(re)capturing the fun & wonder

Over 41 books recommended for and by 2nd & 3rd graders

Maggie is in a very special school where the classes are mixed-age. She is a Third Grader in a classroom equally divided by 2nd and 3rd grade boys & girls. Late last semester one of the kids discovered a love for reading and wanted to share with his friends. His incredible mom was generous enough to volunteer to facilitate a book club for the class. Anyone who wanted to join in, could. By the end I think just about all of the kids got into it, and gave up their lunch hours here and there to meet up (as did the mom — did I remember to mention how great she is?).

Now that the school year is winding down, they have come up with their list of favorite reads so that their classmates could discover new books over the summer. Books specifically recommended by kids like them.

What’s not to love?

I thought my readers would enjoy taking a peek at their list, and perhaps find some inspiration for their kids’ summer reading — way more interesting than some generic list a mega-corp thinks they should read. At least that’s my way of thinking…

  1. The Thief Lord, by Cornelia Caroline Funke
  2. The Trumpet of the Swan, by E. B. White
  3. Stuart Little, by E. B. White
  4. Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White
  5. The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread, by Kate Dicamillo
  6. Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo
  7. Dragon Rider, by Cornelia Funke
  8. The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  9. A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  10. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, by Robert C. O’Brien
  11. Seven Professors of the Far North, by John Fardell
  12. Flight of the Silver Turtle, by John Fardell
  13. The Navigator, by Eoin Mcnamee
  14. Island of the Aunts, by Eva Ibbotson
  15. The Star of Kazan, by Eva Ibbotson
  16. The View from Saturday, by E.L. Konigsburg
  17. Matilda, by Roald Dahl
  18. Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh
  19. The Doll People, by Ann Matthews Martin, Laura Godwin, Brian Selznick, and Ann M. Martin
  20. Haroun and the Sea of Stories, by Salman Rushdie
  21. Swallows and Amazons, by Arthur Ransome
  22. The Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O’Dell
  23. The Prince of the Pond: Otherwise Known as De Fawg Pin, by Donna Jo Napoli
  24. The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy, by Jeanne Birdsall


  1. Harry Potter
  2. The Dragon Circle
  3. Spiderwick Chronicles
  4. Edge Chronicles (the first 3) (Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell)
  5. So You Want to be a Wizard Series (Diane Duane)
  6. The New Prophecy Warrior Series (Erin Hunter)
  7. Guardians of Ga’hoole (Kathryn Lasky)
  8. Babymouse 1-5 (Jennifer & Matthew Holm)
  9. Nancy Drew
  10. Charlie Bone (Jenny Nimmo)
  11. Septimus Heap (Magyk.. – Angie Sage)
  12. Akiko (Marck Crilley)
  13. The Mismantle Chronicles
  14. Pixie Tricks
  15. Dealing with Dragons