Top 10 Must-Read Books for Year 2 English Students

Classic Children’s Literature

Classic Children's Literature

As a parent, it’s important to introduce your child to classic children’s literature, which has been around for generations. These books have become classics for a reason, and they hold up well over time. Here are some recommendations of classic children’s literature books that every year 2 student should read:

1. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden book

The Secret Garden is a classic novel that was first published in 1911. It tells the story of a young orphan girl named Mary Lennox who is sent to live with her uncle in England. While staying there, she discovers a secret garden that has been locked up for years. With the help of a friend, she begins to bring the garden back to life, and as she does, she transforms from a sour and unhappy child to a joyful one.

The Secret Garden is a beautiful story that encourages children to explore the outdoors and appreciate the wonder of nature. It also highlights the importance of kindness, friendship and compassion. This book is not only a good read but it has also inspired many adaptations in theatre and cinema.

Another reason why The Secret Garden is highly recommended reading for year 2 students is that it is a great tool to improve their vocabulary and reading comprehension. The story contains a lot of descriptive words and characters that are unique and unforgettable.

Overall, The Secret Garden is a timeless classic that will continue to delight children for generations to come.

Contemporary Award-Winning Authors

Contemporary Award-Winning Authors

Reading is an essential skill that one must possess; it is like going on an adventure where one can learn and experience different emotions. Reading improves vocabulary, memory, and critical thinking. It is a science as well as an art, and the selection of books should be taken seriously. The books selected in the second year of English Reading should not be limited to one genre and should include literary works written by different authors from different parts of the world. Here we present a list of Contemporary Award-Winning Authors whose works are a must-read for every year 2 student.

1. Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones is an award-winning author whose work on social justice and racial inequality needs no introduction. Her latest novel, “An American Marriage,” was an instant hit and won many accolades, including the National Book Award. Tayari’s style of writing is simple, yet captivating, and her characters are relatable and well-rounded. She portrays real-world issues with sensitivity and emotion, making her books an essential read for students who want to understand society’s complexities.

2. Mohsin Hamid
Mohsin Hamid is a Pakistani author best known for his works “The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” “Moth Smoke,” and “Exit West.” His novels explore the themes of identity, displacement, and migration, making them relevant and important in today’s world. Hamid’s style of writing is unique and engaging, drawing readers into a story that lies beneath the surface of the words on the page. His books are recommended for year 2 students who want to explore the relationship between individuals and society.

3. Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood is a Canadian author who is known for her feminist themes and dystopian novels. Her works, including “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Alias Grace,” have won numerous awards and are considered modern classics. Atwood’s writing style is poetic and haunting, and her commentary on the world around us is both thought-provoking and poignant.

4. Colson Whitehead
Colson Whitehead is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose works deal with historical and contemporary socio-political issues. His latest novel, “The Nickel Boys,” is a powerful and heartbreaking story about the realities of life in a Florida reform school in the 1960s. Whitehead’s writing is riveting and unflinching, shining a light on the injustices and inequalities that still exist in today’s world.

5. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian author whose work highlights African culture and literature, gender roles, and stereotypes. Her latest novel, “Americanah,” is a powerful story about race and identity that resonates with readers around the world. Adichie’s writing style is straightforward yet lyrical, and her stories are filled with nuanced characters and vivid descriptions of life in Nigeria and America.

These authors and their works are just a small selection of the vast array of contemporary literature that students should explore in their pursuit of knowledge. Students should read different genres of literature and authors from diverse cultures to broaden their understanding of the world and the people who live in it. Reading is not just a pastime; it is a way of life.

Books with Strong Female Characters

Books with Strong Female Characters

Reading is an enriching and rewarding experience that can instill imagination, creativity, and empathy in all of us. While giving the young minds an early start to their reading journey, it is vital to provide them with well-written, captivating stories with good role models. Here are three books with strong female characters perfect for Year 2 children to read:

Matilda by Roald Dahl:
Matilda, a brilliant and gifted young girl, has to deal with a neglectful family and a headteacher who enjoys punishing students for no reason. With her love for books, her telekinetic powers, and a kind teacher who believes in her, Matilda finds the courage to stand up against her oppressors. This classic book is an excellent recommendation for children of all ages who value intelligence, wit, and kindness over physical strength and superficial qualities.

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty:
Ada is an inquisitive and curious young girl with a passion for science. She loves asking questions and figuring out the answers to complex problems, such as why the sky is blue and how to stop cheese from smelling bad. Though her parents and teachers think she is too disruptive or strange, Ada never gives up on her passion. This inspiring and heartwarming book teaches children that it is okay to be curious, ask questions, and follow their dreams, no matter what others say.

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch:
In this unconventional fairy tale, a fierce and brave princess, Elizabeth, is determined to rescue her Prince Ronald from the dragon that has captured him. After losing her beautiful gown and her hair in a fight with the dragon, Elizabeth uses her wit and cunning to outsmart the prince, who is ungrateful and rude to her. The story subverts the traditional gender roles and teaches children that a person’s worth is not determined by their looks or their gender, but by their strength, intelligence, and courage.

Overall, these books contribute to the feminist movement and provide excellent role models to encourage young girls to value their intelligence, their independence, and their courage. Reading these books can help inspire young readers to be strong, determined, and resourceful, and to never give up on their dreams.

Adventure and Mystery Stories

In Year 2, children can expand their imagination by reading adventure and mystery stories. Adventure stories take readers on journeys, often with a quest or mission, where characters face obstacles and challenges. Mystery stories keep readers guessing, as they follow clues to uncover the truth.

Here are four recommended adventure and mystery stories for Year 2 children:

1. The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

The Adventures of Captain Underpants is a fun and silly adventure story about two mischievous boys who create their own superhero. The boys hypnotize their school principal into believing he is Captain Underpants, and they have lots of exciting—and hilarious—adventures together.

2. The Hardy Boys series by Franklin W. Dixon

The Hardy Boys series is a classic mystery series about two brothers who solve crimes. Frank and Joe Hardy use their detective skills to solve mysteries around their hometown while also pursuing bigger cases. The series has been popular for several generations and continues to captivate young readers.

3. The Secret Seven series by Enid Blyton

The Secret Seven series follows a group of seven children who form their own detective club and solve mysteries. Each book features a different case, but the group’s goal is always to catch the culprit and protect their community. The series is perfect for children who enjoy puzzles and problem-solving.

4. The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis

The Chronicles of Narnia series is a beloved adventure series about siblings who enter a magical world called Narnia. Each book takes readers on a new adventure in Narnia, where they encounter mythical creatures and magical beings. The series is not only entertaining but also teaches valuable life lessons about friendship, bravery, and leadership.

Multicultural and Diverse Books

Multicultural and Diverse Books

Year 2 is an essential time in a child’s development when they start to understand different cultures and backgrounds. Therefore, it is crucial to introduce them to this world from a young age and help them learn that everyone is different, and that is what makes us all unique. Here are some multicultural and diverse books perfect for Year 2 students:

1. ‘Amazing Grace’ by Mary Hoffman

Amazing Grace Book Cover

‘Amazing Grace’ is about Grace, a little girl who loves to act out different stories with her grandmother. When her class decides to put on a play, Grace wants to take the lead role of Peter Pan, but some of her classmates say she can’t be him because she’s a girl and black. This book teaches children about breaking boundaries and believing in yourself.

2. ‘Big Red Lollipop’ by Rukhsana Khan

Big Red Lollipop Book Cover

When Rubina’s mom asks her to take her younger sister to a birthday party, Rubina is excited, but her mother tells her that her little sister must come with her and that she can’t attend the party. Rubina is embarrassed and frustrated that she has to take her sister with her. This book teaches children about cultural differences and understanding different family values.

3. ‘Islandborn’ by Junot Diaz

Islandborn Book Cover

When Lola’s teacher asks her class to draw a picture of where they came from, Lola can’t remember since she was too young when she left her home country. She asks her family and friends about it, and they all share their memories with her. This book teaches children about the importance of family history and cultural identity.

4. ‘The Name Jar’ by Yangsook Choi

The Name Jar Book Cover

Unhei is a new student in America, and she’s worried about how her classmates will pronounce her name. She tells her class that she hasn’t picked a name yet and puts them all in a jar for her to choose. This book teaches children about embracing your culture and identity.

5. ‘Same, Same but Different’ by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

Same, Same but Different Book Cover

This book is about two young boys that live in different countries but still share things in common. They write letters back and forth, talk about their lives, and share pictures. This book teaches children about different cultures and how they can connect with other children worldwide.

Overall, these books are a great way to introduce Year 2 students to different cultures and diverse worlds around them. It is important to teach children that the world is full of people who come from different backgrounds and that everyone has something special to share. Reading about different cultures from a young age also helps them understand and accept differences, leading to a more inclusive and understanding society.

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