Suggested reading list books for Year 2 pupils age 6-7

Books for year 2 – if you are looking for great books for six-year-olds, here’s our list of 40 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. This list includes year 2 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 list of year 2 books and suggestions for their use in teaching is revised each term and includes stories by Mac Bennett, Anete Melece, Louise Fatio, Michael Rosen, Anthony Browne, Clotilde Perrin, Raymond Briggs, Wendy Orr and more.

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Books for Year 2 – our recommendations

Britannica First Big Book of Why by Sally Symes and Stephanie Warren Drimmer

Perfectly pitched for inquisitive children in year 2, this is a wonderful book to keep children occupied, interested and asking questions. With big, bold graphics, eye-catching photography and accessible larger print text, this book will be at home in every primary school library – and will appeal to readers age 6+ as well as older reluctant readers. There’s also a quiz section that could be useful for group reading and informal comprehension tasks. Highly recommended.

Encyclopaedia

Britannica First Big Book of Why by Sally Symes and Stephanie Warren Drimmer - a wonderful fact book for year two book corners

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.

Fairytale

Inside the Villains by Clotilde Perrin - a great interactive book for 6 year olds

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.

Animal

Hattie and Olaf by Frida Nilsson - a fast-paced chapter book for year 2 children

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.

Funny

Bug Belly Froggy Rescue by Paul Morton - a great short chapter book for 6 year olds

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. This is an ideal book for year 2 children who are enthralled by pirate stories.

Picture book | Pirates

Salty Dogs by Matty Long - an 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.

Rhyming picture book

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. This is a good book to help spark imaginative ideas from year 2 pupils to then discuss, model and use in creative writing.

Fantasy picture book

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

Dr Xargle’s Book of Earthlets by Jeanne Willis

Human life is 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.

Funny picture book

Dr Xargle's Book of Earthlets by Jeanne Willis - a hysterically funny read-aloud story for year 2 classes

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 year 2 book to help illustrate three-act story structure in KS1&2 literacy lessons.

Adventure picture book

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.

Funny

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.

Picture book

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 run of the mill teacher. Amongst other things, he glides in each day by magic carpet and turns the class clown into a frog. School life will never be the same again! This imaginative short chapter book is a good starting point for encouraging children to try longer and more complex texts in year two.

Fantasy

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.

Fantasy icture book

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

The Lost Homework by Richard O’Neill

Sonny has lost his homework book and is worried about how his teacher will react. As he searches for the missing book, the reader learns about Sonny’s life as a Traveller, which includes going to a traditional wedding, helping his neighbours, and repairing one of the caravans they live in. A good picture book to show children how all of our lives are different, this text includes wonderful illustrations and a clever twist.

Diverse picture book

The Lost Homework by Richard O'Neill - a good book to demonstrate empathy for year 2 pupils

Unusual Day by Sandi Toksvig

Jessica brings her granny to school because she can spin plates. Told to come back next week, Jessica’s granny leaves—only to surprise everyone by returning later as a firefighter. A great group reading text for more advanced year 2 readers.

Family

Unusual Day by Sandi Toksvig. An imaginative chapter book for seven year olds

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 in year 2.

Adventure | Fairytale

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 for year 2 pupils to provoke discussion in class and help model ideas for pupils’ writing.

Picture book

The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt. Ideal to read aloud 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.

Fantasy picture book

Tuesday by David Wiesner - an imaginative picture book for 6 year olds

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.

Fantasy

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.

Animal

The Happy Lion by Louise Fatio and Roger Duviosin - a compelling year 2 picture book

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. A useful book to explore in Year 2 PHSE lessons, this book will help teachers and pupils decide what to do when practical jokes go wrong, and how to avoid situations where neither person is prepared to lose face.

Picture book

Triangle by Mac Barnett - a useful book to inspire discussion in year two

Fungus the Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs

Full of snot, slime, smells, and much revoltingness, this book is bound to appeal to reluctant readers in year 2. The cracking illustrations make this a hit read and one that’s ideal for paired or buddy reading with siblings or older year groups. It’s also a useful classic text to use when exploring vivid descriptions that use the senses.

Classic

Fungus the Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs - a classic illustrated year two book

Mrs Wobble the Waitress by Janet and 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, onomatopoeia and rhyme make this a great book to read around the class or for the teacher to perform in front of a class of 6-7-year-olds.

Funny

Mrs Wobble the Waitress by Janet and 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, and with many other titles in the series, could be a springboard for getting your year two pupils hooked on reading for pleasure.

Graphic novel

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 with short chapters and rich language works well as a year 2 class reader or a read-aloud for the end of the day.

Realistic fiction

The Dunderheads by Paul Fleischman - a good short chapter book for 6 year olds

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, this is a useful book for year two targeted group reading and catch-up reading strategies.

Funny | Pirates

Pirate School: Just a Bit of Wind by Jeremy Strong - a fun pirate story book for year 2 children

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 year 2 readers on the verge of moving away from structured reading schemes, this is a high-interest text that uses vibrant language to keep children interested. It’s also ideal for shared reading at home.

Adventure

The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me by Roald Dahl - a classic Roald Dahl book for 6 year olds

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

A collection of Judith 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. A brilliant collection of books for year 2 children to read in school or share at home, these stories will appeal to children who love animals and pets.

Short stories

Mog Time Treasury: Six Stories About Mog the Forgetful Cat by Judith Kerr - a classic read aloud story for 6 year olds

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. The first of a series, this is an ideal book for Year 2 children to read out loud.

Series

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. A good source of ideas for creative writing story starters, this book is a useful text to build a short year 2 literacy around.

Fairytale

Mr Wolf's Pancakes by Jan Fearnley - an easier read for six year olds in year 2

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. This is a more advanced short chapter book for independent and greater depth readers in year 2, and also a captivating and page-turning choice for a teacher to read aloud to the class.

Mystery

Gobbolino the Witch's Cat by Ursula Williams - a class chapter book for 6 year olds

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. Suitable for very independent year 2 readers, or perfect to read aloud to a class in storytime over a couple of weeks, this is a useful book to inspire imaginative ideas for writing.

Classic

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 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. One of a series of great books for year 2 that are suitable for more independent readers.

Family | Series

Clarice Bean, That's Me by Lauren Child - ideal for more confident year two readers

The Story of Babar by Jean De Brunhoff

Babar, an elephant, escapes from hunters by travelling 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.

Classic

The Story of Babar by Jean De Brunhoff - a cracking classic read for six year olds

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. The book is best suited to independent 6-7-year-old readers who are looking for more challenging and adventurous chapter books.

Adventure

Nim's Island by Wendy Orr - a compelling adventure story for year two storytime

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… A fun book to read aloud, this text will work well as a whole class reader, or a story for the teacher to read aloud at the end of the day.

Funny

Fluff the Farting Fish by Michael Rosen - a laugh out loud story for year two aged children

The Tear Thief by Carol Ann Duffy

Each night, the mysterious Tear Thief takes away all the tears from every unhappy child. What where does the Tear Thief go, and what happens to all the tears? This is a useful book to help discuss feelings and emotions with infant pupils – especially during circle time. Atmospheric and poignant, and with rich and poetic language, this is an excellent text to build a year 2 literacy unit around.

Rhyming picture book

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”. This book will provoke lots of questions from year 2 children, and it’s a useful text to spark discussion and ideas for creative writing and story starters.

Fantasy

How To Live Forever by Colin Thompson - a wonderful illustrated book for six year olds

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 year 2 reading spaces, and ideal for teachers to read aloud with year 2 classes.

Family

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall - a classic series of year 2 books for reading aloud

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. A good book to inspire classroom penpals, non-fiction writing and ICT related activities, this is also a well-paced and accessible text that will work well as a class reader in year 2.

Fantasy

The Dragonsitter by Josh Lacey - a funny book to read aloud in year 2


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

Books for year 2 video

Below is a video containing all our year 2 book ideas as a quick-fire video – suitable for classrooms, projectors, wall panel displays, school libraries and sharing on school websites and social media.

How many Year 2 books have you read?

Here’s a free background wallpaper of our recommended year 2 books list to use on your classroom computer

Books for year 2 - our free background wallpaper

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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


If you liked our list of year 2 books, why not 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.



About Tom Tolkien

Photo of author
Tom Tolkien is an experienced teacher and educational consultant who taught for 20 years in primary and secondary schools, including Woodleigh School in North Yorkshire, where he was Head of English and ran a 4000 book prep school library for pupils aged 3-13. He now reviews books for children and teens. Social profiles: Twitter | Linkedin