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.

Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family's Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh

Reading Level: Grades 2 - 5

When Sylvia's family moved to a new town in California, her aunt took her and her brothers along with her cousins to register for school. The school secretary gave enrollment forms to her two light skinned, light haired cousins, but informed Sylvia and her brothers that they would have to attend the Mexican school. After getting the runaround from every branch of the local government in a town where it was not unusual to see signs that read, "No dogs or Mexicans allowed" Sylvia's father decided the only thing to do was sue the Westminster School District to prove that segregation was unfair; a point that had to be proven seven years later by the more famous Brown vs. The Board of Education case.

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Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas by Lynne Cox

Reading Level: Grades K - 4

Elizabeth the elephant seal lived in a park in the middle of a busy city. The residents all loved her, but drivers did not because she had a tendency to take naps in the middle of the road. Eventually the government decided that Elizabeth needed to be relocated to an elephant seal colony well away from the city where she would be happy. However, Elizabeth had a different opinion about what would make her happy.

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This is a Moose by Richard T. Morris

Reading Level: Ages 3 - 7

A director is trying to make a documentary about the mighty moose in his natural environment, but the moose wants to be an astronaut.

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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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