Reading List For 3rd Graders
Updated: Oct 5, 2022
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1. Chester’s Way by Kevin Henkes
Chester and his best friend, Wilson, each have their way of doing things. They ride their bikes together, they always cut their sandwiches diagonally, they even dress the same on Halloween. "Chester and Wilson, Wilson and Chester. That's the way it was." It wasn't long after that there was a little mouse named Lily who moved into the neighborhood. She too has her special way of doing things, which includes disguises and water guns. Chester and Wilson thought that the new girl is very strange and they avoid playing with her. Will Chester and Wilson accept Lily and find anything in common with her? Children will enjoy following the quirky trio's adventures while they learn about making new friends and being open to new experiences.
2. The Girl Who Thought In Pictures: The Story Of Dr. Temple Grandin by Julia Finley Mosca
At an early age, Temple Grandin was diagnosed with autism. She didn't like hugs or loud noises. But what sets her apart is her ability to see and think in pictures. After struggling with bullying at school, she moved to a ranch and discovered her passion and special connection with animals. With her unique mind, she eventually succeeded in developing groundbreaking improvements for farms and livestock. This inspiring story can provide comfort and confidence to anyone who feels different and doesn't quite fit in, as they learn Temple's journey of both struggle and success. The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story Of Dr. Temple Grandin is the first book in a new series celebrating the inspiring lives of wonderful and brilliant scientists.
3. Thank you, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
An autobiographical story about a young girl named Trisha, who struggles with dyslexia, and how a kind and observant teacher tries to help overcome her struggles and eventually helped her find confidence in herself. An uplifting and inspiring book about learning challenges to which children, even adults, can easily relate. This book is also a wonderful tribute to teachers everywhere.
4. A Bike Like Sergio’s by Maribeth Boelts
Ruben wants a bike like Sergio and his other friends have, but his family sadly can't afford one. One day, while Ruben is in the grocery store to buy bread, he saw a lady drop a $1 bill. Ruben picks it up and stashes it in his backpack without anyone noticing. When Ruben gets home, he realizes that the bill is actually a $100 bill. He got excited as he realized that he now has the money to buy the bike he always wanted! But Ruben soon was overwhelmed with guilt. Will Ruben try to get the money back, or will he get his dream bike? A helpful picture book to teach children about being honest and doing the right thing.
5. Save Me A Seat by Gita Varadarajan and Sarah Weeks
A story about two friends, Joe and Ravi, who are from very different backgrounds. Joe's best friends have moved away and left him on his own. Ravi, who recently moved to the US from India, can't seem to find a way to fit in at this new school. Follow Joe and Ravi as they become friends and allies and how they came together to stand up against their common enemy: the school bully. A great book that teaches about different cultures, friendship, and standing up for yourself.
6. The Feather Chase by Shannon L. Brown
Twelve-year-old cousins Sophie and Jessica don't have much in common. Sophie loves the outdoors and going on adventures while Jessica is a city girl who loves shopping. When the bad guys are running after them after finding a mysterious briefcase in the forest, the two cousins have to set aside their differences and work together to solve the mystery of The Feather Chase. A fun and captivating book perfect for elementary-age kids!
7. The Bear And The Fern by Jay Miletsky
A touching story about two unlikely friends, The Bear And The Fern, is about a potted houseplant and a stuffed bear who formed an enduring friendship when placed together in a room. The Bear, anxious to run around and explore, encourages the Fern to join him but the Fern always refuses to budge and claims that plants like her can never move. As time passed, Fern grew to realize that she could do whatever she wants and could always rely on Bear for support. This wonderful and sweet story about friendship also contains words that can help develop children's vocabulary.
8. Ranger In Time # 1: Rescue On The Oregon Trail by Kate Messner
Join Ranger, a time-traveling golden retriever, as he goes on different adventures! In the first book in the Ranger In Time series--Rescue On The Oregon Trail, we meet Ranger--a dog in training to become a search-and-rescue dog but can't officially pass his training because he keeps getting distracted by squirrels. One day as he was digging in his yard, he found an old first aid kit that transported him back in time to 1850 to a family who is making their way to the west on the Oregon Trail. This fun and exciting book is a great historical fiction novel with a science fiction twist that young readers will surely enjoy!
9. Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev
When the local pet club won't admit the boy's unusual pet--a tiny elephant, it is up to the boy to find a solution and show them that pets, just like friends, can come in all shapes and sizes. This sweet story combined with its vibrant illustrations teaches children the power of friendship, courage, and acceptance.
10. Sam And Dave Dig A Hole by Mac Barnett
A charming, multi-awarded children's book tells the story of Sam and Dave on a mission to find "something spectacular." Accompanied by a wise little dog, the boys begin to dig a hole--and kept on digging and digging. Will they be able to find it? An enjoyable and humourous picture book with an ending that will make young readers think.
11. The World According To Humphrey by Betty G. Birney
See the world from Humphrey's perspective, an adorable classroom pet, as he gets to spend his days at school and get to stay with a different student every weekend. You will enjoy following this very smart hamster as he solves problems and brings positivity and inspiration to those around him. The first book in a series that will appeal to young readers who enjoy reading about friendships and animals.
12. Sideways Stories From Wayside School by Louis Sachar
Wayside School was accidentally built sideways and was thirty stories high. Here you'll meet some of the wackiest kids in town--Bebe, the fastest drawer in art class, or John, who only reads upside down. This book has thirty short and easy-to-read chapters, and each chapter tells about a story of one student in the 30th story classroom. Children will surely enjoy this hilarious and engaging book!
13. Socks by Beverly Cleary
This story is about a cat named Socks who lives a good and happy life after being adopted by his affectionate owners, Mr. and Mrs. Bricker. Until everything changed one day when the couple had a baby, and Mr. and Mrs. Bricker had less and less time for poor Socks. Follow Socks on his adventures as he starts to get into all sorts of mischief as he tries to regain the couple's affection. This adorable read-aloud story with a happy ending is perfect for families.
14. Third Grade Angels by Jerry Spinelli
The prequel to the bestseller Fourth Grade Rats, Third Grade Angels is about Suds, who is finally in the Third Grade. Hearing about the schoolyard chant--"First Grade babies! Second Grade cats! Third Grade angels! Fourth Grade rats!" is getting him worried. Their teacher, Mrs. Simms, is holding a monthly competition for the most well-behaved person in the class and the winner will be awarded "the halo." Suds is determined to be the first to win the halo. Will he succeed? Children will enjoy this funny and relatable book to read in the classroom or at home.
15. Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary
Henry always wishes that something exciting would happen to him. One day, as he was enjoying an ice cream cone, he met a stray dog that wants his ice cream too. Soon, Henry named the dog, Ribsy and brought him home. They went on all sorts of adventures and were inseparable. But what will happen when Ribsy's original owners appear and want Ribsy back? A timeless classic for all ages.
16. Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater
Mr. Popper, a house painter, often dreams of Antarctica, penguins, and polar exploration. One day, he sent a fan mail to his hero, the polar explorer Admiral Drake. As a thank you, the Admiral sent him a male penguin. Soon after, the Poppers received a female penguin, and eventually, the family has twelve penguins living in their house! Will the Popper family be able to take care of these penguins? First published in 1938, Mr. Popper's Penguins has amused and enchanted generations of children and parents alike.
17. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
A beloved children's classic, Charlotte's Web is about a pig named Wilbur and his devoted friend, Charlotte, a large, gray beautiful spider who lives with Wilbur in the Zuckerman's barn. There is also a little girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur's life when he was born. A tender but powerful story of love, friendship, loyalty, and life and death. Whether young or old, everyone will love this timeless classic.
18. The Magical Ms. Plum by Bonny Becker
Ms. Plum teaches at Springtime Elementary, and every kid in the school knew that there is something magical happening in her class. It seems that every time a student goes into Ms. Plum's mysterious supply closet, they always come out with...something unusual. In this delightful and warmhearted chapter book, readers will enjoy learning about the kids in Ms. Plum's class.
19. The Year Of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes
What a way to start second grade! While on summer vacation, Billy Miller gets a massive lump on his head from a mishap at the statue of the Jolly Green Giant. Because of the bump in his head, though non-life-threatening, he soon begins to worry about whether he is smart enough for second grade. Follow Billy in this engaging and sweet book as he navigates second grade and figures out how to be a responsible brother and a reliable son to his busy working mom and stay-at-home artist dad.
20. Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
Wishtree is about Red, an oak tree who is many rings old. She is the neighborhood "wishtree" where people tie their wishes to her branches. She watches over the neighborhood along with her crow friend, Bongo, and other animals who live in her hollows. Soon, a new family moves into the neighborhood but it becomes clear that they are not welcome. So Red and her friend Bongo, begin to create a plan to help this new family connect with the community. A truly wonderful tale of friendship, acceptance, and love for animals and nature. This book also helps teach Common Core curriculum skills.
21. The Water Horse by Dick King-Smith
After a big storm, eight-year-old Kirstie finds a mysterious egg. She and her brother decides to take it home and places it in the bathtub to see if it will hatch. The next day, it hatched out a tiny, green creature with a horse's head, warty skin like a toad's, and a crocodile-like tail. Only Kirstie's grandfather knows what this unusual creature is: a Kelpie or The Water Horse, the sea monster of Scottish legend. The family kept the baby water horse and named it Crusoe. Crusoe grew up to be a loveable gentle giant. But as Crusoe keeps getting bigger and bigger, the family needs to find him a new home, where he will be safe from other people. Set in the 1930s, this sweet, magical story is a beautiful interpretation of the Loch Ness monster's origin. Suitable for readers of all ages.
22. Little Dog, Lost by Marion Dane Bauer
Told in wonderful free verse, Little Dog, Lost is about Mark, a boy who needs a dog. Then there is Buddy, a lost dog who needs an owner that will love and care for him. And a lonely Mr. LaRue, who lives alone in a mansion and just wants to belong. After a few twists and turns, these three will cross paths and will come together in this touching tale of friendship and kindness. Perfect for animal lovers and makes for a great read-aloud.
23. Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech
A heartwarming story about a boy named Louie, who befriends and takes care of a small, sickly, newborn donkey. Louie is determined to save him even when everyone warns him that it will probably die anyway. With his newfound purpose, taking care of the little donkey he named, Winslow, makes him feel less lonely about his brother, who is away in the army. This short chapter book teaches young readers about friendship, hope, and compassion.
24. Turtle In Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm
It is 1935, and eleven-year-old Turtle is sent to Key West, Florida to live with her mother's sister after her mother gets a new housekeeping job for a rich woman who doesn't like children. While there, Turtle has to adjust quickly to life with family members she has never met before, including her loud and spunky boy cousins. Soon Turtle and her cousins will go on adventures, treasure hunting, and even discovering family secrets! Turtle and her cousins' adventures in this heartwarming and funny book will definitely become a favorite among young readers.
25. Milo Imagines The World by Matt De La Peña
Milo is on his weekly subway ride through the city with his older sister. To pass the time and to distract himself from being nervous, he studies the faces of his fellow subway passengers and draws pictures of what their lives might look like. In his drawings, a young boy in a suit with bright white sneakers becomes a prince living in a castle, then there's the whiskered man doing crosswords who comes home to his cat and parakeets, and maybe the wedding dress lady will be whisked away by her groom in a hot air balloon. But when the young boy in a suit gets off the same stop as Milo, Milo learns a valuable lesson. This thoughtful and gentle picture book reminds us not to judge people by their appearance alone.
26. The Mouse And The Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
A timeless classic from award-winning children's author Beverly Cleary, The Mouse and the Motorcycle is about a young mouse named Ralph who lives in a hotel room. Ralph dreams about going on an adventure and exploring the hotel more but his mother wouldn't let him. One day, a boy named Keith and his parents checks in at the hotel. Keith has a shiny, toy motorcycle and when Ralph spotted the toy, he is determined to take it for a ride. Soon, Ralph and Keith formed a special friendship that the young boy even taught the mouse how to start the motorcycle. A classic read-aloud perfect for third graders.
27. The Bears On Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh
Eight-year-old Jonathan lives in a gray stone farmhouse at the foot of Hemlock Mountain. All his life he was assured that there are no bears on Hemlock Mountain and that there is even a little chant made about it. One day, his mother sent Jonathan over the mountain to fetch a large iron pot from his aunt. As he sets out alone in the mountain, he will now have the chance to discover if there are no bears in Hemlock Mountain. A great chapter book suitable for young readers.
28. The Cricket In Times Square by George Selden
After following the enticing aroma of liverwurst in someone's picnic basket, Chester Cricket found himself in the heart of New York City. There, he met Tucker, a city mouse, Harry the cat, and a young boy named Mario. Like any tourist, Chester is excited to explore the city and to experience new things. Pretty soon, the trio formed an unlikely friendship and have many adventures together. The Cricket in Times Square is an imaginative and charming story about friendship and loyalty. A must-have for every child's bookshelf!
29. The Littles by John Peterson
The Littles, a series of children's novels and a timeless favorite among elementary-school children, is about a family of tiny people with cute mouse-like features who lives in a house owned by the Bigg family. But what happens when the Biggs go on a family vacation and cats and mice appear? How will they get out of this trouble? Children will enjoy reading about the Littles and following them on their exciting adventures.
30. The Chalk Box Kid by Clyde Robert Bulla
Nine-year-old Gregory and his family move to a smaller house after his father lost his job. In this new house, he has to share a room with his rude Uncle Max and he doesn't have any space of his own to hang up his drawings. While exploring the new neighborhood, Gregory finds an abandoned chalk factory. Soon he began to draw a garden mural out of chalk on the factory's dark brick walls, finding his own place to create beautiful art. After a series of events, word spread about the chalk garden, which began to turn Gregory's life around. A heart-warming story about the healing power of friendship, respect for others, and finding hope.