Best Books for Second Grade Readers

Posted on March 29, 2021

by Patti L

Looking for books for a second grader? Here are wonderful picture books and easy readers specifically chosen for this age group. Books in series are noted.  

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Cover of Swim, Mo, Swim

Swim, Mo, Swim
By David A. Adler


Mo and his friends compete in races at summer camp, hoping to win medals. Can Mo win first place in the swimming race? A little help from a curious fish just might do the trick! Illustrations of the diverse characters and their fun day outdoors help children follow the simple text.

Cover of King and Kayla and the Case of Found Fred

King and Kayla and the Case of Found Fred
By Dori Hillestad Butler

eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla eBook   |   hoopla eAudiobook

King the dog narrates this humorous mystery series. Readers will love the enthusiastic, tail-wagging dog detective and his smart and persistent human, Kayla. The chapters are short, showing how Kayla gathers facts and analyzes them in order to solve the cases. These titles are a great introduction to mystery stories for young readers.

Cover of Mercy Watson to the Rescue

Mercy Watson to the Rescue
By Kate DiCamillo

eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla

Mercy Watson is a pet pig who loves buttered toast. Her love for the tasty treat ends up saving the day in this delightful easy chapter book, part of a series. Humorous, colorful illustrations are on every page.

Cover of Yasmin the Friend

Yasmin the Friend
By Saadia Faruqi

eBook   |   hoopla

Yasmin’s friends don’t want to play dress-up with her. Ali wants to juggle, and Emma wants to jump rope. Yasmin, guided by her baba, uses her imagination so they can all play together. The familiar childhood situations in this series, featuring Pakistani-American Yasmin, will appeal to young readers. Kids will learn some interesting cultural facts at the book’s end and can enjoy an activity.

Cover of Ginger and Chrysanthemum

Ginger and Chrysanthemum
By Kristen Mai Giang

hoopla eBook   |   hoopla eAudiobook

How can careful and organized Chrysanthemum bake a cake for Grandma’s birthday when creative, spontaneous Ginger dumps all the ingredients together in a mess? These two cousins are best friends, but they must work at it sometimes! Colorful illustrations and references to Chinese American culture are appealing in this friendship story.

Cover of The Princess in Black

The Princess in Black
By Shannon Hale

Audiobook   |   eBook

Everyone believes Princess Magnolia is perfectly sparkly, frilly, prissy and pink, just as a princess should be. But when danger strikes, she becomes the Princess in Black: monster-fighter, tough-as-nails hero. Widely spaced text, colorful illustrations and plenty of laughs make this series fun.

Cover of Flat Stanley at Bat

Flat Stanley at Bat
By Lori Haskins Houran


Stanley is a good baseball player, but pitchers have a hard time seeing him. He can also float with the wind to catch high flying balls. See how Stanley evens the playing field for the opposing team! Part of a series.

Cover of The Cool Bean

The Cool Bean
By Jory John

eBook   |   hoopla

Every regular bean at school is in awe of the cool beans. One “uncool” bean is having an especially hard time, believing he has no special talents and will always be awkward and lonely. Small gestures of kindness build the happiness and confidence of the unhappy bean, who pays it forward. This is a great book for every child to read, no matter their age!

Cover of My Family Adventure

My Family Adventure
By Jacqueline Jules

eBook   |   hoopla

Sofia Martinez is the young star of this easy chapter series. Simple Spanish words are sprinkled throughout the text, with a glossary at book’s end. Sofia is spirited, imaginative and funny, and gets support from her loving family. Children will see themselves in the everyday situations Sofia faces, and laugh along with her.

Cover of Frog and Toad Are Friends

Frog and Toad Are Friends
By Arnold Lobel

Read-Along   |   eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla eBook   |   hoopla eAudiobook

Frog and Toad are true friends, despite being opposite in personality. Frog’s enthusiasm gets introverted Toad out of hibernation early to celebrate spring. Toad stands on his head to think of a story to comfort ailing Frog. Each chapter has a different adventure with this delightful pair. Widely spaced large text and illustrations on every page are appealing to young readers. There are four books in this classic series.

Cover of Pedro and the Shark

Pedro and the Shark
By Fran Manushkin

eBook   |   hoopla

Pedro’s class takes a field trip to the aquarium, where they enjoy naming the different sea creatures they see. Pedro loses his school group but uses deduction and reasoning to find his way back to them. Young readers will relate to the themes of this fun series. Illustrations on each page reinforce the text, helping early readers to decode and enjoy the story.

Cover of Block Party Surprise

Block Party Surprise
By Jerdine Nolen

hoopla eBook

Friends and neighbors Jada, Jamal, Carlita and Josh help their parents prepare a big surprise for the upcoming block party. The kids work together, coming up with ideas to make it a success. Culturally diverse characters and fun illustrations highlight this three-book series.

Cover of Sadiq and the Desert Star

Sadiq and the Desert Star
By Siman Nuurali

hoopla eBook

Sadiq and his classmates enjoy their visit to a planetarium so much that they decide to raise money to build their own telescope. Each student thinks of something they can sell at the school Spring Festival. Sadiq’s family works together to make a Somali food specialty to sell. Somali words and culture are featured and explained at book’s end. This book is part of the Sadiq series.

Cover of Amelia Bedelia

Amelia Bedelia
By Peggy Parish

Pocket Audiobook   |   Audiobook   |   eAudiobook

Maid Amelia Bedelia does her household tasks exactly the way they are written down for her. Draw the drapes? She gets out her sketch pad. Put out the lights? She hangs the bulbs on the clothesline. Children will laugh and learn new word meanings from some of the old-fashioned terms in the text. This is the first book in the classic series.

Cover of The Word Collector

The Word Collector
By Peter Hamilton Reynolds


Jerome loves words so much that he collects them in scrapbooks. He jumbles the words to make poetry, sharing his thoughts, feelings and dreams with everyone. Illustrations showing Jerome’s words will help readers to learn them.

Cover of You Matter

You Matter
By Christian Robinson


A reassuring picture book letting children know that no matter the circumstances, they always matter. Large illustrations of familiar objects, such as dinosaurs, help readers to absorb the text’s profound theme of value in every person. This is a good book to spark discussion with a grown-up.

Cover of Nate the Great

Nate the Great
By Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

Bookpack   |   eBook   |   eAudiobook

Nate uses his detective skills to find a friend’s missing picture in this first book of the classic series. Self-confident Nate sounds like a famous television detective, stating the facts and repeating them, aiding young readers in comprehension. Along with lots of humor, Nate’s stories feature problem-solving and analytical skills. A great introduction to mystery stories for children.

Cover of Round is a Tortilla

Round is a Tortilla
By Roseanne Greenfield Thong

Read-Along   |   eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla eBook   |   hoopla eAudiobook

Colorful illustrations depicting Hispanic culture and rhyming text invite readers to look for various shapes. A glossary of Spanish words is included. Bright pictures and engaging rhymes will attract young readers to this picture book.

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