Unbeatable Second Grade Books

The following lists encompass the many reading levels found among second graders.  Books in the primary collection (JP) are “controlled vocabulary” i.e. containing words that follow basic phonics rules or words that are found on “sight word” lists. Books in the picture book collection can be read by more practiced readers. The J fiction collection is for readers who are ready to tackle longer “chapter books.”  To see a title's Lexile number, click on the title and then click on the "Full Record" tab.
Click here for the latest pdf version of all suggested titles.

New Book Reviews

Some of these books can be READ BY a 2nd grader, others are good for READING ALOUD TO a 2nd grader.

Itsy Bitsy Spider by Dosh Archer

Reading Level: Grades K - 3

On a rainy day an injured spider is rushed to City Hospital with injuries caused by a terrible waterspout accident.

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Los vecinos de la c/Quiénsabe by Cristina Zafra

Reading Level: Grades 2 - 4

In this Spanish picture book a young girl meets the neighbors who have moved into the new building next door. Each neighbor she meets is a bit strange. For example, the first neighbor she meets has umbrellas for hands...

En este libro una chica les conoce a los vecinos en el edificio nuevo al lado de su casa. Cada vecino que le conoce es un poco raro. Por ejemplo, el primer vecino tiene paraguas como manos...

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Give Up, Gecko! by Margaret Read MacDonald

Reading Level: Ages 3 - 8

The lakes and rivers have dried up and all the thirsty animals agree that whoever digs to water will be their king. When it is gecko's turn to dig all the other animals all laugh at him and call for him to give up, but gecko won't listen.

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Hank Finds an Egg by Rebecca Dudley

Reading Level: Prek -  PreK - Grade 2

In this stunning, wordless picture book, Hank, a cute stuffed animal (perhaps a bear or a monkey) finds an egg that has fallen from its nest.  After several unsuccessful attempts to reach the nest, Hank cares for the egg at his campsite.  With the help of mother hummingbird, there's a happy ending for all.  Dudley built wonderfully detailed dioramas from paper, clay, fabric etc. and then photographed them.  She created a world readers will want to visit again and again.

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Bedtime Monsters by Josh Schneider

Reading Level: PreK - Grade 3

Josh Schneider hits the mark again as he reinvents the classic monster under the bed tale.  Arnold is your average boy.  He trashes an imaginery Fifth Avenue and bites off the heads of animal crackers.  But Arnold doesn't want to go to bed for fear of bedtime monsters.  Sure enough, they appear one by one.  Some very silly monsters jump into bed with Arnold since it turns out that they are afraid other monsters.   Readers will laugh aloud at the imaginative illustrations and love the surprise ending!

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