Second grade readers just beginning their independent reading milestone will love reading these fiction and nonfiction picture books on their own. We also recommend a few easier paperback series and chapter books perfect for this age.
Bailey at the Museum by Harry Bliss
Bailey the dog is excited to go oon a school trip to the Museum of Natural History.
The Trouble With Chickens: J.J. Tully Mystery by Doreen Cronin
A hard-bitten former search-and-rescue dog helps solve a complicated missing chicken case.
Just Ducks by Nicola Davies
On her way to school, a young girl spots mallard ducks in the river and enthusiastically describes their appearance, habits, and behavior. Interspersed throughout the pages are facts about ducks.
Goblin and the Empty Chair by Mem Fox
A goblin who for many years has been hiding himself so that he does not frighten anyone finally finds a family.
Congratulations Miss Malarkey by Judy Finchler
Miss Malarkey is behaving very strangely, giggling in the halls and teaching lessons about marriage customs, as her students worry that she is quitting teaching.
The Missing Chick by Valeri Gorbachev
One of Mother Hen's little chicks is missing. Did they leave him in the house? Is he hiding in his bed, or under a bush? Mother Hen and the neighbors search high and low, but there's still no sign of the missing chick.
April and Esme, Tooth Fairies by Bob Graham
On their first assignment, two young tooth fairy sisters journey by night into the huge world of humans to collect Daniel Dangerfield's tooth and fly it safely home.
Library Mouse: A Museum Adventure by Daniel Kirk
Sam, the shy mouse that lives in the library and likes to write books and his friend Sarah, visit a museum and write about their experience in each of their journals. Sam shows Sarah that journals can include drawings and artifacts as well as the written word.
Argus by Michelle Knudsen
Sallie's class is supposed to be raising chicks as a science project, but although Argus, the large, green, scaly creature that hatches from her egg, causes all sorts of trouble she worries about him when he disappears.
All For Me and None For All by Helen Lester
Gruntly is a real hog, and the other animals are tired of his greediness, but when he gets mixed up on a treasure hunt and is the last to reach the prize, Gruntly begins to realize the value of kindness and sharing.
Superhero ABC by Bob McLeod
Humorous SuperHeroes such as Goo Girl and The Volcano represent the letters of the alphabet from A to Z.
Plantzilla Goes to Camp by Jerdine Nolen
Through a series of letters a boy, his parents, and others discuss Camp Wannaleavee, the camp bully, and Plantzilla, who has been forbidden to come but misses his caretaker and arrives in time to become the camp hero.
Gone With the Wand: A Fairy’s Tale by Margie Palatini
When tooth fairy Edith B. Cuspid finds her friend Bernice Sparklestein, a fairy godmother whose work is legendary, having a very bad wand day, she tries to cheer her up by suggesting Bernice try other fairy jobs.
Jumpy Jack & Googily by Meg Rosoff
Jumpy Jack the snail is terrified that there are monsters around every corner despite the reassurances of his best friend Googily.
Things I Learned in Second Grade by Amy Schwartz
A young boy shares all of the things he learned and how he changed in second grade, what he still wonders about, and what he hopes to accomplish when he is in third grade.
Secret Agent Splat by Rob Scotton
Slightly insecure, but totally lovable Splat the cat is back for another fun-filled adventure. This time he must use his investigative skills and his spy kit to solve the mystery of missing toy ducks. When he and his friend Seymour the mouse discover the culprit and his true motives, they all work together to create a happy ending.
A Sick Day For Amos McGee by Philip Stead
Amos McGee, a friendly zookeeper, always made time to visit his good friends: the elephant, the tortoise, the penguin, the rhinoceros, and the owl. But one day he woke with the sniffles and the sneezes. Although he didn't make it into the zoo that day, he did receive some unexpected guests.
Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf by Mark Teague
In this original version of the traditional tale, the three little pigs are in their usual trouble with the somewhat bad wolf--who is really just very hungry and frustrated that the pizza parlor will not serve him.
Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party by Melanie Watt
Scaredy Squirrel is planning his own birthday party for one, but despite his detailed plans, things get out of control when the party animals arrive.
Tadpole’s Promise by Jeanne Willis
When a caterpillar meets her perfect love, a tadpole, she begs him never to change, but their relationship is doomed.
Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers by Lady Bird Johnson (EB)
In this warm, engaging look at the life of a great First Lady, Kathi Appelt tells the story behind Lady Bird Johnson's environmental vision. Joy Fisher Hein's colorful wildflowers burst from every page, inviting us to share in Lady Bird's love for natural beauty.
Waynetta and the Cornstalk by Helen Ketteman (E398.2)
A retelling of "Jack and the Beanstalk" which features a Texas cowgirl, a magic cornstalk, and a giant cowboy in the clouds.
Puss in Boots by Jerry Pinkney (E398.2)
A clever cat wins for his master a fortune and the hand of a princess.
The Little Red Hen by Jerry Pinkney (E398.2)
A newly illustrated edition of the classic fable of the hen who is forced to do all the work of baking bread and of the animals who learn a bitter lesson from it.
Crinkleroot’s Guide to Giving Back to Nature by Jim Arnosky (E333.95)
Crinkleroot has returned to delight a new generation of budding naturalists. Gentle, sound advice shows children that they can give back to nature with small actions. Arnosky's glowing illustrations and clear text move the endearing, old nature guide through the seasons and a variety of ecosystems.
Weird-But-True Facts About Weather by Lauren Coss (E551.5)
Living or Nonliving by Kelli Hicks (E570)
Highlights differences between living and nonliving entities, such as the ability to breathe and move.
Ocean Commotion: Life on the Coral Reef by Janeen Mason (E578.77)
When a hermit crab discovers that her shell is too tight, she embarks on an undersea adventure to find one that fits. Along the way, the crab meets such aquatic creatures as shrimp, sea urchins, and starfish.
Wild tracks! : A Guide to Nature's Footprints! by Jim Arnosky (E591.479)
When children learn to recognize and read animal tracks they’re actually mastering an ancient language of shapes and patterns—and gaining knowledge of the natural world. Acclaimed artist and naturalist Jim Arnosky has created a breathtaking and informative reference on the subject, filled with intricately drawn prints from creatures both wild and domestic, as well as large-scale paintings of the animals in their environment.
Life In a Coral Reef by Wendy Pfeffer (E591.77)
The author uses beautiful sea creatures to show a “day-in-the-life” in a reef.
Heavy Equipment Up Close by Andra Abramson (Oversized J624)
From building skyscrapers to loading freight trains, from tearing down old houses to mining fuel, heavy equipment is everywhere! Children will enjoy taking a close-up look at these important machines, including terrific tractors, bucket wheel excavators, and even a super space shuttle crawler—the largest self-powered tracked vehicle in the world.
Earth Movers by M.T. Martin (ER 629.225)
These huge trucks move, carry, and dump big loads of earth. There are different kinds of earth movers and each has a specific task. Kids will get a first look at the types of earth movers and how they do their jobs.
You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You: Very Short Fables to Read Together by Mary Ann Hoberman
This collection of Aesop's fables includes both beloved tales such as "The Ant and the Grasshopper" and "The Lion and the Mouse," as well as less familiar but equally charming stories like "The Peacock and the Crane." (E811.54)
United Tweets of America by Hudson Talbott (J973)
Welcome to the United Tweets Pageant-- a colorful, tongue-in-cheek competition that features every state bird. As readers brush up on funny state trivia, they will also learn a lot about their feathered tour guides.
“Easy Readers” series
Bones by David Adler
And I Mean It, Stanley Crosby Bonsell
Mildred and Sam by Sharlene Collicott
Amber Brown by Paula Danziger
Goose and Duck by Jean C. George
Houndsley and Catina by James Howe
Best Chef in 2nd Grade by Katharine Kenah
Herbie Jones-2nd Grade by Suzy Kline
Lionel at School by Stephen Krensky
Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel
Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor
Henry and Mudge by Cynthia Rylant
Skippyjon Jones by Janet Schachner
Nate the Great by Marjorie Sharmat
Amanda Pig by Jean Van Leeuwan
Popular Paperback Series
Roscoe Rules by Katherine Applegate
Flat Stanley Series by Jeff Brown
Dadey, Debbie Bailey School Kids by Debbie Dadey
Polk Street Kids by Patricia Giff
Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew by Carolyn Keene
Ready, Freddy! By Abby Kline
Rainbow Magic by Daisy Meadows
Puppy Place by Eileen Miles
Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne
Jigsaw Jones Mysteries by James Preller
“A to Z Mysteries” by Roy Ron
“Black Lagoon” series by Mike Thaler
Magic School Bus Chapter Books by Various Authors
Ivy and Bean series by Annie Barrows
“Mercy Watson” by Kate DiCamillo
Owen Foote, Second Grade Strongman By Stephanie Greene
Goof-Off Goalie series By Betty Hicks
Scrubs series By Jamie McEwan
Clemintine’s Letter series By Sara Penneypacker