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Suggestions for Third Graders

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All fiction is shelved alphabetically by the author's last name.

Books from our in-between collection are ideal for building confidence in young readers. Lots of them are part of a series, so if you like the characters in one story, read them all!

Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Monster Movie
by David Adler
Cam Jansen, lively fifth-grade sleuth, can solve any mystery.  There are many books in this series. 

The Dog That Called the Pitch 
by Matt Christopher
A story about baseball and a dog who can read minds! This author writes many sports-related books.

Mercy Watson to the Rescue
by Kate DiCamillo
The Watsons love their amazing pig Mercy, but maybe it was a mistake to let her share the bed! So now it’s Mercy Watson to the Rescue!  This is the first in a hilarious series.

My Father’s Dragon
by Ruth Gannett
Elmer Elevator stows away on a ship to rescue a baby dragon. The first of three wonderful stories.

Miss Child Has Gone Wild
by Dan Gutman
A.J. and his fellow third-graders from Ella Mentry School, including new student Alexia, go on a field trip to the zoo, where they meet a very strange zookeeper.  This is the first book in the popular My Weirder School series.

Just Grace
by Cherise Mericle Harper
Misnamed by her teacher, seven-year-old Just Grace prides herself on being empathetic, but when she tries to help a neighbor feel better, her good intentions backfire.  This is the first in the Just Grace series about the hilarious third grader.

Horrible Harry and the Kickball Wedding
by Suzy Kline
As Valentine's Day approaches, the students in Room 2B are preoccupied with kickball and a possible wedding between Horrible Harry and Song Lee.  There are many books in this series. 

Lulu and the Dog from the Sea
by Hilary McKay
Lulu loves animals. When Lulu goes on vacation, she finds there's a stray dog living on the beach. Everyone in the town thinks the dog is trouble. But Lulu is sure he just needs a friend. And that he's been waiting for someone just like her.

The Sneeze and Other Stories 
by Catharine O’Neill
In these sweet, quiet, super-short stories, a girl and her older brother learn that they see things very differently.

Dinosaurs Before Dark: Magic Tree House
by Mary Pope Osborne
When he and his younger sister discover a tree house that travels through time, Jack and his younger sister, Annie, begin an adventure that takes them to the era of dinosaurs. This is a huge series with many titles.

The Absent Author: A-Z Mysteries
by Ron Roy                 
Dink Duncan and his two friends investigate the apparent kidnapping of famous mystery author Wallis Wallace.  A mystery series.

Nate the Great and the Monster Mess
by Marjorie Sharmat
You might have met Nate in beginner readers, but the fun continues in In-Betweens! Nate and his dog Sludge are determined to find the recipe for his mother's monster cookies. 

Young Uncle Comes to Town 
by Vandana Singh
A funny, unusual story set in northern India. Ideal for the more confident reader, or as a short read-aloud.

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie 
by Julie Sternberg
This poignant story, well-illustrated, will resonate with any child who has had to say goodbye to a
By the same author:
Like Bug Juice on a Burger. 

Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye: Geronimo Stilton
by Thea Stilton
Geronimo Stilton--editor of "The Rodent's Gazette"--his adventurous sister Thea, a correspondent for the paper, and their cousin Trap travel to a distant island to search for the treasure shown on an old map Thea discovers. There are many books in this series.

The Curse of the Bologna Sandwich: Melvin Beederman, Superhero
by Greg Trine
After graduating from the superhero academy, Melvin Beederman heads for Los Angeles, where he unexpectedly teams up with Candace Brinkwater, school play actress, to nab the evil McNasty Brothers.   This is the first title in the series.

Upstairs Mouse, Downstairs Mole
by Wong Herbert Yee
Mouse--who lives inside an oak tree--and his downstairs neighbor, Mole, discover that when they help each other, housecleaning and other daily tasks are much easier.  A series.

There are plenty of fun series in the chapter book section, as well as great stand-alone stories. If a book seems beyond your child’s reading level, enjoy it together as a read-aloud.  

Journey to the Volcano Palace: Secrets of Droon
by Tony Abbott
After Lord Sparr takes the magic jewel from Princess Keeah, four of her visiting friends become determined to get it back to her at any cost.  There are multiple titles in this series.

The One and Only Ivan 
by Katherine Applegate
When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.

Ivy + Bean
by Annie Barrows
When seven-year-old Bean plays a mean trick on her sister, she finds unexpected support for her antics from Ivy, the new neighbor, who is less boring than Bean first suspected. There are a number of titles in this series.

The World According to Humphrey:  Humphrey the Hamster
by Betty Birney
Sent to live in Room 26, Humphrey, the class hamster, begins to learn a lot about humans through simple observation from his cage, in an amusing tale about a curious creature who takes full advantage of his educational opportunities. The first book in the series about everyone's favorite classroom pet!

Freckle Juice
by Judy Blume
Some people will go to almost any lengths to get some freckles!
By the same author:
Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing

Bad Kitty
by Nick Bruel
When a kitty discovers there is no cat food in the house, she decides to become very, very bad. A good choice for reluctant readers, with lively illustrations, titles include Bad Kitty for President.

The Year of the Book 
by Andrea Cheng
Anna learns about life and the world from her books, but she has to discover for herself how to be a good friend.
By the same author:
The Year of the Baby

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 
by Beverly Cleary
Nothing keeps Ramona down, until one embarrassing moment in her 3rd grade classroom. Can she bounce back?
By the same author:
Ralph S. Mouse

Lunch Money 
by Andrew Clements
Greg’s plan to make money selling his comics at school go terribly wrong, until the day his nemesis becomes his ally. Quirky characters, fun story.

How to Train Your Dragon
by Cressida Cowell
In this first of the “how to” series, Hiccup goes from zero to hero when he trains his scrawny dragon using brains, not brawn.

The Whipping Boy
by Sid Fleishmann
Forced to serve as whipping boy to the arrogant and spiteful Prince Brat, Jemmy plans to run away, but on the night of his escape, he and the Prince have a climactic confrontation.

Elizabeth’s Diary
by Patricia Hermes
In 1609, nine-year-old Elizabeth keeps a diary of her experiences in the New World.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid
by Greg Kinney
Greg is in junior high, but readers much younger have enjoyed reading his diaries, and the illustrations just add to the fun.  Titles include The Last Straw.

Gooney Bird Greene
by Lois Lowry
In her strange outfits, new kid Gooney Bird is the star of class Story Time and keeps everyone entertained with her “absolutely true” stories.  This is the first book in a series.

by Sara Pennypacker
While sorting through difficulties in her friendship with her neighbor Margaret, eight-year-old Clementine gains several unique hairstyles while also helping her father in his efforts to banish pigeons from the front of their apartment building.  This is the first book in a hilarious series. 

Knights of the Kitchen Table: The Time Warp Trio
by Jon Sciezcka
Joe receives a magic book for his birthday present from his uncle. Joe, Fred, and Sam are transported to a time when evil knights, fire-breathing dragons, and vile-smelling giants roamed the land.   This long series is great for boys and for reluctant readers.

The Boxcar Children
by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Because they do not want to be separated, four orphaned children run away and live in an old abandoned boxcar.  This is the start of a long mystery series.

Don’t stop reading aloud just because your child has learned to read! Listening to stories helps develop young readers’ vocabulary and comprehension. Plus, it’s great family time!

by Avi
Poppy the deer mouse urges her family to move next to a field of corn big enough to feed them all forever, but Mr. Ocax, a terrifying owl, has other ideas.

The Secret Zoo
by Bryan Chick
When his sister disappears, Noah, along with their best friends, Ella and Richie, sneak into the neighborhood zoo and delve into the unknown world of the animals, where they discover a great secret that the zoo is protecting

Ralph S. Mouse
by Beverly Cleary
In trouble at his home in the Mountain View Inn, Ralph, a mouse, decides to find a new home at the school that Ryan, the housekeeper's son, attends.

by Roald Dahl
The BFG--Big Friendly Giant--kidnaps Sophie from her bed in the orphanage and takes her back to Giantland where she becomes involved in a scheme to end the loathsome activities of nine evil giants.

The Tale of Despereaux
by Kate DiCamillo
The adventures of Desperaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, the princess that he loves, the servant girl who longs to be a princess, and a devious rat determined to bring them all to ruin.

Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery
by Deborah Howe
Though scoffed at by Harold the dog, Chester the cat tries to warn his human family that their foundling baby bunny must be a vampire.

The Tail of Emily Windsnap
by Liz Kessler
Having never been allowed to go in the water, Emily is finally given permission by her mother to take swimming lessons and soon discovers an incredible undersea world of mermaids, an underwater school, and a special teacher that help her discover things about her family that have been kept secret for so long. -

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
by C. S. Lewis
Four English schoolchildren find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magic land of Narnia and assist Aslan, the golden lion, to triumph over the White Witch, who has cursed the land with eternal winter 

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle
by Hugh Lofting
When his colleague Long Arrow disappears, Dr. Dolittle sets off with his assistant, Tommy Stubbins, his dog, Jip, and Polynesia the parrot on an adventurous voyage over tropical seas to floating Spidermonkey Island.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
by Betty MacDonald
From her upside-down house, the eccentric Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle issues to parents her marvelous cures for such common children's diseases as Won't-Put-Away-Toys-itis, Answerbackism, and Fighter-Quarrelitis. 

by Louis Sachar
As further evidence of his family's bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.

The Hobbit
by J. R. R. Tolkien
Bilbo Baggins, a respectable, well-to-do hobbit, lives comfortably in his hobbit-hole until the day the wandering wizard Gandalf chooses him to share in an adventure from which he may never return.

Charlotte’s Web
by E. B. White
Fern raises the little runt pig, Wilbur, only to have her father give him away.