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 that are perfect for your 3rd grader. So, why not add some of these titles to your child’s reading list?
List of 25 Popular Books for 3rd Graders
With so many books in the market (and more being published every day), 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
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 who are just starting to read longer books with more complex storylines.
Lessons taught: Friendship, determination, overcoming fears
2. Stella Diaz Has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez
Stella Diaz is a Latina second grader who has just moved to a new town and is trying to find her place. When she starts school, Stella is reluctant to speak up in class because she is afraid of 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 who are looking for books with diverse characters.
Lessons taught: Friendship, acceptance, embracing diversity
3. Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton
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
4. Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo
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 is a hilarious book that will have your child giggling from beginning to end.
Lessons taught: Responsibility, compassion, friendship
5. Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman
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 is sure to captivate your child’s attention.
Lessons taught: Appreciation of nature, imagination, creativity
6. Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
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, and this one is no exception.
Price Range: $7.99–$18.99
7. Who Was Helen Keller? by Gare Thompson
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 who are interested in history and want to learn more about inspiring people.
8. Tintin Series by Herge
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 he finds a model ship that is worth a lot of money. With its exciting story and classic illustrations, this book is sure to 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
In this fast-paced adventure, three siblings must figure out how to get rid of 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.
10. Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
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
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
Related Reading: Best Children’s Books to Stimulate Kids’ Imagination & Creativity
12. I Am Martin Luther King, Jr. by Brad Meltzer
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
13. A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold
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 that 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
14. Babe: The Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith
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 that he can do anything he sets his mind to.
What kids will love about it: Babe is a heart-warming story that will teach your child the importance of being yourself.
15. Freedom School, Yes! by Amy Littlesugar
In this true story, kids will learn about the Freedom Schools that were 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
16. Owl Diaries: Eva’s Treetop Festival by Rebecca Elliott
This is the first book in a charming series about a young owl named 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 who are 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.
17. Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina
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.
18. Flat Stanley: His Original Adventure! by Jeff Brown
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 even fly like a kite.
Lessons taught: Acceptance, creativity, perspective
19. The BFG by Roald Dahl
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.
20. Dog Man by Dav Pilkey
This is the first adventure in the hilarious Dog Man series. In this book, Dog Man tries to stop a burglar while also dealing with his own 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 the funny and relatable characters in this series. With its fast-paced storytelling and laugh-out-loud moments, your child will surely enjoy reading these books again and again.
Related Reading: Storytelling for Kids: Benefits, Books, and More
21. Weekends with Max and His Dad by Linda Urban
This heart-warming 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
22. The Adventures of Paddington by Michael Bond
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.
23. Christopher Columbus by Stephen Krensky
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.
24. Stuart Little by E.B. White
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 is full of adventure and suspense. Kids will love reading about Stuart’s daring escapades.
25. I Spy Gold Challenger! by Walter Wick
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 keep your child entertained with its challenging puzzles and beautiful pictures for hours.
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.
Let’s Get Your Kids Reading!
Now that you know about some of the best books for 3rd graders to read, 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 and engaged while also helping them develop a love for reading.
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 to watch movies and shows with subtitles on, it will add a reading aspect to something they already love doing. With a bit of 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.