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Best Books for 3rd Graders

Enhance your 3rd grader's reading journey with these top-ranked books that blend educational value with enjoyment, as celebrated by various children's literature experts and reviewers.

Recommendations from 19 articles, Rainn Wilson, Neil Gaiman, Eric Weinstein and 12 others.
72 books on the list
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Dragons in a Bag book cover
Dragons in a Bag
Zetta Elliott - 2018-10-23
Goodreads Rating
Young Jaxon finds himself embarking on a magical adventure when he discovers that the mean old lady his mother sent him to visit is actually a witch in this diverse, young urban fantasy. After breaking two important rules - don't let the baby dragons out of the bag and don't feed them anything sweet - Jaxon and his friends must race against time to deliver the baby dragons to a secret magical world. Will they succeed, or will the dragons be lost in Brooklyn forever? This promising start to a new series is sure to provide readers with a fun and exciting experience.
The Wild Robot book cover
The Wild Robot
Peter Brown - 2016-04-05
Goodreads Rating
A robot finds herself stranded on a remote island, with no idea how she got there or what her purpose is. To survive, she must learn to adapt to her wild surroundings and befriend the hostile animal inhabitants. But when her mysterious past catches up with her, she must confront the collision of nature and technology. A heartwarming and action-packed novel by bestselling and award-winning author Peter Brown.
Because of Winn-Dixie book cover
Because of Winn-Dixie
Kate Dicamillo - 2001-08-06 (first published in 2000)
Goodreads Rating
A heartwarming tale about the power of friendship, forgiveness, and letting go. When Opal moves to Florida, she comes across a big, suffering dog at the Winn-Dixie supermarket and takes him in as her own. Through her newfound companion, Winn-Dixie, Opal discovers the true meaning of friendship by meeting unique characters like the local librarian, an ex-con, and a nearly blind woman who sees with her heart. Along the way, Opal learns to let go, forgive, and that true friendship can come when you least expect it. A classic story for readers of all ages to enjoy.
Stella Díaz Has Something to Say book cover
Stella Díaz Has Something to Say
Angela Dominguez - 2018-01-16
Goodreads Rating
Stella Díaz loves marine animals, but she's not a betta fish - she loves spending time with her family and friends too. When her best friend is in another class, Stella feels lonely, but a new boy arrives in her class and she wants to be his friend. Stella sometimes accidentally speaks Spanish instead of English, which makes her embarrassed. With relatable writing and adorable black-and-white art throughout, this heartwarming story based on author Angela Dominguez's own experiences growing up Mexican-American introduces an infectiously charming character with a bilingual element. Stella Díaz Has Something to Say is a perfect read for middle-grade readers.
Planet Omar book cover
Planet Omar
Accidental Trouble Magnet
Zanib Mian - 2019-04-18
Goodreads Rating
Planet Omar is an exciting middle-grade debut that follows the imaginative brain of a Muslim boy who's just moved to a new school. As Omar tries to navigate new surroundings, he faces challenges such as making new friends and dealing with a Big Mean Bully who tells him that Muslims will be kicked out of the country. With the help of his wacky family and humor, Omar's relatable and funny narrative is a perfect addition to diverse book collections.
Fantastic Mr. Fox book cover
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Roald Dahl - 2002-06-11 (first published in 1970)
Goodreads Rating
A wily fox and his family are in trouble when three ruthless farmers set out to catch them. But Mr. Fox won't give up without a fight. Can he come up with a plan fantastic enough to save his family? Find out in this thrilling tale of cunning and courage.
The One and Only Ivan book cover
The One and Only Ivan
Katherine Applegate - 2012-01-17
Goodreads Rating
Experience life from the perspective of Ivan, an easygoing gorilla who lives in a mall and hardly ever thinks about his old life in the jungle. But when a baby elephant named Ruby arrives, Ivan's art and understanding of his surroundings change. Katherine Applegate's heartwarming and humorous story captures the power of friendship, art, and hope.
Sideways Stories from Wayside School book cover
Sideways Stories from Wayside School
Louis Sachar - 2004-01-19 (first published in 1978)
Goodreads Rating
Explore a zany, imaginative school where things don't always go according to plan in this collection of 30 short stories. Meet a cast of eccentric characters like Mrs Gorf, the meanest teacher, Todd, who always gets sent home early, and Jason, who's stuck to his seat. With a touch of humor and a hint of moral ambiguity, this book is perfect for readers of all ages.
Recommended by
Zoe Kazan
The Boxcar Children book cover
The Boxcar Children
Gertrude Chandler Warner - 1989-06-01 (first published in 1924)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the heartwarming tale of a family's steadfast love and loyalty in the midst of adversity. Follow the brave Alden siblings as they make their home in a simple boxcar and embark on a journey of self-discovery. The Boxcar Children is a compelling story that teaches the value of unity and determination, and the rewards of unexpected blessings.
Stuart Little book cover
Stuart Little
E. B White - 1973-01-01 (first published in 1945)
Goodreads Rating
Follow the journey of Stuart Little, a small mouse born into a human family, as he goes on an adventure to find his best friend, Margalo, who has mysteriously disappeared. Join Stuart on his first ever trip away from home and witness the incredible experiences he encounters, all while showcasing his bravery and love for adventure. This classic novel is accompanied by black and white illustrations, making for an unforgettable read.
The Creature of the Pines by Adam Gidwitz
The BFG by Roald Dahl
The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail by Richard Peck
Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere by Elise Gravel
Word Travelers and the Taj Mahal Mystery by Raj Haldar, Neha Rawat
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Unicorn Academy #1 by Julie Sykes
Charlotte's Web by E. B White
Knight of the Cape (1) by Terry Catasus Jennings, Fatima Anaya
Hamster Princess by Ursula Vernon
Dragonbreath #1 by Ursula Vernon
The Sheep-Pig by Dick King-Smith
The Absent Author by Ron Roy
The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Alison Levy
Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary
Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
Judy Blume's Fudge Box Set by Judy Blume
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The Coldfire Curse by Jordan Quinn, Glass House Graphics
Whale vs. Giant Squid by Jerry Pallotta
The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths
The Bad Guys Box Set by Aaron Blabey
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney
Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate Dicamillo
A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
Spirit Week Showdown by Crystal Allen
The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies
The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman
Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne, E. H. Shepard, Diego Jourdan Pereira
Just Grace Boxed Set by Charise Mericle Harper
J.D. and the Great Barber Battle by J. Dillard
Muggie Maggie by Beverly Cleary, Tracy Dockray
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Dog Man by Dav Pilkey
Best Friends Furever by Janay Brown-Wood
Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
Kristy's Great Idea by Ann M. Martin
Third-Grade Detectives #1-2 by George E. Stanley
Mac Undercover by Mac Barnett
Ivy Lost and Found (With Pinyin and Picture) by Cynthia Lord
Cat Kid Comic Club by Dav Pilkey
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
Star Wars by Jeffrey Brown
Two-Headed Chicken by Tom Angleberger
The Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds by David A. Adler
Danger! Tiger Crossing by Lin Oliver, Samantha Kallis
Miss Daisy Is Crazy! by Dan Gutman
Dragons and Marshmallows by Asia Citro
Trapped in a Video Game by Dustin Brady
Frindle by Andrew Clements
Maya and the Robot by Eve L. Ewing, Christine Almeda
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Marya Khan and the Incredible Henna Party by Saadia Faruqi, Ani Bushry
Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech
Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo