Second Grade and Third Grade Books: good books for ages 7-8
Kate DiCamillo, Chris Van Dusen (Hardcover)
Genre: Fiction - Humorous Stories; Book Theme: Animals
Mercy Watson to the Rescue, by Newbery-winning author Kate Dicamillo, is a delightful early chapter book for beginning readers. Full of silliness and fun, this humorous story features a lovable pig named Mercy Watson as the main character. One night, Mercy Watson feels afraid when sleeping alone, so he goes in bed with Mr. and Mrs. Watson. With the added weight, a hole opens up under the Watsons' bed. The "boom" and "crack" sounds wake Mercy up and he runs off to the kitchen in search of hot toast with butter on it. Finding none there, Mercy goes to visit the Lincoln sisters who live next door. After a few comical twists and turns, two firemen come and rescue Mr. and Mrs. Watson, who think Mercy has alerted the fire department. Chris Van Dusen's colorful and expressive illustrations complement this easy-to-read story very well. Mercy Watson to the Rescue is a good book for children in kindergarten, first grade, second grade and third grade.
P. L. Travers (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Fantasy Books
"Mary Poppins" by P.L. Travers is one of the best children's books of the 20th century. The magical nanny Mary Poppins blows in with the east wind and takes the Banks children on many magical adventures. Full of fantasy and magic, this classic children's book is great for children in upper elementary school and middle school. "Mary Poppins" is a good read-aloud book.
Beverly Cleary, Louis Darling (Paperback)
Genres: Fiction - Humorous Stories, Realistic Fiction; Book Theme: Animals
"Henry Huggins" by Beverly Cleary is a humorous story about a boy and his dog, Ribsy. After third grader Henry Huggins finds a stray dog at a drugstore, hilarious adventures follow, such as winning top prize in a dog show when Henry has mistakenly put pink powder on Ribsy. Henry Huggins is a memorable character that many children can relate to. Kids in third grade through sixth grade will enjoy this funny chapter book in the genre of realistic fiction.
Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer (Paperback)
Genres: Fiction - Fantasy Books, Humorous Stories
"The Phantom Tollbooth", full of puns, humor and colorful characters, is an original and hilarious classic children's chapter book. Kids in third grade through seventh grade will get a good laugh from the ingenious plays on words in this humorous story. Ten-year-old Milo finds a Phantom Tollbooth in his room. After driving through the tollbooth gate, Milo embarks upon a fantastic journey that takes him to Dictionopolis, the land of words; Digitopolis, the land of numbers; and many other unusual places. Along with watchdog Tock and the Humbug, Milo goes on a quest to bring back the Princess of Sweet Rhyme and the Princess of Pure Reason to the Kingdom of Wisdom from the Castle in the Air. "The Phantom Tollbooth", written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer, is one of the best fantasy books for children.
Chris Van Allsburg (Hardcover)
Genre: Fiction - Children's Picture Books; Book Theme: Christmas
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg is a wonderful classic children's book for the Christmas holiday. On Christmas Eve, a boy, narrator of the story, boards the Polar Express, a mysterious train that is headed for the North Pole. He finds the Polar Express is full of children who are having fun singing Christmas carols and eating candies. The children finally arrive at the North Pole, where Christmas toys are made. The boy is picked by Santa to receive the first gift of Christmas, and he asks for a silver bell from Santa's sleigh. Our narrator gets his wish and the Polar Express takes him home, but his bell is nowhere to be seen. To his great joy, the boy finds his lost bell under the tree on Christmas morning. Chris Van Allsburg's Caldecott Medal award-winning illustrations are soothing and enchanting; it gives a heart-warming feel to the Christmas tale. The Polar Express is a good picture book for children in kindergarten through third grade.
Donald J. Sobol (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Mystery Books
The Encyclopedia Brown mystery stories, by Donald J. Sobol, are quite popular with young readers. "Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective" is the first mystery book of this series. The main character is a brainy child detective nicknamed Encyclopedia Brown. Encyclopedia, a son of the Chief of Police, solves mystery cases using clues, logic and sharp observations. The solutions to the 10 mystery cases can be found in the back of the chapter book. Children in second grade through sixth grade will enjoy this mystery book and learn some critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.
Laura Ingalls Wilder, Garth Williams (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Historical Fiction; Book Themes: Family, Frontier and Pioneer Life
"Little House on the Prairie" is a classic children's book about pioneer life on the wide-open Kansas prairie. Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family are faced with everything from malaria to prairie fire. Laura's vivid descriptions bring to life what the pioneers had to go through many years ago. "Little House on the Prairie", an ALA Notable Children's Books award-winning book, is one of the favorite chapter books for children in the genre of historic fiction. Kids in grade 3 and up will enjoy this charming story.
Dick King-Smith (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Animal Fantasy; Book Theme: Animals
"Babe: The Gallant Pig" is a fast-paced heartwarming animal fantasy book by Dick King-Smith. After arriving at farmer Hogget's farm, a pig named Babe saves sheep from hustlers and wild dogs and goes on winning a sheepherding competition. The main character Babe the pig is lovable, sensitive and polite. Children in third grade through seventh grade will enjoy this wonderful animal story. "Babe: The Gallant Pig", whose book awards include Boston Globe-Horn Book honor book and ALA Notable Book, is one of our favorite chapter books.
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