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Guys, I can’t believe my baby is in the third grade! Wasn’t it just yesterday that he was a tiny baby with a big gummy smile? Time passes too quickly but I can’t deny that I love having another independent reader in the house (and so does amazon.com).
With the beginning of school and fall just around the corner, W and I sat down to put together our fall 2017 third grade-reading list. I purposefully requested he read a few books beyond his reading level and a few books that have a broader message to them than some of the more lighthearted reads from this summer. I promised that we’ll read them together so he’s not struggling with words and concepts on his own. Usually, we read at least one book a month out loud together so that I can help him with new words and so we can discuss the book’s message. Of course, he’s also chosen some fun new books that he’ll read on his own too!
Third Grade Reading List for Fall 2017
March: Book One by John Lewis
March is the first of three graphic novels by Congressman John Lewis that share his personal account of the civil rights movement. It’s a beautifully illustrated, vivid account of the Congressman’s struggle for civil and human rights. The first book spans his childhood in rural Alabama through his first meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his first involvement with the civil rights movement.
Amazon recommends this book for grade 8 and above but I think if W and I read it together, he’ll be okay. I chose it because W is increasingly aware of current events and I want him to understand the struggle minorities have had and continue to have for human rights. Honestly, I don’t think W is super excited for this “educational” read but I am sure March will win him over.
Secret Agents Jack and Max Stalwart: The Battle for the Emerald Buddha: Thailand by Elizabeth Singer Hunt
Oh, Elizabeth! I thought I was done with Jack but then you went ahead and wrote a spin off series about him and his brother, Max! I have such mixed feelings about these books. Personally, I find them boring and the stories repetitive. But, and more importantly, W loves them. LOVES THEM. When I asked him why, he looked at me like I was insane and started listing off things like spies, special gadgets, bad guys, and action. At any rate, the reading level is right about third-grade level, kids find them to be fun, and so they are on the list!
Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kittiesby Dav Pikey
This is another book that I am happy to let W read on his own. He is a longtime fan of Dav Pikey’s Captain Underpants series. I am not a huge fan of the humor in these books but I understand why it appeals to W and other kids his age. A Tale of Two Kitties is the third in the Dog Man series. Dog Man book one showed up on our summer reading list!
The Last Kids on Earth Max Brallier
This illustrated novel follows thirteen-year-old Jack Sullivan’s adventures surviving after the monster apocalypse. It’s funny, action packed, and entertaining. I don’t recommend it if your kids are afraid of monsters, though. The whole book follows Jack’s attempt to help his friends and slay the giant monster Blarg. W’s excited to try it and I think the story is interesting enough that I’ll also read it.
Wonderby R. J. Palacio
I am surprised I haven’t read this yet. Wonder is the highly recommended story about Auggie Pullman, a boy with a facial difference who, until fifth grade, was homeschooled. Wonder follows Auggie’s perspective of starting school while looking different and that of his classmates and family. I love that R.J. Palacio refers to the book as a “Meditation on kindness.” This is another book W and I will read together both so we can reflect on the story and message and so I can help him a bit with the words. Amazon.com does have it listed for third to seventh grade though so it should only be a bit of a stretch in reading level.
The Phantom Tollboothby Norton Juster
I’ll be crushed if W doesn’t like the Phantom Tollbooth. It remains one of my favorite books. The Phantom Tollbooth follows Milo, a boy who is so bored with life that he dives through a tollbooth that mysteriously appears because he has nothing better to do. On the other side of the tollbooth, he enters a different world and discovers the world is actually interesting.
I admit I have high hopes that after reading this W displays a little more interest and fascination in the world around him. At the very least though, I hope he finds it an engaging read. Amazon.com has this listed for third to seventh graders.
What Were You Thinking?by Bryan Smith
W will have no problem reading this short book about controlling your impulses. What Were You Thinking tells the story of Braden, a third-grade class clown, who has trouble controlling his impulses. Though W is almost too old for this book (it’s listed for first to third graders), I think he will benefit from the message and the tips provided. A lot of kids struggle with impulse control and I like that this book both helps kids become aware of that, offers tips, and doesn’t annoyingly beat the message over your head as you read it. W may also read this to his sister!
Charlie and the Chocolate Factoryby Roald Dahl
I love everything Roald Dahl but W’s been resistant to the idea of reading his books. I figure if anything will convince him to try a Roald Dahl book, it will be a story about chocolate. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the story of Charlie Bucket, a poor kid who wins a trip to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. The resulting characters and adventures have made this book a childhood classic!
These are the 8 books my third grader is reading this fall! What are you reading? Let me know in the comments below and remember to sign up to receive updates, free activities, and more!