Best Books for 2nd Graders: Our Top Picks

Classic Tales for Second Graders

The Tortoise and the Hare book

Reading is an essential skill that children need to develop from an early age, and second graders are no exception. Reading not only helps children develop vocabulary, improve comprehension skills, and stimulate their imagination, but it also helps them explore new worlds and experience a range of emotions. One way to encourage young readers is by introducing them to classic tales that have stood the test of time. Here are some classic tales for second graders that will enchant, entertain, and inspire:

The Tortoise and the Hare

The Tortoise and the Hare book cover

The Tortoise and the Hare is a classic tale that has been entertaining children for generations. The story teaches the importance of being persistent and not underestimating the abilities of others. The book follows the story of a tortoise who challenges a hare to a race. The hare, confident in his abilities, takes off ahead of the tortoise, but quickly becomes tired. The tortoise, steadily moving forward, eventually wins the race. This story is a great way to teach young readers about the value of hard work and the satisfaction that comes from achieving their goals.

The book is also a great example of how illustrations can add to the narrative of a story. The Tortoise and the Hare is beautifully illustrated, with vibrant colors and expressive characters that bring the story to life. The illustrations make the story accessible to young readers and help them understand the emotions that the characters are feeling.

In summary, The Tortoise and the Hare is an engaging and thought-provoking tale that will captivate young readers. It has stood the test of time for a reason, and it is one of the best classic tales for second graders.

Adventure and Fantasy Books for Second Graders

Adventure and Fantasy Books for Second Graders

Second grade is the perfect time to introduce children to the world of literature, especially adventure and fantasy books that can take them on journeys beyond their wildest dreams. Reading books at this age can help children improve their reading skills, sharpen their imagination, and build their vocabulary. Here are some recommended adventure and fantasy books for second graders:

The Magic Tree House Series

The Magic Tree House Series

The Magic Tree House series is a favorite among second graders and for good reason. The series combines history, adventure, and magic into a thrilling page-turner. The stories follow the adventures of siblings Jack and Annie as they discover a treehouse filled with books that can transport them to different times and places. Children will learn about different cultures, locations, and historical events such as the Titanic, knights, and dinosaurs. The series is perfect for encouraging children to read and igniting their love for learning.

The Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia is a classic series that has captivated generations of readers. The series consists of seven books that take place in the magical world of Narnia, where children can talk to animals and mythical creatures roam free. The stories follow different groups of characters, both human and animal, as they fight against evil and discover the true meaning of courage, sacrifice, and leadership. The series is perfect for children who love epic adventures, mythical creatures, and tales of bravery and friendship.

The Magic School Bus Series

The Magic School Bus Series

The Magic School Bus series is a popular choice among second graders, especially those who love science. The series follows the adventures of Ms. Frizzle and her class as they journey through space, under the ocean, and inside the human body, among other exciting destinations. The books combine humor, science, and adventure, making them a great learning tool for children. The series is perfect for introducing children to the wonders of science and sparking their curiosity and imagination.

The Never Girls Series

The Never Girls Series

The Never Girls series is a great choice for second-grade girls who love fairies, magic, and adventure. The series follows four friends who find a magic portal to Never Land, where they go on exciting adventures and meet Tinker Bell and her fairy friends. The stories are fun, inspirational, and full of girl power, making them a perfect addition to any young girl’s reading list.

The Enchanted Wood Series

The Enchanted Wood Series

The Enchanted Wood series is a delightful choice for children who love magical worlds, talking animals, and whimsical adventures. The series follows siblings Jo, Bessie, and Fanny as they discover a magical tree in their new home’s woods. The tree is home to many fantastical creatures, including the angry and cantankerous Saucepan Man, who help the children on their adventures. The series is perfect for inspiring children’s imaginations and taking them on a journey to a world where anything is possible.

These adventure and fantasy books are perfect for second graders who have a taste for magic, mystery, and excitement. These books can ignite their imaginations, encourage their love of reading and learning, and help them develop valuable skills for life.

Non-Fiction Books for Curious Second Graders

Non-Fiction Books for Curious Second Graders

Second grade is an exciting year when everything seems new and interesting. Children this age are naturally curious and eager to learn, making it a great time to introduce non-fiction books that can encourage their inquisitive minds. Here are three recommended non-fiction books that are perfect for curious second graders:

The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth by Joanna Cole

The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth

This book tells the story of Ms. Frizzle and her class as they take another exciting field trip – this time, inside the Earth! On their journey, they explore the different layers of the Earth, learning about rocks, minerals, and even earthquakes. Readers will find the fun illustrations and interesting facts engaging and enjoyable. This book is perfect for second graders who love learning about science and the world around them.

Meet the Orchestra by Ann Hayes

Meet the Orchestra

Introducing young children to the world of music can be a fun and exciting way to foster their creativity and love of the arts. In Meet the Orchestra, author Ann Hayes introduces readers to the different sections of the orchestra, from the strings to the percussion. Through engaging illustrations and fun facts, children can learn about the different instruments and how they create music. This book is perfect for second graders who enjoy music and want to learn more about the different sounds they hear.

The Boy Who Invented TV: The Story Of Philo Farnsworth by Kathleen Krull

The Boy Who Invented TV: The Story Of Philo Farnsworth

A great way to ignite curiosity in children is to tell them the stories of inspiring individuals who achieved great things through hard work and perseverance. The Boy Who Invented TV tells the story of Philo Farnsworth, a boy from a small farm in Idaho who went on to invent the television. Through compelling storytelling and illustrations, children can learn about the challenges Farnsworth overcame and how he changed the world. This book is perfect for second graders who enjoy learning about inventors, scientists, and the power of imagination.

Non-fiction books are a great way to encourage children’s natural curiosity and love of learning. These three books can help second graders explore and discover new subjects in a fun and engaging way. Whether they’re interested in science, music, or history, there’s a non-fiction book out there that can pique their interest and keep them wanting to learn more.

Diverse Stories for Second Graders

Diverse Stories for Second Graders

One of the most important things that should be present in a child’s bookshelf is diversity. Representation in children’s books is essential to help kids understand and appreciate different cultures, races, and beliefs. Additionally, reading diverse stories will also aid in developing empathy and understanding of others. Below are some recommended diverse stories for second graders:

“Last Stop on Market Street” by Matt de la Pena

Last Stop on Market Street

“Last Stop on Market Street” is a heart-warming story that follows the journey of CJ, a young boy, and his grandmother as they travel through the city on a bus. Throughout the book, CJ observes the world around him and asks his grandma questions about the people they encounter, including a blind man and a woman with a guitar. The story highlights the beauty of urban life, the importance of community, and compassion for others. It’s a great book to teach kids about empathy, love, and acceptance.

“Islandborn” by Junot Diaz


In “Islandborn,” Lola, a young girl, has to work on a school project about the place she was born, but she can’t remember much about her homeland, the Dominican Republic. Lola asks her family and neighbors to describe her country, and they all have vivid memories and stories to share. Through the process, Lola slowly builds a picture of the island in her mind and learns about her heritage. This beautifully illustrated book is an excellent introduction to identity, culture, and family.

“The Name Jar” by Yangsook Choi

The Name Jar

Unhei, a Korean girl, moves to America and feels anxious about fitting in and making friends. On the first day of school, Unhei discovers that her classmates have difficulty pronouncing her name, so she decides to choose a new name from a jar filled with suggestions from her peers. The story explores themes of identity, self-acceptance, and the power of names.

“Mango, Abuela, and Me” by Meg Medina

Mango, Abuela, and Me

“Mango, Abuela, and Me” is a touching story that follows Mia, a young girl, and her Abuela, who moves from Puerto Rico to live with them in the city. Despite the language barrier, Mia and Abuela connect over planting a garden, cooking, and teaching each other words. The story is a touching portrait of the relationship between grandmother and granddaughter, the immigrant experience, and the importance of communication.

By exposing children to diverse stories and perspectives, parents can help in raising kids that are inclusive and understanding. These books will inspire young readers to appreciate their own culture while learning to embrace differences in others.

Picture Books for Second Graders

Picture Books for Second Graders

Picture books are a fantastic way to engage and inspire younger readers. With a vast array of stories and characters, there really is something for every child. In this article, we will explore five picture books that are highly recommended for second graders.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are is a classic picture book that has been loved by generations of children. The story follows a mischievous boy named Max, who is sent to bed without his supper. As he falls asleep, he is transported to a magical land full of wild creatures. The book is a celebration of imagination and the power of play.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree is a heartwarming story about the relationship between a boy and a tree. The tree gives the boy everything he needs throughout his life, from shade to wood for building a house. The story is a beautiful reminder of the unconditional love that a parent has for their child.

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers

The Day the Crayons Quit

The Day the Crayons Quit is a fun and quirky book that explores the personalities of different crayons. Each crayon has its own unique perspective on life and thinks that they are not getting the recognition they deserve. The book is full of humor and is perfect for children who love to color.

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

Caps for Sale

Caps for Sale is a delightful story about a peddler who sells caps on the street. One day, a group of monkeys steals all of his caps, and he has to come up with a clever way to get them back. The book is filled with repetition, which makes it perfect for kids who are just beginning to read.

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans


Madeline is a charming book that tells the story of a little girl who lives in a boarding school in Paris. She gets into all sorts of mischief but always manages to come out on top. The book is perfect for kids who are learning about bravery and independence.

In conclusion, these are just five of the many picture books that are highly recommended for second graders. Whether your child is interested in adventure, humor, or heartwarming stories, there is sure to be a book that will capture their imagination and inspire them to read more.

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