(If you want to see all my book reviews for 2nd graders, visit this page.)
Fantastic Chapter Book Series for 2nd Graders
Diary of an Ice Princess: Snow Place Like Home by Christina Soontornvat
This charming new series for early readers features magic, friendship, myths, and diversity in a story about a girl whose family are windtamers who live in the clouds, magical beings who control the wind and weather. Unfortunately, Princess Lina’s powers are going wonky, especially when she gets upset. Luckily, her wise (and loud) grandfather helps Lina discover her true talents. Cheerful pink chapter titles, as well as pink-and-gray illustrations, give this book a very princessy feel. (Book 2 is Frost Friends Forever.)
Bird and Squirrel on Ice by James Burks
HUMOR / GRAPHIC NOVEL
In this hysterical graphic novel book series, Bird’s over-confident, laissez-faire character pairs perfectly with Squirrel’s logical, fearful one. In this first book, the duo crash land in the Penguin world where Bird is thought to be the “Chosen One” meant to save the penguins from the Great Whale.
Planet Omar by Zanib Mian
Eerie Elementary: The School is Alive! by Jack Chabert, illustrated by Sam Ricks
Sam isn’t thrilled about becoming hall monitor. Especially when he discovers that the school is ALIVE and trying to harm he and the other students. Sam has quite a wild adventure trying to save the students from the school. If your child loves spooky and scary, this is a great series for them.
Zoey and Sassafras Dragons and Marshmallows #1 by Asia Citro, illustrated by Marion Lindsay
SCIENCE / FANTASY
Kids love these entertaining and well-written stories that have the coolest mix of science and magic, a diverse main character, and fantastic illustrations. 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.
Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon
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, and one bad lady nemesis. This book is totally hilarious and you’ll love the child-like illustrations –– it’s a favorite chapter book series for second graders. See all the Dory books here.
The Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne
These are MUST-READ chapter book series for 2nd graders! The books combine mystery, history, magic, and adventure as siblings Jack and Annie adventure through time to solve mysteries. I highly recommend this series and if you get a chance, they’re GREAT on audiobook, narrated by Mary Pope Osborne herself. Boxed Set 1.
Meet Yasmin!by Saadia Faruqui, illustrated by Hatem Aly
Yasmin is an exuberant girl who is interested in everything from exploring to building to fashion. This book tells four 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. I LOVE the diversity, the gutsy main character, and the beautiful design of the entire book.
Real Pigeons Fight Crime by Ben Wood
HUMOR / MYSTERY
In the first of three silly stories, Rock Pigeon is a crime-fighting pigeon who helps Grandpouter and the other park pigeons solve the problem of the vanishing bread crumbs. Hilarious disguises, charming illustrations, quirky characters, and funny mysteries, this is an entertaining romp that is sure to entice even the most reluctant of readers.
Rise of the Earth Dragon (Dragon Masters) by Tracey West, illustrated by Graham Howells
The Toad: The Disgusting Critters Series by Elise Gravel
Visually captivating with interesting, just-right text that is informative and sometimes hilarious. I’m a fan of this kid-friendly nonfiction book series! (Also read: The Worm, The Fly, and The Rat)
Mia Mayhem Is a Superhero! by Kara West, illustrated by Leeza Hernandez
When Mia gets accepted into the Superhero training program, she learns that she is SUPER. She even learns that her parents are, also. After school at her new superhero training, she has a disastrous first day and learns that it takes work to become a superhero. Black and white illustrations, bigger print, and an exciting story make this a winning series for growing readers.
Sadiq and the Desert Star by Siman Nuurali, illustrated by Anjan Sarkar
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 from Capstone Publishing’s Picture Window Books.
Cat Ninja by Matthew Cody, illustrated by Yehudi Mercado
GRAPHIC NOVEL / SUPERHERO
By day Claude is Leon’s pet but by night, he’s Cat Ninja, Metro City’s protector! His nemesis is Leon’s sister’s evil hamster, Master Hamster. Learn the Cat Ninja’s origin story then follow his perilous, exciting, and humorous adventures!
The Bad Guys #1by Aaron Blabey
Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot by Dav Pilkey, illustrated by Dan Santat
Get ready for an addictive, action-packed, engaging sci-fi series for young readers. With awesome illustrations. It’s not often you see a book in full color – love that! After reading this book, kids will wish they had their own giant robot friend to help them conquer evil in the universe.
Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business by Lyla Lee, illustrated by Dung Ho
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.
The Fabled Stables Willa the Wisp by Jonathan Auxier, illustrated by Olga Demidova
FANTASY / MAGICAL CREATURES
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.
The Magic Mirror (Once Upon a Fairy Tale) by Anna Staniszewski, illustrated by Macky Pamintuan
Undersea Mystery Club Problem at the Playground by Courtney Carbone, illustrated by Melanie Demmer
Not only is this beginning chapter book a creative, entertaining mystery story with adorable full-color illustrations but it shows the power of problem-solving, listening, and working together. Violet and her best friend, the always-hungry narwhal named Wally, need to find out who is sabotaging the playground. Helpful back matter provides information and photos about decorator crabs, narwhals, and civil engineers.
Creature Campers The Secret of Shadow Lake by Joe McGee, Bea Tormo
Mac Undercover (Kid Spy #1) by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Mike Lowery
Notebook of Doom by Troy Cummings
I think your 2nd graders will love this engaging, slightly creepy chapter book series. Alexander discovers his new town is FILLED WITH MONSTERS! And, he’s right in the middle of everything– especially after he finds an old notebook of drawings and facts about monsters. Box set here.
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
One of our favorite graphic novels, Zita the Spacegirl, is a true friend who not only saves her best friend from kidnappers but also saves the entire galaxy! Boxed Set HERE.
A to Z Mysteries by Rob Roy
This addictive chapter book mystery series will keep your kids reading for hours and days and months. My kids read them all more than once so we highly recommend this series, especially for second grade. Box set here.
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?
The Critter Club by Callie Barkley
The girls in the Critter Club love animals and want to help them any way they can. You’ll find plenty of sweet stories in this series for animal lovers.
Jessica Finch in Pig Trouble (Judy Moody and Friends) by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Erwin Madrid
Jessica Finch is a delightful early chapter book with exceptionally pleasing and colorful illustrations. Jessica wants nothing more than a pig for a pet. For her birthday. When a misunderstanding happens with her best friend, Judy Moody, she learns a valuable lesson about not making assumptions and calling people names. This is one of my top picks for an early chapter book series for 2nd graders!
Stink: The Super-Incredible Shrinking Kid by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Stink is the brother of Judy Moody. He’s got a big imagination which he uses to imagine he has superpowers, helping him to deal with his daily life. The writing is funny and relatable peppered with incredible Peter H. Reynolds’ illustrations. Kids love this humorous series. Boxed Set HERE.
Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo
Mercy is a pig who lives with Mr. and Mrs. Watson. They feed her buttered toast and take her for drives in their convertible. One night, Mercy gets scared and decides to sleep with Mr. and Mrs. Watson. Can you imagine what happens next? Hilarious and quirky, this is a fun series filled with many amazing adventures. Boxed Set HERE.
Rainbow Magic Fairies by Daisy Meadows
These are very predictable but so many kids ADORE these chapter books – they are some of the most checked out books at our library. They’re about two human girls who are trusted to help the magical fairies search for something Jack Frost’s goblins stole.
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.
Amelia Bedelia Means Business by Herman Parish, illustrated by Lynne Avril
I’ve been enjoying these updated Amelia chapter books by the original author’s son. In this story, Amelia tries to make money for a new bike. Great for 2nd graders (second graders) who love goofy humor and wordplay.
From an Idea to Disney How Imagination Built a World of Magic by Lowey Bundy Sichol, illustrated by C.S. Jennings
I’ve read many other biographies about Walt Disney but this one stands out for its writing, pertinent information, and appeal. It shares about the business that continued on even after Walt’s death and his brother’s death including the merger with Pixar and the successful but controversial CEO, Michael Eisner. Fascinating!
Who Would Win? Whale vs. Giant Squid by Jerry Pallotta, illustrated by Rob Bolster
Teachers tell me that their students, especially boys, can’t get enough of the Who Would Win? books, even if they’re a bit more challenging. This particular book pits two ocean carnivores against each other. First, you’ll learn facts about a sperm whale, then you’ll learn about the giant squid. Finally, read what happens when these two creatures face-off. Can you predict who will win? See all the addicting informational books in the Who Would Win series.
BUGS! Animal Planet Amazing Animal Facts Chapter Books by James Buckley, Jr.
Nonfiction Books for 7-Year-Olds