9 Mentor Texts Your Students Will LOVE for Reading

Since it is summertime and so many of us are already in planning mode for next year, I wanted to utilize my Mentor Text series post this month to share books to help you introduce basic reading skills to your students. 

Last summer, I spent a large chunk of my summer working to find mentor texts to use in the first ten weeks of school. I used these books (along with others) to help me introduce and review basic reading skills that I wanted my students to use for the remainder of the year. 

If you don't have any of the books listed below, you can click each picture to find them on Amazon!

The Little Red Pen

I absolutely love to use The Little Red Pen for introducing my students to making connections. It is the perfect way for me to model my obsession with office supplies and the hours spent grading papers. The way that the characters talk to one another is entertaining and so fun to read! 

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

This book is so interesting and maybe even a bit odd! When Sylvester discovers a magic pebble, he mysteriously turns into a rock. His parents look everywhere for him, but they aren't able to find him. Will they ever discover that Sylvester is actually sitting near their house? There are so many questions that you and your students can generate as you read this book aloud! 

The Sweetest Fig

I don't know why I love this book so much, but I do! One day, as Monsieur Bibot is working in his dentist office, he is offered two figs for payment rather than money. He took them but wrote the old lady off as crazy as she told him that they would make all of his dreams come due. After he eats the first fig, he realizes that she was completely right! This book is so perfect for introducing the reading comprehension skill of making inferences. There are SO many things that are left to the imagination in this classic from Chris Van Allsburg! 

The Night I Followed the Dog

Have you ever wondered what your dog does while you are sleeping? When this young boy follows his dog, he learns so much that he never knew! This story has a great plot structure that allows you to show your students the components that all great stories should include. 


Just look at this cover! Isn't it perfect? Margie Palatini does an amazing job of describing Oliver's hair as he wakes up and attempts to get ready for school on picture day! I love hiding the cover with construction paper and having students draw what they "see" as I read this book aloud. I have them record phrases from the book that describe each of the five senses. 

Creepy Carrots

I love everything that Aaron Reynolds writes, and I put it to work during the week that I teach Point of View. This is a hilarious story written in the third person about a bunny who believes that carrots are following him everywhere. And they are! They are playing a trick on him. The reason is pretty funny! 

Enemy Pie

Enemy Pie is a classic book that I believe every student have read to them at some point! When the main character has a new enemy, his dad volunteers to help him make a pie that is PERFECT for an enemy. But there's a catch. You have to find a way to trick your enemy into actually eating the pie. This book is full of great themes for your students to discover, learn from, and support with evidence from the text! 

Seriously, Cinderella is SO Annoying!

I really love all of the books in this series, but this one is my favorite! Did you know that Cinderella was mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters because she never stopped talking? Why didn't she get to go to the ball? Well, she lost her voice, of course. This book is perfect for comparing to the classic version of Cinderella that we all know as well as many other versions from other countries. 

The Littlest Matryoshka

I love using Matryoshka dolls to help my students visually see that their knowledge of a particular idea or topic is growing and changing as they read. The Littlest Matryoshka is perfect to both demonstrate the skill and tie in the visual! 

I also spend a week working to introduce summarizing, but I rely on non-fiction articles for that particular skill! If you would like graphic organizers, anchor charts, grammar lessons, and reading comprehension passages for assessments, be sure to click on the image above! 

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