Primary School Core Literature

Our primary school core literature list introduces children to a world of diverse thinkers.

Core Literature List by Grade

  • How Many Spots does a Leopard Have? (African Folk Tale)
  • Momatero: Peach Boy (Japanese Folk Story)
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Grimm Brothers)
  • The Legend of Jumping Mouse (Native American Folk Story)
  • The Velveteen Rabbit (Margaret Williams)
  • How Anansi Got His Stories (Ashanti Folktale)
  • Medio Pollito (Spanish Folktale)
  • Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor (Egyptian Folktale)
  • The Frog and Toad Collection (Arnold Lobel)
  • The House at Pooh Corner (A. A. Milne)
  • The Story of the Land of Northern Lights (Algonquin Folktale)
  • Charlotte’s Web (E. B. White)
  • El Pajaro Cu (Hispanic Folktale)
  • Little House in the Big Woods (Laura Ingalls Wilder)
  • Paul Revere’s Ride (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
  • The Magic Paintbrush (Chinese Folktale)
  • The Stories of Si Ma Guang (Chinese Folktale)
  • D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths (excerpts)
  • Freedom School Poems (excerpts)
  • Inside Out and Back Again (Thanhhai Lai)
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
  • The Shepard and the Daughter of the Sun (Inca Legend)
  • Number the Stars (Lois Lowry)
  • Tales from the Arabian Nights
  • The Phantom Tollbooth (Norton Juster)

This list is not exhaustive, as we also believe strongly in guarding the autonomy of teacher-chosen readings, but rather, builds school community by making up a common 40 percent of the works read by all students. We think of our core literature not so much as a canon, but as a conversation, and a conversation in which all members of our community are encouraged to participate.