50 Essential Books for Classroom Libraries

One question I’m often asked is what books should we have in our classroom libraries? I always say a wide variety of books that include various authors, genres, length, and topics. I also make sure there are several books for each student that is at their reading level. We have a mix of chapter books, picture books, and fiction/non-fiction books. I often ask my students what sort of things they are interested in and try to get books related to those topics. We also have a collection of books that relate directly to what we’re currently learning about. I’ve put together a list of general books that you could consider for your classroom library:

  1. Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
  2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  3. Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner
  4. Double Trouble in Walla Walla by Andrew Clements
  5. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
  6. My Teacher’s Secret Life by Stephen Krensky
  7. Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel
  8. Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbara Park
  9. Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parrish
  10. Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne
  11. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
  12. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  13. The Magic School Bus by Joanna Cole
  14. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
  15. The New Kid on the Block by Jack Prelutsky
  16. Runny Babbit by Shel Silverstein
  17. Guinness World Records
  18. Ripley’s Believe It or Not
  19. Kids World Atlas by National Geographic
  20. Encyclopedia
  21. Dictionary
  22. Thesaurus
  23. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
  24. No Talking by Andrew Clements
  25. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
  26. Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
  27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
  28. Frindle by Andrew Clements
  29. Holes by Louis Sachar
  30. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  31. The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon
  32. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  33. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
  34. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
  35. Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
  36. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  37. Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
  38. Jackie and Me by Dan Gutman
  39. I Wonder Why the Sea is Salty by Anita Ganeri
  40. Now & Ben by Gene Barretta
  41. Cars on Mars by Alexandra Siy
  42. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  43. Falling Up by Shel Silverstein
  44. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  45. The BFG by Roald Dahl
  46. The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
  47. Wayside School is Falling Down by Louis Sachar
  48. Niagara Falls, or Does It? by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver
  49. Ann of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  50. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

This is a general list that includes books for all elementary grades so make sure you check that each book is appropriate for your students. What other books do you have in your classroom library?

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