Your classroom library is one of the most important parts of your entire classroom. It will help your students learn to love reading. That’s why you need to stock your library with amazing books your students will enjoy. These are some of the best upper elementary books for your classroom library.
The Best Upper Elementary Books
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. I only recommend products that I use and love.
I have thousands of books in my classroom library, but they don’t all get read the same amount. Some are definitely student favorites while others are only read once in a while. When I’m looking for books to add to my collection, I search for certain series, authors, and genres or topics.
The great thing about series is that once students find one they like, they will have books to read for a while. I always start the school year by reading aloud The Best School Year Ever. For the next few months, The Best Halloween Ever and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever are passed from one student to the next.
These are some of my students’ favorite series:
- I Survived
- Who Is/Was
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid
- The Boxcar Children
- Pony Pals – I had a student read the entire series last year.
- Animal Ark
- Captain Underpants
- Whatever After
- The Series of Unfortunate Events
- Harry Potter
- Little Rhino
- Nate the Great
- Nancy Drew
- Geronimo Stilton
- 39 Clues
Sometimes your students will find an author they absolutely love. Kate DiCamillo is always one of my classes’ favorites. We start the year by reading Because of Winn Dixie aloud, and we end the year by reading The Tale of Despereaux. Many of Kate DiCamillo’s books are on a higher reading level than my third graders, but they love discovering the Mercy Watson books that are just right.
These are some of my students’ favorite authors:
- Matt Christopher
- Andrew Clements
- Jerry Spinelli
- Judy Blume
- R. J. Palacio
- Louis Sachar
- Chris Van Allsburg – His picture books are great for making inferences!
- Brian Selznick
- Roald Dahl
- E. B. White
- Scott O’Dell
- Raina Telgemeier
The last way I look for new upper elementary books to add to my classroom library is by genre or topic. I always have plenty of mysteries, realistic fiction, and fantasy books in my library. It’s harder to find historical fiction and nonfiction books that are at an appropriate reading level for my students. I look for topics that I know interest them and try to find books they will enjoy.
These are some of my students’ favorite topics:
Setting up Your Classroom Library
The first thing you need to do is find books to add to your library. Now that you know what types of books to look for, check out some ways to get free or cheap books for your classroom.
Next, figure out how you’re going to organize your classroom library. I sort my books by genre and by reading level to help my students find just right books. Find out other tips for organizing your library and keeping it neat all year.
Finally, watch as your students discover books they absolutely love! If you use reading workshop in your classroom, your students will go through books quickly, and they will really appreciate your well-stocked classroom library.
5 Days to a Successful Reading Workshop
Are you just getting started with reading workshop? Do you want some help setting it up? Join me for a 5-day email course where I’ll give you all the tips you need to Rock Reading Workshop next school year.
Just sign up by clicking the link below. We’re getting started the week of July 16th, when you’ll receive access to a private Facebook group and 5 emails with step-by-step directions to set up your reading workshop.
Want more tips to make teaching less stressful? Sign up for the Teach Without Tears newsletter below, and join our private Facebook group to ask all your questions.
What Do You Think?
What are your favorite upper elementary books?
Let me know in the comments below.