Three years ago, we came out with a “kindergarten canon” of the best books for your early readers. In light of the Common Core, however, we now recognize that the list lacks rigor and, most lamentably, informational options. There will be no more mollycoddling of students—even those just setting foot in schoolhouses. Though not from any standard Common Core list, these books are the best of those that align closely with the kindergarten standards. (How closely is anyone’s best guess.) I’m sure you and your young’uns will enjoy them as much as I do with my kids.
War and Peace
While they probably won’t finish reading this epic before starting the third grade (if ever), this classic includes romance, war, death, abortion, and just about every human emotion your little guy or gal has no idea about. They’ll be learning about Russia—perfect knowledge-building for when Czar Putin ascends to power—both while reading the book and during the nightmares that are sure to follow.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Float on down the river with Huck and Jim and immediately transport your child back in time. While banned for years, this book is now age-appropriate thanks to the Common Core, and promises to take them on a journey rife with inappropriate language and juvenile delinquency.
The Magna Carta
So much for not focusing enough on informational texts. They’ll learn about knights and rights and get a snapshot of the document our liberties and freedom derive from. Truly...