Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Reading List for Grades 2 to 4

I left out the series books (although they are great for getting kids reading) and I left out the really familiar ones. Most of these books are read-alouds for grade 2 level students and silent reading books for grade 4 level students. I hope you enjoy!

The Egyptian Polar Bear
By J. Adinolfi

In a story based on the discovery of ancient Egyptian architectural plans for a tomb for a polar bear, Nanook, an arctic polar bear, is trapped on an iceberg floating south and disembarks in Egypt, where he becomes the playmate of the boy-king Rahotep.
The Paper Crane
By Molly Bang
A mysterious man enters a restaurant and pays for his dinner with a paper crane that magically comes alive and dances.
Flat Stanley
By J Brown
Life in the Lambchop family is sedate and serene until a bulletin board falls on young Stanley Lambchop and he becomes depth-disadvantaged! But does it get him down? No! Though he's only half-an-inch thick, Stanley manages to lead a very full life. Originally published in 1964, Jeff Brown's Flat Stanley has become a modern classic.

The Boy Who Wanted a Dog
by Janet Thayer

This delightful story first came to my attention while grading EQAO. Students were asked to write about a book that interested them. So many students named this book that I had to read it for myself. This is the story of a dog who wishes for a boy and his wish comes true!

Owen and Mzee:The true story of a remarkable friendship
by Isabella Hatkoff

An orphaned hippo and a 130-year-old tortoise share a special bond

Lulu and the Brontosaurus
by Judith Viorst
Lulu's parents refuse to give in when she demands a brontosaurus for her birthday and so she sets out to find her own, but while the brontosaurus she finally meets approves of pets, he does not intend to be Lulu's.

Never smile at a monkey : and 17 other important things to remember
by Steve Jenkins
Discover how dangerous an animal can be when it feels threatened or trapped.

Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery

In this humorous animal fantasy book, the Monroe family finds a bunny in a movie theatre and names the animal Bunnicula. Chester the cat suspects Bunnicula is a vampire rabbit. Children in elementary school will enjoy reading this funny mystery story.

The Enormous Egg
By Oliver Butterworth

Written in the 1950s, this book about a farm boy who finds a dinosaur egg in with the chickens, this book is a bird's eye view into citizenship and justice for animals.

A Letter to Amy
by Ezra Jack Keats

In this classic book about friendship, Peter has a falling-out with his friend Amy. Peter fears the worst - that Amy will not come to his birthday party.

by Janell Cannon

Stellaluna is a baby fruit bat happily flying along with her mother when an owl attacks. The poor little bat is knocked out of her mother's grasp and lands in a birds' nest. The mother bird accepts Stellaluna as long as she acts like a bird, not a bat.

Thank You, Mr. Falker
by Patricia Polacco

Patricia Polacco describes what it was like to be unable to read in the fifth grade. She was taunted by classmates and plagued with her own self-doubt until a teacher finally recognized that she couldn't read and gave her the assurance and help she needed to succeed.

Freddy the Detective
by Walter Brooks

Originally published in 1932, Freddy the Detective is an overlooked classic. Freddy is a pig who finds his true calling when he finds a copy of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in the barn one day. The witty and still very fresh vocabulary in which Freddy expresses himself is just delightful!


  1. How is a polar bear supposed to get to Egypt? It doesn't even have an Atlantic coast.

  2. Apparently an unusually strong current brings the bear via the Atlantic ocean to Egypt. It sounds a bit suspect, but apparently the author found an article detailing the burial vault for a polar bear in an ancient Egyptian tomb. He filled in the blanks and wrote this story.

    Here is what Publishers Weekly says about it as quoted on Amazon.com

    According to the flap copy, this stylish picture book was born when Adinolfi, a first-time author and illustrator, serendipitously stumbled across a scholarly reference to a burial vault for a polar bear in an Egyptian tomb. Whimsically detailed, jewel-bright illustrations-at times reminiscent at times of Peter Sis-lead readers on the fantastical journey of a lonely polar bear named Nanook.



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