3rd grade book list
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50+ Best Books for 3rd Graders

Looking for some fun, wholesome books for your third grader to read? Look no further, today I’m sharing a list of some of our favorite books for third graders.

We have a 3rd grader this year, so we are revisiting books that I’ve already read with my older daughter as well as adding a few more.

Reading with 3rd graders is so fun because this is when they really start to fall in love with chapter books and its so exciting to see them begin to enjoy good literature.

Stick around to the end to get this free 50+ Best Books for third graders printable book list:

Do third graders read chapter books?

It really depends are where your child is at. There are those who are just beginning to read simple chapter books, those who are advanced, and those who are not quite ready to read chapter books on their own. Either way, break out the chapter books!

You can take turns reading every page or you can read chapter books out loud to your kids. (I still remember some of the books that were read out loud to me when I was in 3rd grade!)

What kind of book does a third grader read?

Third graders enjoy all kinds of books. By this time, many kids are reading on their own, or are very close. They are beginning to dabble with chapter books but still enjoy picture books and being read to.

Having a variety of books on hand is the best way to go. Here are some categories of books that we will take a look at.

Here are the categories:

  • Picture books – Books with words and pictures on every page that help to tell the story.
  • Classics – Stories and tales that have been passed down and loved for many generations.
  • Series – Groups of books that go together
  • Fiction – Stories that are made up.
  • Non-fiction – True to life and contain facts about a particular subject.
  • Historical Fiction – Made up stories that are set in a particular historical period.
  • Character/Christian/Bible – These books teach good character and Christian values as well as topics from a Biblical worldview.
  • Poetry – Poem books that contain poems appropriate for this age bracket.

50+ Best Books for 3rd Graders

(This list contains Amazon Affiliate Links)

Best Picture Books for 3rd Graders

  1. James Herriott’s Treasury for Children by James Herriot – This book is filled with animal stories from James Herriot’s life as a veterinarian in the English countryside. Beautiful illustrations and real-to-life, heart-warming stories. (A family favorite.)
  1. Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel – This book along with others from this author have been enjoyed for generations. The daily interactions between the these charming characters are typically found fun and amusing by this 3rd graders.
  1. Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem – Kids love the mice adventure in the miniature world of Brambly Hedge. The illustrations are detailed and are very engaging to kids. (family favorite)
  1. A Little House Picture Book Treasury by Laura Ingalls Wilder – These are delightful pictures books that tell of Laura’s life growing up in their cabin in the big woods.
  1. The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco – This heart-warming story is about a quilt is made from the people and memories in Anna’s family and is used for all sorts of things. This teaches the importance of family and keeping memories alive.
  1. Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett – This is a fantastic story about a girl who’s cat disappeared. She tries to befriend some of the wild animals but things are not turning out the way she imagined. (Family Favorite)

Best books for 3rd graders: The Classics

  1. The Adventures of Pinocchio (Treasury of Illustrated classics) by Carlo Collodi – This classic tale of the mischievous Pinocchio whose notorious nose grows every time he tells a lie. This is a favorite for kids this age. Note: this version has been adapted for kids.
  1. Robin Hood adapted by Saviour Pirotta – this is a great illustrated version of the brave Robin Hood who out- maneuvers the Sheriff of Nottingham and evil King John’s men to bring justice to the people.
  1. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson – This is an adapted version of the same great island adventure tale. It’s full of pirates and buried treasure that will captivate you kids attention.
  1. The Jungle Book adapted by Dan Johnson – Based on Rudyard Kiplings Jungle Book, this version is easy to digest and great for 3rd graders.
  1. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell – Written from the horse’s perspective learn about the beauty of this animals and the power of love.
  1. Oliver Twist adapted by Kathleen Olmstead – The hardships of orphans, thieving children, and a quest to find love and a home, this adaptation of Oliver Twist is a great one new readers.
  1. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe – A classic adventure of Island survival.

Best book series for 3rd graders

  1. Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner – This wonderful series was published back in 1942 and has been growing ever sense. Follow this group of siblings as they experience adventure after adventure in search for home.
  1. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder – Learn all about the adventure, hardships, and the importance family, as Laura tells her story of growing up in their little cabin in the woods. These are great books for third graders to read.
  1. Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat – Follow Nate the Great and his dog sludge as they eat pancakes and work to solve mysteries for their friends.
  1. The Sugar Creek Gang by Pat Hutchins – This classic series follows a group of courageous boys through faith-building adventures. Each adventure has a moral that the boys learn (ie, forgiveness, sowing/reaping, prayer, etc).
  1. Ramona Series by Beverly Cleary – Ramona is a curious, spirited girl and has a unique way of looking at life. Kids enjoy her funny and sometimes embarrassing interactions with her parents, teachers, neighbors, and beloved sister, Beezuss.

Best fiction books for 3rd graders

  1. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White- this book is a tale of an unlikely friendships and a humble, radiant pig. A wonderful book that kids are sure to enjoy.
  1. Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White – Another great book by E.B. White! The is an amusing story about a trumpeter swan who can’t make a sound. It’s adventurous, funny, and absolutely charming. AND, get ready for your kids to learn all about this type of bird: habits, habitat, migration etc. (family favorite)
  1. Winnie the Pooh (Complete Collection) by A.A.Milne – Winnie the Pooh is a bear is personified by Christopher Robin and they have any many adventures together along with other iconic characters like Eeyore, Tigger, Piglet, and Owl.
  1. Pippi Longstocking (Collection) – by Astrid Lindgren – This book is about an eccentric girl who lives without parents and keeps a horse on her front porch. Her crazy ideas tend to lead to unexpected adventures.

Best non-fiction books for 3rd graders

  1. History Year by Year by DK – follow the world’s timeline from the earliest history to the age we live in.
  1. Benjamin Franklin by Ingrid D’Alaire – A book about the life of the infamous Benjamin Franklin. From his childhood to a signer of the Declaration of Independence. (This author has more great books for third graders, check them out!)
  1. Florence Nightingale by David Adler – This is a picture book biography of Florence Nightingale, an influential women in the area of medicine. (David Adler has a number of historical biographies that are wonderful books for third graders to read.)
  1. What Was: The Great Depression? by Janet B. Pascal – Part of the ‘What Was’ series, this book tells kids about the time of the Great Depression in America.
  1. The Usborn Art Treasury by Rosie Dickens – This book introduces famous works of art and also has craft project ideas that teaches each particular style of art.
  1. National Geographic Animal Encyclopedia by Lucy Spelman- Learn about all kinds of animals and their habitats through words and stunning photographs.
  1. …If you Traveled on the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine – Part of the “If” series, this one takes you through the Underground Railroad and shows you what it was like to be a slave seeking freedom. (This series has some other great books for third graders to read as well.)
  1. Who Was: Anne Frank by Anna Abramson – This book is one of the ‘Who Was’ Series. This one highlights the life of Anne Frank a Jewish girl during the time of the Holocaust.
  1. Helen Keller from Tragedy to Triumph by Katharine Wilkin – (Part of the Childhood Famous Americans set) this books tells of Helen Keller and her journey to communicate with her world though she was both blind and deaf.
  1. Clara and Davy by Patricia Polacco – This is a non-fiction picture book about the life of Clara Barton and her accomplishments with the Red Cross.

Best historical fiction books for 3rd graders

  1. Boy of the Pyramids by Ruth Fosdick Jones – Learn all about ancient Egypt and the culture of that time. Follow a heart-warming tale about a slave girl and her employers son. Love, loyalty, kindness, bravery, and friendship are the character messages your kids will get from this book.
  1. The Cabin Faced West by Jean Fritz – Ann’s family has moved west and is learning the hardships of pioneering. Follow the story of how she changes her mind about their new home and realizes that her new life is actually quite exciting.
  1. A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus – During the time of WW2 three children find themselves orphaned. Their solicitor sends them out to the countryside with the other evacuee children of the war. But instead of looking for a temporary family, they are on a mission to find a forever family. Hardship, war, love, family, and kindness, are all exemplified in this tale. (Family favorite)
  1. The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh – This is a charming book about a girl who is traveling with her father through the wilderness to build their new home. She finds herself scared but learns that bravery in the face of fear is what makes her truly courageous.
  1. Toliver’s Secret by Esther Wood Brady – Set in the time of the Revolutionary War, Toliver (disguised as a boy) is on a secret mission (sent by her grandfather) to get a message to George Washington. Adventure, courage, bravery, and kindness are also elements you will find in this book.
  1. Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare – Thirteen year old Matt is left alone to guard their family’s new cabin in the woods of Maine. He struggles to survive until he meets a native boy who teaches him all about hunting for food, protection, and caring for the land. A Heart-warming story about friendship and yet very informative! (Family favorite)
  1. Paddle to the Sea by Holling C. Holling – This book is about a native boy who carves a canoe with a little figure inside and names it Paddle-to-the-sea. The story follows the boats through the Great Lakes and eventually to the Atlantic Ocean. (Great book for history and geography.)

Best Christian books for 3rd graders

  1. Little Pilgrims Progress by Helen L. Taylor – This is an illustrated edition based off of John Bunyan’s classic novel. This simplified version that teaches kids the same wisdom from the original but in a way they can enjoy and understand.
  1. Courageous World Changers – 50 True Stories of Daring Women of God by Shirley Raye Redmond – From Corrie Ten Boom to Mother Teresa learn about the lives of 50 faith-filled world changers.
  1. Brave Heroes and Bold Defenders – 50 True Stories of Daring Men of God by Shirley Raye Redmond – From C.S. Lewis to Tim Tebow hear the stories of 50 brave men whose light for Christ made a difference.
  1. God is in Nature by Jessica Doebler -Through 100 devotionals this book works to connect God’s Word to the natural world. Bible and science in bite-sized pieces.
  1. The Answer Book for Kids by Ken Ham – From the creator of Answers in Genesis, Ken Ham answers common questions relating to creation and the Bible.
  1. Dinosaurs for Kids by Ken Ham – With stunning illustrations discover the mysterious dinosaurs of our past through a Biblical worldview.

Best books for 3rd Graders: Poetry

  1. A Child’s Book of Poems by Gyo Fujikawa – Filled with classic poems and beautiful. full-page illustrations this book makes a great resource for introducing kids of all ages.
  1. A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson – Illustrated by the famous Tasha Tudor, this book is a lovely collection of poetry written about childhood. (Family Favorite)
  1. Sing a Song of Seasons by Nosy Crow – A beautiful collection of poems for each month of the year.
  1. Robert Frost Poetry for Kids by Robert Frost – This is an illustrated collection of some of Robert Frost’s most famous poetry.
  1. The Random House Book of Poetry for Children by Jack Prelutsky – A collection of classic poetry illustrated by the one and only Arnold Lobel.
  1. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein – Humorous poems that will spark laughter, curiosity, and imagination.
Best books for 3rd graders printable book list

50+ Best Books for 3rd Graders Printable List

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