101 Top First Day of School Books for 2nd Grade

Teachers may want to keep handy this list of delightful first day of school books for 2nd grade as they plan for back to school.

When second graders arrive on the first day of school, they may have heard a few of the most popular first day of school books for 2nd grade.

So teachers need to search a little deeper to find a first day of school read aloud book that second graders haven’t yet heard. 

This collection of first day of school books for second grade helps with that.

These fun books are sure to engage. They are divided into categories based on first-day themes.

First Day of School Books for 2nd Grade

Beginning of Year Anxieties

  • A Letter From Your Teacher on the First Day of School (Shannon Olsen)
  • A Tiger Tail (Mike Boldt)
  • Amelia’s Notebook (Marissa Moss) 
  • Butterflies on the First Day of School (Annie Silvestro)
  • The Class (Boni Ashburn)
  • Danbi Leads the School Parade (Anna Kim)
  • First Day Jitters (Julie Danneberg, Judy Love)
  • The Pigeon HAS to Go to School (Mo Willems)
  • School’s First Day of School (Adam Rex)
  • Spider School (Francesca Simon)
  • We Don’t Eat Our Classmates (Ryan T. Higgins)


  • Back to School Rules (Laurie B. Friedman)
  • Decibella and Her 6-Inch Voice (Julia Cook, Anita DuFalla)
  • Manners at School (Carrie Finn, Chris Lensch)
  • My Mouth is a Volcano (Julia Cook)
  • Officer Buckle and Gloria (Peggy Rathmann)
  • Seven Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want to Survive the Cafeteria (John Grandits, Michael Allen Austin)
  • Ten Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break If You Want to Survive the School Bus (John Grandits, Michael Allen Austin)
  • The Thingumajig Book of Manners (Irene Keller)
  • What If Everybody Did That? (Ellen Javernick)
first day of school books for 2nd grade
first day of school books for second grade

Being Who You Are

  • A Bad Case of Stripes (David Shannon)
  • A Normal Pig (K-Fai Steele)
  • The Bad Seed (Jory John, Pete Oswald)
  • The Big Orange Splot  (D. Manus Pinkwater)
  • The Day You Begin (Jacqueline Woodson, Rafael Lopez)
  • Happy Dreamer (Peter H. Reynolds)
  • I Like Myself (Karen Beaumont, David Catrow)
  • Ish (Peter H. Reynolds)
  • It’s OK to Be Different (Sharon Purtill)
  • Marvelous Me: Inside and Out (Lisa Maria Bullard, Brandon Reibeling)
  • Mixed: A Colorful Story (Arree Chung)
  • Most Marshmallows (Rowboat Watkins)
  • The Name Jar (Yangsook Choi)
  • Nerdy Birdy (Aaron Reynolds, Matt Davies)
  • Rot, the Cutest in the World! (Ben Clanton)
  • Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage to Be Who You Are (Maria Dismondy, Kathy Hiatt)
  • The Story of Z (Jeanne Modesitt, Lonnie Sue Johnson)
  • Teal (Renee Galvin)
  • The Way I Feel (Janan Cain)
  • We’re All Wonders (R.J. Palacio)
  • What I Like About Me (Allia Zoloel Nolan, Miki Sakamoto)
  • You Matter (Christian Robinson)

Building Community/Virtual Learning

  • A Little SPOT Learns Online: A Story About Virtual Classroom Expectations (Diane Alber)
  • All Are Welcome (Alexandra Penfold)
  • The Big Umbrella (Amy June Bates)
  • The Circles All Around Us (Brad Montague)
  • Hello World! (Kelly Corrigan)
  • Our Class is a Family (Shannon Olsen)


  • Be Kind (Pat Zietlow, Jen Hill)
  • The Cool Bean (Jory John, Pete Oswald)
  • Do Unto Otters (Laurie Keller)
  • Enemy Pie (Derek Munson)
  • Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids (Carol McCloud)
  • The Invisible Boy (Trudy Truwig)
  • The Juice Box Bully (Bob Sornson, Maria Dismondy)
  • Kindness Gets a Thumbs Up (Brenda Li)
  • Milk Goes to School (Terry Border)
  • Miss Nelson is Missing (James Marshall, Harry Allard)
  • Peanut Butter & Cupcake  (Terry Border)
  • Pinduli (Janell Cannon)
  • The Recess Queen (Alexis O’Neill)
  • Ricky, the Rock That Couldn’t Roll (Jay Miletsky, Erin Wozniak)
  • Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon (Patty Lovell)
  • Strictly No Elephants (Lisa Mantchev, Taeeun Yoo)
  • The Twig (Aura Parker)

Growth Mindset

  • A Little SPOT of Optimism (Diane Alber)
  • After the Fall (Dan Santat)
  • All the Ways to Be Smart (Davina Bell)
  • Because You Are My Teacher (Sherry North, Marcellus Hall)
  • How to Read a Book (Kwame Alexander, Melissa Sweet)
  • I Got the School Spirit (Connie Schofield-Morrison)
  • The Magical Yet (Angela DiTerlizzi)
  • Miss Little’s Gift (Douglas Wood, Jim Burke)
  • Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind (Judy Fincher)
  • The Most Magnificent Thing (Ashley Spires)
  • My Wild First Day of School (Dennis Mathew)
  • The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do (Ashley Spires)


  • Arthur’s Teacher Trouble (Marc Brown)
  • The Best Seat in Second Grade (Katharine Kenah)
  • The Book with No Pictures (B.J. Novak)
  • The Exceptionally, Extraordinarily Ordinary First Day of School (Albert Lorenz)
  • How I Spent My Summer Vacation (Mark Teague)
  • How to Get Your Teacher Ready (Jean Reagan)
  • It’s Back to School We Go! First Day Stories From Around the World (Ellen Jackson, Jan Davey Ellis)
  • The New Bear at School (Carrie Weston)
  • Principal Tate Is Running Late! (Henry Cole)
  • School’s First Day of School (Adam Rex)
  • Splat the Cat: Back to School, Splat! (Rob Scotton)
  • Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia! (Peggy Parish)
  • This School Year Will Be the Best (Kay Winters)


  • The Gigantic Turnip (Aleskei Tolstoy, Niamh Sharkey)
  • The Great Fuzz Frenzy (Janet Stevens)
  • How the Second Grade Got $8,205.50 to Visit the Statue of Liberty (Nathan Zimelman)
  • Narwhal Series (Ben Clanton)
  • Swimmy (Leo Lionni)

Chapter Books

  • Cam Jansen: The First Day of School Mystery (David Adler)
  • EllRay Jakes Series (Sally Warner, Jamie Harper)
  • Frankie Sparks and the Class Pet (Megan Frazer Blakemore)
  • Get Ready for Second Grade Amber Brown (Paula Danziger)
  • The World According to Humphrey (Betty G. Birney)

Final Thoughts On First Day of School Books for Second Grade

Prepare for back to school using this fantastic list of first day of school books for 2nd grade students.

They’ll be inspired, motivated, and ready to create a memorable year.