Suggested reading list for Year 2 pupils in KS1 age 6-7

Books for Year 2 – if you are looking for great books for six-year-olds, here’s our list of 50+ of the best books to engage infants aged 6-7 in year two and foster an early love of reading. The following suggestions contain picture books, poetry, first readers and chapter books to appeal to a wide variety of children in KS1 year 2 classes in UK primary schools. These recommended books consist of a range of titles to appeal to ability ranges including the less able, the more able, reluctant readers and struggling readers. There are books suitable for individual reading, reading with siblings, class reading, support groups, book clubs, reading corners, for reading aloud and performance, and paired reading. This curated list is revised each term and includes stories by Mac Bennett, Anete Melece, Margaret Mahy, Louise Fatio, Michael Rosen, Anete Melece, Anthony Browne, Raymond Briggs and Wendy Orr.

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Books for Year 2 – our recommendations

Inside the Villains by Clotilde Perrin

This fantastically illustrated and highly original hardback presents fairy tale villains in forensic and scientific detail! The wolf, witch and giant are dissected with a series of clues, strengths, weaknesses, personality traits and physical attributes. The flaps to lift, ‘diabolical thoughts’ and even the stomach contents are a delight. A spectacular and interactive book like no other, this is a great text to inspire children to create monstrous characters in KS1 and KS2 creative writing.

Inside the Villains by Clotilde Perrin

Hattie and Olaf by Frida Nilsson

When Hilda decides that she must have a horse to compete with her friend Ellen, who already has three, she thinks she’s finally persuaded her father to buy her one when a horse-box pulls up. However, she’s beyond disappointed to meet its inhabitant – Olaf – who is definitely not a horse. With fast-paced dialogue, strong female characters and lots of action, this bestselling story from Sweden is a fun read for children in year 2 who are beginning to tackle chapter books independently.

Hattie and Olaf by Frida Nilsson

Bug Belly Froggy Rescue by Paul Morton

The second in the Bug Belly series, Froggy Rescue is a clever adventure for 5-7-year-olds that blends laugh out loud moments and a fast pace with eye-catching diagrams and illustrations. The highly engaging text will appeal to both emerging and reluctant readers, and the punchy dialogue is ideal to read aloud in a classroom. Add in some poo monsters and these books surefire winners that provide a good option for children moving away from reading schemes in Year 2.

Bug Belly Froggy Rescue by Paul Morton

Salty Dogs by Matty Long

The Salty Dogs are a band of pirates constantly on the lookout for riches and treasure. Along the way, they meet outrageous sea monsters and a ship full of monkeys. The illustrations are filled with clever details and speech bubbles which are ideal for helping develop imagination.

Salty Dogs by Matty Long - ideal book for year 2 pupils

Don’t Look in this Book by Samuel Langley-Swain

With an eye-catching cover and provocative title, this book is bound to appeal to reluctant readers in Year 2. The artwork is stunning, taking the reader on an imaginative journey through fantastical places including outer space and a luminous green sewer – all told in rhythmic rhyming couplets which will encourage reading out loud. There’s also an encouraging twist at the end which should inspire creative ideas for the classroom.

Don't Look in this Book by Samuel Langley-Swain - a good book to read aloud in year 2

Gorilla by Anthony Browne

A classic picture book for younger readers. When Hannah asks for a Gorilla for her birthday, she gets more than she bargained for – a real gorilla appears and takes her on a mesmerising and unexpected journey.

Gorilla by Anthony Browne - an engaging book for more confident year 2 readers

Dr Xargle’s Book of Earthlets by Jeanne Willis

Human life told through the unique perspective of Dr Xargle, an alien David Attenborough writing an observational travel guide. There are some hysterically funny descriptions of eating and babies. Ideal to read to your child in year 2 – this book is guaranteed to cause fits of the giggles.

Dr Xargle's Book of Earthlets by Jeanne Willis

The Kiosk by Anete Melece

This fascinating and unusual picture book story tells the story of Olga, a kiosk owner who spends so long in her workplace she becomes part of it. When two shoplifters strike, to the surprise of passers-by Olga uproots and makes chase – still attached to her kiosk. An unfortunate encounter with a dog on a bridge leads to a surprisingly happy ending. Quite unlike anything else you will read this year, this highly illustrated story is one of those books where children will spot or realise something new each time they reread it. It’s also an excellent book to help illustrate three-act story structure in KS1&2 literacy lessons.

The Kiosk by Anete Melece. A great book to inspire writing in year 2

The Legend of Spud Murphy by Eoin Colfer

Not only does Will struggle to get any attention with four other brothers in the house, his mother decides to send them all to the library – in the holidays! The librarian, Spud Murphy, is Will’s worst nightmare. But unexpectedly, things take a sharp turn for the better. A more challenging addition to your class library of books for year two and a great book for teachers or parents to read aloud.

The Legend of Spud Murphy by Eoin Colfer. A good class reader for more able year 2 classes

The Problem with Pierre by C.K. Smouha and Suzanna Hubbard

A charming and heart-warming story about Alan and Bertram, who live next door to each other. Both seem to have something missing in their lives and are brought together in a clever ending – despite their different personalities – through Bertram’s cat Pierre. There are lots of discussion points for KS1&2 PSHE – how to compromise, how to respect each other’s differences, and how to find happiness; and the simple and effective character descriptions are ideal to explore in KS1 literacy lessons. Art teachers will see lots of opportunities to inspire pastel work using the illustrations as an impetus.

The Problem with Pierre by C.K. Smouha and Suzanna Hubbard. An excellent book for PSHE in year 2

Mr Majeika by Humphrey Carpenter

Mr Majeika is no ordinary teacher. He arrives each day by magic carpet and turns the class clown into a frog. School is never the same again. This imaginative short chapter book is a good starting point for encouraging children to try longer texts in year two.

Mr Majeika by Humphrey Carpenter - a good Year 2 book for class reading

Jinnie Ghost by Berlie Doherty

A captivating poem about Jinnie – a ghost who only exists in the daytime, who makes Charlotte’s toys come to life and creates a giant who leads an expedition to a castle in the clouds. The rich language provides a good impetus for creative writing and this short novel is ideal for class reading in Year 2.

Jinnie Ghost by Berlie Doherty. A good book for year 2 reading groups

I Was a Rat!: Or, the Scarlet Slippers by Philip Pullman

A little boy turns up on the doorstep of Old Bob and his wife Joan, and when asked where he came from, says: “I was a rat!” An enthralling story with a clever twist and atmospheric writing. Ideal to read and discuss with your child.

I Was a Rat!: Or, the Scarlet Slippers by Philip Pullman. A more advance class readers for 6-7 year olds

The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

When Duncan opens his box of crayons, instead of colours, he sees letters spelling “We Quit!”. A very funny story which will appeal to all abilities. The concept and bright illustrations make this an ideal book to provoke discussion in class and help model ideas for pupils’ writing.

The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt. Ideal to read to year 2 pupils

Tuesday by David Wiesner

A magical picture book, with few words, where naughty frogs fly on magic lily pads to surprise people in all sorts of unexpected ways. Incredible artwork makes this an ideal year 2 book for imaginative storytelling, especially with emerging readers.

Tuesday by David Wiesner

Beaver Towers by Nigel Hinton

Philip flies to a magical island with his enchanted kite and meets a world of Beavers. But all is not well – many of the beavers have been imprisoned by the evil Oyin, and only Philip can save them. A cracking page-turner for more confident six-year older readers.

Beaver Towers by Nigel Hinton. This year 2 book is ideal for imginative children

The Happy Lion by Louise Fatio and Roger Duviosin

A fun and engaging story about a lion who just wants to thank the villagers for feeding him – only for chaos to ensue. Beautifully illustrated in pen and ink. A classic picture book, and ideal for independent or paired reading in year 2.

The Happy Lion by Louise Fatio and Roger Duviosin

A Royal Lullabyhullaballoo by Mick Inkpen

A Little Princess, cannot get to sleep because of a roaring dragon, a clanking knight, and a stomping giant outside her window, until she hears a special lullaby. An easy read.

A Royal Lullabyhullaballoo by Mick Inkpen<

Triangle by Mac Barnett

Ideal for reluctant readers to read aloud and discuss. Triangle is looking to get one up on his friend Square. But Square has other ideas. Clever and engaging with memorable illustrations.

Triangle by Mac Barnett

Fungus the Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs

Full of snot, slime, smells, and much revoltingness, this book is bound to appeal to reluctant readers. The cracking illustrations make this a hit read and one that’s ideal for paired or buddy reading.

Fungus the Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs

Mrs Wobble the Waitress by Allan Ahlberg

Mrs Wobble has her dream job – as a waitress – with one small problem. Her wobble. Faced with a jelly, she wibbles and wobbles and mayhem ensues. The sheer fun and great use of alliteration and rhyme makes this a great book to read around the class or perform.

Mrs Wobble the Waitress by Allan Ahlberg - a great book for year two pupils to read aloud

The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

Two boys hypnotise their headteacher and create an alter ego – Captain Underpants – with wedgie power – fighting for good against evil. With eye catching and cartoon-like illustrations, this book is sure to be a hit with reluctant readers.

The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey - a fun book for year 2 class libraries

The Dunderheads by Paul Fleischman

Possibly most evil teacher in the world gets her comeuppance in style thanks to Junkyard, Pencil and Spider who come up with a cunning plan. This fun story works well as a class reader or a read-aloud for the end of the day.

The Dunderheads by Paul Fleischman

The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate by Margaret Mahy

Sam has quite a boring life, that is until he finds out his mother used to be a pirate. One day, after breakfast, he sets off on an unforgettable adventure. A favourite book for Year 2 children, this story is laugh out loud funny.

The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate by Margaret Mahy

Pirate School: Just a Bit of Wind by Jeremy Strong

Pirate school is a little different to an ordinary school. Lessons include learning how to walk the plank and hand to hand fighting. A funny story that will appeal to reluctant readers.

Pirate School: Just a Bit of Wind by Jeremy Strong

The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me by Roald Dahl

A crazy story about Billy, who wants to own a sweet shop, and the Ladderless Window Cleaning Company run by a giraffe, a pelly and a monkey. A good introduction to Roald Dahl books for younger readers moving away from structured reading schemes.

The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me by Roald Dahl

Mog Time Treasury: Six Stories About Mog the Forgetful Cat by Judith Kerr

A collections of Judish Kerr’s Mog stories, including Mog the Forgetful Cat, Mog and Bunny, Mog and Baby, Mog on Fox Night, Mog’s Bad Thing and Mog’s Christmas.

Mog Time Treasury: Six Stories About Mog the Forgetful Cat by Judith Kerr

Uncle Gobb and the Dread Shed by Michael Rosen

Malcolm is a normal boy, but all those around him a slightly strange. There’s a school that tries hard to make everything boring, a genie who appears if you rub your nose, and a city called Ponky. An ideal book for Year 2 children to read out loud.

Uncle Gobb and the Dread Shed by Michael Rosen - a good book for year 2 reluctant readers

Mr Wolf’s Pancakes by Jan Fearnley

Traditional fairy tales, such as Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs are reworked in these extremely funny stories about a wolf who has some trouble making pancakes.

Mr Wolf's Pancakes by Jan Fearnley

Gobbolino the Witch’s Cat by Ursula Williams

Gobbolino is a witch’s cat who longs to be someone’s pet. His search for a new home doesn’t start well as mysterious and strange things seem to happen all around him.

Gobbolino the Witch's Cat by Ursula Williams

The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton

Could you choose between the Land of Birthdays and the Land of Toys? This is a classic and captivating story set in a magical land.

The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton - a great chapter book for year 2 pupils

Clarice Bean, That’s Me by Lauren Child

At home, Clarice has to put up with her really annoying younger brother, a really moody older brother and a grandfather who pours soup on his corn flakes. A very funny story about Clarice, who just wants peace and quiet.

Clarice Bean, That's Me by Lauren Child

The Story of Babar by Jean De Brunhoff

Babar, an elephant, escapes from hunters by traveling to the city, where he learns a lot. On his return to the forest, he is crowned King of the Elephants. A great easy reader book for Year 2 pupils.

The Story of Babar by Jean De Brunhoff

Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr

A stunning adventure story about Nym, who lives on a beautiful desert island with her friends Jack, Fred, Selkie and Chica. However, disaster strikes when Jack vanishes, and suddenly Nym needs all the help she can get.

Nim's Island by Wendy Orr

Fluff the Farting Fish by Michael Rosen

Elvie desperately wants a puppy and isn’t that impressed when Mum returns from the pet shop with a fish. The fish won’t do tricks or bark or sit up; but it does have one special talent…

Fluff the Farting Fish by Michael Rosen

The Tear Thief by Carol Ann Duffy

Each night, the mysterious Tear Thief takes away all the tears from every child who is unhappy. What where does the Tear Thief go, and what happens to all the tears? A useful addition to your books for infants pupils to discuss – especially during circle time.

The Tear Thief by Carol Ann Duffy a good year 2 book for discussion and PSHE

How To Live Forever by Colin Thompson

A unique and imaginative book about Peter, who lives in a magical library and is on the search for a very special book entitled: “How To Live Forever”.

How To Live Forever by Colin Thompson

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

The four Penderwicks sisters are all very different. When their father takes them on holiday to a huge country house, they embark on adventures none of them will ever forget. A great series of books for KS1 libraries, and ideal to read to a Year 2 class.

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

The Dragonsitter by Josh Lacey

Young Edward has been asked to look after his uncle’s pet while he goes on holiday. But it’s no ordinary pet, it’s a dragon – who eats Jemima! Presented as a series of emails, this story is easy to read and very funny.

The Dragonsitter by Josh Lacey


To order all the books in this Year 2 reading list, or to bulk order class sets of books, click here.

Click for more children’s reading book recommendationsPicture books to read before you are 5 years oldReception books | Year 1 books | Year 2 books (this page) | Year 3 books | Year 4 books | Year 5 books | Year 6 books | Topic books | KS3 books


For easier reads, try our Books for Year 1 reading list, or our list of recommended picture books. We also have a great list of pirate-themed books for topics in year 2.

For even more books for 6-year-olds, see this list.

For more difficult titles, try our Books for Year 3 reading list.

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