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.
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.