This recommended reading list has been prepared as a service for Missouri educators by the Reading Circle Committee of the Missouri State Teachers Association. New books are added throughout the year. It is the committee’s intent that this publication assists educators in:

  • Ordering books for school and classroom libraries.
  • Encouraging summer reading programs.
  • Helping parents who are looking for good reading suggestions.
  • Planning literature programs.

In addition to providing this recommended reading list, the committee sponsors the Reading Circle Certificate program. Missouri students who read a specified number of books become eligible to receive a Reading Circle Certificate from MSTA. Students are required to read the minimum number of books (see below) with the student choosing the genre of his or her choice. We encourage a healthy balance of fiction and nonfiction. Students who earn certificates for five years (does not have to be consecutive) are issued lifetime memberships in the Reading Circle. The certificates are signed by the executive director of MSTA and the Missouri commissioner of education.

Minimum number of books:

Prekindergarten to second grade: 20 books

Third through sixth grade: 16 books

Seventh through twelfth grade: 14 books

In the top bar of this site you will find a tab with additional downloads, including a certificate you may use. An easy method is to fill out one certificate with the date and signature and then make copies so all you have to do before your awards ceremony is fill in the students’ names.

For additional assistance in implementing the program, contact the MSTA Member Care Center at 800-392-0532 or

Thank you for sharing the love of reading with your students!