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Books categorized as '2nd Grade'

Stella Diaz Has Something to Say

Stella Dias Has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez
Recommended for: Grades 2 and up

Stella Diaz, a Mexican-American girl living in Chicago, loves her fish, family, and best friend. Around others though, Stella is shy and nervous. These traits especially come out when she and her best friend are put in different classes this school year. The book follows Stella as she gains confidence from her classmates and family, and finds joy in dancing, drawing, and a spelling bee. It lightly touches on a few important issues like divorce (Stella has a not-so-great relationship with her father who lives in a different state) and split cultural and language identities (Stella sometimes confuses English and Spanish words and wishes she lived in Mexico with the rest of her family). Black and white illustrations offer a fun visual to the stories. In the end, you will be cheering alongside Stella as she finds her inner star during a school presentation. The character of Stella is instantly relatable, and you will quickly come to adore her sweetness and bravery. This is a great choice for anyone who loves Clementine. Plus – the story feels especially real since it is “89.2 percent” based on the author’s real life experiences.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Brown

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I Survived the Attacks of September 11, 2001

I survived the attacks of September 11, 2001 coverI Survived the Attacks of September 11, 2001 by Lauren Tarshis
Recommended for: Grades 2 – 5

Lucas suffered a concussion playing football and is told by his parents that he must quit. Devastated by the news, Lucas needs to talk to the man who taught him to play football, his dad’s firefighter friend Benny. Lucas skips school and takes the train into the city to talk to Benny at the firehouse. The beautiful day suddenly becomes a nightmare as the nearby Twin Towers are attacked and Benny and the rest of the firemen rush to the scene. Lucas’s dad is also called into the firehouse, but meets up with Lucas first. They have a close call when the first Tower collapses and Lucas’s dad has to abandon his attempt to find the rest of his crew. Then all they can do is wait and hope the crew will be safe. Like all the “I Survived” books, this one is a really gripping story!

Reviewed by Mrs. McIntire

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Number of comments: 1


Completely Clementine

completely clementine coverCompletely Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
Recommended for Grades 2 – 4

Pennypacker’s 7th and final book in the Clementine series brilliantly captures the life of a third grader.  Clementine learns how to maintain a friendship with someone different from herself, that it is okay to have a different opinion from someone she loves – a parent, and how hard it is to grow up and move on from secure surroundings.  With humor and typical antics, as readers have enjoyed in the previous six books, Clementine finishes third grade, meets her new sibling, and gets to see how the other half lives on an overnight at Boston’s Park Plaza!   You will finish this series with a smile on your face and a great sense of satisfaction.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Baumgartner

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The Secret Chicken Society

secret chicken society cover imageThe Secret Chicken Society by Judy Cox
Recommended for: Grades 1 – 3

So far Daniel has collected a rat, a tank full of guppies, a gerbil and a parakeet.  It’s all good practice for his future career as a veterinarian.  When the teacher announces that they will be hatching eggs in the classroom he sets his sights on a chicken as well.  Find out what happens when you mix “Eco-Dad”, four kids, five chickens and an unlikely set of neighbors in this fast-paced story.  You just might learn a little something about chickens while you’re at it.

Reviewed by: Mrs. White

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Number of comments: 1


The Fenway Foul-Up

Fenway foul up coverThe Fenway Foul-Up by David A. Kelly
Recommended for: Grades 1 – 3

Cousins Mike and Kate are huge baseball fans.  Luckily for them, Kate’s mom is a sport reporter, and they get to travel the country with her, attending games and visiting ballparks.  When they go to Fenway Park to watch batting practice before a big game, they get caught up in a mystery about star player Big D’s missing bat.  Can Mike and Kate help find his bat before the Red Sox start a losing streak?
This is the first title in the Ballpark Mysteries series.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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The Great Cake Mystery : Precious Ramotswe’s Very First Case

The Great Cake Mystery : Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case coverThe Great Cake Mystery : Precious Ramotswe’s Very First Case by Alexander McCall Smith
Recommended for: Grades 2 – 5

Alexander McCall Smith  introduces Precious Ramotswe, heroine of his popular adult series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, as a young girl.  Precious already seems to possess some of the attributes of a good detective. A mystery presents itself at the school she attends.  Instead of jumping to conclusions, as some of her classmates do, Precious works her way to a  solution following evidence.  In this story, friendship overcomes suspicion.
Sequel: The Mystery of Meerkat Hill

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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Happy Birthday Bad Kitty

Happy Birthday Bad Kitty by Nick Buel
Recommended for: Grades 2 to 4

Happy Birthday Bad KittyAuthor Nick Bruel introduced Bad Kitty in a funny, alphabet picture book by the same name. He then expanded Kitty’s adventures in hilarious companion chapter books. In this book, hard-to-please Kitty is woken up by the never-seen narrator with the joyous news that  “Today is your birthday!!!” Despite the fabulous array of foods (listed in alphabetical order) and the zany assortment of presents from Kitty’s pals, all does not go well. Minimal text complimented by  large and lively graphic art empower young readers, who will surely want to explore other books about Bad Kitty.

Reviewed by: Ms. Wettergreen

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Number of comments: 1


Violet Mackerel’s Natural Habitat

Violet Mackerel's Natural Habitat coverViolet Mackerel’s Natural Habitat by Anna Branford
Recommended for: Grades 2-5

Violet is the smallest in her family, so she identifies with small creatures.  After seeing a sparrow in the shopping mall, Violet thinks up The Theory of Helping Small Things.  Violet tries out her Theory on the smallest ladybug she can find, trying to create a natural habitat.  The result is a sad surprise.  Feeling badly, Violet turns to her older sister Nicola, who is usually grumpy with Violet, and finds that Nicola is also feeling badly.  Nicola needs help thinking up a Science Project for school.  Violet finds that helping and sharing ideas with her sister make her own natural habitat a much better place.

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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The Trouble With Chickens

the trouble with chickensThe Trouble With Chickens by Doreen Cronin
Recommended for: Grades 2 – 4

Retired search and rescue dog J.J. Tully is called to action when the barnyard’s Chicken Mom reports 2 of her little chicks MISSING! Offered a cheeseburger as reward, he accepts the job. Sprinkled with unusual names (Vince the Funnel), fancy vocabulary (rendezvous), fabulous illustrations  by Kevin Cornell, and changing narrators, this playful mystery provides suspense and fun for young readers.

Reviewed by: Ms. Wettergreen

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Little Dog Lost: The true story of a brave dog named Baltic

little dog lost coverLittle Dog Lost: The true story of a brave dog named Baltic by Monica Carnesi
Recommended for: PreK – 2

This is the true story of a dog that was stranded on an iceberg in Poland. The author heard the story of Baltic on National Public Radio (NPR) and knew it had to be shared with children and families. No one knows for sure how this little dog ended up stranded on an iceberg, headed down the Vistula River in Poland toward the Baltic Sea. Firemen tried to help, but with no success. The last best hope was the crew of a research boat…but even that looked bleak. On a final try, a seaman rescues the dog! This book arouses lots of empathy with minimal words and icy pictures. This is a great animal story to share with young children.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Wettergreen

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