2019 Great Words, Great Works Book List

Each year, the Scripps National Spelling Bee publishes its School Spelling Bee Study List, a list of 450 words to help students prepare for a school-level spelling bee. These 450 words come from a list of books carefully selected by the Bee’s editorial team for their engaging and age-appropriate content, as well as their rich vocabulary. That list of books is called the Great Words, Great Works list.

Download the Full Book List

This year's book list contains 49 titles. Each grade level from first grade through eighth grade has its own section of the list and includes contemporary fiction, classics and nonfiction titles for each level.

Learn more about the 2019 Great Words, Great Works list

The Bee's editorial team selects books that have rich vocabulary, age-appropriate content and captivating stories that will encourage students to learn the words they'll need to succeed in life through reading! Watch this short video to learn about books on the 2019 list with the common theme of friendship.

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First Grade Source Books

The Antlered Ship by Dashka Slater

What Pet Should I Get? by Dr. Seuss

Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss

Through with the Zoo by Jacob Grant

Benny Doesn't Like to Be Hugged by Zetta Elliott

Shark Lady by Jess Keating and Marta Álvarez Miguéns

A Book of Bridges: Here to There and Me to You by Cheryl Keely and Celia Krampien

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst




Second Grade Source Books

The Infamous Ratsos by Kara LaReau

Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Stern

I Love My Hair! by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley

Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark and Katy Wu

Give Bees a Chance by Bethany Barton

Catwings by Ursula K. Le Guin




Third Grade Source Books

Beatrice Zinker Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

Cody and the Fountain of Happiness by Tricia Springstubb

Worst of Friends: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the True Story of an American Feud by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain and Larry Day

The Quest for Z: The True Story of Explorer Percy Fawcett and a Lost City in the Amazon by Greg Pizzoli

The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me by Roald Dahl




Fourth Grade Source Books

Word of Mouse by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

Rules by Cynthia Lord

Catstronauts: Mission Moon by Drew Brockington

The Grand Plan to Fix Everything by Uma Krishnawami

Kid Authors: True Tales of Childhood from Famous Writers by David Stabler and Doogie Horner

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley




Fifth Grade Source Books

The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris

The Danger Gang and the Pirates of Borneo! by Stephen Bramucci

Matylda, Bright and Tender by Holly M. McGhee

Life on Surtsey: Iceland's Upstart Island by Loree Griffin Burns

The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain, Philip C. Stead and Erin Stead




Sixth Grade Source Books

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Restart by Gordon Korman

The Player King by Avi

Flying the Dragon by Natalie Dias Lorenzi

The Red Bandanna (Young Readers Adaptation) by Tom Rinaldi

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken




Seventh Grade Source Books

My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eager

Lincoln's Spymaster: Allan Pinkerton, America's First Private Eye by Samantha Seiple

Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge




Eighth Grade Source Books

The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet

Sabotage: The Mission to Destroy Hitler's Atomic Bomb by Neal Bascomb

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Teachers at Enrolled Schools Have Access to Extra Resources

This year, the Bee has put together student comprehension guides for some of the books on our Great Words, Great Works list. Each guide will come with a teacher key and will be available monthly in the Teacher Portal when enrolled schools log in at spellingbee.com.