Picture Books for Older Readers

I have been using more and more picture books with a few of my classes this year. I’ve been looking for more resources/lists that share picture books for older readers. What are some of your favorite picture books for older readers?

31 Responses

  1. Sarah, have you read Seven Miles to Freedom: The Robert Smalls Story? It is outstanding. Here’s our review at the Reading Tub

  2. I use picture books with fourth graders ALL of the time–in fact too many to list. I use them to teach writing skills and to teach reading skills-like fact and opinion, cause and effect, text to world connections, etc. Then I use them just because I love a good story and picture books are great for sharing. I love Carole Boston Weatherford’s books, Robert Burleigh’s books, Come on Rain by Karen Hesse, Snowflake Bentley, Heat Wave by Eileen Spinelli, Crow Call by Lois Lowry. The list could go on and on….

  3. I love using picture books with my older students. Some of my favourites include:

    The Pain and the Great One – by Judy Bloom
    Gleam and Glow – Eve Bunting
    Weslandia – Paul Fleischman
    If – Sarah Perry
    The Summer My Father was 10 – Pat Brisson

  4. Hi, one of our local suppliers has a category “Sophisticated Picture Books” which gives you a great list of titles.

  5. I have some new favorites I always read with 1st and 2nd grade classes when they visit the library – Melanie Watt’s Chester, Fucile’s Let’s Do Nothing, and Mac Barnett’s Billy Twitters and Guess Again. I love funny books!

  6. I love wordless picture books – Shaun Tan’s The Arrival (all Shaun Tan books!), and Jeannie Baker’s Window and Belonging are wonderful if you can get your hands on them.

  7. Tea with milk by Alan Say is a favourite when talking about Romance books with grades 4&5.

  8. For High School students:
    Dear Willie Rudd
    Something Beautiful
    to name only 2.

  9. Anything by Patricia Polacco is a favorite with me for older kids but especially the book Pink and Say set during the Civil War.

  10. Anything by Patricia Polacco, Henry’s Freedom Box, The Little Match Girl, Freedom River, and two others I cannot think of the title for (one is about a fence separating two girl’s properties-segration and the other is a friendship between a white/Afr American and the swimming pool is cemented over). If I think of the titles I will get back to you. They are awesome.

    • I think you are thinking of Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles (about the swimming pool) and The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson (about the fence). I also use both of these with 4th grade.

      I also agree about the Wordless Picture Books–love these!

    • The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson is the story about the fence. Each Kindness by the same author is also a book that inspires thought and discussion.

  11. Richie Partington put together a remarkably comprehensive wiki with his library students a couple of years ago:

    • I can’t get into this site. I’d love to get the list. You could email me at dporter144@aol.com. Thanks, Diane

    • would loooooooooooooooooove access to this info if you hace time!

      Fifth grade picture books, first year teaching writing, 10th year teaching and looooooooooooooove it!

  12. Yes to both of the titles! Thank you so much, Marcie! I was going to search my read aloud baskets when I went in today because it was driving me crazy.
    I love the wiki, by the way. What a great resource!

  13. Rose Blanche is an amazing book. Great for questioning, inferring, etc. My 5th graders were riveted.

    • I agree.

      I also use Rose Blanche and Faithful Elephants.

      I use them in connection with Number the Stars and Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.

      Perfect for the our inquiry question for historical fiction —

      How have the lives of children changed throughout history?

  14. Crow Call by Lois Lowry, it’s about her as a little girl when her Dad came home from World War II, amazing illustrations too.

  15. The Thanksgiving Visitor by Truman Capote, it’s meant to be read aloud but discusses important themes like bullying.

  16. I love Crow Call! Encounter and Moses are also favorites of mine.

  17. Two favorites: “Baseball Saved Us” to illustrate how to “explode a moment,” and “The Harmonica,” for mood, tone, and simile. Both are wonderful for teaching comprehension strategies, too.

  18. Recommending picture books for older readers (and how to teach with them) is what I do at Teach with Picture Books (http://teachwithpicturebooks.blogspot.com). I just wish I had time to do it more often!

    I just recently discovered your blog and like whta you do here!

  19. The Keeping Quilt by P Polacco is one I use frequently and another one by her about Butterflys…can’t think of the name of it right now. I also use Eve Bunting books.

  20. The Island by Armin Greder, The Rabbits by Shaun Tan and John Marsden, Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan.

    Loved reading about your picture book lessons!

  21. Sarah, have you seen this list up on the CCBC website?
    “Never Too Old: Picture Books to Share with Older Children and Teens”
    The CCBC is such an amazing resource.


  22. To work on text to text connections with my 7th graders I used The Taste of Colored Water to match up with Roll of THunder, Hear My Cry. They kids made connections throughout the whole unit. THey grasped the picture book easily and it helped them grasp onto concepts in Roll of Thunder.

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