Fun Books for First & Second Graders

Picture books

  • Beaty, Andrea. Rosie Revere, Engineer. 2013.

    A young, aspiring engineer must first conquer her fear of failure.

  • Becker, Aaron. Quest. 2014.

    A wordless picture book about a kidnapped king and the children who try to save him and his kingdom from darkness.

  • Brown, Peter. My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I Am Not). 2014.

    Bobby thinks his teacher, Ms. Kirby, is horrible, but when he sees her outside of school and they spend a day in the park together, he discovers she might not be so bad after all.

  • Dempsey, Kristy. A Dance Like Starlight: One Ballerina's Dream. 2014.

    A young girl growing up in Harlem in the 1950s, whose mother cleans and stitches costumes for a ballet company, dreams of becoming a prima ballerina one day.

  • Santat, Dan. The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend. 2014.

    An imaginary friend waits a long time to be imagined by a child and given a special name, so he does the unimaginable— he sets out on a quest to find his perfect match in the real world.


  • Cronin, Doreen. Diary of a Worm: Nat the Gnat. 2014.

    This skill-building reader starring Worm finds him taking a turn caring for a class pet gnat that accidentally escapes from its tank.

  • Dean, James. Pete the Cat: Too Cool for School. 2014.

    Pete just can't decide which outfit to wear to school! He has so many options from which to choose. Fans of Pete the Cat will enjoy Pete's creativity in choosing the coolest outfit.

  • Horowitz, Dave. Little Big Horse: Where's My Bike? 2014.

    Little Big Horse is not very happy when he discovers that his friend Pablo the bull has his missing bicycle, especially when he finds that Pablo has fallen off and the bike is damaged.

  • Long, Loren. Otis's Busy Day. 2014.

    Otis the tractor is happy to go home and rest after a very busy day of working on the farm and playing with friends.

  • Juvenile fiction

  • Broach, Elise. The Miniature World of Marvin and James. 2014.

    When his best friend, a human boy named James, goes away on vacation, Marvin the beetle worries that their friendship may end.

  • Butler, Dori Hillestad. The Haunted Library. 2014.

    When ghost boy Kaz's haunt is torn down and he is separated from his ghost family, he meets a real girl named Claire. Claire has a special ability to see ghosts when other humans cannot, and she and Kaz quickly become friends.

  • Cronin, Doreen. The Chicken Squad. 2014. [also available on audio]

    Dirt, Sugar, Poppy and Sweetie are not your typical barnyard puffs of fluff, and they are not about to spend their days pecking chicken feed and chasing bugs. No sir, they're too busy solving mysteries and fighting crime.

  • DiCamillo, Kate. Leroy Ninker Saddles Up. 2014. [also available on audio]

    Forging an instant bond with spaghetti-loving horse Maybelline, horseless cowboy Leroy Ninker inadvertently risks eternal loneliness when he forgets a vital rule about Maybelline's care.

  • Hale, Shannon. The Princess in Black. 2014.

    Hiding her secret identity as a monster-fighting superhero, Princess Magnolia interrupts her fancy tea with the unsuspecting Duchess Wigtower to stop a big blue monster from endangering her kingdom's goats.

  • McDonald, Megan. Frank Pearl in the Awful Waffle Kerfuffle. 2014.

    Wanting more than anything to win a blue ribbon at the Great Third-Grade Breakfast Bash, Frank Pearl has three shots at a prize, and with the (albeit halfhearted) support of Judy Moody, as well as his amazing yo-yo trick, there's no way Frank can miss out on a trophy this time.

  • Mills, Claudia. Annika Riz, Math Whiz. 2014.

    Annika hopes to change her best friends' hatred of math by winning a Sudoku contest, but she does not realize how important their lack of mathematical ability is until they make a mistake at the school carnival.

  • Sherry, Kevin. The Yeti Files: Meet the Bigfeet. 2014.

    Blizz Richards is a caring boss, a family man and an all-around great guy who also happens to be a yeti, but when someone tries to prove the existence of his friend Bigfoot, Blizz and his team of cryptids work to help him stay hidden.


  • Locomotive by Brian Floca. 2013. [J 385.0973 FLO]

    Filled with beautiful illustrations and packed with information, this 2013 Caldecott winner takes a look at one family's 1869 journey from Omaha to Sacramento via the newly completed Transcontinental Railroad.

  • Fly Guy Presents: Dinosaurs by Tedd Arnold. 2014. [J 567.9 ARN]

    During a visit to a natural history museum, Fly Guy and Buzz learn all about dinosaurs.

  • Best Foot Forward: Exploring Feet, Flippers, and Claws by Ingo Arndt. 2013. [J 591.47 ARN]

    An intriguing close-up of an animal's foot piques curiosity that's satisfied on the following page with a stunning full-size photo of the animal itself and a brief description of how the foot is used. The guessing-game format makes learning about natural adaptation fun.

revised January 2015