Insightful books for second and third graders

Your child might think they’re stuck at home right now, but they can actually open portals to many different worlds with the power of reading! Reading is an important pastime for your child to adopt and grow to love as early as possible. Books not only entertain and keep your child company but they also educate and improve traits like creativity, empathy, and comprehension. The characters become their friends, mentors, and role models, passing on life lessons and morals that help your child grow into the best version of themselves.

The books listed below are excellent reads for your second or third grader! If your child is showing some hesitation, here are some ways you can encourage and excite them:  
    • read aloud to them every night (and leave off right when things get interesting),  
    • give rewards for how many books they read in a week,
    • draw scenes from the book with them to bring characters to life, or  
    • plan a fun movie night for when they complete the book version!

Now let’s get started. Check out these fun reads below for your second or third grader:

The Magic Paintbrush | Laurence Yep

Shen has a magic paintbrush that allows her paintings of fish and oysters to come to life. When an emperor hears of her gift, he demands she paint gold for him instead. How can she keep her promise to paint for the betterment of the poor?

Boxcar Children | Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Aldens are four orphaned children who begin their adventure by making a home in a boxcar. Their goal is to stay together no matter what. Here’s the twist, while making sure they are not separated, they find their grandfather.

Cam Jansen and the Chocolate Fudge Mystery | David A. Adler

Super sleuth Cam Jansen and her friend Eric uncover a mystery while selling candy door-
to-door. Why is there a full trash can outside a supposedly deserted house? Cam uses her photographic memory to get to the bottom of this enigma!

Charlotte’s Web | E.B. White

Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spider web tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.

The Hundred Dresses | Eleanor Estes

At the heart of the story is Wanda Petronski, a Polish girl in a Connecticut school who is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. Wanda claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn’t and bullies her mercilessly. The class feels terrible when Wanda is pulled out of the school, but by that time, it’s too late for apologies. Maddie, one of Wanda’s classmates, ultimately decides that she is never going to stand by and say nothing again.

Who Was Dr. Seuss? | Janet Pascal

Theodor Seuss Geisel loved to doodle from the time he was a kid. He had an offbeat, fun-loving personality. He often threw dinner parties, where guests had to wear outrageous hats! He donned quirky hats when thinking up ideas for books like his classic The Cat in the Hat. This biography, with black-and white illustrations throughout, brings an amazingly gifted author/illustrator to life.

These books are fun and engaging with great life lessons for your child, whether it’s about standing up for others or helping the community. They’re informational (Who doesn’t want to learn all about Dr. Seuss?) and touching (No one tugs at the heartstrings quite like Charlotte does).  

These books are also part of our JEI Reading & Writing program, which helps children who want to improve their reading comprehension as well as children at advanced levels who just can’t get enough. To make the most of this reading list, sign your child up at your nearest center! We are currently continuing our State Standard-aligned curriculum through JEI Remote Learning, so even at home, your child can continue to learn and grow.  

Reach out today and start your child on “A Better Life Through Better Education“.

Happy readings!