Check out our picks for the best books for 2nd graders!
As your kid reaches the second grade, this is the perfect time to diversify their library with more challenging reads. They get to build on the fundamentals they picked up from pre-k to first grade, and broaden their horizons and explore their interests with infinitely more choices. So settle in and check out the best books for second graders below. From audiobooks and early chapter books, to longer picture books and graphic novels, you’ll find something for your kid, with these picks both on and off our platform.
Books for 2nd Graders on Epic
Written by: Shelley Moore Thomas
Illustrated by: Jenn Harney
Who do you blame when your room is a mess? Why, a narwhal, of course! This is what a little girl does when confronted with a bedroom in dire need of cleaning. Blaming the situation on “a narwhal or something,” she gets a surprise when an actual narwhal shows up to defend himself from her spurious claim. What ensues is a hilarious debate as the two characters argue their points of view. Silly dialogue and illustrations make this picture book a ton of fun to read aloud. Plus your kid will learn some things about narwhal anatomy and get a lesson on personal responsibility to boot.
Written by: Cyril Bavis
Illustrated by: Fabio Gambino
Chores can be tough on a kid, especially if you’re a curious young boy who also happens to be a sorcerer’s apprentice. There’s a lot to do! This is Tiernan’s predicament when the sorcerer leaves him in charge of the castle. At first he’s thrilled! But instead of practicing sorcery, the apprentice spends all his time on tasks like placing potion bottles on shelves, polishing cauldrons and mopping the castle floors. Can he practice his sorcery and do his chores at the same time without bringing disastrous results? The bold and colorful illustrations will create an immersive, magical experience for your young reader.
By: Arnold Lobel
In this Read-To-Me version, “Frog and Toad Are Friends” is a book of five short heartwarming stories about best friends frog and toad as they navigate their friendship’s ups and downs. The first story begins with Frog explaining to Toad that winter has ended before the two hop outside to start their adventures. Young readers will enjoy the tender friendship between the two amphibians and quickly become immersed in the endearing stories, each of which stresses the importance of friendship and caring.
Written by: Courtney Carbone
Illustrated by: Melanie Demmer
When graffiti starts appearing all over buildings in Aquamarina, everyone suspects Gill Sharkfin is the perpetrator, but he adamantly denies it. It’s a good thing that Violet the mermaid is on the case! In this eighth volume in the popular series, Violet, with the help of her best friend Wally the narwhal, must gather clues to solve the whodunit. This short chapter book is sure to be a hit with kids who love mermaids and everything under the sea. Be sure to check out the rest of the books here on Epic!
Written by: Lily Murray
Illustrated by: Wesley Robins
Let your 2nd-grade kid create their very own fairy tale adventures with this fun-filled story-building book. They can pick from a variety of heroes, including the dragon, the Gingerbread Man or even a gnome. From there, they can choose their destination, tools and magical companions to join their hero on their journey, like a talking toadstool or a genie like Aladdin’s sidekick from the Arabian nights. The illustrated choose-your-own-adventure format offers millions of possibilities. With tons of inspiring prompts and vibrant pictures, it’s chock-full of silly options. And once they’re done, they can start over again.
Written by: Kate DiCamillo
Illustrated by: Chris Van Dusen
The New York Times best-selling piggy heroine is back, this time behind the wheel of a car. Mr. and Mrs. Watson’s portly pig Mercy loves to hit the road in the backseat of the Watson’s convertible. But one day things go awry when their elderly neighbor Baby Lincoln plops down in the car, and Mercy ends up having to take the wheel. Soon there’s a policeman on her tail, a struggle for the brake, and other hilarious chaos. The silly illustrations and zany story make this early chapter book a great option for reading out loud together.
The Adventures of Captain Underpants (Audiobook)
By: Dav Pilkey
In the first book in this #1 New York Times bestselling series by “Dog Man” author and illustrator Dav Pilkey, hilarious grossness ensues when 4th-grade best friends George Beard and Harold Hutchins invent the wedgie-powered superhero Captain Underpants. The only thing that class clowns George and Harold love more than jokes and pranks is making comic books, and that’s when they invent the greatest superhero in the history of their elementary school: Captain Underpants. Faster than a speeding waistband! More powerful than boxer shorts! He can leap tall buildings without getting a wedgie. In other words, he’s the perfect hero to serve up plenty of giggles for kids in this age group.
Do Unto Otters (Audiobook)
By: Laurie Keller
Smart, playful text makes this audiobook perfect for laughing and listening along. The story begins when grouchy Mr. Rabbit suddenly has to get along with the otters who just moved into the neighborhood. Though he struggles with coping with his new neighbors at first, Mr. Rabbit comes to learn how to be kind to otters—er, others—while still respecting their differences. This book teaches kids about the “golden rule” of treating people the way they would like to be treated, and what it means to be a good friend and neighbor.
Written by: Megan McDonald
Illustrated by: Peter H. Reynolds
Judy Moody isn’t excited for third grade. Her desk won’t have an armadillo sticker on it. Her new classroom won’t have a pet porcupine. And she feels like her teacher Mr. Todd is going to make her sit in the front row (he does). But what she lacks in enthusiasm, Judy makes up for her personality. And when Mr. Todd assigns them a special project, Judy gets the perfect place to express herself. The vibrant storytelling and quirky illustrations make this relatable tale a fun read for second graders. There are sixteen books in the chapter book series, so if they fall in love with this feisty protagonist, they’ve got a lot more where this came from to enjoy.
Written by: Jeff Brown
Illustrated by: Macky Pamintuan
Meet Stanley Lambchop: One morning he wakes up to find his brother Arthur yelling. Apparently, while Stanley was sleeping, a bulletin board fell on him, and now his whole body is only half an inch thick! Soon Stanley is getting rolled up, mailed, even flown like a kite. The upside of his transformation is that he gets to help catch two dangerous art thieves, making him a hero. Kids will delight in the silly situations brought to life with goofy illustrations that will keep ’em laughing. This light-hearted read is great for reluctant readers.
Written by: Nick Murphy, Paul Ritchey
Illustrated by: Bea Tormo
In a quest to win the mystical Ever Dough, the Cosmic Pizza Crew joins an episode of The Slice is Right. In the show, they face off with the Roni family and their new android mascot, Supreme! Can the Cosmic Pizza Crew defeat such a powerful opponent? Chock-full of dynamic illustrations and exciting dialogue, this fifth installment of the Cosmic Pizza Party series is sure to keep your kid on the edge of their seat. Perfect for reluctant readers!
Written by: Nick Murphy, Paul Ritchey
Illustrated by: Bea Tormo
The second in the graphic novel adaptation of Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior series is here! Runt and his crew are back and ready to embark on a quest to defeat the ender dragon. But if taking down this legendary boss monster weren’t enough, another mysterious enemy lurks just around the corner. This book is perfect for reluctant readers and Minecraft fanatics. Your kid can find even more action-packed pixelated adventures set in the Minecraft Universe on Epic.
Here are some additional books for 2nd graders available off our platform! All of these titles are available on Amazon.
The Relatives Came
Written by: Cynthia Rylant
Illustrated by: Stephen Gammell
The relatives come over for the summer, bringing along a good mix of chaos and affection. Saying goodbye is always bittersweet until they see each other again next year.
Gooney Bird Greene
By: Lois Lowry
Gooney Bird Greene is the school’s new girl, and her classmates want to know all about her! It’s a good thing Gooney Bird is quite the storyteller and is willing to teach her classmates a few helpful tips.
The Magic Tree House
By: Mary Pope Osborne
Jack and Annie discover a tree house filled with books. The next thing they know, they get whisked away on countless adventures all over the world and all throughout history.
Top-Secret, Personal Beeswax: A Journal by Junie B. (and Me!)
Written by: Barbara Park
Illustrated by: Denise Brunkus
It’s Junie B. Jones’s personal beeswax! This interactive companion to the book series could make for hours of journaling fun.
That’s our list of books for 2nd graders! Want to find more fun, educational children’s books that kids of all ages can enjoy? Check out more book lists in our posts: “Best Nonfiction Books for 2nd Graders on Epic!” and “Discover These Must-Read Books for 8-Year Olds.”