Okay, I just sent a list of suggested books to my friend for her son, who's going into second grade. She wanted read-alouds, but I threw in a few independent books, too. She says she's read him Charlotte's Web, which he warmed up to after a bit, and that he wasn't really interested in The Lightning Thief. Any other suggestions?
Chapter book read-alouds:
—Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Matilda, and The Twits by Roald Dahl
—The Borrowers by Mary Norton (series)
—The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (series)
—Ramona the Pest (series), Henry Huggins, and The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
—Little House in the Big Woods (series) by Laura Ingalls Wilder
—The Tale of Despereaux and Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
—The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
—Stuart Little by E.B. White
—The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
—Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
--Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume, plus sequels
—Sideways Stories from Wayside School and and sequels by Louis Sachar
—Attack of the Growling Eyeballs by Lin Oliver (series)
—The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
For him to read on his own:
—The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner
—The Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osbourne
—The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black
Suggestions from the comments:
—Bridget recommends The Fairy Rebel by Lynn Reid Banks.
—Rina suggests the Redwall series by Brian Jacques, perhaps in a year or two.
—Brandy suggests the Nathaniel Fludd: Beastologist books by R.L. LaFevers, the Encyclopedia Brown series by Donald J. Sobol, and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.
—Anne recommends the classic My Father's Dragon and sequels by Ruth Stiles Gannett as a read-aloud and the Geronimo Stilton series as a read-aloud transitioning into independent reading.
—Robin has a lot of great ideas (sent by e-mail): Edward Eager's books, e.g., Half Magic, Knight's Castle, and Seven-Day Magic; Ruby Lu, Brave and True, by Lenore Look; All the Alvin Ho books by Lenore Look; Any Which Wall, by Laurel Snyder; All the Clementine books by Sara Pennypacker; Goony Bird Greene, by Lois Lowry; The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and Black Hearts in Battersea, by Joan Aiken; The Ivy and Bean books, by Annie Barrows; Lucy Rose: Here's the Thing About Me, and the sequels (Lucy Rose books and Melonhead books), by Katy Kelly.
—Lin suggests The Giggler Treatment by Roddy Doyle.