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You can get any of these books free! Take this list to a public library and they will either find the books or order them from another library for you. (*Starred books are new on the list this year.)

Divisions: Poetry,Picture Books, Folktales,Fiction, 4-5 Advanced Fiction, Classic Fiction to Read Aloud to the Whole Family, Factual,Biography. This list is only a taste of all the choices there are. Happy reading!

4-5 Poetry

The Beauty of the Beast: Poems of the Animal Kingdom, Prelutsky. 1997*

Lots of animal poems by poets from different parts of the world.


Classic Poetry: An Illustrated Collection, Rosen. 1998*

Outstanding pictures and poems from Shakespeare to Langston Hughes, with portraits of the poets.


Doodle Dandies: Poems at a Glance, Lewis

Clever shape poems form into baseballs, a skyscraper, a snake, an umbrella and other objects.


Sad Underwear and Other Complications, Viorst

Like her earlier collection, If I Were In Charge of the World.


Where the Sidewalk Ends, Silverstein

Funny poems. Very popular.

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4-5 Picture Books for Older Kids

Baseball Saved Us, Mochizuki

A boy's baseball team in a Japanese-American internment camp.


Bobbin Girl, McCully

A girl working in a weaving mill in 1830 supports the fight for women's rights.


Gulliver in Lilliput, Hodges

Cast ashore, Gulliver awakes to find himself captured by six-inch manikins.


Pink and Say, Polacco

Friendship between a black Union soldier and a wounded white boy.


Smoky Night, Bunting

Evicted by riots, Daniel and his mother help their neighbor, Mrs. Kim.

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4-5 Folktales

Big Men, Big Country: A Collection of Tall Tales, Walker

Outlandish, daring American heroes.


Cut from the Same Cloth: American Women of Myth, Legend, and Tall Tale, San Souci

Strong, brave, sometimes humorous women from many cultures and regions.


Favorite Norse Myths, Osborne

Tales of the gods and heroes of ancient Scandinavia.


The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales, Hamilton

Rich variety of stories about animals, slaves, ghosts, and a king/princess tale.

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4-5 Fiction

Aliens Ate My Homework, Coville

Kidnapped by aliens! The sequel: I Left my Sneakers in Dimension X.


Bandit's Moon, Fleischman

In California Gold-Rush days Annyrose teaches the bandit Joaquin to read from her cookbook. Humorous fictional history.


Best School Year Ever, Robinson

Those terrible kids return with more wild behavior and outrageous lies.


Castle in the Attic, Winthrop

A toy castle comes to life when our hero steps into it.


Dealing with Dragons, Wrede. 1990*

Princess Cimorene runs away from her boring palace life to serve a very powerful dragon and fight evil wizards.


Dinotopia, Gurney

Will is shipwrecked on a remote island where dinosaurs still roam.


Disappearing Acts: A Herculeah Jones Mystery, Byars

Meat (Albert) finds a dead body in a restaurant; meanwhile Herculeah looks for Meat's missing father.


Faraway Summer, Lasky

Dossi from NYC spends 2 weeks on a Vermont farm; meets Snowflake Bentley. Early 20th century.


Frindle, Clements

What's a "frindle?" A boy tries to confuse his teacher by getting the class to use made-up words.


A Ghost in the Family, Wright

Chad vacations in a boarding house where a mummy appears and a diamond bracelet vanishes. Is a ghost responsible?


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Rowling. 1997*

Harry, 11, learns to fly a broomstick and use a magic wand while fighting evil forces at wizard school.


How Come the Best Clues Are Always in the Garbage? Bailey

A Stevie Diamond mystery. Stevie and her friend Jesse investigate a $1000 heist.


I, Amber Brown, Danziger. 1999*

Amber doesn't tell her divorced dad that her mother is against pierced ears...until too late.


The Landry News, Clements. 1999*

When Cara Landry's article lands her teacher in trouble, he uses it to teach First Amendment rights.


Longwalker's Journey, Harrell. 1999*

A Choctaw Indian boy and his father are forced in the 1830's to walk from Mississippi to Oklahoma. Based on fact.


Marvin Redpost: Alone in his Teacher's House, Sachar

Marvin dog-sits for his teacher. Short, funny book.


Matilda, Dahl

Matilda applies her mental powers to foil the evil headmistress.


Mick Harte Was Here, Park

Phoebe grieves her brother's accidental death caused by not wearing his bike helmet. A healing story.


Number the Stars, Lowry

Annemarie saves a Jewish family from the Nazis in World War II.


On Board the Titanic, Tanaka

Fictional boy Jack sails on the ill-fated Titanic in this informative, exciting novel.


Penalty Shot, Christopher

Jeff can't make the hockey team til he discovers who ruined his English paper.


Riding Freedom, Ryan. 1998*

Fictional account of Charlotte Parkhurst, called Charley, who dressed as a man and became a stagecoach driver in CA.


Shiloh, Naylor

Marty tries to rescue a beagle who is abused by its owner.


Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Sachar

Hilarious happenings in a wacky school. Good for belly laughs.


Skull of Truth, Coville

Disaster strikes when Charlie's Magic Shop skull makes him tell the truth.


Soup, Peck

Two country boys, Rob Peck and Soup, get in and out of mischief.


Space Brat, Coville

A spoiled space child meets a spaceman with even worse tantrums. Easy science fiction series.


Stone Fox, Gardiner

Rocky Mountain legend of a boy and an old Indian who compete in a dog sled contest.


Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Blume

Peter has a challenge: his two-year-old brother.


Three Terrible Trins, King-Smith

Three downstairs mice have fun and make trouble for the cats of the house.


Tut, Tut, ("Time Warp Trio"), Scieszka. 1996*

The goofy Time Warp Trio travel back in time to the Egypt of the pharaohs. Short and silly science fiction.


The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963, Curtis

A Northern black family sees the violence of whites against blacks in the South.

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4-5 Advanced Fiction

Bat 6, Wolff

Annual softball game between sixth grade girls in rival towns turns nasty when prejudice flares.


Beyond the Western Sea: 1. Escape from Home & 2. Lord Kirkle's Money, Avi

A stowaway lord's son and two Irish peasants flee to America and freedom.


The Birchbark House, Erdrich. 1999*

In 1847 Omakayas, an Ojibwa Indian girl, nurses her family stricken by smallpox. Based on the author's family history.


The Book of Three, Alexander

Taran, assistant pig-keeper, and some magical companions go on a quest.


Bud, Not Buddy, Curtis. 1999*

After his mother dies, Bud walks across Michigan looking for his father. A story with sadness and humor.


Dave at Night, Levine. 1999*

Dave escapes at night from the Hebrew Home for Boys and is befriended by an old man and a black girl in 1920's Harlem.


Dreams in the Golden Country: The Diary of...a Jewish Immigrant Girl, NYC 1903, Lasky

Coming from Russia to the U.S., Zippy, 12, struggles to learn English & hopes to act on the stage. ("Dear America" series).


An Early Winter, Bauer. 1999*

Tim, 11, can't believe Grandad's memory is failing, and sneaks him out on a near-fatal fishing trip.


The Giver, Lowry

The Elders choose Jonas to receive the memories of the community.


The Golden Compass (Book 1 of "His Dark Materials"), Pullman

Lyra, 12, a wild, magical child, sees the future in a compass and fights a "dark principle" she cannot see. Fantasy.


Hatchet, Paulsen

After his plane crashes, Brian lives 54 days alone in the wilderness.


Holes, Sachar

Wrongly imprisoned, Stanley digs holes for the treasure-seeking warden, then escapes into a waterless desert.


The Journal of William Thomas Emerson: A Revolutionary War Patriot, Denenberg

Will, an orphan, spies for the patriots in 1774 Boston just before the war begins. ("My Name Is America" series)


A Long Way from Chicago, Peck

City kids Joey and Mary Alice spend summers with their bossy, funny grandmother who plays tricks on phony people.


Lyddie, Paterson

Lyddie works in a factory to help feed her family on the farm.


Our Only May Amelia, Holm. 1999*

Finnish-American May Amelia, 12, copes with many hardships on a farm in Washington State in the 1870's.


Perloo the Bold, Avi

Perloo is the unwilling leader of an animal society at war. Redwall fans might like this tale.


Preacher's Boy, Paterson. 1999*

Robbie, son of a preacher, wants to be an atheist, but feels guilty when he takes a girl's bloomers, and worries about sin.


Redwall, Jacques

Matthias the Mouse seeks a sword to smite Cluny the Rat and his followers.


The Shakespeare Stealer, Blackwood

Can Widge, whose master wants him to steal a play from the Globe Theater, betray his friends? Historical fiction, 16c.


Strudel Stories, Rocklin. 1999*

Several generations of a loving New York Jewish family tell their tales: exciting, sad, humorous, in turn.


Trouble's Daughter: The Story of Susanna Hutchinson, Indian Captive, Kirkpatrick

Susanna, captured in 1643, learns to love the people who massacred her family. Based on a true story.


Weasel, DeFelice

Nathan, caring for his sister alone, is stalked by a killer.


When Zachary Beaver Came Into Town, Holt. 1999*

In a Texas town, Toby and Cal befriend Zachary, the "fattest boy in the world," when he is abandoned by his guardian.


Where the Red Fern Grows, Rawls

A boy and his two hound dogs.


Wringer, Spinelli

Palmer pals around with bullies but he won't kill the pigeons even though it's the town's tradition.


Wrinkle in Time, L'Engle

Science fiction, ESP, in a quest story that travels through time.

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Classic Fiction to Read Aloud to the Whole Family

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Carroll

Alice finds strange characters when she falls down a rabbit hole.


The Hobbit, Tolkien

Various companions join forces to steal a ring from a dragon.


The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Lewis

Four children go through a cupboard to a land ruled by a wicked witch.


The Secret Garden, Burnett

Selfish Mary and sickly, pampered Colin restore an abandoned garden.


Treasure Island, Stevenson

A boy sails with a treasure map to find a pirate's hidden gold.

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4-5 Factual Books

This list is just a taste. What do you want to read about: billiards? guitars? boating? Go to your local library and find your favorite non-fiction topics.

Apollo 13: Space emergency, Cole

The exciting true story of the astronauts who were nearly lost going to the moon.


Bill Nye the Science Guy's Big Blue Ocean, Nye. 1999*

Amazing facts and 12 easy experiments fill this picture book of ocean animals, plants, tides and water.


Children of Clay: A Family of Pueblo Potters ("We Are Still Here" series), Swentzell

A modern Tewa Indian family in New Mexico use the old ways to make clay objects.


Fossil ("Eyewitness Books" series), Taylor

Great photos and information about the fossils of ancient birds, mammals and tiny bacteria.


Ice Story: Shackleton's Lost Expedition, Kimmel. 1999*

After Shackleton's ship sank, he and 27 others trekked across Antarctic ice flows and over storm-swept seas.


Inside the Titanic, Marshall

Extraordinary pictures and narrative about the famous ship.


Janice Van Cleve's Rocks and Minerals, Van Cleve

Easy-to-do projects.


Look Alikes: Find More than One Thousand Everyday Objects, Steiner. 1998*

A new approach to puzzle books where cushions are cookies, and houses have pretzel fences and broccoli bushes.


Pond Life, Reid

A thorough field guide to animals and plants in ponds and rivers.


Tae Kwon Do, Gutman

Text and photos explain the theory and techniques of this martial art.

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4-5 Biography

Chuck Close Up Close, Greenberg

Pictorial account showing the dot-painted, colossal canvasses of this artist who paints from a wheel chair.


Eleanor Roosevelt, Freedman

Wife of a great U.S. president, she fought hard for minority rights.


Good Queen Bess, Stanley

Pictorial account of the amazing life of Queen Elizabeth I of England.


Ken Griffey, Jr.: Star Outfielder, Macnow. 1997*

This famous centerfielder for the Seattle Mariners was 17 when he entered professional baseball.


Lives of the Musicians: Good times, Bad Times...And What the Neighbors Thought, Krull. 1993*

Fascinating, surprising, unforgettable stories of twenty famous composers.


Shaka, King of the Zulus, Stanley. 1988*

This 19th century African military genius started life as an outlaw from his tribe.


Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio, Kehret

Paralyzed from the neck down, author Peg Kehret at age 13 started her lifetime struggle with polio.


Through My Eyes, Bridges. 1999*

Ruby's own story of what it was like to be six in 1960 and the only black child in her Louisiana school. Good photos.


Two Tickets to Freedom: True Story of Ellen & Wm. Craft, Fugitive Slaves, Freedman. 1971*

Ellen, passing for white, posed as her husband William's owner when they escaped by train from the South.


Young Patriot: The American Revolution as Experienced by One Boy, Murphy

Gripping account of a soldier's life in war with some humor thrown in.


Zlata's Diary, Filipovic

Young Zlata Filipovic reveals the trials of citizens during the Bosnian war.