130 2nd Grade Reading Books For Children Aged 7-8 That Encourage Learning

Introducing our handpicked collection of 2nd-grade reading books, tailored for 7-8-year-olds! Each book bursts with engaging stories and colorful illustrations to captivate young minds. Our selection covers diverse topics, fostering a love for reading and learning. These books skillfully blend fun with education, perfect for classroom and home reading. They are thoughtfully crafted to enhance young readers’ vocabulary, comprehension, and critical thinking skills. 

Reading is crucial for 7-8-year-olds as it significantly influences their cognitive and emotional development. At this age, children are at a pivotal stage where they transition from learning to read to reading to learn.

The right books can ignite their imagination, enhance their vocabulary, and improve their comprehension skills.

Reading Books

Engaging stories with relatable characters helps develop empathy and emotional intelligence. Educational content disguised as captivating tales makes learning enjoyable. This age group thrives on stories that blend fun with facts, fostering a natural curiosity and love for learning.

Moreover, reading hones their concentration and helps in building longer attention spans. Books tailored for second graders often introduce new concepts gradually and comprehensively. This aids in reinforcing school lessons and encourages independent learning.

Selecting the right books can turn reading into a rewarding journey of discovery, laying a solid foundation for their future academic and personal growth.

Did You Know? 

Did you know that the ability to read and comprehend effectively by the age of 8 is a significant predictor of future academic success and overall well-being? Research indicates that children who are proficient readers by the end of third grade are likelier to excel in other subjects, as reading skills are fundamental to understanding a wide range of educational materials. Moreover, regular reading at a young age can enhance concentration, boost creativity, and foster empathy by exposing children to diverse cultures and perspectives. 

What Are The Key Features Of Books Suitable For 7-8-Year-Olds?

Books suitable for 7-8-year-olds possess vital features that align with their developmental stage:

  • Engaging Storylines: It is crucial to have Captivating plots that keep readers’ interest. Stories often involve adventure, humor, or relatable scenarios.
  • Vibrant Illustrations: Colorful and lively illustrations complement the text, aiding comprehension and making reading a visual delight.
  • Age-Appropriate Vocabulary: The language used is challenging enough to promote learning but simple enough to read independently.
  • Educational Content: Themes often include basic life lessons, moral values, and introduction to new concepts.
  • Diverse Characters and Settings: Exposure to different cultures and environments broadens their understanding of the world.
  • Interactive Elements: Activities like puzzles or questions that prompt critical thinking enhance engagement.
  • Length and Format: Short, manageable chapters or stories for young readers encourage a sense of accomplishment.

How Do These Books Support Early Literacy Skills?

Books designed for 7-8-year-olds support early literacy skills in several key ways

Vocabulary Expansion

They introduce new words in context, helping children understand and remember them.

Reading Comprehension

Children learn to follow plotlines and understand character motivations through engaging stories, enhancing comprehension.

Phonemic Awareness

Exposure to varied language sounds and patterns in these books aids in phonemic development, crucial for reading proficiency.

Sentence Structure and Grammar

Regular reading familiarizes children with correct sentence construction and grammar usage.

Cognitive Development

Books at this level often present problems and solutions, encouraging critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Reading Fluency

With practice, children improve in speed, accuracy, and expression, becoming more fluent readers.

Imagination and Creativity

These books stimulate the imagination, encouraging creative thinking and storytelling abilities.

What Are The Top 30 Fiction Books For Second Graders? 

As of my last update in April 2023, here are 30 highly recommended fiction books for second graders, each with a brief explanation:

1. “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White: A timeless story of friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a spider named Charlotte.

2. “The Magic Tree House Series” by Mary Pope Osborne: Adventures of siblings Jack and Annie discovering a treehouse that takes them on magical journeys.

3. “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak: A classic tale of imagination as a young boy ventures into a world of wild creatures.

4. “The Tale of Despereaux” by Kate DiCamillo: The story of a brave mouse, a princess, a soup-loving rat, and a serving girl with a simple yet treacherous wish.

5. “Stuart Little” by E.B. White: A charming tale about a mouse born into an ordinary New York family.

Reading Books For Children Aged 7-8

6. “Junie B. Jones Series” by Barbara Park: Follows the adventures of a spunky and hilarious kindergartener, Junie B. Jones.

7. “The Boxcar Children Series” by Gertrude Chandler Warner: Chronicles the adventures of four orphaned children who create a home for themselves in an abandoned boxcar.

8. “Amelia Bedelia Series” by Peggy Parish: Features a literal-minded housekeeper whose misinterpretations lead to delightful misunderstandings.

9. “Frog and Toad Are Friends” by Arnold Lobel: A collection of stories about the adventures and friendship of Frog and Toad.

10. “The Gruffalo” by Julia Donaldson: A clever mouse uses the threat of a terrifying creature to keep himself safe from predators.

11. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” by Jeff Kinney: A series that chronicles the life of Greg Heffley as he navigates the challenges of school and family.

12. “Flat Stanley” by Jeff Brown: The story of Stanley Lambchop, who becomes flat and has amazing adventures.

13. “Matilda” by Roald Dahl: The story of a brilliant and sensitive girl who uses her talents to deal with unkind adults.

14. “Fantastic Mr. Fox” by Roald Dahl: A clever fox outwits his farmer neighbors to steal food.

15. “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss: A tale delivering a powerful message about the environment and our impact on it.

16. “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss: A fun and imaginative story promoting trying new things.

17. “Peter Pan” by J.M. Barrie: The classic story of a boy who wouldn’t grow up and his adventures in Neverland.

18. “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll: A fantastical story about a girl named Alice who falls into a magical world.

19. “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: A philosophical tale, with societal criticism about a young prince who travels the universe.

20. “Pippi Longstocking” by Astrid Lindgren: Follows the adventures of an eccentric and superhumanly strong girl.

21. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl: The story of a poor boy who wins a tour through the most magnificent chocolate factory in the world.

22. “A Bear Called Paddington” by Michael Bond: The adventures of a friendly bear from Peru who is found at Paddington Station in London.

23. “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams: A beautiful tale of a stuffed rabbit’s quest to become real through its owner’s love.

24. “James and the Giant Peach” by Roald Dahl: A young boy’s journey on a giant peach with a group of friendly insects.

 Fiction Books For Second Graders

25. “Winnie-the-Pooh” by A.A. Milne: The adventures of Winnie the Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood.

26. “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis: A series of seven fantasy novels set in the magical world of Narnia.

27. “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein: A moving story about the selfless love and sacrifice of a tree for a boy.

28. “The BFG” by Roald Dahl: The story of a young girl and her adventures with a friendly giant.

29. “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett: A tale of transformation and rejuvenation set in a hidden garden.

30. “Harold and the Purple Crayon” by Crockett Johnson: A simple yet imaginative story of a boy creating his world with a purple crayon.

Fun Fact

“Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White, a beloved children’s classic, was actually inspired by White’s own experiences as a farmer. He raised a sick piglet to health, which became the inspiration for the character Wilbur in the book.

What Are The Best 30 Non-Fiction Books For This Age Group?

For 7-8-year-olds, non-fiction books can be just as captivating as fiction. Here are 30 recommended non-fiction books for this age group, each offering unique insights and knowledge:

31. “National Geographic Kids First Big Book of Why” by Amy Shields: Answers to many ‘why’ questions kids have filled with fun facts and colorful illustrations.

32. “The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks” by Joanna Cole: A journey through the water cycle with Ms. Frizzle’s class.

33. “Fly Guy Presents: Space” by Tedd Arnold: An introduction to space and the solar system in a fun, accessible format.

34. “The Street Beneath My Feet” by Charlotte Guillain: A journey to the center of the Earth, exploring geological layers.

35. “Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist” by Jess Keating: Biography of a pioneering female marine biologist.

36. “The Dinosaur Book” by DK: A comprehensive guide to dinosaurs with detailed illustrations and facts.

37. “What If You Had Animal Teeth?” by Sandra Markle: Explores what life would be like with teeth from different animals.

38. “Ada Twist, Scientist” by Andrea Beaty: Encourages curiosity and scientific exploration, inspired by real-life scientists.

39. “From Seed to Plant” by Gail Gibbons: Explains how plants grow and reproduce.

40. “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer: The true story of a boy from Malawi who built a windmill to save his village.

41. “Ultimate Bugopedia: The Most Complete Bug Reference Ever” by Darlyne Murawski and Nancy Honovich: A detailed guide to the world of bugs.

42. “Astronaut Handbook” by Meghan McCarthy: An informative and humorous look at what it takes to become an astronaut.

43. “The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book” by Tom Robinson: Hands-on experiments that can be done at home to explore science.

44. “Who Was Neil Armstrong?” by Roberta Edwards: A biography of the first man on the moon.

45. “If You Lived 100 Years Ago” by Ann McGovern: Explores daily life a century ago.

46. “Kids’ Fun and Healthy Cookbook” by Nicola Graimes: Introduces basic cooking and healthy eating.

 Fiction Books For Second Graders

47. “Time For Kids: Big Book of Why”: Answers to various intriguing questions kids often ask.

48. “I am Jane Goodall” by Brad Meltzer: A biography of the famous primatologist and conservationist.

49. “The Big Book of Bugs” by Yuval Zommer: An illustrated guide to the world of bugs.

50. “One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia” by Miranda Paul: A true story about recycling and environmental conservation.

51. “Human Body Theater” by Maris Wicks: A graphic novel that takes a journey through the human body.

52. “Animalium” by Jenny Broom: A virtual museum in a book that visually explores animals.

53. “The Kids’ Book of Weather Forecasting” by Mark Breen and Kathleen Friestad: Teaches kids how to predict the weather.

54. “Weird But True” series by National Geographic Kids: Filled with bizarre facts and figures that intrigue young minds.

55. “Star Talk” by Neil deGrasse Tyson: Explains the mysteries of space and the universe.

56. “The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps” by Jeanette Winter: Jane Goodall’s biography, focusing on her work with chimpanzees.

57. “Pop-Up New York” by Jennie Maizels: A fun and interactive book exploring the landmarks of New York City.

58. “Maps” by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski: A visually stunning book of maps with cultural and geographical information.

59. “What Do You Do with an Idea?” by Kobi Yamada: Encourages creativity and pursuing one’s ideas and dreams.

60. “Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race” by Margot Lee Shetterly: The inspiring true story of four African American women who helped NASA during the space race.

Fun Fact

“The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks” by Joanna Cole was the first book of the renowned “Magic School Bus” series. It pioneered using a fictional story to teach real scientific facts, making it a trailblazer in educational children’s literature.

What 20 Adventure And Fantasy Titles Are Perfect For 7-8-Year-Olds?

Adventure and fantasy books captivate the imagination of 7-8-year-olds. Here are 20 titles that are perfect for this age group:

61. “My Father’s Dragon” by Ruth Stiles Gannett: A young boy sets off on an adventure to rescue a baby dragon.

62. “The Magic Faraway Tree” by Enid Blyton: Children discover a magical tree and the fantastical worlds at the top of it.

63. “The Neverending Story” by Michael Ende: A young boy reads a magical book that narrates a story unfolding in another world.

64. “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis: A classic series about children who discover a magical land called Narnia.

65. “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll: The tale of Alice, who falls through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world.

66. “Peter Pan” by J.M. Barrie: The adventures of the boy who wouldn’t grow up and his escapades in Neverland.

67. “The Enchanted Wood” by Enid Blyton: Three children discover an enchanted wood and the magical folk who live there.

68. “The Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum: Dorothy’s journey in the magical Land of Oz.

69. “Dragon Masters” series by Tracey West: A series where children are chosen to train dragons and save their kingdom.

70. “Zita the Spacegirl” by Ben Hatke: A graphic novel about a young girl’s adventure across the universe.

71. “The Princess and the Goblin” by George MacDonald: A fairy tale about a princess, a miner boy, and goblins.

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72. “The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls” series by M.J. Thomas: Time-travel adventures with historical and biblical settings.

73. “The Spiderwick Chronicles” by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black: Siblings discover a secret world of fairies and other creatures.

74. “The Unicorn Rescue Society” series by Adam Gidwitz: Adventures revolving around magical creatures and their protection.

75. “The Tale of Despereaux” by Kate DiCamillo: The story of a brave mouse, a princess, and a rat with dark plans.

76. “The Land of Stories” series by Chris Colfer: Twins discover a magical book that transports them to a land where fairy tales are real.

77. “The Magic Tree House” series by Mary Pope Osborne: Siblings travel through time and worldwide with their magic tree house.

78. “The Wild Robot” by Peter Brown: The journey of Roz, a robot who learns to survive on a remote, wild island.

79. “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” series by Rick Riordan (suitable for older kids in this age group): A modern-day Greek mythology adventure where Percy discovers he is a demigod.

80. “The Adventures of Captain Underpants” by Dav Pilkey: A humorous series about two boys creating their superhero.

Fun Fact

“The Neverending Story” by Michael Ende is unique for its dual-color printing: the text is printed in red and green, distinguishing between the book’s fantasy world and the real world of the main character, Bastian.

Which 20 Classic Books Should Every Second Grader Read?

Classic books offer timeless stories and valuable lessons for young readers. Here are 20 classic books that are ideal for second graders:

81. “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White: A heartwarming story of friendship between a pig and a spider.

82. “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter: The adventures of a mischievous rabbit.

83. “Stuart Little” by E.B. White: The adventures of a mouse born into a human family.

84. “Winnie-the-Pooh” by A.A. Milne: The beloved tales of a teddy bear and his friends.

85. “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams: A touching story of a stuffed rabbit’s desire to become real.

86. “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll: The whimsical story of Alice’s adventures in a magical world.

87. “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: A philosophical tale with profound insights on life and human nature.

88. “Peter Pan” by J.M. Barrie: The classic tale of the boy who never grew up.

89. “Pippi Longstocking” by Astrid Lindgren: The adventures of a strong, independent young girl.

90. “A Bear Called Paddington” by Michael Bond: The story of a kind-hearted, marmalade-loving bear in London.

91. “Little House on the Prairie” by Laura Ingalls Wilder: Chronicles of life on the American frontier.

92. “James and the Giant Peach” by Roald Dahl: A young boy’s journey with magical insect friends inside a giant peach.

93. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl: The story of a poor boy’s adventure inside a whimsical chocolate factory.

94. “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett: A tale of friendship and rejuvenation found in a hidden garden.

95. “Black Beauty” by Anna Sewell: The life story of a horse, teaching kindness towards animals.

96. “Matilda” by Roald Dahl: The story of a bright young girl with a love for books and a bit of magic.

97. “Anne of Green Gables” by L.M. Montgomery: The adventures and misadventures of a spirited orphan girl.

98. “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum: Dorothy’s journey through the magical Land of Oz.

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99. “Heidi” by Johanna Spyri: The story of a young girl’s life in the Swiss Alps with her grandfather.

100. “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain: The escapades of a young boy growing up along the Mississippi River.

Fun Fact

“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll was inspired by a real girl named Alice Liddell. Carroll, whose real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, invented the story on a boating trip with Alice and her sisters in 1862.

What Are The 10 Best Educational And Interactive Books For Second Graders?

Educational and interactive books can be immensely beneficial for second graders, blending learning with fun. Here are 10 of the best books in this category:

101. “The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book” by Tom Robinson: Provides simple, fun experiments that explain basic scientific concepts.

102. “National Geographic Kids Why?: Over 1,111 Answers to Everything” by Crispin Boyer: A book filled with fascinating answers to various kid-friendly questions.

103. “The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A. with 50 Fact-Filled Maps!” by Gabrielle Balkan: An interactive atlas that teaches kids about the geography, history, and culture of each state.

104. “Brain Quest Workbook: Grade 2” by Liane Onish: A comprehensive workbook covering key second-grade subjects with lots of interactive exercises.

105. “The Dinosaur Book” by DK: An engaging, visually stunning book about dinosaurs, offering interactive learning through augmented reality features.

106. “Math Curse” by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith: A humorous book that presents everyday situations as math problems, making math fun and relatable.

107. “Magic School Bus: Inside the Earth” by Joanna Cole: An adventurous journey that engagingly teaches geology and earth science.

108. “What If You Had Animal Teeth?” by Sandra Markle: A fun and educational book that lets children imagine what it would be like to have the teeth of various animals, teaching about biology and the animal kingdom.

109. “How Things Work” by T.J. Resler: Explains the science behind how everyday things work with interactive elements to engage young readers.

110. “Pop-Up New York” by Jennie Maizels: An interactive pop-up book that takes children on a 3D tour of New York City, teaching about landmarks and city life.

Fun Fact

“The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book” by Tom Robinson is renowned for its practical approach. Every experiment in the book can be done with ordinary household items, making science accessible and fun for kids without needing specialized equipment.

What Are 10 Recommended Diverse Books For Second Graders?

Diverse books are essential for broadening perspectives and fostering empathy among young readers. Here are 10 recommended diverse books for second graders:

111. “Last Stop on Market Street” by Matt de la Peña: A boy learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday life during bus rides with his grandmother.

112. “The Name Jar” by Yangsook Choi: A Korean girl navigates her identity and the challenge of having a unique name in a new school.

113. “I Am Enough” by Grace Byers: A lyrical ode to self-confidence and kindness, celebrating diversity and inclusion.

114. “Julian Is a Mermaid” by Jessica Love: A heartwarming story about self-expression and acceptance featuring a boy who loves dressing up as a mermaid.

115. “The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family” by Ibtihaj Muhammad: A touching story about two sisters and their pride in their cultural and religious identity.

116. “Sulwe” by Lupita Nyong’o: A powerful story addressing colorism and self-esteem as Sulwe learns to appreciate her dark skin.

117. “Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut” by Derrick Barnes: Celebrates the confidence a young black boy gains from a simple haircut.

Recommended Diverse Books For Second Graders

118. “Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Méndez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation” by Duncan Tonatiuh: A compelling true story of a family’s fight for school desegregation in the 1940s.

119. “Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story” by Kevin Noble Maillard: A vibrant picture book celebrating Native American culture and the timeless tradition of fry bread.

120.“Mama the Alien/Mamá la Extraterrestre” by René Colato Laínez: A playful story about language and misunderstanding when a girl thinks her mother is an alien.

Fun Fact

“The Name Jar” by Yangsook Choi is a story about cultural identity. It draws from the author’s personal experience. When she moved to the United States, Choi, born in Korea, faced similar challenges with her name.

What 10 Series And Collections Are Great For Sustained Reading?

For second graders, series and collections encouraging sustained reading can be engaging and beneficial for their literacy development. Here are 10 great series and collections for this age group:

121. “Magic Tree House” by Mary Pope Osborne: These books combine fantasy and history to take young readers on adventures through time.

122. “Junie B. Jones” by Barbara Park: Follow the humorous adventures of Junie B. Jones, a kindergartener/first grader with a spunky attitude.

123. “Ivy + Bean” by Annie Barrows: This series showcases the adventures and friendship of two seemingly very different girls, Ivy and Bean.

124. “The Magic School Bus” by Joanna Cole: These books combine fun stories with science and natural history, perfect for young, curious minds.

125. “Flat Stanley” by Jeff Brown: The adventures of Stanley Lambchop, a boy who becomes flat and travels the world in an envelope.

126. “Geronimo Stilton” by Elisabetta Dami: A journalist mouse who travels around the world, with each book being a new story.

127. “Amelia Bedelia” by Peggy Parish and Herman Parish: The humorous misadventures of Amelia Bedelia, a housekeeper who takes everything literally.

128. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” by Jeff Kinney: While slightly advanced, this series is great for second graders ready for a challenge, featuring the daily struggles of middle schooler Greg Heffley.

129. “Fancy Nancy” by Jane O’Connor: Nancy loves everything fancy and these books are filled with her adventures and mishaps.

130. “Nate the Great” by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat: A boy detective solving cases, perfect for young mystery lovers.

Fun Fact

“The Magic Tree House” series by Mary Pope Osborne was initially planned to have only four books. However, due to its immense popularity and demand from young readers, the series expanded and now includes more than 50 adventures.

Key Takeaway

  • Diverse Genres: This list covers a wide range of genres, ensuring that every child finds something that sparks their interest, from fantasy and adventure to science and history.
  • Developmentally Appropriate: The books are specifically chosen for 7-8-year-olds, supporting their cognitive, emotional, and social development.
  • Enhances Vocabulary and Comprehension: These books are designed to expand vocabulary and improve reading comprehension in a fun and engaging way.
  • Cultural and Social Awareness: Diverse books broaden understanding, promoting empathy and cultural awareness.
  • Fosters a Love for Reading: Engaging stories and interesting facts make reading enjoyable, encouraging a lifelong love for books.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Are The Best Books For A Second Grader To Improve Reading Skills?

“Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White and “The Magic Tree House” series by Mary Pope Osborne are excellent for improving reading skills. They offer engaging stories with age-appropriate vocabulary.

How Can I Help My 7-8-Year-Old Develop A Love For Reading?

Encourage reading habits by choosing books that match their interests, read together regularly, and create a comfortable reading space. Series like “Junie B. Jones” by Barbara Park can be particularly engaging.

What Kind Of Books Should Second Graders Read To Enhance Their Vocabulary?

Books with a slightly higher level of language complexity, such as “Stuart Little” by E.B. White, can be beneficial. Also, interactive books like “The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book” by Tom Robinson can introduce new words in a fun context.

Are There Any Good Series For Second Graders Interested In Science And History?

Yes, “The Magic School Bus” series by Joanna Cole is excellent for science, and “The Who Was/What Was” series offers accessible history and biography stories.

Can Reading Fiction Help In My Child’s Overall Development?

Absolutely. Fiction develops empathy, creativity, and emotional intelligence. Books like “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak stimulate imagination and help children understand and express their feelings.



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