Too-Good-to-Miss Books: Second Grade

Staff recommendations for children at a second grade reading level.

Compiled by:
Children's Services Staff
Adventures in Cartooning

James Sturm
(Juvenile Graphic Novels - J 741.51 Stu)

Can you draw simple things like trees, fish and candy? Yes? Then you can make your own comic books! This hilarious book will show you how.

Akimbo and the Lions

Alexander McCall Smith
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J McCalls)

When Akimbo and his park ranger father unintentionally capture a lion cub near an African game park, Akimbo wants to keep the cub. Look for more Akimbo titles.

Brown Bear

Suzi Eszterhas
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 599.784 Esz)
Eszterhas, Suzi. Eye on the wild.

Follows the life of a bear family as a newborn brown bear cub grows, plays, and learns how to take care of itself.

Captain Awesome and the Missing Elephants

Stan Kirby
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Kirby)
Kirby, Stan. Captain Awesome

On a class field trip to the Sunnyview Memorial Zoo, Eugene McGillicudy's favorite animals--the elephants--are missing! Is Randy the tour guide really the evil Raging Radonkey, trying to ruin the field trip? Can the Sunnyview Superhero Squad save the day and find the elephants?

Dinosaurs Before Dark

Mary Pope Osborne
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Osborne)
Magic tree house series; #1

Eight-year-old Jack and his younger sister Annie find a magic tree house, which whisks them back to an ancient time zone where they see live dinosaurs.

Each Kindness

Jacqueline Woodson
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Woo)

When Ms. Albert teaches a lesson on kindness, Chloe realizes that she and her friends have been wrong in making fun of new student Maya's shabby clothes and refusing to play with her.

Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote

Tanya Lee Stone
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 921 Stanton Sto)

This inspiring story is about an extraordinary woman who changed America forever because she wouldn't take no for an answer.

Eric Carle's Dragons Dragons and Other Creatures That Never Were

Eric Carle
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 808.81 Car)

A heroic collection of information about dragons and other fantastic creatures by a variety of authors.

Friends Stick Together

Alexis Barad-Cutler
(Juvenile Early Readers - J-ER Bar)
I can read book

Follows the adventures of Patchi and Juniper, who navigate the dangers of the dinosaur world while making their way to the Winter Ground.

Get Ready for Second Grade, Amber Brown

Paula Danziger
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Danzige)
A is for Amber

Amber is nervous about starting second grade with a new teacher, but despite being in the same class as mean Hannah Burton, things turn out just fine.

Good Luck, Ronald Morgan!

Patricia Reilly Giff
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Gi)

Morgan needs lots of luck not only to train the dog he just received for his birthday but also to win the friendship of his new neighbor.

Gooney Bird Greene

Lois Lowrey
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Low)

A most unusual new student who loves to be the center of attention entertains her teacher and fellow second graders by telling absolutely true stories about herself, including how she got her name. Look for more Gooney Bird titles.

Katie in the Kitchen

Fran Manushkin
(Juvenile Early Readers - J-ER Man)
Manushkin, Fran. Katie Woo.

Katie wants to be helpful, and so she starts making dinner on her own.

Keeker and the Sneaky Pony

Hadley Higginson
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Higgins)
Sneaky Pony series

When eight-year-old Keeker gets a pony, she is faced with the challenge of winning the animal's trust and friendship, and they both come to understand the phrase "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours."

Kibitzers and Fools: Tales My Zayda Told Me

Simms Taback
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.208 Tab)

Thirteen humorous traditional Jewish tales, each accompanied by an appropriate saying.

Little Red Riding Wolf

Laurence Anholt
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Anholt)
Seriously silly stories

A funny twist on Little Red Riding Hood. Good Little Wolfie is teased and humiliated by the Big Bad Girl, until Old Granny Wolf teaches the brute a lesson.

Mercy Watson to the Rescue

Kate DiCamillo
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Dicamil)

After Mercy the pig snuggles to sleep with the Watsons, all three awaken with the bed teetering on the edge of a big hole in the floor. Look for more Mercy Watson titles.

Miss Daisy is Crazy!

Dan Gutman
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Gu)
My Weird School

What's up with Miss Daisy? She can't spell, doesn't understand math, and cannot read or write. It's a good thing her students are up to the task of teaching. First in the series My Weird School.

Nate the Great and the Lost List

Majorie W. Sharmat
(Juvenile Early Readers - J-ER Sh)
A break-of-day book

Nate the Great interrupts his backyard vacation to find his friend's lost grocery list before lunch. (Look for other stories about Nate the Great.)


Douglas Florian
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 811.54 Flo)

A collection of funny poems and paintings about animals and insects.


Eleanor Davis
(Juvenile Graphic Novels - J Davis)

Stinky, a monster who lives in a swamp, gets upset when a boy named Nick starts hanging around his swamp, and so he tries to scare Nick away.

The Most Excellent Book of How to be a Magician

Peter Eldin
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 793.8 El)

Provides instructions for a variety of tricks, advice on making costumes and props, and presenting your act to an audience.

The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas

Tony Wilson
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Wil)

Prince Henrik makes a plan to find a wife who is nothing like his royal brother's wife, who he thinks is too sensitive.

There is a Carrot in My Ear, and Other Noodle Tales

Alvin Schwartz
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.208 Sch)
An I can read book

A collection of six stories about a family of shockingly silly people.

Three Stories You Can Read to Your Dog

Sara S. Miller
(Juvenile Early Readers - J-ER Mi)

Stories addressed to dogs and written from a dog's point of view, featuring such topics as a burglar, bones, and running free. Look for more Three Stories titles.


Betsy Byars
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J By)

As they wait out a tornado in their storm cellar, a family listens to their farmhand tell stories about the dog that was blown into his life by another tornado when he was a boy.


Kamiko Kajikawa
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.2 Wave Kaj)

A wealthy man in a Japanese village, who everyone calls Ojiisan, which means grandfather, sets fire to his rice fields to warn the innocent people of an approaching tsunami.

Zig and Wikki in Something Ate My Homework

Nadja Spiegelman
(Juvenile Graphic Novels - J Spiegel)

Zig and Wikki arrive on earth to search for a pet for Zig's class assignment. Will they make it off the planet in one piece?