I’m sure it varies from child to child, but second grade is the year that my two reading children both started reading chapter books entirely on their own. It’s the time when they would come out of their beds in the middle of the night and whisper, “Mom, I just read TEN chapters.” Second grade was a turning point. Once children start reading for fun, they practice so much that their reading abilities start to take off. Below are some suggestions based on what our family has found to be the best book series for second grade.
Note that these second grade books are targeted at 7 and 8 year olds. However, remember that all children are different. Whatever your child’s age, they will have the most success if you find books that are at or just above their current reading level.
Second Grade Book Series
These Mercy Watson books about the adventures of a butter-loving pig are really fun for kids of both genders. Kate DiCamillo is a fantastic author for older kids, so I knew these were going to be good. I read the first one with my child. She liked them so much she finished the box set on her own reading in bed at night.
Nate the Great
My oldest child LOOOOVED Nate the Great. His Nate the Great phase lasted for nearly a full year. My son enjoyed pretending to be a detective solving cases. For months, he carried around a little notebook with him and set up an “office” in the play room. He and his friend would go around the yard looking for clues to yet undefined mysteries. It was adorable. I highly recommend the Nate the Great books to any child that likes detective stories.
My daughter loved the Fancy Nancy books. (She also enjoys the TV show.) They are a little bit easier than the Mercy Watson books, so by the time she got to these they were light, easy reading for her. I loved that they gave her lots of extra practice. For kids, that like Fancy Nancy, also check out the Pinkalicious series. My daughter was a fan of that as well.
Henry and Mudge
My son was definitely more a super fan of Nate the Great, but if he couldn’t get his hands on a new Nate the Great book, he also enjoyed Henry and Mudge. These are fun, sweet books about a boy and his dog. For cat-lovers, Cynthia Rylant has another cute series about Mr. Putter and Tabby.
Little Bear is a widely and highly recommended series. My kids and I read them all together when they were first starting to read. They never attempted to read them on their own, but maybe that was because I introduced them when they were too young to take off with them. They are very charming stories.
Frog and Toad
Similar to Little Bear, Frog and Toad is a widely loved series. I feel like my two reading children sort of missed these books however. We definitely read the first one together, but they took off reading other things so fast that they outgrew them before they got around to reading the rest of the series.