Best Books for 1st Grade
I have read my share of mind numbing Rainbow Fairy easy chapter book series. Those chapter books were beloved by my two older daughters but the plot was so predictable and the vocabulary was repetitive that it put me a little over the edge after I was forced to read more than two dozen of them out loud. Still, I was happy to buy them for my girls to encourage them to read.
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I was fully prepared to go through a boy version of this with my youngest. When he spent his Christmas money at Barnes and Nobles on the Ninjago easy chapter book series, I expected a mind numbing experience. I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, most of these series were new to me, brought home via school library by my son. Once he was in tears because he wanted either the Dragonbreath book or a Frankie Pickle one but since both were sought after by his classmates, they had to draw numbers and HIS NUMBER WAS ALWAYS THE LOWEST IT’S NOT FAIR MOMMY!!
In extracting this list from my son, I fully expected him to just pick the last 10 books that he’s read. I was surprised by the Marla Frazee Caldecott picture book which we haven’t read in a while. Also by The Lorax which we read as an iPad ebook (still counts in my book!).
But what is the most surprising is how these books make us both laugh and laugh. They are really funny! Ok, maybe not the Ninjago series … that’s more action/adventure, but Dragonbreath, Alvin Ho, Frankie Pickle and Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever are snuggle up and crack up together.
What are your favorite boy books? Please share!
Dragonbreath series by Ursula Vernon
We’ve read three of these hybrid easy chapter book/graphic novels so far and I was surprised to find out how much I enjoy this series. Danny Dragonbreath is funny and the adventures slip some science into the plot which I always enjoy. Danny’s more nerdy, cautious sidekick Wendell is the perfect foil to the more adventurous Danny. There is also a bullying sub-plot that runs throughout each illustrated chapter book.
Frankie Pickle by Eric Wight
Luckily Pickle is not Frankie’s real last name! Phew! This hybrid graphic novel/easy chapter book series is a rosy glass filtered view of the early elementary school year. There’s drama, but nothing traumatic. Judging by the wait list at the library reservations desk, this is one very popular series. We enjoyed the first one about car racing and are still trying to get our hands on the rest.
Never in a million years would I have guessed that a book series based on rudimentary Lego pieces would be so entertaining. Similar to the Power Rangers in plot and mythical abilities, this series’ characters also have interesting personal mysteries to solve that drive the plots. When my son bought these books, he immediately started reading them IN THE STORE and all the way home in the car! That works for me!
Alvin Ho series by Lenore Look
Because my son is Asian (1/4 Chinese, 1/4 Japanese and 1/2 Korean), I especially like this Asian version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid that my Mom Friend Nathalie introduced me to. Her sons are 1/2 Vietnamese and 1/2 Caucasian which is probably why she zoned in on it. We find these books to be seriously funny, although Alvin Ho’s personality ticks read a tad Asian Nerdy.
Ripley’s Believe it or Not
I forgot how entertaining Ripley’s is … the person with the really, really long nails is still in it too and it still creeps me out!
Guiness Book of World Records 2011 by Craig Glenday
My daughters also loved reading this book. You don’t really need to get the updated version every year either!
Pokemon Black and White Handbook
My son now tells me that all the other, older Pokemon handbooks (we have them all) are not cool at all. This is the only one he likes. The Pokemon in Black and White are all new, but the format is exactly the same.
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
It was interesting to me that out of all the Dr. Seuss books we have, and we have all the popular ones, this is the one he picked. Thank god! The fate of our planet rests in his generation!
Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee
I have a feeling that Marla Frazee’s son had exactly this week one summer and that she managed to capture the magic of staying at the grandparents on the beach with a best friend in a very comedic way. She should be in stand up! And her sarcasm, which usually flies over the heads of children, is picked up perfectly by young readers to their vast amusement!
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