Great Books for First and Second Grades

Picture Books

A Fine, Fine School by Sharon Creech      32 pages

  • When a principal loves his school so much that he wants the children to attend classes every day of the year, it's up to his students to show him free time is a good thing, too. Check our catalogue

 Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin     32 pages

  • When Farmer Brown's cows find a typewriter in the barn they start making demands, and go on strike when the farmer refuses to give them what they want. Check our catalogue

 How My Parents Learned to Eat by Ina Friedman     30 pages

  • An American sailor courts a Japanese girl and each tries, in secret, to learn the other's way of eating. Check our catalogue

 The Village That Vanished by Ann Grifalconi     42 pages

  • In southeastern Africa, a young Yao girl and her mother find a way for their fellow villagers to escape approaching slave traders. Check our catalogue

 Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes     32 pages

  • Chester and Wilson share the same exact way of doing things, until Lilly moves into the neighborhood and shows them that new ways can be just as good. Check our catalogue

 Zelda and Ivy by Laura McGee Kvasnosky     42 pages

  • In three brief stories, Ivy, the younger of two fox sisters, goes along with her older sister's schemes, even when they seem a bit daring. Check our catalogue

 Goin' Someplace Special by Patricia C. McKissack     36 pages

  • In segregated 1950s Nashville, a young African American girl braves a series of indignities and obstacles to get to one of the few integrated places in town: the public library. Check our catalogue

 Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann     32 pages

  • The children at Napville Elementary School always ignore Officer Buckle's safety tips, until a police dog named Gloria accompanies him when he gives his safety speeches. Check our catalogue

 Mama Provi and the Pot of Rice by Sylvia Rosa-Casanova    32 pages

  • Mama Provi takes chicken and rice to her sick granddaughter Lucy who lives upstairs. Check our catalogue

 Abiyoyo by Pete Seeger      47 pages

  • Banished from the town for making mischief, a little boy and his father are welcomed back when they find a way to make the dreaded giant Abiyoyo disappear. Check our catalogue

 Happy Hocky Family by Lane Smith   61 pages

  • Introduces readers to the world of the happy Hocky family--Baby Hocky; his brother Henry, who chases his sister with a dead spider; and Holly, who awakens her brother with a tuba blast. Check our catalogue

 Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe     32 pages

  • Mufaro's two beautiful daughters, one bad-tempered, one kind and sweet, go before the king, who is choosing a wife. Check our catalogue

 Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School by Mark Teague     32 pages

  • Gertrude LaRue receives typewritten and paw-written letters from her dog Ike, entreating her to let him leave the Igor Brotweiler Canine Academy and come back home. Check our catalogue

 Mailing May by Michael O. Tunnell     32 pages

  • In 1914, because her family cannot afford a train ticket to her grandmother's town, May gets mailed and rides the mail car on the train to see her grandmother. Check our catalogue

 Zathura by Chris Van Allsburg      32 pages

  • Left on their own for an evening, two boisterous brothers find more excitement than they bargained for in a mysterious and mystical space adventure board game. Check our catalogue

 Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst    32 pages

 The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson

  • Two girls, one white and one black, gradually get to know each other as they sit on the fence that divides their town. Check our catalogue


Easy Readers

Young Cam Jansen and the Dinosaur Game by David Adler      32 pages

  • When eight-year-old Cam Jansen and her friend Eric go to a birthday party, she uses her photographic memory to solve the puzzle of the dinosaur count. Check our catalogue

 Prairie School by Avi      48 pages

  • In 1880, Noah's aunt teaches the reluctant nine-year-old how to read as they explore the Colorado prairie together, Noah pushing Aunt Dora in her wheelchair. Check our catalogue

 Wiley and the Hairy Man by Molly Bang    64 pages

  • With his mother's help, Wiley outwits the hairy creature that dominates the swamp near his home by the Tombigbee River. Check our catalogue

 Old Hat, New Hat by Stan & Jan Berenstain      29 pages

The Shortest Kid in the World by Corinne Demas Bliss      48 pages

  • Emily is unhappy with her size until a new girl in class helps her see that being short can have its advantages. Check our catalogue

 The Golly Sisters Go West by Betsy Byars      64 pages

  • May-May and Rose, the singing, dancing Golly sisters, travel west by covered wagon, entertaining people along the way. Check our catalogue

 Minnie and Moo Go to the Moon by Denys Cazet      48 pages

  • Two cow friends, Minnie and Moo, decide to drive the farmer's tractor all the way to the moon. Check our catalogue

 Buffalo Bill and the Pony Express by Eleanor Coerr     64 pages

  • Sixteen-year-old Bill finds adventure when he becomes a rider for the Pony Express (though his letters home never hint at the dangers he encounters). Check our catalogue

 The Josefina Story Quilt by Eleanor Coerr     64 pages

  • While traveling west with her family in 1850, a young girl makes a patchwork quilt chronicling the experiences of the journey and reserves a special patch for her pet hen Josefina. Check our catalogue

 Baseball Ballerina by Kathryn Cristaldi      48 pages

  • A baseball-loving girl worries that the ballet class her mother forces her to take will ruin her reputation with the other members of her baseball team. Check our catalogue

 Get Ready for Second Grade, Amber Brown by Paula Daniziger     48 pages

  • 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. Check our catalogue

 Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo     68 pages

  • Breaking the Watsons' bed is only one of the adventures that their adored pig Mercy gets into. Check our catalogue

 Iris and Walter by Elissa Haden Guest      43 pages

  • When Iris moves to the country, she misses the city where she formerly lived; but with the help of a new friend named Walter, she learns to adjust to her new home. Check our catalogue

 Lionel at Large by Stephen Krensky      56 pages

  • Lionel faces such ordeals as having to eat green beans, going to the doctor, and looking for the snake his sister lost in his room. Check our catalogue

 Captain and Matey Set Sail by Daniel Laurence     64 pages

 Days With Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel      64 pages

 Fox Outfoxed by James Marshall       48 pages

 Soccer Sam by Jean Marzollo      48 pages

  • Sam's cousin from Mexico comes for an extended visit and teaches Sam and all the second graders to play soccer. Check our catalogue

 Three Stories You Can Read to Your Dog by Sara Swan Miller      48 pages

  • Stories addressed to dogs and written from a dog's point of view, featuring such topics as a burglar, bones, and running free. Check our catalogue

 Gus and Grandpa by Claudia Mills      48 pages

 The Drinking Gourd : a Story of the Underground Railroad by F.N. Monjo       62 pages

  • When he is sent home alone for misbehaving in church, Tommy discovers that his house is a station on the underground railroad. Check our catalogue

 Bravo, Amelia Bedelia! by Herman Parish      40 pages

  • From the time she is sent to pick up the guest conductor to the final bow by the orchestra, Amelia Bedelia's confusion causes quite an uproar at the school concert. Check our catalogue

 Henry and Mudge and the Happy Cat by Cynthia Rylant     47 pages

  • Henry's family takes in a stray cat, the ugliest cat they have ever seen, and an amazing relationship blossoms between it and their big dog Mudge. Check our catalogue

 High Rise Private Eyes: The Case of the Missing Monkey by Cynthia Rylant      48 pages

  • While having breakfast at their favorite diner, two detectives, Bunny and Jack, solve a mystery that is not what it seems. Check our catalogue

 In a Dark, Dark Room, and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz       63 pages

  • Seven scary stories to tell at night in front of a fire or in the dark, based on traditional stories and folklore from various countries. Check our catalogue

 Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat      60 pages

 Today I WIll Fly! by Mo WIllems         57 pages

  • Elephant is skeptical when Piggie is determined to fly, but when Piggie gets a little help from others, amazing things happen.   Check our catalogue


Chapter Books

The Absent Author by Ron Roy      87 pages

  • Dink Duncan and his two friends investigate the apparent kidnapping of famous mystery author Wallis Wallace. Check our catalogue

  Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbara Park     69 pages

  • In her own words, a young girl describes her feelings about starting kindergarten and what she does when she decides not to ride the bus home. Check our catalogue

 Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne      68 pages

  • Meet Jack and Annie as they travel back to the time of the dinosaurs in this first book of the Magic Tree House series. Check our catalogue

 The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron      71 pages

  • Relates episodes in seven-year-old Julian's life which include getting into trouble with his younger brother Huey, planting a garden, what he did to try to grow taller, losing a tooth, and finding a new friend. Check our catalogue

 My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett      86 pages

  • A boy takes along chewing gum, two dozen lollipops, a package of rubber bands, six magnifying glasses and seven hair ribbons when he goes off to Wild Island to rescue a baby dragon. Check our catalogue

 Owen Foote, Second Grade Strongman by Stephanie Greene     81 pages

  • Owen, a second grader who is being teased for his small size, discovers that his friend Joseph is just as concerned about being overweight, and they share their fear of being humiliated by the school nurse. Check our catalogue

 Runaway Radish by Jessie Haas       56 pages

  • When Radish the pony grows too big for the girls who own him, he goes to live at a horse camp where there are always new children for him to train. Check our catalogue

 Pinky and Rex by James Howe       40 pages

  • Rex and her best friend Pinky, each the proud possessor of twenty-seven stuffed animals or dinosaurs, find their visit to the museum and its gift shop complicated by Pinky's little sister Amanda. Check our catalogue

 Lady Lollipop by Dick King-Smith     123 pages

  • A quick-witted swineherd and a pig named Lollipop are royally rewarded after they reform a spoiled princess. Check our catalogue

 Horrible Harry in Room 2B by Suzy Kline       56 pages

  • Doug discovers that though being Harry's best friend in Miss Mackle's second grade class isn't always easy, as Harry likes to do horrible things, it is often a lot of fun. Check our catalogue

 Catwings by Ursula Le Guin       39 pages

  • Four young cats with wings leave the city slums in search of a safe place to live, finally meeting two children with kind hands. Check our catalogue

 Morgy Makes His Move by Maggie Lewis     74 pages

  • When third-grader Morgy MacDougal-MacDuff moves from California to Massachusetts with his parents, he has a lot of new things to get used to before he feels comfortable. Check our catalogue

 The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey     121 pages

  • Two mischievous boys turn their ill-tempered school principal into a superhero in an outrageously funny book featuring comics and flip-o-rama art. Check our catalogue

 Knights of the Kitchen Table by Jon Scieszka      55 pages

  • Joe receives magic book for his birthday present from his uncle. Joe, Fred and Sam are transported to a time when evil knights, fire-breathing dragons and vile-smelling giants roamed the land. Check our catalogue

 Math Curse by Jon Scieszka       32 pages

  • When the teacher tells her class that they can think of almost everything as a math problem, one student acquires a math anxiety which becomes a real curse. Check our catalogue

 Little Wolf's Haunted Hall for Small Horrors by Ian Whybrow    125 pages

  • In a series of letters to his parents, Little Wolf describes his attempts to create "the scariest school in the world" and convince his ghostly Uncle Bigbad to teach a magic class. Check our catalogue


Folk & Fairy Tales

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka     52 pages

 Bruh Rabbit and the Tar Baby Girl by Virginia Hamilton      32 pages

  • In this retelling, using Gullah speech, of a familiar story the wily Brer Rabbit outwits Brer Fox who has set out to trap him. Check our catalogue

 Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears by Verna Aardema        30 pages

  • A retelling of a traditional West African tale that reveals how the mosquito developed its annoying habit. Check our catalogue

 Head, Body, Legs: a Story from Liberia by Won-Ldy Paye         32 pages

  • In this tale from the Dan people of Liberia, Head, Arms, Body, and Legs learn that they do better when they work together. Check our catalogue

 Lon Po Po by Ed Young           32 pages

  • Three sisters staying home alone are endangered by a hungry wolf who is disguised as their grandmother. Check our catalogue

 Seven Chinese Brothers by Margaret Mahy         40 pages

  • Seven Chinese brothers elude execution by virtue of their extraordinary individual qualities. Check our catalogue



How Much is a Million? by David Schwartz          40 pages

  • Text and pictures try to make possible the conceptualization of a million, a billion, and a trillion. Check our catalogue

 Actual Size by Steve Jenkins

  • Discusses and gives examples of the size and weight of various animals and parts of animals. Check our catalogue

 Koko’s Kitten by Francine Patterson       32 pages

  • The real life experience of Koko, a gorilla in California who uses sign language, with a young kitten whom she loved and grieved over when it died. Check our catalogue

 You Can't Taste a Pickle With Your Ear by Harriet Ziefert

  • A fun look at each of the five senses and how they help us explore our world. Check our catalogue



Insectlopedia by Florian Douglas     47 pages

  • Presents twenty-one short poems about such insects as the inchworm, termite, cricket, and ladybug. Check our catalogue

 You Read to Me and I'll Read to You: Very Short Fairy Tales to Read Together by Mary Ann Hoberman         32 pages

  • Eight favorite fairy tales in very short tellings, told in two voices to allow reading together. Check our catalogue

 A Pet for Me: Poems Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins           44 pages

 The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders by Jack Prelutsky           63 pages



26 Fairmount Avenue by Tomie dePaola       71 pages

  • The popular author-illustrator recalls a year from his childhood, including memories of kindergarten and moving to a new house. Check our catalogue

 Wilma Unlimited by Kathleen Krull       44 pages

  • A biography of the African-American woman who overcame crippling polio as a child to become the first woman to win three gold medals in track in a single Olympics. Check our catalogue

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updated 3/2/12