Recommended Books to Support Readers


If your school is adopting the Units of Study in Reading, you are right to ask for guidance provisioning classrooms with necessary materials. Your most important challenge will be to develop rich classroom libraries, filled with organized, well-displayed, engaging books that are at the levels of text complexity that match the kids you’ll be teaching. You’ll also want to be sure that you have the books that support the units of study you teach at any one grade, at any one time. This document will help you get started in building a library that is supportive of both of these goals.

This book list is written with the assumption you are an administrator, a coach, or lead teacher, responsible for provisioning classroom libraries across your school in a large-scale way. If you are a classroom teacher looking for support in setting up your individual classroom library and procuring specially recommended titles, you’ll find some useful tips here as well.

TCRWP Classroom Libraries

The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project has also developed state-of-the-art classroom libraries for each grade level, K–8. Curated by Lucy Calkins and TCRWP colleagues along with a team of literacy leaders and children’s literature experts, these libraries contain 400–700 leveled books at each grade level—all organized into collections, shelves, and bins based on level, genre, topic, and available in versions for students reading both at and below benchmark.

TCRWP Classroom Libraries

Units of Study Texts and Current Favorites

It is an exciting time to be a teacher of reading and writing where the diversity of authors and protagonists are growing. Movements such as We Need Diverse Books and #ownvoices have spotlighted the importance of all students having access to books that both reflect their lives and provide opportunities to discover varied experiences and stories in the world. We recommend teachers tap into this diversity of authors and content through a variety of read aloud books and diverse texts that students can access in our classrooms.

The narrative texts featured across the grade levels of the reading and writing units of study presents students with a wide range of reading selections. Additionally, we’d like to share some of our current favorites to read with students in grades K-8.

We also have additional resources for supporting students’ reading. For example, here you will find some courses of study for teen readers.

We have also gathered digital resources to support students’ reading and research in informational texts. We have aimed to gather texts on a range of topics and across levels. As always, we suggest previewing these texts before using them in your classroom in order to ensure that you find materials that are best suited for your particular students.