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60 Best 2nd Grade Reading Books
Are you looking for 2nd grade reading books to keep learning fun? If so, these book recommendations are perfect for early readers such as 7-8 year olds.
2nd graders are no longer new readers, but may need a little assistance when choosing an appropriate book. They need to be selecting books at appropriate level for them to feel successful. If they are unable to read the majority of the story, they are not receiving the benefits of the book.
Having a book list of appropriate level books for your students or children is ideal. This way you can make sure they continue to love reading Whether your students are more into picture books or early chapter books, there are options available for second grade readers. Picture books may appear to be better suited for new readers. However, they are excellent books for a wide range of levels — assuming you pick picture books at the correct level. There are plenty of chapter books available for students who want to latch on to a series for the long haul. Whatever subjects or story types that your students are interested in, there is likely something for them below. Many of these are classics and you may recognize them yourself!
2nd Grade Picture Books
Second graders are at an age where they are beginning to get more comfortable reading independently. Many may want to move on to chapter books, but picture books do not need to be forgotten. They are a great way to help children work on understanding theme and context clues. So, while many may see picture books as something from the past, some of the best books for this age are still picture books. Picture books are perfect for story or circle time and individual reading time. These books are familiar to this age group and something that parents and teachers should plan on keeping around. Reluctant readers may want to stick to this type of book for a bit longer. They are not any less enriching or age appropriate because they have more pictures. Many of these stories have thoughtful themes and messages that will get your student’s brain flowing.
- Ten Beautiful Things: This story came highly recommended by my friend Hanna from My Literacy Space.
- My Papi Has a Motorcycle: This sweet book acts as a love letter from a young girl to her father – thanking him for the life he has given her and the community he has surrounded her with.
- If You Come to Earth: This book is all about taking care of and being mindful of our planet.
- Stephanie’s Ponytail
- Second Grade, Here I Come!: This book full of short and silly poems is perfect for your new second graders.
- Going Up!: This lovely picture book is about community and a sense of belonging.
- Once Upon a Time: A heartwarming story about a girl who struggles to read out loud, but gains confidence from the help of an “old” friend.
- Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude: This funny story is a result of a second grade boy and girl trying to write a story about what they each like.
- Miss Nelson is Missing
- Norman: One Amazing Goldfish!: Norman, the main character, is the most amazing pet ever. At least his owner thinks so. This story is all about Norman’s owner being proud and wanting to show off his pet to the world.
- Khalil and Mr. Hagerty and the Backyard Treasures: Khalil, a young boy, makes an unlikely connection with his downstairs neighbor, Mr. Hagerty.
- Roger the Jolly Pirate: Roger is the nice pirate that other pirates don’t want around. Until the end, when….
- Back-to-School Rules: In this story, a young boy named Percy shows you exactly what TO do and what NOT to do in a classroom.
- Cranky Right Now: This awesome picture books helps kids deal with their emotions, and know that it’s ok to feel cranky sometimes.
- The True Story of the Three Little Pigs
- The Patchwork Bike: A band of brothers come together and create a unique, one-of-a-kind bicycle.
- Rosie Revere, Engineer: When you have an idea, go for it and never give up.
- Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up: Keena finds herself in a bit of trouble on the first day of second grade after enjoying her summer vacation.
- Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise: This Caldecott medal winner is all about the elephant of surprise.
- Jack (Not Jackie): This heartwarming story is all about accepting your family for who they are.
- I’m New Here: Three students from around the world find themselves in a new school where they do not speak the language.
- Someone New: A sequel to I’m New Here, Someone New focuses on three students who are not new to the school and fluently speak the native language. This story shows them learning to accept and welcome those who struggle with change.
- Second Grade Holdout: Second grade sounds scary, but these students quickly learn that they will be just fine.
- The Year of Billy Miller
- Hey, Wall: This story is all about how a boy takes a plain wall in his neighborhood and turns it into a magnificent art piece.
- How to Solve a Problem: The Rise (and falls) of a Rock-Climbing Champion: You can learn how to tackle the problems in your own life, just like this award winning rock climber has done.
- How to Write a Story: A book perfect for young readers interested in prose.
- Facts vs. Opinions vs. Robots: Facts and opinions are very different. This story does a great job of explaining just that to young ears and readers.
- Life: The animals in this picture book encourage readers to find beauty and stillness in everyday, busy life.
Popular Chapter Books
Many second graders are excited to begin the trek in to the world of chapter book series. They feel a little more grown up and they have been working hard at improving their reading skills. Easy chapter books feel like a great way to show that you have improved and increased your reading level.
Most of the books listed here are a part of a series. Some may be standalone adventures that include the same characters. Some may be a series that follows a timeline as the reader moves through each book. They become attached to the characters and want to find out what happens next to their favorite person in the book. Many of the series listed here are classics, the favorite chapter books that lead to great adventures and relatable character traits of elementary school children.
- Henry and Mudge (Series): The Henry and Mudge series is all about a lonely, young boy making a new, furry friend. These best friends go on plenty of adventures.
- Mr. Putter & Tabby (Series): Elderly Mr. Putter, adopts a cat to keep himself from feeling lonely. This series is all about their relationship and adventures together.
- Horrible Harry (Series): Harry does all sorts of things that make being his friend a little difficult. His best friend Doug learns this throughout their year of second grade.
- Junie B. Jones (Series): These classic books are all about an interesting and unique young girl named Junie B. Jones.
- Magic Tree House (Series): Jack and Annie are whisked off to a series of adventures through a magical tree house that they find in the woods.
- Frog and Toad (Series): Frog and Toad are best friends and always have the other’s back. This series covers the duo’s numerous and unique adventures together.
- Cam Jansen (Series): Cam Jansen is a young detective trying to solve mysteries around her neighborhood!
- Geronimo Stilton (Series): Geronimo Stilton is a mouse who lives in the big city. This series is all about how this nervous mouse overcomes his fears through various good times and adventures with his family and friends.
- The Akimbo Adventures (Series): Akimbo is a wildlife loving young person who lives on a reserve in Africa with his family. His father helps protect animals and he hopes to do the same!
- The Best Seat in Second Grade: Sam brings his hamster friend on his class field trip and all sorts of trouble ensues.
- Katie Woo and Friends (Series): A series all about the power of true friendship.
- Read, Freddy! (Series): The Read, Freddy series is all about a unique first grader who gets into all sorts of trouble.
- Zoey and Sassafras (Series): Zoey helps save and help a different magical animal in each book of this award-winning series.
- The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids (Series): This supernatural series is all about how the grown ups in their town are not always as they seem. Are the adults in town magical creatures?
- Andy Shane: Andy is ambitious. He wants to be a superhero AND win best-decorated bike in the parade.
- Annie and Snowball (Series): Annie is the cousin of Henry from the series Henry and Mudge. This series is all about her adventures with her pet bunny, Snowball!
- Appleville Elementary (Series): Carlos is not excited about first grade and wants to go back to kindergarten. Is there anything his teacher can do to keep him around?
- Arthur (Series): Arthur and his sister D.W. get into all sorts of trouble and mischief together in this classic series.
- Starring Rosie (Series): Rosie is an aspiring performer. This series is all about her attempts at doing what it takes to make it big someday.
- Flat Stanley (Series): These great chapter books are all about a young boy named Stanley. He gets squashed by his bulletin board while he is sleeping. Does he enjoy life from a 2-D point of view? Or would he rather go back to his normal shape?
- Gooney Bird Greene (Series): Newberry Medalist, Lois Lowry, has created a new series about a young girl named Gooney Bird Greene. Gooney loves to be the center of attention and finds herself in trouble almost everyday because of it.
- Amelia Bedelia (Series): These classic books are about a quirky housekeeper her takes her instructions literally.
More 2nd Grade Reading Books: Fun Chapter Books
The book series that are listed below are intended for your ahead-of-level second grade readers. These books could also be brought out at the end of second grade for most of your students who are ready to begin the transition into early third grade level reading. All of these books are a part of a series and probably include some of your favorite characters.
- The Adventures of Jo Schmo (Series): Jo Schmo is a normal girl who comes from a family of crime fighters. She receives a surprise gift and tries to join the family business!
- The Adventures of Sophie Mouse (Series): Sophie is a mouse from a town called Silverlake Forest. On her first day of school, her class has a new student! But…he is a snake! Will she be able to help her friends welcome their unique, new classmate?
- Agent Amelia: Zombie Cows (Series): Amelia is a secret agent who has saved the world from numerous tragedies— at a very young age.
- A-Z Mysteries (Series): Three friends solve mysteries together in this classic series!
- Ballpark Mysteries (Series): A lot can happen at a ballpark— even spine-tingling mysteries. This series is about unique situations and mysteries that each happen at a different baseball park!
- Judy Moody (Series): Judy is a little moody. She is a true individual who is a little scared of change as she begins the third grade.
- The Boxcar Children (Series): A group of orphan brothers and sisters realize the only way that they can stay together is if they live on their own. They make a home out of an abandoned boxcar and have plenty of adventures because of it!
If you’d like to see the book lists for more chapter books, there is a link at the end of this post. You’re kids are going to love these series, and be ready for 3rd grade in no time!
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