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Reading / Lit list for 2nd grade

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My daughter loved the read aloud "The BFG" from her teacher. Anna Hibiscus books I find excellent--I like to read them myself. My daughter didn't bond too much with them but as shorter chapter books that IMO qualify as literature, they are a must for the 1st-3rd grade reader (depending on reading level). She also liked Charlotte's Web as a read aloud.


When I was that age I read all of the Ramona Quimby books by Beverly Cleary, a million times each, and I think they're still relevant. My daughter and I both really were touched by the throwing up in the classroom incident in one of the books (not sure which one) but I'm not sure how that would resonate with a homeschooled child. I guess it would all seem very cruel and inhumane to feel sick and be at school!

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Here's the required reading list I used when my daughter was in 2nd grade, and a strong reader. I put them all on a shelf and let her choose which order to read them in. My only requirement was that she had to read them all over the course of the year, and once she started one she had to finish it.


Understood Betsy, Dorothy Canfield Fisher

All-Of-A-Kind Family, Sidney Taylor

Charlotte's Web, E.B. White

Nim's Island, Wendy Orr

The Door in the Wall, Marguerite di Angeli

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Grace Lin

A Lion to Guard Us, Clyde Robert Bulla

Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Beverly Cleary

Sarah, Plain and Tall, Patricia MacLachlan

On the Banks of Plum Creek, Laura Ingalls Wilder

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, Bette Bao Lord

Paddle to the Sea, Holling C. Holling

Follow My Leader, James Garfield

The Water Horse, Dick King-Smith

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That's a great list, Rivka!  

We are doing Memoria Press' second grade literature for readers, which includes The Courage of Sarah Noble, Little House in the Big Woods, Mr. Popper's Penguins, and Beatrix Potter stories.  My second grader just read Misty of Chincoteague and Captain Nobody for fun and loved them both.



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My list for read-alouds/audiobooks, tentatively:

  • Beowulf, Rumford version (library)
  • The Forest Unseen (bought)
  • Ayat Jamilah (library)
  • Tales from the Arabian Nights (Riordan bought/Tenggren library)
  • Letters to a Young Scientist (library)
  • The Door in the Wall (library)
  • The Little Prince (library)
  • Leif's Saga (library)
  • Norse myths, Mary Pope Osborne (library)
  • King Arthur (Jim Weiss) (bought)
  • Adventures of Robin Hood (Jim Weiss?)
  • Canterbury Tales, McCaughrean (library)
  • The Book of Three (library)
  • The Wind in the Willows (library)
  • Ella Enchanted (library)
  • Stories from Shakespeare, McCaughrean (library)
  • SOTW Vol. 2 (bought)



For him to read, depending on how things are going:

  • Pathway Readers - Busy Times, More Busy Times, Climbing Higher, New Friends
  • possibly The Chalk Box Kid
  • some Betsy Byar books
  • possibly an Encyclopedia Brown book
  • Babe
  • Frindle
  • anything else he picks from the library
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We really like the Veritas Press literature lists. Second grade lit starts here. The more difficult ones are for read alouds.


DD/1st (strong reader) will be doing an American Girl based history next year, which will occupy most of our read alouds. Some of her own reading will correlate, but there will also be books like Stuart Little, some Roald Dahl, Harry Potter, and such.

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