April 28, 2013

Must Have Book List for Teaching Comprehension Strategies

This weekend I put together my student teacher's gift basket of great books for teaching comprehension. I soon realized there were so many books I wanted to get her, but I simply couldn't afford to buy her all my favorites.  (Especially since my list of favorites keeps growing and growing.)  I decided I would do the next best thing - give her a list of my favorites and I thought I would share with you.

All of these books I have used in my classroom with great success.  They are 100% tested and approved... by me.  I have categorized them by the comprehension strategy that I use them for most often. However, as you know, good books can be used to teach any strategy.

Metacognition - Tracking Thinking

Wordless Picture Books:
Time Flies - Eric Rohmann
Trainstop & Rainstorm- Barbara Lehman
Pancakes for Breakfast & The Knight and the Dragon- Tomie dePaola
Flotsam, Tuesday, & Freefall - David Wiesner

Metacognition Picture Books:
Henry Freedom Box - Ellen Levine and Kadir Nelson
Wilma Unlimited - Kathleen Krull
How Many Days to America? - Eve Bunting
Mighty Jackie: The Strike-Out Queen - Melissa Moss
Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates - Jonah Winter
America's Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle - David Alder
Every Living Thing - Cynthia Rylant
Gleam and Glow - Eve Bunting
Snowflake Bentley - Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Connections (T-S, T-T, T-W)

Oliver Button is a Sissy - Tomie dePaola 
Amazing Grace - Mary Hoffman
The Relatives Came - Cynthia Rylant
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day - Judith Voirst
My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother - Patricia Polacco
The Wall - Eve Bunting
Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez - Kathleen Krull
Martin's Big Words - Doreen Rappaport
My Brother Martin - Christine King Farris
Teammates - Peter Golenbock

Asking Questions

Fly Away Home - Eve Bunting
The Royal Bee - Frances and Ginger Park
The Keeping Quilt - Patricia Polacco
Charlie Anderson - Barbara Abercrombie
Brave Irene - William Steig
Amelia's Road - Linda Allman
Baseball Saved Us - Ken Mochizuki
Cheyenne Again - Eve Bunting
The Mysteries of Harris Burdick - Chris Van Allsburg

Making Mental Images

A Chair For My Mother - Vera B. Williams
The Salamander Room - Anne Mazer
The Seashore Book - Charlotte Zolotow
Fireflies - Julie Brinckloe
Charlotte's Web - E.B. White
The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan


Tight Times - Barbara Shook Hazen
A Day's Work - Eve Bunting
Two Bad Ants - Chris Van Allsberg
Fables - Arnold Lobel
Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock - Eric Kimmel
The Stranger - Chris Van Allsberg
Owen - Kevin Henkes

The Other Side - Jacqueline Woodson
Freedom Summer - Deborah Wiles
Follow the Drinking Gourd - Jeanette Winter
Miss Rumphius - Barbara Cooney
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers - Mordicai Gerstein
Fly High!: The Story of Bessie Coleman - Louise Borden

Many of these books have already been mentioned on my blog and will probably be mentioned again, but I hope you discover some new titles.  If you have a  favorite that I should check out, please comment and share below.  I'm always looking for new titles and there may be some that I have just plum forgotten about.

For a printable version of my list, click here.
Happy reading!!


  1. Great post!! Good to know that I have many of these books but found a few new ones! Thanks for categorizing them!

    Pencils, Books, and Dirty Looks

    1. I'm so glad you discovered some new titles! Thanks for stopping by! ~Amanda

  2. This is a wonderful list of books. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

    1. I also love The Sweetest Fig for inferring, and synthesizing. The Birthday Surprise is great for synthesizing as well.

    2. Thanks for the book suggestion. I love learning about new titles.

  3. Great list! I forgot about some of these books. Thanks for reminding me!


    1. Haha! I'm always forgetting about books until I rediscover them on my shelves and think - Oh my gosh! This is a great book!! :) ~Amanda

  4. Fabulous POST!! I'm so happy I stumbled onto your blog. I'm your newest follower and I'm impressed. ;)
    Brandee @ Creating Lifelong Learners

  5. A super BIG Thanks...seems like teachers are always planning...beginning, middle, or end of the school year.


    A Time to Share & Create


    Fabulous 4th Grade

  6. Great list!! :) I love Henry's Freedom Box...it's one of my favorites!!

    I thought about looking back at your Fiction Friday link up's because I am looping up with my 4th graders to teach 5th grade next year and need some good ideas for read alouds!

  7. Wow! Wow! Wow! So wonderful. Thanks for compiling this list.

  8. Thanks for sharing these mentor texts to help teach comprehension strategies!! Very much appreciated! I am your newest follower!

    Table Talk with C & C

    1. Hi Caitlin! I'm so glad you are following. I can't wait to swap ideas with you. :)

  9. Hi Amanda,
    Just read your excellent book list- many of these books appear on reading lists in the UK.

    However your kids in the States definitely missing out if they are not reading books by that great English children's author Roald Dahl, with books illustrated by Quentin Blake. 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory','Matilda', 'The Twits','James and the Giant Peach'... the list goes on and on!


    1. Oh, I love Roald Dahl too! I read aloud at least one book every year. They are always a hit with the kids. :)

  10. Just found your blog today and so glad I did! Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful texts. I am a new follower and will be back to read future posts...

    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers

  11. Have you ever used The Grey lady and the Strawberry Snatcher by Bang or Wave by Lee with your wordless picture books? I love Flotsam! Thanks for the list. Caitlin (www.The-Room-Mom.com)

    1. Oh boy!! Thank you for more suggestions. I will put these on my list of books to check out. Awesome! Thanks for stopping by.

  12. I couldn't download your great book list because I am not a Scribd member. Would you send the list to my email? I would really appreciate it:)

  13. I would love this list as well please! I am also not a Scribd member. MeghancLittle@gmail.com


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