Recommend good literature and new releases that are appropriate AND appealing for third graders.

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Children's books for third graders:  Here are a few of my top picks for this age group, including old 'classics' as well as some brand new titles.  Of course there are the mainstream favorites like Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Charlotte's Web, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, and Peter Pan, but here are some other equally deserving titles.  Since you did not specify, I chose titles that could appeal to both boys and girls.

Oldies but Goodies:

  • Tuck Everlasting-- This fantasy novel has a little of everything: a persistent heroine, kidnapping, talking animal characters, and the fountain of youth.
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster-- Another fantasy selection, which is particularly appealing to boys, features a magical purple tollbooth which zips the hero of the story to a kingdom at war.
  • The Silver Crown by Robert O'Brien-- I vividly remember reading this book and thinking at the time that it was the most exciting book I had ever read.  The heroine, Ellen, wakes up one morning to find a silver crown on her pillow, but then her house burns down, and her family is missing.

Nice and New:

  • Young Fredle by Cynthia Voigt (2011)-- The main character is a mouse who has adventures on his way home and learns the importance of friendship, courage, and freedom
  • Dumpling Days by Grace Lin (2011)-- Good for adding multi-cultural viewpoints, this story focuses on a family's trip to Taiwan to celebrate their grandmother's birthday. 
  • Escape from Planet Yastol by Pamela Service (2011)-- This novel would especially appeal to young boys who would enjoy the idea of being captured by dangerous aliens and taken to a remote planet. 
  • The Guardians of Ga'hoole by Katherine Lasky is also really popular with the 8-12 age bracket; the main characters are owls, and the series (fifteen books total) is very action packed.
jd | Student

Thank you for your suggestions.  I've read some of them with my students, though with my fourth graders.  There are a few books that I've not read, so I'm looking forward to previewing them.