Friday, May 9, 2014

Second Grade in Our Home :: Free Reading

I thought I'd share here the free reading my two oldest did this year in case you're looking for ideas for your own elementary students.  These are the books they read alone or we read together that were not narrated, just for enjoyment.  This list is definitely suitable for older children as well, as my children are advanced readers.  I don't believe you'll find anything objectionable here, but as always, pre-read before handing off books to your children if you're worried about that sort of thing.

From the Ambleside Online list for Year 2
Spyri's Heidi
de Jong's Along Came a Dog
d'Aulaire's Leif the Lucky
d'Aulaire's Abraham Lincoln
d'Aulaire's Columbus
Henry's Brighty of the Grand Canyon
Otto of the Silver Hand
Browning's Pied Piper of Hamelin 
Sidney's Five Little Peppers (read aloud)
Lofting's The Story of Dr. Dolittle (via librivox, read by Roy Trumbull)
A Door in the Wall (audiobook, read by Roger Rees)
The Wizard of Oz (audiobook, read by Brooke Shields)
Nesbit's Five Children and It (audiobook, read by Anna Bentinck)
Hawthorne's A Wonder Book and Tanglewood Tales (read aloud)

Other Fiction
Edward Eager's Half-Magic
Henry's Stormy, Misty's Foal
Stein's Gabriel and the Hour Book
Spyri's Chel
Spyri's Gritli's Children
Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (audiobook read by Eric Idle)
Charlie and the Magic Elevator
Lovelace's Betsy and Tacy Go Over the Hill
Andrews' Mandy
Fritz's Brendan and the Navigator
Wiley's The Prairie Thief
Nesbit's The Story of the Amulet
Nesbit's The Phoenix and the Carpet
Nesbit's The Treasure Seekers
Nesbit's The Enchanted Castle
Lovelace's The Trees Kneel at Christmas
Kastner's Emil and the Detectives
Steele's The Buffalo Knife
The Bobbsey Twins series (my childhood copies)
The Great Treasury of Brer Rabbit
Jones' Twig
McClung's Wings in the Woods
Willard's Augustine Came to Kent
Godden's The Kitchen Madonna
Fleming's Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang
McCloskey's Homer Price
Barker's The Lord of the Rushie River
Estes' Ginger Pye and Pinky Pye
Estes' Miranda the Great
Estes' The Hundred Dresses
Estes' The Sleeping Giant
Estes' The Moffats series
Estes' The Alley
Estes' The Curious Adventures of Jimmy McGee
Clara Pierson's "Among the" books (free on Kindle)
Authur Scott Bailey's nature stories (most free on Kindle)
Lucy Fitch Perkins' Twins books (most free on Kindle)
the rest of Sidney's Five Little Peppers series (most free on Kindle)

Fairy Tale Collections
The Barefoot Book of Giants, Ghosts, and Goblins
The Sleeping Beauty and Other Tales by the Brothers Grimm
Andrew Lang fairy books (free on Kindle)
Lang's In Fairyland
Andersen's Fairy Tales
Three Golden Oranges and Other Spanish Folktales
Bates' Once Upon a Time: A Book of Old-Time Fairy Tales
Enid Blyton's Bedtime Bookshelf
Provensens' Legendary Animals
d'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths
Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince and Other Tales

Mary Fabyan Windeatt saint biographies
Ignatius Vision saint biographies
Encounter the Saints biographies
Pochocki's Once Upon a Time Saints series

I'll post soon our list of planned free reading for this summer and into fall--I've got a lovely stack piling up.  In the meantime, any not-to-miss favorites?


  1. Thanks for sharing Celeste! I always love to see your booklists since we seem to have such similar tastes, and my dd reads at a similar level to your two. :)

  2. Wow, great list! Out of curiosity, how do you handle free reading? I know there are various opinions given on Ambleside's site.

    1. Hi Angela -- I consider free reading basically any un-narrated reading. So it includes both books that I encourage them to read at a slower pace (we did that with Brighty and the Hawthorne books this year--no narrations, but they spread out their reading to one chapter per week), those that we do as family read-alouds, and those that they just gobble up at their preferred pace. :) At the beginning of the year, I choose a few books from the AO free reading list that I want to do as read-alouds or audiobooks all together. The rest go onto our "quiet time shelf," as do other good books that I come across that I think are worth their reading. Each afternoon at "quiet time," they read from that shelf. They're free to read in whatever order they choose, at whatever pace they choose, and they can have multiple books going at a time--up to them. When they're finished, they let me know and I add it to their reading list, and then it goes on our regular shelves to be read and re-read at their leisure. :) This system works because my two oldest are voracious readers. If they weren't, I would adjust to be sure we were hitting the AO free reads first (because I do think their list is top-notch), either as independent reading or as read-alouds depending on what they could handle.

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