If you’re ready to start a book club for 2nd graders, you’ll need some book ideas.
Pick a book that you know will appeal to the readers in your book club…and that touches upon subjects that could be discussed.
It’s also important to pick a book that is comprehensible to all the children in the group. Make sure you’re aware of the general reading levels of the students and if anyone is struggling. (Alternatively, you could choose a book to listen to on audiobook or have an adult read it to them.)
When you think of your purpose for a book club, one of the biggest reasons usually is to encourage more reading.
In that spirit, I’m sharing many books that are the first in a series. Once kids read and enjoy the first book, they’ll love to keep reading more books in the series. At least, that’s the hope.
The following books contain themes of friendship, identity, culture, kindness, writing, and more.
Second-grade book clubs can be at school, the library, or at home. You could have only students or students with adults such as a parent-child or grandparent-child book club.
Book Ideas for 2nd Grade Book Clubs
Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business by Lyla Lee, illustrated by Dung Ho
#OWNVOICES / REALISTIC (series)
Mindy and her dad recently moved to Florida after her mom’s death. When the other kids at school make fun of her seaweed snacks at lunch, Mindy and her new friend Sally start a snack business to save money for a puppy. This doesn’t go as planned yet it’s a big learning experience showing Mindy to be herself and be proud of her Korean-American culture.
Planet Omar by Zanib Mian
#OWNVOICES / REALISTIC (series)
Good Dog, McTavish by Meg Rosoff, illustrated by Grace Easton
I adore this endearing story about a family in chaos and the dog (and youngest sibling) who fixes everything. The writing is brilliant with subtle, rye humor. When a mom quits “momming”, the youngest daughter, Betty, suggests that the family get a dog. Betty chooses McTavish the dog at a shelter or does McTavish choose them? Right away, he gets to work organizing the family which… takes plans and more plans.
Cat Kid Comic Club by Dav Pilkey
My writing teacher’s heart adores this book about encouraging kids to write their own comics! Plus, it’s totally hilarious. Cat Kid teaches a class for the tadpoles about making your own comic books…which doesn’t go well until the tadpoles get excited about failure and get started writing and drawing. If you like a lot of silliness (including potty humor) with great messages about writing, creativity, and persistence, read this book next.
White Fur Flying by Patricia MacLachlan
Zoe’s family rescues dogs in need. A new family has moved in across the street and Phillip, the boy, has stopped speaking. He doesn’t even want to try. But Zoe’s new rescue dog might just help the boy heal and speak.
Sadiq and the Desert Star by Siman Nuurali, illustrated by Anjan Sarkar
#OWNVOICES / STEM (series)
Not only is this a great STEM story about a young boy who finds the stars to be fascinating, but it’s also a story with diversity because Sadiq’s Muslim family is originally from Somalia. The story is also about how after a field trip to the planetarium, Sadiq and his friends start a space club and work together to raise money for a DIY telescope. Growing readers will enjoy the friendship, teamwork, STEM topics, and diversity found in this first book of the Sadiq series.
Meet Yasmin! by Saadia Faruqui, illustrated by Hatem Aly
#OWNVOICES / REALISTIC (series)
Yasmin is an exuberant girl who is interested in everything from exploring to building to fashion. Each book in this series shares short stories from Yasmin’s life, all in chapters with lively, full-color illustrations. Each story shows Yasmin as a creative problem solver even when things get hard. Her Pakistani American culture is embedded throughout the story such as the foods Yasmin’s family eats like naan or how she calls her father Baba.
Rabbit & Bear: Rabbit’s Bad Habits by Julian Gough & Jim Field
FRIENDSHIP / FUNNY (series)
This beginning chapter book is delightfully weird, hilarious, and tender-hearted! Neil Gaiman says this book is “a laugh-out-loud story” and I completely agree. There’s a lot to love about this book including the tidbits of science like gravity and a rabbit’s diet (they eat their poop– but only some of their poop!) In a lovely redemptive story arc, Rabbit starts out by stealing Bear’s food and is a rude, know-it-all but becomes self-reflective, repentant, and kind.
Zoey and Sassafras Dragons and Marshmallows #1 by Asia Citro, illustrated by Marion Lindsay
This is an entertaining and well-written story with the coolest mix of science and magic, a diverse main character, and fantastic illustrations that will get kids reading and learning. Zoey, like her mom, can see magical creatures and is tasked to care for any injured creatures that might need help. In this story, she uses her science skills (including research and the scientific method) to figure out how to care for a sick baby dragon.
The Haunted Library by Dori Hillestad Butler
My daughter and I loved this entertaining new series about a boy ghost, Kaz, who is blown away from his family and into a new haunt, a library. But who is the library ghost that is already there? He and his new friend, Claire, decide to be detectives and discover the secret of the ghost as well as search for his missing family.
Dory and the Real True Friend by Abby Hanlon
REALISTIC / FUNNY (series)
Dory is one of my favorite book characters because her imagination is THE BEST! She has three imaginary friends: one monster friend, one fairy godmother that’s actually not a lady, and one bad lady nemesis. I love this story because she meets a real-life friend who understands all about imaginary friends and together, they’re the perfect match.
Olga and the Smelly Thing From Nowhere by Elise Gravel
The Fabled Stables Willa the Wisp by Jonathan Auxier, illustrated by Olga Demidova
FANTASY / MAGICAL CREATURES (series)
Auggie, the only human, lives on an island of mythical creatures but he’s lonely. When a new stall magically appears, Auggie enters and meets a Wisp who is hunted by ruthless magical poachers. It’s a darling start to a new series perfect for fantasy-loving readers.
Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Badness of Badgers by John Dougherty
The Dragonsitter by Josh Lacey illustrated by Garry Parsons
Written in increasingly funny (and alarming) letters we learn that Uncle Morton left his pet dragon for Edward and his mom and sister to watch — with no directions!! The dragon poops in their shoes, eats their pet bunny, and causes all kinds of destruction which all are the subjects of Edward’s letters to his nowhere-to-be-found uncle. Finally, Edward hears from his uncle who suggests feeding the dragon chocolate. Will Edward’s mom lose her mind? Will the chocolate work?