Nothing beats sitting at home on a rainy day, curled up with a warm blanket and a cup of tea, reading a great book. There are so many books out there, however, there are only a handful of books that are great reads for all ages. I've created a list that of the best books for elementary school students, but rest assured, whether you're an older sibling, babysitter, parent, or grandparent, these books bring all kinds of joy at any age!
Best known for The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, there is a reason why The Chronicles of Narnia remains one of the most loved fantasy series for children (and adults) 65 years after its publication. Over seven novels, the series explores the history of a magical land of mythical creatures and talking animals called Narnia, which can be accessed most famously through the back of a wardrobe.
This novel is about a ten year old boy named August who has a terrible facial deformity. However, it is about so much more than just that. Attending school for the first time, August encounters children, teachers, and parents who are especially cruel to him, but also many who aren’t. This story is extraordinarily touching, sweet, and funny, covering the topics of friendship, love, and acceptance, both of others and of ourselves.
Among The Hidden is the first book in the Shadow Children series. In this seven book series set in the future, the Population Police are in charge of making sure that families have no more than two children due to a lack of resources. The story follows Luke, a third child living in hiding who risks everything with his friend Jen, another “shadow child,” in the hopes of living a normal life. Haddix has written several exciting, adventurous novels for children, including her more recent time travel series, The Missing.
The Giver is set in a futuristic utopian world in which children are assigned careers on their twelfth birthday in a community-wide ceremony. In a society based on order and the absence of emotion, Jonas is assigned the position of Receiver. From The Giver, Jonas learns about all of the things missing in their lives, including colour, animals, pain, and happiness. He struggles with these discoveries in the face of an oppressive world. In companion novels Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son, Lowry explores this creative world even further.
This book, along with everything by Louis Sachar, is a must read because it is so ridiculously funny. Wayside School was accidentally built 30 floors high (minus floor 19), with one classroom on each floor. The book follows Mrs. Jewls’ classroom on floor 30, with each chapter focusing on a different student in class. The stories are quirky, hilarious, and so outrageous that you won’t be able to put the book down.
This book is extremely heavy in content, but worth reading at any age. The story follows a naïve nine year old boy named Bruno during World War II, who is upset that his family is moving to “Out-with” due to his father’s new position. While exploring the camp around their home, Bruno befriends a boy living on the other side. The story is beautiful yet tragic, with a shockingly devastating twist at the end that will hit you right in the gut.
Judy Blume is an author who has mastered the art of writing for children. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing follows fourth grader, Peter, as he struggles with feeling invisible to his parents in the face of his troublemaker little brother, Fudge. This story is extremely relatable for anyone who has ever felt overshadowed by a sibling while growing up, and is appealing to both boys and girls.
It is unquestionable that Roald Dahl is a master storyteller for children and adults alike. With books like Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach, pretty well everyone is familiar with a Roald Dahl story, even if they don’t know his name. The Witches is a novel that will surprise you, in that it twists around everything that you believe about witches. According to Roald Dahl, witches are ordinary women who live unidentified amongst us, making for a horrifying yet hilarious tale.