Want a list of the best 2nd grade books for summer reading? Yes, it’s time for summer reading lists & summer reading programs. And if you’re looking for good chapter books for kids going into the second grade or even leaving 2nd grade, these 2nd grade books will keep your young readers reading throughout the summer, developing and practicing their reading skills with excellent books.
As you know, the more a 2nd grade child reads, the more vocabulary they’ll learn and the more they will improve comprehension skills. This adds up to overall improved reading skills. (With the exception of a learning difference situation.)
So whether or not you do a summer reading program or just read on your own, you’ll find great 2nd grade books to read over summer on this list. From funny to fantasy, there’s a good 2nd grade book (or five) for every interest.
A quick note about me — I’m a former teacher and literacy trainer, a parent of two, a writer, and a book reviewer. Every year, I read over 1,000 books, including all the books on this list so that I can provide you with the best, curated book lists for your readers.
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These books will generally work for children ages 7 or 8 who are entering second grade. For all my book reviews for each 2nd grade book, visit Best Books for 2nd Graders, 7-Year Olds.
But how do you know how to tell if a book is just right for your young reader to read? Do the 5 Finger Test. If on one page, your child misses more than five words, save the book for later. If they miss zero words, it’s an easy book. Missing between one and five words usually means the book will be a good choice to read; a choice that the 2nd grader will be able to comprehend.
If you specifically need advanced 2nd grade books, visit to my 3rd grade summer reading list.
If you need easier 2nd grade books, visit my 1st grade summer reading list.
Remember, it’s good for kids to read books that are JUST RIGHT, but there are benefits in both reading easy books and reading challenging books, too.
2nd Grade Books for Summer Reading
If your 2nd graders love GRAPHIC NOVELS, try these 2nd grade book choices:
- Bug Scouts Out in the Wild by Mike Lowery
- Owly: The Way Home by Andy Runton
- Cat Kid Comic Club by Dav Pilkey
- Bird and Squirrel on Ice by James Burks
- Cat Ninja by Matthew Cody
- King of the Birds by Elise Gravel
- Donut Feed the Squirrels by Mika Song
- Mimi and the Cutie Catastrophe by Shauna J. Grant
If your second grade reader likes FUNNY books, they’ll love:
- The Dragonsitter by Josh Lacey
- Stick Dog by Tom Watson
- Scaredy Squirrel in a Nutshell by Melanie Watt
- Real Pigeons Fight Crime by Ben Wood
- Rabbit & Bear: Rabbit’s Bad Habits by Julian Gough & Jim Field
- The Real Dada Mother Goose A Treasury of Complete Nonsense by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Julia Rothman
If your child in second grade likes MAGIC & MYTHICAL CREATURES, they’ll love:
2nd graders love reading chapter books with magic or with mythical creatures! Try one of these good 2nd grade books:
- Dragons and Marshmallows: Zoey and Sassafras by Asia Citro
- Diary of an Ice Princess: Snow Place Like Home by Christina Soontornvat
- Rise of the Earth Dragon by Tracey West
- Love Puppies: Best Friends Furever by JaNay Brown Wood
- The Fabled Stables Willa the Wisp by Jonathan Auxier
- Dragons of Ember City: Happy Spark Day by Shane Richardson and Sarah Marino
If your 2nd grader likes ADVENTURE stories, they’ll love:
- Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne
- Galaxy Zack by Ray O’Ryan
- The Notebook of Doom by Troy Cummings
- Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot by Dav Pilkey
- Ivy Lost and Found by Cynthia Lord
- Mia Mayhem Is a Superhero! by Kara West
- Bee & Flea and the Compost Caper by Anna Humphrey
If your 2nd grade reader like MYSTERIES, they’ll love:
- Magic Tree House The Graphic Novel Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne
- Super Detectives Simon and Chester by Cale Atkinson
- A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy
- Secret Spy Society The Case of the Missing Cheetah by Veronica Mang
- Mac Undercover (Kid Spy #1) by Mac Barnett
- Crime Biters: My Dog Is Better Than Your Dog by Tommy Greenwald
If your 2nd grader loves REALISTIC stories, try:
- Good Dog by Cam Higgins
- Too Small Tola by Atinuke
- Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon
- Emmet and Jez Adventures in Fosterland by Hannah Shaw
- The Amazing Life of Azaleah Lane by Nikki Shannon Smith
- Planet Omar by Zanib Mian
If your second grader likes NONFICTION, read:
- Go Wild! Sea Turtles by Jill Esbaum
- Fox Explores the Night by Martin Jenkins
- Blood! Not Just a Vampire Drink by Stacy McAnulty
- What Do They Do With All That Poo? by Jane Kurtz
- Plants Fight Back by Lisa J. Amstutz
- The Rat by Elise Gravel
- All About Plants: Ada Twist, Scientist The Why Files by Andrea Beaty and Dr. Theanne Griffith
- Planets by Elizabeth Carney