Too-Good-to-Miss Books: 2nd 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.

The Art of Miss Chew

Patricia Polacco
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Pol)

Describes how a teacher named Miss Chew encouraged individuality, and accepted learning differences, and helped a young student with academic difficulties get extra time to take tests and permission to be in advanced art classes.

Brown Bear

Suzi Eszterhas
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 599.784 Esz)
Series: 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)
Series: Captain Awesome

*This item also available on LibbyOn 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)
Series: Magic tree house series; 1

*This item also available on Libby and Cloud LibraryEight-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.

Dory Dory Black Sheep

Abby Hanlon
(Juvenile Fiction - J Hanlon)
Series: Dory Fantasmagory

*This item also available on Cloud LibraryAfter her best friend learns to read before she does, Dory retreats into her wild imagination and finds herself in the middle of one of the babyish books she is struggling to read, encountering imaginary friends and enemies along the way.

Dragons and Marshmallows

Asia Citro
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Citro)
Series: Zoey and Sassafras

*This item also available on HooplaIn the first book of this series, Zoey discovers a glowing photo and learns an amazing secret. Injured magical animals come to their backyard barn for help! When a sick baby dragon appears, it’s up to Zoey and Sassafras to figure out what’s wrong. Will they be able to help little Marshmallow before it’s too late?

Each Kindness

Jacqueline Woodson
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Woo)

*This item also available on Hoopla (audiobook). 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.

Frank and Lucky Get Schooled

Lynne Rae Perkins
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Per)

A boy and his dog learn about each other, go to school to learn more, then explore the world around them as they study science, geography and even foreign languages together.

Get Ready for Second Grade, Amber Brown

Paula Danziger
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Danzige)
Series: 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.

Gooney Bird Greene

Lois Lowry
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Low)
Series: Gooney Bird

*This item also available on Hoopla and Cloud LibraryA 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.

Katie in the Kitchen

Fran Manushkin
(Juvenile Early Readers - J-ER Man)
Series: Katie Woo

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

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.

Mercy Watson to the Rescue

Kate DiCamillo
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Dicamil)

*This item also available on Libby, Cloud Library (audiobook), and HooplaAfter 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.

The Miniature World of Marvin & James

Elise Broach
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Broach)
Series: Masterpiece Adventures

When his best friend, a human boy named James, goes away on vacation, Marvin the beetle worries that their friendship may end.

Miss Daisy is Crazy!

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

*This item also available on Libby, Cloud Library, and HooplaWhat'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

Majorie Weinman Sharmat
(Juvenile Early Readers - J-ER Sh)
Series: A Break-of-Day Book

*This item also available on Libby and Cloud LibraryNate the Great solves the mystery of the missing picture. (Look for other stories about Nate the Great.)

A Piece of Home

Jeri Watts
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Wat)

Moving with his family from Korea to West Virginia, Hee Jun struggles to adjust to his new home, an unfamiliar language and the different appearances of his classmates before making friends and bringing a familiar flower home to his grandmother.

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.

Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny

John Himmelman
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Himmelm)
Series: Bunjitsu Bunny

Although she can throw farther, kick higher, and hit harder than anyone else at school, Isabel, aka Bunjitsu Bunny, never hurts another creature, unless she has to.

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

Alvin Schwartz
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.208 Sch)
Series: An I Can Read Book

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

This is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from Around the World

Matt Lamothe
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 305.23 Lam)

*This item also available on Cloud LibraryFollows the daily lives of seven children from around the world, including such places as Japan, India, Uganda, and Italy, and discusses how schools, meals, and play can be different or similar in different places in the world.

Time of Wonder

Robert McCloskey
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Mcc)

*This item also available on Hoopla (audiobook). Follows the activities of two children spending their summer vacation on an island off the coast of Maine.


Betsy Byars
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J By)

*This item also available on Cloud Library and HooplaAs 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.


Kimiko 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.

Weekends with Max and his Dad

Linda Urban
(Juvenile Fiction - J Urban)

*This item also available on HooplaThird-grader Max pursues neighborhood adventures with his dad as they both adjust to recent changes in their family.

The Youngest Marcher : The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist

Cynthia Levinson
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 921 Hendricks Lev)

Presents the life of nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks who became the youngest known child to be arrested for picketing against Birmingham segregation practices in 1963.

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?