Awesome Books for Third Graders Recommended by Third Graders

The transition from picture books to chapter books has been a little challenging for us. He likes his pictures and any book without them “has too many words”. I know I am not the only parent (or grandparent or aunt/uncle) that wonders what would be an interesting grade level appropriate book for my kid to read. To help out, I went to the source to come up with a list of awesome books for Third Graders recommended by Third Graders.

Awesome 3rd grade books recommended by 3rd graders. Children's Books, book series, chapter books.

The list came about when I needed to create a class decorated pumpkin for a school function. The easiest way I could think of to have all 25 students participate was a pumpkin decoupaged with all of their favorite books.

book themed decoupage pumpkin


Well, I tried. Seriously, this project and the school carnival are the main reasons I did not want to be a room mom! UGH!

But, I digress! Let’s talk third grade books. All of the links below are affiliate links on Amazon, I get a percentage of any purchase through the links (more info here). Most of them are also available through Scholastic Books. So if your school orders from there,  you might be able to get them cheaper and the class will earn free books. Or print this list and take it with you the next time you go to the library.


Book with No Pictures by B. J. Novak was mentioned by two of the students. My son was horrified when he saw my list, “A book with no pictures? How awful! Books have to have pictures.” But the book is so silly and fun I know he’d love it.

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards (yes, that Julie Andrews)

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Katie DiCamillo

Pokemon Deluxe Handbook

Football Superstars 2016 by K.C. Kelley

Smile by Raina Telgemeier


Book Series:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney was the hands down favorite of this class – mentioned by eight of the students.

Battle Bugs by Jack Patton

Pokemon I Choose You

Plants vs Zombies: Timepocalypse by Paul Tobin

Spirit Animals by Brandon Mull

The Puppy Place by Ellen Miles

Black Lagoon Adventures by Mike Thalon

Beyonders A World without Heroes by Brandon Mull

Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis


Three more not mentioned by this class, but favorites of ours and other third graders we know:

The Chicken Squad by Doreen Cronin

Diary of a Minecraft Zombie by Zack Zombie

The Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne

I’d love to add more to the list. What early chapter books did you or your kids like?

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  1. Thank you so much for this post! I was just thinking about new books I can get my elementary-schooler into. Is this the same BJ Novak from The Office?

    1. Since I have never seen The Office I had to look it up and according to Wikipedia it is one and the same (and he’s written several other children’s books too).

  2. Ooooo I am SO EXCITED for this list! My kiddo is in 2nd grade, so I will be bookmarking this for the near future! I love book lists, and it’s getting more difficult to find updated ones. 🙂 Thanks for sharing yours!!

    1. Start looking for them on sale on Scholastic 😉

  3. This is such a good idea… love that you got recommendations by third graders! And I’m sure he’ll LOVE the BJ Novak book… my kindergarteners were obsessed with it as a read-aloud.

    1. He is still horrified by the thought of it.

  4. I’m a writer in the genre of early chapter books for 3rd graders. My fourth grader and college kids can’t seem to put down the graphic novels.

    What are your thoughts on these?

    1. I can’t get my son into them. He feels books need to have pictures but graphic novels are too much for him. Go figure!

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