Grades K-2

Blaze Shows the Way

Book cover: 'Blaze Shows the Way'
Author(s): 
C.W. Anderson

Billy and Blaze befriend another horse and boy-rider team. Tommy and his horse Dusty are just getting used to each other and Dusty is a little nervous about jumping. Nevertheless they decide to try out for a pairs jumping contest.

Blaze and the Lost Quarry

Book cover: 'Blaze and the Lost Quarry'
Author(s): 
C.W. Anderson

Billy visits with a friendly old neighbor who tells him of a quarry he used to visit as a boy the location of which had been lost to the townspeople for many years. With some clues, he and Blaze find the old quarry - a beautiful spot and a great place for swimming. They rescue and befriend a dog.

Blaze and the Mountain Lion

Book cover: 'Blaze and the Mountain Lion'
Author(s): 
C.W. Anderson

This book is a bit shorter than others in the series, and so might be a particularly good one for less-confident readers. It seems to average about five lines per page.

In this story, Billy and Blaze search for the lair of a mountain lion that has been troubling ranchers and rescue a baby calf from a ledge on a cliff.

Blaze and Thunderbolt

Book cover: 'Blaze and Thunderbolt'
Author(s): 
C.W. Anderson

Billy and Blaze are on a family trip out west where they encounter Thunderbolt - a beautiful wild horse that is the envy of every cowboy. Rather than trying to capture Thunderbolt with fast horses and lassos, Billy makes friends with Thunderbolt slowly and eventually gains his trust.

Blaze and the Forest Fire

Book cover: 'Blaze and the Forest Fire'
Author(s): 
C.W. Anderson

My children have really enjoyed these simple stories about the adventures of a boy and his horse. Best for first through third graders - especially those who become proficient at reading when very young and not able to deal with more complex or mature themes. My oldest daughter fell in love with these books when she was six. She gobbled them up and they were a great bridge for her between easy readers and chapter books. My son, whose reading proficiency grew much more slowly, enjoyed them much later on. Here is a sample of the language:

A Boy and His Pony

Book cover: 'Billy and Blaze: A Boy and His Pony'
Author(s): 
C.W. Anderson

This book is about a boy and his horse. The boy and his horse like to go riding together. He got his horse for his birthday. And later on he saw a dog in the woods and brought it home. My four year old brother likes the story and so do I. I am six years old and I can read it. The other book that we have in the series is called "Blaze and the Indian Cave".

The Magic Tree House Series

Book cover: 'The Magic Tree House Series'
Author(s): 
Mary Pope Osborne

In this series, 8 year old Jack and his 7 year old sister Annie travel to a different time period in each installment. The series begins with Dinosaurs Before Dark in which Jack and Annie find a tree house that has mysteriously appeared near their home in Frog Creek, Pennsylvania. In the tree are lots of books. In one particular book, Jack and Annie see scenes of various places and time periods. At the page of the dinosaurs, they say they wish they could go there. Then, presto-magic, the tree house plops down in the middle of dinosaur time.

The Bears on Hemlock Mountain

Book cover: 'The Bears on Hemlock Mountain'
Author(s): 
Alice Dalgliesh

Jonathan must go over Hemlock Mountain alone to borrow a large iron cooking pot from Aunt Emma. Jonathan's mother is preparing a meal for a cousin's christening party, and his father is very busy with springtime chores on the farm. Jonathan is concerned that he will cross paths with a bear, but he is reassured that there are NO bears on Hemlock Mountain. His adventure includes a visit with small woodland animals on his way up the mountain, a snack and nap at Aunt Emma's house, and an encounter with some large woodland animals on his journey back down the mountain.

Along the Paths of the Gospel Series

Book cover: 'Along the Paths of the Gospel Series'

These little saint stories, beautifully illustrated by Augusta Curelli, are very appealing to children because of the nice hardcover format and the full-color pictures on each page. The moderate amount of text (about 4-10 lines per page) makes it fairly accessible to beginning or reluctant readers. We found this series to be an excellent help to our eight year old son who was struggling with reading. I was delighted at how much he enjoyed reading about the saints and he didn't even mind reading about the girl saints.

26 Fairmount Avenue Series

Book cover: '26 Fairmount Avenue Series'
Author(s): 
Tomie de Paola

See below for review of the first book in the series.

Individual Titles in Chronological Order:

  • 26 Fairmount Avenue
  • Here We All Are
  • On My Way
  • What a Year!
  • Things Will Never be the Same

These books also make delightful read-alouds.

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