Books for Independent Reading


World's Weirdest Sea Creatures
by M. L. Roberts
Troll 1994 (32p)
Some of the sea's strangest creatures, including wolf fish, arrow crabs, and white-tip reef sharks, are pictured here. (See others in series.)
Flat Stanley
by Jeff Brown
Harper 1964 (64p); also paper
Stanley's life changes dramatically when a board falls on him and flattens him. Available in Spanish as Stanley, el plano.
Record Breakers of the Air
by Rupert Matthews
Troll 1990 (32p)
Learn about the fastest insect, the largest bat, the windiest place on Earth, and other record-breaking facts. (See others in series.)
The Headless Horseman
by Emma Harding
Holt 1994 (32p)
A simple retelling of Washington Irving's “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”
The Scarebird
by Sid Fleischman
Greenwillow 1988 (32p)
A farmer begins a friendship with a scarecrow and gains a new hired hand.
Animals Do the Strangest Things
by Leonora and Arthur Hornblow
Random 1990 (64p); also paper
Explains unusual animal behavior, such as what camels store in their humps and why polar bears never slip on the ice.
Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm
by Jerdine Nolen
Lothrop 1994 (32p)
A tall tale about a most unusual farmer.
Koko's Kitten
by Dr. Francine Patterson
Scholastic 1985 (50p); also paper
The true story of the friendship between a sign-language-speaking gorilla and a kitten.


World's Strangest Baseball Stories
by Bart Rockwell
Troll 1993 (96p); also paper
A fielder who played all nine positions in a single game is just one of baseball's unbelievable stories.
Grand Canyon
by Patrick Cone
Carolrhoda 1994 (48p)
Colorful presentation of the geological wonder, which is over two hundred miles long, four to eighteen miles wide, and one mile deep.
The Amazing Impossible Erie Canal
by Cheryl Harness
Macmillan 1995 (32p)
Despite the skepticism of many, this seemingly impossible canal was built in only seven years.
Pippi Longstocking
by Astrid Lindgren
Viking 1950 (158p); Puffin 1988 paper
The classic story of a Swedish girl who wants to live alone with her horse and monkey.
Strange Creatures
by David Peters
Greenwillow 1992 (48p)
The strange creatures featured include fish that look like plants and elephants no larger than puppies.
McBroom's Wonderful One-Acre Farm
by Sid Fleischman
Greenwillow 1992 (64p)
Tall tales about Josh McBroom and his family's farm. Available in Spanish asLa maravillosa granja de McBroom.
Here Comes McBroom!
by Sid Fleischman
Greenwillow 1992 (80p)
Three more tall tales about the McBrooms. Available in Spanish as El regreso de McBroom.


Mount Rushmore
by Craig A. Doherty and Katherine M. Doherty
(Social Studies)
Blackbirch 1995 (48p)
In the Black Hills of South Dakota, half a million tons of granite were blasted and chiseled to create this famous monument.
Wanted … Mud Blossom
by Betsy Byars
Delacorte 1991 (160p); Dell 1993 paper
When a pet hamster disappears, Mud the dog finds himself on trial.
Hoover Dam
by Craig A. Doherty and Katherine M. Doherty
(Social Studies)
Blackbirch 1995 (48p)
Built in the 1930s, Hoover Dam is still considered one of the modern engineering wonders of the United States.
All the Money in the World
by Bill Brittain
Harper 1979 (160p); also paper
Quentin catches a leprechaun who grants him three wishes.
Beetles, Lightly Toasted
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Macmillan 1987 (144p); Dell 1989 paper
In an essay contest, Andy suggests eating insects as substitutes for other foods.
Surtsey: The Newest Place on Earth
by Kathryn Lasky
Hyperion 1992 (64p)
Explains the formation of a new volcanic island off the coast of Iceland.
The Magnificent Mummy Maker
by Elvira Woodruff
Scholastic 1994 (160p)
Andy, playing second fiddle to his gifted stepbrother, finds his life changing after an encounter with a museum mummy.
Ordinary Jack: Being the First Part of the Bagthorpe Saga
by Helen Cresswell
Macmillan 1977 (192p); also paper
The first book of the hilarious adventures of the talented, eccentric Bagthorpe family.
The Great Fire
by Jim Murphy
(Social Studies)
Scholastic 1995 (144p)
A small fire that started in the O'Learys' barn in 1871 soon destroyed the city of Chicago.
The Curse of King Tut's Tomb
by Jay Montavon
(Social Studies)
Avon 1992 (96p)
Tragedy and death followed the people who explored King Tut's tomb.
Henry Reed's Baby-Sitting Service
by Keith Robertson
Viking 1966 (208p); Puffin 1989 paper
Nothing ever goes quite the way Henry plans it, even baby-sitting.
Death Trap: The Story of the La Brea Tar Pits
by Sharon Elaine Thompson
Lerner 1994 (72p)
The bones of many Ice Age animals have been found in the La Brea tar pits in downtown Los Angeles.
Shadows in the Water: A Starbuck Family Adventure
by Kathryn Lasky
Harcourt (224p); also paper
Thinking they share a telepathic link with dolphins, the Starbuck children set out to discover who is poisoning these creatures.
The Disappearance of the Anasazi
by Janet Hubbard-Brown
Camelot 1993 (96p) paper
Around A.D. 1300, the Anasazi Indians, known for their pottery and pueblos, simply disappeared.
The Mystery of the Roswell UFO
by Ken McMurtry
Avon 1992 (96p)
Did aliens really land in New Mexico in 1947?


Extraordinary Stories Behind the Invention of Ordinary Things
by Don L. Wulffson
Avon 1991 (128p)
Explains how such common items as a rubber band, a shopping cart, and a traffic light came to be.
When Blue Meant Yellow: How Colors Got Their Names
by Jeanne Heifetz
Holt 1994 (171p)
In twenty-six informative essays, the author explains the origin of color names.
by Joe Cottonwood
(Social Studies)
Scholastic 1995 (112p)
An ordinary baby-sitting assignment turns into an unbelievable experience when the Loma Prieta/San Francisco earthquake strikes.
Killer Bugs
by Melvin Berger
Avon 1990 (96p) paper
Features some of the fiercest and most frightening creatures in nature.
The Secret of Roanoke Island
by Janet Hubbard-Brown
(Social Studies)
Avon 1992 (96p)
Three years after settlers arrived on Roanoke Island off North Carolina, they had all mysteriously disappeared.
The Case of the Mummified Pigs and Other Mysteries in Nature
by Susan E. Quinlan
Boyds Mills 1995 (128p)
The author, a naturalist and wildlife biologist, explores fourteen ecological mysteries.

Books for Teachers to Read Aloud

The Princess in the Pigpen
by Jane Resh Thomas
Clarion 1989 (128p); Avon 1993 paper
Elizabeth is transported from her sickbed in seventeenth-century England to a twentieth-century Iowa farm.
The Boggart
by Susan Cooper
Macmillan 1993 (208p)
In an old desk Emily finds the Boggart, a centuries-old sprite who causes all kinds of mischief.
The Twenty-One Balloons
by William Pène du Bois
Viking 1947 (192p); Puffin 1986 paper
In this classic, Professor Sherman relates his experiences of trying to fly across the Pacific and landing on Krakatoa instead.