Top 15 Favorite Books That First Graders Can Read All By Themselves

Updated: Jan 14

I taught first grade for eight out of my sixteen years of teaching.  I love first grade!  It’s so exciting to watch children, who barely know their letters in August, progress to reading easy books by fall to reading beginner chapter books by spring!


Every day after recess and storytime, my students got to choose their own books and read to themselves.  I know from experience which books my first graders would choose over and over again.


The books they chose were not necessarily the most popular read-aloud books.  The books they chose were books they could easily read all by themselves.  These were books that didn’t have many words on each page and had pictures that would help them figure out what the words were.  The words were easy and predictable.


Especially in the beginning, my students would often get the same books day after day because they could read them all by themselves.  It gave them confidence!


As I researched first graders’ favorite books, I noticed that the lists included so many books that beginning first graders just couldn’t read.  Most of the books on the recommended lists were read-aloud books, not books for children to read themselves.

The list below is different.  My list includes books most first graders can read by themselves by December.  Yes, initially parents still need to read these books aloud so their children will be familiar with them.  However, once the children know these books, they should be able to read most of them all by themselves.


For instance, the very first book that all of my students loved was a book called No David by David Shannon.  It has hilarious pictures, plus there are basically only two words to know:  No and David.  That was the number one book in August.


So here’s my list of my first graders’ favorite books to read all by themselves.  Most are available free at the library, both in print and ebook downloads.  However, you might want to buy some of them so your children will have their very own personal copy to read over and over.  For your convenience, all of the books are linked to Amazon.  (Note: I participate in the Amazon Affiliate program.)


Top 15 Favorite Books That Most First Graders Can Read All By Themselves:

  1. No David by David Shannon

  2. Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman

  3. Ten Apples Up On Top by Theo LeSieg

  4. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

  5. Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss

  6. David Gets in Trouble by David Shannon

  7. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

  8. Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman

  9. Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire

  10. Bears in the Night by Stan and Jan Berenstain

  11. Bears on Wheels by Stan and Jan Berenstain

  12. Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree by Eileen Christelow

  13. Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See? By Bill Martin Jr./ Eric Carle

  14. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

  15. Where’s Spot? By Eric Hill



Learn how to get your children to clean their rooms and help around the house with Rubric Rules: A Cleaning System for Kids.A

“ Train up a child in the way he should go, 

and when he is old he will not depart from it."

Proverbs 22:6​

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