Best Books for Third Grade Readers

Posted on January 25, 2021

by Patti L

Looking for great books for a third grader? Here are books specifically chosen to capture the interest of all types of readers. Children this age love to read book series, and many series are included.

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Cover of The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan
By Katherine Applegate

Print   |   Spoken CD   |   Book Kit   |   eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla eAudiobook

The tale of a lonely, caged gorilla who befriends a baby elephant and decides he must find a way to give her a better life. Ivan’s story is all about love, empathy, tenacity and respect for all living beings. A must-read for children and adults

Cover of Ivy and Bean

Ivy and Bean
By Annie Barrows

Print   |   eBook   |   hoopla eBook   |   hoopla eAudiobook

These two best girlfriends are an odd couple that support each other while making mischief. Bean is a loud tomboy, ready for anything; Ivy is quiet and bookish, with a terrific imagination. Early elementary kids will relate to familiar school and home situations in this hilarious series.

Cover of The World According to Humphrey

The World According to Humphrey
By Betty Birney

Print   |   Spoken CD   |   eBook

Humphrey is a classroom pet hamster, but he observes and learns as much as the students he loves. Young readers will enjoy his antics as they learn about friendship, jealousy, tenacity, and compassion. First in a series.

Cover of Lola Levine Is Not Mean!

Lola Levine Is Not Mean!
By Monica Brown

Print   |   eBook

This series features a smart, funny, soccer-playing girl who often ends up in the principal’s office due to her talkative, assertive nature. Lola’s multicultural background is shown throughout her daily adventures at school and home. Problems are worked out in practical and positive ways as Lola navigates her world.

Cover of Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows

Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows

Print   |   eBook

In this series, Zoey and her cat, Sassafras, use science to help injured magical animals that visit the family’s barn. Zoey gets help from her scientist mom, so readers learn simple science concepts along the way. Magic makes the stories fun, and Zoey is inquisitive, compassionate and perseverant.

Cover of The Notebook of Doom: Rise of the Balloon Goons

The Notebook of Doom: Rise of the Balloon Goons
By Troy Cummings

Print   |   eBook

Alexander has moved to the strange town of Stermont, where school is housed in the hospital morgue and outrageously creepy monsters appear. Can Alexander’s monster notebook help him defeat the fiends? With illustrations on most pages and non-stop hilarious action, this series will appeal to even the most reluctant readers.

Cover of My Weirder-est School: Miss Blake Is a Flake!

My Weirder-est School: Miss Blake Is a Flake!
By Dan Gutman

Print   |   eBook   |   hoopla eBook

What could be funnier than a school where the kids are normal, but the teachers are all crazy? This zany book is part of the My Weirder-est School series. They are easy to read and great for reluctant readers. Other series: My Weird School, My Weird School Daze, My Weirder School.

Cover of Salt in His Shoes

Salt in His Shoes
By Deloris Jordan


Michael Jordan was not always a great basketball player. This story, written by his mother and sister, shows that he was once a kid who was too short and inexperienced to win at basketball against older kids. He learns from his parents that confidence and practice, practice, practice will help him reach his goals.

Cover of Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off

Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off
By Jacqueline Jules

Print   |   hoopla eBook   |   hoopla eAudiobook

Freddie Ramos has super-powered purple sneakers. Wearing them, he can run as fast as a plane can fly, leaving a puff of smoke as he passes. He’s an everyday hero, finding lost dogs and chasing a squirrel out of school. Any kid who ever dreamed of having a superpower will love Freddie’s adventures in this series.

Cover of Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business

Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business
By Lyla Lee


Mindy is Korean American and wants to fit in at her new school, but she’s teased for bringing seaweed and kimchi for lunch. She reminds herself to be brave and not give up, as her parents taught her. Young readers can relate to Mindy and learn from her can-do attitude. There are two books so far in this new series.

Cover of Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School and Other Scary Things

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School and Other Scary Things
By Lenore Look

Print   |   eAudiobook

Alvin is afraid of everything, especially school. He can’t seem to say a word, and he’s picked on by a school bully. But at home, he talks a mile a minute and loves superheroes, history, and explosions! His family is loving and supportive, and glimpses of their Chinese culture are sprinkled throughout this series.

Cover of Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid

Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid
By Megan McDonald

Print   |   eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla eBook

This series features Stink, an average second grade boy who got his nickname from his teasing older sister, Judy Moody. Readers will laugh at Stink’s antics while learning fun facts about his many interests. Stink’s comic-style “drawings” and other illustrations will interest young readers.

Cover of The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore

The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore
By Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

Print   |   eBook   |   hoopla eBook

This picture book pays tribute to the National Memorial African Bookstore in Harlem, New York, and its owner, Lewis Micheaux. Through beautiful illustrations and stories based on Lewis Micheaux, Jr.’s recollections as a child, readers learn the bookstore’s importance to people of different backgrounds, and the famous people who visited there.

Cover of Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark

Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark
By Mary Pope Osborne

Print   |   Pocket audiobook   |   Spoken CD   |   eBook

Brother and sister Jack and Annie find a magic tree house that transports them back to the time of the dinosaurs, ancient Egypt and the Middle Ages. Fact and fantasy blend into interesting and exciting adventures for readers to enjoy in this hugely popular series.

Cover of Dragon Gets By

Dragon Gets By
By Dav Pilkey

Print   |   eBook

A hilarious easy reader series with bright illustrations that will appeal to any child. Dragon wakes up groggy and can’t do anything right. He reads an egg, fries the newspaper, brushes his head, and combs his teeth. The fun continues in short chapters sure to induce howls of laughter.

Cover of Geronimo Stilton: Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye

Geronimo Stilton: Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye
By Geronimo Stilton

Print   |   Spoken CD   |   eBook   |   eAudiobook

Adventure, humor and colorful illustrations will appeal to children who read this series that features mice characters. Geronimo, editor of the Rodent’s Gazette in New Mouse City, gets reluctantly pulled into mysteries and danger in his travels all over the world.

Cover of Mia Mayhem Is a Superhero!

Mia Mayhem Is a Superhero!
By Kara West


During the school day, she’s normal student Mia Macarooney. But after school, no one except her best friend knows she attends the Program for In-Training Superheroes! Mia is learning to fly and use her other superpowers for the good of all. But even superheroes have problems with bullies, schoolwork and friendships. First in a series.

Cover of Dragon Masters: Rise of the Earth Dragon

Dragon Masters: Rise of the Earth Dragon
By Tracey West

Print   |   eBook   |   hoopla eAudiobook

Drake and his three friends are dragon master trainees. They travel with their dragons on quests full of magic and danger. Each page features illustrations showing main characters of diverse cultures. A series perfect for lovers of fantasy!

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