Most 2nd graders have mastered the basics and are ready for chapter books. Find your child’s perfect match with the best chapter books for second graders.
2nd Grade Recommended Chapter Books
Second grade is a wonderful but tricky time for reading. Most children are ready to move beyond easy readers, but they aren’t ready for pages and pages of text. They need books that are simple enough to read and that hold their interest.
So what will keep them turning pages? Enter these sure-fire favorite chapter books for 2nd graders. The great news is that most of these are books in a series, so if a child finds a match, he has a stretch of books to read.
The Best Chapter Books for 2nd Grade Girls
I am dividing this list into books that are targeted for girls and boys. That is not to say that a boy won’t enjoy a book from the girl’s list (and vice versa), but it’s always fun to read about a protagonist who is similar to you. These girl characters are full of spunk and pizzazz!
Dory is the youngest girl in her family, but her personality is enormous! Too little to interest her older siblings, hilarious Dory invents her own friends–and makes some real ones in the balance.
What could be better than a little cowgirl and her horse (who is also her best friend, thank you very much). This adventurous duo meets each day with humor and can-do spirit.
Who doesn’t love to laugh? Spunky Junie B. will have your second grader giggling through book after book. Junie B. normalizes making mistakes, a reassuring reminder for all of us. Everything Junie B. does, she does in a big way!
An explorer, creative thinker, and problem solver, Yasmin faces life with bold determination. A Pakistani American, Yasmin brings a new voice to the children’s chapter book family.
What would you do for buttered toast? Mercy Watson can tell you. This little pig delights children with her rollicking adventures and buoyant spirit.
These sweet and homey books have everything a girl could want–close friendships and a cookie company.
Why let her brother EllRay Jakes be the only one in a family with his own series? Alfie is ready to charm the world with her own brand of stories featuring fuzzy kittens and fast friends.
A refreshing series about two girls who don’t fit the mold: one tiny, one tall. These two adventurers love pancakes and peanut butter and roller skating everywhere.
Okay, Jada is a fourth-grader, but this series is worth including for slightly more advanced second-grade readers because a) Jada is into science and b) Jada is a girl of color. We need more books like this!
Katie’s school adventures are full of fun and mischief. Her larger-than-life personality and trademark style and sass will charm your second grader.
When you nail it, you nail it, and these authors have created a series for the win! Kids love the Princess in Black, who is a princess by day and monster battler by night.
The Best Chapter Books for 2nd Grade Boys
In general, boys need a bit more coaxing to get into reading. Captivating chapter books to the rescue! Some of these series would appeal to girls as well, especially those who are animal lovers.
Alvin is scared of everything at school, but at home he is superhero FireCracker Man! These funny and fun-loving books are all about embracing new experiences one step at a time.
These popular books follow EllRay on his missions to battle bullies and conquer the skateboard. The shortest guy in second grade, EllRay tackles life in a big way!
Andy is the relatable star of this series, but a close second is know-it-all Dolores. The two become unlikely friends, and thus the series is born.
What is better than a WHOdunnit featuring owls? The puns write themselves. These detective stories are not scary but do keep the reader turning the page!
Sadiq is a Somali American boy whose stories are grounded in teamwork, friendship, and kindness.
Does your second grader like Toy Story? Then he will love this series about three fast friends who just so happen to be toys. These three toys are loving and brave and explore their big wide world (the house) together.
Judy Moody’s younger brother has his own series now, and this pint-sized little brother draws his own comic strip as he imagines himself as a larger-than-life superhero.
Could a tiny class hamster have enough adventures to warrant his own series? You bet! Kids will love Humphrey’s humorous adventures–and these scaled-down versions of the longer books give emergent readers confidence.
Reminiscent of the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems, this beginning chapter book features a prank-loving hippopotamus and bird.
Brother and sister? Check. Time-traveling treehouse? Check. A whirlwind of adventures grounded in history? Check. This series is a hit with everyone.
This fast-paced, plot-driven series keeps emergent readers hooked from start to finish. Plus, the main character is an enthusiastic warthog. You gotta love it.
This series is all about kindness and friends who encourage one another. Like the classic Frog and Toad, these two friends help each other in good times and bad.
Having trouble getting the video game enthusiast into reading? Challenge accepted! Check out this series about a super-fast rabbit who is the star of his very own video game.
This superhero is smart, powerful, and plucky. You guessed it: he’s a chicken! This hilarious series features Kung Pow and his sidekick Egg Drop who fight crime in the city of Fowladelphia. Get ready for lots of bird puns!
Some kids love the goosebumps, and this series fits the bill. For the kids who love a spooky story that is more thrilling than bone-chilling…
The title grabs you right away, am I right? When Alexander finds a notebook filled with drawings of monsters, they come to life and invade the town. Now Alexander and his friends must stop them.
Classic Chapter Books for 2nd Graders
A list of chapter books for 2nd graders would not be complete without the classics. These time-tested books are ones you may remember from your childhood. Don’t you want your kids to share in the magic?
These heartwarming stories are about true friendship and comical problems. Approachable and charming.
When a bulletin board falls on him in the night and squishes him flat, Stanley makes lemonade out of lemons. This original tale is the start of a series of adventures that feature a positive, can-do main character.
This series is about the adventures one mouse has with his first love: a motorcycle.
She makes all kinds of hilarious mistakes in her job as a maid, but Amelia Bedelia always redeems herself.
Boisterous Ramona and her long-suffering older sister Beezus both make names for themselves in this classic and entertaining series. Wherever Ramona goes, chaos is in her wake. Who doesn’t love that? (The answer is Beezus.)
Best Chapter Books for 2nd Grade
Children are so different, and if you want them to spark to reading, you need to find books that interest them. Find a chapter book for every child on your list with these chapter books for 2nd graders.