Menu

Books by Theme

Great Read Alouds for Second Graders

The world is a big place and there’s no better to meet it than between the covers of a book shared between parents or caring adult and a child. Most children are emerging readers by now but are still building both receptive language (what they hear) as well as expressive language (what they say). They’re also expanding their interests and putting ideas together in new and different ways. Books – timeworn and new, fiction or nonfiction, poetry or prose – shared aloud allows both adult and child to explore together.

See also: Great Read Alouds for Kids: Babies to Grade 3.

Quotable Quotes: The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go. -- Dr. Seuss

Actual Size

By: Steve Jenkins
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

The real and truly amazing size of animals from the sea and land are shown in a way that children can understand and appreciate. Textured collage illustrations are used to show the actual size of a gorilla’s hand, a giant squid’s eye and much more. Additional information on each animal is included in an afterward to allow reading on several levels.

Black and White

By: David Macaulay
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Is it one story or four? Is it about cows, commuters, a thief, or a boy? Careful reading and re-reading is required to tell. Warning: it may take young readers to explain how this clever Caldecott-winning book works!

Completely Clementine

By: Sara Pennypacker
Illustrated by: Marla Frazee
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Clementine hates change. And there’s a lot of change about to happen: summer is approaching and the end of third grade means goodbye to her beloved teacher, Mr. D’Matz. Plus her family expects a new baby. Like other books in the series, this seventh and final one is sure to cause laughter as Clementine works to come out successfully on the other side of change.

Flat Stanley: His Original Adventure

By: Jeff Brown
Illustrated by: Macky Pamintuan
Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Life as a paper-thin boy is not all bad as Stanley finds out. He was flattened by a bulletin board bit adjusts quite well with the help of his parents to his new dimensions — all of which makes for very funny reading (and travels in later books about Stanley and his family).

Gooney Bird Greene

By: Lois Lowry
Illustrated by: Middy Thomas
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Gooney Bird is a memorable character whose outrageous tales are all true! Children may see their world differently through Gooney Bird’s storytelling and consider writing themselves just like the kids in Ms. Pidgeon’s class at Watertower Elementary School. This is first of Lowry’s Gooney Bird books, all of which are relatable.

Lulu and the Dog from the Sea

By: Hilary McKay
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Lulu and her family, along with their dog Sam, rent a house by the sea for their family vacation. There they meet a stray mutt, the "dog from the sea" who becomes a hero to kite-flying Lulu and her cousin, Mellie. Eventually, the stray finds friendship and a home.

Mary Poppins

By: P.L. Travers
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

When Mary Poppins arrived at the house on Cherry Tree Lane, life became much different and more exciting. The unique nanny stayed only until the wind changed leaving the family with many happy memories. Some echoes of the film are evident, however, the book remains a read aloud classic that stands apart and is rather different.

Nuts to You!

By: Lynne Rae Perkins
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When a squirrel is snatched up by a hungry hawk (but not eaten), his courageous friends go after him. Together they discover another squirrel society and save their homes from devastation in this clever, quite funny, and often insightful tale that provides a glimpse into what squirrel civilization might be.

Sarah, Plain and Tall

By: Patricia MacLachlan
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Set in the 1800s, a widowed farmer advertises for a wife and mother for his two children. A tall, plain woman answers the ad; Sarah leaves her Maine home and the sea for the Plains as she grows to love Caleb and Anna. An elegantly simple telling.

The Amazing Bone

By: William Steig
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Pearl, a bonnet-wearing pig in pink, finds a magic bone that fell from a witch’s basket. Can she and the magic bone save Pearl from the jaws of a hungry fox? Cartoon illustration and exceptional language make this a must to read aloud.

The Reluctant Dragon

By: Kenneth Grahame
Illustrated by: Ernest Shepard
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The Boy, a shepherd, helps his friends — a large, peaceful dragon and dragon-slaying St. George — find a solution that satisfies all. Line drawings by Ernest Shepard (illustrator of Winnie the Pooh) and enduring themes continue to appeal. An introduction to the 75th anniversary edition by Leonard Marcus puts the tale into historical context.

Things That Float and Things That Don't

By: David Adler
Illustrated by: Anna Raff
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Discover why boats — even filled with people — can float, but a small pebble sinks in water. Easy experiments and lucid explanations are presented with cartoon-like illustrations to bring concepts like density and displacement into focus for readers of all ages.

Proceeds from the sale of books purchased at Amazon.com help support the Reading Rockets project. Thank you!

Sign up for our free newsletters about reading

Our Literacy Blogs

Maria Salvadore
Maria Salvadore

Start with a Book: Read. Talk. Explore.

"I'm wondering what to read next." — Matilda, Roald Dahl