Below are the best early reader books that are written at Guided Reading Level G / DRA Level 12 books. (It's the same level--just some schools use the one book leveling system and others use the other.) In general, kids read books on this level in first grade. (Ideally, first graders start at level C-D / DRA 4-6 and keep progressing in reading to end of levels I-J / DRA 16. However, every child is different, so check with your child's teacher to determine his/her exact level).
We sincerely hope this lists will be a helpful resource for teachers in need of guided reading books or for parents looking for books for their own children to read. And if we've left your favorite off our lists, please let us know!
This page lists:
(1) discount sets of early reader books all written at this level (**best deal**)
(2) popular series that have a lot of books written at level G /12
(3) individual early reader books that are written at this level (with links to buy on Amazon)
Finding a good series is a GREAT way to get kids reading. Read a few of the books to get them hooked...and the kids will keep coming back for more and more! Here are a few of our favorite series that have level G/12 books. Note that as an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Elephant and Piggie series:
We LOVE this series. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!! It's probably our favorite, and every year without fail it becomes our students favorites as well!! There are almost three dozen books in this hilarious series about two best buddies--an elephant and a pig. Of these books, many but not all are written at level 12 / G, including: My Friend is Sad, There Is a Bird On Your Head, Should I Share My Ice Cream?, My New Friend Is So Fun!, A Big Buy Took My Ball!, I Really Like Slop!, I Am Invited to a Party!, Happy Pig Day!, and I Will Take a Nap. (Many of the remaining books are written at level H / 14.)
There are dozens of books in this adorable series about an energetic, determined little puppy named Noodles. Specially written for early readers, all books in this series are written with Kindergarteners and 1st graders in mind (Guided Reading levels D-H / DRA 6-14). Of this series, many but not all are written at level 12 / G, including: I Lost My Tooth, I Love School!, Don't Cut My Hair, I Love Christmas! , I Love Colors!, and I Can Help.
Pete the Cat reader series:
The creators of the SUPER popular Pete the Cat series has now come out with some early reader books featuring the cool, kooky cat. Each year, we read several of our favorite (regular sized) Pete the Cat books to the kids for a few weeks, then hand off these early reader versions to them, and watch as they BEAM with pride that they can read Pete books too! :) Of the early reader books, some but not all are written at level 12 / G, including: Pete the Cat and the Bad Banana, Pete the Cat and the Lost Tooth, Pete the Cat and the Tip Top Tree House, Pete the Cat and the Lost Pet.
[At this same time, we also make the "Pete the Cat Phonics Books" available for the kids to read. They aren't level G per se, but they are great for early readers who are learning short and long vowel patterns.]
Biscuit reader series:
Biscuit books are written with young kids in mind, and many but not all are written at level G / 12. This includes: Biscuit Wins a Prize, Happy Birthday Biscuit, Biscuit and the Baby, Biscuit's Valentine's Day, and Happy Easter Biscuit. (Most remaining series books are written at level F/10.)
Below is a list of the best Level G / DRA 12
books that we could find that are available to buy on Amazon.com. In our
experience, you can't just buy any books written at this level.
Because word choice is so restricted, many books written at this level
are dreadfully dull or super awkward. But not the books below. They all
pass our 'teacher test' AND kids really like them too. :)
Please note that as an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Mouse Loves School
An adorable little mouse visits a human school for the first time and loves everything about it! Part of a great series.
The Carrot Seed
A timeless classic about the patience needed when planting. We read it to our classes each spring.
Gus Gets Scared
Gus is excited to camp in the backyard in his brand new tent...that is, until it gets cold and dark out!
Gus Makes a Gift
Gus has a great idea about what to give his mom on Mother's Day, but soon worries it's not going to turn out.
Barbie: I Can Be a Pet Vet
A cute book for Barbie fans and any kids who want to see a day in the life of a vet.
Brave Bear, Little Bear
Based on the Disney movie Brave, this early reader takes Merida on a quest that proves her bravery.
A young girl is eager to find a friend to come over and share the yummy beef stew her mom is making.
Axel the Truck: Beach Race
A spunky little truck goes up against the big guys in a beach race. Does he have what it takes to win?
Pie Rats Ahoy!
In this cute Richard Scarry book, pie rats (who are pirates, get it) steal Uncle Willy's pie. Will Busy Town every be safe again?
Mittens at School
Nick brings Mittens to school for show and tell and chaos breaks out! Great for the beginning of the year.
Sir Small and the Dragonfly
A tiny knight rescues
the kidnapped princess
in the town of PeeWee, where everything is teeny tiny.
A scared kitty is
rescued and taken
to a new home, but must find a special place for himself there.
Rubble to the Rescue
In this cute Paw Patrol book, Rubble wants to be a super hero, but finds he needs some help from his buddies.
The Cows are in the Corn
Kooky rhyming story about animals running amok (goats in the oats, pigs in the figs, rams are in the yams...)
My New Boy
Very sweet story from a dog's point of view about the joy in finding just the right kid. Pet lovers will love this switch in perspective!
I'm a Caterpillar
A caterpillar explains the stages of the butterfly life cycle. Cool textured-paper collage illustrations! We love this series!
I'm a Seed
A girl plants two seeds and then watches them grow, showing the plant life cycle. Full of cool textured-paper collage illustrations!
The Counting Race
First graders work together to come up with a way to count to 10 in one second. Robin Hill School series book.
The Berenstain Bears By the Sea
The bear cubs want to go swimming, but first they must do chores. Will they ever finish?
Robot, Go Bot!
A girl and a robot are the best of friends, but when the girl starts to order the robot around, will the friendship last? Teaches a good lesson.
Wall E: Smash Trash!
Based on the movie, this book is fun and cute and would work well even for kids who haven't seen the movie.
The Big Red Sled
Little Fred sneaks out to go sledding with his buddies, but how will he find his way home.
What's That, Mittens?
When curious kitten Mittens hears scratching near a fence, he goes to investigate and discovers a new friend.
Clifford and the Halloween Parade
When he can't decide what to be for Halloween, the kids come up with a fun idea!
Clifford Makes the Team
Clifford wants to play baseball with the gang, but what can he use for a bat? A tree, a utility pole, a pipe?
What's a big dog to do when he receives so many Valentines from his friends. Luckily he has an idea!
A cute and informative early reader about the different animals you find on a farm, with a few details included about each one.
Follow Me, Mittens
Mittens gets distracted by a butterfly while on a walk with Nick and gets lost. What will he do? (Cats go on walks?)
Happy Halloween Mittens
When Mittens tries to help Nick decorate for Halloween, he ends up making a mess instead.
The Great Race
Who will win when the animals on the farm have a race? This one is by David McPhail--we love his books!
*BEST DEAL* If you are looking to get a bunch of different books all written on this
reading level, check out our sets of gently used books that are all written at Guided Reading Level G and DRA
Level 12. These sets are perfect for teachers building their classroom leveled libraries -or-
for parents looking for books right at their child's current reading
level. Each set was put together by K-2 teachers. *SAVE 40% OFF RETAIL*
Our sets are comprised of gently-used books. All are in great condition--ranging from like new to good. None of the books have water damage, torn pages, damage to the spine/binding, or writing on the inside (except for an occasional name/inscription on the inside front cover). Overall, we are very proud of the quality of our books! Kids are hard on books. Don't waste your money on new, pristine books that will stay pristine for 5 minutes. Our used [but still very good] book sets are a perfect middle ground.
Betsy, Cindy, and Virginia (the teachers/sisters behind this website)
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