Now, I’m not one to label grades to my kids. Being homeschoolers, we go at the pace we need to and if my kids don’t understand something, well, we’ll take time to learn it! That’s why they could be ahead or behind societal grade levels. However, sometimes, knowing those grade levels can help us identify what our kids need to learn, serving as sort of a loose guide or a roadmap. Much like these best 2nd grade books!
You can read 2nd grade or 3rd grade or even 1st grade level books, but if you know your kiddos reading level, and its about at the 2nd grade reading level, then this is the list of chapter books for 2nd grade in addition to some other books I discovered are perfect for these little readers!
Seriously – I didn’t just slap any old book on here in this list for the sake of putting them in this list (like a lot of others do *cough cough*). These are some seriously good books! And PERFECT-O for your 2nd grader(ish) kiddo! Check them out and click on their names to learn more about them!
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20 Chapter Books for 2nd Graders
What a list! It sounds like a lot, but don’t worry, these are all great books that your second grader will love, as did mine. I’ve had two kids in about the same grade levels since we began homeschooling, although, techinically, they’re suppose to be one grade level apart. I found it much easier to just teach them on the same grade levels.
Except math. They go their own pace for that!
But for reading? Definitely. So I’ve had double the experiences with these books, which I went and found the best 2nd grade books to add to this list. Most are great chapter books that your second grader can read on their own, but you’ll find some great read alouds here too. So curl up with your little reader (or in my case, readers) and enjoy some great stories together.
I think these are great books and an especially great way for second graders (or any young readers, really) who are reluctant readers, independent readers, or just need that perfect book to get them started on their beloved path of reading!
And here are a few reading curriculums I recommend:
Now on to mine and my kids’ book recommendations!
The Flat Stanley Collection Box Set: Flat Stanley, Invisible Stanley, Stanley in Space, and Stanley, Flat Again!
The Flat Stanley Collection is about a young boy who gets flattened by a bulletin board and then can be mailed around the world. These are such fun books, even as an adult, I loved them! The best part is that every time we read one of these books, we learn about a new place.
Never Stop Dreaming by Susan Adler
This book is a great read aloud for second grade, as it’s only 72 pages, but it tells such an important message. This is the story of Ruby and her best friend Nora. The two friends want to go to sleepaway camp together, but their parents can’t afford it. So they come up with a plan to make money. But when Nora’s parents find out, they put a stop to it. Ruby is heartbroken that her best friend won’t be going to camp with her, but she comes up with a way to make the best of it. This book is such a great story of friendship and how even when things don’t go the way we want them to, we can always find a way to make them work.
Unicorn Academy: Rainbow of Adventure Boxed Set (Books 1-4) by Rebecca Elliott
If you have a unicorn lover in your house, these books are perfect! We LOVE unicorns around here and they have beautiful illustrations in these. My daughter could not get enough of these books. There are 4 books in the series and they follow the amazing adventures of best friends Mia and Lila who go to Unicorn Academy. These are such fun books and my girls were so sad when they finished the last one.
The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman
This is a book for younger readers to read about friendship, homelessness, and finding a way to make a difference. It follows the story of two best friends who live on the streets of Chennai, India. When they meet a girl who is new to the streets, they take her under their wing and help her to find a safe place to sleep. *Winner of Caldecott Medal!*
The Storm Book by Charlotte Zolotow
This is such a sweet story, and a bit of the more easy chapter books for 2nd graders, which is about a little boy who is afraid of thunderstorms. His mom tries to help him to understand them and eventually he learns that there is nothing to be afraid of. This is such a precious story and one that we love. *Winner of Caldecott Medal*
The Family Under The Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson
This is a classic chapter book that my girls have loved. It’s the story of a woman who lives under a bridge with her best friend, a cat. When she meets a family who is living in their car, she invites them to live with her under the bridge. This is such a heartwarming story and that my girls have loved. *Winner of Caldecott Medal*
The Water Princess by Susan Verde
This is a beautiful story about a girl who lives in a village in Africa. She is tasked with fetching water for her family every day, but she dreams of having running water in her home one day. This is such a powerful story! *Winner of Caldecott Medal*
Wish by Barbara O’Connor
This is such a sweet story about a girl who wishes for a best friend. When she gets her wish, she learns that friendship is not always what you expect it to be. This is such an important lesson for kids to learn and this story is so perfect for teaching it. *Winner of Caldecott Medal*
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
This is an amazing story that follows a girl who is forced to leave her home in Vietnam during the war. She comes to America as a refugee and has to learn how to navigate her new life. This is such a powerful story of courage and hope. *Winner of Caldecott Medal*
The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke
This book is set in an orphanage in Victorian London and follows the lives of the children who live there. These kids are considered to be unadoptable because they each have something wrong with them. There’s a girl with a limp, a little boy who’s blind, a boy who stutters, and many more. But when a wealthy woman comes to the orphanage looking to adopt a child, she ends up taking all of them. This is such a heartwarming story about friendship and family. It’s also a great reminder that even though we may have some challenges in our lives, we are still worthy of love.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
This is such a beautifully written story that your kids will love. It’s the story of Luna, who is taken from her family as a baby and raised by a witch. But the witch didn’t know that she was taking a human baby, she thought she was taking a magical one. When Luna is finally returned to her family, she must come to terms with who she really is. These easy chapter books for 2nd graders are great for girls to accept who they are!
The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede
This book is about Cimorene, a princess who is tired of being proper and decides to run away from home. She ends up becoming the dragon Kazul’s personal assistant and gets caught up in an adventure to save the Enchanted Forest. These books are perfect for second grade readers who are looking for something a little different.
The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
The School for Good and Evil is about best friends Sophie and Agatha who are transported to a school for fairytale characters. But when they get there, they realize that they have been put in the wrong school. They must find a way to escape and return home before it’s too late.
Dragonbreath #1 by Ursula Vernon
Dragonbreath is about a dragon named Danny who lives in a world where dragons are treated like pets. Danny wants to be a hero, but he’s always getting into trouble. When he accidentally breathe fire on his best friend’s sister, he gets sent to Dragon Camp to learn how to control his powers.
Lola Levine is Not Mean! by Monica Brown
Lola Levine is a second grader who loves soccer and art. She’s also best friends with a boy named Josh. But when Josh starts hanging out with the popular girls at school, Lola starts to feel left out. She comes up with a plan to make Josh like her again, but it doesn’t quite go as she expects.
Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt
Mister Max is a detective who specializes in finding lost things. When he’s hired to find a boy who ran away from home, he has no idea that it will lead him on a dangerous adventure. This is the first book in one of our favorite series, so your kids will want to read more of Mister Max’s adventures.
How Not to Start Third Grade by Bart King
This book is about a boy named Danny who is starting third grade. He’s excited for the new school year, but he’s also a little nervous. When he gets off to a rocky start, he starts to worry that he’s not going to make it in third grade. But with the help of his friends, he eventually learns that starting off on the wrong foot isn’t the end of the world.
Trapped in a Video Game by Dustin Brady
This book is about a boy named Jesse who gets sucked into his favorite video game. He has to find a way to beat the game and get back to the real world. But as he starts to explore the game, he realizes that it’s more than just a game. It’s a whole other world with its own dangers. These kinds of easy chapter books for 2nd graders are the kind that pull your little reader in and paints a whole vivid world! Really good for their imagination and creativity.
The Boxcar Children Books 1-4 by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Boxcar Children is a classic series about four orphaned siblings who live in a boxcar. They have to find a way to survive on their own, but they also have to deal with the danger of being found by the authorities. These books are perfect for kids who are looking for an exciting adventure.
Amelia Bedelia Chapter Book 4-Book Box Set: Books 1-4 by Peggy Parish
This box set includes the first four books in the Amelia Bedelia early chapter books series. Amelia Bedelia is a little girl who doesn’t always understand what people are saying to her. But that doesn’t stop her from trying to do her best. These are among the best 2nd grade books because they’re funny…and great for kids who want a laugh-out-loud read!
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
This classic novel is about a story of a young girl named Fern, a farm girl, who saves the life of a piglet. The pig, named Wilbur, becomes famous when he is saved from being slaughtered. But when winter comes, Wilbur starts to worry that he will die. It’s up to his friend Charlotte to save him. This is a heartwarming story that your kids will love.
The Secret Lake by Enid Blyton
The Secret Lake is one of the longer books about two children who find a secret lake in the woods. They start to explore it and make new friends. But when they get lost, they have to find their way back home. This is a great book for kids who love adventure stories.
Patrick Picklebottom and the Penny Book Bandit by J.C. Geiger
Patrick Picklebottom is a third-grader who loves to read. But when his school’s library is vandalized, all of the books are ruined. Patrick is determined to find the culprit and stop them from ruining any more books. This is a great book for kids who love mysteries.
The Bear and the Fern by Windy Lynch
The Bear and the Fern is a heartwarming story about a bear who befriends a fern. When the fern starts to wilt, the bear sets out to find a way to save it. This is a great book for kids who love nature stories.
Ava & Carol Detective Agency Series: Books 1-3 by Lisa Jahn-Clough
Ava & Carol Detective Agency stories is a great series about two best friends who start their own detective agency. They use their detective skills to solve mysteries and help people. These books are perfect for kids who love solving puzzles and finding clues.
My Weird School Daze 12-Book Box Set: Books 1-12 by Dan Gutman
The My Weird School Daze series is about a school where anything can happen. From a teacher who turns into a werewolf to a class trip to the moon, there’s never a dull moment at Ella Mentry School. These books are perfect for kids who love hilarious stories.
You are an Amazing Girl: A Collection of Inspiring Stories about Courage, Friendship, Inner Strength and Self-Confidence by Kate Messner
This book is perfect for this 2nd grade book list a collection of inspiring stories about courage, friendship, inner strength and self-confidence. These stories are part of our best 2nd grade books list because they are perfect for girls who need a little boost of confidence. They will inspire your child to be the best she can be.
Junie B. Jones’s First Boxed Set Ever! by Barbara Park
This box set includes your favorite characters in all the first five books in the Junie B. Jones series. Junie B. is a kindergartener who has a lot of adventures. From losing her first tooth to getting in trouble for speaking her mind, she always seems to be in the middle of some sort of adventure. These books are perfect for kids who like funny stories
Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman
Seedfolks is a perfect read and such a heartwarming story about a group of people who come together to create a community garden. This book is perfect for kids who want to learn about cooperation and working together. It’s also a great book for kids who love nature.
The Gardener by Sarah Stewart
The Gardener is a heartwarming story about a girl named Lydia who loves to garden. When her family has to move to the city, Lydia is heartbroken. But she finds a way to bring her love of gardening with her. This is a great book for kids who love nature and stories about following your dreams.
The Magic Tree House Boxed Set, Books 1-4: Dinosaurs Before Dark, The Knight at Dawn, Mummies in the Morning, and Pirates Past Noon by Mary Pope Osborne
The Magic Tree House series is about a brother and sister who find a magic tree house. They use it to travel to different places and times. They have adventures and learn about different cultures and historical events. These books are perfect for kids who love adventure stories and learning new things.
Ninja Life Hacks Emotions and Feelings 8 Book Box Set (Books 1-8: Angry, Inventor, Positive, Lazy, Helpful, Earth, Grumpy, Kind) by Owen Davey (Easy Chapter Books for 2nd Graders)
The Ninja Life Hacks series is about a ninja who uses his skills to help others. In this book, he helps people deal with their emotions and feelings. These books are perfect for kids who need help dealing with their emotions. They are also great for kids who love learning new things.
The Boy Who Never Gave Up by Stephen Curry
The Boy Who Never Gave Up is the inspiring story of Stephen Curry. He was born with a condition that made it hard for him to walk. But he never gave up. He worked hard and became one of the best basketball players in the world. This book is perfect for kids who need inspiration to never give up on their dreams.
The Girl Who Thought in Pictures by Julia Finley Mosca
She was different from other kids. She thought in pictures. But she didn’t let that stop her from becoming one of the most famous scientists in the world. This book is perfect for kids who are different and need inspiration to follow their dreams.
Pony Mysteries #1: Penny and Pepper by Bonnie Bryant
This is one of the great 2nd grade chapter books about Penny and Pepper who are best friends. They live on a ranch and help their owners with the horses. But when they find a lost pony, they have to help him find his way home. This is a great book for kids who love horses and mystery stories and definitely belongs to the best 2nd grade books list!
Second Grade, Here I Come! by Dori Butler
Second grade is a big step up from first grade and perfect for budding readers. But Dori is ready for the challenge. She’s excited to learn new things and make new friends. This is a great book for kids who are starting second grade. It’s also a great book for kids who need a little inspiration to do their best.
Pokémon Classic Chapter Book Collection by Tracey West
The Pokémon chapter book collection is probably one of the favorite chapter books among many kids, and it is perfect for kids who love the Pokémon TV show and movies. These books follow the adventures of Ash and his friends as they travel around the world catching Pokémon. These books are perfect for kids who love adventure stories and learning new things.
A Little SPOT of Feelings 8 Book Box Set by Julie Sternberg
The Little SPOT of Feelings series is perfect second grade books for kids who need help dealing with their emotions. In these books, a little dog named SPOT helps his friends deal with their feelings. These books are perfect for kids who love animals and need help dealing with their emotions.
The Best 2nd Grade Books 2022 – Your Kids Will Love This List!
I hope you liked this list of some hard, some easy chapter books for 2nd graders! Me and my 2nd grade readers have read many of these books on this list and we loved them all (otherwise, they wouldn’t be on this list!). These 2nd grade books of 2022 are waiting to be discovered by your little ones. And we promise, they will love every minute of it. Happy reading!