Build a Better World: Early Elementary (PS-3rd Grade) Children's Summer Reading List

Parklands-Turner LibraryStaff Picks

Build a Better World: Early Elementary (PS-3rd Grade) Children's Summer Reading List

In Partnership with the National Building Museum

This summer, DC Public Library has teamed up with the National Building Museum to create reading lists that connect our summer reading theme, "Build a Better World", to their mission to advance the quality of the built environment by educating people about its impact on their lives.

Inspired by the Museum's exhibitions and collections, selected books complement the stories they tell about architecture, engineering, and design.

Rex Wrecks It! by Ben Clanton (fiction)
As Rex's friends, Gizmo, Sprinkles, and Wild, build absolutely amazing things - an out-of-this-world rocket, a magical heart, and a wooden wonder of wowdom - Rex wrecks it! Can Rex learn to play with his friends and build something absolutely amazing with them?

Look at That Building!: A First Book of Structures by Scot Ritchie (non-fiction)
In simple, easy to understand terms, this book explains the structural functions of foundations, floors, beams, walls, frames, and columns. At the end of the book, there are instructions on how to make a mini doghouse out of marshmallows, craft sticks, construction paper, scissors, glue, and tape.

Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building by Christy Hale (non-fiction)
A collection of concrete poetry, illustrations, and photographs that shows how young children's constructions, created as they play, are reflected in notable works of architecture from around the world. Includes biographies of the architects, quotations, and sources.

Billions of Bricks by Kurt Cyrus (fiction)
With fun rhymes and beautifully vivid art, this book leads readers through a day in the life of a construction worker building with bricks. Long after reading this book, you'll be counting all the ways bricks are used in your own neighborhood.

Take Shelter: At Home Around the World by Nikki Tate & Danielle Tate-Stratton (non-fiction)
Beautiful illustrations and facts about homes all over the world! The book briefly explains why each geographic area has a unique style of home. This book is an excellent resource for both children and adults.


Interested in learning more about buildings, structures, and architecture? Check out these titles:

Visit HIVE in the National Building Museum's Great Hall. Designed by Studio Gang, the installation is part of the annual Summer Block Party series, July 6 - September 4.

DC Public Library will also be offering storytimes and mobile check out at that National Building Museum on Ward Days.
D.C. residents are invited to visit the Museum exhibitions, including Hive, with complimentary admission from 9-11 a.m. on their specific Ward Days.

Find "Build a Better World" reading lists for adults, teens, and upper elementary children.