Friday, December 19, 2014

Booktalks with 2nd graders: Book Suggestions, Tips and Tricks

After previous visits where I booktalked to kindergartners and 1st graders, this month I got to visit the second grade classes at my local schools. These booktalks have become one of my favorite services to provide. I love making connections with my local schools, and of course discussing books with kids of all ages.

Here are the books I promoted at this visit:

Frog's Lucky Day by Eve Bunting: "Frog and Friends" is one of my favorite longer beginning reader series, so I had to include it. This is also one I included in my visit to the first graders last month.

Cronus and the Threads of Dread by Joan Holub: I really like the "Heroes in Training" series because it taps into the popularity of Greek Mythology. In addition to the "Percy Jackson" factor, the prologue I read to the kids included the word "underwear". Instant crowd pleaser for this age group!

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up by Kate DiCamillo: It is always great to be able to include a series starting book, especially among other books that fall later in their series. This book is about a friend of Mercy Watson's named Leroy and his horse Maybelline. It is the first in the "Tales of Deckawoo Drive" series.

Amelia Bedelia Shapes Up by Herman Parish: I wanted to include an early chapter book with a familiar character and this one fit the bill perfectly.

Battle Bunny by Jon Scieska: A picture book seemed to be in need to fill out the range of reading levels among early elementary kids. This one is a little sophisticated for the younger kids, but seemed to work very well with this age group. I explained the concept of the book and read a few pages, which the kids seemed to find absolutely hilarious. 

Tips and Tricks: 
  • Reading levels vary widely, especially among this age group. This means a particular book can work well with multiple grade levels. That's why  I've reused some titles with more than one grade.
  • Humor is always important. See my above reference to "underwear".
  • Books with familiar characters make great candidates for school booktalks because the kids already have background knowledge about these characters and their stories.
  • This is a great age to start polling kids about the kind of books they would like to see at the library. They can provide great suggestions and help give you a feel for any gaps in your collection. 

In the new year I am visiting the third graders. If you have any book suggestions for that age I would love to hear them!


  1. I so appreciate this series!! Here's what we're booktalking to our second grade stars:
    Scaly, Spotted, Feathered, Frilled by Catherine Thimmesh
    Chicken Squad #1 by Doreen Cronin
    I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii by Lauren Tarshis
    How to Negotiate Everything by Lisa Lutz
    The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza by James Kochalka

    1. I'm so glad you like these posts :) Thanks for sharing more titles! Definitely making a note of these for future school visits.