Open eBooks-AR Kids Read Recommendations

Reading the same book over and over again builds a young reader’s confidence.  As the mother of two year old twins, I am already witnessing how quickly children become attached to a particular story or character.  At our house, we regularly read A Fish Out of Water, Green Eggs and Ham, and Little Gorilla.  In fact we’ve read these books so many times that I often have whole books stuck in my head and my two little ones could recite large sections without much help.  While my children aren’t anywhere close to learning to read, they are developing a love of stories.  Similarly, the students who are enrolled in the AR Kids Read program often benefit from and may enjoy reading the same books many times.  However, it can lose its effectiveness when a tutor and student work on the same book for many weeks in a row.  Sometimes, a teacher or Site Coordinator may not have time to change out the books for your tutoring sessions.  So, what should you do when the two of you can’t bear to read the same story yet again?

Open eBooks to the rescue!  With this app by First Book, you and your students can access a library of thousands of popular and award-winning eBooks for free!

The basics:  If you don’t have an access code, request one from AR Kids Read by emailing  You can download up to ten eBooks at a time and each eBook will be available for 56 days before it must be renewed.  You will need to be connected to the internet when you’re downloading the book, but once it’s downloaded to your device, you will not need internet access.

A few months ago, we promoted this opportunity and many of you requested access codes and have downloaded the Open eBooks app on your devices.  However, since it isn’t possible to sort the selection of books by level, it can be somewhat overwhelming to find appropriate titles in a large collection.  So, we’ve pulled together a few of our favorites.

A note about reading levels:  This list of books is divided by grade level.  All of the titles are either right at or a little below grade level.  If you’re working with a second grader, you may want to start with a few titles from the first grade list and then move up to the second grade list as appropriate.  Remember, if the books seem to difficult, simply read aloud to your student or take turns reading aloud.


Working with a first grader? Try some of these titles.

alistair and kip_ar kids read  nighty-night-zooborns_arkidsread  wiggle_arkidsread

Alistair and Kip’s Great Adventure  by:  John Segal

In this sweet and humorous story, a cat and a dog decide to try something new and build a boat to travel to distant lands.  Some of the pages are wordless which is a great opportunity to pause and encourage your student to make predictions about the story before you turn the page.

Nighty Night, Zooborns  by:  Andrew Bleiman

Did you know that baby snow leopards wrap their tails around their necks like scarves at night?  Animal lovers will particularly enjoy saying “Nighty Night” to different zoo newborns in this book.

Wiggle by: Doreen Cronin

Does your student have trouble sitting still?  Read this rhyming text and discover all the different ways to wiggle.  Maybe the two of you can wiggle along!


Working with a second grader?  Check out one of these books.


Olivia and the Missing Toy by: Ian Falconer

Olivia is a beloved character for many elementary students.  Plus, the illustrations are entertaining for both children and adults.

Annie and Snowball by:  Cynthia Rylant

Follow the adventures of Annie and her rabbit, Snowball, in the two Annie and Snowball books available on Open eBooks.


Working with a third grader?


Lulu and the Duck in the Park by: Hillary McKay

Lulu loves animals.  In this book, Lulu finds a duck egg in the park and decides to keep it.

Berenstain Bears and the Giant Bat Cave by: Jan and Stan Berenstain

Join the Berenstain Bears as they work to save a bat cave.


And two series to grow on! for 2nd and 3rd graders

Both the Stink and the Judy Moody series range from a second grade reading level up to a third grade reading level.  Perhaps your students will become fast friends with the endearing brother / sister duo.  If this happens, Open eBooks has MANY Stink and Judy Moody titles available.


The Stink series by: Megan McDonald
The Judy Moody series by: Megan McDonald


Rebekah Wills
Program Coordinator
AR Kids Read