Grade 1 & 2 Summer Reading List

Click here for the 2016 Summer Reading List Blog Post

I've encouraged all the students to get their very own public library card this summer so they can discover some new books in addition to reading the ones on their bookshelves at home. A public library card is free for children (at Calgary Public Library it is free, Okotoks charges $15/year which is still an awesome deal!), and gives you access to all of the amazing books at the library branches, as well as thousands of books and resources on the e-library, which can be accessed wherever you are travelling in the world this summer. The library also runs the TD Summer Reading Club which is a lot of fun.

Here are some of the books I think kids will enjoy if they just graduated from Grade 1 or 2. I hope they serve as a jumping off point to find even more awesome reading material at the library this summer. If your child wants to submit a little book review for any of the books they loved to read this summer, I would be happy to post them on the blog. Email me :)


2015 Summer Reading List 
Picture Books




Are you Ready to Play Outside? - Willems, Mo - They are going to skip! They are going to jump! They are going to run! .....until the rain starts to fall. Can they make the best of a poor weather day? Elephant and Piggie never disappoint. I would recommend all of the books in this great series!

A Sick Day for Amos McGee – Stead, Philip, Stead, Erin E (Illus) – a recent Caldecott winner, this simple story of friendship is a beautiful read, accompanied by gorgeous illustrations with a vintage feel.

Sparky! - Offill, Jenny- If your mom tells you that you can have a pet, as long as it doesn't need to be walked or What do you think would happen if you ordered a pet sloth through the mail?

Not a Box - Portis, Antoinette - to an imaginative child, a simple box can be transformed into so many things. A wonderful book about the power of imagination

Not a Stick - Portis, Antoinette - a delightful follow up to Not a Box! After reading both of these, your kids should be perfectly content to play with a box and a stick all summer long :)

The Pigeon Needs a Bath - Willems, Mo - "Clean"...."Dirty"... they are just words, right? Pigeon had a bath last month anyways.....so it's going to take a lot of convincing to get him to take the plunge.

Lulu and the Brontosaurus - Viorst, Judith - this illustrated chapter book is short, sweet and absolutely hilarious. Lulu has epic tantrums to get her way, but when she wants a Brontosaurus for a pet, her parents just won't give in, no matter how much she screams. Will she be able to convince a Brontosaurus to return home with her and be her pet? The Brontosaurus just happens to be looking for a pet too.

Z is for Moose - Bingham, Kelly and Zelinsky,Paul (illus) - Zebra wants to put on a simple ABC, but Moose has other (hilarious) ideas.

Interrupting Chicken – Stein, David Ezra – take a trip through various fairy tales as a parent tries to read them to his child who always knows the end of each story!

Chester – Watt, Melanie – we love all of Melanie Watt’s books, but Chester always seems to be a hit with his cheeky scribbles all over her work! Her Scaredy Squirrel books are lots of fun too.

Beginner Chapter Books 




Nancy Clancy - O'Connor, JaneFancy Nancy fans will love this new early chapter book series. Nancy Clancy may be a bit older and more sophisticated, but she hasn't lost her love for fancy words, outrageous fashion and dramatic flair. Join her as she takes on the roles of super sleuth, matchmaker and fortune teller in this new series from Jane O'Connor.

Mercy Watson – Dicamillo, Kate – this series is at a great reading level for developing readers and features a mischievous little pet pig. Her favourite food is toast with a great deal of butter on it, and it's her search for toast that seems to get her into all kinds of hilarious trouble.  A great read from a wonderful author.

A-Z Mysteries - Roy, Ron - This series features three smart kids who solve crimes and mysteries. They live in a small town in Connecticut, called Green Lawn.The kids are Dink Duncan, Josh Pinto, and Ruth Rose Hathaway. They are third graders and live near each other. They have hobbies and pets and parents, but what they love most is a good mystery. Most kids tell me they enjoy reading the 26 books in alphabetical order. But you can skip around without missing anything. Have fun getting to know these three sly sleuths!

Stink - McDonald, Megan - Stink is Judy Moody's little brother, and he now has his own chapter book series. In Stink's first solo adventure, his special style comes through loud and strong — enhanced by a series of comic strips, drawn by Stink himself, which are sprinkled throughout the book. From The Adventures of Stink in Shrink Monster  to The Adventures of Stink in Newt in Shining Armor, these very funny, homespun sagas reflect the familiar voice of a kid who pictures himself with super powers to deal with the travails of everyday life — including the occasional teasing of a bossy big sister!

Bink & Gollie - DiCamillo, Kate and McGhee, Allison, Illus. Fucile, Tony. Two precocious little girls, one tiny, one tall, and both utterly irrepressible. No  matter where their roller skates take them, they will always be the best of friends.

Clementine - Pennypacker, Sara - In this first book of the series, Clementine tries to help out her friend Margaret, but ends up in a lot of trouble for it. Things get worse each day of the week, until finally she's worried that Margaret is right: Clementine's parents might consider her "the hard one" in the family. They're up to something mysterious...are they thinking they'd be better off if they only had her little vegetable-named brother..."the easy one"?

Alvin Ho - Look, Lenore - Alvin, an Asian American second grader, is afraid of everything—elevators, tunnels, girls, and, most of all, school. He’s so afraid of school that, while he’ s there, he never, ever, says a word. But at home he’s a very loud superhero named Firecracker Man, a brother to Calvin and Anibelly, and a gentleman-in-training, so he can be just like his dad.


Ivy & Bean - Barrows, Annie & Blackall, Sophie - Both girls were sure they would never like each other, but when Bean finds herself in a pickle, Ivy helps out with a magical spell. The results are glorious: Bean’s sister Nancy loses her mind, and Ivy and Bean become forever friends. (click on the website to find some hilarious craft ideas!)

Encyclopedia BrownLeroy Brown is one of the all-time greatest kid sleuths, solving small-town mysteries for almost forty years! Encyclopedia Brown can solve any crime for just 25 cents a day, plus expenses. And usually before dinner time. He even helps his father, the local police chief of Idaville, solve cases


The World According to Humphrey - Birney, Betty G. - You can learn a lot about life by observing another species. That's what Humphrey was told when he was first brought to Room 26. And boy is it true! 
There are always adventures in the classroom and each weekend he gets to sleep over with a different student, like Lower-Your-Voice-A.J. and Speak-Up Sayeh. Humphrey learns to read, write, shoot rubber bands (only in self-defense, of course), and much more. With a lock-that-doesn't-lock and an adventurous spirit, Humphrey's life would be perfect if only the teacher, Mrs. Brisbane, wasn't out to get him?
With a fresh voice and an engaging, hamster's-eye view of school, families, and treats to hide in a cheek pouch, Humphrey will elicit laughter and a new appreciation for classroom hamsters everywhere.


Graphic Novels




Lunch Lady - Jarrett Krosoczka (series) The Lunch Lady is an undercover spy at Thompson Brook School solving crimes and serving lunch to students who have no idea of her alter ego. Along with her fellow lunch lady, Betty, and the Breakfast Bunch -- students Hector, Terrence, and Dee -- Lunch Lady foils the criminal and saves the day every time.  Whether it be a robot masquerading as a substitute teacher, an author who has been hypnotized, or an evil league of librarians, Lunch Lady uses her brains and technological gadgets to put things back to right.

Squish - Jennifer L.  Holm (series) Squish goes to school with his two best single-cell buddies, genius amoeba Pod and sunny, sweet Peggy, a paramecium. When a bully amoeba tries to eat Peggy, Squish frees her by agreeing to let the bully cheat off of him in science class. But soon he is after her again. Will Squish "have the courage to do what's right" like his hero Super Amoeba?

Babymouse - Jennifer L. Holm - (series) Babymouse is a sweet and caring mouse who sometimes gets down that she can't do everything perfectly. She often imagines herself as the successful lead in children's books and movies like Charlotte's WebStar Wars, and The Wizard of Oz, but things don't always work out so perfectly in real life.  With the help of friends and teachers, Babymouse learns that working hard and staying positive is the way to succeed in everything she tries.

Owly - Andy Runton - (series) Owly is a kind, yet lonely, little owl who's always on the lookout for new friends and adventure. 

Binky the Space Cat - Ashley Spires - (series) Binky is a space cat - at least in his own mind. He's really a house cat who has never left the family "space station." Unlike other house cats, Binky has a mission: to blast off into outer space (outside), explore unknown places (the backyard) and battle aliens (bugs). Binky must undergo rigorous training so he can repel the alien attacks that threaten his humans. Once you have read it - try out this fun drawing activity here!




Classics - these would make great read-alouds at bedtime. It's so much fun to relive a classic book from your childhood!

Freckle Juice - Judy Blume - Nicky has freckles -- they cover his face, his ears, and the whole back of his neck. Sitting behind him in class, Andrew once counted eighty-six of them, and that was just a start! If Andrew had freckles like Nicky, his mother would never know if his neck was dirty. One day after school, Andrew works up enough courage to ask Nicky where he got his freckles. When know-it-all Sharon overhears, she offers Andrew her secret freckle juice recipe -- for fifty cents. It's a lot of money, but Andrew is desperate. At home he carefully mixes the strange combination of ingredients. Then the unexpected happens...

Frog and Toad are Friends - Arnold Lobel - From writing letters to going swimming, telling stories to finding lost buttons, Frog and Toad are always there for each other—just as best friends should be.Five tales recounting the adventures of two best friends - Frog and Toad.

Animalia – Base, Graeme. You could spend hours looking at each illustration in this amazing picture book. Beautiful art and alliterative language.

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