Blog Laura Bush’s List of Must-Reads

Laura Bush’s List of Must-Reads

by Niki Chimberg
Laura Bush, a librarian at Dawson Elementary School in the 70s, reads “Read All About It!” to students. The book was written by her and her daughter Jenna Bush.

Second grade teacher, librarian, and former First Lady Laura Bush got her love of reading from her mother: “When I was a little girl, my mother would read stories to me. I have loved books and going to the library ever since… Reading gives you enjoyment throughout your life.”

While she was in the White House, Laura compiled a list of her favorite children’s books. And we wanted to share them with you. Have you read any of these? What else would you add to the list?

Family Reading

To be read aloud as a family. These titles are also good for independent readers.

  • Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White
  • Hank the Cowdog (series,) John R. Erickson
  • Little House on the Prairie (series), Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
  • Old Yeller, Fred Gipson
  • The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros
  • The People Could Fly, Virginia Hamilton
  • Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
  • Winnie the Pooh (series), A. A. Milne

Books to Read to and with Young Children

These titles are also good for early independent readers and those children just learning to read.

Bedtime favorites and Lap-time reading:

  • Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown
  • Babar (series), Laurent De Brunhoff
  • Carlo Likes Reading, Jessica Spanyol
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog (series), Norman Bridwell
  • Corduroy, Don Freeman
  • Frances the Badger (series), Russell Hoban
  • Hop on Pop, and others by Dr. Seuss
  • Make Way for Ducklings, Robert McCloskey
  • Mother Goose Rhymes
  • Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs, Tomie De Paola
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eric Carle
  • There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Simms Taback
  • Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
  • Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People’s Ears, Verna Aardema
  • Cars and Trucks and Things that Go, Richard Scarry
  • Cuadros de familia/ Family Pictures, Carmen Lomas Garza
  • Curious George, H.A. Rey
  • Frog and Toad (series), Arnold Lobel
  • George and Martha (series), James Marshall
  • If You Give a Pig a Pancake, Laura Joffee Numeroff
  • Little Bear (series), Else Holmelund Minarik
  • Magda’s Tortillas, Becky Chavarria-Chairez
  • Officer Buckle and Gloria, Peggy Rathmann
  • Sarah’s Flag for Texas, Jane Alexander Knapik
  • Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, William Steig
  • The Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats
  • The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
  • Tomas and the Library Lady, Pat Mora
  • Amazing Grace, Mary Hoffman

Books for Intermediate and Independent Readers

  • Esperanza Rising, Pam Munoz Ryan
  • Love that Dog, Sharon Cheech
  • A Year Down Yonder, Richard Peck
  • Because of Winn Dixie, Kate DiCamillo
  • Adaline Falling Star, Mary Pope Osborne
  • Joey Pigza Loses Control, Jack Gantos
  • Journey to the River Sea, Eva Ibbotson
  • Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson
  • Miracle’s Boys, Jacqueline Woodson
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein
  • Homeless Bird, Gloria Whelan
  • James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall, Patricia Maclachlan
  • Ramona (series), Beverly Cleary
  • A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle
  • My Side of the Mountain, Jean Craighead George
  • Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt

Special Comfort Books

  • What Have You Lost, Naomi Shihab Nye and Michael Nye
  • The Story about Ping, Marjorie Flack
  • The Tenth Good Thing about Barney, Judith Viorst
  • I Love You, Little One, Nancy Tafuri

Recommended Reading for Adults

  • Ship of Fools; The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter, Katherine Anne Porter
  • The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Beloved, Toni Morrison
  • Music for Chameleons, Truman Capote
  • Goodbye to a River, John Graves
  • Mornings on Horseback, David McCullough; and other biographies
  • Bless MeUltima, Rudolfo A. Anaya
  • My Antonia; Death Comes to the Archbishop, Willa Cather
  • All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy
About the Author

Niki Chimberg

Niki recently graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Economics and a minor in Information Science. A lifelong native of Massachusetts, Niki is having an adventure below the Mason-Dixon line and discovering what Charlotte has to offer. She spends her free time sampling the dozens of craft beers around Charlotte, kayaking on Lake Norman, and trying to find room in her heart for the Carolina Panthers.

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