Differentiated Teaching

Differentiated Teaching

The 20 Best Chapter Books for 2nd Graders

Finding great chapter books for 2nd graders can be a challenge. You want to make sure your students have books at their reading level, but you also want to make sure they've got a good selection of books that will hold their interest. That's why I created this book list for 2nd graders.

best chapter books for 2nd graders

What you'll find on this page:

20 Awesome 2nd Grade Chapter Books

Whether you are trying to find the perfect book for your own reader or working to fill your classroom library, these chapter books are sure to engage and excite your second-grade readers.

To help you determine which books are the best fit for your kiddos, I shared a short summary of the book and the reading level. When possible, I also shared links to a literature circle companion pack to help save you prep time. Read more about what these book studies look like here.

I know your second graders will love these great stories! 

1. Magic Tree House #1: Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne

This chapter book series is perfect for 2nd grade readers, and they're really engaging.

In this book, readers are introduced to Jack and Annie, two kids who have discovered a magic tree house in the woods behind their home.

The treehouse transports them back to the time of dinosaurs, and they've got to figure out how to solve a mystery and get back before their parents notice they are gone.

2nd Grade Books - Magic Tree House

This story offers so many opportunities to make connections between reading comprehension and science topics, as the book blends factual information about dinosaurs throughout the plotline. The entire chapter book series follows suit offering great ways to make cross-curricular connections to science and social studies topics.

Reading Level:

  • Guided Reading: M

Get the No Prep Novel Study:   Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark  Novel Study

2. Katie Woo & Friends by Fran Manushkin

If you're looking for some books for your 2nd-grade girls, check out the Katie Woo series. These short, easy-to-read chapter books are approachable for your lower-level second-grade readers. This story follows the main character, Katie. She's a friendly first grader who faces many of the same challenges your students experience in their everyday lives. In this book, Katie and her best friends do everything together and find ways to work through their differences to keep their friendship going strong.

2nd Grade Chapter Books - Katie Woo

As a teacher, I love that this realistic fiction book has lots of illustrations and is just a few chapters. It really gives readers a great introduction to chapter books.

  • Below-level
  • Guided Reading: H

3. My Father's Dragon by Ruth Styles Gannett

Books for 2nd graders - My Father's Dragon

My Father's Dragon  is a chapter book about Elmer, who runs away to rescue a baby dragon. With vibrant details and some crazy adventures, this book captures the imagination of young readers and takes them along on Elmer's journey.

Facing danger and braving challenges are consistent components of this story, which is presented as a story told to the narrator by his father many years ago. Using only everyday objects he has in his backpack, Elmer disarms the many dangerous animals of Wild Island on his journey.

The book has beautiful illustrations, which are great for visualizing and supporting early readers. Perfect for teaching character traits and sequencing, this story is truly a gem that will stick with your readers for years to come.

  • Guided Reading: N

Get the No Prep Book Study:   My Father's Dragon  Book Study

4. Keena Ford & the Second Grade Mix-up by Melissa Thomson

Exposing your students to diverse characters is important, but it can be hard to find chapter books for 2nd graders that offer that opportunity. This book is one of my favorites.

The story revolves around a girl named Keena Ford, who is a second-grader. When she finds herself accidentally thrust into adventures, a great story ensues.

This book has great black & white illustrations and a relatable main character that is sure to capture your reader's attention and leave them wanting more.

Keena Ford - great books for second graders

The good news? There's a whole chapter book series about Keena Ford and her adventures.

  • Guided Reading: K

5. The Littles by John Peterson

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Imagine there were tiny people living in your house without you even knowing it. They used your things, borrowed your scraps, and made themselves right at home despite the numerous dangers the typical house presents when you're tiny. That is the plot of  The Littles .

This fantasy novel is awesome because it has a clear, well-developed plot. There are many opportunities to discuss critical reading comprehension skills as the Littles work to navigate the world at their size.

Considered by many to be a must-read classic, I've included it on my list because it is the first of a whole series of books about this miniature family. As you can probably tell, I love it when there's a whole chapter book series because it means I've opened a whole new book list for second-grade students just by introducing them to this one novel.

Get the No Prep Novel Study: The Littles Novel Study

6. Hi! Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold

I've already shared some great chapter books for girls, but this one is a perfect 2nd grade chapter book for the boys in your class.

Hi! Fly Guy  is a hilarious fiction novel that uses a lot of great sight words and easily decoded vocabulary. The story follows Buzz as he enters a fly into a pet talent show. His parents and the judges aren't quite sure about a fly as a pet, but Fly Guy steals the show.

Fly Guy is just gross enough that kids love him, and you'll love watching your readers devour this chapter book. This is another great book series to add to your 2nd grade collection.

  • Guided Reading: I

7. Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

This somewhat silly mystery was a favorite of mine back in the day, and now I love sharing it with students.

The story revolves around Nate the Great and his hunt for Annie's missing picture. Nate's detective skills have helped him find lost balloons, books, slippers, and more so he's sure he can find Annie's picture. Students follow Nate's quest for clues, as he works to unravel the mystery.

The book has a fun ending and is a great introduction to mystery books for 2nd grade students. It is truly a must-have for your book collection.

Nate the Great - Chapter Books for 2nd Graders

Get the No Prep Book Study:   Nate the Great Book Study

8. Henry & Mudge – The First Book of Their Adventure by Cynthia Rylant

Cynthia Rylant i is an amazing author, and this book is perfect for your second-grade students.

Your kiddos will love to watch Henry and Mudge's relationship develop and see how Henry's loneliness vanishes when he finds the companionship of his new 180 pound best friend.

A great way to build in literature circles for your barely on-level readers, this story is great for animal lovers and offers a whole series of engaging stories.

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  • Guided Reading: J

9. Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo is an amazing author! I am a huge fan of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and Because of Winn-Dixie and was so excited to see that she wrote books for younger readers.

Mercy Watson is a pig, but to his owners, he's not just any pig. He's AMAZING! Everything is great until Mercy decides to get some snuggles by hopping into bed with them. When the bed breaks, his owners find themselves in trouble. Mercy heads to get the fire department, but they worry he'll get sidetracked and they might be stuck forever.

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Mercy is such a great character, and your kiddos will love this book.

10. Ivy & Bean by Annie Barrows & Sophie Blackall

Another great chapter book for your classroom, Ivy & Bean is the story of an unlikely friendship. On the outside, the girls couldn't be more different, but once they get to know each other, they become the best of friends.

Books for 2nd grade readres - Ivy and Bean

With a fun and engaging storyline and characters who could be classroom peers, Ivy & Bean is perfect for getting readers hooked on a new series.

There are lots of great opportunities to discuss cause and effect in the story, and the storyline lends itself to introducing problem and solution.

Get the No Prep Book Unit:   Ivy & Bean Book Study

11. Cam Jansen: The Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds by David Adler

Another great mystery book for 2nd grade, Cam Jansen is sure to be a winner in your classroom. Relatable characters and great adventures follow Cam as she works to solve crimes and unravel mysteries.

The gist of the story is: Cam Jansen and her friend, Eric, team up to help free an innocent man who's been accused of robbing Parker's Jewelry Store. The pair takes matters into their own hands as they search for clues to discover who REALLY took the missing diamonds.

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  • Guided Reading: L

12. Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel

We haven't talked much about classic books for 2nd grade students, but that ends now! Frog & Toad are Friends is a classic story that is an easy independent read for your barely on-level readers.

The story takes place in April, as Frog tries to wake his best friend Toad from his long winter nap. Once he finally awakens him, the pair have a year full of amazing adventures and continue to build their wonderful friendship. When Frog is feeling sick, Toad is there to help. When Toad is sad because he never gets mail, Frog's there to lend a hand.

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While the illustrations are pretty bland, this award-winning book is great for your beginning readers.

13. Super Narwhal & Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton

My list wouldn't be complete without a graphic novel, and Super Narwhal & Jelly Jolt is the perfect superhero book for your second graders.

The story contains three mini-plotlines. In the first story, Narwhal reveals his alter-ego and asks his buddy Jelly to help him discover his superpower. Then the pair then head off to help a lost friend. The final story is all about Narwhal cheering up Jelly.

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With fun plotlines that center on the theme of friendship, even your reluctant readers will feel confident tackling this superhero graphic novel.

14. Junie B. Jones & the Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbara Park

This realistic fiction series of chapter books for 2nd graders has relatable characters and situations your students might have experienced themselves, making it perfect for independent reading.

The main character, Junie B. Jones, is preparing to start kindergarten when she discovers she'll have to ride the bus. This news makes her mad, and the situation only gets worse when she actually experiences the bus for the first time.

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Things get better once she arrives at school. That is until Junie finds herself in a predicament that ends with a call to 9-1-1. This text is another great one for conversations about problem and solution. You might also consider using it to discuss appropriate school behavior!

15. Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown

After being flattened by a bulletin board, Stanley wakes up to discover he is FLAT! While this predicament has its downsides, the positive is he can be rolled up, easily mailed anywhere, and even used as a kite on a windy day. His situation also makes him a hero when he thwarts some art thieves.

This original Flat Stanley book is a quick, easy read that you can connect with so many cross-curricular projects. This is a great chapter book for 2nd graders to use when working on friendly letters!

Chapter Books for 2nd Graders - Flat Stanley

Perfect for literature circles at the end of your school year, this story offers opportunities to teach many important reading comprehension skills in an engaging format that lends itself to an engaging discussion.

Get the No Prep Book Study:   Flat Stanley Book Study

16. Horrible Harry in Room 2B by Suzy Klein

My introduction to the Horrible Harry series came when my team decided to use Horrible Harry & the Holidaze to teach about different winter holidays. These realistic fiction books are simple to read and have relatable storylines.

Horrible Harry in Room 2B is the first in this series, which will appeal to both the boys and girls in your classroom. The main character, Harry, is a bit of a troublemaker which leads to some interesting conversations with students.

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The plotline revolves around Harry and his best friend, Doug. Despite his troublemaking ways, Doug sees the best in Harry and recognizes him as a true friend. This book is great for character traits discussions, as well as making comparisons between characters. The whole series is a great choice if you're looking for chapter books for 2nd graders.

17. A to Z Mysteries: The Absent Author by Ron Roy

Ron Roy writes mysteries that draw young readers in making this a great series of chapter books for 2nd graders. In this book, Dink Duncan and his best friends discover that their favorite author, Wallis Wallace, has gone missing, and they're on the hunt to find him…even if the police don't believe their story.

As they hunt down clues and get closer to the kidnapper, they discover the unexpected.

This is a great mystery that your students can follow along with and track the clues right along with Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose. The whole series is really interesting and the book titles progress from A to Z – hence the series title, A to Z Mysteries .

Books for 2nd grade readers - A to Z Mysteries by Rob Buyea

Buy the book: A to Z Mysteries: The Absent Author

Get the No Prep Book Unit:   A to Z Mysteries: The Absent Author Book Unit

18. Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

As the second superhero book on the list, this story by celebrated author, Dav Pilkey, is a great story for your advanced readers. If your readers are itching to read Captain Underpants , they'll love this graphic novel.

The main characters George and Harold create a new kind of superhero, and this one is half-man and half-dog. With a human body and canine head, this unlikely hero fights to defeat his archnemesis, Petey the Cat.

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A great chapter book for reluctant readers, this book is perfect for boys in your classroom.

  • Guided Reading: P

19. The Real Slam Dunk by Charisse K. Richardson

A lot of books for this level focus on topics of interest to girls. Between female main characters and storylines that revolve around girls, it can be hard to find some great chapter books for 2nd graders who are boys. The Real Slam Dunk is a great chapter book for the high-reading boys in your class

This book revolves around Marcus, a boy who wants to be a pro basketball player when he grows up. When his class is about to meet a real-life professional basketball player, Marcus can barely contain his excitement. However, when the day comes, he learns some unexpected lessons about both school and sports.

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Another great story with diverse characters, you'll love the lessons this book can provide to your reluctant or disengaged learners.

20. Gooney Bird Green e by Lois Lowry

Want a funny book for second graders that will keep your students talking? This is it!

Written by the award-winning author of The Giver , Gooney Bird Greene is the story of a girl who loves to be the center of attention. A natural storyteller with a unique fashion sense, Gooney Bird wants to be in the middle of everything.

Problems arise when Gooney Bird's desire for attention keeps her from realizing her peers deserve to share, too.

This funny series of chapter books for 2nd graders has so many great lessons, and it is such an engaging story.

Ready to Plan Your 2nd Grade Novel Study?

Now that you're here, grab your favorite chapter books for 2nd graders and my free novel study planning roadmap to get step-by-step support to plan a high-quality literature unit for your second-grade students whether you're in the classroom or homeschooling.

Whether you're a planning your first novel study or just looking for new ideas for using chapter books to teach reading, you'll love this great tool.

Looking for more great chapter books to add to your library?

If you've got a broad range of reading levels or are trying to diversify your classroom library without spending a ton of money , here are some of my favorite books for other reading levels.

If you've already filled your book list for 2nd grade, don't worry! I've got you covered. Check out the links below to access more great novels and chapter books for other grade levels.

Books for 6th Graders

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25 Best Books To Read for 2nd Graders

General fiction books for second graders, fantasy books for second graders, mystery books for second graders, graphic books for second graders, historical fiction books for second graders, fun books for 2nd graders, classic books for second graders, book series for 2nd graders.

Do you want your kids to develop a better intellectual, physical, and social foundation? If so, you should introduce them to some interactive and engaging hobbies at an early age. Reading is the best hobby to spark curiosity, improve social skills, and boost a child’s overall growth. 

This guide will walk you through the best books for 2nd graders . 2nd grade is an important time in your child’s development chart. It’s the time when your child is already fluent in reading. So, you can leverage their reading skills to introduce them to the beautiful world of stories.

Let’s explore some good books for 2nd graders to read and get inspired from.

Here are some more online reading games to educate and engage your kids!

If you have 2nd graders at home, it is crucial to introduce them to some good books. Reading will not only help them in academics. But also develop their imagination, creativity, and social skills. 

So, based on your child’s reading level and interest, you can choose from the following popular books for 2nd graders:

1. Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

Subject: celebrating diversity, the history and magic behind names, price: $11.54.

cover of your name is song

When Kora-Jalimuso’s teacher and classmates couldn’t pronounce her name, she felt sad. But then her mother uplifted her mood and told her that her “name is a song.” This is a good book for 2nd graders to teach them the importance of diversity and how to celebrate it. The book beautifully talks about racism in schools and its impact on young minds. 

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2. Norman: One Amazing Goldfish by Kelly Bennett

Subject: love for animals, stage fright, price: $14.29.

Norman: One Amazing Goldfish! is among the most popular books for 2nd graders. Norman is an adorable goldfish. His owner wants Norman to dazzle the crowd at the Pet-O-Rama pet show with his circles, bubbles, and flips. But unfortunately, Norman gets scared on the stage and hides. But his owner plays his favorite song to relax him, and then he impresses everyone with his antics. The book has fantastic illustrations and a storyline to hold a 2nd grader’s attention. 

3. Khalil and Mr. Hagerty and the Backyard Treasures by Tricia Springstubb

Subject: shared experiences, friendships, companionship, price: $14.39.

Khalil and Mr. Hagerty have nothing in common. Khalil is a young boy who lives upstairs in a crowded and noisy apartment with his family. Mr. Hagerty is an old and quiet man living on the ground floor. One day, Khalil digs land to find a treasure, and Mr. Hagerty gets a pit to plant his flowers. That’s how an expected and sweet friendship blooms between two completely different people. 

4. Ten Ways to Hear Snow by Cathy Camper

Subject: being observant and attentive to your surroundings , price: $5.69.

Cover of Ten way to hear snow

One winter morning, Lina woke to silence and a blanket of snow. She planned to visit her grandmother to cook grape leaves. On her way, she found 10 ways to observe her surroundings which would have gone unnoticed earlier. She found a snowman, ice sidewalks, and other beauties of snow while visiting her grandmother. This book is perfect for teaching your 2nd graders how there is beauty in everything. They have to find a way to observe and appreciate it.

5. The Magical Animal Adoption Agency, Clover’s Luck by Kalli George

Subject: fortune, hard work, price: $8.05.

Cover of The Magical Animal Adoption Agency Clovers Luck

This is a great fantasy reading book for 2nd graders containing fortune, magic, and evil witches. It is the story of Clover, who thinks of herself as bad luck. One fine day, she visited the woods and found a magical animal adoption agency where different magical creatures were catered, like unicorns, fairy horses, etc. She got a summer job in the agency. However, Clover’s bad luck strikes again when she is left alone to manage the agency, and an evil witch attacks the magical animals. How Clover saves animals is an adventurous tale to tell 2nd graders. 

6. Rainbow Magic Series by Daisy Meadows

Subject: sisterhood, goodness, price:$6.99.

Cover of rainbow magic

The Rainbow Magic series is a collection of books for kids to read. Fairyland is where the colorful seven sisters live, known as Rainbow Fairies. They were sent far away by an evil person, Jack Frost. However, they have to return to Fairyland to protect it. In the seven series, kids will read how seven fairies find their way back to Fairyland. 

7. Magic Tree House: Merlin Mission by Mary Pope Osborne

Subject: friendship, adventure , price: $67.00.

Cover of magic tree house

Magic Tree House is a fantastic fantasy story in which a treehouse takes Jack and Annie to a magical land beyond imagination. It is a magical adventure tale where the duo visit Camelot, a haunted castle, an island lost in the mist, and the Land Behind the Clouds. It is a fantastic adventurous book series to read for 2nd graders. 

8. Julian, Secret Agent by Ann Cameron

Subject: friendship, detective mystery , price: $4.99.

Cover of Julian and Secret Agent

The story revolves around Julian, his brother Huey, and their friend Gloria. They saw a poster at the post office with a reward of $25,000 to catch a thief who cooks. There are several mysteries and twists before three friends catch a thief and stop bank robberies in the city. It is a perfect online book for 2nd graders to order from Amazon or GoodReads. 

9. The Seven Treasure Hunts by Betsy Byars

Subject: responsibility, properly understanding the instructions.

Cover of seven treasure hunters

If your 2nd grader is a wilful child, this book is the best book for them to teach how a wrong move can cause big trouble. This book contains the story of two friends, Jack and Goat, who love to create treasures for other people. However, Goat misunderstood one of the instructions and fell into a pit with his sister. This book will teach your children that they should properly read and follow instructions.

10. Tuff Fluff: The Case of Duckie’s Missing Brain by Scott Nash

Subject: keeping your things in the right place , price: $7.01.

cover of tuff fluff

Duckie is the resident storyteller toy of Los Attic. But he lost some of his brain stuffing, so he can’t tell stories anymore. Tuff Fluff is a private investigator who uses creative surgery to regain Duckie’s brain. It is a fun, quick book for 2nd graders to read during their downtime. 

11. Baloney and Friends series by Greg Pizzoli

Subject: bravery, friendship, price: $7.99 .

Cover of baloney and friends

Baloney is the star of this book series with his three best friends — empathetic Peanut the horse, sensible Bizz the bumblebee, and grumpy Krabbit. Together friends create humorous graphical tales. Your kids will giggle with Baloney and cheer him when he braves to swim and learn to draw clear characters. 

12. Peter & Ernesto Series by Graham Annable

Subject: friendship, personalities, individuality , price: $13.99.

Cover of Peter Ernesto 1 a tale of two sloths

Peter & Ernesto is a graphic novel series for elementary students. Oscar-nominated artist and writer have created two different characters — Peter and Ernesto. Both characters are sloths with different personalities but are still best friends. It is a good book for 2nd graders to teach them how two people can become friends despite their different interests. 

13. Norma and Belly series by Mika Song

Subject: friendship, stealing is bad , price: $7.99.

Cover of Donut Feed the Squirrels Norma and Belly 1

Norma and Belly are two hungry squirrels. They are thick as thieves. One day, the sweet scent of a doughnut truck lures them outside of their tree trunk, and they plan to steal some doughnuts. The story is about all the challenges and lessons squirrels learn while attempting to steal some delicious doughnuts. 

14. An Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpurgo

Subject: humanity, animal care .

Cover of An elephant In the garden

This story is inspired by true incidents during the WWII bombing. The story is about a family who rescued an orphan elephant, Marlene, from the Belfast Zoo. The family faces several unexpected encounters while saving the elephant when the whole city is bombed. It is a sweet tale of survival, kindness, and never losing hope during difficult times. 

15. How I Became a Spy: A Mystery of WWII London by Deborah Hopkinson

Subject: suspense, thrill, wwii events, price:$13.99.

Cover of how i became a spy

This is the best book to read for 2nd graders to learn about various WWII events. This book is set in London during the Second World War. It revolves around a 13-year-old English boy — Bertie, an American girl — Eleanor, and a Jewish refugee boy — David. When a young woman goes missing, leaving a coded notebook behind, Bertie sets out to solve the mystery. Leading the trio into fun and adventure that your children will enjoy.

16. Potato: A Tale from the Great Depression by Kate Lied

Subject: survival, family bond, valuing the little things in life, price: $7.95.

Cover of potato a tale from the great depression

This is a great historical tale for young children during the Great Depression. When an only earning member of a family loses his job during the depression, forcing the entire family to move to Idaho to harvest potatoes. The book has engaging illustrations and a gripping storyline to hook 2nd graders. 

17. It’s Raining Pigs & Noodles by Jack Prelutsky

Subject: funny language and phrases , price: $9.99.

Cover of raining and pigs noodles

2nd grade is often when children start picking up curse words and demonstrating rude behavior. So, this fun book for 2nd graders is perfect for teaching them playful words and cute zany phrases. Your children will start laughing from the first line and memorize cute lines to express their growing range of emotions creatively. 

18. Drooling and Dangerous: The Riot Brothers Return by Mary Amato

Subject: sibling bond.

Cover of the riot brothers

It is a hilarious tale of brothers Orville and Wilbur, along with their school principal and mother. The book will attract young readers who adore their mother and siblings. It is a silly story about brothers falling into trouble and annoying their mother. It is the perfect fun pastime story for 2nd graders. 

19. Gooney Bird Greene Series by Lois Lowry

Subject: attention seeking, fitting in, confidence.

Cover of gooney bird greene

Gooney Bird wants to become the center of all attention on the first day of her 2nd grade. So, she arrives at class in the middle of the day wearing a colorful costume. She soon becomes the brightest star in the class with her weird antics and dramatic stories. The story is a perfect mix of entertainment, imagination, and creativity for young readers. 

20. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

Subject: bravery, adventure, friendship, price: $5.49.

Cover of Roald Dahals James and the Gaint

It is a classic book for 2nd graders written in 1961. James is an English orphan boy under the care of two abusive aunts. One day, James finds a tunnel in a peach tree and enters a magical world where he befriends seven bugs and embarks on an adventurous journey. The book contains some explicit content, so read it with your children. 

21. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

Subject: community, family , price: $8.08.

Cover of way for duclings

Make Way for Ducklings is a classic illustration book written in 1941. The book is about a pair of mallard ducks who plan to raise their family on an island in the lagoon of Boston Public Garden. However, they need the community’s support to reach there safely. The story will teach your children about community bonds. 

22. Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary

Subject: sibling rivalries , price: $5.99.

novel study books for grade 2

This is a great book for 2nd graders to read about and explore sibling rivalries. The focus is on Ramona Quimby and her sister Beatrice. The story is told from 9-year-old Beezus’s point of view as she tries to relate to her 4-year-old sister. The story is a bit old, but it captures sibling relationships perfectly.

23. Dory Fantasmagory Series by Abby Hanlon

Subject: sibling relationships, imagination , price: $12.64.

Cover of dory fantasmagory

It is not easy being the youngest sibling, especially when your brother and sister won’t play with you. If your 2nd grader cribs a lot about their siblings, introduce them to Dory, who has a wild imagination and keeps herself entertained. This book is a real hoot with a bearded fairy godmother, sharp-toothed robbers, and a monster who happens to be the sweetest. 

24. Alvin Ho Series by Lenore Look

Subject: conquering fears , price: $6.99.

Cover of Alvin Ho

Alvin Ho is scared of everything, especially going to school. But unfortunately, he can’t skip starting 2nd grade. Your children will learn to conquer their fears while reading Alvin’s courageous tale. 

25. Junie B. Jones Series by Barbara Park

Subject: feisty, adventure , price: $4.00.

Cover of Junie B Jones

Junie B. Jones is a popular series for 2nd graders, and the series has been published in 28 installments. Each story revolves around 6-year-old Junie B. Jones and her adventures across kindergarten and first grade.

Let’s Start Reading!

Many fun, valuable, and simple comic and reading books for 2nd graders are available. You can easily introduce tough academic lessons like WWII and life value lessons like friendship, honesty, and kindness with books. So, refer to the best 25 books and help your 2nd grader pick the best ones to read.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the benefits of reading to 2nd graders.

2nd-grade reading is an important year for your child’s overall development. It helps improve the pronunciation of words and their implication in the real world. In addition, 2nd-grade reading will help your children understand the basic mechanism behind the English language and vocabulary. It also improves their grammatical and phonetic skills.

How can I increase or improve my child's interest in reading?

The best method to enhance your child’s interest in reading is leading by example. You should read more and include a variety of books in your home library. When your child sees you reading, this will automatically spark their curiosity and interest in reading. You can also take your child to the local library or book club to introduce them to different types of literature.

What objectives should children set while reading?

The main purpose of reading is to educate, entertain and explain information, which should be the goal. Reading is a practical and entertaining solution to develop your 2nd graders’ critical thinking skills. To expand their reading options, you can also look at e-book readers like Kindle and get online books for 2nd graders.

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80 Cheerful Chapter Books For 2nd Grade Readers

November 1, 2023 //  by  Sharayah Lynn Grattan

Time to inspire your next generation of bright minds and innovative thinkers to explore the joys of reading. At their age, your kids are probably more curious than ever about the world around them. They’ll want to discover stories and go on adventures whether in real life or through the perfect book.

With these amazing chapter books, you’ll invite your learners to satisfy their curiosity with the power of reading as you improve their comprehension skills and take them on literary journeys with relatable characters and exciting tales!

1. Rainbow Magic Collection

novel study books for grade 2

This mystical book series by Daisy Meadows is great for 2nd graders who love fantasy characters and cute stories of adventure and overcoming challenges. The beautiful illustrations of fairies and other mythical creatures will delight and entertain your new readers.

2. Magic Tree House


This #1 best-selling chapter book series by Mary Pope Osborne is the perfect read for any kid who loves the pursuit of discovery. The lovable characters Jack and Annie, find a treehouse filled with books that teach them about history and their world by taking them on amazing adventures!

3. Cam Jansen


The Cam Jansen book series is a great starter series to get your 2nd grader excited about independent reading. Cam Jansen and her best friend Eric are the perfect combination of friends who love to solve mysteries using Cam’s photographic memory.

4. Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up


Melissa Thomson is a natural storyteller in how she uses Kenna Ford to show the difficulty of trying to do the right thing in challenging situations. This is the 1st in a three-book series that should be put on every 2nd grade book list because each charming story teaches kids important lessons about life and choices as we grow up.

5. The Amazing Bees


This inspirational book series is about a bee named Princess Debbee trying to save her beehive from humans and is dedicated to educating and empowering kids on their impact on the world. It is a great series to get students aware of important global issues and provides positive female role models for young boys and girls to look up to.

6. Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot Books


Dav Pilkey gives us action and excitement with this new chapter book series for beginning readers (he also wrote the Captain Underpants series and Dog Man series). His books use lots of illustrations and simple stories to help kids fall in love with reading.

7. Katie Woo & Friends


This feel-good 52 book series stars a lovable Asian American girl named Katie Woo and her two friends JoJo and Pedro as they try new things, have first-time experiences, and grow up. The authors do a great job in highlighting cultural diversity and providing safe and inclusive reading material for beginner to early-intermediate reading levels.

8. Owly: The Way Home


This is the 1st in a series of three comic books written with your beginner reader in mind. With lots of colorful illustrations and simple sentences, these picture books will inspire your 2nd grader to get out in the world and meet some new people. Owly and Wormy are two unlikely friends that care for each other and take on the world together with their humorous adventures in this fun series.

9. Amelia’s Bully Survival Guide


This adorable diary-style book comes from Marissa Moss’s series discussing the ups and downs of being a young girl in the world. From bullies to road trips, these artistic and creative books are a great gift for 2nd grade girls to read about similar stories they face from a first-person perspective.

10. The Judy Moody Most Mood-tastic Collection Ever

novel study books for grade 2

Judy Moody is a sassy character your beginning readers will fall in love with. She is unapologetically herself and finds the goofiest ways to solve mysteries and learn about her world. Your kids can read Judy Moody books for years with 15 books in this set and more like it from the author Megan McDonald.

11. The Ralph S. Mouse Complete Set


This adorable 3 book series follows Ralph the sweet and adventurous mouse as he meets new people and tries new things in and around the Mountain View Inn. He gets a motorcycle, goes to summer camp, and even makes a human friend named Ryan!

12. Ivy & Bean’s Treasure Box

novel study books for grade 2

This award-winning series is written specifically with 2nd-grade readers in mind. Ivy and Bean are two very different girls that despite their dissimilar interests and personalities become best friends. Their funny stories will make these two your new favorite characters and you’re in luck because this is a 12-book series your new readers can enjoy for months!

13. Zoey and Sassafras

novel study books for grade 2

This 8 book series by Asia Citro is all about magical creatures and kindness with Zoey the dragon master and her sassafras dragons. When Zoey discovers a sick baby dragon in her backyard, she uses science to help cure him. Thus beginning her new and exciting life of solving mysteries and saving animals.

14. The Guardians Collection

novel study books for grade 2

This magical and holiday-inspired book series is bound to have your reluctant reader curled up in a comfy chair for days. With well-known characters like Santa, Jack Frost, The Tooth Fairy, and Sandman, your kids will get lost in these whimsical stories and fall in love with reading.

15. Junie B. Jones’s Second Boxed Set Ever!


Junie B. Jones is a quirky young girl with a unique perspective on life. This classroom favorite has been entertaining little readers for years and with this stunning box set you can involve your learners in this hilarious read too!

16. Nate the Great


We all know and love Junie B. Jones with her quirky ideas and wild adventures. Good news, there are tons of books in this easy-to-read series, so your new readers can follow Junie B. along all her adventures for a year or two!

This mystery series by Marjorie Weinman follows Nate the detective as he solves mysteries through critical thinking and problem-solving. There are many books in this series (almost 30!) so it’s great for new and excited readers.

17. Amelia Bedelia


This is the perfect book for beginner readers to get started reading independently and gain confidence and skills in comprehension and fluency. Amelia Bedelia is a sweet woman going through life as best she can, facing challenges, meeting new people, and helping people in small but impactful ways. Follow along with colorful illustrations and easy stories for all level readers.

18. Sofia Martinez

novel study books for grade 2

Sofia Martinez is a young bi-racial girl growing up in America with her crazy and lovely Spanish family. She learns what it’s like to balance multiple cultures, and lets her mischievous personality gets her into all sorts of exciting adventures. Follow along with the 16 book series!

19. Gooney Bird Greene


This 6 book series stars Gooney Bird, unique storytelling for 2nd graders with lots of unbelievably true stories, weird school lunches, and outrageous style. Her classmates are curious about who she is and so will your newly independent reader!

20. Stink the Incredible Shrinking Kid


Stink is a super-incredible shrinking kid! He learns this one day when he measures himself and finds he has shrunk! Good thing is, the President is the shortest person in the country, so his size isn’t going to stop him from going on crazy adventures in this fun chapter book series.

21. Frog & Toad


This award-winning series by acclaimed author Arnold Lobel stars two true friends, Frog and Toad, as they go through life always by each other’s side. Their loyalty and friendship make these lovable characters great role models for your young readers.

22. Eerie Elementary


This spooky chapter book series stars Sam Graves, a 2nd grader at a scary school where, as the school hall monitor, he tries to protect and save himself and his fellow classmates from all sorts of creepy entities and situations.

23. Henry and Mudge


Cynthia Rylant is an amazing author that created this fantastic book series specifically written for 2nd and 3rd grade level readers. You can find this series in many classroom libraries being used as a reading tool to help kids become independent readers and the adorable characters of Henry, a young boy, and his dog Mudge, will teach kids about friendship and loyalty.

24. The Secret Zoo Series


These exciting adventure stories follow 4 friends as they explore and learn about the secret world hidden in the local zoo. Learn about animals and all the fun adventures these true friends go on in this fantastic chapter book series.

25. The Ramona Collection


This classic collection by Beverly Cleary stars quirky Ramona as she goes to school, meets new people, and learns about the world one adorable mistake at a time. These stories are easy to read and relatable for kids in and around 2nd grade age.

26. Henry Huggins


Another independent reader series by the talented and well-known author Beverly Cleary follows an adventurous young boy Henry as he gets his first job as a paper boy, explores with his dog Ribsy, and makes new friends like Beezus!

27. Bird and Squirrel


This adorable and action-packed comic strip series is James Burk’s masterpiece. These two crazy friends are always getting into trouble and figuring everything out as they go. These books have amazing illustrations with a variety of villainous characters and lessons about what it means to be a true friend.

28. Detective Camp


This classic book series features 3 friends as they solve mysteries at a camp for detectives. They must work together to find clues using science and common sense to solve curious cases around the camp. Will they be successful? They must follow their instincts and evidence to catch the culprit!

29. The Littles


The Littles was initially written in the 1960s by John Peterson as a children’s book series. It was so widely adored that it was made into a TV series and had a spin-off book series called The Borrowers. The story follows a family of tiny humans as they live inside the walls of a regular-sized house.

30. From An Idea To Google: How Innovation at Google Changed the World


Lowey Bundy Sichol is an award-winning children’s writer and entrepreneur/founder of Kids Idea Tank . Her motivation in writing these “From an Idea to….” books is to inspire kids to imagine big and believe in themselves and their ideas. These books are a great tool to give your students confidence in reading and all aspects of their lives.

31. Diary of an Ice Princess


Princess Lina is no ordinary girl. She has magical powers and lives in a castle in the clouds with her royal family. All Princess Lina wants to do is go to a normal school with her best friend, but if she wants to do that she has to pretend she is a regular girl with no magical powers. Can she do it? Read along with this innovative and diverse series following the Princess in each new adventure.

32. Dory Fantasmagory


This adorable book series features Dory, the youngest in her family and by far the biggest trouble maker! The illustrations are cute and simple with a childlike whimsy that your young readers will love. Follow Dory as she brings her imagination to life on every page.

33. Good Dog


Dogs are humans’ best friend, right? Follow the enthusiastic puppy Bo Davis as he gets into all sorts of messes at Davis Family Farm. From running away to meeting neighborhood animals, and losing his collar, Bo is always up to something. Get this series for your dog-loving kids to read and improve their comprehension and fluency.

34. Real Pigeons Fight Crime


This hilarious mystery series is sure to make your kids laugh all the way through. With the over-the-top illustrations and characters, to the storylines and jokes, these books have everything your young reader could possibly need to fall in love with reading.

35. Mia Mayhem


This series can be read by 1st graders up to 3rd graders because its structure and language are accessible and relatable for kids with beginner to lower intermediate reading skills. Mia Mayhem has just started at a superhero school where she is learning all types of exciting skills like flying and defeating bullies. Enjoy the action-packed stories and colourful illustrations on each and every page.

36. Disgusting Critters Series


This adorably disgusting educational series features a new animal for each installment. From cockroaches to rats, to toads, and mosquitos, each book presents these misunderstood critters in an acute and easy-to-understand way that teaches kids to respect and value all living beings. The simple but humorous language makes reading a treat and the cute illustrations are anything but disgusting!

37. Dragon Masters


DRAGONS!!! Who as a kid didn’t dream of owning and riding their own dragon? This New York Times best-selling chapter book series was specifically written for newly independent readers with easy-to-use language, short chapters, and engaging plots. One of the best options for your action and magic-inspired readers.

38. Sadiq and the Gamers


This diverse and inclusive series features Sadiq, a Somali American boy, his family, and friends as they explore the world and different situations. The stories focus on teamwork and friendship in an educational and engaging way with lots of pictures and creative ideas.

39. The Bad Guys


Dav Pilkey does it again with this hilarious graphic novel staring Mr. Wolf, Mr. Piranha, and a whole host of evil-inspired characters that try to convince themselves and others that they are good. The references to old classic nursery rhymes and fairy tales make this modern take a hit from the start!

40. Mindy Kim


Mindy Kim is an Asian American girl trying her best to get her father to smile, make friends at school, and get a puppy. This 6 book series is great reading material for 2nd grade students to understand the challenges of growing up in America with influences from another culture. The author Lyla Lee expresses her own experiences and stories of being born in South Korea but growing up around the United States to make these books accessible for the many immigrant children starting their reading journeys.

41. The Notebook of Doom


This series Is part of a line of books specifically written for newly independent readers called Branches. It’s got jokes, it’s got mysterious crimes, and it’s got MONSTERS! Each of the 13 books in the series follows a young boy named Alexander as he tries to find and identify all sorts of crazy monsters.

42. Horrid Henry


This giant book series has over 62 books for your reluctant readers to fall in love with. Henry is a mischievous little boy who loves playing horrid tricks on everyone, but he always gets what’s coming to him. Easy-to-follow stories perfect for 2nd grade reading level.

43. Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon


Amber Brown is a very relatable character, a young girl having to deal with her best friend moving away. In this first book in a 10-book series, Amber Brown must tackle the reality of her world changing and the most important person in it leaving. Will their friendship survive this challenge or will things never be the same?

44. Cat Kid Comic Club


This graphic novel series starring tons of adorable animal characters is written and illustrated by the award-winning Dav Pilkey. He incorporates a variety of different artistic styles to tell creative stories throughout each Cat Kid Comic Club book. There are 4 books in this series, each as captivating and hilarious as the next!

45. Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective


There are smart kids, then there are SUPER smart kids…and then there is Encyclopedia Brown. He has a computer-like brain that he can use to do many things. In this 26-book series, he is on the mission to solve mysterious crimes. Can you figure out who did it before he can? Read along and find the answers at the back of each book.

46. My Papi Has a Motorcycle


This beloved story of a girl and her father shows new readers the importance of family appreciation. As the city changes around them, their love remains the same, and Daisy will always cherish her motorcycle rides with her Papi no matter what.

47. Frindle


A clever and witty chapter book by the award winner Andrew Clements, tells the story of a young boy named Nick. He is smart and a bit sneaky, so when he learns how words are created, he decides to make up his own! A pen is no longer called a “pen”, it will now be called a “frindle”! How will this little experiment play out for little Nickie?

48. The Chocolate Touch


This new-age novel is based on the beloved story of King Midas and his golden touch. Now John Midas discovers he has a magical gift that makes everything he puts in his mouth turn into chocolate. Will his tale turn out differently than the original fable, or will we be learning the same lessons over again?

49. Who Would Win?


Now, this popular 29-book series will be sure to excite your young readers into an imaginative frenzy! Each book pins two ferocious animals against each other to see who would win in a fight. The books go into detail about each animal’s skills, diets, abilities, and more! A great series for animal lovers or lovers of fighting action!

50. My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish


Even the title sounds ridiculous, but your 2nd graders will love this 7-book series! Two brothers get into some twisted evil science that ends up turning their pet goldfish Frankie into a zombie. Even worse, the new Frankie is angry and can hypnotize people, so… look out!

51. Little Bear’s Friend


This beloved story is part of a darling series following Little Bear as he meets new friends and explores his little world. The characters and stories are easy to follow and great practice for new readers.

52. In Aunt Lucy’s Kitchen


Here is a chapter book to add to your 2nd grade classroom book list . It tells the tale of 3 cousins living in their Aunt Lucy’s attic and making grand plans for their futures, but first, they need to find a way to make some money over the summer. Why not bake some cookies and see what happens!

53. Zack Files: My Great-grandpa’s in the Litter Box


In this first book of this funny series, Zack is looking to adopt a kitten, but what he ends up with is an old cat that claims to be his great-grandpa! What absurdity will follow after Zack brings his old relative home? Read and find out!

54. Doctor De Soto


A little unorthodox but ever so charming series tells the story of Doctor De Soto, who also happens to be a mouse. He is the best dentist in the city but doesn’t work on patience that might try to eat him until a fox in extreme pain comes begging for help one day. Will the Doctor take this patient and face being eaten or turn him away?

55. Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea


The 1st of 7 in this fun series follows Narwhal and Jelly as they explore the great big ocean. These two unlikely friends meet and discover that despite having different personality types, they still can find things they both agree on and enjoy. Like making new friends, throwing parties, and eating waffles!

56. The Fabled Stables

novel study books for grade 2

Introduce your class to the magical world of The Fabled Stables. Filled with the rarest creatures, Augie has to embark on a dangerous journey to save an escaped animal! This tale will entertain any fantasy enthusiast as they journey along with Augie on his quest to find his magical friend. 

57. The Magnificent Makers

novel study books for grade 2

This captivating book is the perfect blend of science and imagination! Engage your readers in this exciting tale of two best friends who love science. They embark on thrilling adventures as they find hidden portals and more in this educational book that turns science into an exciting journey of wonder and discovery.

58. Benny and Penny: The Toy Breaker

novel study books for grade 2

Benny and Penny love playing with their toys, but their cousin Bo keeps breaking them. Through vibrant illustrations and mischievous antics invite your kiddos to engage with this playful story as they find out if Benny and Penny can come up with a game that’s enjoyable for everyone.

59. Sir Cedric’s Tale of Adventure

novel study books for grade 2

Have your students embark on a medieval adventure with Sir Cedric! He’s a brave and humble knight, but he’s also a bit forgetful which lands him in unfavorable situations. Packed full of humor and timeless lessons, your readers will find out if Sir Cedric is able to make it to the castle tournament in time.

60. Marvin Redpost: Alone in His Teacher’s House

novel study books for grade 2

Introduce Marvin’s quirky world to your pupils for a story they’ll cherish for ages. Louis Sachar brings to life hilarious situations as Marvin is tasked with house-sitting for a teacher. He’s super excited and wants to do his best, but he encounters a few challenges along the way that are sure to have your kids in stitches.

61. Polly Diamond and the Magic Book

novel study books for grade 2

In this whimsical tale, Polly discovers a magical book that brings anything she writes to life! While it seems to be an exciting find, there are a few obstacles that Polly must overcome, making it a wonderful tale to teach your children about the power of words.

62. The Fantastic and Terrible Fame of Classroom 13

novel study books for grade 2

Introduce your readers to a universe where ordinary students become famous overnight. Thrilled at first, these students soon discover that it’s not all as fun as it seems which makes for an engaging tale that will help your class discover the true meaning of fame through an imaginative perspective.

63. Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet

novel study books for grade 2

Let’s head to the Hawaiian beaches! Your kiddos will join Calvin, a young boy who faces daily challenges, in a setting that might seem like paradise but it isn’t without its obstacles. This heartfelt journey is the perfect choice for teaching readers important qualities like empathy and understanding.

64. Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen

novel study books for grade 2

Engage your learners in a cultural adventure with Jasmine! Through her aspirations to join the family traditions of making mochi, they’ll learn all about Japanese culture and the importance of family as Jasmine works hard to achieve her big dreams.

65. Bink & Gollie: Two for One

novel study books for grade 2

Bink and Gollie make the most unlikely pair with their contrasting personalities that lead to the most amusing situations. Through their charming antics, your class will learn to appreciate friendship, compromise, and the joy of companionship.

66. Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker

novel study books for grade 2

Beatrice Zinker’s unique perspective and approach to life is sure to resonate with your kids who also like to think outside the box. Her giant ideas sometimes land her in sticky situations, but her topsy-turvy method of thinking is sure to encourage your students to embrace their individuality and creativity. 

67. Penny and Her Doll

novel study books for grade 2

A mouse and her beloved new doll embark on a quest to find the perfect name. Kevin Henkes crafts a gentle and relatable story that your little learners are guaranteed to cherish as they navigate their own emotions and relationships.

68. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby

novel study books for grade 2

For an adventure that’s full of laughs, have your learners read about Super Diaper Baby! They’ll meet a baby-turned-superhero as he battles the evil Deputy Doo-Doo in this story that’s teeming with ridiculous humor and is a must-read for lovers of the Captain Underpants series.

69. Daisy Dawson and the Big Freeze

novel study books for grade 2

In this dazzling story, your readers will enter Daisy Dawson’s winter wonderland. With the unique ability to talk to animals, Daisy becomes their savior during the harsh winter. It’s a charming book that focuses on childhood wonder while also teaching your kids about the precious value of kindness.

70. Lulu and the Brontosaurus

novel study books for grade 2

Lulu is used to getting what she wants, so when her parents deny her wish for a brontosaurus she decides to make it her mission to find one by herself! Your 2nd graders will be enchanted by the whimsical illustrations as they journey along with Lulu to see if she finally finds her perfect pet.

71. Heidi Heckelbeck Has a Secret

novel study books for grade 2

Being a young witch in a non-magical world isn’t easy. Have your kiddos dive into Heidi’s world as she navigates the struggle of moving to a human school in this tale that encourages readers to embrace being different and find joy in one’s true self.

72. Roscoe Riley Rules: Never Glue Your Friends to Chairs

novel study books for grade 2

Your class will love navigating the confusing world of school rules with Roscoe! He’s a stickler for rules, but sometimes he takes his love for rules a little too seriously. Encourage your readers to find out what Roscoe will do next as they engage with relatable scenarios that have humorous outcomes.

73. Lola Levine is Not Mean!

novel study books for grade 2

Lola Levine is a passionate young girl who loves to kick her soccer ball around. Her fierceness on the soccer field is unrivaled, but has she taken it too far this time? Have your kids find out in this inspiring read that paints a loving portrait of Lola’s big heart and creative spirit.

74. Dragonbreath

novel study books for grade 2

Join Danny Dragonbreath’s fire-breathing adventures! With its blend of stunning visuals and traditional text, it’s a book that’s guaranteed to engage and entertain your students as they join Danny in his struggles with his abilities.

75. Mr. Popper’s Penguins

novel study books for grade 2

Invite your kiddos to experience the joy of Mr. Popper’s penguins. This classic story by Richard and Florence Atwater showcases a humble painter’s extraordinary journey with some talented penguins. This humorous take on storytelling makes for a delightful read that also celebrates life’s unexpected pleasures.

76. The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure

novel study books for grade 2

Solve farmyard mysteries with The Chicken Squad! Your children will love these crime-fighting chickens as they follow along on their many misadventures where they crack interesting cases to help out their fellow barnyard friends.

77. Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny

novel study books for grade 2

Meet Isabel, the Bunjitsu Bunny! Your readers will hop along with excitement as they encounter action-packed scenarios and learn wholesome wisdom from this martial arts expert.

78. Princess in Black

novel study books for grade 2

Battle monsters and more with Princess Magnolia, also known as The Princess in Black! This humorous tale successfully breaks princess stereotypes and will inspire your young readers with a story that’s sure to resonate with any reader who seeks adventure and empowerment.

79. Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things

novel study books for grade 2

Introducing Alvin Ho, a boy who’s scared of nearly everything! In this heartfelt tale, your little learners follow Alvin on his journey to overcome his fears with the help of his family. These adventures are sure to touch your class and encourage them to face their own fears.

80. The Year of Billy Miller

novel study books for grade 2

Embark on a 2nd-grade journey with Billy Miller! In this touching and relatable story, your kiddos will engage with the ups and downs of early elementary life with this award-winning tale that centers its themes on family, school, and personal growth.

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45 Best 2nd Grade Books in a Series

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Your readers will love these fantastic 2nd grade books in a series to keep them hooked on reading. You’ll want these books in your classroom libraries as well as your home libraries. 

As 2nd graders gain confidence and skills with reading, every book they read helps improve fluency , a love of reading, and comprehension strategies. (Except in cases of learning differences.) So we want these second-grade kiddos to be reading as much as possible!! The more independent reading kids do, the more progress they’ll make in reading.

This brings me to these good chapter book series books for 2nd graders that your kids will love.

(To see all my book reviews for 2nd graders, visit this page for more 2nd grade book ideas.)

2nd Grade Books in a Series


Get a free pdf printable download of this book list!

Best 2nd Grade Books in a Series

novel study books for grade 2

Rise of the Earth Dragon (Dragon Masters)  by Tracey West, illustrated by Graham Howells FANTASY In the times of castles and kingdoms,  Drake learns he is a dragon master (and that dragons are real!)  He must train with the other kids to master his dragon, an earth dragon . This is a fun chapter book series that will interest almost any child as it has just the right amount of conflict, adventure, and excitement.

novel study books for grade 2

Bird and Squirrel   on Ice   by James Burks FUNNY / GRAPHIC NOVEL In this funny book series for 2nd graders,  Bird’s over-confident, laissez-faire character pairs perfectly with Squirrel’s logical, fearful one.  In this first book, the duo crash land in the Penguin world where Bird is thought to be the “Chosen One” meant to save the penguins from the Great Whale.

novel study books for grade 2

Pup Detectives  by Felix Gumpaw MYSTERY / GRAPHIC NOVEL Someone keeps stealing all the lunches at Pawston Elementary, and it’s up to this group of mystery-solving dogs to investigate!  Join Rider and her friends as they crack this lunchroom case once and for all.

novel study books for grade 2

A to Z Mysteries  by Rob Roy MYSTERY This addictive chapter book  mystery series  will keep your 2nd grade kids reading for hours and days and months. My kids read them all more than once, so we highly recommend this series, especially for second grade. Box set  here .

novel study books for grade 2

Bug Scouts Out in the Wild  by Mike Lowery (graphic novel) ANIMAL ADVENTURE Beginning readers will love this exciting and hilarious friendship adventure graphic novel–with incredible art from author/illustrator Mike Lowery! Three bug friends have a super secret headquarters where they get to earn bug badges. The friends start on their first badge–foraging, but then they spy a frog!! And frogs EAT bugs! These bug scouts find a great solution– they use the spider’s hammock web to trap the frog. Hmmm…what badge can you earn for that?

novel study books for grade 2

King of the Birds  by Elise Gravel REALISTIC Arlo is the self-proclaimed king of the birds.  He befriends a cute yellow bird named Pip and shares with her his many talents. As the friends go on many adventures, like visiting the big city and hunting for shiny things, learning facts about crows like big brains, and counting up to 6 objects.

novel study books for grade 2

Diary of an Ice Princess: Snow Place Like Home  by Christina Soontornvat FANTASY This charming new book series for 2nd graders is about magic, friendship, myths, and diversity.  The windtamers are magical beings who control the wind and weather. Unfortunately, Princess Lina’s powers are going wonky, especially when she gets upset. Luckily, her wise (and loud) grandfather helps Lina discover her true talents. Cheerful pink chapter titles, as well as pink-and-gray illustrations, give this book a very princessy feel.

novel study books for grade 2

Zoey and Sassafras Dragons and Marshmallows  #1  by Asia Citro, illustrated by Marion Lindsay SCIENCE / FANTASY Kids love these entertaining and well-written stories with the coolest mix of science and magic, diverse main characters, and fantastic illustrations.  Zoey, like her mom, can see magical creatures and is tasked to care for any injured creatures that might need help. In this story, she uses her science skills (including research and the scientific method) to figure out how to care for a sick baby dragon.

novel study books for grade 2

Dory Fantasmagory  by Abby Hanlon REALISTIC / FUNNY Dory is one of my favorite book characters because her imagination is THE BEST! She has three imaginary friends: one monster friend, one fairy godmother, and one bad lady nemesis.  This book is hilarious, and you’ll love the child-like illustrations – – it’s a favorite chapter book series for second graders. See all the Dory books  here .

magic tree house

The Magic Tree House  by Mary Pope Osborne HISTORICAL MYSTERY These are MUST-READ chapter book series for 2nd graders!  The books combine mystery, history, magic, and adventure as siblings Jack and Annie adventure through time to solve mysteries.  I highly recommend this series, and if you get a chance, these first grade chapter books are GREAT on audiobook, narrated by Mary Pope Osborne herself.  Boxed Set 1 .

novel study books for grade 2

The Dragonsitter  by Josh Lacey, illustrated by Garry Parsons FUNNY Written in increasingly funny (and alarming) letters we learn that Uncle Morton left his pet dragon for Edward and his mom and sister to watch — with no directions!! The dragon poops in their shoes, eats their pet bunny, and causes all kinds of destruction, which all are the subjects of Edward’s letters to his nowhere-to-be-found uncle. Finally, Edward hears from his uncle, who suggests feeding the dragon chocolate. Will Edward’s mom lose her mind? Will the chocolate work?

novel study books for grade 2

Good Dog  by Cam Higgins, illustrated by Ariel Landy REALISTIC /  WHOLESOME What a sweet beginning illustrated chapter book written from Bo the dog’s point of view!  Enthusiastic and full of personality, Bo adores his loving family and his life on the farm. But he worries when his dog tag goes missing. He searches the farm with the help of all the farm animals and his spider friends help him find it. Your readers will love this  new series  with a darling doggie narrator!  Get the first 4 books in 1 ! 

novel study books for grade 2

Let’s Make Cake (Bobo and Pup Pup)   by Vikram Madan, illustrated by Nicola Slater FUNNY The friends decide to make a cake. Bobo gathers silly things that aren’t part of the recipe (like a hat and a stick). Eventually, they finish the batter made and cook the cake in the sun. Unfortunately, it turns out yucky but they realize that they had fun anyway. This is a  charming, silly story with easy-to-read conversation bubble dialogue and playful comic illustrations!

novel study books for grade 2

Sofia Martinez My Vida Loca  by Jacquline Jules REALISTIC My Vida Loca  is the first chapter book in the series about the  adventures of a spunky girl named Sophia  — from her singing (that annoys everyone except  abuela ) to a cooking mishap of  arroz con leche  that her familia helps her fix. I love the bright pink text that indicates the Spanish words (maybe 1 or 2 a page). The illustrations are fun, capturing the emotions and action  perfectamente .

novel study books for grade 2

Fenway and the Bone Thieves  by Victoria J. Coe, illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff REALISTIC Written from Fenway’s hilarious doggie point of view,  readers will delight in Fenway’s complete bone obsession and his determination to keep it away from the squirrels.  His paranoia leads to him burying the bone so NO one can find it, including him. His solution? Dig a million holes to find it. Read the next book,  Fenway and the Frisbee Trick  about Fenway learning a frisbee trick in his own, unique way.

novel study books for grade 2

Real Pigeons Fight Crime  by Ben Wood FUNNY / MYSTERY In the first of three silly stories, Rock Pigeon is a crime-fighting pigeon who helps Grandpouter and the other park pigeons solve the problem of the vanishing breadcrumbs. Hilarious disguises, charming illustrations, quirky characters, and funny mysteries, this is an entertaining romp that is sure to entice even the most reluctant of young readers.

novel study books for grade 2

The Toad: The Disgusting Critters Series  by Elise Gravel NONFICTION Visually captivating with interesting, just-right text that is informative and sometimes hilarious. I’m a fan of this kid-friendly nonfiction book series! (Also read:  The Worm ,  The Fly ,  and  The Rat )

novel study books for grade 2

Sparks  by Ian Boothby, illustrated by Nina Matsumoto SUPERHERO After escaping the evil laboratory, cats August and Charlie help others in a “Super Dog” dog disguise.  But their evil scientist nemesis, a diaper-wearing baby named Princess, will stop at nothing to recapture the escaped cats…and conquer the entire world. Filled with adventure, friendship, and humor!

novel study books for grade 2

Mia Mayhem Is a Superhero!  by Kara West, illustrated by Leeza Hernandez FANTASY When Mia gets accepted into the Superhero training program,  she learns that she is SUPER.  She even learns that her parents are superheroes, too. After school at her new superhero training, she has a disastrous first day and learns that it takes work to become a superhero. Black and white illustrations, bigger print, and an exciting story make this a winning series for growing readers.

novel study books for grade 2

Donut Feed the Squirrels  by Mika Song HUMOR / GRAPHIC NOVEL Norma and Belly are squirrel friends who really, really want a donut. Can they work together, sneak in a food truck, and have the biggest ever donut party ever?  Minimal text, plenty of silliness, and a lovely surprise ending!

novel study books for grade 2

Sadiq and the Desert Star   by Siman Nuurali, illustrated by Anjan Sarkar STEM Not only is this a great STEM story about a young boy who finds the stars to be fascinating, but it’s also a story with diversity because Sadiq’s Muslim family is originally from Somalia. The story is also about how after a field trip to the planetarium, Sadiq and his friends start a space club and work together to raise money for a DIY telescope. Growing readers will enjoy the friendship, teamwork, STEM topics, and diversity found in this first book of the  Sadiq series  from Capstone Publishing’s Picture Window Books.

novel study books for grade 2

Cat Ninja  by Matthew Cody, illustrated by Yehudi Mercado GRAPHIC NOVEL / SUPERHERO By day Claude is Leon’s pet but by night, he’s Cat Ninja, Metro City’s protector! His nemesis is Leon’s sister’s evil hamster, Master Hamster.  Learn the Cat Ninja’s origin story, then follow his perilous, exciting, and humorous adventures!

novel study books for grade 2

The Bad Guys  #1  by Aaron Blabey HUMOR Mr. Wolf invites other “bad guys” to a meeting with hopes they will join him in becoming good.  Your kids will find lots of drawings and minimal text, making this series a favorite choice for second-grade readers who like ironic and potty humor.

novel study books for grade 2

Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot   by Dav Pilkey, illustrated by Dan Santat SCI-FI Get ready for an addictive,  action-packed, engaging sci-fi  series for young readers. With awesome illustrations. It’s not often you see a book in full color – I love that! After reading this book, kids will wish they had their own giant robot friend to help them conquer evil in the universe.

novel study books for grade 2

Princess in Black by Shannon Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham SUPERHERO This popular fictional adventure is about a spunky princess who secretly fights monsters disguised in black. It’s a hugely popular beginning chapter book with many books in the series. Find Princess in Black read alike books !

novel study books for grade 2

Ninja Kid: From Nerd to Ninja  by Anh Do HUMOR Nelson is a nerdy and likable main character who wakes up on his 10th birthday with perfect vision and… ninja moves! His mum and grandma explain that like his missing fisherman dad before him,  Nelson is the last ninja in the world — and he’s destined to save the world.  Action-packed and funny plus appealing illustrations and great characters.

novel study books for grade 2

Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business  by Lyla Lee, illustrated by Dung Ho REALISTIC Mindy and her dad recently moved to Florida after her mom’s death. When the other kids at school make fun of her seaweed snacks at lunch, Mindy and her new friend Sally start a snack business to save money for a puppy.  This doesn’t go as planned yet it’s a big learning experience showing Mindy to be herself and be proud of her Korean-American culture.

novel study books for grade 2

The Fabled Stables Willa the Wisp   by Jonathan Auxier, illustrated by Olga Demidova FANTASY / MAGICAL CREATURES Auggie, the only human, lives on an island of mythical creatures, but he’s lonely. When a new stall magically appears, Auggie enters and meets a Wisp who is hunted by ruthless magical poachers. It’s a darling start to a new book series for 2nd graders who love mythical creatures.

novel study books for grade 2

The Magic Mirror (Once Upon a Fairy Tale)  by Anna Staniszewski, illustrated by Macky Pamintuan FANTASY Readers who love fantasy, adventure, and mystery are going to love this book series for 2nd graders about two good friends who save The Enchanted Kingdom from everlasting summer…  When Kara learns the ice princess is in trouble, she and her best friend Zed travel to the ice palace to help fix a magic mirror. They also want to help the argumentative sisters get along and share their beloved pet monkey. Will the friends be able to solve both problems? 

novel study books for grade 2

Mac Undercover (Kid Spy #1)   by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Mike Lowery ADVENTURE / MYSTERY This funny adventure is about a kid who the queen of England uses to solve an important mystery …You’ll need to withhold disbelief, or at least I did, but it’s super cute and popular with many younger readers. The story includes many illustrations, and fabulous vocabulary words explained and repeated that perfectly fit the story such as regicide.

novel study books for grade 2

Creature Campers The Secret of Shadow Lake  by Joe McGee, Bea Tormo FANTASY A very tall Bigfoot named Norm goes to summer camp but hates being different. He meets a human kid named Oliver who thinks Norm will eat him. Relatable themes of feeling like an outsider and making new friends plus some dry humor make this a fun, readable story.

novel study books for grade 2

Undersea Mystery Club Problem at the Playground  by Courtney Carbone, illustrated by Melanie Demmer MYSTERY Not only is this beginning chapter book a creative, entertaining mystery story with adorable full-color illustrations, but it shows the power of problem-solving, listening, and working together . Violet and her best friend, the always-hungry narwhal named Wally, need to find out who is sabotaging the playground.  Helpful back matter provides information and photos about decorator crabs, narwhals, and civil engineers.

novel study books for grade 2

Notebook of Doom  by Troy Cummings FANTASY I think your 2nd graders will love this engaging, slightly creepy chapter book series.  Alexander discovers his new town is FILLED WITH MONSTERS ! And that he’s right in the middle of everything– especially after he finds an old notebook of drawings and facts about monsters.  Box set here .

novel study books for grade 2

Zita the Spacegirl  by Ben Hatke SCI-FI / GRAPHIC NOVEL One of our favorite graphic novels, Zita the Spacegirl, is a true friend who not only  saves her best friend  from kidnappers but also saves the entire galaxy! Boxed Set HERE .

novel study books for grade 2

Stink: The Super-Incredible Shrinking Kid  by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds REALISTIC Stink is the brother of Judy Moody.  He’s got a big imagination, which he uses to imagine he has superpowers, helping him to deal with his daily life. The writing is funny and relatable peppered with incredible Peter H. Reynolds illustrations. Kids love this humorous book series for 2nd graders.  Boxed Set HERE .

novel study books for grade 2

Rainbow Magic Fairies   by Daisy Meadows FANTASY These are very predictable but so many kids ADORE these chapter books – they are some of the most checked out books at our library. They’re about  two human girls who are trusted to help the magical fairies  search for something Jack Frost’s goblins stole.

novel study books for grade 2

Cat Kid Comic Club  by Dav Pilkey HUMOR Perfect for teaching kids to write their own stories ! Cat Kid teaches a class for the tadpoles about making your comic books…which doesn’t go well until the tadpoles get excited about failure and get started writing and drawing.  If you like a lot of silliness (including potty humor) with great messages about writing, creativity, and persistence, read this book next.

novel study books for grade 2

The Critter Club   by Callie Barkley  MYSTERY The girls in the Critter Club  love animals and want to help them any way they can.  You’ll find plenty of sweet stories in this series for animal lovers.

novel study books for grade 2

Jessica Finch in Pig Trouble  (Judy Moody and Friends)  by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Erwin Madrid REALISTIC Jessica Finch is a delightful early chapter book with exceptionally pleasing and colorful illustrations. Jessica wants nothing more than a pig for a pet. For her birthday.  When a misunderstanding happens with her best friend, Judy Moody, she learns a valuable lesson about not making assumptions and calling people names.  This is one of my top picks for an early chapter book series for 2nd graders!

novel study books for grade 2

Mercy Watson to the Rescue  by Kate DiCamillo HUMOR Mercy is a pig who lives with Mr. and Mrs. Watson.  They feed her buttered toast and take her for drives in their convertible. One night, Mercy gets scared and decides to sleep with Mr. and Mrs. Watson. Can you imagine what happens next? Hilarious and quirky, this is a fun series filled with many amazing adventures.  Boxed Set HERE.

novel study books for grade 2

Jasmine Toguchi Mochi Queen  by Debbi Michiko Florence, illustrated by Eliazbet Vukovic REALISTIC Jasmine is jealous that the older kids in her family have important jobs on the mochi-making day; she wants to do what the older boys and men are doing, pound the mochi rice. Her kind father figures out a way for Jasmine to join in. And even though it didn’t work out how she wanted, her family is proud of her and decides it’s okay to break some rules, like who gets to pound the rice. 

novel study books for grade 2

Baloney and Friends Going Up!   by Greg Pizzoli HUMOR From writing a theme song to sleepovers to thinking deep thoughts , this book of easier reading level stories showcases characters you can’t help but love . including Baloney the pig, Bizz the bumblebee, Peanut the horse, and Krabbit the rabbit. Plus, read directions for drawing the characters with emotions in the back.

novel study books for grade 2

Amelia Bedelia Means Business   by Herman Parish, illustrated by Lynne Avril ADVENTURE I’ve been enjoying these updated Amelia chapter books by the original author’s son. In this story, Amelia tries to make money for a new bike. These book series for 2nd graders (second graders) are perfect for readers who enjoy  goofy humor and wordplay.

novel study books for grade 2

From an Idea to Disney How Imagination Built a World of Magic  by Lowey Bundy Sichol, illustrated by C.S. Jennings NONFICTION I’ve read many other biographies about Walt Disney, but  this one stands out for its writing, pertinent information, and appeal.  It shares about the business that continued on even after Walt’s death and his brother’s death including the merger with Pixar and the successful but controversial CEO, Michael Eisner. Fascinating!

novel study books for grade 2

Who Would Win? Whale vs. Giant Squid  by Jerry Pallotta, illustrated by Rob Bolster NONFICTION Teachers tell me their students, especially boys, can’t get enough of the Who Would Win? books, even if they’re a bit above grade level and more challenging to read.  This particular book pits two ocean carnivores against each other. First, you’ll learn facts about a sperm whale, then you’ll learn about the giant squid. Finally, read what happens when these two creatures face off.  Can you predict who will win?  See all the addicting informational books in the Who Would Win series .

novel study books for grade 2

BUGS! Animal Planet Amazing Animal Facts Chapter Books  by James Buckley, Jr. NONFICTION Full color with photographs, illustrations, and a kid-friendly design.  The text size itself is perfect for elementary readers, slightly bigger than typical nonfiction books of this length, with decent white space in between the lines and around it. Amazing Animal Facts Chapter Books is a stellar, highly recommended science chapter book series for 2nd graders.

2nd Grade Books in a Series

Also Read: Nonfiction Books for 7-Year-Olds

Books Like Junie B. Jones

Best Books for 7-Year-Olds

Wholesome Beginning Chapter Books for  Boys  and  Girls

Best Read Aloud Books for Second Grade

Book Series for 3rd Graders (8-Year-Olds)

Best Boxed Book Sets for Kids

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Melissa Taylor, MA, is the creator of Imagination Soup. She's a mother, former teacher & literacy trainer, and freelance education writer. She writes Imagination Soup and freelances for publications online and in print, including Penguin Random House's Brightly website, USA Today Health, Adobe Education, Colorado Parent, and Parenting. She is passionate about matching kids with books that they'll love.

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Great resource! Do you have the link for the PDF of 2nd grade series? The link isn’t working for the “free pdf”. Thank you!

For me, the form is working but I can email you the list. Thanks!

Great blog post! I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the chapter book series for 2nd graders.

Love this list. Do you have a printable list with cover photos available for all your elementary recommendations? I thought it would be a great resource to have in a binder for book recommendations.

Angie, Do you mean all the reviews for 7 year olds? Not just the series? If so, I don’t have that but love the idea. So a cover, the title, and author?


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