal-mining town.
Amish Home
by Raymond Bial
Houghton 1993 (40p)
The lifestyle and traditions of the Amish people.
The Secret Valley
by Clyde Robert Bulla
Harper 1993 (112p); also paper
A family heads for California in search of gold.
From Sea to Shining Sea series
by Dennis Fradin
Childrens 1991-1994 (64p)
Series of state books, featuring history, geography, and people. Some titles available in Spanish.
Hello USA series
by various authors
Lerner 1994 (72p)
Individual state books reflecting the richness and diversity of America.
John Henry
by Julius Lester
(Multicultural)
Dial 1994 (40p)
The legend of an African American folk hero.
Families: Poems Celebrating the African American Experience
selected by Dorothy S. Strickland and Michael R. Strickland
(Multicultural)
Boyds Mills 1994 (32p)
Tales from Gold Mountain: Stories of the Chinese in the New World
by Paul Yee
(Multicultural)
Macmillan 1990 (64p)
Eight stories based on Chinese immigrant experiences.
The Pool Party
by Gary Soto
(Multicultural)
Delacorte 1993 (106p)
Rudy gets an invitation to a pool party from the richest girl in school.

CHALLENGING

Blue Willow
by Doris Gates
(Social Studies)
Puffin 1976 (176p)
Janey treasures her migrant family's blue willow plate for its scene of a peaceful home.
Cut from the Same Cloth: American Women of Myth, Legend, and Tall Tale
by Robert San Souci
Philomel 1993 (144p)
Stories with female heroines, real and mythical, from America's past.
The Great Migration: An American Story
by Jacob Lawrence
(Art)
Harper 1993 (28p)
Paintings by Jacob Lawrence and a poem by Walter Dean Myers about African Americans moving from the south.
Ida Early Comes Over the Mountain
by Robert Burch
Viking 1980 (152p); Avon 1982 paper
The eccentric Ida becomes the Sutton family's new housekeeper.
From the Hills of Georgia: An Autobiography in Paintings
by Mattie Lou O'Kelley
(Art)
Little 1986 (32p)
Through folk art, O'Kelley shows her parents' farm in Georgia in the early 1900s.
The Navajo
by Susan Stan
(Multicultural)
Rourke 1989 (32p)
A historic look at these early Native Americans. Available in Spanish asLos Navajo.

Books for Teachers to Read Aloud

From Sea to Shining Sea: A Treasury of American Folklore and Folk Songs
compiled by Amy L. Cohn
(Music)
Scholastic 1993 (400p)
A vast collection of American stories and music illustrated by Caldecott-winning artists.
Brighty of the Grand Canyon
by Marguerite Henry
Macmillan 1991 (224p); also paper
A tale about a prospector and his burro includes the history of the Grand Canyon.
Hand in Hand: An American History Through Poetry
by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Simon 1994 (144p)
A collection of poems and some folk songs about America, arranged chronologically.