WorkybooksReading ComprehensionThe Best Chapter Books for 2nd Grade Girls
Reading Comprehension

The Best Chapter Books for 2nd Grade Girls

chapter books for girls

Use this post as a resource for your personal book list on choosing the best books for 2nd Grade Girls! (TEACHER TIP: any of these books make great read-alouds for your not-quite-ready readers!)

Second grade is the key to my heart… or maybe it just holds most of my favorite chapter books!

2nd grade chapter books

All joking aside, most young readers gain fluency and independence by the end of 2nd Grade and begin to really enjoy getting lost in a good chapter book. This is usually not by their own doing and takes some support and guidance from adults in how to select independent books. I have included the Lexile Measure or range for each book series to help you guide your students in selecting the best fit!


Please consider 2 things when guiding students to select chapter books;

  1. First, it should be at your student’s reading level (use the Lexile Measure or  the 5-finger rule for teaching kids how to select a book)
  2. Second, it must be a topic that will interest them

chapter books

Best Chapter Books


The range for proficient second grade reading is approximately 420L-620L. (For parents or homeschooling families it is most important that your child is reading at their independent reading level. If a book series is too challenging for them independently you can indulge their interests by reading it aloud and discussing it together. Just include a separate time to practice independent reading at their level.). The boxed sets are generally a greater value not just because you get more books for a cheaper price but they tend to cater to two grade levels so the reader is able to grow with the series.


Early readers may enjoy these book recommendations:


Magic Tree House Series This is the epitome of classic chapter book series by Mary Pope Osborne! The main characters are Jack & Annie & they go on adventures with (many have historical references). I really like this series because it appeals to boys as well as girls. It is also a great way to integrate Science (paleontology- Dinosaurs Before Dark) and social studies (Civil War on Sunday) themes with your weekly reading! Lexile Level 240L

Katie Woo and Friends Award-winning author Fran Manushkin creates this fun series that explains life changes, growing up and family celebrations in a lighthearted way. Lexile Measure 380L


The Cam Jansen series follows 5th grade Cam Jensen everywhere she goes. She has a photographic memory and is a mystery-solving sleuth! Join Cam in her 33 book adventure series. Lexile Measure 260- 490


Frog and Toad are two of my all-time favorite characters. They are best friends that do not always agree but they are great friends who in the end are always there for each other. There are several titles that range from Lexile Measure 320L- 400L


Junie B. Jones series- Kids do seem to like this series. It starts out in kindergarten and I think the way she speaks is a little rough for most Kinders. It does not model good language for ELD students nor communication skills (Junie B. Jones says stupid a lot, mumbles under her breath instead of talking about her feelings and her grammar may be a poor example for ELD students.) If you follow a SEL curriculum it may be a good book series to use to point out what to do instead, based on the lessons the class has learned. So it’s something to consider if it would be a good fit for your students. As a second-grade book series, which is what this post is about it is a much better fit as kids are older or more mature. Lexile Level 380L


A to Z Mysteries by Ron Roy. Dink, Josh & Ruth Rose are the main characters in this mystery & crime-solving series. The characters are 3rd graders who live in a small town in Connecticut. This series is also popular but a can be more predictable than some of the other series. I like that this series has a wide range of reading levels and think it is a great fit for second grade readers. Lexile Measure 380-650


Intermediate chapter books-

Flat Stanley- Stanley is the main character who has a terrible accident one day and is completely flattened by a bulletin board. He soon learns that being flat has its advantages and goes on many adventures. There are many titles in this series that range in reading ability. The range for this series is Lexile Measure 420L – 750L.


Mercy Watson– by Kate Dicamillo where the main character, Mercy Watson is a pig detective. She goes on amazing adventures and solves mysteries with the best of them! Lexile Measure 450L-550L


Merlin Missions (The Magic Treehouse sequel series)- This is Mary Pope Osborns second adventure book series for the more advanced reader. It’s Lexile is 460L- 590L (as the average for the book series).


More advanced readers or end-of-the-year chapter books:


Tales of Sasha Series – Sasha is a horse who learns that she has magical powers. Or one at least… she can fly! She sets off on different adventures with her best friend Wyatt. There are only 4 books in the boxed set but 11 books total this series. Lexile Measure 510L


Zoe and Sassafrass is a wonderful series about a young girl named Zoe and her cat Sassafrass. Each book features a magical animal and a problem that must be solved with Science. This series is rated for grades 1 (read aloud) through grade 3 (independent) and is super popular with parents and children alike! Lexile Measure 530-640


The Mia Maheym Collection Have you ever wanted to join a top secret superhero academy? Here’s your chance to join Mia Mayhem in these fun books and enjoy the wild adventures! Lexile Measure 550L


Ivy and Bean– Full disclosure the reviews are mixed on this series due to some of the topics, language, and some situations the girls get into. As a former public school teacher this was a very popular book series but I recommend it for  more mature readers (2nd & 3rd graders who can more easily navigate the topics and understand the difference between fiction & Non-fiction) or as a read-aloud where the situations can be discussed. The Lexile Measure is 580L.


Kylie Jean Collection– This collection is a good fit for the princess in your life. The book titles range from Kylie Jean Art Queen to Kylie Jean Hoop Queen. Lexile Measure 590L-730L


Boxcar Children Series is a popular sibling mystery-solving team! The first book was published in 1942 and has sold over 70 million copies worldwide. Lexile Measure 430L-800L


Heidi Hecklebeck series is a perfect read for the magic-loving students. Heidi Hecklebeck has a book of spells and goes on adventures with her elementary school friends. Lexile Measure 430L- 650L


The Never Girl Series– This is a very popular series often gifted from friends and family. It is about 4 friends who get a special invitation to a magical land… Never Land! To over simplify it’s Peter Pan in a book series for girls. The Lexile Measure for these books range from 580L-610L.


Dragon Girls Series. – These lighthearted reads are full of fun and adventure even for reluctant readers! Lexile Measure 550L- 670L


Amelia Bedelia Series– Amelia Bedelia is the quirky, literal-minded housekeeper that keeps things interesting when she gets basically everything mixed up Lexile Level 690L


Other 2nd-grade-appropriate books:


Picture Books

Helping your students select a picture book based off their interests can also be a rewarding independent reading experience for them. 


Caldecott medal books for 2nd graders


The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats


Outside In by Deborah Underwood. This book is spectacular in the depth of learning that kids can access. The language used is poetic and the illustrations are magical!


Beekle by Dan Santat is the tale of an imaginary friend who travels the world in search of a child. 


Journey by Arron Becker This is one of 3 in a wordless series. I really like this series for reading comprehension and writing. It presents the opportunity for struggling readers and younger students who are not quite reading yet to voice their understanding without fear of getting the words wrong. It is the perfect reading comprehension, and writing response book!


Charlotte’s Web– This is not a chapter series but a classically good book for second graders. It is a Newberry Honor Award winner and an overall great book. It is not as lighthearted as some of the other titles in this series with what happens to Charlotte at the end. Lexile Measure 680L




Serena D., M.A. Ed.

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