I’d Want These in Their Hands: 2015 Books

I struggle with “best of…” book lists. There are so many wonderful books out there, and “best” is very subjective. I always knew that when I taught first grade, if I had students make the “best” books of the year lists, almost every book would be included in someone’s list because everyone has their own favorites and interests. It’s all about the students.

So, with what I know about first graders, I’d like to present to you a list of books. If I was still a teacher, and I had a class, I’d want to get copies of these books into students’ hands. These are books only published in 2015.


How many assignments have you had (or have you given) that said “Write 3 facts about…” The girl in this story takes homework like that home, and finishes in a jiffy. It’s easy to spout of three facts about polar bears. But when a polar bear takes her to his home, and they explore together, research takes a completely different spin. This book stresses the importance of hands on experiences for research and should be a part of everyone’s collection.


What can I say about a book like Float? Just that its use of color, design, and imagination makes it a wordless wonder.


I’ve always believed that when you’re laughing together, you’re bonding. If you want a laugh out loud read, try Mother Bruce. Its humor will draw your class together and provide some comic relief to your day.


Momo is a little different and his cousins aren’t sure of him. We all have children like this in our class, and this is the perfect book about acceptance and making new friends with Zachariah O’Hora’s signature illustrations, which I love.



Boys like to be tough. I could always tell when a boy was ready to cry, they were using every fiber of their being to try to fight away the tears because of we typically believe boys don’t cry. This book shows the contrary- some of the toughest, roughest guys express their feelings. And it’s okay.



What can I say about Dewey Bob. He’s a little critter that will capture your hearts and teach you what it means to give.


Looking for a book to spark imagination? Looking for a book that will inspire young readers to think “beyond” the ordinary? Beyond The Pond is what you need.



First grade is full of embarrassing moments! During my tenure as a first grade teacher, I heard many burps, farts, hiccups, mispronunciations, and other slips. This book reassures students that it’s okay to make a little mistake, and to be able to laugh about it.


I loved this book from the first time I saw the cover. How will the boy get the whale back to the sea? In a very warm, tender tale, Cale Atkinson weaves a story that will stick to your heart and soul.



Is there anything more interesting than a book? Find out in this title, which uses only two words, “Look!” and “Out!”


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