Time to inspire our next generation of bright minds and innovative thinkers to explore the joys of reading. At this age, kids are starting to be even more curious about the world around them. They want to read stories and go on adventures whether that is in real life or through books with more words and fewer pictures.
Here are 55 2nd grade chapter books and series that will get your kids excited about reading, improve their comprehension skills, and take them on literary journeys with relatable characters and engaging stories.
1. Rainbow Magic Collection
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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.
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!