Part I: Ask and You Shall Receive ... Happy (Hard) Reading, Kids! (Intro 100)

The overwhelming question I receive as part under the broader "helpmykidsarestuckathome" hashtag: What books should my kids be reading?


The Internet is INUNDATED (kids - go write that word on your vocabulary list) with reading lists. It can get overwhelming. You have no idea why you should be reading Book-A over Book-B just because the Internet told you so. So, I'll make the criteria for this book list brief: EWC's reading lists are only comprised of books that the our team had read at your child's age.


Does that mean it's comprehensive? No.


But, does that mean this list is harder than your current grade level in school? Probably. (Sorry ...)


Now, let's be real for a moment. My incredible team is comprised of AVID readers (kids - go write that down, too). So this is bound to be a long list ... so long that this is actually the first of three parts. We'll start with the books for our little guys in Intro 100 (Gr. 4-5).


So without further ado ... this is what the EWC Team was reading in elementary school. Happy Reading, kids!

(Note: these books and groupings are in no particular order.)


  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis - CLASSIC! Our favorite book of the series: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor - Extremely moving portrayal of the Depression in Mississippi.

  • The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman - And the rest of His Dark Materials. Another absolute CLASSIC.

  • The Giver by Lois Lowry - Is any children's book list really complete without The Giver? Let's talk about that ending sometime.

  • From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg - Children run away from home to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  • Holes by Louis Sachar. Stanley is in a juvenile corrections facility and is falsely accused of theft. From there, two plot lines unexpectatedly meet.



  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. A story of bravery and friendship amidst the horrors of the Holocaust. Classic.

  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. I know I keep saying classic ... but this is Mark Twain. Tom Sawyer is literally the O.G. "bad boy."

  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London. Buck, the strong sled dog who was stolen from his home, emerges as a leader in the Yukon wilderness.

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Another unforgettable story to come out of World War II. It's a story about how books feed the soul.

  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. A wilderness survival novel. Not really a spoiler, but he only has a hatchet to survive.

  • Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. True story! How would you feel if you were a 12-year-old girl stranded on an island alone for 18 years? You also happen to be the last remaining member of your tribe ...



  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. CLASSIC (book - not the movie). One of the most challenged books in our lifetimes, it examines life and darkness, goodness and evil, and adolescence.

  • Where the Red Ferns Grow by Wilson Rawls. A story about a boy and his dogs.

  • Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman. A poor orphan moves into a castle to be whipped instead of the bratty prince. They then become ... friends?

  • I Have a Dream: The Story of Martin Luther King by Margaret Davidson. This is a Biography 101. An inspiring portrait of a man who had a dream.

  • The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis. A family from Flint, Michigan decides to visit Grandma in Alabama during one of the darkest moments in American history.

  • Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Last, but not least ... military science-fiction! The kids are just playing simulated war games ... right?



Bonus: For all you STEM kids who have mixed feelings about reading ... go check out Isaac Asimov. He is a biochemist professor who also happens to be a PROLIFIC (kids - write that down) author of science fiction books and stories. If you liked I, Robot (2004) starring Will Smith ... that's his story!






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