Second Grade

Open Books | Open Minds

For every purchase Open Books provides the same 3 or 5 books to kids in under-resourced Chicago communities.

Titles subject to change based on availability.


Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena

Winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal
A 2016 Caldecott Honor Book
A 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book
New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of 2015
Wall Street Journal Best Children’s Book of 2015

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the wonderful perspective only grandparent and grandchild can share, and comes to life through Matt de la Pena’s vibrant text and Christian Robinson’s radiant illustrations.


Abuela’s Weave by Omar S. Castaneda

Esperanza’s Abuela, her grandmother, is unmatched in her skill in weaving traditional Mayan tapestries. She has shared her gift with her granddaughter, and now they plan to sell their goods at the market. However, the birthmark on Abuela’s face may scare customers away. So Esperanza must cope with the city streets and find buyers alone.

Not only does Esperanza turn out to be a big success with the shoppers, she also learns an important lesson about family tradition and intergenerational trust. This is a book rich in authentic Guatemalan details.


Those Shoes by Meredith Boelts

All Jeremy wants is a pair of those shoes like the ones everyone at school seems to be wearing. Though Jeremy’s grandma says they don’t have room for “want,” just “need,” when his old shoes fall apart at school, he is more determined than ever to have those shoes, even a thrift-shop pair that’s the wrong size. But sore feet aren’t much fun, and Jeremy soon sees that the things he has — warm boots, a loving grandma, and the chance to help a friend — are worth more than the things he wants.


Not Norman: A Goldfish Story by Kelly Bennett

When a little boy receives a goldfish named Norman, it’s not the kind of pet he had in mind. When he tries to trade Norman for a “good pet,” things don’t go as planned, but he soon learns that Norman is a better pet than he thought.


Hot Day on Abbott Avenue by Karen English

It’s the hottest, stickiest day of the summer. A fat-sun-in-the-sky day. An eating-ice-pops-on-the-porch day. And for Kishi and Renée, it’s a best-friends-breakup day. Each girl sits on her own front porch, waiting for the other to apologize, even though they know they’ll never speak to each other again, no matter how bored they get. But then the sounds of feet slapping the pavement and voices chanting double-dutch rhymes drift up the avenue, and neither one can resist going out in the street to play.

This lyrical friendship story, the first collaboration of two outstanding artists, pairs a rhythmic text with distinctive collage illustrations. Its subtle message about sharing and forgiveness will resonate with anyone who has ever experienced the ups and downs of being, and having, a best friend.

To purchase books, click on your child’s grade level.