Guided Reading F / DRA Level 10 books

Books First Graders Can Read Themselves!

We teach first grade, so we are all too aware of how crucial finding books first graders can read themselves is in promoting reading success.  You can teach reading and spelling words in isolation all day long, but if early readers aren't putting that new knowledge into practice by reading those words in real books, the knowledge remains superficial.  Plus, kids need to see early on that their hard word is paying actual, honest-to-goodness reading, just like 'big kids do.'  Kids are SO proud of themselves when they can actually read a funny, clever, or cute book that used to be read to them.

Please remember these are averages.  Kids progress in reading at different rates.  To find the best fit for your child, we recommend you either: (1) Try just a few books from the relevant month (in the month-by-month books lists below) and then assess if your child needs to move to easier books (in a previous list) or move to harder books (in a subsequent list). -OR- (2) Ask your child's teacher for their current "reading level."  There are four common leveling systems (DRA, Lexile, Accelerated Reader, and Guided Reading/Fountas & Pinnell).  Most teachers either use one of these leveling system or are at least familiar enough with them to know the different levels for their own grade.  Then you can just match your child's level with the lists below.

Books first graders can read in August, September, and October*


*based on the average first grader

The books on this list are ideal for the average first grader, who starts the year being able to read books with simple, short vowel words (cvc), repetition to help with decoding harder words, and lots of picture clues. 

Side note: Reading books for first graders at this level can be VERY dull and somewhat painful to listen to, but hang in there....they get better in just a few levels.

(These books are leveled as: DRA A, 2, 4 and 6 --or-- Fountas & Pinnell Guided Reading A, B, C, and D)

Books first graders can read in October, November, and December*


*based on the average first grader

These are books first graders can read after a few months of first grade (on average), as they have generally now been taught some long vowel patterns, the different sounds of some letters (like c, k, and y), and more sight words. 

Be sure to ask some comprehension questions after reading, since reading is more than just decoding words. It's understanding too!

(These books are leveled as: DRA 8 and 10 --or-- Fountas & Pinnell Guided Reading E and F )

Great books for first graders in January, February and March*

Robot Go Bot

*based on the average first grader

Our next two booklists are books first graders can read in about the third quarter of the year. These books are a little more complex than the previous list. Kids need familiarity with long vowel teams, some irregular vowel teams, more sight words, and be able to infer a little more.. 

And good news: in the whole range of reading books for first graders, *this level* is when reading starts to get fun for kids!  At this level, kids can read well enough so that the stories are funnier, cleverer, all around more enjoyable to read. :)

(These books are leveled as: DRA 12 and 14 --or-- Fountas & Pinnell Guided Reading G and H )

Great books for first graders in April, May and June*

Go Away Dog

*based on the average first grader

The goal is for first graders to be able to read books like these at the end of first grade.  These are great books for first graders to read not only at the end of the year, but also during the summer (to prevent the dreaded 'summer slump.') 

And don't feel stuck to this list because they are specifically reading books for first graders. This summer, why not try a few books from our early lists of books second graders can read. :)

(These books are leveled as: DRA 16 --or-- Fountas & Pinnell Guided Reading I and J)

Too easy? Too Hard?  Here's help:

Are these recommended first grade books too hard? Check out: best reading books for Kindergarten. Kids learn to read at their own pace. Some learn earlier, some later, but as long as there's progress...that's cause for celebration!  From Kindergarten to second grade is the generally accepted "window" for learning to read.  It will happen.

Is your child is ready for more challenging booksCheck out second grade books to read. When we say the books on this page are "books first graders can read in (a given month)", that's an average.  Your child may progress at a faster rate. If so, we wholeheartedly recommend moving them on at their own pace and keeping them challenged!

Did we miss any? We love recommendations!

The books on these lists are THE BEST books at this level.  We'll be honest...some early readers are so dull and oddly worded that not only is it painful for us to listen to, but it's also really hard for kids to follow the storyline.  Lots of early reading books for first graders are so focused on a particular vowel or spelling pattern that the resulting story is either incredibly dull or, worse, doesn't really even make sense.  We want kids to comprehend what they read, so those books are not ideal.  But good news...none of the books listed here are guilty of this.  These are great books for first graders because they are not only perfectly suited to their reading ability, but they also have good, clear, even funny and clever storylines that will help with comprehension as well.  We hope you enjoy these lists!

Know of any great reading books for first graders (books first graders can read themselves), please let us know!  We want this to be parents' and teachers' one-stop-shop for all great books for first graders.  Because reading is FUN!!!