Books for Independent Reading

VERY EASY

Martin Luther King, Jr. and His Birthday
by Jacqueline Woodson
(Multicultural)
Silver 1990 (32p)
Readers learn why Martin Luther King's birthday is celebrated.
Daniel's Duck
by Clyde Robert Bulla
Harper 1979 (64p)
A young boy meets his idol who teaches him to respect his own work.
Amazing Grace
by Mary Hoffman
(Multicultural)
Dial 1991 (32p)
Grace knows she can be anything she wants to.
Boundless Grace
by Mary Hoffman
(Multicultural)
Dial 1995 (32p)
In this sequel, Grace goes off to meet her father's new family in Africa.
Pearl Paints
by Abigail Thomas
(Art )
Holt 1994 (32p)
When Pearl gets a set of paints for her birthday, she discovers she can't stop painting.

EASY

The Courage of Sarah Noble
by Alice Dalgliesh
Macmillan 1987 (64p); also paper
Eight-year-old Sarah helps her father build a home in the wilderness. Available in Spanish asEl valor de Sarah Noble.
Centerfield Ballhawk
by Matt Christopher
Little 1992 (64p)
José wants to become the ball player his father once was.
Hattie and the Wild Waves
by Barbara Cooney
(Art)
Viking 1990 (40p)
A young girl from Brooklyn finally decides to follow her dream to become an artist.
A Picture Book of Jesse Owens
by David A. Adler
(Multicultural)
Holiday 1992 (32p)
Owens overcomes obstacles to become an Olympic champion.
Mom Can't See Me
by Sally Hobart Alexander
(Social Studies)
Macmillan 1990 (48p)
The author, who became blind in her twenties, tells her story from the point of view of her ten-year-old daughter.
Pearl Moscowitz's Last Stand
by Arthur Levine
Tambourine 1993 (32p)
Mrs. Moscowitz and her neighbors are determined to save the last tree in their neighborhood.
John Henry
by Julius Lester
(Multicultural)
Dial 1994 (40p)
The legendary John Henry wields two sledgehammers to make a railroad tunnel through a mountain.
Clara Barton and Her Victory Over Fear
by Robert Quackenbush
(Social Studies)
Simon 1995 (40p)
Once too timid to ask for a new pair of gloves, Clara Barton later became a nurse on the Civil War battlefields.

AVERAGE

Beans on the Roof
by Betsy Byars
Delacorte 1988 (80p) paper
George “String” Bean struggles for inspiration to write a poem.
The Toothpaste Millionaire
by Jean Merrill
(Multicultural)
Houghton 1974 (96p) also paper
Rufus develops and markets his own brand of toothpaste.
Five Brave Explorers
by Wade Hudson
(Multicultural)
Scholastic 1995 (48p)
The lives of five African American explorers are outlined.
Riptide
by Frances Ward Weller
Putnam 1990 (32p)
A dog named Riptide proves his bravery on a Cape Cod beach.
Peppe the Lamplighter
by Elisa Bartone
Lothro's father learns that even a lamplighter's job is important.
The Big Help Book
by Alan Goodman
(Social Studies)
Minstrel 1994 (48p) Youngsters who are actively involved in volunteerism encourage others to get involved.
The Skates of Uncle Richard
by Carol Fenner
(Multicultural)
Random 1978 (62p) paper
Marsha dreams of becoming a champion skater, but how can she practice in Uncle Richard's old-fashioned hockey skates?
Lewis and Clark: Explorers of the American West
by Stephen Kroll
(Social Studies)
Holiday 1994 (32p)
Details the hardships of the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1804-1806.
The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot
by Alice and Martin Provensen
Viking 1983 (40p)
The story of the inventor of the first heavier-than-air machine to fly across the Channel.
Ride the Red Cycle
by Harriette Gillem Robinet
(Multicultural)
Houghton 1980 (48p)
A crippled boy struggles to realize his dream of riding a bicycle.
Mirette on the High Wire
by Emily Arnold McCully
Putnam 1992 (32p)
Mirette helps the Great Bellini, a master wire-walker, regain his courage.
The Street Is Free
by Kurusa
(Multicultural)
Kane-Miller 1992 (48p)
Neighborhood children decide a local vacant lot should be turned into a playground. Available in Spanish as La calle es libre.
The Losers Fight Back: A Wild Willy Mystery
by Barbara M. Joosse
Clarion 1994 (128p)
Willy and Lucy figure out how to turn their soccer team into winners and outwit the school bully.
Charles Lindbergh: Hero Pilot
by David R. Collins
(Social Studies)
Chelsea 1991 (80p)
The story of Lindbergh and his historic flight aboard the Spirit of St. Louis.
Class President
by Johanna Hurwitz
(Multicultural)
Morrow 1990 (96p)
Shy Julio runs against the popular Cricket for class president.
Bluewater Journal: The Voyage of the Sea Tiger
by Loretta Krupinski
Harcourt 1995 (32p)
Young Benjamin and his family experience many adventures aboard a clipper ship in 1860.
The Patchwork Quilt
by Valerie Flournoy
(Multicultural)
Dial 1985 (32p)
Tanya wants to finish the quilt she and her grandmother worked on together until her grandmother's illness.
Swamp Angel
by Anne Isaacs
Dutton 1994 (54p)
A tall tale about Angelica Longrider, who vanquished Thundering Tarnation, a bear terrorizing Tennessee.

CHALLENGING

How It Feels to Fight for Your Life
by Jill Krementz
Little 1990 (144p)
The stories of fourteen youngsters who face their serious illnesses with great courage.
Teammates
by Peter Golenbock
(Multicultural)
Harcourt 1990 (32); also paper
The story of Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in professional baseball, and his teammate Pee Wee Reese, who became his friend.
Champions: The Story of Ten Remarkable Athletes
by Bill Littlefield
(Multicultural)
Little 1994 (144p)
Chronicles the careers of ten outstanding male and female athletes who have overcome a variety of obstacles.
The Shiniest Rock of All
by Nancy Ruth Patterson
Farrar 1991 (72p)
Robert learns to overcome his inability to say his “r's” with the help of Miss Snead's rock.
The Pride of Puerto Rico: The Life of Roberto Clemente
by Paul Robert Walker
(Multicultural)
Harcourt 1988 (144p)
The life story of baseball player Roberto Clemente.

Books for Teachers to Read Aloud

Ahyoka and the Talking Leaves
Lothrop 1992 (48p)
(Multicultural)
Ahyoka and her father Sequoyah spend years creating an alphabet for their Cherokee people.
Taking Flight: My Story by Vicki Van Meter
by Vicki Van Meter with Dan Gutman
(Social Studies)
Viking 1995 (96p)
Twelve-year-old Vicki tells her story of becoming the youngest girl to fly across the country.
Amelia Earhart: Courage in the Sky
by Mona Kerby
(Social Studies)
Viking 1990 (58p)
The story of the famous aviator who disappeared in 1937.