A Second Grade Summer Reading List

Books to read the summer before second grade

The summer between first and second grades is a crucial time for your child to keep up on his newly-honed reading skills. From read-aloud stories to early chapter books, there's a large selection of books for a second-grade summer reading list. Introducing your child to a popular and prolific author or a lovable character who is the star of a series of books is a very good way to ensure your child will read more than one book this summer. Here's a list of some of those series and authors for your child's summer before second grade.

Grumpy Bird (by Jeremy Tankard)

Two sisters reading books on the floor in bedroom
Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

Jeremy Tankard's beautifully illustrated read-aloud picture book "Grumpy Bird" is one of two books about the bird. This book and "Boo Hoo Bird" may at first glance seem to be a little below your child's reading level, but the books are a wonderful way to build vocabulary, work on prediction and open up discussions with grumpy and injured children.

Mr. Putty and Tabby (by Cynthia Rylant)

Mr. Putty is a lonely old man and Tabby is the cat he adopts to keep him company. In Cynthia Rylant's series of books about the two, your child will get a chance to read about their adventures. Just like Rylant's  Henry and Mudge series, your child will be drawn in by the well-developed relationship between a human and his animal companion. Each book is divided into short stories, so it's easy to read a story, put it aside for some other summer fun and come back to it later in the day.

The Pigeon Series (by Mo Willems)

The Caldecott Award-winning book, "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" begins a series of humorous read-aloud picture books about Pigeon. The engaging twist in these books is that the narrator makes the reader the decision maker in each situation. In "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus," your child is told by the bus driver not to let Pigeon drive the bus, but is also being persuaded by Pigeon to do otherwise. Each book in the series follows a similar vein, with Pigeon's diversions and excuses just getting kookier and sillier along the way.

DW All Wet (by Marc Brown)

Dora Winifred, aka D.W., is the annoying sister of everybody's favorite aardvark, Arthur.  In this book, which is part of the D.W. series designed for readers not quite ready to tackle the Arthur series, D.W. proves to be her spunky, stubborn self by refusing to go in the water or stay in the sun during a day at the beach. Your child will enjoy the push-pull relationship between D.W. and her older brother as Arthur tries to convince D.W. to get "all wet."

Fluffy the Classroom Guinea Pig (by Kate McMullan)

Kate McMullan's series of early chapter books about Fluffy, a classroom guinea pig who wishes he were named something tougher like Rocky or Butch, are part of the Scholastic Hello Reader line.  All 25 books in the series are approximately forty pages long and will not only help your child practice reading longer books and more complicated sentence structure, but also give him the chance to giggle at Fluffy's antics with titles like "Fluffy Goes to Washington," "Fluffy Learns to Swim" and "Fluffy's School Bus Adventure."

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