Second Grade Literacy | 123Read&Write

Second grade literacy focuses on phonemic awareness, word recognition strategies, reading comprehension skills, and vocabulary building. Second grade literacy works to improve reading comprehension skills through identifying story elements, main ideas, evidence from the text, and connections to the real world. 

The activities presented with the second grade 123Read&Write comprehension units utilize different strategies to help promote oral language comprehension, vocabulary building, word recognition, and understanding of the elements of literature. Units concentrate on the basic concepts of story elements including plot, setting, character, and point of view, sequencing of events, finding evidence within the text, and word work to improve understanding of the written word. These units also provide creative outlets for children to draw or write about their connections with the text.

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Listed below 123Read&Write present five chapter books to use with your second grade child: Junie B. Jones Beauty Shop Guy, Magic Tree House Dinosaurs Before Dark, A Jigsaw Jones Mystery The Case of the Stinky Science Project, A to Z Mysteries The Empty Envelope, and The Zack Files Zap! I'm a Mind Reader. On each book's link you will find a short reading comprehension test, five follow up lesson plan activities relating to the important aspects of second grade literacy, and a video correlating to the book presented. 


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Junie B. Jones Beauty Shop Guy

Interest Level: 1-3

Reading Level: 2.1

New Y0rk Times bestselling author, Barbara Park, has given us another delirious adventure of everyone's favorite elementary school girl, Junie B. Jones. In the 11th book in the children's book series, Beauty Shop Guy, Junie decides that working in a beauty shop is the best job to have. In true Junie fashion, what better way to prepare than to practice on your dog! Or, how about some bunny slippers? In this hilarious addition to the Junie B. Jones series, if Junie has scissors in her hands, turn and run . . . and do not look back! 


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Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark

Interest Level: 1-4

Reading Level: 2.0

In the time-travel fantasy, Dinosaurs Before Dark, Jack and his sister discover a tree house crammed with books. Jack wishes he could actually witness the Pteranodon pictured in one of the books, and it suddenly appears! Both Jack and his sister have been taken back to the early Cretaceous period. While there, the two of them explore their surroundings and are threatened by a ferocious Tyrannosaurus Rex. Luckily, the Pteranodon returns to rescue them. Before long, both Jack and his sister learn the magic which transported them back in time, enabling them to use it to get back home. 


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A Jigsaw Jones Mystery: The Case of the Stinky Science Project

Interest Level: 3-5

Reading Level: 2.0

Jigsaw Jones loves to be the neighborhood detective. In The Case of the Stinky Science Project Jigsaw Jones tackles three problems at once! Sally-Ann Simm asks him for help in getting her money back from a bully. His partner in crime, Mila, gives him an interesting magic-trick case to crack. And a science project volcano that the girls in his classroom bring in has a super smelly problem! Using his brains, his scientific knowledge, and help from his family and friends, Jigsaw solves each unique case!


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A to Z Mysteries: The Empty Envelope

Interest Level: 3-5

Reading Level: 2.2




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Freddie Fernortner First Grader: The Fantastic Flying Bicycle

Interest Level: 1-4

Reading Level: 2.0


Best Reads for Second Grade

Children in second grade will be reading independently this year. Some children will be able to read more advanced books, while others will be reading with a more basic sight word vocabulary. At this level children should be much more independent with chapter books. While they still love being read to by their parents, they should be able to read on their own as well. Second graders' interest levels crave chapter books' more complicated plot lines, as well as the older main characters found in these books. 


Visit the 123Read&Write Bookstore for these best reads and others by the same authors.

Megan McDonald

Megan McDonald is the author of Judy Moody as well as her follow up series, Stink. The Judy Moody series follows the same format as many of the authors featured on this page, Judy Moody, a third grader, and her annoying younger brother, Stink. Judy Moody is exactly as her name implies, moody. Sometimes she's irritated, others jealous, but in the end she always learns a lesson and has a more positive outlook on life. Judy's young brother, Stink, started off as the humorous side-kick in his big sister's series, but ended up with a set of books to call his own. Stink, as many kids do, finds himself involved in schemes and adventures that require friends and family to help him out. Judy Moody favorites include: Judy Moody was in a Mood - Judy Moody Saves the World! - and Judy Moody Girl Detective. Little brother, Stink, favorites include: Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid - Stink and the Incredible Super-Galactic Jawbreaker - and Stink and the World's Worst Super-Stinky Sneakers.

Magic School Bus: A Science Chapter Book

The Magic School Bus series does not have one specific author, instead, different authors have had a hand in helping to create this series. The series begins with Eva Moore's Magic School Bus Chapter Book The Truth About Bats. This chapter book series is a new spin on the picture books entitled, The Magic School Bus. Both series feature Ms. Frizzle, the wacky teacher whose science lessons take her students into the subject they were studying, literally. If her students are studying the human body, her class will take a field trip, aboard the magic school bus, and travel through the human body learning as they go. Ms. Frizzle, known for her outlandish dresses and frizzy, red hair, keeps her students intrigued with their studies with the ultimate hands on learning. Magic School Bus Chapter Book favorites include: Magic School Bus Chapter Book: The Search For Missing Bones - Magic School Bus Chapter Book: Twister Trouble - Magic School Bus Chapter Book: Dinosaur Detectives - and Magic School Bus Chapter Book: Polar Bear Patrol. 

Geronimo Stilton

Geronimo Stilton is a series for the adventurous second grader. Second graders may need some help reading these mouse-terious books because of the higher-leveled vocabulary thrown in. But second graders will love the mouse-tastic mysteries and surprises these books bring. Geronimo Stilton's books utilize writing in various fonts and sizes to emphasize the words of the story. If this doesn't do enough to capture your child's attention, then the bold, colorful pictures on every other page certainly will. Geronimo, a mouse, is the editor and publisher of The Rodent's Gazette in New Mouse City. He is joined by family members Thea, Benjamin, and Trap as he solves one mystery after another in an adventure of a lifetime. Favorites include: Paws Off Cheddarface! - The Karate Mouse - The Temple of the Ruby of Fire - and Field Trip to Niagara Falls.

Abby Klein

Abby Klein now has two series that she offers: Ready, Freddy! and Double Trouble. The Ready, Freddy! series is the first of the two series featuring Freddy Thresher, a first grade student in Mrs. Wushy's class. Much like Junie B. Jones, Freddy is a mischievous young boy who experiences life as a regular first grader. Your child will laugh as they read about Freddy dealing with issues like losing a tooth, a class report on animals, being afraid to perform in a talent show, and camping in the wild. Ready, Freddy! favorites include: Ready, Freddy! Shark Attack - Ready, Freddy! The Penguin Problem - and Ready, Freddy! Yikes Bikes! 

Double Trouble is a new series about twin girls, Kelly and Kasey, who cause more than just trouble. They cause Double Trouble! Kelly and Kasey cause hysterical fun in these Double Trouble favorites: Double Trouble: Show and Tell - and Double Trouble April Fool's Surprise.

Ron Roy

Ron Roy's A to Z Mysteries are a great read for all second graders. Donald David Duncan, A.K.A. Dink, encounter one mystery after another which needs his help. Dink calls upon his friends, Josh and Ruth Rose, to help out. Ron Roy cleverly dishes out clues in the A to Z Mysteries that will keep your child guessing the solution to the mystery at hand. Humor is sprinkled throughout to keep the story lively, which makes for any enjoyable read. A to Z Mystery favorites include: A to Z Mysteries Detective Camp - A to Z Mysteries Canary Caper - and A to Z Mysteries The Talking T-Rex.

Susan Nees

Susan Nees' Missy's Super Duper Royal Deluxe series introduces the reader to Missy, a spunky, fun-loving young girl. Missy continues to thrill second graders as her vivid imagination brings life to her character while she deals with everyday problems young children face. The colorful illustrations on each page and the speech bubbles filled with Missy's words, make this a fun read for the second grade child. Missy favorites include: Missy's Super Duper Royal Deluxe: Field Trip - Missy's Super Duper Royal Deluxe: Class Pets - and Missy's Super Duper Royal Deluxe: School Play.

Barbara Park

While Kindergarten and first grade teachers will be utilizing Barbara Parks' Junie B. Jones series in the classroom, it is still an appropriate chapter book for second graders. In the series, Junie B. Jones begins as a kindergarten and then progresses through first grade - thus why teachers use the book at this age level. But the Junie B. Jones series is written at a level which is more appropriate for independent reading by second and third graders. Barbara Park's series is, by far, the best chapter book series out there. Junie B. Jones, the feisty main character, shows the reader what life is like for a little girl. Junie B. Jones has conflicts with her family, her baby brother, Ollie, her friends, and ever her teacher. Barbara Parks character development is what makes these books the best read ever. Her quirky, yet comical thoughts make you laugh out loud. Humorous events happen in every story - from cutting her dogs fur to dragging a dead fish around on a leash - you just never know what Junie B. Jones will do next! Junie B. favorites for second graders include: Junie B. Jones: Aloha-Ha-Ha! - Junie B., First Grader: Shipwrecked - and Junie B., First Grader: One-Man Band.

Mary Pope Osborne

Mary Pope Osborne is known for her Magic Tree House series which began in 1992 with Dinosaurs Before Dark. The Magic Tree House series continues to be a best read for second graders because of the intriguing time travel concept found within each storyline. Jack and Annie, siblings from Frog Creek, Pennsylvania, find a magic tree house in the woods near their house. It is within this magic tree house that Jack and Annie are able to travel through time to solve a mystery given to them. Jack, the ever-serious brother, and Annie the brave sister, micmic the relationship all children have with their siblings. The fun adventures and the lively pace of the book make these a best read. Magic Tree House second grade favorites include: Magic Tree House: Hurry Up, Houdini! - Magic Tree House: Stallion by Starlight - and Magic Tree House: A Perfect Time for Pandas.

E.B. White

E. B. White is the creator of the classic, Charlotte's Web. Wilbur, the main character in the story, is the runt of the pig litter who is raised by the farmer's daughter, Fern. Wilbur makes friends with the barn spider, Charlotte, and learns what friendship is all about. This is a beautiful story that reminds us to live each day to the fullest. 

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