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.
Thump, Quack, Moo: A Whacky Adventure by Doreen Cronin
The annual Corn Maze Festival is coming and every day the chickens, cows, and Duck help Farmer Brown--with a few bribes--to create a special Statue of Liberty corn maze, and every night Duck works hard recreating his own surprise.
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.
Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind by Judy Finchler
Miss Malarkey vows to find each of her students a book to love by the end of the school year, but one videogame-loving boy proves to be a challenge.
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.
How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham
When Will finds a bird with a broken wing, he takes it home and cares for it, hoping in time it will be able to return to the sky.
Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen
A lion starts visiting the local library but runs into trouble as he tries to both obey the rules and help his librarian friend.
Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing by Helen Lester
Clothing is important to Ewetopia, but her carefully-chosen wolf outfit fails to impress the other sheep at the Woolyones' costume ball until a real wolf appears dressed as a sheep, mistakes her for his mother, and throws a tantrum when she outsmarts him.
Superhero ABC by Bob McLeod
Humorous SuperHeroes such as Goo Girl and The Volcano represent the letters of the alphabet from A to Z.
Moses Sees a Play by Isaac Millman
Moses and his classmates, who are deaf or hard of hearing, attend a play at their school, and Moses makes a new friend from another class.
Thunder Rose by Jerdine Nolen
Unusual from the day she is born, Thunder Rose performs all sorts of amazing feats, including building fences, taming a stampeding herd of steers, capturing a gang of rustlers, and turning aside a tornado.
Uncle Bigfoot by George O’Connor
A young boy is convinced that his visiting Uncle Bernie is really a bigfoot monster.
17 Things I’m Not Allowed to Do Anymore By Jenny Offill
A laugh-out-loud look at all the fun things grown-ups never let you do .
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.
Gorgonzola: a Very Stinkysaurus by Margie Palatini
When Gorgonzola the dinosaur learns that everyone runs from him to avoid his smell, rather than out of fear, he is grateful to the little bird who shows him how to brush his teeth and wash.
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.
Funny Farm by Mark Teague
Cousin Edward visits Aunt Judy and Uncle Earl on their farm and tries to help with all of the chores.
Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach by Melanie Watt
Scaredy Squirrel doesn't like crowds so he doesn't go to the beach, he builds his own. However, something is missing so he needs to go to the real beach and retrieve it.
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
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
A retelling of "Jack and the Beanstalk" which features a Texas cowgirl, a magic cornstalk, and a giant cowboy in the clouds.
The Little Red Hen by Jerry Pinkney
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.
Wild tracks! : A Guide to Nature's Footprints! By Jim Arnosky
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 Steve Jenkins
The author uses beautiful sea creatures to show a “day-in-the-life” in a reef.
Heavy Equipment Up Close by Andra Abramson
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
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.
Moonshot: Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca
Simply told, grandly shown, here is the flight of Apollo 11. Here for a new generation of readers and explorers are the steady astronauts, clicking themselves into gloves and helmets, strapping themselves into sideways seats. Here is a story of adventure and discovery -- a story of leaving and returning during the summer of 1969, and a story of home, seen whole, from far away.
You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Scarey Tales by Mary Ann Hoberman
Using rhyme, rhythm and repetition, the scary text invites young children to read along with an adult. Together the adult's text and the child's responsive text create stories with a scary theme.
Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Weatherford
Describes Tubman's spiritual journey as she hears the voice of God guiding her north to freedom on that very first trip to escape the brutal practice of forced servitude. Tubman would make nineteen subsequent trips back south, never being caught, but none as profound as this first one.
United Tweets of America by Hudson Talbott
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