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[Grades 1-2] Great Books to Read in July

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Holidays Observances are magnets that attract kids to books and reading. July comes with special holidays that kids love, including Independence Day (July 4th), World UFO Day (July 2nd), International Kissing Day (July 6th), Chocolate Day (July 7th), Tell the Truth Day (July 7th), I Love Horses Day (July 15th), Disneyland’s Anniversary (July 17th), and Moon Day (July 20th). Let’s fill this summer with tons and tons of books.

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  • Ghouls Don't Scoop Ice Cream

    Debbie Dadey, Marcia T. Jones, John Steven Gurney

    Paperback (Scholastic Paperbacks, May 1, 1998)
    The hugely popular early chapter book series re-emerges with a new look! Brand-new eye-catching cover art brings a modern feel to this classic monster series for young readers.It's just a normal day for the Bailey School kids. That's until they head to their favorite ice cream shop and meet Scout, the new girl working the counter. Clad in dark clothing and with a hollow and forlorn look on her face, Scout tells the kids that she's in town to find a house for the family she works for. When she adds that she's interested in finding a home that's made of stone and has no windows near the cemetery, the kids realize Scout must be a ghoul looking for a home for a family of vampires. Will the kids be able to stop Scout from bringing a new family of monsters to Bailey City?
  • The Fourth of July Story

    Alice Dalgliesh, Marie Nonnast

    Paperback (Aladdin, June 1, 1995)
    An accessible story of America’s birthday brings alive the history and spirit of the Fourth of July, with an introduction to the fight for independence and the events and people that shaped American tradition.What happened on the Fourth of July long before there were fireworks and parades? Alice Dalgliesh takes young readers back to revolutionary times, back to the colonists’ desire for freedom and the creation of the Declaration of Independence. Simple text captures the excitement of the era, telling how word of Independence traveled up and down the thirteen colonies, touching the lives of everyday people throughout the land. Like all of Alice Dalgliesh’s work, The Fourth of July Story remains an American classic.
  • The Night Before the Fourth of July

    Natasha Wing, Amy Wummer

    Paperback (Grosset & Dunlap, May 12, 2015)
    The twentieth title in the bestselling Night Before series is the perfect summer treat! It's the night before the Fourth of July and all across the United States people are getting ready for hot dogs and fireworks. Decked in red, white, and blue, a family heads to a parade, hosts a backyard BBQ with friends and family, dodges an afternoon thundershower, and of course, watches a fireworks show. The Night Before the Fourth of July captures all the fun, excitement, and pride of the best summer holiday!
  • Independence Day

    Trudi Strain Trueit

    Paperback (Children's Press, Sept. 1, 2006)
    An introduction to Independence Day for the youngest readers.This fact-filled Rookie Read-About Holiday book introduces the youngest readers (Ages 3-6) to Independence Day. Colorful photos and very simple nonfiction text encourage children to read on their own as they take an in-depth look at traditions and festivities on the Fourth of July.
  • Independence Day

    Robin Nelson

    Paperback (LernerClassroom, Aug. 1, 2002)
    A basic overview of Independence Day for emergent readers. Color photographs reflect the short, easy-to-understand sentences that improve vocabulary and comprehension.
  • Independence Day

    Rebecca Rissman

    Library Binding (Heinemann, Sept. 1, 2010)
    Fourth of July is filled with fireworks, concerts, and good food. Find out the meaning of this American holiday and the traditions around it in this book.
  • Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids

    Carol McCloud, David Messing

    Hardcover (Bucket Fillers, Oct. 1, 2015)
    "Children are not the only ones that need to learn how to be truly happy. It's all in the bucket, that invisible bucket that follows you everywhere . . . teaches young readers valuable lessons about giving, sharing, and caring. This guide to daily happiness, though, is not just for kids. We all need reminders of the benefits of positive thinking and positive behavior. It's an important lesson to teach and remind us all . . . that showing kindness and appreciation of others goes a long way to making this world a happier place for everyone, including ourselves. A classic tale, beautifully told and beautifully shared." - Emily-Jane Hills Orford, Readers' Favorite Book Reviews While using a simple metaphor of a bucket and a dipper, author Carol McCloud illustrates that when we choose to be kind, we not only fill the buckets of those around us, but also fill our OWN bucket! Conversely, when we choose to say or do mean things, we are dipping into buckets. All day long, we are either filling up or dipping into each other's buckets by what we say and what we do. When you're a bucket filler, you make the world a better place to be! This 32-page picture book is perfect for children,parents, grandparents, teachers and people that want to teach empathy, nurture kindness and create a positive environment in their home, classroom, workplace and community. Bucket Fillers is committed to giving 50% of all proceeds to non-profits that serve children and families. For more information on bucket filling or free downloadables and resources, please visit by Bucket Fillers:Have You Filled a Bucket Today?Fill a BucketGrowing Up with a Bucket Full of HappinessMy Bucketfilling JournalWill You Fill My Bucket?Bucket Filling from A to ZBucket Filling from A to Z Poster SetMy Very Own Bucket Filling from A to Z Coloring BookBABY'S BUCKET BookHalle and Tiger with their Bucketfilling FamilyBuckets, Dippers, and Lids
  • Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend!

    Cori Doerrfeld

    Hardcover (Dial Books, July 2, 2019)
    From the creator of The Rabbit Listened comes a gentle story about the difficulty of change . . . and the wonder that new beginnings can bring.Change and transitions are hard, but Goodbye, Friend! Hello, Friend! demonstrates how, when one experience ends, it opens the door for another to begin. It follows two best friends as they say goodbye to snowmen, and hello to stomping in puddles. They say goodbye to long walks, butterflies, and the sun...and hello to long evening talks, fireflies, and the stars. But the hardest goodbye of all comes when one of the friends has to move away. Feeling alone isn't easy, and sometimes new beginnings take time. But even the hardest days come to an end, and you never know what tomorrow will bring.
  • Apple Pie Fourth of July

    Janet S. Wong, Margaret Chodos-Irvine

    Paperback (HMH Books for Young Readers, May 1, 2006)
    Shocked that her parents are cooking Chinese food to sell in the family store on an all-American holiday, a feisty Chinese American girl tries to tell her mother and father how things really are. But as the parade passes by and fireworks light the sky, she learns a surprising lesson.
  • Red, White, and Boom!

    Lee Wardlaw, Huy Voun Lee

    Hardcover (Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), April 10, 2012)
    Fireflies flitSparklers spitPinwheels spinGoosebump skinIt's the Fourth of July! Travel across the country for a city parade, a beach picnic, and fireworks in the park in this poetic celebration of the many cultures and traditions that make America's birthday BOOM!
  • What Does It Mean to Be American?

    Rana DiOrio, Elad Yoran, Nina Mata

    Hardcover (Little Pickle Press, April 9, 2019)
    An engaging picture book for children that celebrates what it means to be American!What does it mean to be American? Does it mean you like apple pie or fireworks? Not exactly.This patriotic picture book is perfect for Memorial Day, Independence Day, Election Day, or any day you want to share with your child what it means to be an American. After all, Fourth of July isn't the only time to celebrate what makes America special!While politics seem to divide our country into the two opposing teams of red and blue, one truth remains: we are all Americans. But what does that mean?Gold Moonbeam Award Winner!IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award Finalist!Foreword Reviews INDIES Finalist!This continuation of the popular, award-winning What Does It Mean to Be...? series provides a nonpartisan point of view perfect for any and all Americans who are proud of who they are―and where they come from, regardless of their political views.Other Titles in the What Does It Mean to Be...? Series:What Does It Mean to Be Present?What Does It Mean to Be Global?What Does It Mean to Be Kind?
  • Fourth of July

    Mary Lindeen

    Paperback (Norwood House Pr, July 1, 2018)
    Learn about the Fourth of July traditions and symbols, including red, white, and blue flags, parades, fireworks, and more. This title includes a note to caregivers, reading activities, and a word list.
  • Grandma Drove the Garbage Truck

    Katie Clark, Amy Huntington

    Hardcover (Down East Books, Jan. 1, 2006)
    Grandma has run the town's garbage business, and her three sons drive the trucks. But what happens when her sons are all too sick to work-and it's the 4th of July, the day of the Big Parade? Leave it to Grandma to get the town clean, with the help of her young grandson, Billy, as she embarks on a hilarious romp through town-and creates nearly as much mess as she cleans up.
  • Pie Is for Sharing

    Stephanie Parsley Ledyard, Jason Chin

    Hardcover (Roaring Brook Press, May 15, 2018)
    A picnic, a beach, a pie cut into pieces and shared with good friends.Pie is for sharing.It starts off round, and you can slice it into as many pieces as you want. What else can be shared? A ball, of course. A tree? What about time?Through the course of one memorable Fourth of July picnic, Stephanie Ledyard and Jason Chin take young readers through the ups and downs of sharing in this lovely picture book.
  • We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States

    David Catrow

    Paperback (Puffin Books, April 21, 2005)
    Brush up on the Preamble to the Constitution with this patriotic picture book—and have a couple of good laughs while you're at it!A long time ago some smart guys wrote the Preamble to the Constitution. You have probably read it before, but do you know what it means? And did it ever make you laugh? Now it will! Perfect for inspiring discussion in classrooms and around kitchen tables, this fun-filled and cheerfully illustrated look at the Preamble provides an accessible introduction to America's founding ideals for citizens of all ages. Includes a glossary of terms and a foreword by the artist."This zany, patriotic paean offers kids lighthearted but meaningful incentive to reflect further on the relevance of those 'big words' and 'big ideas.'"—Publishers Weekly
  • The Case of the July 4th Jinx

    Lewis B. Montgomery, Amy Wummer

    Paperback (Kane Press, Aug. 1, 2010)
    It's the Fourth of July! There are fireworks, parades, pies, games―and a jinx? When everything at the fair starts going wrong, detectives-in-training Milo and Jazz must find out: is it really a jinx―or is it sabotage?
  • Fourth of July Bear

    Kathryn Lasky, Helen Cogancherry

    Hardcover (William Morrow & Co, April 1, 1991)
    Spending summer vacation on a Maine island, Rebecca misses her best friend Emily until she meets Amanda, who invites Rebecca to be in the Fourth of July parade
  • I, Too, Am America

    Langston Hughes, Bryan Collier

    Hardcover (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, May 22, 2012)
    Winner of the Coretta Scott King illustrator award, I, Too, Am America blends the poetic wisdom of Langston Hughes with visionary illustrations from Bryan Collier in this inspirational picture book that carries the promise of equality.I, too, sing America.I am the darker brother.They send me to eat in the kitchenWhen company comes,But I laugh,And eat well,And grow strong. Langston Hughes was a courageous voice of his time, and his authentic call for equality still rings true today. Beautiful paintings from Barack Obama illustrator Bryan Collier accompany and reinvent the celebrated lines of the poem "I, Too," creating a breathtaking reminder to all Americans that we are united despite our differences. This picture book of Langston Hughes’s celebrated poem, "I, Too, Am America," is also a Common Core Text Exemplar for Poetry.
  • America Is...

    Louise Borden, Stacey Schuett

    Paperback (Margaret K. McElderry Books, June 1, 2005)
    What is America? It is fifty states from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific Ocean and beyond. It is a flag of stars and stripes. It is farmers, miners, factory workers, bakers, and bankers. It is Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon, swamps and desert. It is the stories of all of us, told together.
  • Looking for Uncle Louie on the Fourth of July

    Kathy Whitehead, Pablo Torrecilla

    Hardcover (Boyds Mills Press, April 1, 2005)
    It's the fourth of July, and Joe and his parents have come to watch the big parade. They join the crowd that lines the street. People are talking and laughing and joking. But "where is Uncle Louie?" Joe wonders, as the high school band marches by, with twirlers out front flinging their batons high in the air. A mariachi band plays the national anthem. There are clowns, too, and a parade of horses. But there is no sign of Uncle Louie. Now Joe worries that Uncle Louie will miss the big parade. Then Joe sees a flash of chrome. Here come the lowriders! Kathy Whitehead's joyous story captures the thrill of watching an Independence Day parade in the American Southwest. Pablo Torrecilla's spirited illustrations capture the parade's big event: the arrival of the lowriders. But where in the world is Uncle Louie?
  • How to Bake an American Pie

    Karma Wilson

    Hardcover (Margaret K. McElderry Books, May 22, 2007)
    How do you bake an American pie? Preheat the world until fiery hot with a hunger and thirst to be free. Now find a giant melting pot on the shores of a great shining sea. From the bestselling author of Bear Snores On comes a remarkable recipe for America. Including a dash of purple mountain majesties, cupfuls of courage, and a pinch of liberty, this beautifully illustrated combination of ingredients yields an irresistible treat that promises plenty of servings for children everywhere.
  • Proud to Be An American

    Lee Greenwood

    Hardcover (Clovercroft Publishing, May 25, 2015)
    From GRAMMY-winning and seven time No. 1 hit making country music star LEE GREENWOOD comes the best-selling children's book, Proud To Be An American, now available for the first time. Greenwood's iconic, self-penned patriotic hit, "God Bless The U.S.A." has united the nation and inspired American pride for over three generations. Now, as a new era of youth emerges, he hopes to once again relay the song's important message and inspire a fundamental understanding what it means to be free. Written by Greenwood in the words of "God Bless The U.S.A.," and fully illustrated with colorful, vibrant images by Amanda Sekulow, Proud To Be An American follows a man and his grandson across the U.S. to various national landmarks including the Golden Gate Bridge, Arlington Cemetery and more. The book sharpens young readers' ability to read words, understand geography and interpret colors, all while painting the meaningful portrait of an American soldier. Each copy includes an exclusive, never-before-heard download of "God Bless The U.S.A." As seen on Hannity, FOX & Friends, Inside Edition, FOX Business Network, The Dave Ramsey Show and more.
  • Story of Star Spangled Banner

    Patricia A. Pingry

    Board book (WorthyKids, April 1, 2014)
    A reformat of this best-selling title into our vertical board book format. This little board book introduces young children to the story of how the words to our national anthem, 'The Star-Spangled Banner,' came to be written, when Francis Scott Key witnessed a battle in the war of 1812 and memorialized it in a moving poem. In addition, toddlers will learn basic 'flag manners.' This board book, here in a fresh size and updated design, will be a wonderful addition to a family's library of patriotic and historical books -- and easy for little hands to grasp. Ages 2-5.
  • God Bless America

    Irving Berlin, Lynn Munsinger

    Hardcover (HarperCollins, June 1, 2002)
    This first illustrated picture book of Irving Berlin's classic song celebrates America and invites young readers -- and singers -- to experience all of her colorful glory, from the mountains to the prairies.Lyrics by America's most celebrated songwriter, together with Lynn Munsinger's heartwarming illustrations, are sure to comfort and inspire young patriots across the nation.
  • Duck for President

    Doreen Cronin, Betsy Lewin

    Hardcover (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, March 2, 2004)
    My fellow Americans: It is our pleasure, our honor, our duty as citizens to present to you Duck for President. Here is a duck who began in a humble pond. Who worked his way to farmer. To governor. And now, perhaps, to the highest office in the land. Some say, if he walks like a duck and talks like a duck, he is a duck. We say, if he walks like a duck and talks like a duck, he will be the next president of the United States of America. Thank you for your vote.
  • Blue Sky White Stars

    Sarvinder Naberhaus, Kadir Nelson

    Hardcover (Dial Books, June 13, 2017)
    An inspiring and patriotic tribute to the beauty of the American flag, a symbol of America’s history, landscape, and people, illustrated by New York Times bestselling and Caldecott-honor winning artist Kadir Nelson Wonderfully spare, deceptively simple verses pair with richly evocative paintings to celebrate the iconic imagery of our nation, beginning with the American flag. Each spread, sumptuously illustrated by award-winning artist Kadir Nelson, depicts a stirring tableau, from the view of the Statue of Library at Ellis Island to civil rights marchers shoulder to shoulder, to a spacecraft at Cape Canaveral blasting off. This book is an ode to America then and now, from sea to shining sea.
  • Judy Moody Declares Independence

    Megan McDonald, Peter H. Reynolds

    Paperback (Candlewick, April 10, 2018)
    When a visit to Boston spurs Judy's interest in Revolutionary heroes and heroines, she's soon on a quest for more independence in this hilarious new episode from Megan McDonald and Peter H. Reynolds. Huzzah! She, Judy Moody, would hereby, this day, make the Judy Moody Declaration of Independence. With alien rights and her own Purse of Happiness and everything. Hear ye! Hear ye! Everyone knows that Judy Moody has a mood for every occasion, and now a visit to Boston has put our famous third grader in a revolutionary mood. When Judy meets an English girl named Tori at the Tea Party ship, she is gobsmacked to learn how many liberties her British friend enjoys — her very own phone, private loo, and pounds of allowance. When a day of cheerfully doing her chores doesn't earn Judy Moody more rights, and staging a revolt in the form of a tea-throwing Boston Tub Party has her dad reading the riot act, Judy is forced into temporary retreat. Who would guess that a real-life crisis involving her brother, Stink, would finally give Judy a chance to show her courageous quick thinking – and prove her independence, once and for all?
  • The Berenstain Bears God Bless Our Country

    Mike Berenstain

    Paperback (Zonderkidz, April 14, 2015)
    The Bear family and their Bear Country neighbors celebrate the Fourth of July with a big parade. But not before the cubs get a lesson about the blessings of freedom for their country. Features 12 full-color stickers.
  • Curious George Parade Day tabbed board book

    H. A. Rey

    Board book (HMH Books for Young Readers, May 23, 2011)
    There’s nothing like waiting for something special and magical to happen. Today George is waiting for a parade to start! But before it does, this little monkey manages to find—and make—plenty of mischief. When the fun gets a little out of control, George must save the parade . . . but will it mean he misses a spectacular end to the day? Each spread features a short poem and the fun tabbed pages are perfect for little fingers!