Great Series for First Grade

First grade is such a special year. It is fascinating to watch a little one enter first grade with emergent reading skills and finish the year as a proficient reader. There may be some bumps along the way, but getting great books in kids’ hands can help smooth those tricky spots.

Great Series Books for First Grade Six Year Olds


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Brand New Readers from Candlewick Press
Early 1st Grade
Reading levels A-E
With limited text on each page, predictable sentence structures, and entertaining characters these are some of our absolute favorites for very new readers. We especially love the Worm stories. Leveling information can be found here.


Brownie and Pearl by Cynthia Rylant and Brian Biggs
Early 1st Grade
Cynthia Rylant is one of our favorite authors of children’s literature so we were thrilled to discover the Brownie and Pearl series for our earliest readers. The quirky characters are endearing and the simple sentences/great picture support make these accessible to early readers.

Puppy Mudge by Cynthia Rylant, Illustrations by Sucie Stevenson
Early 1st Grade
Reading level: E
Henry and Mudge is a popular end-of-first-grade chapter book. This more accessible series introduces beginning readers to these popular characters.

Train Time by Adria F Klein and Craig Cameron
Early 1st Grade
Reading level: B-C
Trains have been a big hit in our household for years, so our boys were thrilled to discover these brightly illustrated books with limited text.

Wonder Wheels by Melinda Crow and Chad Thompson
Early 1st Grade
Reading level: B-E
Similar to the Train Time series, Wonder Wheels has appeal for our transportation-loving kids.

Biscuit by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Illustrations by Pat Schories
Early 1st Grade
Reading level: E-I
With relatable story lines, an adorable little dog, and simple language, what’s not to love about the Biscuit stories?

Elephant and Piggie by Mo Willems
Middle to late 1st Grade
Reading level: G-I
This may be our favorite early reader series of all time. These hilarious, endearing, and entertaining stories are a must!

World of Reading Level 1
Middle 1st Grade
Many of the books from this division are based on episodes of popular TV shows which provides great support in terms of reading character names and sophisticated words that may be hard for first graders to decode. When Jake read Who Stole the Stellosphere? he had no trouble with words like Adventure Orb, Stellosphere, and hologram since he was familiar with the episode of Miles From Tomorrowland that the book was based on.

Robot and Rico
by Anastasia Suen and Mike Laughead
Middle 1st Grade
Reading level: F-J
Robot and Rico are best friends. Robot supplies just the right tools for whatever situation they find themselves in and Rico teaches Robot new tricks.

National Geographic Readers Level 1
Middle 1st Grade
Not surprisingly, this series has breathtaking photographs and covers a wide range of nonfiction topics including animals, extreme weather, and modes of transportation.

DK Readers Pre-Level 1 and Level 1
Middle 1st Grade
Covering a very wide range of topics–from Star Wars to gymnastics–books from DK Readers are accessible with great picture support.

Dino Detectives 
by Anita Yasuda and Steve Harpster
Middle 1st Grade
Reading level: F-G
A group of dinosaur detectives work together to solve a variety of mysteries in this entertaining series.

Henry Helps by Beth Bracken and Ailie Bushby
Middle 1st Grade
Reading level: G
Henry learns to help his family with a whole host of household chores in this series. Maybe some of his enthusiasm for pitching in will rub off on your little one. We can hope anyway.

Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold
Middle 1st Grade
Reading level: F-N
A favorite for many first graders, Fly Guy is silly, funny, and engaging. It’s hard to keep these in “stock” in many classroom libraries because they are in such high demand.

Pete the Cat by James Dean
Middle 1st Grade
Pete is one cool cat. This is another series that kids just can’t get enough of.

Fairy Tale Jumbles by Hilary Robinson, Illustrations by Simona Sanfilippo
Middle 1st Grade
Two fairy tales are combined with funny results in this series.

Tadpoles: Fairy Tale Twists by Laura North, Illustrations by Gary Northfield
Middle 1st Grade
This set of fractured fairy tales puts a twist on traditional tales.

Tadpoles: Nursery Crimes by Alan Durant, Illustrations by Leah-Ellen Heming
Middle 1st Grade
Did Humpty Dumpty fall or was he pushed? Did Little Bo Peep’s sheep escape or were they kidnapped? Let your kids follow the clues to solve these Nursery Crime mysteries.

Step into Reading Levels 1 and 2
Middle to Late 1st Grade
This series includes books on a whole host of popular characters including superheroes, Barbie, and Frozen. Parents and teachers often engage in healthy conversations around the value of reading books about popular characters. Sure, we want to move kids to more sophisticated texts over time but the if kids are engaged and enthusiastic about their books, let them have at it! We all enjoy reading for pleasure from time to time.

Katie Woo by Fran Manushkin and Tammie Lyon
Late 1st Grade
Levels: H-M
Katie Woo is a spunky kid who is relatable to most first graders. There are tons of Katie Woo books which is great if you have a fan of the series in your household.


Dragon by Dav Pilkey
Late 1st Grade
Level: I
From the author of Captain Underpants, the Dragon series follows this loveable and funny character on everyday adventures.


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