Reading: Great Books for 2nd and 3rd Graders

mearts & entertainment

Child Reading This is the second installment in a two-part series on reading series for young elementary school-aged kids. Last week, I provided a list of great series for kindergarten and first graders. This week, I'm focused on second and third graders.

My son is in the home stretch of second grade. It's been a great year for his reading, where he's really found some niche series and even specific non-fiction topics that have piqued his interest.

The good news about this stage of reading is the number of fantastic choices kids have when moving into chapter books or delving farther into them. My son spent the better part of this year reading the entire Magic Tree House series, including the non-fiction research guides, and has started exploring other, lesser-known series that strike his fancy.

Here's another list of great series for 2nd and 3rd graders. Hopefully, you'll find some selections here that will excite your child!

Second Grade Reading Series

Second graders start to transition heavily into early chapter books and fantasy titles. These are some of my kids' favorites.

  • Magic Tree House (Mary Pope Osborne)
  • Magic Tree House Research Guides [nonfiction] (Mary Pope Osborne)
  • Flat Stanley (Jeff Brown)
  • Boxcar Children (Gertrude Chandler Warner)
  • Secrets of Droon (Tony Abbott)
  • Dragon Slayers' Academy (Kate McMullan)
  • Rainbow Magic Fairies (Daisy Meadows)
  • Katie Kazoo Switcheroo (Nancy Krulik)
  • Stink Moody (Megan McDonald)
  • Geronimo Stilton (Geronimo Stilton)
  • Ivy and Bean (Annie Barrows)
  • James and The Giant Peach (Roald Dahl) - and other Roald Dahl titles

Third Grade Reading Series

My son is able to read many third-grade level chapter books and what I've noticed about them is that the content matures a bit. Keep this in mind if you have an advanced reader. Make sure you know the subject matter of what they're reading about.

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Jeff Kinney)
  • Encyclopedia Brown (Donald Sobol)
  • 39 Clues (various authors)
  • Judy Moody (Megan McDonald)
  • Emily Windsnap (Liz Keller)
  • My Weird School (Dan Gutman)
  • The Time Warp Trio (John Szcieska)
  • Babymouse (Jennifer and Matthew Holm)
  • Captain Underpants (Dav Pilkey)
  • Amazing Days of Abbey Hayes (Anne Mazer)
  • American Girl series (various authors)
  • Beast Quest (Adam Blade)
  • Fairy Godmother Academy (Jan Bozarth)
  • Fudge (Judy Blume)
  • Hardy Boys (Franklin W. Dixon)
  • Henry Huggins (Beverly Cleary)
  • Ramona (Beverly Cleary)
  • Goosebumps (R.L. Stine)
  • The Fairy Chronicles (J.H. Sweet)
  • Ricky Ricotta (Dav Pilkey)
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events (Lemony Snicket)

This is just a sampling of the choices out there. What are some of your children's favorite series that don't appear on this list? What were your favorite books when you were in this age group?

Gigi Ross is a mom of 2 from Austin, Texas who keeps her personal blog at KludgyMom, where she shares her sometimes snappish, sometimes neurotic take on parenting and blogging. Gigi is a freelance writer and social media consultant. She is the business columnist for ShePosts and the Managing Editor of Business 2 Blogger. Her work has been syndicated by Mamapedia,, and BlogHer. Connect with Gigi on Twitter at @akludgymom.

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Gigi Ross

Gigi is a mom to 2 school-aged kids in Austin, Texas. She blogs about the art of living haphazardly and gives blogging tips at her personal blog, KludgyMom.


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