Keeping kids reading through their elementary school years can be challenging, but finding the book that turns students into lifelong readers is rewarding for everyone involved. Skill levels in the elementary school age range vary widely, but the books we've selected for these readers have age-appropriate subject matter and lots of fun for kids.
From left to right, top to bottom...
1. The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt and Jennifer Bricking // The outside world threatens a peaceful swamp and its animal scouts must fight for their survival.
2. Star Wars: Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown // From the author who brought us Vader and Son and Vader's Little Princess, a fun imagining of what the Star Wars crew would've been like in middle school.
3. Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo and K.G. Campbell // Fun graphic novel styling tells the story of a squirrel, a girl, and unexpected superherodom.
4. Bink and Gollie: Best Friends Forever by Kate DiCamillo, Allison McGhee and Tony Fucile // An adorable best friend duo that march to the beat of their own drum.
5. Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman and Skottie Young // This book is making lists all around the world, no joke. Reminds us of Roald Dahl's stories in the best way imaginable.
6. A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff // A National Book Award nominee that immerses readers in a lovely magical world with plenty of mystery.
7. The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes // A laugh-so-hard-you'll-snort kind of story boys and girls alike will love.
8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney // Of course this is on the list. An easy choice for all boys.
9. My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish by Mo O'Hara // Satisfies kids' hunger for entry into the rising "zombie" fiction genre with plenty of giggles, so it's not really scary.
10. Stallion by Starlight by Mary Pope Osborne and Sal Murdocca // Number 49 in the amazing, neverending Magic Tree House series. You'd think kids would want to read them in order, but many don't mind skipping around.
11. "When Did You See Her Last?" by Lemony Snicket // The 2nd in Snicket's newest series, it's characterized by clever kids and incompetent and/or evil adults. Smart and funny.
12. A Big Guy Took My Ball by Mo Willems // Elephant and Piggie fans will not be disappointed with this newest adventure between the pachyderm and porcine pals.