Want to inspire your rising second grader to read this summer? Give them a stack of books from this 2nd grade summer reading list. 7 and 8 year olds (and some 6 year olds, too) may be starting to enjoy longer books and summer is a great time for these new readers to explore a variety of books to find out just what they like!
As I’ve mentioned on other summer book lists, a group of kids this age will present at different reading levels and stages. But as my friend Jodie over at Growing Book by Book reminds us, stop stressing about book levels. Some of you may have kids who still prefer to be read to, or only want to skim longer books, or are still reading easy readers, and other children may be reading fluently by this age. Meet your kids where they are in their reading journey! Here are some great 2nd grade books to get your kids started this summer. (Note: book covers and titles are affiliate links.)
2nd Grade Summer Reading: Chapter Books
Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters by Andrea Beaty. The popular STEM picture book series about creative and inventive kids, Rosie Rever, Ada Twist and Iggy Peck are reincarnated as chapter books in The Questioneers series. If your kids liked the picture books they will enjoy the new engineering and scientific challenges the three kids face. Plus, who doesn’t love a little science in the summer?
Polly Diamond and the Magic Book by Alice Kuipers. Polly is a charming heroine and this is a relentlessly (in a good way!) cheerful book. One day, Polly gets a book and she is delighted to find out that whatever she writes comes true. But there is a catch, Polly must get the wording exactly right. Luckily Polly loves words and stories. As you can imagine, things get a little out of hand but all is well in the end!
Meet Yasmin! (series) by Saadia Faruqi is a very early beginning chapter book series about a charming Pakistani-American girl. Each book is divided into four separate stories in which Yasmin uses her creative energy and high imagination to solve problems. Delightful.
Jasmine Toguchi by Debbi Michiko Florence. Each book in this fun new series incorporates Jasmine’s Japanese-American heritage into the story line. Intrepid Jasmine tackles pounding muchi rice, Japanese Girls’ Day, Japanese drumming, and more.
Pedro’s Big Goal (series) by Fran Manushkin, illustrated by Tammie Lyon. This is a great series for the youngest readers, especially 2nd grades who are reading beginning chapter books. In this one, Pedro plays soccer and decides that his goal is to.. well… make a goal!
Slug Days (series) by Sarah Leach. Lauren is on the spectrum and “slug days” is how she refers to her days when things seem slow and slimy. In other words, they are the days when things don’t go well and others don’t seem to understand why she does certain things. But Lauren has certain routines that help her get through slug days and today is special because she meets a new girl and her day might turn out to be a butterfly day after all.
2nd Grade Summer Reading: Graphic Novels and Graphic Hybrids
Tiger vs. Nightmare by Emily Tetri. I found this book to be completely adorable! Every night Tiger and the monster who lives under her bed play together and when Tiger falls asleep, Monster scares all the nightmares away. One night there is a nightmare too scary for Monster to take on by itself so Tiger has to face her fears and banish the nightmare herself.
Fox and Chick by Sergio Ruzzier. This is a fantastic series about two friends who sometimes annoy each other, but ultimately remember the things that make them friends, with a bit of dry humor along the way. I’ve always loved Ruzzier’s illustrations (after all, he wrote one of my all time favorite books EVER, Amandina) and the comic strip format makes it fun to read. A real winner of a book.
The Bad Guys (series) by Aaron Blabey. I read the first book in the series out loud and my then-8 year old and I could not stop laughing! He subsequently gobbled up the next two books on his own. Mr. Wolf is on a mission to change his reputation and convinces his fellow reprobates, Mr. Snake, Mr. Piranha and Mr. Shark to join him in the Good Guys Club. Their first mission is to free 200 dogs from the Maximum Security City Dog Pound! Absolutely hilarious and extremely silly in the very best way.
The Big Bad Fox by Benjamin Renner. This funny graphic novel kept my son in stitches and so I cannot help but include it. We actually saw the French animation movie before realizing it was based on a book. A hapless fox ends up becoming a mama to some baby chicks that he originally stole in order to raise them up to be his dinner!
CatStronauts by Drew Brockington. Cuddly cats in outer space? You know that is bound to be funny. In this series opener a team of cats head to the moon to set up a solar plant. I love that Brockington weaves in some science lessons, too!
More summer books for second graders: