Fun Summer Reads for First and Second Graders

Even when school’s out, books are still in. These titles will keep soon-to-be first- and second-graders entertained on road trips, rainy days, and whenever else they can crack open a chapter.

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Stuart Little

Courtesy of HarperCollins Children’s Books

Stuart Little

By E.B. White

In this nearly 75-year-old novel—E.B. White’s first children’s book—a shy yet adventurous mouse goes to great lengths for his best friend. Valuable lesson: It’ll remind your kid what it means to be a good friend too. 

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Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

Courtesy of Penguin Young Readers

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

By Roald Dahl

What kid can resist a book with a marshmallow room, Golden Tickets, and cast of wacky characters, like gum-chewer Violet and TV-obessed Mike? If your child is craving more Wonka after finishing the book, watch the movie, and compare the two. 

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Once Upon an Alphabet

Courtesy of Penguin Young Readers

Once Upon an Alphabet

By Oliver Jeffers

In this gorgeous book from the illustrator of the best-seller The Day the Crayons Quit, each letter gets its own short story. Read one every couple of days throughout the summer and ask your child to write down words that begin or end with that letter. 

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Mercy Watson to the Rescue

Courtesy of Candlewick Books

Mercy Watson to the Rescue

By Kate DiCamillo

Ideal for kids who are just starting to read chapter books, this story is the first of a series of adventures for the much-loved pig.  

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The Year of Billy Miller

Courtesy of HarperCollins Children’s Books

The Year of Billy Miller

By Kevin Henkes

Your child will be able to relate to Billy’s sibling squabbles, diorama projects, and friendships in the second grade. 

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Frog & Toad Are Friends

Courtesy of HarperCollins Children’s Books

Frog & Toad Are Friends

By Arnold Lobel

The unlikely BFFs hop along through four enchanting short stories, looking for buttons, waiting for mail, swimming, and doing other day-to-day relatable things. It’s one of the best early-reader books of all time!

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Dory Fantasmagory

Courtesy of Penguin Young Readers

Dory Fantasmagory

By Abby Hanlon

Great for kids with older brothers and sisters, this book focuses on a quirky 6-year-old who entices her older sibs to play with her—and eventually wins their respect. 

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The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

Courtesy of Penguin Young Readers

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

By Joe Scieszka 

Your child will be laughing along with these silly twists on fairy tales, like Little Red Running Shorts who beats the wolf to grandma’s house. Ask your child how she’d change a classic story to make it funny. 

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Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell

Courtesy of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group

Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell

By Tanya Lee Stone

This picture-book biography about the first female doctor in America will spark a lot of questions about gender equality. After all, most kids don’t realize there was a time when a woman couldn’t be a doctor.

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Don’t Throw It to Mo!

Courtesy of Penguin Young Readers 

Don’t Throw It to Mo!

By David Adler

The sentences are simple, but the plot is still interesting, in this 32-page early reader about a boy who loves playing football.

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Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover

Courtesy of Candlewick Books

Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover

By Cece Bell

This short chapter book focuses on the silly tale of two friends with different personalities. 

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Fun Summer Reading for All Ages

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