Finding books for first grade boys can sometimes be a tricky proposition. First graders in general are not known for a particularly long attention span and the gamut of children's literature tends to cater towards girls' interests more so than boys.
Be careful about assuming that boys will only like a certain type of book. There are many six year old boys cuddling up with a beloved teddy bear or doll at night. With that said, some books do tend to focus more on boys' interests, either through the main character or subject matter.
Books for First Grade: Boys Love Animals
One common theme that you can see through many first grade books is the personification of animals. Whether it's Frog and Toad waxing eloquent on their friendship, or the joy of Curious George going on another adventure, all of these books both appeal to boys and feature animals.
Curious George made his grand debut in 1941. He was so well received that he was the starring character in six more books. Today, the character Curious George has his own PBS show and continues to be a beloved character for many. Numerous things appeal to children of all ages who read Curious George books. Boys in particular often find George's adventures relatable. It's almost as if the character personifies every child's wanton desire to explore, consider, dream and get into a little "fun" trouble now and then.
Frog and Toad
Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel occupies the top of most first grade reading lists. The books featuring the lovable pairing of friends feature easy to read text but a great plot line. The books are simple, the stories are simple and most importantly, they relate stories about friendship.
Books for First Grade: Boys' Characters
Young boys especially love relatable heroes in their stories. Main characters who are young and have great adventures often appeal to boys in ways that other stories can't.
My Father's Dragon
Too long to be a book children can read on their own, "My Father's Dragon" makes for a great read aloud for first grade boys. Tall tales spun wildly out of control is the mantra for this story. A very imaginative adventure takes a young boy to a land that lives in every little boy's imagination.
While the vocabulary in this book may be too difficult for some boys at this level, the original George Shrinks is worth a read aloud. What boy wouldn't want to shrink himself to have adventures that only someone that size could have? To top it off, since George Shrinks is also a character on PBS, the book makes a nice tie in for anyone wanting to motivate some reluctant readers with a cartoon!
Nate the Great
Nate the Great is a detective. The books are easy for first graders to read, and the story line is deceptively intriguing for youngsters. Nate the Great is a character and is featured in numerous books solving various mysteries.
Reading with Boys
Give a child, whether female or male, a good enough book and they'll be hooked. The trick is to find that which will intrigue and hold a boys' attention. However, a good teacher will always be careful about labeling a book as a "boy's book". After all, many first grade girls love Frog and Toad, or they have poured through the Nate the Great series. With that said, finding the right characters and the right story line to appeal to the males in the classroom can really help fuel the desire to learn!