This big list of first day of school books for 2nd grade is sure to engage your students and break the ice on the first day of school.

Books have superpowers because they serve so many purposes, two of which is to entertain and teach us.

That’s why they’re the perfect co-host for you as a second grade teacher on the first day of school.

Whether your 2nd graders feel nervous, anxious, excited, or unsure during that first day, there’s surely a book to help them express and understand their feelings.

As you draft your back-to-school lesson plans, I’m confident you’ll find more than a few good reads from this huge list of first day of school books for 2nd grade to fill your daily teaching calendar.

All of the books on this list fall into one of the following categories:

  • Beginning of Year Anxieties
  • Behavior/Rules
  • Being Who You Are
  • Building Community/Virtual Learning
  • Bullying/Kindness
  • Growth Mindset
  • Icebreakers
  • Teamwork
  • Chapter Books

You may want to bookmark this page for future reference.

Related: The first few weeks of school prove hectic if you don’t plan accordingly. For help, visit our collection of back-to-school resources with more ideas for starting the year off strong!

First Day of School Books for 2nd Grade: Beginning of Year Anxieties

  • A Tiger Tail (Mike Boldt)
  • Amelia’s Notebook (Marissa Moss) 
  • 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)
  • Spider School (Francesca Simon)
  • We Don’t Eat Our Classmates (Ryan T. Higgins)

Back to School Books for Second Grade: Behavior/Rules

  • 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)

Back to School Read Alouds for 2nd 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)
  • Marvelous Me: Inside and Out (Lisa Maria Bullard, Brandon Reibeling)
  • Mixed: A Colorful Story (Arree Chung)
  • 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)

First Day of School Books for 2nd Grade: Building Community/Virtual Learning

  • All Are Welcome (Alexandra Penfold)
  • The Big Umbrella (Amy June Bates)
  • Our Class is a Family (Shannon Olsen)

Back to School Books for 2nd Grade: Bullying/Kindness

  • 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)

Back to School Read Alouds for 2nd Grade: 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)
  • Miss Little’s Gift (Douglas Wood, Jim Burke)
  • Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind (Judy Fincher)
  • The Most Magnificent Thing (Ashley Spires)
  • The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do (Ashley Spires)

First Day of School Books for Second Grade: Ice Breakers

  • Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School (Herman Parish)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • You’re Finally Here! (Melanie Watt)

Back to School Read Alouds for 2nd Grade: Teamwork

  • 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)

You’re All Set With These First Day of School Books for 2nd Grade

To top it all off, research a children’s author from your city or state and include a book or two of his/hers in your first-week-of-school lesson plans.

This opportunity instills in students a sense of pride in one’s state/city while also supporting local authors and artists.

Now you’ve got in your possession a complete and varied list of first day of school books for 2nd grade!

Don’t see your favorite first day of school read aloud book for 2nd grade on this list? Then comment below and share!

And if you’re still hungry for more great titles, check out these first day of school books for 3rd and 4th grade students.

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