Why a book review site just for 2nd grade readers?

  • Because reading change lives.
  • Because 2nd graders move from beginning readers to fluent readers with great reading comprehension–and the right books help.
  • Because good readers do well in school, and that means a bright future–and the right books help.
  • Because books introduce readers to the wider world–and the right books help.

2ndGradeReading.NET provides recommendations for contemporary grade-level appropriate books for second graders – it’s an online, constantly updated second grade reading list for Common Core.

Why 21st Century, Contemporary Literature for Kids?

What does your child or student watch on TV?

  • Reruns of “I Love Lucy”?
  • Reruns of “Gomer Pyle”?
  • Reruns of “Lassie”?

There’s nothing wrong with classics, but if your student ONLY watches reruns, something is out of whack.

Today’s students need today’s literature.
Not reruns.

A recent study of books read by kids revealed that Dr. Seuss was the most popular author for K-3rd grades. The classics are great, we love them. But it appears that classics are 75-80% of what kids are reading in school. Something is out of whack.

Instead, 2ndGradeReading wants to encourage kids to read contemporary literature, nonfiction and fiction. Publishers are turning out exciting, engaging, contemporary work in every genre and with appropriate text complexity. Kids are missing out on books meant for their generation.

Common Core Standards Require New Reading Levels

Education reform, the Common Core State Standards, also requires a more complex texts at an earlier grade. We recommend contemporary books with grade-level appropriate text complexity.

According to the August, 2012 supplement to the Common Core, one of six measures of text complexity can be used (see the chart). All books included in this site are within this 2nd grade range.

However, it’s a bit more complicated than that. For example, the classic novel Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck falls within the fourth grade range. But the topics and emotional content of the book is high school level. We take into account the content of a book before including here. Books recommended here are within the correct reading level AND the content is recommended for second grade readers. 2ndGradeReading.NET is an online, constantly updated second grade reading list for Common Core.

More questions? Read our FAQ.

Sue Poduska

Sue is a lifetime lover of books and is dedicated to putting quality literature into the hands of young people. When she is not directing activity on the grade reading sites, she is a Co-Regional Advisor for the Maryland/Delaware/ West Virginia region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She writes both fiction and nonfiction for picture books through middle grade books. Email her at sue.poduska@gmail.com.


  1. […] For the month of September, sign up for 2ndgradereading.net’s (http://www.2ndgradereading.net/about) free e-newsletter and you’ll receive the free ebook, 11 Ways to Ruin a Photograph. Three times a […]

  2. Susan C. says:

    I absolutely love this site! There are so many new books and it is hard to keep up with them all. This is so helpful to librarians, teachers and parents.!

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