2nd Grade Summer Reading List

Required Reading

LaMarche, Jim        The Raft

Nicky is off to his grandmother's house in the middle of nowhere for the summer. She doesn't even have TV. He is not at all happy until he discovers something special in the woods and it changes everything.

Please try to read as many of the following books as you can.

Picture Books

Applegate, Katherine  The Buffalo Storm

Hallie's family is moving west and she must leave behind the wonderful grandmother who helped calm her fear of thunderstorms.

Beaty, Andrea        Rosie Revere, Engineer

Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she's a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When her great-great-aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal--to fly--Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt's dream come true. But when her contraption doesn't fl y but rather hovers for a moment and then crashes, Rosie deems the invention a failure. On the contrary, Aunt Rose inisists that Rosie's contraption was a raging success. You can only truly fail, she explains, if you quit.

Fleischman, Paul     The Matchbox Diary

"Pick whatever you like most. Then I’ll tell you its story."
When a little girl visits her great-grandfather at his curio-filled home, she chooses an unusual object to learn about: an old cigar box. What she finds inside surprises her: a collection of matchboxes making up her great-grandfather’s diary, harboring objects she can hold in her hand, each one evoking a memory. Together they tell of his journey from Italy to a new country, before he could read and write — the olive pit his mother gave him to suck on when there wasn’t enough food; a bottle cap he saw on his way to the boat; a ticket still retaining the thrill of his first baseball game. With a narrative entirely in dialogue, Paul Fleischman makes immediate the two characters’ foray into the past. With warmth and an uncanny eye for detail, Bagram Ibatoulline gives expressive life to their journey through time — and toward each other.

Greenfield, Eloise   The Friendly Four

A native of Washington, DC, the author, who is a poet, has a perfect ear for the ups and owns of new friendships, the slow tempo of lazy summer days, and the noisy bustle and excitement of childhood play.

Hall, Donald           Oxcart Man

Through the seasons, the oxcart man and his family, make a living on their New England farm. Whatever they make, they sell or trade, and then start over again. Fittingly, this book is worked as deftly as a colonial sampler.

Hopkinson, Deborah   Apples to Oregon 

Delicious tell the amusing story of how her very determined Papa manages to move a family with eight children and a small nursery of apple, peach, pear, plum, and cherry trees from Iowa to Oregon via the Oregon Trail. 

Isaacs, Anne           Swamp Angel

Swamp Angel is an honest to goodness tall tale heroine to rival Paul Bunyan. She grapples with a grizzly and twirls a tornado like a lasso. The illustrations and text in this Caldecott winner portray perfectly her larger than life escapades.

Kalman, Maira        Next Stop Grand Central

Step inside this delightfully frenzied glimpse of New York City's Grand Central Station where five hundred thousand people are rushing, scurrying, scrambling, dashing, sprinting, bolting, hurrying, scooting, sprinting, running, or racing about every day. Whew!

Kay, Verla              Homespun Sarah

Watercolor illustrations and a simple poetic text tell the story of an 18th Century Pennsylvania farm girl. An amazing amount of information about Colonial life is tucked between the covers of this charming book.

Laminack , Lester       Saturdays and Teacakes

So begins author Lester Laminack's poetic memory of the adult who made him feel incredibly special--his grandmother. Every Saturday, the narrator, a young boy, rides his bicycle up and down country roads past farms, a grave-yard, and a filling station, until he reaches his beloved Mammaw's house. She is waiting for him. No one else, just him. While she picks tomatoes, he pushes the lawnmower through the dew-we grass. Afterwards, he always helps her make teacakes from scratch, breaking the eggs and stirring the batter. But the best part, he remembers, is eating the hot, sweet cookies fresh from the oven. Children will understand the special love between the boy and his grandmother. Set in a small own in the "Leave It to Beaver days of the mid-sixties, the story evokes a gentler and more innocent time and place. Young readers will almost hear the crunch of bicycle wheels on gravel and the "criiick-craaack-criick of a metal glider in Laminack's richly detailed prose. Award-winning illustrator Chris Soentpiet's images beautifully capture the relationship and the place, perfectly depicting the simplicity of an earlier time.

McClintock, Barbara   Adele and Simon in America 

In this sequel to Adele and Simon, a sister and brother travel from Paris to visit their aunt in New York City before setting off with her on a whirlwind tour of the United States. Along the way, Simon leaves behind just as many personal items as he did in the earlier book when walking home from school. Here too, with a little hunting, it is possible to spy all of Simon's belongings.

Nelson, Marilyn      Snook Alone

Snook Alone tells the tale of Snook, a rat terrier, and his owner a monk, Abba Jacob. Snook and Abba Jacob spend their days together until Snook is stranded on an island due to a storm. Snook patiently waits for Abba Jacob to return in this beautifully illustrated story of friendship and faith.

Nolen, Jerdine         Hewitt Anderson's Big Day

Hewitt Anderson's parents are big. They are not just bigger than their normal sized child, or bigger than most parents. In true tall tale style, they are gigantic, and Hewitt must prove to them that bigger is not always better.

Peacock, Carol Antoinette      Pilgrim Cat

A stray cat who is stalking a mouse jumps from the pier to the Mayflower just as it is departing. Quickly named Pounce, the cat finds a friend in Faith, a young girl bound for the new world. Their adventures show what this historic journey to a new land might have been like.

Small, David           The Huckabuck Family and How They Raised Popcorn in Nebraska and Quit and Came Back

Pony Pony Huckabuck cuts into a squash one day and finds a silver buckle that brings some outrageous bad luck to the Huckabucks. This cheerful piece of whimsical nonsense is from Carl Sandburg's Rootabaga Stories.

Van Leeuwen, Jean     Papa and the Pioneer Quilt 

While her family is traveling further west, this time to Oregon, Rebecca learns from a neighbor on the wagon train the importance of saving memories through pieces of fabric that are sewn into a quilt. 

Winter, Jonah          Here Comes the Garbage Barge

What happens when a Long Island town has too much garbage? The town puts the garbage on a barge and ships it to Virginia but Virginia doesn’t want the garbage. Here Comes the Garbage Barge tells the true story of a garbage barge that spent almost six months at sea looking for a home. Illustrated with recycled garbage this book is enjoyable and educational for all.

Readers and Chapter Books

Alphin, Elaine Marie   Dinosaur Hunter

In the 1880s ranchers settling the west found dinosaur bones on their lands. In this fictionalized peek at the past, a young fossil hunter who is reminded that chores come first, discovers a triceratops and becomes caught in the competition between two paleontologists to claim this prize.

Avi                          Prairie School

The school was made of dirt dug in squares and piled like bricks. The teacher came from back east where a buggy accident had forced her into a wheelchair. There was only one student and he didn't want to be there.

Atinuke                   Good Luck Anna Hibiscus

Anna Hibiscus, a little girl who lives in Africa, is going to visit her grandmother in Canada, but worries about finding enough warm clothes to wear in the cold weather, and about the family staying behind at home. You can read more about Anna in Anna Hibiscus, Have Fun Anna Hibiscus and Hooray for Anna Hibiscus.

Bang-Campbell, Monika         Little Rat Sets Sail; Little Rat Rides; Little Rat Makes Music

In these three stories, Little Rat learns to face her fears, to work toward a goal, and enjoy the rewards her accomplishments bring.

Brown, Jeff             Flat Stanley 

Stanley has been flattened, totally flattened under a falling bulletin board, and pressed to a half-inch thick. Unlucky you think? Think again.

Bruel, Nick             Bad Kitty gets a Bath 

The deadpan delivery of this tongue-in-cheek guide to all things feline is perfectly undermined by humorous illustrations that show us what really is happening when kitty gets a bath. 

Byars, Betsy           Little Horse; Little Horse on His Own 

Little Horse is not just little, he is miniscule. When he falls into the river and is swept away from his home, he embarks on a series of adventures until at last he finds safety and love in a new setting. 

DiCamillo, Kate      Mercy Watson to the Rescue; Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride; Mercy Watson Fights Crime; Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise; Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig; Mercy Watson: Something Wonky Comes This Way

Mercy, the beloved pet of Mr. and Mrs. Watson, has a knack for setting off hilarious chains of events. 

Egan, Tim               Dodsworth in New York

Dodsworth wanted adventure. He wanted to see the world. He especially wanted to visit New York City. What he didn’t want was to be joined by a duck. A crazy duck. A duck that misbehaves. Young readers will laugh out loud at the duck’s silly antics as Dodsworth has the unexpected adventure of his life in the Big Apple . . . and beyond. You can follow Dodsworth’s further adventured in Dodsworth in Paris, Dodsworth in Rome and Dosworth in London.

Fenner, Carol          Snowed In With Grandmother Silk 

Ruddy is none too pleased with being left at Silver Lake with his fussy Grandmother Silk while his parents go on a cruise. Resigned to ten days of boredom, he suddenly finds himself marooned in the big old house when a freak snow storm cuts off the electricity and water. 

Gardner, Sally         The Countess's Calamity 

Whatever will they do? How did they end up in a box under a park chair? Even the Countess, who is convinced they will be rescued any minute, begins to wonder what they will do. 

Hannigan, Katherine   Emmaline and the Bunny

In this whimsical tale, an untidy child lives in a too tidy house on Shipshape Street in the town of Neatasapin.  Her simple wish for a bunny is really a wish for so much more.

Howe, James           Houndsley and Catina; Houndsley and Catina and the Birthday Surprise; Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time; Houndsley and Catina: Plink, Plank, Plunk

Houndsley, a dog, and Catina, a cat, are best friends whose many amusing exploits confirm the importance of friendship above all else.

Jacobson, Jennifer   Andy Shane and the Very Bossy Dolores Starbuckle; Andy Shane and the Pumpkin Trick; Andy Shane Is NOT in Love; Andy Shane and the Queen of Egypt; Andy Shane: Hero at Last

Granny Webb is very puzzled that her bright, inquiring grandson has developed a sudden allergy to school. Her surprise visit to Andy's classroom with a monarch caterpillar in tow gives her a chance to size up the situation and use her Granny Webb stare. 

Jules, Jacqueline      Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off

One day Freddie Ramos comes home from school and finds a strange box just for him. What's inside? ZAPATO POWER-shoes that change Freddie's life by giving him super speed! But what will Freddie do with his fast new skills? Weird things are happening at the Starwood Park Apartments where he lives, and his friends at school need his help. Is Freddie Ramos ready to be a hero? In this imaginative new story by Jacqueline Jules, an ordinary boy in a city neighborhood learns how to use his new-found powers for good. Illustrations by Miguel Benitez lend just a touch of comic-book style to this chapter book adventure. You can follow Freddie in his further adventures, Freddie Ramos Springs into Action, Freddie Ramos Zooms into Action and Freddie Ramos Makes a Splash.

King-Smith, Dick   The Nine Lives of Aristotle

How is a spunky little kitten ever to become a proper witch's cat if he has so many narrow squeaks that his nine lives get used up in the wink of an eye. 

Levinson, Nancy S.     Snowshoe Thompson

Snowshoe Thompson, a real historical figure, surprises all with the inventive way in which he delivers mail in the snow covered Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Lowry, Lois            Gooney Bird Greene

Gooney Bird Greene, the new student at Waterview Elementary School, wants to be smack dab in the middle of everything, which she soon is when all the students clamor for one of her stories.

McKissack, Patricia    Tippy Lemmey 

Tippy Lemmey is a dog with a first and last name, a ferocious bark, and menacing ways. Leandra, Paul, and Jeanette are tired of trying to outrun, sneak past, and detour around him. 

MacDonald, Megan    The Hinky Pink

Anabel, a seamstress, is chosen to make a ballgown for the princess, but quickly finds her best efforts thwarted by pinches, complaints, and sleepless nights.

Messner, Kate             Marty McGuire

A fun, accessible chapter-book debut from an exciting new talent--simultaneous hardcover-paperback launch! Marty McGuire would rather spend recess catching frogs in the pond than playing dress-up with the other girls in third grade. So when her teacher casts Marty as the princess in the class play, Marty's absolutely, positively sure that there's been a huge mistake. But after a special lesson in the art of improvisation, Marty comes up with her own plan to improve the play: Why use stuffed-animal frog onstage when a live one would be so much better? In the end, Marty's one-of-a-kind performance makes for an unforgettable show. Maybe Marty can live happily ever after, after all!

Riddle, Chris          Ottoline and the Yellow Cat; Ottoline Goes to School                        
Ottoline, left behind in apartment 243 of the Pepperpot Building, amid the collections of her world traveling parents, has Mr. Monroe, a small hairy bog creature, for company.  Together they decide to solve a rash of burglaries.

Ries, Laurie             Aggie and Ben: Three Stories

After a trip to the pet store with his dad, where Ben settles on a puppy he names Aggie, he learns to become his dog's best friend.

Rylant, Cynthia      The High-Rise Private Eyes

Bunny Brown and Jack Jones have three cases to their credit. Join these ace detectives as they solve The Case of the Climbing Cat, The Case of the Missing Monkey, and The Case of the Puzzling Possum.

Silverman, Erica      Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa; Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa: Partners; Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa: School Days; Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa: Rain or Shine

Kate and her horse, Cocoa , are a winning duo whose humorous adventures demonstrate Kate's patience and her resourceful handling of her prickly partner.

Walker, Sally M.     The 18 Penny Goose

Letty Wright can see the smoke of fires set by British soldiers plundering the New Jersey countryside. Fleeing hastily, her family is safe, but she is very worried that soldiers will roast Solomon, the pet goose they had to leave behind. Based on a true story.

Yee, Wong Herbert     Abracadabra! Magic with Mouse and Mole; Mouse and Mole: Fine Feathered Friends; Mouse and Mole: A Winter Wonderland

Fortunately, Mole has invited Mouse to the magic show, because when the tricks disappoint, Mouse knows just how to restore Mole's sense of wonder.

Nonfiction

Anderson, Laurie Halse          Thank You, Sarah

As difficult as it is to imagine, Thanksgiving almost disappeared from the calendar!

Brown, Don            Odd Boy Out

Einstein is now famous, but when he was young, he regularly disappointed his parents and teachers as he resolutely mapped his own path to brilliance.

Chin, Jason             Island: A Story of the Galapagos

Charles Darwin first visited the Galápagos Islands almost 200 years ago, only to discover a land filled with plants and animals that could not be found anywhere else on earth. How did they come to inhabit the island? How long will they remain?
 
Thoroughly researched and filled with intricate and beautiful paintings, this extraordinary book by Award-winning author and artist Jason Chin is an epic saga of the life of an island—born of fire, rising to greatness, its decline, and finally the emergence of life on new islands.

Diakite, Baba Wague The Magic Gourd

How many other stories from other places in the world can you identify with this same theme? Here the story of a magic pot is richly illustrated and retold with the language, art, and animals of Mali.

Ferris, Jeri Chase     Noah Webster & His Words

An illustrated account of the life of Noah Webster, a Connecticut farm boy who spent twenty years writing what became the first American dictionary ever to be published.

Jurmain, Suzanne Tripp           George Did It

George Washington was a very smart man. Smart enough to know that he did not need or want to be President. He just wanted to get back to his farm.

Kerley, Barbara       The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins

He had always loved to draw and sculpt animals. Now he had the project of a lifetime. Before most people knew dinosaurs had ever existed Waterhouse Hawkins was hired to build scientifically accurate, life-sized replicas of these long extinct reptiles.

Leedy, Loreen        Measuring Penny

A homework assignment on measuring takes on some extra dimensions when Lisa decides to measure her pet in every way possible.

Martin, Jacqueline Briggs       Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table

Will Allen is no ordinary farmer. A former basketball star, he's as tall as his truck, and he can hold a cabbage, or a basketball, in one hand. But what is most special about Farmer Will is that he can see what others can't see. When he looked at an abandoned city lot he saw a huge table, big enough to feed the whole world. No space, no problem. Poor soil, there's a solution. Need help, found it. Farmer Will is a genius in solving problems. In 2008, the MacArthur Foundation named him one. Jacqueline Briggs Martin, author of the Caldecott winner, Snowflake Bentley, tells the inspiring story of an innovator, educator, and community builder. Combined with artist Eric Larkin's striking artwork, readers will share Will Allen’s optimism and determination to bring good food to every table.

McCarthy, Meghan     Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum

The true story of how accountant Walter Diemer invented bubble gum. Although it took months of hard work and hundreds or mistakes Walter persisted and succeeded in creating gum that could be chewed and blown into bubbles. The book includes fascinating endnotes that include more information on Walter and gum.

Michaelson, Richard   Tuttle's Red Barn

Four hundred years of American history are neatly summed up in this story of the oldest family farm in the United States. It is located in Dover, New Hampshire. 

Micucci, Charles     The Life and Times of the Ant

Here is an author who thoroughly appreciates humankind's fascination with the behavior of the world's greatest diggers.

Murphy, Stuart J.    Sluggers' Car Wash; Safari Park

New team tee shirts for the Sluggers seem out of the ballpark until the players grab some sponges to make dollars and cents add up. Grandpa's on his way to "Safari Park" with five grandchildren in tow and one hundred tickets for the amusements. When Paul loses his tickets, rematching rides and games to children becomes an entertainment for all.

Nivola, Claire              Orani: My Father’s Village

As a child, Claire Nivola loved summers in Orani, the village where her father grew up and where her many aunts, uncles, and 50 cousins still lived. She ran freely through the town's cobbled streets with packs of cousins, who quizzed her about America while she took in all the simple joys and pleasures of daily life in a village where surprises met them at every turn.

In this sensuous homage of prose and pictures, Nivola invites readers to share in her experience of Orani, a village where surprises met them at every turn and luxuries were unheard of, but life was rich, lived close to the earth.

St. George, Judith   The One and Only Declaration of Independence

If you think that the Declaration of Independence has been safely stored in the National Archives since it was signed, this saga of the document's travels, escapes, mishandling, and disappearances will be a special treat.

Sweet, Melissa        Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade

Everyone’s a New Yorker on Thanksgiving Day, when young and old rise early to see what giant new balloons will fill the skies for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Who first invented these “upside-down puppets”? Meet Tony Sarg, puppeteer extraordinaire! In brilliant collage illustrations, the award-winning artist Melissa Sweet tells the story of the puppeteer Tony Sarg, capturing his genius, his dedication, his zest for play, and his long-lasting gift to America—the inspired helium balloons that would become the trademark of Macy’s Parade.

 Van Allsburg, Chris                Queen of the Falls

 She could remember standing in a park near the falls, hypnotized by the sight and sound, and holding her father’s hand as they took a walk that would lead them closer. That’s what everyone wonders when they see Niagara . . . How close will their courage let them get to it?

At the turn of the nineteenth century, a retired sixty-two-year-old charm school instructor named Annie Edson Taylor, seeking fame and fortune, decided to do something that no one in the world had ever done before—she would go over Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel. Come meet the Queen of the Falls and witness with your own eyes her daring ride!

Wallner, Alexandra     Abigail Adams

If you have ever wished for an American patriot and founder who was a woman, this biography of Abigail Adams makes clear the important contributions of women to the revolutionary cause.

Winter, Jonah          You Never Heard of Willie Mays?

 He hit 660 home runs (fourth best of all time), had a lifetime batting average of .302, and is second only to Babe Ruth on The Sporting News's list of "Baseball's 100 Greatest Players." Many believe him to be the best baseball player that ever lived. His name is Willie Mays. In Jonah Winter and Terry Widener's fascinating picture book biography, young readers can follow Mays's unparalleled career from growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, to playing awe-inspiring ball in the Negro Leagues and then the Majors, where he was center fielder for the New York (later San Francisco) Giants. Complete with sidebars filled with stats, and a cool lenticular cover, here is a book for all baseball lovers, young and old. 

 Wright-Frierson, Virginia        An Island Scrapbook 

 Bring this lovely book on your next beach vacation. A mother, who is an artist, and her daughter demonstrate how we can more thoroughly enjoy nature, and make time spent in the outdoors more memorable, by recording what they see. 

Poetry

Raczka, Bob    Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys

 The wind and I play tug-of-war with my new kite. The wind is winning. When you’re a guy, nature is one big playground—no matter what the season. There are puddles to splash in the spring, pine trees to climb in the summer, maple seeds to catch in the fall, and icicles to swordfight with in the winter. Answer questions like how many rocks it takes to dam up a stream, or how much snow equals a day off from school. So what kind of poetry best captures these special moments, at a length that lets guys get right back to tree-climbing and kite-flying? Why, guyku, of course!

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