Thursday, May 24, 2012

Second Grade Reading List for First Son

Summer reading (between first and second grade):
  • Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner - I'm not sure I would have asked First Son to read this if I had read it myself first. There are some difficult times in the story, but First Son and First Daughter were both enthralled, as was I. 
  • Prairie Skies: Pioneer Summer by Deborah Hopkinson is the story of a young boy and his family who move to Kansas Territory from a desire to establish Kansas as a free state. It's the first in a trilogy and I recommend it.
We found ourselves busy enough during the summer that I set aside formal reading lessons. First Son read extensively on his own, mainly picture books and some of the Magic School Bus chapter books.
I'm not sure how it happened, but I have a son who loves to read but refuses to read eagerly for "lessons." When he reads on his own, it has to be a book he can finish in a single session and preferably one without chapters. It's like pulling teeth! I cannot imagine how much more difficult it would be if he were not a particularly good reader.

Second grade:
  • Prairie Skies: Cabin in the Snow by Deborah Hopkinson - the second in the Prairie Skies trilogy
  • Surprise Island (The Boxcar Children Mysteries #2) by Gertrude Chandler Warner - a fine book I asked First Son to read in an effort to get him interested in reading the rest of the series on his own. I'd like to see him read more chapter books outside of our reading lessons. No such luck, but he did seem to enjoy it.
  • Prairie Skies: Our Kansas Home by Deborah Hopkinson - the third in the Prairie Skies trilogy
  • Saint Martin de Porres: Humble Healer (Encounter the Saints,19) by Elizabeth Marie DeDomennico is one of the Encounter the Saints series published by Pauline Books. A friend recommended them to me and I found them wonderful for First Son. They are reasonably well-written books on the saints at a second or third grade reading level, available for many different saints so there's sure to be one to interest everyone. First Son could read this pretty easily except for all the names and a few words now and then.
  • Adventures of Saint Paul by Oldrich Selucky was one of our history books. I'm sorry to say it's out of print because he enjoyed it immensely. It is an early chapter book, exciting and enjoyable. The pictures are wonderful as well.
  • The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh is a classic many people already know. Sarah shows great bravery throughout the book.
  • Saint Ignatius of Loyola: For the Greater Glory of God (Encounter the Saints) by Donna Giaimo, another book from the Encounter the Saints series. First Son loves reading about the saints.
  • The Cabin Faced West by Jean Fritz. First Son loved the ending (as I expected) and didn't seem dismayed by reading a book about a girl. He read this fairly easily, too.
  • Saint Francis of Assisi: Gentle Revolutionary (Encounter the Saints) by Mary Emmanuel Alves is a book First Son selected and purchased himself. He wanted to read it during our reading lessons, so I allowed it even though I knew these books were not very challenging for him by now. The place and people names still give him trouble, so I think it's valuable to continue to read them out loud together.
  • Saint Colum and the Crane by Eva K. Betz. This was the first book I asked First Son to read on his own and then report back to me. He did a rather poor job of narrating it, but I could tell he had read it and enjoyed it. I had to request a copy through inter-library loan, but it was worth the wait.
  • A Story of Saint Blaise by Brother Franklin Cullen, C.S.C. is one of a series called In the Footsteps of the Saints, which are being republished by a family-owned company called Mary's Books. This is a Level 1 book, so it's an easy reader, pretty far below First Son's reading level, but he read it for history, not his reading lessons. I think these are nice little books, easier to read than the Encounter the Saints series for younger readers. First Daughter especially enjoys them.
  • Ralph S. Mouse by Beverly Cleary was one of First Son's favorites of the year. I was so pleased to see how much improvement he had made since he read Ribsy out loud in first grade. He did very well reading this book on his own.
Overall, I think First Son progressed in reading this year and am pleased with his reading...for the most part. I still hear him consistently mispronouncing some words (reading them with the phonics he was taught but reading them incorrectly because, I think, the phonics rules I taught him were incomplete). I'm working on a plan to address that in the coming year, so I think we'll probably start third grade with some phonics lessons instead of reading lessons, though I intend for him to continue reading out loud to me every day. I'll choose a history, science or saint book for him to read each day for a while.

I'm giving him the summer off from required reading out loud to me, though. I imagine he'll be reading plenty of books out loud to Second Son who wanders the house demanding, "Tory! Tory!"

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