BlogBooks for Kids25 Best Books for 3rd Graders That Will Cherish for Life

    25 Best Books for 3rd Graders That Will Cherish for Life

    As a parent, you want to provide your children with the best possible opportunities for success in life. One way to do this is to ensure they read books that will help them learn and grow. If you’re looking for some great books for 3rd graders to read, look no further! 

    We’ve compiled a list of twenty-five wonderful books perfect for your 3rd grader. So, why not add some of these titles to your child’s reading list?

    Here are some online reading games to educate and engage your kids!

    Young child reading a book and tracing words with their finger

    With so many books in the market (and more being published daily), it can be hard to know which ones are the best for your child. Here are some of the finest children’s books for 3rd graders:

    1. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

    Cover of How to Eat Fried Worms

    Genre: Fiction/Funny

    This classic is about a boy who, as a dare, agrees to eat fifteen worms in fifteen days. It may sound gross, but this story is actually quite humorous and will have your child laughing out loud. This funny story is perfect for kids just starting to read longer books with more complex storylines.

    Lessons taught: Friendship, determination, overcoming fears

    Price: $6.55

    2. Stella Diaz Has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez

    Cover of Stella Diaz Has Something to Say

    Genre: Fiction/Friendship

    Stella Diaz is a Latina second grader who has just moved to a new town and is trying to find her place. Stella is reluctant to speak up in class when she starts school because she fears making mistakes. However, with the help of her new friend, she starts to find her voice and learn to embrace her heritage. This heart-warming book is perfect for kids looking for books with diverse characters.

    Lessons taught: Friendship, acceptance, embracing diversity

    Price: $6.99

    3. Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton

    Cover of Narwhal Unicorn of the Sea

    Genre: Graphic Novel/Adventure

    This hilarious graphic novel is about a narwhal (a real sea creature) and a jellyfish who become friends and go on wild adventures together. With its bright and colorful illustrations, this is one of those books for 3rd graders that is perfect for kids who love adventure stories and are starting to read books on their own.

    Lessons taught: Friendship, acceptance, being yourself

    Price: $5.97

    4. Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo

    Cover of Mercy Watson to the Rescue

    Genre: Fiction/Adventure

    This series follows the story of Mercy, a lovable pig, and her adventures with her owners, the Watsons. In the first book of the series, Mercy Watson to the Rescue, Mercy gets into trouble when she escapes from her yard and ends up at a crime scene. This hilarious book will have your child giggling from beginning to end. 

    Lessons taught: Responsibility, compassion, friendship

    Price: $5.94

    5. Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman

    Cover of Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night

    Genre: Poetry/Nature

    This beautiful book of poems is perfect for kids who love nature and animals. Through her poetry, Joyce Sidman captures the beauty and mystery of the night. With stunning illustrations by Rick Allen, this is one of the books for 3rd graders that will captivate your child’s attention.

    Lessons taught: Appreciation of nature, imagination, creativity

    Price: $8.98

    6. Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl

    Cover of Fantastic Mr Fox

    Genre: Fiction/Adventure

    When Mr. Fox steals food from three mean farmers, they hatch a plan to catch him. But Mr. Fox is one step ahead of them! Can he outsmart the farmers and keep his family safe?

    Lessons taught: Fantastic Mr. Fox is a hilarious and suspenseful story that will keep your child hooked from beginning to end. Roald Dahl’s books are always a hit with kids; this one is no exception.

    Price Range: $7.99–$18.99

    7. Who Was Helen Keller? by Gare Thompson

    Cover of Who Was Helen Keller

    Genre: Non-fiction/History

    Who Was Helen Keller? is an engaging and inspiring story about one of the most well-known figures in history. In this book, kids will learn about Helen Keller’s incredible life, from her early years as a sick child who lost her ability to see and hear to her later years as an advocate for people with disabilities.

    Lessons taught: This book is perfect for kids interested in history and wanting to learn more about inspiring people.

    Price: $5.68

    8. Tintin Series by Herge

    Covers of the different Tintin books in the Tintin series

    Genre: Graphic/Adventure

    Tintin is a classic graphic novel series that follows the adventures of a young reporter and his dog, Snowy. In the first book, The Secret of the Unicorn, Tintin sets out to solve a mystery after finding a model ship worth a lot of money. With its exciting story and classic illustrations, this book will surely capture your child’s attention.

    Lessons taught: Friendship, persistence, bravery

    Price: $122.50 (for the complete series)

    9. Dragons In A Bag by Zetta Elliott

    Cover of Dragons in a Bag

    Genre: Fiction/Adventure

    In this fast-paced adventure, three siblings must figure out how to eliminate the dragons their mom accidentally brought home from the store. With magic, mischief, and mayhem, this is one of those books for 3rd graders that is perfect for kids who love a good story.

    Lessons taught: Dragons in a Bag is a fun and fast-paced book that will keep your child entertained from beginning to end.

    Price: $6.59

    10. Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner

    Cover of Stone Fox

    Genre: Classic/Adventure

    In this classic novel, a young boy named Little Bear enters a dogsled race to win the prize money and save his family’s farm. But he soon learns that winning is not everything. Wanting to give up, Little Bear is inspired by his grandfather’s words to keep going.

    Why kids will love it: Stone Fox is an inspiring story about determination and never giving up. Your child will root for Little Bear as he tries to achieve the impossible.

    Price Range: $3.49–$16.99

    11. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

    Cover of The Phantom Tollbooth

    Genre: Fantasy/Adventure

    This popular classic follows Milo, a bored young boy who suddenly finds himself in a land where words and numbers have come to life. With the help of some new friends, Milo must find his way back home before it’s too late.

    Lessons taught: Friendship, imagination, creativity

    Price: $7.78

    Related Reading: Best Children’s Books to Stimulate Kids’ Imagination & Creativity

    12. I Am Martin Luther King, Jr. by Brad Meltzer

    Cover of I Am Martin Luther King Jr

    Genre: Non-fiction/History

    In this inspiring story, kids will learn about the life of one of the most influential figures in American history. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist minister and civil rights activist who fought for equality and justice. It is one of the most interesting books for 3rd graders to read, as it teaches them the importance of standing up for their beliefs.

    Lessons taught: Courage, determination, equality

    Price: $11.89

    13. A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold

    Cover of A Boy Called Bat

    Genre: Fiction/Family

    Life frequently comes with surprises for Bixby Alexander Tam (also known by his initials Bat), some of which are pleasant and others not so much. One day, Bat’s mother, a veterinarian, brought home a young skunk she must care for until she could deliver him to a wild animal sanctuary.

    But the moment Bat meets the kit, he knows the two of them are meant to be. And he has one month to convince his mother that a baby skunk may make a great pet.

    Lessons taught: Acceptance, empathy, friendship

    Price: $6.99

    14. Babe: The Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith

    Cover of Babe The Gallant Pig

    Genre: Classic/Adventure

    This classic tale tells the story of a piglet who comes to life on a farm. Babe is different from the other farm animals, but he soon learns he can do anything he wants.

    What kids will love about it: Babe is a heart-warming story that will teach your child the importance of being yourself.

    Price: $6.99

    15. Freedom School, Yes! by Amy Littlesugar

    Cover of Freedom School Yes

    Genre: Non-fiction/Adventure

    In this true story, kids will learn about the Freedom Schools created during the Civil Rights Movement. This story, which is told from the perspective of Jolie, a young black student, demonstrates the emotional depth required to comprehend the venom and dangerous tensions of racial struggle during the Southern desegregation.

    Lesson taught: No to racism, civil rights, education

    Price: $8.67

    16. Owl Diaries: Eva’s Treetop Festival by Rebecca Elliott

    Cover of Owl Diaries Evas Treetop Festival

    Genre: Graphic/Adventure

    This is the first book in a charming series about a young owl, Eva, who is learning to write her diary. In this adventure, Eva and her friends are invited to a treetop festival and must work together to create the perfect performance.

    What kids will love about it: The Owl Diaries series is ideal for kids just starting to read chapter books. With beautiful illustrations and easy-to-follow text, these amazing books for 3rd graders will keep your child engaged from beginning to end.

    Price: $4.99

    17. Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina

    Cover of Juana Lucas

    Genre: Fiction/Adventure

    In this story, kids will follow the adventures of a young girl named Juana, who lives in Bogotá, Colombia. Juana is a curious girl who loves asking questions about the world around her. Whether she’s learning how to ride a bike or trying to find the perfect pet, Juana’s adventures are sure to keep your child entertained.

    What kids will love about it: Juana & Lucas is an excellent choice for kids interested in learning about other cultures. With its bright and colorful illustrations, this book will also teach your child about the importance of family and friendship.

    Price: $6.98

    18. Flat Stanley: His Original Adventure! by Jeff Brown

    Cover of Flat Stanley

    Genre: Fiction/Adventure

    This is the first book in the beloved Flat Stanley series. In this adventure, Stanley Lambchop is flattened by a bulletin board that falls on top of him. But instead of being upset, Stanley realizes that his new flatness has its own advantages. He can now slide under doors, travel by envelope, and fly like a kite.

    Lessons taught: Acceptance, creativity, perspective

    Price: $4.99

    19. The BFG by Roald Dahl

    Cover of The BFG

    Genre: Fantasy/Adventure

    This classic tale tells the story of a giant who captures a young girl named Sophie. But instead of eating her, the BFG takes Sophie on an adventure to capture some of the other, more evil, giants. Along the way, the two become friends and protect each other from danger.

    What kids will love about it: The BFG is a delightful story that your child will surely enjoy. With its larger-than-life characters and exciting adventures, this book will provide hours of entertainment.

    Price: $6.74

    20. Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

    Cover of Dog Man

    Genre: Graphic/Adventure

    This is the first adventure in the hilarious Dog Man series. In this book, Dog Man tries to stop a burglar while dealing with his problems. With its goofy illustrations and easy-to-follow text, this book is perfect for kids just starting to read chapter books.

    What kids will love about it: Kids will love this series’s funny and relatable characters. With its fast-paced storytelling and laugh-out-loud moments, your child will surely enjoy reading these books repeatedly.

    Price: $13.56

    Related Reading: Storytelling for Kids: Benefits, Books, and More

    21. Weekends with Max and His Dad by Linda Urban

    Cover of Weekends with Max and His Dad

    Genre: Fiction/Family

    This heartwarming story follows the relationship between a father and son as they spend their weekends together. From fishing to camping to attending baseball games, these two share a lot of special memories.

    Lessons taught: Family, friendship, memories

    Price: $6.99

    22. The Adventures of Paddington by Michael Bond

    Cover of The Adventures of Paddington

    Genre: Classic/Adventure

    This classic series follows the adventures of a young bear named Paddington. Paddington is sent to live with the Brown family in London. While he is there, he has all sorts of adventures and mishaps.

    What kids will love about it: Kids will love following along with Paddington’s adventures. This book will become a favorite with its classic storytelling and lovable characters.

    Price: $4.99

    23. Christopher Columbus by Stephen Krensky

    Cover of Christopher Columbus

    Genre: Non-fiction/History

    This nonfiction book tells the story of Christopher Columbus, his famous voyage, and the indigenous peoples of America. Kids will learn about Columbus’s life and motivation for making the trip. They will also read about the challenges he faced along the way and how he persuaded some natives to return to Europe with him.

    What kids will learn: This book is a great way to teach kids about history in an honest and objective manner. Your kids will enjoy learning about the real-life adventures of Christopher Columbus.

    Price: $4.99

    24. Stuart Little by E.B. White

    Cover of Stuart Little

    Genre: Classic/Fiction

    This classic tale tells the story of a mouse named Stuart Little. Stuart is born to a family of humans and must learn to navigate the world as a mouse. Along the way, he has all sorts of adventures and meets new friends.

    What kids will love about it: This book has adventure and suspense. Kids will love reading about Stuart’s daring escapades.

    Price: $5.90

    25. I Spy Gold Challenger! by Walter Wick

    Cover of I Spy Gold Challenger

    Genre: Non-fiction/Photography

    This non-fiction book is perfect for kids who love puzzles and games. In this book, kids will search for hidden objects in each photograph. This book will entertain your child for hours with its challenging puzzles and beautiful pictures.

    What kids will learn: This book is a great way to teach kids about observation and attention to detail. With its engaging photos and puzzles, kids will love learning while they play.

    Price: $9.99

    Let’s Get Your Kids Reading!

    Boy reading a book in a library or bookstore

    Now that you know about some of the best books for 3rd graders, it’s time to get your kids reading! The sooner they start, the better. From fiction and non-fiction to adventure and mystery, these books for 3rd graders will keep your child entertained while also helping them develop a love for reading.

    Explore more online educational resources for kids that will help with their learning experience and make them smarter.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    How can I get my 3rd grader to read more?

    One way to get your 3rd grader to read more is to ask their teacher for recommendations. Their teacher likely has a list of books for 3rd graders that are perfect for your child’s reading level. Obviously, finding good books for 3rd graders that they’ll love is half the battle won! You can also try giving them incentives to read, such as allowing them to pick out a new book after they finish one.

    What if my 3rd grader isn’t interested in reading?

    If your child doesn’t like to read, don’t force them. Instead, try to find reading books for 3rd graders that they’re interested in. You can also try reading aloud or giving them incentives to read. Another great trick is watching movies and shows with subtitles; it will add a reading aspect to something they already love doing. With some patience, you’re sure to find a way to get your child interested in reading.

    What are some of the benefits of reading for third-graders?

    Reading helps third-graders develop their vocabulary, learn about other cultures, and improve their writing skills. It also promotes critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Plus, it’s an excellent way for them to bond with you.

    Amy Gill
    Amy Gill is a Contributing Editor at SplashLearn. As a former teacher, she likes to write about education reforms, edtech and how to make learning more fun for children.

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