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