Books for years 2 – 3 – 4

The most popular books in years 2 – 3 – 4


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In year 2 the kids can start to read “real” books. I usually start with the National Geographic Footprint Series. These area very short non-fiction books about interesting topics. The kids choose a book that looks interesting to them and try to understand as much as possible. I do NOT expect them to understand everything. We then have a book chat where they tell me what they have understood and I help them find out a few more details. The students learn to use the pictures and their world knowledge to help them understand the text better. 

Towards the end of year 2 the kids are then ready to read fiction written for English speaking elementary school readers.

Below you will find books that have worked well with my students. I have marked the reading levesl according to my experience with German speaking learners (both AHS and MS in Austria).

National Geographic,  Footprint Reading Library (yr 2)

Reading level: Early year 2

Big Nate Series (yr 2-3)  

Reading level: year 2 (There are 2 levels of Big Nate books. The lower level is mainly graphic novel, the higher level has more text and fewer pictures.) I start with the lower level books towards the end of year 2. The kids like these books, they are fun and feel like real books.

Go to my Big Nate Project page

 Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series (yr 3-4)


Many kids have read them in German (Greg’s Diary) — I then offer them books from this series that they have not yet read in German.

The Nightmare Club Series (yr 3)

I have used this series at the beginning of year 3 (Mittelschule). It’s a perfect preparation for Halloween and spooky story writing. 


Find the Nightmare Club project pager here 

CYOA: Choose your own adventure books (yr 3-4)

Year 3-4: We read these in class — the kids only need about 2 lessons to read such a book. They choose a book and read it with a partner. Every few pages they are asked to make a choice. Follow the link on the right to see my project materials for these books.

Go to my CYOA project materials

I Survived Series (yr 3-4)  

Very popular books that deal with dramatic events based on historical events. I have done the “I survived” project in year 3 and 4 in Mittelschule. It worked very well even at the beginning of year 3. The books are real page turners and will turn any student into a reader. 


Project Materials for this series

Who was?   // Who is? Series (yr 3-4)  

In this series you will find a biography of a famous person from all walks of life. You will learn really interesting details about the challenges these people had to overcome and how perseverance and hard work led them to success.

Go to my WHO WAS project page

Winnie the Witch Series (yr 2-3-4)  

The Winnie picture book series works well in year 2, the readers below are suitable for year 3-4. Warning: These books use some invented “Winnie” words. Don’t worry about this, the kids will pick up the meanings form the context. 

Go to my Winnie the Witch project page

Middle School Mayham  Series (yr 3-4)

Fun stories about school-life and the ins-and-outs of frendship.

Jaqueline Wilson books (yr 3-4)

Great books — very popular among girls, but you’ll also find some that are suitable for boys.

Box Set

Jaqueline Wilson books for all kinds of tastes

 The Rover Adventures Series (yr 3-4)

Hilarious stories that kids in year 2-3-4 will love. Check out the whole series.

 Steps into Reading Series : suitable examples for yr 3-4
These books have been written for English speaking elementary school readers. They work very well for our students in years 3-4.  The stories are fast-paced and written in fairly easy language — pictures help with understanding.
Whales (Level 3)
Pompeii, Burried Alive (Level 4)

Twisters (Level 3)

Balto, The Bravest Dog Ever (Level 3)

Moonwalk (Level 3)

To the Top (Level 5)

Malala (Level 4)

Spookier, Spookier (Level 4)

The Titanic, Lost and Found

Marvin Redpost Series (yr 2-3)  

This is the lowest level of Luis Sachar’s books. Fun stories about an 8-year old boy who gets in all kinds of troubles in school and at home.

The Babysitter Club Series (graphic novels) (yr 2-3)

I offer these graphic novels to girls at the end of year 2 (or the beginning of year 3). They love the stories and follow the plot easily. They devour one story after the other and keep asking for more.

Trapped in a Video Game Series (graphic novels) (yr 3-4)

A great series for kids who like playing video games. They quickly identify with the main character and follow the plot easily.


Goosebumps Series (yr 3-4)  

Blood curdling horror stories for year (3)-4. A great introduction for spooky story writing. 

A book trailer for “The Haunted School”.

The Princess Diaries (yr 3-4)  

Fun series for girls.


Amelia Bedelia Series (yr 2-3)

These books are easy to read and very popular with girls in year 2-3. 


Roald Dahl books (yr 3-4)  


The Witches

Charly and the Chocolate Factory

Charly and the Giant Glass Elevator

and more…

Nancy Drew, Girl Detective Series (yr 3-4)

Nancy Drew is a famous girl detective. The books are real page-turners and will appeal to girls in year 3-4. A reading project around these books could be combined with the Theodore Boone Series (Grisham).


Theodore Boon Detective Series (yr 3-4)

John Grisham for kids! These page-turners are suitable for both boys and girls in year 3-4.


My Weird School Series (yr 2-3)




Weirdo Series  (yr 2-3)  

Fun, crazy stories about life in elementary school. Lots of cool illustrations help the kids understand the story.


Greetings from Somewhere series (yr 2-3)

Mystery – Travel – Adventure: These books are a bit like the Magic Treehouse series where kids travel to different parts of the world. Easy to read and quite popular in year 2-3. 



Gangsta Granny and other fun books (yr 3-4)

Hilarious fun for readers in year 3-4


Dr Roach’s Monstrous Stories Series (yr 2-3)

Fun and spooky monster stories for readers in year 2-3. 


Other popular books for this level (yr 2-3)
Stewart Little
Charlotte’s Web
Loudmouth Louis (Anne Fine)
The Worst Child I ever had (Anne Fine)
Bullying is a Pain in the Brain
Cliques, Phoneys and other Baloney
Red Eyes at Night (spooky story)
The Math Wiz
Louis Sachar books (yr 2-3)
The Boy Who Lost His Face (Louis Sachar)
There’s A Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom
Dogs Don’t Tell Jokes



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