Best Chapter Books for Second Graders

Finding chapter books for second graders can be tough, because these kids are often new to reading and we don’t want to discourage them with bulky chapter books. Ideally, these kids would be seven-year-olds. The selections for this age (unless you have a faster reader) tend to be heavily illustrated, featuring text in much larger fonts and simple story lines. If you’re an adult reader, you could get through these books in under an hour or much less. Series are also a hit for this age group.

For this list, I tried to include a diverse selection, featuring boys and girls who are good role models (because I believe that’s important at this age), animal stories, a hint of fantasy, and a touch of adventure. I hope you can find some picks for your kiddos. If your second grader is a strong reader, you can also check out my suggested chapter books for third graders here.


Best Chapter Books for Second Graders

best chapter books for second graders

Lotus Lane #1: Kiki: My Stylish Life (A Branches Book)

Chapter Books for Second Graders - Lotus Lane #1: Kiki: My Stylish Life (A Branches Book)

Meet the Lotus Lane Girls!

This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

Kiki, Coco, and Lulu are the BEST of friends. They even have their very own club! But Mika, the new girl, is shaking things up on Lotus Lane. This first book is written as Kiki’s diary–with illustrations and doodles throughout. Kiki LOVES creating cool outfits, hanging out with friends, and collecting fun facts like these:

Fact: I am a member of the Lotus Lane Girls Club.

Fact: I will one day be a VERY famous fashion designer.

Fact: My new neighbor Mika is trouble–triple trouble!

Fact: Even chickens must look their best.

Read Kiki’s diary to find out all about life on Lotus Lane!


Meet Yasmin!

Meet Yasmin! - chapter books for second graders

Meet Yasmin! Yasmin is a spirited second-grader who’s always on the lookout for those “aha” moments to help her solve life’s little problems. Taking inspiration from her surroundings and her big imagination, she boldly faces any situation, assuming her imagination doesn’t get too big, of course! A creative thinker and curious explorer, Yasmin and her multi-generational Pakistani American family will delight and inspire readers.


Softball Surprise (Jake Maddox Girl Sports Stories)

Softball Surprise - chapter books for second graders

Jo can’t wait for the summer softball league to start. She knows this will be the year she’s on a winning team. But when she finds out some surprising information, Jo has to decide between the team that wins and the team she’s come to love.


My Family Adventure (Sofia Martinez)

Chapter Books for Second Graders - My Family Adventure (Sofia Martinez)

Little Sofia Martinez has a big personality and big plans, which makes every day memorable. Between her sisters and cousins, her family is the focus of her many adventures. From taking school pictures to doing chores, this 7-year-old knows how to make every moment count. Sofia loves her family and loves her life. What could be better?


Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel (A Dyamonde Daniel Book)

Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel (A Dyamonde Daniel Book)

Dyamonde Daniel may be new in town, but that doesn’t stop her from making a place for herself in a jiffy. With her can-do attitude and awesome brain power she takes the whole neighborhood by storm. The only thing puzzling her is the other new kid in her class. He’s grouchy – but Dyamonde’s determined to get to the bottom of his attitude and make a friend.


Lulu and the Duck in the Park

Chapter Books for Second Graders - Lulu and the Duck in the Park

When Lulu finds a duck egg that has rolled out of its nest, she takes it to class to keep it safe. Lulu isn’t allowed to bring pets to school. But she’s not really breaking the rules because it’s just an egg. Surely nothing bad will happen…


EllRay Jakes Stands Tall

EllRay Jakes Stands Tall - chapter books for second graders

EllRay Jakes finally grows up (a little) by playing basketball in this ninth book in the series.

There’s a new game in town—basketball! Or in Ellray’s case, pre-basketball. Coach Havens has all the third graders dribbling, passing, and shooting, and he’s quick to compliment EllRay’s skills. No one else seems to notice them, however, and as ‘the shortest kid in the class,’ EllRay is still chosen last for teams at recess. What’s a short guy gotta do to get noticed?? When EllRay comes up with a plan that involves the off-limits teacher’s lounge, everyone does a double take!


The Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery (J.J. Tully Mysteries)

Chapter Books for Second Graders - The Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery (J.J. Tully Mysteries)

J.J. Tully is a former search-and-rescue dog who is trying to enjoy his retirement after years of performing daring missions saving lives. So he’s not terribly impressed when two chicks named Dirt and Sugar (who look like popcorn on legs) and their chicken mom show up demanding his help to find their missing siblings. Driven by the promise of a cheeseburger, J.J. begins to track down clues. Is Vince the Funnel hiding something? Are there dark forces at work—or is J.J. not smelling the evidence that’s right in front of him?


Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! (Passport to Reading)

Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! (Passport to Reading)

Ling and Ting are twins. They have the same brown eyes. They have the same pink cheeks. They have the same happy smiles.

Ling and Ting are two adorable identical twins, and they stick together, whether they are making dumplings, getting their hair cut, or practicing magic tricks. But looks are deceiving–people can be very different, even if they look exactly the same.


The Princess in Black

The Princess in Black

Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret —she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! Can the princess sneak away, transform into her alter ego, and defeat the monster before the nosy duchess discovers her secret? From award-winning writing team of Shannon and Dean Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham, here is the first in a humorous and action-packed chapter book series for young readers who like their princesses not only prim and perfect, but also dressed in black.


Anna Hibiscus

Chapter Books for Second Graders - Anna Hibiscus

Anna Hibiscus lives in amazing Africa with her mother, her father, her baby twin brothers, and lots and lots of her family. Join her as she splashes in the sea, prepares for a party, sells oranges, and hopes to see sweet, sweet snow!


Nikki and Deja: Nikki and Deja, Book One (1)

Chapter Books for Second Graders - Nikki and Deja: Nikki and Deja, Book One (1)

Meet Nikki and Deja, who live next door to each other and are best friends. They do everything together—watch Saturday morning cartoons, play jacks, jump double Dutch at recess, and help each other with their homework for Mrs. Shelby’s third-grade class. But when an arrogant new girl arrives and Nikki and Deja form a club that would exclude her, the results are not what they expect. This warm, easy-to-read chapter book from an award-winning author captures all the joys and complexities of elementary school life—particularly friendships and cliques—with finesse and humor.


Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen

Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen

Eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi is a flamingo fan, tree climber, and top-notch mess-maker!

She’s also tired of her big sister, Sophie, always getting to do things first. For once, Jasmine wishes SHE could do something before Sophiesomething special, something different. The New Year approaches, and as the Toguchi family gathers in Los Angeles to celebrate, Jasmine is jealous that her sister gets to help roll mochi balls by hand with the women. Her mom says that Jasmine is still too young to join in, so she hatches a plan to help the men pound the mochi rice instead. Surely her sister has never done THAT before.

But pounding mochi is traditionally reserved for boys. And the mochi hammer is heavier than it looks. Can Jasmine build her case and her mochi-making muscles in time for New Year’s Day?


Sarai and the Meaning of Awesome

Sarai and the Meaning of Awesome

Sarai Gonzalez is AWESOME.

Fourth grader Sarai Gonzalez can do anything. She can bake, dance, and run her own cupcake business. But when Sarai’s grandparents are forced to move, even Sarai’s not sure what to do. So she hatches a super-awesome plan with her younger sisters and cousin to buy back the house. But houses are more expensive than she ever thought, her sisters won’t listen, and she’s running out of time. Will Sarai find a way to save the day?

Inspired by the life of viral video sensation and social activist Sarai Gonzalez with the help of award-winning children’s book author Monica Brown.


Juana and Lucas: Big Problemas

Juana and Lucas: Big Problemas - chapter books for second graders


Fans of Judy Moody and Clarice Bean will love Juana, the spunky young Colombian girl who stars in this playful, abundantly illustrated series. Juana loves many things: drawing, living in Bogotá, Colombia, and especially her dog, Lucas, the best amigo ever. She does not love wearing her itchy school uniform, solving math problems, or learning the English. Why is it so important to learn a language that makes so little sense? Hilarious, energetic, and utterly relatable, Juana will win over los corazones (the hearts)of readers everywhere.


King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats

King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats

A lovable dog helps his human girl solve a mystery.
Kayla made peanut butter treats for Jillian’s new puppy Thor. But now the treats are missing. What does Kayla know? ―There are three treats missing. King was in the kitchen. King’s breath doesn’t smell like peanut butter. What does King know? ―There’s an intruder in the house. How will they solve the mystery?


My Life in Pictures (Bea Garcia Book 1)

My Life in Pictures (Bea Garcia Book 1)


Bea Garcia is an artist. She draws anywhere and everywhere—but mostly in her own notebook.  When Bea’s first and only best friend Yvonne moves to Australia, not even drawing makes Bea feel better. And things only get worse when a loud, rambunctious boy moves in next door. He’s nothing at all like Yvonne! But with a little imagination and a whole lot of doodles, Bea Garcia might just make a new friend.
 
This first book in a brand-new chapter book series is a must-read for doodlers everywhere.


Zita the Spacegirl (Zita the Spacegirl (1))

Zita the Spacegirl (Zita the Spacegirl (1))

Zita’s life took a cosmic left turn in the blink of an eye.

When her best friend is abducted by an alien doomsday cult, Zita leaps to the rescue and finds herself a stranger on a strange planet. Humanoid chickens and neurotic robots are shocking enough as new experiences go, but Zita is even more surprised to find herself taking on the role of intergalactic hero. Before long, aliens in all shapes and sizes don’t even phase her. Neither do ancient prophecies, doomed planets, or even a friendly con man who takes a mysterious interest in Zita’s quest.

Zita the Spacegirl is a fun, captivating tale of friendship and redemption from Flight veteran Ben Hatke. It also has more whimsical, eye-catching, Miyazaki-esque monsters than you can shake a stick at.


Absolutely Alfie and the Furry, Purry Secret

Absolutely Alfie and the Furry, Purry Secret

Seven-year-old Alfie Jakes isn’t thrilled when her mom organizes end-of-summer playdates with her soon-to-be classmate, Hanni. Hanni is kind of bossy. So Alfie is relieved when Hanni is more fun to play with then she thought. Even better, she shows Alfie her cat–who has kittens! Alfie immediately falls in love with a little gray kitten and wants to give it a home. But one of the Jakes’ house rules is ‘no pets’ because Alfie is supposedly alergic. Alfie is sure she’s outgrown that allergy, but how can she convince her parents? Wouldn’t it be better to sneak the kitten home and PROVE that she’s not allergic? But keeping a kitten a secret is lot harder than she ever thought!


Andy Shane, Hero at Last

Andy Shane, Hero at Last

There are two things Andy Shane wants more than anything — to win the contest for best-decorated bike in the parade, and . . . to be a hero. He has a great idea for the bike part, although high-strung Dolores is upping the ante with her paper-daisy-covered helmets for her and her cat. But the second goal has Andy stumped, until the parade is in motion and his eagle eyes catch the reason why the drum corps has suddenly thrown the marchers out of whack. Pass the baton to a lovably low-key hero as he saves the day in another adventure for early chapter-book readers.


The Miniature World of Marvin & James (The Masterpiece Adventures Book 1)

The Miniature World of Marvin & James (The Masterpiece Adventures Book 1)

In this Masterpiece Adventure, the first in a companion series for younger readers from bestselling author Elise Broach, James is going on vacation for a week. His best friend, Marvin the beetle, has to stay at home. Without James to keep him company, Marvin has to play with his annoying cousin, Elaine. Marvin and Elaine quickly find themselves getting into all sorts of trouble―even getting trapped inside a pencil sharpener! Marvin misses James and starts to worry about their friendship. Will James still be Marvin’s friend when he gets home or will James have found a new best friend?


Snow Place Like Home (Diary of an Ice Princess #1)

Snow Place Like Home (Diary of an Ice Princess #1)

Princess Lina has a life any kid would envy. She lives in a massive palace in the clouds. Everyone in her family has the power to control the wind and weather. On a good day, she can even fly! She loves making lemons into lemon ice, riding wind gusts around the sky, and turning her bedroom into a real life snow globe.

There’s just one thing Lina wants: to go to regular, non-magical school with her best friend Claudia. She promises to keep the icy family secret under wraps. What could go wrong? (EVERYTHING!)


Bird & Squirrel on the Edge!

Bird & Squirrel on the Edge! - books for second graders

Bird and Squirrel are almost home. All that’s left for them to do is cross the Great Mountains. But before they can, the duo stops to chase off wolves hunting a baby bear and in the process Bird gets a knock on the noggin that gives him amnesia. Now Squirrel has to set aside his fears and keep both Bird and the bear cub safe as they journey on foot over the mountains. But witha pack of hungry wolves on their tail, can Squirrel step up and be the leader they need to keep them all alive?


The School is Alive!: A Branches Book (Eerie Elementary #1)

The School is Alive!: A Branches Book (Eerie Elementary #1)

Eerie Elementary is one scary school!

This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

In this first book in the series, Sam Graves discovers that his elementary school is ALIVE! Sam finds this out on his first day as the school hall monitor. Sam must defend himself and his fellow students against the evil school! Is Sam up to the challenge? He’ll find out soon enough: the class play is just around the corner. Sam teams up with friends Lucy and Antonio to stop this scary school before it’s too late!


Judy Moody and Friends: Jessica Finch in Pig Trouble

Judy Moody and Friends: Jessica Finch in Pig Trouble

Pee! Gee! Wee! Gee! What’s that sound?

With her birthday coming up, Jessica hopes that, just maybe, her present will be a real-live potbellied pig. Jessica can hardly wait for her party with Judy Moody and all their friends. But Judy Moody is acting like a pig-head, and Jessica UN-invites her from the party. To make matters worse, Jessica has snooped around the house and has found zero sign of a pig present. Could her birthday be any more of a disaster? Geared to newly independent readers, this story will have Judy Moody fans in pig heaven.


Dory Fantasmagory

dory fantasmagory

As the youngest in her family, Dory really wants attention, and more than anything she wants her brother and sister to play with her. But she’s too much of a baby for them, so she’s left to her own devices—including her wild imagination and untiring energy. Her siblings may roll their eyes at her childish games, but Dory has lots of things to do: outsmarting the monsters all over the house, escaping from prison (aka time-out), and exacting revenge on her sister’s favorite doll. And when they really need her, daring Dory will prove her bravery, and finally get exactly what she has been looking for.

With plenty of pictures bursting with charm and character, this hilarious book about an irresistible rascal is the new must-read for the chapter book set.


Camila the Record Breaking Star

camila the record breaking star

After reading about kid record-breakers, Camila dreams of breaking a record of her own. But which world record should she tackle? No matter what she tries, Camila finds that breaking records is hard. Will she ever become a record-breaking star?


There they are: 27 of the best chapter books for second graders! I hope you find one that floats your boat. If you’re still on the hunt for more chapter books, check out this list I made for Gr. 1-4.

Which of these books have your kids read and enjoyed? And which other second grade chapter books would you recommend?

Pin This Post – Best Chapter Books for Second Graders

best chapter books for second graders

One thought on “Best Chapter Books for Second Graders

  1. Just heard you on What Should I Read Next and came to check out your site…and THANK YOU for this list! I’ve got a first grader reading like a 3rd grader and have been trying to find books for her. This list is PERFECT!

What do you think? Leave a comment