Developing Responsive Readers

Children's Choices

Kehret, Peg. (1999). Shelter dogs : amazing stories of adopted strays. Morton Grove, Ill. : Albert Whitman. 636.7 K265s

Tells the stories of eight stray dogs that were adopted from animal shelters and went on to become service dogs, actors, and heroes.

Good Books to Read Aloud

Hughes, Shirley. (1983). Alfie gives a hand. New York : Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books. PRIM-FIC H8944ALD

Holding tightly to his old bit of blanket as he attends his first birthday party, Alfie finds a way to be helpful, but it means putting down his blanket first.

DiCamillo, Kate. (2000). Because of Winn-Dixie. Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press. INTR-FIC D5452BE

Ten-yeaR old India Opal Buloni describes her first summer in the town of Naomi, Florida, and all the good things that happen to her because of her big ugly dog Winn-Dixie.

Adoff, Arnold. (2002). Black is brown is tan. New York : HarperCollins Publishers. PRIM-FIC A2393bl 2002

Describes in verse a family with a brown-skinned mother, white-skinned father, two children, and their various relatives.

McKinley, Robin. (1982). The blue sword. New York : Greenwillow Books. INTR-FIC M1585BL

Harry, bored with her sheltered life in the remote orange-growing colony of Daria, discovers magic in herself when she is kidnapped by a native king with mysterious powers.

Cooper, Susan. (1973). The dark is rising. New York : Atheneum. INTR-FIC C7785da

On his eleventh birthday Will Stanton discovers that he is the last of the Old Ones, destined to seek the six magical Signs that will enable the Old Ones to triumph over the evil forces of Dark.

Farmer, Nancy. (1994). The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm : a novel. New York : Orchard Books. INTR-FIC F234E

In 2194, in Zimbabwe, General Matsika's three children are kidnapped and put to work in a plastic mine while three mutant detectives use their special powers to search for them.

Myers, Walter Dean. (1997). Harlem : a poem. New York : Scholastic Press. 811 M996H

A poem celebrating the people, sights, and sounds of Harlem.

Sachar, Louis. (1998). Holes. New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux. INTR-FIC S1215H

As further evidence of his family's bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.

Mathis, Sharon Bell. (1975). The hundred penny box. New York : Viking Press. INTR-FIC M431H

Michael's love for his great-great-aunt who lives with them leads him to intercede with his mother who wants to toss out all her old things.

O'Dell, Scott. (1960). Island of the Blue Dolphins. Boston : Houghton Mifflin. INTR-FIC O236IS

When a girl is left behind on an island when her family and people are relocated, she must find ways to survive.

Orlev, Uri. (1984). The island on Bird Street. Boston : Houghton Mifflin. INTR-FIC O714IS

During World War II a Jewish boy is left on his own for months in a ruined house in the Warsaw Ghetto, where he must learn all the tricks of survival under constantly life-threatening conditions.

Lewis, C. S. (1965). The lion, the witch and the wardrobe : a story for children. New York : Macmillan. INTR-FIC L6734L

Four English schoolchildren find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magic land of Narnia and assist Aslan, the golden lion, to triumph over the White Witch, who has cursed the land with eternal winter.

Peck, Richard. (1998). A long way from Chicago : a novel in stories. New York : Dial Books for Young Readers. INTR-FIC P3676L

A boy recounts his annual summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister during the Great Depression to visit their largeR than-life grandmother.

Hamilton, Virginia. (1974). M. C. Higgins, the great. New York : Macmillan. INTR-FIC H2218M

As a slag heap, the result of strip mining, creeps closer to his house in the Ohio hills, fifteen-yeaR old M. C. is torn between trying to get his family away and fighting for the home they love.

Rathmann, Peggy. (1995). Officer Buckle and Gloria. New York : Putnam's. PRIM-FIC R234O

The children at Napville Elementary School always ignore Officer Buckle's safety tips, until a police dog named Gloria accompanies him when he gives his safety speeches.

Hall, Donald. (1979). Ox-cart man. New York : Viking Press. PRIM-FIC H175OX

Describes the day-to-day life throughout the changing seasons of an early 19th-century New England family.

Flournoy, Valerie. (1985). The patchwork quilt. New York : Dial Books for Young Readers. PRIM-FIC F6435PA

Using scraps cut from the family's old clothing, Tanya helps her grandmother and mother make a beautiful quilt that tells the story of her family's life.

Taylor, Mildred D. (1991, c1976). Roll of thunder, hear my cry. New York, New York : Trumpet Club. INTR-FIC T2445ROL

A black family living in the South during the 1930's are faced with prejudice and discrimination which their children don't understand.

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. (1991). Shiloh. New York : Atheneum ; Toronto : Collier Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International Pub. Group. INTR-FIC N333SH

When he finds a lost beagle in the hills behind his West Virginia home, Marty tries to hide it from his family and the dog's real owner, a mean-spirited man known to shoot deer out of season and to mistreat his dogs.

Bang, Molly. (1983). Ten, nine, eight. New York : Greenwillow Books. PRIM-FIC B216TE

Numbers from ten to one are part of this lullaby which observes the room of a little girl going to bed.

Polacco, Patricia. (1998). Thank you, Mr. Falker. New York : Philomel Books. PRIM-FIC P762TH

At first, Trisha loves school, but her difficulty learning to read makes her feel dumb, until, in the fifth grade, a new teacher helps her understand and overcome her problem.

Babbitt, Natalie. (1975). Tuck everlasting. New York : Farrar, Straus, Giroux. INTR-FIC B1124TU

The Tuck family is confronted with an agonizing situation when they discover that a ten-yeaR old girl and a malicious stranger now share their secret about a spring whose water prevents one from ever growing any older.

Carle, Eric. (1984). The very busy spider. New York : Philomel Books. PRIM-FIC C278VE

The farm animals try to divert a busy little spider from spinning her web, but she persists and produces a thing of both beauty and usefulness. The pictures may be felt as well as seen.

Fleischman, Sid. (1986). The whipping boy. New York : Greenwillow Books. INTR-FIC F5966WH

A bratty prince and his whipping boy have many adventures when they inadvertently trade places after becoming involved with dangerous outlaws.

Wordless Books

Wiesner, David. (1988). Free fall. New York : Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books. PRIM-FIC W6517FR

A young boy dreams of daring adventures in the company of imaginary creatures inspired by the things surrounding his bed.

Tafuri, Nancy. (1984). Have you seen my duckling? New York : Greenwillow Books. PRIM-FIC T1248HA

A mother duck leads her brood around the pond as she searches for one missing duckling.

Ormerod, Jan. (1982). Moonlight. New York : Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books. PRIM-FIC O733mo

As her parents attempt to help a child fall asleep at bedtime, they themselves become more and more sleepy.

Briggs, Raymond. (1978). The snowman. New York : Random House. PRIM-FIC B8544SN

When his snowman comes to life, a little boy invites him home and in return is taken on a flight high above the countryside.

Wiesner, David. (1991). Tuesday. New York : Clarion Books. PRIM-FIC W6517Tu

Frogs rise on their lily pads, float through the air, and explore the nearby houses while their inhabitants sleep.

Stories and Poems for Readers Theatre


Galdone, Paul. (1968). Henny Penny. New York : Clarion Books. 398.2 G149he

On her way to telling the king that the sky is falling, Henny Penny meets a number of friends who join heR - and a not-so-friendly Fox who decides to take matters into his own hands.

Galdone, Paul. (1973). The Little Red Hen. New York : Clarion Books. 398.2 G149Lr

The little red hen's lazy house mates--a cat, a dog, and a mouse--are unwilling to help her plant, harvest or grind wheat into flour, but they are eager to help eat the cake which is the end product of her work.


Kuskin, Karla. (1980). Dogs & dragons, trees & dreams : a collection of poems. New York : Harper & Row. 811 K975d

A representative collection of Karla Kuskin's poetry with introductory.


Byars, Betsy Cromer. (1968). The midnight fox. New York : Viking Press. INTR-FIC B993MI

Tony dislikes spending the summer on his aunt's farm until he discovers a black fox in the forest and tracks her to her den.

MacLachlan, Patricia. (1985). Sarah, plain and tall. New York : Harper & Row. INTR-FIC M1615SA

When their father invites a mail-order bride to come live with them in their prairie home, Caleb and Anna are captivated by their new mother and hope that she will stay.


For more information, contact:
Tom Ambrosi, Reference Librarian
Phone: 218-726-7861
Fax: 218-726-7481
416 Library Drive
Duluth, MN 55812

< Back

Revised and updated 1/13

Kathryn A. Martin Library | 416 Library Drive | Duluth MN 55812-3001
Phone: 218-726-8102
©2017 University of Minnesota Duluth
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer
Last modified: January 15, 2016
Library Site Coordinator: Kathryn A. Martin Library

University of Minnesota Campuses
Crookston | Duluth | Morris
Rochester | Twin Cities