Note: The challenge is to find books that appeal to an audience that is very diverse in their reading abilities. In a first grade, a teacher may have children that are barely reading common sight words to others who are reading sizeable chapter books. Parents and teachers will always need to match the right book to the right reader, but here are two recent book series that I have been reading lately that might engage a child in this transitional period.
Keena Ford And The Second Grade Mix-Up by Melissa Thomson
Dial Books for Young Readers
Keena lives in Washington, D. C. Her parents are divorced and she spends the weekends with her father in Maryland. Though she wants to start off, second grade on the right foot it isn't long before a small mistake becomes a bigger problem. Keena is fun and likable. She frequently gets into all kinds of sticky situations, but what I appreciated is that there were appropriate consequences for her behaviors. Also, Keena has a sweet relationship with her dad and I loved their "grown-up" chats at a coffee shop. This book is next up on my read aloud list for a class of second graders. I am hoping they enjoy it as much as I did.
Dinkin Ding And The Frightening Things by Guy Bass
Dinkin is a child who is afraid of everything, but the monsters (Frightening Things) under his bed. Together with the help of the Frightening Things, Dinkin tackles zombies, doubles from other dimensions, and other things. The books in this series are fun reads. Dinkin & the Frightening Things are likable characters and there are tons of laughs. I also enjoyed the white pages/black print for day and the black pages/white print for night. Second and third graders will enjoy these books both to read and as a read aloud.