Unbeatable Second Grade Books

The following lists encompass the many reading levels found among second graders.  Books in the primary collection (JP) are “controlled vocabulary” i.e. containing words that follow basic phonics rules or words that are found on “sight word” lists. Books in the picture book collection can be read by more practiced readers. The J fiction collection is for readers who are ready to tackle longer “chapter books.”
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Adventure | Animals | Biographies | Families | Fantasy | Folk & Fairytales | Friends | Funny Books | Ghost & Scary Stories | Historical Fiction | Information Books | Mystery | School | Space & Science Fiction | Sports

Adventure

Anderson, C. W. Blaze and the Mountain Lion.
Batman The Copycat Crime.
Bingham, Jane Stories of Knights.
Coerr, Eleanor Buffalo Bill and the Pony Express.
Duddle, Jonny The Jolley-Rogers and the Ghostly Galleon.
Flintham, Thomas Game Over, Super Rabbit Boy!
Kipling, Rudyard Rikki-Tikki-Tavi.
Labairon, Cassandra Marty Marley’s Mighty Mountain.
O’Donnell, Liam Blackbeard’s Sword: The Pirate King of the Carolinas.
Ransom, Candice F. Danger at Sand Cave.
Reeve, Philip Pugs of the Frozen North.
Sparkes, Ali Spider Stampede.
Teague, Mark The Secret Shortcut.
Young, Jessica Howl at the Moon.

Animal Stories

Real Animals

Arnold, Elana K. A Boy Called Bat.
Banks, Kate Monkeys and Dog Days.
Barkley, Callie Amy and the Missing Puppy.
Barr, Brady After a While Crocodile: Alexa's Diary.
Bauer, Marion Dane Alison’s Puppy.
Cecil, Randy Lucy.
Cox, Judy Cool Cat, School Cat.
Dowell, Frances O'Roark Sam the Man and the Chicken Plan.
Feldman, Thera Sadie: The Dog Who Finds the Evidence.
Furstinger, Nancy Maggie's Second Chance: A Gentle Dog's Rescue.
Greene, Stephanie Princess Posey and the Next-Door Dog.
Haas, Jessie Bramble and Maggie: Horse Meets Girl.
Hänel, Wolfram Mia the Beach Cat: A Story.
Himmelman, John The Animal Rescue Club.
Larson, Kirby Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, and Survival.
MacLachlan, Patricia White Fur Flying.
Mills, Claudia Cody Harmon, King of Pets.
Mitchard, Jacquelyn Rosalie, My Rosalie: The Tale of a Duckling.
Moser, Lisa Squirrel’s World.
Pomerantz, Charlotte The Outside Dog.
Potter, Ellen The Sea Pony.
Spinner, Stephanie Paddywack.
St. George, Judith Zarafa: The Giraffe Who Walked to the King.
Voigt, Cynthia The Rosie Stories.
Waas, Uli Where’s Molly?
Willems, Mo The Story of Diva and Flea.

Talking Animals

Birney, Betty G. Humphrey's Really Wheely Racing Day.
Cazet, Denys Minnie & Moo and the Seven Wonders of the World.
Cronin, Doreen The Chicken Squad.
DC Super Pets The Cat Crime Club.
Dillard, Sarah Mouse Scouts.
Elliott, Rebecca Eva's Treetop Festival.
Fine, Anne The Diary of a Killer Cat.
Green, Poppy A New Friend.
Howe, James It Came From Beneath the Bed!
LaReau, Kara The Infamous Ratsos.
McCormick, Scott Mr. Pants: It's Go Time!
McCranie, Stephen The Biggest, Bestest Time Ever.
McKissack, Patricia Monkey-Monkey’s Trick: Based on an African Folktale.
Michalak, Jamie The Show's Over.
Moon, Nicola Alligator Tails and Crocodile Cakes.
Scheidl, Gerda Andy’s Wild Animal Adventure.
Smith, Mavis A Snake Mistake.
Vande Velde, Vivian 8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel [Divided by] 1 Dog = Chaos.
Winters, Kay Where are the Bears?

Biographies

Adler, David A Picture Book of Anne Frank.
Anderson, William Prairie Girl : The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Engle, Margarita The Sky Painter: Louis Fuertes, Bird Artist.
Fisher, Leonard Galileo.
Gerstein, Mordicai The Man Who Walked Between the Towers.
Gray, Karlin Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn't Sit Still.
Jordan, Roslyn Salt in His Shoes.
Kerley, Barbara The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins: An Illuminated History of Mr. Waterhouse Hawkins, Artist and Lecturer.
Kerley, Barbara What to Do About Alice? How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy!
Lang, Heather Swimming with Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark.
Levine, Ellen Henry's Freedom Box.
Maurer, Tracy Noah Webster's Fighting Words.
Maxwell, Cassandre Fur, Fins, and Feathers: Abraham Dee Bartlett and the Invention of the Modern Zoo.
McDonnell, Patrick Me--Jane.
Moss, Marissa Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War Hero.
Robbins, Dean Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing.
Stanley, Fay The Last Princess: The Story of Princess Kaiulani.
Sweet, Melissa Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade.
Warhola, James Uncle Andy’s Cats.
Yaccarino, Dan All the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel.

Families

Ahlberg, Allan The Woman Who Won Things.
Danziger, Paula What a Trip, Amber Brown.
Gifford, Peggy Elizabeth Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little.
Hanlon, Abby Dory Fantasmagory.
McDonough, Yona Zeidis A Doll Named Dora Anne.
Munsch, Robert N. I’m So Embarrassed!
O’Neill, Catharine Annie and Simon.
Porte, Barbara Ann Harry in Trouble.
Sachar, Louis Kidnapped at Birth?
Urban, Linda Weekends with Max and His Dad.
Wight, Eric Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom.
Wissinger, Tamera Will Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse.

Fantasy

Allen, Elise Autumn's Secret Gift.
Andrew Lost On the Dog.
Baker, E.D. Maggie and the Flying Horse.
Benjamin, A.H. Jumping Jack.
Citro, Asia Dragons and Marshmallows.
Coats, Lucy The Beast Keeper.
Coven, Wanda Heidi Heckelbeck Has a Secret.
Doodler, Todd H. Super Fly: The World's Smallest Superhero!
Dragon Slayers New Kid at School.
Funke, Cornelia Lilly and Fin: A Mermaid's Tale.
Gould, Robert Rex.
Hayes, Geoffrey A Poor Excuse for a Dragon.
Jules, Jacqueline Freddie Ramos Takes Off.
Kent, Jaden The Cave of Aaaaah! Doom!
Klimo, Kate Dragon in the Sock Drawer.
Lacey, Josh The Dragonsitter.
LeGuin, Ursula Catwings.
Lindgren, Astrid Pippi’s Extraordinary Ordinary Day.
McAnulty, Stacy A Mysterious Egg.
Moser, Lisa The Monster in the Backpack.
Oram, Hiawyn My Unwilling Witch Goes to Ballet School.
Osborne, Mary Pope Dinosaurs Before Dark.
Quinn, Jordan The Lost Stone.
Rainbow Fairies India the Moonstone Fairy.
Sanvoisin, Eric The Ink Drinker.
Spiderman Spider-Man's Amazing Powers.
West, Tracey Rise of the Earth Dragon.

Folk & Fairytales

Aardema, Verna Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: A West African Tale.
Coats, Lucy Beast Keeper.
Daynes, Katie The Little Mermaid.
De Paola, Tomie Fin M’Coul: The Giant of Knockmany Hill.
Holub, Joan Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom.
Kellogg, Steven Paul Bunyan: A Tall Tale.
Ketteman, Helen Waynetta and the Cornstalk: A Texas Fairy Tale.
Kimmel, Eric Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock.
Marshall, James Hansel and Gretel.
Meister, Cari Beauty and the Beast Stories Around the World: 3 Beloved Tales
Schwartz, Corey Hansel & Gretel, Ninja Chicks.
Smith, Alex T. Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion.
Tarcov, Edith The Frog Prince.
Taylor, Harriet Peck Coyote and the Laughing Butterflies.
Temple, Frances Tiger Soup: An Anansi Story from Jamaica.
Young, Ed Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story From China.

Friends

Barrows, Annie Ivy + Bean.
Cole, Joanna Bully Trouble.
DiCamillo, Kate Bink & Gollie.
Greene, Stephanie Princess Posey and the Monster Stew.
Guest, Elissa Haden Iris and Walter.
Harper, Charise M. Mae and June and the Wonder Wheel.
Hest, Amy Party on Ice.
Howe, James Pinky and Rex and the Spelling Bee.
Kear, Nicole C. Have No Fear!
Kerrin, Jessica Scott Martin Bridge Ready for Takeoff!
Look, Lenore Alvin Ho Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things.
O’Connor, Jane Molly the Brave and Me.
O'Neill, Catharine Annie and Simon.
Pee-Wee Scouts Cookies and Crutches.
Penner, Lucille Recht Clean Sweep Campers.
Prager, Annabelle The Baseball Birthday Party.
Zann, Tara Forest's First Home.
Zemke, Deborah My Life in Pictures.

Funny Books

Applegate, Katherine Never Glue Your Friends to Chairs.
Blabey, Aaron The Bad Guys.
Braddock, Paige Stinky Cecil in Operation Pond Rescue.
Bruel, Nick Bad Kitty Gets a Bath.
Clary, Julian The Bolds.
Coverly, Dave Night of the Living Worms.
Dahl, Michael Laff-O-Tronic Animal Jokes!
Dahl, Roald The Enormous Crocodile.
DiCamillo, Kate Mercy Watson to the Rescue.
Eaton, Maxwell The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Evil Penguin Plan.
Griffiths, Andy The 13-Story Treehouse.
Hooks, William Mr. Baseball.
Jamieson, Victoria The Great Pet Escape.
Kirby, Stan Captain Awesome to the Rescue!
Krosoczka, Jarrett Lunch Lady and the Bake Sale Bandit.
Milne, A. A. Winnie-the-Pooh and Some Bees.
Munsch, Robert Munschworks: The First Munsch Collection.
Parish, Peggy Amelia Bedelia.
Quackenbush, Robert Henry’s Awful Mistake.
Ricky Ricotta Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot.
Schlitz, Laura Amy Princess Cora and the Crocodile.
Seuss, Dr. Oh Say Can You Say?
Stevenson, James National Worm Day.
Tashjian, Janet Einstein the Class Hamster.
Thaler, Mike The Gym Teacher from the Black Lagoon.
Watson, Tom A Tail of Two Kitties

Ghost & Scary Stories

Ahlberg, Allan The Ghost Train.
Butler, Dori Hillestad The Haunted Library.
Chabert, Jack The School is Alive!
Charles, Veronika Don’t Open the Door!
Corderoy, Tracey The Super-Spooky Fright Night!
Cummings, Troy Rise of the Ballon Goons.
DiCamillo, Kate Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon.
Duddle, Jonny The Jolley-Rogers and the Ghostly Galleon.
Enderle, Dotti It Creeps!
Hayes, Geoffrey The Mystery of the Pirate Ghost.
Kochalka, James Johnny Boo: The Best Little Ghost in the World.
Medearis, Angela S. Tailypo: A Newfangled Tall Tale.
Punter, Russell Stories of Ghosts.
Schwartz, Alvin In a Dark, Dark Room, and Other Scary Stories.
Stamper, Judith Five Creepy Creatures.
Thompson, Jill Scary Godmother.
Utton, Peter The Witch’s Hand.

Historical Fiction

Alphin, Elaine Marie Dinosaur Hunter.
Ame-Col Meet Caroline: An American Girl, 1812.
Avi Prairie School.
Cline-Ransome, Lesa Freedom's School.
Cohen, Barbara Molly’s Pilgrim.
Dalgliesh, Alice The Courage of Sarah Noble.
Davis, Tony Future Knight.
Gilmore, Grace Logan Pryce Makes a Mess.
Glass, Julie The Fly on the Ceiling: A Math Myth.
Hopkinson, Deborah Steamboat School: Inspired by a True Story, St. Louis, Missouri: 1847.
Judge, Lita Pennies for Elephants.
Kelly, Jacqueline Skunked!
McClure, Wendy Wanderville.
Monjo, F.N. The Drinking Gourd.
Polacco, Patricia Fiona's Lace.
Randall, Alison L. The Wheat Doll.
Shub, Elizabeth The White Stallion.
Standiford, Natalie The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto.
Tarshis, Lauren The Shark Attacks of 1916.
Van Leeuwen, Jean Papa and the Pioneer Quilt.
Whelan, Gloria Queen Victoria's Bathing Machine.
Wilder, Laura Ingalls Little House in the Big Woods.

Information Books

Adler, David Money Madness.
Aillaud, Cindy Lou Recess at 20 Below.
Cole, Joanna The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge.
Davies, Nicola I Don't Like Snakes.
Dennis, Major Brian Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle.
Hood, Susan Ada's Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay.
Jenkins, Steve How to Clean a Hippopotamus: A Look at Unusual Animal Partnerships.
Kudlinski, Kathleen V. Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs!
Larson, Kirby Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival.
Lawrence, Blythe Total Gymnastics.
Mattick, Lindsay Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear.
Miller, Debbie S. Survival At 40 Below.
Price, Sean Pirates: Truth and Rumors.
Sis, Peter The Train of States.
Slade, Suzanne Zap! Wile E. Coyote Experiments with Energy.
Smith, Danna The Hawk of the Castle: A Story of Medieval Falconry.
Smith, Lane John, Paul, George & Ben.
St. George, Judith So You Want to Be President?
Vernick, Audrey Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team.
Wolf, Alex You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Bees.

Mystery

A to Z The Absent Author.
Adler, David Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Carnival Prize.
Adler, David Young Cam Jansen and the Missing Cookie.
Angleberger, Tom Inspector Flytrap.
Base, Graeme The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery.
Butler, Dori Hillestad The Case of the Lost Boy.
Butler, Dori Hillstad King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats.
Byars, Betsy Cromer The Seven Treasure Hunts.
Cronin, Doreen The Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery.
Goldsmith, Howard The Twiddle Twins’ Music Box Mystery.
Grambling, Lois Happy Valentine’s Day, Miss Hildy.
Hayes, Geoffrey The Treasure of the Lost Lagoon.
Newman, Robin The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake.
Nilsson, Ulf The First Case.
Obrist, Jürg Max and Molly and the Mystery of the Missing Honey.
O'Donnell, Liam The Case of the Snack Snatcher.
Rylant, Cynthia The Case of the Missing Monkey.
Sharmat, Marjorie Nate the Great and the Big Sniff.
Stevenson, James The Mud Flat Mystery.
Third Grade Detectives The Case of the Dirty Clue.

School

Amato, Mary Please Writer in This Book.
Applegate, Katherine Never Glue Your Friends to Chairs.
Brown, Monica Lola Levine is Not Mean!
Cleary, Beverly Muggie Maggie.
Duffey, Betsy How to Be Cool in Third Grade.
Gantos, Jack Rotten Ralph Helps Out.
Gilson, Jamie My Teacher is an Idiom.
Jacobson, Jennifer Andy Shane and the Very Bossy Dolores Starbuckle.
Kline, Suzy Herbie Jones Sails Into Second Grade.
Kline, Suzy Horrible Harry in Room 2B.
Krulik, Nancy E. Science No Fair!
McDonald, Megan Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid.
Meyerhoff, Jenny Third Grade Baby.
Nagda, Ann Whitehead Dear Whiskers.
Park, Barbara Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus.
Salisbury, Graham Trouble Magnet.
Schoenberg, Jane The One and Only Stuey Lewis: Stories from the Second Grade.
Sheinmel, Courtney Stella Batts Needs a New Name.
Wilkowski, Susan The Bad Luck Chair.
Winkler, Henry Bookmarks are People Too!

Space & Science Fiction

Buller, Jon Baseball Camp on the Planet of the Eyeballs.
Cole, Joanna The Magic School Bus, Lost in the Solar System.
Dallimore, Jan Captain Cal and the Garbage Planet.
Hopper, Ada March of the Mini Beasts.
Kochalka, James The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza.
Krulik, Nancy E. Crash!
Marshall, Edward Space Case.
O'Ryan, Ray Hello, Nebulon!
Passen, Lisa Attack of the 50-Foot Teacher.
Ricky Ricotta Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Mecha-Monkeys from Mars.
Scieszka, Jon Baloney (Henry P.).
Star Wars Queen in Disguise.
Van Allsburg, Chris Zathura: A Space Adventure.
Walker, Nan Spork Out of Orbit.
Weinberger, Kimberly Space Jam.
Yorinks, Arthur Company’s Going.

Sports

Ballpark Mysteries The All-Star Joker.
Christopher, Matt The Captain Contest.
Forest, Christopher Play Soccer Like a Pro: Key Skills and Tips.
Giff, Patricia Reilly Ronald Morgan Goes to Bat.
Gifford, Clive Skateboarding.
Gurney, John Steven Fuzzy Baseball.
Hicks, Betty Goof-Off Goalie.
Hopkinson, Deborah Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings.
Jay, Betsy Swimming Lessons.
Kline, Suzy Molly Gets Mad.
Krensky, Stephen Louise, Soccer Star?
Marx, Mandy R. Paintball.
Marzollo, Jean Basketball Buddies.
Marzollo, Jean Football Friends.
McEwan, Jamie The Heart of Cool.
McEwan, Jamie Rufus the Scrub Does Not Wear a Tutu.
Mills, Claudia Gus and Grandpa at Basketball.
Petersen, P.J. The Fireplug is First Base.
Prager, Annabelle The Baseball Birthday Party.
Vernick, Audrey Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team.
Wallace, Rich The Ball Hogs.