Annotated Bibliography of Grade Books for Children

Annotated Bibliography of Grade Books for Children

Henkes, K. (2013). The Year of Billy Miller. Greenwillow Books.

The book is a realistic fiction book of a boy named Billy. At the end of summer vacation, Billy suffers a fall which made him obtain a massive lump on the head. Due to this lump, Billy freaked out sincewas to join the 2nd grade. When Billy joined the school, Emma Sparks, his classmate was mean to him as she teased him concerning his situation. Surprisingly, Billy taunts Emma back as a form of retaliation. Ms. Silver, Billy’s teacher asks her students to make dioramas, and they should choose an animal habitat of their choice. Billy makes an excellent diorama of a bat caved beside his friend Ned and sister Sal. The piece of art eventually inspires Billy’s dad who is an artist. The events of the book display the need for children to learn to cope with situations they encounter and overlook circumstances they cannot change.  Comprehension questions, language activities, and vocabulary building are some of the extensive activities children learn from the book.


Tarshis, L. (2010). I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 (I Survived# 2). Scholastic Inc.

The book is a historical fiction book that gives an account of July 1916. Chet Roscow, a ten-year-old boy who lives with his uncle in New Jersey gets an invite from his fellow boys to go swimming. Later on during swimming, the boys play a prank on him telling him they had seen a shark. Consequently, this made him plan a joke on his own of covering ketchup on his body and lying to the boys he got attacked with a shark. The boys, later on, learned that it was a prank. However, jokes turned soar when a real-life scenario occurs when Chet goes swimming alone at the creek and encounters a real shark. He was able to escape with minor injuries and trying to prevent his friends from swimming becomes futile since they thought it was a prank. The shark came along and hurt Chet as he tried to save the only boy that could not get out in time. The aspect of true friendship among children is encouraged by the book. An information gap activity to engage children after reading the book is essential for reviewing the book and vocabulary.

Wilder, L. I. (1932). Little house in the big woods. Charles River Editors via Publish Drive.

The book is another historical fiction book that gives an account of a girl living with her family in Wisconsin in the woods. Laura, the protagonist, was able to partake house chores such as making fire and killing a pig at an early age of four. The family gets defined by the completion of duties such that Laura and her sisters understand that they help their parents in maintain their homestead. During summer their parents are overwhelmed with tasks, but during winter the parents find time to play with their daughters. The book teaches children of social duty, dependence on the family and self-reliance. Camping activities are encouraged here to solidify these concepts.


Young, E. (Ed.). (1989). Lon Po Po: A red-riding hood story from China. Penguin.

The book is of traditional literature genre of Red-Riding Hood. Based in China, it gives an account of three sisters Paotze, Shang and Tao who were left alone by their mother who went to visit the girls’ grandmother on her birthday. Later on, long after their mother is gone, a wolf came and knocked at the door trying to convince the girls that it was their grandmother. Unfortunately, the girls let the wolf in the house. However, due to the hairy legs of the wolves and thorny hands, the sisters began to doubt if the wolf was their grandmother. One of the sisters plays a trick on the wolf to walk out of the house to climb a gingko tree to eat a magical nut. The truce worked sinceit caused the death of the wolf.  The book teaches comprehensive predicting strategies during confusing situations. Teachers should request students to gather other stories of a different culture from theirs.

Andersen, H. C., Whitfield, L., & Pinkney, J. (1971). The ugly duckling. Scroll Press.

The book is another one of traditional literature that gives an account of a swan who was born in a family of ducks. The swan is chased away from the pond since the other animals viewed him as an outcast who does not belong hence the name “ugly duckling.” Getting shunned from the others was his order of the day since he encountered this wherever he went. As he went on, he saw a group of white birds and aspired to look as beautiful as they were. After winter fall, and dark, lonely days the swan looked at his reflection in water only to discover he was not a duck but a beautiful swan. The narrative presents the notion of the search of identity rather than fitting in which is essential for children to comprehend at a young age. Duck Crossword puzzles, coloring and drawing are great exercises for this concept.


Pilkey, D. (2000). Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot. Scholastic Inc.

The book is of science fiction genre giving an account of a mouse named Ricky Ricotta, who lived with his parents in Squeakyville. Ricky encounters not only lonely times since he is an only mouse but also challenging times with bullies due to being a small neighborhood. One day when he went to play kickball outside a Mighty Robot created by a mad doctor who was planning on something evil. The doctor was angry at the robot since it refused to take orders from him and zapped it with shock. Ricky was watching all this and decided to save the robot by kicking the doctor with the kickball. The giant robot and Ricky immediately struck a friendship which became essential as the two worked together to save the planet from bad guys. The book allows excellent reading skills and pursues meaningful connections of similar plots. Transforming the classroom into Squeakyville and encouraging students to wear mouse-eared headbands makes the concept fun.

Brown, J. (2013).Star Wars Jedi Academy. The scholastic UK.

The book is another science fiction book that provides an account of the adventures of a young boy named Roan Novachez and was from Tatooine. Roan gets an invite to Jedi Academy that recruits children in their young age. The teaching staff of the school is aliens from the Star Wars Universe.  During the first year in school under the guardianship of Master Yoda, Rona discovered that he had more potential and strength that he knew. Roan also learns new skills such as slow dancing with a girl, lift boulders and how to bake a soda volcano. However, he also faces challenges such as bullying which was done by clowns wearing cowls and lurked behind shadows. The book covers humour, fun, weirdness, and frustrations of children which makes it essential for them as they can relate. Parents can hold birthday parties with the book’s theme for their children.

Milne, A. A. (1928). Winnie-The-Pooh: Classic Gift Edition. Penguin.

The book is of the fantasy genre that gave an account of the author’s son, Christopher Robin and his ability to bring toys to life through giving them actual names. Winnie the Pooh was the real name that Robin named a swan. Pooh’s first adventure occurred when he felt hungry and decided to seek for honey. Pooh opted to trick the bees to steal their honey by taking a balloon and flying using it to the beehive. Pooh realized he could not steal the honey and flew down only to discover there was something wrong with the balloon. Robin, later on, came to his rescue by shooting the balloon.The book reflects on the games, guidance, and concerns of early childhood. The story provides an excellent comprehension to children’s ways of thinking and playing. Therefore children are given a guide to their experiences and solutions that are non-magical to their problems in the form of play versions. Calisthenics is a great activity to relate to the book.

Baum, L. F. (1987). The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. 1900. New York: Books of Wonder.

The book is another fantasy genre of an orphan named Dorothy Gale. Dorothy lived in Kansas together with her uncle, aunt, and Toto, her dog. One day a cyclone came and carried away while they are still inside the house. The house got carried away for a long distance, and when it eventually lands, Dorothy finds they have landed in a land which was beautiful and inhabited by short weirdly dressed individuals. The Witch of the North informs Dorothy that they are in Munchkins land and that their house landed on an evil witch’s home and killed her. Due to causing the death of the wicked witch the munchkins were set free from slavery. Dorothy then decided that she wanted to go home and the good witch told her to seek the Wizard of Oz. The journey to consult the Wizard of Oz made Dorothy encounter many setbacks but manages to get back home. The book promotes a sense of adventure for children which is exciting. Name Game is an activity for both children and adult that relate to the concept.

Sharmat, M. W. (1972). Nate the great. Random House Children’s Books for Young Readers.

The book is of the mystery genre, and it focuses on a boy named Nate who enjoys eating pancakes. Nate is also a detective who locates lost items such as chickens and balloons. Annie, his friend, calls him to inform him of her missing painting which Nate goes to help her find. Nate asks Annie to tell him of anyone that had seen the art. After a long search, Nate suggests to Annie that they should look for it in her brother’s room, Harry. Harry, who also paints had pictures on the taped on the wall. As soon as Nate examines Harry’s artwork which was all covered in red, he discovered that Harry stole Annie’s painting.  Annie’s picture was yellow, and Harry covered the painting with red that produced an orange outcome. The book enables students to learn critical thinking, observant and problem-solving skills. Writing on index cards terms of characters and ask children to pair those to the theme they represent can solidify the concept.

Warner, G. C. (1942). The Boxcar Children. Albert Whitman & Company.

The book is another mystery book that gives an account of four siblings who are orphans named Henry, Violet, Jessy, and Benny. The four siblings appear mysteriously in a town during summer, and nobody neither knew them nor where they originated. The four were afraid of living with their grandfather since they knew nothing about him and decided to build a home for themselves. An old boxcar, abandoned in the woods was where they opted to make their home. Henry who fourteen hence the oldest of them all takes care of his siblings as he goes to town looking to earn while his siblings built a house. Since the four were resourceful and determined they managed to get themselves fulfilling lives despite their situation. The book besides its exciting adventures teaches children to be resourceful and committed in life. Students can make boxcars as an activity to bring the idea to life.

Bang, M., & Chisholm, P. (2009). Living Sunlight: How plants bring the earth to life. Scholastic.

The book is an information book that aids students to comprehend that sun’s energy is essential for life. The book starts by requesting the reader to feel their heartbeat to acknowledge life. It explains the vital role the sun plays in the existence of humans, animals, and plants. The book, therefore, allows children to understand photosynthesis in a practical manner and bringing it to their level of comprehension making it informational. A classroom activity to solidify the concept of the book is request children to bring in seeds, soil and plastic cups to engage in the experiment that shows the significance of the sun on plants. Photosynthesis which requires sunlight to make plants grow is the concept of the test.

Aston, D. H. (2006). An egg is quiet. Illust. by S. Long. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books.

The book is another informational book that focuses on highlighting the unique egg features. With the use of excellent illustrations and information that describes the concept the relevance of the book is displayed. The reason behind this is it shows the difference and similarities of eggs and their ability to support life inside it. Understanding that every egg is designed differently concerning shape, color, textures and even the design is displayed. The book’s ability to captivate the reader through its beautiful designs ensures children learn the concept and sparks their imagination. The best activity to bring the idea to life is request students to bring eggs to class to compare them and learn.

Rappaport, D., Collier, B., & Duncan, M. C. (2002). Martin’s big words. Weston Woods Studios.

The book is a biography book that gives an ideal account of Martin Luther King and his works. Comparing his original quotes in speeches and writing is the agenda of the book. It also provides scenes of his life since childhood to adulthood. Due to racism within the town he lived, he vowed that was going to get big words as soon as he grew up. The quotes and actions of Martin inspired millions of people since he was a civil rights leader who discouraged racism. Martin learned the power of words from his father who was a preacher hence encouraged him to discover the power of not only speech but also language at a young age. Thus, the essence of the book to the young minds is enabled children to learn to use speech to express themselves. A great activity to practice the concept is request children to stand before their classmates and make a small speech about themselves.

Silverstein, S., Huff, D., Morris, F., &Haffkine, R. (1984). Where the sidewalk ends. New York: Columbia.

The book is a poetic book that begins with the description of a vast world. The place is where the sidewalk ends, and it is a magical and mystical world where everything is lovely and not reasonable. The site describes the sidewalks of the world since things are magical and nothing that takes place in the real world happens there. The illustration that got designed for people to reach the world adults is supposed to fallow the children. The books beckon children’s wild imagination to the readers specifically the children since it brings a closer connection to them. Therefore, this allows them to understand the concept at more personal levels. Children can play the sidewalks games like the cone maze to enable them to relate to the idea.

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