My son started 1st grade with easy readers that are in the section Beginning Readers. Check there first if your child is not ready for these books. If you are looking for more titles, check out the books my daughter read in 1st grade and the list Other Books for First Graders.
To make it easier for my friends to look for books my son really LOVED, I added a heart (♥) before the title for books that were a hit and two hearts if it was a big hit (meaning my son asking impatiently if I have more books from the series). That does not mean he did not like the books without a heart. A lot of them were nice and he enjoyed them too. But they were not the kind he would be asking for and read voluntarily several titles in a row (many times in one night).
That One Spooky Night (comics)
Dodsworth in New York To see other books in this series on Amazon click here. For a complete list of books (their ratings and reviews too) in this series click here. (My son has read three–very easy reads)
♥♥ Commander Toad in Space See a list of books in this series here. He was very excited about this book and I was not allowed to return it to the library after he read it. I just requested all the other books in this series.
♥♥ Monstrous Stories #1: Night of the Zombie Goldfish For a list of books in this series click here. Another hit with my son. He read three in a row in one night!
The Wump World This is actually a long picture book. I thought it was a nice change from the regular series for this age category.
The Trouble with Chickens My son said he enjoyed this book but I am a bit suspicious if he actually understood everything because he just started reading the other book in this J.J. Tully Mystery series (click here for the list) and he put it down because he did not comprehend well.
The following three books are short and a quick read.
The Dragon with Red Eyes I got him this one because I knew it is a short book by Astrid Lindgren. My son liked it okay. He said it was a bit sad because the dragon flew away at the end.
Oliver Moon For a list of books in this series click here. He read three or four and he enjoyed them. Update: He lost interest in this series and said they are getting boring–nothing happening, no action.
♥♥ The Big Big Big Book of Tashi For a complete list of books in Tashi series click here. This is a FIND! Don’t miss this book especially if you have a little boy! I’ve read about girls being excited about it too! My son has about 15 books to choose from on the shelf to read and did not hesitate a second when I asked him to pick one. This looks like a very thick book for older kids but don’t let it fool you. Each page has a big picture and only a few sentences. There is a picture of a map at the beginning of the book and my son constantly follows Tashi’s journey there (Dragon’s Cave, Giant’s castle, Mountain of White Tigers etc.). He read 60 pages yesterday so as you can see the thickness of the book is not so bad. This is a big hit at home now, not to mention that my son was proudly showing to my husband that he is reading a VERY thick book like his older sister does. 🙂 Note: You don’t have to get the thick book if it is daunting for your child. The stories about Tashi’s adventures are available in separate books. I just chose one that contained more stories together. I also discovered a website about Tashi books.
The Great Big Enormous Book of Tashi As you can imagine my son fell in love with Tashi and refuses to read anything else until he has read all his adventures. You can either look for a boxed set or buy (or borrow from the library as we did) this book that contains 32 adventures. I just ordered this book for my son for Christmas because it looks like he will reread this one. He just asked if there is an audiobook about Tashi.
♥ The Secret of Foghorn Island Check below for other titles in this series.
♥ Otto & Uncle Tooth Adventures (This book contains The Secret of Foghorn Island, The Treasure of the Lost Lagoon, and The Curse of the Cobweb Queen)
♥ Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny He was really disappointed when I told him that a sequel is coming out in October 2015, still more than a half a year away.
Hubert’s Hair-Raising Adventure is a longer picture book.
In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories (I Can Read! Reading 2)
♥♥ Dragon Masters An easy chapter book (2 books so far, the third coming out in Feb 2015). To see a list, click here. He liked it a lot and is asking for the sequel. As of now, one book that is on the cover of the first is missing from the goodreads list. It is supposed to come out in July 2015. It is called Power of the Fire Dragon.
Mr. Pants: It’s Go Time! (a graphic novel)
♥♥ Catwings For a complete list of books in this series click here. My son said he loved this book. The letters were really small but he was okay. Update: He has read the second one in the series and loved it as well.
♥ Eerie Elementary More titles can be found here.
♥ Eoin Colfer’s Legend of Captain Crow’s Teeth Read more about this books here. People say it is hilarious. I have seen it on many websites recommended for this age group. For a list of other books in this series click here. My son first said it was just okay, then changed his mind two weeks later and did not want me to return the sequel to the library. So frankly, I am not sure how much he liked it.
♥ The Curse of the Bologna Sandwich For a list of books in the Melvin Beederman, Superhero series click here. He’s read a few books in this series but he did not enjoy all of them. In fact, he told me to return a few to the library without even starting to read them. He really liked the first one.
♥♥ The 13-Story Treehouse For a list of books in this series click here. Although the age range is higher, it is an easy book because it is idea for reluctant readers in 2nd and 3rd grade. My son liked it and asked for the second book.
♥♥ The Secrets of Droon For a complete list of books in order in this long series (I think about 40 books) click here. My daughter discovered them at the beginning of 2nd grade and devoured them. I got the first books for my son in the third trimester of 1st grade and he LOVED them and keeps asking for more. He’s read 25 so far and I am glad there are about 40 in this series because I don’t need to ask him to read when these are on our shelf.
♥♥Charlie and the Chocolate Factory My daughter had never seen the movie before she read the book. It was her first longer book to read, she couldn’t put it down.
♥♥The Indian in the Cupboard My son listened to the audiobook at the end of 1st grade and loved it.
Books we read together or listened to
I decided that I will post here a list of books that either I read to my son just before and in 1st grade or we listened to an audio version of the book in the car during our trips. It might make it easier for you to choose an appropriate book to read with your kid.
8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel ö 1 Dog = Chaos (funny and short)
The Twits A very easy read. Good for a second grader too.
The Adventures of a South Pole Pig (recommended as a read-aloud and that’s what we did)
The Giggler Treatment My daughter did not read it on her own–I read it to both my kids and they liked it. It is an easy and short read–we read it in one night. I am sure it is a fun book to read independently but I think this one is a great read-aloud. Funny.
The Great Brain She did not read this book independently but because I knew she would never pick this one herself I chose it to read to both my kids. It is not the modern type of literature so I don’t know how many kids would really enjoy reading it on their own but both my kids loved it when I read it to them. I think it would depend on what kind of books your child likes. This one would be better for a boy for independent reading I think. Definitely more enticing for boys because the book is about boys.
The Hoboken Chicken Emergency (we listened to the audiobook, funny)
Homer Price If your child is not used to listening to audiobooks, I’d probably start with a different title.
Cheaper by the Dozen We are currently listening to the audio version of this book. My kids (almost 7 and 8) loved listening to it because it is funny but the vocabulary is more difficult and we sometimes had to explain the words to them to help them understand. so again, skip this one if your child is not an avid listener.
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson (slow beginning, I am not sure if she would have kept reading if we were not listening to the audiobook in the car–my son, 2 years younger, loved it)
The Best School Year Ever (hilarious)
The New Kid at School and Revenge of the Dragon Lady I am sure my son would listen to all of the other books in the Dragon Slayers’ Academy series but I let him listen to a few and am going to leave the rest for him to read independently.
Dragon Rider My son refused to play or do anything else until he finished listening to this book. He sat on the couch for hours.
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase Although my son (recently turned 7) thought it was a bit slow at the beginning (my daughter and I didn’t agree with him on that), we all loved this book. We read it in three days and enjoyed every minute of it.
The Thief Lord My kids listened to the audio version of this book right after we visited Venice.
Spirit Animals For a list of books in this series click here. He called it the best audio book ever. He listened to the first three on his iPod and when we got back home, he started reading the rest without a problem.