For over thirty years, Lee & Low Books and its school line, Bebop Books, have been classroom-tested and teacher-approved across the country to ensure alignment with beginning readers’ needs, skills, and interests in small group, intervention, and read aloud settings. Students will love the stories, and educators will love the literacy content support. Our multicultural content affirms identity and belonging for all students.
We’re proud to release our Lee & Low Reading Skills Booklist, a resource designed to present books that facilitate and support high quality standards-based instruction, including foundational concepts.
You will find titles focused on six foundation concepts:
- boosting comprehension,
- enriching vocabulary,
- understanding story structure,
- supporting multilingual learners,
- building background knowledge, and
- understanding characters’ thoughts and feelings.
Titles and collections do not prescribe to a specific foundational reading program or a required sequence.
See below for suggested independent reading titles and read aloud titles that you pair and use in any curriculum or educational setting this school year.
1) Boosting Comprehension
Leo and the Butterflies written and photographed by Jan Reynolds
Meet a young boy named Leo who lives in Costa Rica. Learn all of the things Leo knows about the butterflies that live in the rainforest near his home.
The Mangrove Tree: Planting Trees to Feed Families by Susan L. Roth, Cindy Trumbore, illustrated by Susan L. Roth
⭐ “Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore’s The Mangrove Tree describes how these trees were planted by local women—earning them much needed income—while the leaves from the mangrove trees feed Hargigo’s sheep and goats. . .” — School Library Journal, starred review
2) Enriching Vocabulary
Juicy Peach by Mary Dixon Lake, illustrated by Aaron Boyd
Three African American boys find, pick, and eat a perfect juicy peach.
Magic Like That by Samara Cole Doyon, illustrated by Geneva Bowers
⭐ “A fine addition to an expanding body of hair-affirming books that exude Black girl self-love and confidence.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
3) Understanding Story Structure
Your Friend, Jorge by Elena Castro, Barbara M. Flores, Eddie Hernández, illustrated by Raúl Espinoza
What would you do if your best friend moved away? Read this book to see what Jorge did.
Bonnie’s Rocket by Emeline Lee, illustrated by Alina Chau
“In a fresh perspective on events which changed the universe, Bonnie’s Rocket reveals to readers that STEM is at its most powerful when it is personal.” — Andrea Beaty, New York Times bestselling author of Rosie Revere, Engineer
4) Supporting Multilingual Learners
Celebrations by Elena Castro, Barbara M. Flores, Eddie Hernández
There are many different kinds of celebration days. Look inside this book to find out about some of them.
Quinito’s Neighborhood / El Vecindario de Quinito by Ina Cumpiano, illustrated by José Ramírez
⭐ “Its child appeal, lovely message, and potential inspiration to young authors and artists make Quinito’s Neighborhood a place that youngsters will enjoy visiting.” — School Library Journal, starred review
5) Building Background Knowledge
Simple Machines by Elena Castro, Barbara M. Flores, Eddie Hernández
Look inside this book to learn about the six kinds of simple machines.
Nibi’s Water Song by Sunshine Tenasco and Illustrated by Chief Lady Bird
“Nibi’s arc educates readers about the lack of potable water in many Indigenous communities while encouraging children to speak out about conservation issues.” — Publishers Weekly
6) Understanding Characters’ Thoughts and Feelings
The Protest (Confetti Kids #10) by Samantha Thornhill, illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez
In book #10 of the popular Confetti Kids series, Lily and her friends organize a protest to keep the community garden from being torn down.
⭐ “Another solid addition to an excellent, diverse early-reader series.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
Destiny’s Gift by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley, illustrated by Adjoa J. Burrowes
“[A] love letter – to all youngsters who embrace the world of words, and to the independent booksellers who nurture their passion.” — Publishers Weekly
Are you ready to learn more? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to get started on building the best foundation for your young readers.