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5 books to get your elementary schooler excited about reading
FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2015 11:47 AM

By the fifth grade, the Common Core State Standards for English/language arts will require students to be able to read fluently and proficiently at an appropriate reading level. This means that students should know how to read and comprehend texts fairly quickly, as well as sound out unfamiliar words and put them into context. But preparing fifth graders for the State Standards test at the end of the year doesn't just begin in fifth grade. Throughout elementary school, students should be introduced to books they'll love to read. These will hopefully get them interested and excited about a subject that can be difficult for some children. Read on for five great books your elementary schooler will love reading:

1. 'The Phantom Tollbooth'
This fun novel by Norton Juster centers around Milo, a little boy who's bored with his life until a tollbooth suddenly pops up in his room. When Milo drives through the tollbooth in a toy car, he enters a world called the Lands Beyond in which he's introduced to several interesting and funny characters who take him on an adventure. The book is silly, relatable for children and introduces subjects like math and language in a fun way.

2. 'Nim's Island'
"Nim's Island" is the tale of a young girl named Nim whose father leaves her on a desert island for a few days. Nim's adventures on the island with her animal companions are smart, charming and fun to read about, and the book is simple enough for younger elementary schoolers to understand. Read this book aloud with your kids, or encourage second or third graders to give it a try on their own.

3. 'Because of Winn-Dixie'
Winn-Dixie is a stray dog who befriends India Opal, the story's protagonist. The cute and lovable Winn-Dixie helps Opal make friends with some of her town's outsiders in a story that teaches kids about acceptance and friendship. 

4. 'Who Was Harry Houdini?'
"Who Was Harry Houdini?" is a biography of the famous magician written by Tui Sutherland. Sutherland has actually written several biographies about some important historical figures, like Harriet Tubman and Benjamin Franklin, all of which are fun, interesting and a great introduction to nonfiction texts.

5. 'Where the Sidewalk Ends'
Elementary school State Standards include poetry in the types of texts students should be able to read and comprehend, and this collection of poems by Shel Silverstein is the perfect way to get them started. With poems like "Jimmy Jet and his TV Set" and "The Crocodile's Toothache," what child wouldn't want to read this hilarious and often relatable collection?