My students don’t always agree with my book choices, and that’s okay. I don’t always agree with books they select either. But there is one thing the four of us can agree on. We all want the books we read to have plenty of colorful pictures.

Books My Students Loved

All 3 second grade students loved the Mercy the Pig books by Kate DiCamillo. I loved them too. Mercy Watson is an adventurous pig who loves mischief. Set in Deckawoo Drive, the stories follow Mercy’s funny escapades with her owners. These heartwarming tales are full of humor, friendship, and everyday charm. Kids and adults will enjoy these together.

Two of the girls especially cherished Hair Love by Matthew A Cherry, illustrated by Vashti Harrison. Meanwhile, the boy was captivated by any book featuring animals.

One Book They Did Not Love

Our biggest letdown was Mr Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater. I loved that book when my own second grade teacher read it to us. I also remember reading it to my own children, who also loved it. But these children would have none of it. Each of my students were polite for chapter one. But I could sense the disinterest by chapter 3 when eye-rolling ensued. What didn’t they like? Black-and-white drawings? Old-fashioned language? Not one of them could articulate it. But back we went to Mercy the Pig on Deckawoo Drive. Many books in that series – yay!

They also rejected some biographies in their own RAZ books. RAZ books are leveled books for reading success. These books help students improve comprehension and fluency. At Read To Succeed, tutors listen to students read these excellent stories. One book my students did enjoy was the biography of the first female astronaut, Sally Ride.

Students and I Agree to Disagree

Until last year all the RAZ choices were were non-fiction. This year poetry and fiction bookstore added. My students love the new fiction stories – me? Not so much. I learn so much from the non-fiction books. I learned about Hero Rats who are trained to detect land mines. Because of their light weight, they don’t get hurt when they step on them. I also learned about Balto the Sled Dog. He saved sick children by delivering medicine when other transportation could not get through a bad snow storm. I even learned that Komodo Dragons eat their young–information I could have done without.

The best part of last year is that all three were reading at a third grade level by June. Looking forward to three more second graders this year.

subscribe to our newsletter …