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The Best Chapter Books for 2nd Graders

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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 Second Graders

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 Fantasmagory series by Abby Hanlon

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. 

Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa series by Erica Silverman

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.

Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park

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!

Meet Yasmin! series by Saadia Faruqi

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.

Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo

What would you do for buttered toast? Mercy Watson can tell you. This little pig delights children with her rollicking adventures and buoyant spirit.

The Cobble Street Cousins series by Cynthia Rylant

These sweet and homey books have everything a girl could want–close friendships and a cookie company. 

Absolutely Alfie series by Sally Warner

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.

Bink and Gollie series by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee

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. 

Jada Jones series by Kelly Starling Lyons 

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 Woo series by Fran Manushkin

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.

The Princess in Black series by Shannon and Dean Hale

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


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 Ho series by Lenore Look

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.

EllRay Jakes series by Sally Warner

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 Shane series by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

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.

Wallace and Grace series by Heather Alexander

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 series by Simon Nuurali 

Sadiq is a Somali American boy whose stories are grounded in teamwork, friendship, and kindness. 

Toy Go Out series by Emily Jenkins

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.

Stink series by Megan McDonald

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.

Humphrey’s Tiny Tales series by Betty G. Birney

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.

Woodward and McTwee by Jonathan Fenske

Reminiscent of the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems, this beginning chapter book features a prank-loving hippopotamus and bird. 

The Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne

Brother and sister? Check. Time-traveling treehouse? Check. A whirlwind of adventures grounded in history? Check. This series is a hit with everyone. 

The Boris series by Andrew Joyner

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.

Mouse and Mole series by Wong Herbert Yee 

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. 

Super Rabbit Boy series by Thomas Flintham

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. 

Kung Pow Chicken series by Cyndi Marko

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! 

Eerie Elementary series by Jack Chabert

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 Notebook of Doom series by Troy Cummings

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. 

The Best 2nd Grade Chapter Books


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?

Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel

These heartwarming stories are about true friendship and comical problems. Approachable and charming.

Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown

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. 

The Ralph Mouse series by Beverly Cleary

This series is about the adventures one mouse has with his first love: a motorcycle. 

Amelia Bedelia series by Herman Parish

She makes all kinds of hilarious mistakes in her job as a maid, but Amelia Bedelia always redeems herself.

Ramona Quimby series by Beverly Cleary

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.

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