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What Should Your Students Read Next?

Educators recommend their favorite books for students.

There are so many good books for students to explore from Lord of the Flies and The Diary of Anne Frank to fantasy novels like Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia. We know there are many, many more. So, we asked NEA members nationwide to share with us those titles that are used by educators and loved by students.


What Pet Should I Get? a Dr. Seuss classic and NEA's official Book for Read Across America 2016!

Actual Size by Steve Jenkins. Illustrates big and small animals in their actual size.

Who Would Win series by Jerry Pallotta and Rob Bolster.
A 12-book set about various animals competing against one another.

Eyewitness by various authors. A series of more than 100 titles on various subjects, from ancient Egypt to sharks. Great for homework and projects.

Who was? What was? Where is? by various authors.
Three categories of books that introduce students to historical and popular figures; historical events; and important areas and landmarks.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.
A newborn caterpillar eats through the pages (leaving behind a hole for little fingers to explore), getting bigger and fatter before turning into a butterfly.

STELLALUNA by Janell Cannon.
A tale about a lost baby bat and her efforts to fit in. Includes factual information about bats.

Picture Books

Llama, Llama by Anna Dewdney. A six-book series that helps children learn to deal with their feelings.

Books by Kevin Henkes provide educators with stories that explore children’s feelings, from solitude to acceptance from peers.

Books by Mo Willems are humorous and artistic, and are packed with valuable learning lessons, such as The World of Elephant and Piggie, which stresses the importance of friendship and flexibility.


Brian’s Song by William Blinn. Details the life of Brian Piccolo, a football player stricken with terminal cancer after turning pro.

Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes. A book about trash consumption and efforts to reduce it.

Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals. The story of Melba Pattillo Beals, a member of the Little Rock Nine, who in 1957 with eight other teens, integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Ark.

The Stranger Next Door by Peg Kehret. Mysterious fires. Disappearing signs. Pete, the house cat, is on the case.

Joe Ledger by Jonathan Maberry. An ongoing series of bio-terrorism books.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan. A five-book set that mixes classic Greek mythology and modern adventure.

Picture Books

Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin and other authors. A collection of books that help young learners develop their literacy skills.

Shark vs. Train by Tom Lichtenheld and Chris Barton. With this book, students will strengthen their learning comprehension through various stories that have a shark and a train compete in a series of contests.

Abiyoyo by Pete Seeger. Based on a South African lullaby and folk story, these stories encourage students to retell and perform stories.


We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. A rich family with their own island. Life seems perfect until the protagonist experiences an accident she can’t remember.

Endurance by Alfred Lansing. An account of the 1914 Antarctic expedition by explorer Ernest Shackleton gone terribly wrong.

Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. A collection of post-zombie apocalypse stories.

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. A look into the history, science, and business of the fast-food industry.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. A book about two adversary groups, divided by their socioeconomic status.

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach. A story about four teenagers who wait to see if an asteroid will destroy Earth. Predictions are grim.

Picture Books

Books by Laura Numeroff. Many of her books show younger students early learning basics and provide older students with critical thinking skills.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. A series of books that chronicle the protagonist’s not-so-enjoyable middle school experiences.

Dr. Xargle by Jeanne Willis. A hit during science lessons, this six-book set features an alien who studies Earth and teaches school children what he finds.


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