Earlier this week was International Literacy Day and it’s also National Literacy Month – one of our favorite months of the year! Reading is something that we are very passionate about here at School on Wheels and we strive to share a love for literacy with our students every night during tutoring. We hope you love reading too! To help us celebrate this month, our staff and tutors have compiled a list of some of their favorite children’s books that they’d love to share with you:
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan: This was my favorite book as a child because it was about someone named Sarah and she was tall. It was about a family living in the frontier out West and the mom had died, so the dad brings home a new wife, Sarah. The children dislike her at first, because she’s plain and tall, but by the end they love her very much. Classic tale of acceptance, understanding, family, and growth. ….but mostly, her name was Sarah and she was tall, like me. – Sarah, Project Manager
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein: Who doesn’t love funny poems about what happens when you don’t take the trash out? I read it to my kids! – Sally, Founder & CEO
The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Warner: I loved the adventures that they would take and always wished I could go with them. The beauty of reading is the fact that you can travel with them in your mind. Looking back today, I think I was drawn to them because they were always creative with what they had and they always made good of something that was a sad situation. – Melissa, Salvation Army Barton Center Tutor
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume: I loved this story about Peter and his wild, mischievous, hilarious little brother, Fudge. I have a little sister who is quite funny herself, so I could relate to some of the situations in which Peter and Fudge found themselves. I was so excited when my own children recently read this book. They enjoyed it, as well! – Karen, Director of Programs
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Siverstein: I loved this book because it was clever, with often sing-song rhymes (Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me, too), with just enough touch of crude humor to amuse a kid. I also loved the basic but often funny accompanying visuals. There are poems that I still remember every line by heart that I could recite on command. “Mama said I’d lose my head if it wasn’t fastened on…” – Erin, Program Manager
The Goosebumps Series by R. L. Stine: This was one of my favorite series growing up. I enjoyed the thrill they provided and at the time they were pretty scary. My favorite from the series was Say Cheese and Die, where a kid finds a camera that produces photos of the person dying and then it came true. – Kurt, Wellspring Cottage Tutor
There’s a Wocket in my Pocket! by Dr. Seuss: My family and I just love the rhymes and the interesting names of the silly monsters hiding in the little boy’s house. – Laura, Vice President of Programs and Community Outreach
The Book of Giant Stories by David L. Harrison, illustrated by Philippe Fix: The stories were about Giants interacting with children, but the wonderful illustrations were what I remember most. They really fired up the imagination! – Greg, Wheeler Mission Center for Women and Children Tutor
The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series by Betty McDonald: I loved, loved, loved reading as a kid. During summer break, my mom would often have to force me to go outside when my nose was stuck in a book for too long. One of my many favorites, and I almost hesitate to name one because I leave others out, was the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series. She was a lively widow who lived in an upside down house and loved children. Bewildered parents called on her for help with bad habits and she provided them with unusual cures for such behaviors such as ‘won’t pick up toys’ and ‘slow eater tiny bite taker.’ In the end, the children always found it much better to change their behavior – Kris, Program Assistant and MartH Coordinator
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Superfudge by Judy Blume: These were both books I read and reread throughout early elementary school. I wanted Peter Hatcher to come out of the pages and be my partner in crime and adventure. We had so much in common! He was so annoyed by his little brother and I was so annoyed by my little brother (and sister). He was reeling from the news of having to move and I was experiencing trauma of a recent long distance move like only and 8-year-old could. It was also one of the first books that made me dream about moving to New York City – or any city, really. Living among Indiana cornfields and later in the woods of Northern Minnesota never prepared me for the adventures that could happen in the city, but Peter’s environment fascinated me and made me dream a little bigger. – Claire, Grants and Communications Manager
Have You Filled A Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud: As a teacher, it is my responsibility to not only teach young minds but also create wonderful human beings. Have You Filled A Bucket Today? is a phenomenal resource filled with teachable moments. It’s a heartwarming book that encourages positive behavior inside the classroom and ultimately the world. The vivid illustrations and relatable text showcase how rewarding bucket filling is, and that by spreading kindness and love, you not only make others happy, you make YOU happy, too! It brings to our attention that every action and every word hold power to lift a person up, and it is our duty to bring that positive light into this world. Kid President once said, “If you can’t think of anything nice to say, you’re not thinking hard enough.” Each and every person is special; it is a bucket filler’s job to let them know. – Wesley, Salvation Army Barton Center Tutor
What’s YOUR favorite children book? Share with us by commenting below!
Want to support literacy for our students? Check out our wishlist to see our kids’ current book requests!