Books for Kids

STAR Books from Birth

In 2016, the DC Public Library will launch a new initiative that will provide free books each month to DC families with children from birth to five years old. This program is free and is operated in conjunction with our STAR (Sing, Talk, and Read) campaign, which encourages parents to take an active role in their child’s educational development by singing, talking, and reading with them daily.

If you are a parent or guardian interested in receiving free books for your child, please stay tuned to this page for more updates. A registration form will be posted shortly.

Suggested Books

The DC Public Library and the D.C. Public Schools have teamed up to suggest books students might enjoy. The lists include a variety of books, suggested by grade level from pre-kindergarten to 6th grade, to satisfy every reading interest.

Themed Book Suggestions

Award Winners

Find an award-winning book to read by visiting the links below. Please note that the library may not always have every title available. Award lists are updated annually.

Suggested Books for Pre-K

  • Let’s Play Soccer! by Heather Adamson
  • Bear Shadow by Frank Asch
  • An Egg Is Quiet by Dianna Hutts Aston
  • When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang,
  • Building a House by Byron Barton
  • Snip Snap! What’s That? by Mara Bergman
  • The Mitten by Jan Brett
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow
  • Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales by Eileen Cousins
  • Llama, Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
  • Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
  • Polo’s Book: The Runaway Book by Régis Faller
  • Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming
  • Possum Magic by Mem Fox
  • The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Paul Galdone
  • Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes
  • Mother Goose Picture Puzzles by Will Hillenbrand
  • Be Boy Buzz by Bell Hooks
  • The Fisherman and His Wife by Rachel Isadora
  • Jack and the Beanstalk by Steven Kellogg
  • The Wheels on the Bus by Maryann Kovalski
  • Queen of the Scene by Queen Latifah
  • Machines Go to Work in the City by William Low
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin
  • I’m Bad! by Kate McMullan
  • Bread, Bread, Bread by Ann Morris
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
  • Joshua James Likes Trucks by Catherine Petrie
  • The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
  • These Hands by Hope Lynne Price
  • 3-D ABC by Bob Raczka
  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
  • Black? White! Day? Night!: A Book of Opposites by Laura Seeger
  • Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak
  • Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  • Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
  • Chalk by Bill Thomson
  • Paperwhite by Nancy Wallace
  • Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh
  • What a Wonderful World by George Weiss
  • Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells
  • Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
  • King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood
  • Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson

Suggested Books for Kindergarten

  • I Love Saturdays y domingos by Alma Flor Ada
  • What Did One Elephant Say to the Other? by Becky Baines
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
  • Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • A New Home by Tim Bowers
  • Stellaluna by Jannell Cannon
  • Biscuit’s Day at the Farm by Alyssa S. Capucilli
  • Get Up and Go by Nancy Carlson
  • Redwoods by Jason Chin
  • Bigmama’s by Donald Crews
  • Jamela’s Dress by Niki Daly
  • Firefighters A to Z by Chris L. Demarest
  • Strega Nona by Tomie De Paola
  • On a Road in Africa by Kim Doner
  • Rubia and the Three Osos by Susan M. Elya
  • Can You Find It? America by Lina Falken
  • Olivia Forms a Band by Ian Falconer
  • How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham
  • Benny and Penny in Just Pretend by Geoffrey Hayes
  • 26 Letters and 99 Cents by Tana Hoban
  • Wind Flyers by Angela Johnson
  • How a Seed Grows by Helene J. Jordan
  • The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster
  • Wolf’s Chicken Stew by Keiko Kasza
  • Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock by Eric A. Kimmel
  • We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs
  • Boy, Were We Wrong about Dinosaurs! by Kathleen Kudlinski
  • Shadow by Suzy Lee
  • A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni
  • 123 I Can Sculpt! by Irene Luxbacher
  • Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
  • Hewitt Anderson’s Great Big Life by Jerdine Nolen
  • Bee-Bim Bop! by Linda Su Park
  • Max Found Two Sticks by Brian Pinkney
  • The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
  • Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco
  • Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
  • Animals Home Alone by Loes Riphagen
  • Little Panda by Joanne Ryder
  • Mama, I’ll Give You the World by Roni Schoffer
  • Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
  • About Reptiles by Cathryn P. Sill
  • What’s Under My Bed? by James Stevenson
  • Ballerina Dream by Lauren Thompson
  • Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells
  • The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
  • Apple Pie 4th of July by Janet S. Wong
  • Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young

Suggested Books for First Grade

  • Who’s in Rabbit’s House? by Verna Aardema
  • Miss Nelson Is Missing by Harry Allard
  • Hi, Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold
  • Mirror by Jeannie Baker
  • Li’l Dan the Drummer Boy by Romare Bearden
  • Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne
  • Pop! A Book about Bubbles by Kimberly Bradley
  • Dinosaurs in Your Backyard by Hugh Brewster
  • Sid and Sam by Nola Buck
  • Otto’s Orange Day by Frank Cammuso
  • Emily’s Art by Peter Catalanotto
  • Minnie and Moo: Wanted Dead or Alive by Denys Cazet
  • Dave the Potter by Laban Carrick
  • Johnny Appleseed by Patricia B. Demuth
  • The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordecai Gerstein
  • Spells by Emily Gravett
  • Traction Man Is Here by Mini Grey
  • Day of Ahmed’s Secret by Florence P. Heide
  • Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
  • Tsunami! by Kimiko Kajikawa
  • Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina… by Kirby Larson
  • Harriet and the Promised Land by Jacob Lawrence
  • The Tooth Book by Theo LeSieg
  • John Henry by Julius Lester
  • Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same! by Grace Lin
  • Two Feet Up, Two Feet Down by Pamela Love
  • Red Riding Hood by James Marshall
  • Martha Calling by Susan Meddaugh
  • Moses Goes to a Concert by Isaac Millman
  • A Kiss for Little Bear by Else H. Minarik
  • Planting the Trees of Kenya by Claire Nivola
  • A Baby Panda Is Born by Kristin Ostby
  • Junie B., First Grader: Boss of Lunch by Barbara Park
  • Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish
  • The Family Book by Todd Parr
  • Duke Ellington by Andrea Pinkney
  • Wiggling Worms at Work by Wendy Pfeffer
  • The New Girl…and Me by Jacqui Robbins
  • Peter and the Wolf by Chris Raschka
  • Dragonfly’s Tale by Kristina Rodanas
  • Mice and Beans by Pam Munoz Ryan
  • Henry and Mudge Get the Cold Shiver by Cynthia Rylant
  • Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella by Robert D. San Souci
  • The Talking Eggs by Robert D. San Souci
  • Madlenka by Peter Sis
  • Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto
  • We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems
  • Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson

Suggested Books for Second Grade

  • A Bear for Miguel by Elaine Marie Alphin
  • Abe Lincoln’s Hat by Martha Brenner
  • Little Beauty by Anthony Browne
  • Just for Elephants by Carol Buckley
  • Hoops by Robert Burleigh
  • The Story of Snow by Mark Cassino
  • George Washington’s Teeth by Deborah Chandra
  • Inspector Hopper by Doug Cushman
  • One Potato, Two Potato by Cynthia DeFelice
  • Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo
  • Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride by Kate Di Camillo
  • In My Family/En mi Familia by Carmen Garza
  • Little Dog and Duncan by Christine O. George
  • Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated the World by Juliana Hatkoff
  • Digby by Barbara S. Hazen
  • Weaving of a Dream by Marilee Heyer
  • Up We Grow! A Year in the Life of a Small Local Farm by Deborah Hodge
  • Houndsley and Catina by James Howe
  • Swamp Angel by Anne Isaacs
  • How Many Ways Can You Catch a Fly? by Steve Jenkins
  • Lucy Rose: Here’s the Thing about Me by Katy Kelly
  • My Senator and Me: A Dog’s Eye View … by Edward Kennedy
  • The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley
  • Harvesting Hope by Kathleen Krull
  • Captain and Matey Set Sail by Daniel Laurence
  • Grant Wood: The Artist in the Hayloft by Deborah Leach
  • Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel
  • Black and White by David Macaulay
  • Knots on a Counting Rope by Bill Martin
  • Capital! Washington DC from A to Z by Laura K. Melmed
  • Magic Pickle and the Planet of the Grapes by Scott Morse
  • Sitti’s Secrets by Naomi Shihab Nye
  • A Is for Africa by Ifeoma Onyefulu
  • Koko’s Kittens by Francine Patterson
  • Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco
  • Ruby the Copycat by Peggy Rathman
  • Bad News for Outlaws by Vaunda Nelson
  • Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold
  • Buttons for General Washington by Peter Roop
  • When Marian Sang by Anderson Ryan and Pam Muñoz
  • Henry and Mudge in the Green Time by Cynthia Rylant
  • Brave Irene by William Steig
  • Amazing Snakes by Sarah L. Thompson
  • The Stranger by Chris VanAllsburg
  • Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led… by Carole Weatherford
  • The Warrior and the Wise Man by David Wisniewski
  • Basketball Legends by Mark Woods
  • Rapunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky

Suggested Books for Third Grade

  • Lou Gehrig by David A. Adler
  • Young Cam Jansen and the Baseball Mystery by David A. Adler
  • Nic Bishop Frogs by Nic Bishop
  • Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic by Robert Burleigh
  • Ashley Bryan’s ABC of African American Poetry by Ashley Bryan
  • Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron
  • Great Migrations by Elizabeth Carney
  • The Dog That Stole Football Plays by Matt Christopher
  • Muggie Maggie by Beverly Cleary
  • Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
  • Rafi and Rosi: Carnival! by Lulu Delacre
  • Donavan’s Word Jar by Monalisa De Gross
  • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate Di Camillo
  • Sipping Spiders Through a Straw: Campfire Songs for Monsters by Kelly DiPucchio
  • My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Gannett
  • Rosa by Nikki Giovanni
  • A Young Dancer by Valerie Gladstone
  • First Garden: The White House Garden and How It Grew by Robbin Gourley
  • Meet Danitra Brown by Nikki Grimes
  • The Emperor Lays an Egg by Brenda Z. Guiberson
  • Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
  • Babymouse by Jennifer Holm
  • From Slave to Soldier by Deborah Hopkinson
  • The Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest by Steve Jenkins
  • Goha the Wise Fool by Denys Johnson-Davies
  • Accidents May Happen: Fifty Inventions by Charlotte Jones
  • Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit by Roslyn Jordan
  • George Did It by Suzanne Jurmain
  • What Bluebirds Do by Pamela Kirby
  • The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Kathryn Lasky
  • Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid by Megan McDonald
  • The Doll People by Ann Martin
  • The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin
  • Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
  • The Village That Vanished by Kadir Nelson
  • Clementine by Sara Pennybacker
  • Dear Benjamin Banneker by Andrea D. Pinkney
  • The Outside Dog by Charlotte Pomerantz
  • And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson
  • Lebron James: I Love Challenges! by Michael Sandler
  • Fa Mulan: The Story of a Woman Warrior by Robert San Souci
  • The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz
  • Stinky Cheese Man by Jon Sieszka
  • John, Paul, George and Ben by Lane Smith
  • The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto by Natalie Standiford
  • Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters by Rachel Vail
  • Lincoln and His Boys by Rosemary Wells
  • The Three Pigs by David Wiesner
  • You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! by Jonah Winter

Suggested Books for Fourth Grade

  • Grow It Cook It by Jill Bloomfield, ed.
  • The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
  • Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa by Veronica Chambers
  • Frindle by Andrew Clements
  • Sahara Special by Esme Raji Codell
  • Sadako by Eleanor Coerr
  • James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  • Amber Brown Goes Fourth by Paula Danizger
  • Helen’s Eyes by Marfe Delano
  • Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate Di Camillo
  • The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
  • The Story of the Washington Wizards by Aaron Frisch, Arron
  • The Popularity Papers by Lydia Goldblatt
  • The Chimpanzees I Love by Jane Goodall
  • Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope by Nikki Grimes
  • Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
  • Paddle-to-the-Sea by Holling C. Holling
  • Bunnicula by Deborah Howe
  • Birthday Surprises: Ten Great Stories to Unwrap by Johanna Hurwitz, ed.
  • I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Ben and Me by Robert Lawson
  • Tales of Uncle Remus by Julius Lester
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  • Arithme-tickle by J. Patrick Lewis
  • The Bill Martin Jr. Big Book of Poetry by Bill Martin Jr., ed.
  • Away West by Patricia McKissack
  • A Crazy Mixed-up Spanglish Day by Marisa Montes
  • Starting with Alice by Phyllis Naylor
  • Joe and the Skyscraper by Dietrich Neumann
  • The Borrowers by Mary Norton
  • Zeus: King of the Gods by George O’Connor
  • Big Nate: In a Class by Himself by Lincoln Pierce
  • The Unsinkable Walker Bean by Aaron Renier
  • The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
  • Sideway Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
  • Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say
  • How We Crossed the West by Rosalyn Schanzer
  • Knucklehead by Jon Scieszka
  • Summer Reading Is Killing Me by Jon Scieszka
  • Starry Messenger by Peter Sis
  • So You Want to Be President by Judith St. George
  • Swish: The Quest for Basketball’s Perfect Shot by Mark Stewart
  • Adventures in Cartooning by James Sturm
  • Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-ins by Carole Weatherford
  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  • Scooter by Vera Williams

Suggested Books for Fifth Grade

  • Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison
  • How Tia Lola Came to Stay by Julia Alvarez
  • Whittington by Alan Armstrong
  • Something Upstairs by Avi
  • Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
  • Zora and Me by Victoria Bond
  • Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges
  • A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements
  • Dear Dr. King: Letters from Today’s Children by Jan Colbert, ed.
  • Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Curtis
  • Sees Behind Trees by Michael Dorris
  • Story Painter by John Duggleby
  • Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
  • Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
  • Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  • A Strong Right Arm by Michelle Y. Johnson Green
  • Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale
  • Bird, Lake, Moon by Kevin Henkes
  • Flush by Carl Hiaasen
  • Into the Wild by Erin Hunter
  • Zany Miscellany by Tom Jackson
  • A Foot in the Mouth by Paul Janeczko
  • Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  • The Brooklyn Bridge by Elizabeth Mann
  • Return of the Dapper Men by Jim McCann
  • Porch Lies: Tales of Slicksters, Tricksters by Patricia McKissack
  • Junebug by Alice Mead
  • Shiloh by Phyllis Naylor
  • We Are the Ship: Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson
  • Black Elk’s Vision: A Lakota Story by S.D. Nelson
  • 101 Ways You Can Help Save the Planet by Joanne O'Sullivan
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco
  • Read a Rhyme, Write a Rhyme by Jack Prelutsky
  • Frankenstein Takes the Cake by Adam Rex
  • Safe at Home by Sharon Robinson
  • Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Muñoz Ryan
  • Missing May by Cynthia Rylant
  • Math Curse by Jon Scieszka
  • George vs. George by Rosalyn Schanzer
  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
  • Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
  • Safari Journal by Hudson Talbott
  • Robot Dreams by Sara Varon
  • The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop
  • Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee

Suggested Books for Sixth Grade

  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • The Strange Case of the Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
  • Sounder by William Armstrong
  • Kids on Strike! by Susan Bartoletti
  • Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer
  • The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood
  • Some Friend by Marie Bradby
  • They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg
  • Blood on the River: James Town 1607 by Elisa Carbone
  • Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
  • Fire Bringer by David Clement-Davies
  • Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
  • Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
  • Revolution is Not a Dinner Party by Ying C. Compestine
  • Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Curtis
  • Fire from the Rock by Sharon Draper
  • Bull Run by Paul Fleischman
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • The Eternal Spring of Mr. Itobyby by Sheila Garrigue
  • Hop Hop Speaks to Children by Nikki Giovanni, ed.
  • Shug by Karen Hesse
  • Out of the Dust by Jenny Han
  • Redwall by Brian Jacques
  • The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
  • The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place by E.L. Konigsburg
  • Kampung Boy by Lat
  • Savvy by Ingrid Law
  • Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
  • In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Betty Lord
  • Saffy's Angel by Hilary McKay
  • Trash by Andy Mulligan
  • Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
  • Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out
  • A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
  • Alanna by Tamora Pierce
  • The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  • Ripley's Believe It or Not!
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows by J.K. Rowling
  • The Little Prince by Joann Sfar
  • The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis
  • Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth Speare
  • When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
  • Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman? by Eleanor Updale
  • Gladiator by Richard R. Watkins
  • So B. It by Sarah Weeks
  • The Red Rose Box by Brenda Woods
  • After Tupac & D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson