Carter’s Christmas

Written by Lisa Bullard
Illustrated by Katie Saunders

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Christmas is special time of year with many traditions and celebrations, but for Carter, it’s about giving his grandma something special. Carter’s Christmas, by Lisa Bullard, is a sweet story written from the perspective of a little boy who’s trying diligently to make a present for his Grandmother, who he lives with. Bright and cheery, Carter’s Christmas is also full of fun tidbits of Christmas trivia and traditions.
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Aunt Ant Leaves Through the Leaves

Written and Illustrated by Nancy Coffelt

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This book has a cute way of introducing homophones and homonyms to second graders through a story about a monkey who needs help getting his bananas home to make a pie.  He then approaches other animals, such as Aunt Ant, who can’t help, and Bee, who has other things to do until finally he gets all the animals to help him. The story is a modern version of The Little Red Hen. Throughout the book, the author introduces clever ways to use many different combinations of homophones and homonyms in the story to help students understand the multiple meanings of the words.
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Snow Day for Mouse

Written by Judy Cox

Illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler

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Snow Day for Mouse is an exciting story about the adventures of a mouse that awakens to a snowy morning.  While watching the birds outside, he is so glad to be inside the warm house safe and secure.  That is until his adventure begins!

This book depicts a typical family snow day where an excited family decides to enjoy their day off by making cookies inside the coziness of their home.  Mouse’s day quickly turns from good to bad when he encounters crumbs on the floor and is accidentally swept out the door with the snow Dad has tracked into the house.  Mouse embarks on a wild adventure with cats chasing him and nonstop action.
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The Silly Looking Thing

Written and Illustrated by Eva M. Sakmar-Sullivan

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Itsy Bitsy Boy Frog isn’t very nice, but he learns an important lesson in kindness in The Silly Looking Thing by Eva M. Sakmar-Sullivan. Itsy Bitsy Boy Frog is looking for a friend to play with. Day after day he runs to the pond hoping to find another frog to befriend, but all he finds each day is a friendly little creature who continues to ask if he’d like to play. Even though he’s lonely and is looking for a friend, each time the creature asks him to play, Itsy Bitsy Boy Frog gives the same rude answer “No way! I’m a frog and you’re a silly looking thing!”  It isn’t until Itsy Bitsy Boy Frog quits going to the pond that his parents get to the bottom of their sons rude behavior.
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Kevin Keeps Up

Written By Amy Whitehead Nagda

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Amy Whitehead Nagda truly has a gift for getting inside the life of a middle-grader, especially one with ADHD in her book, Kevin Keeps Up. She does so in an appealing and often humorous manner.

In the first chapter, the teacher explains an assignment while Kevin is busy drawing a spaceship. He desperately tries to cover his lack of attention, but then discovers more details he missed. His favorite teacher will be gone for two weeks and a dreaded substitute will be in charge. Meanwhile, the class will be creating books about African mammals, and everyone knows Kevin prefers snakes. He has problems with the substitute, who really doesn’t understand Kevin or his special relationship with the regular teacher. He tries to annoy the substitute by luring in the school cat with fish sticks and tuna sandwiches, but only manages to fall in love with the cat. He muddles along until he has most of his book finished, having to re-do graphs and copy messy pages. He learns a lot about cheetahs and house cats in spite of himself. Although Kevin gets help from his regular teacher by email, from the librarian, from the PE teacher, and from his classmates, he’s the one who finds the area in which he really shines and inspires a new direction for the rest of the class.
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The Secret Chicken Society

Written by Judy Cox 

Illustrated by Amanda Haley

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The Secret Chicken Society is one of the best chapter books I have reviewed lately for second grade level readers. It has excellent writing with clear language perfect for second grade comprehension of important concepts. It has realistic scenarios that second grade readers will understand and be able to relate to with their limited life experiences and it has a fun and engaging plot.
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Third Grade Angels

Written by Jerry Spinelli

Ilustrated by Jennifer A. Bell

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First grade babies, second grade cats, third grade angels, fourth grade rats! Second graders don’t like being babies or cats, so third grade has to look better. Third Grade Angels is written for second grade level readers in both language and comprehension. The second grade reader is pulled into the story and relates to the main character from the very first page when the author perfectly hits the reader on an emotional level.
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Old MacDonald had Her Farm

By JonArno Lawson

Illustrated by Tina Holdcroft

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Oh the sheer exuberance of the illustrations! So colorful and inventive, they keep pace with the goofy antics of Old MacDonald on Her Farm. Old, Old MacDonald had a farm where animals roamed. New Old MacDonald keeps animals on her farm for sure, but what trots out in this zany story are the vowels A E I O U (and sometimes Y). What a fun way to teach and revise the vowels with second grade level readers.
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Fish Had a Wish

Written and illustrated by Michael Garland

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Kids today sometimes have a hard time seeing their own talents and appreciating who they are. We often value the abilities of movie stars, athletes, and even super heroes more than maybe we ought. Fish Had a Wish is a enjoyable little story with a gentle reminder for children to be content and happy with their abilities and talents; with who they are.
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