Every child deserves an equal opportunity to learn and succeed. We honor the importance of reading in a child’s learning process by providing each first-grade student with a brand new, hardcover, age-appropriate book to keep, and we celebrate with a reading event at each elementary school. Fabulous Firsts helps to introduce students to the joy of reading, which serves as a foundation for their academic journey.

Each elementary school will host a distribution and reading event at which first graders and their families can gather, snack, listen to this year’s books being read aloud or sit down to read them on their own.

Books Selected for the 2023 Fabulous Firsts Program

  • Take a Chance by Sujean Rim
  • Beneath by Cori Doerrfield
  • Stanley’s Secret by John Sullivan
  • Simon and the Better Bone by Corey Tabor
  • Ode to a Bad Day by Chelsea Lin Wallace
  • Too Tall Houses by Gianna Marino
  • Yoshi Sea Turtle Genius by Lynne Cox
  • Just Like Grandma by Kim Rogers

Books Selected for the 2022 Fabulous Firsts Program

  • On Account of the Gum by Adam Rex
  • The Rhino Suit by Colter Jackson
  • The Creature of Habit by Jennifer E. Smith
  • Only Ants for Andy by Jashar Awan
  • Mina by Matthew Forsythe
  • A Mouthful of Minnows by John Hare
  • Don’t Hug Doug by Carrie Finison

Books Selected for the 2021 Fabulous Firsts Program

  • The Circles All Around Us by Brad Montague
  • A Way With Wild Things by Sara Palacios
  • The Octopus Escapes by Maile Meloy
  • She Leads: The Elephant Matriarch by June Smalls
  • Mel Fell by Corey Tabor
  • Chickens on the Loose by Jane Kurtz
  • The One and Only: Draw Me a Story by Beth Ferry

Books Selected for the 2020 Fabulous Firsts Program

  • Stretchy McHandsome by Judy Schachner
  • Everyone’s Awake by Colin Meloy
  • We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins
  • Potato Pants by Laurie Keller
  • You Belong Here by M.H. Clark
  • Imaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer

Books Selected for the 2019 Fabulous Firsts Program

  • The Unexpected Love Story of Alfred Fiddlecluckling by Timothy Basil Ering
  • Because by Mo Willems
  • School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex
  • The Chumiss and the Micken by Annie McCarvel McCutcheon
  • Izzy Gizmo by Pip Jones
  • The Good Egg by Jory John
  • Who Will Bell the Cat? by Patricia C. McKissack
  • Volcano Dreams –A Story of Yellowstone by Janet Fox

Books Selected for the 2018 Fabulous Firsts Program

  • The Kissing Hand by Audrey Hand
  • Honey by Sarah Weeks
  • Twilight Chant by Holly Thompson and Jen Bettch
  • 5 Little Monkeys by Eilen Christelow
  • The Marvelous Thing That Came From a Spring by Gilbert Ford
  • What Do You Do With an Idea? by Kobi Yanada
  • Hattie and Hudson by Chris Van Dusen

Books Selected for the 2017 Fabulous Firsts Program

  • Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie
  • Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar
  • Mother Bruce by Ryan Higgins
  • There’ a Lion in my Cornflakes by Michelle Robinson
  • They Just Know: Animal Instincts by Robin Yardi
  • It’s Okay to Make Mistakes by Todd Parr
  • Lady Liberty’s Holiday by Jen Arena
  • Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp

Books Selected for the 2016 Fabulous Firsts Program

  • The Tooth Fairy Wars by Kate Coombs
  • Dragon’s Extraordinary Egg by Debi Gliori
  • Monty’s Magnificent Mane by Genna O’Neill
  •  The Legend of the Beaver’s Tail by Stephanie Shaw
  • The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate
  • The Dog Wearing Shoes by Sangmi Ko
  • Same Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
  • Home by Carson Ellis

Books Selected for the 2015 Fabulous Firsts Program

  • The Last King of Angkor Wat by Graeme Base
  • A Library Book for Bear  by Bonny Becker
  • The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie by Chris Van Allsburg
  • The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
  • No Year of the Cat by M.Wade & N. Wong
  • Nobody’s Perfect by David Elliott
  • Too Much Glue by Jason Lefebvre

Books Selected for the 2014 Fabulous Firsts Program

  • Beneath the Sun by Melissa Stewart (Bergum illustration)
  • Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty Dawg by Lori Mortensen
  • Prairie Chicken Little by Jackie Hopkins
  • Rosie Revere Engineer by Andrea Beaty
  • Saving Yasha by Lia Kvatum
  • The Boy Who Wouldn’t Read by Denise Walter McConduit
  • The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
  • The Snatchabook by Helen  & Thomas Docherty

Books Selected for the 2013 Fabulous Firsts Program

  • Jangles by David Shannon
  • The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Schrarts
  • The Lonely Book by Karen Bernheimer
  • Larf by Ashley Spires
  • Jingle Dancer by Leitich Smith
  • Boy+ Bot by Ame Dyckman
  • What Does It Mean to be Present? by Rana Diorio
  • Peace by Wendy Halperin
  • Who’s Faster? by Eileen Meyer, illustrated by Connie Bergum

Books Selected for the 2012 Fabulous Firsts Program

  • Big Turtle by David McLimans – Native American myth
  • Grandpa Green by Lane Smith – Topiary art and family respect
  • The Three Questions by Jon Muth based on story by Leo Tolstoy – classic
  • Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell – non-fiction about Jane Goodall
  • Tumford the Terrible by Nancy Tillman – fiction – learning to say ‘I’m sorry’
  • Otto the Book Bear by Katie Cleminson – fiction – celebrating books
  • Pete the Cat – I love my white shoes – by Eric Litwin – fiction

Books Selected for the 2011 Fabulous Firsts Program

Sponsored in memory of Gary Davis by Luxan & Murfitt, Tom and Lisa Cordingley, Drs. Lee Harrison & Fred Olson with additional support from Qwest Pioneers

  • Wherever You Are, my Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman
  • Bad Kitty by Bruel:
  • One by Kathryn Otoshi
  • What a Wonderful World  by David Weiss and Bob Thiele
  • Of Thee I Sing – President Barak Obama
  • Crazy Horse’s Vision – Bruchac
  • Agate by Joy Dey
  • Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

Books Selected for the 2010 Fabulous Firsts Program

Sponsored by Aidan Myhre with support from Qwest Pioneers and Student Assistance Foundation

  • Finding Susie (Sandra Day O’Connor)
  • Under the Snow (Connie Bergum illustrator)
  • Wangaris Trees of Peace – Jeanette Winter-
  • Can you find It? (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
  • Eagle Boy – Richard Vaughan
  • The Ugly Duckling
  • Tucker Tool it – Bruce Van Patter
  • Otis – Loren Long –

Books Selected for the 2009 Fabulous Firsts Program

  • Big Bad Wolves at School by  Stephen Krensky
  • Splat the Cat  by Rob Scotton
  • That Book Woman by Heather Henson
  • Shep Our Most Loyal Dog by Sneed Collard III
  • Listen to the Wind by Greg Mortenson
  • My Kokum by Gloria Miller
  • Two Bobbies: Story of Hurricane Katrina by Larson, Methery, Cassels
  • I Love You Like Crazy Cakes by Rose Lewis

Thank you to our generous 2023 Fabulous Firsts Sponsors for providing these books to every first grader in the district, as well as to elementary school libraries and the Lewis and Clark Public Library:

  • Allegiance Benefit Plan Management
  • Chelsey George
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana
  • Montana Book Co.
  • Mark and Lynn Etchart
  • Helena Kiwanis Foundation
  • Dale Tig Vernon
  • Fortnightly Book Club
  • Chapter CF PEO
  • Tom and Scottie Trebon
  • Bob’s Valley Market