Too-Good-to-Miss Books: Third Grade

Staff recommendations for children at a third grade reading level.

Compiled by:
Children's Services Staff
A Day in the Office of Doctor Bugspit

Elise Gravel
(Juvenile Graphic Novels - J Gravel)
Balloon toons

Dr. Bugspit and his top-secret Fix-It-Up syrup treat a variety of strange maladies at his outer space clinic.

A Handful of Beans: Six Fairy Tales

Jeanne Steig
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.208 Ste)

Old favorites such as Rumpelstiltskin, Beauty and the Beast, Hansel and Gretel, and The Frog Prince.

A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin

Jen Bryant
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 759.13 Pippin Bry)

Presents an illustrated introduction to the life and work of artist Horace Pippin, describing his childhood love for drawing and the World War I injury that challenged his career.

Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek: A Tall Thin Tale (introducing his forgotten frontier friend)

Deborah Hopkins
(Juvenile Fiction - J Hopkins)

In Knob Creek, Kentucky, in 1816, seven-year-old Abe Lincoln falls into a creek and is rescued by his best friend, Austin Gollaher.

All Stations! Distress!: April 15, 1912, the Day the Titanic Sank

Don Brown
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 910.453 Bro)

This is the captivating story of an amazing vessel, the people who built it, and its tragic demise during its maiden voyage across the Atlantic. Told through first-hand accounts and detailed illustrations of the events as they happened.

Amber Brown is Not a Crayon

Paula Danziger
(Juvenile Fiction - J Danzige)

The year she is in the third grade is a sad time for Amber because her best friend Justin is getting ready to move to a distant state. Read more books about Amber Brown by this author.

Amelia's Are-We-There-Yet, Longest Ever Car Trip

Marissa Moss
(Juvenile Fiction - J Moss)

Ten-year-old Amelia keeps a journal of the summer car trip she takes with her mother and sister to Grand Canyon, Death Valley, and their California home town to visit Amelia's best friend. Look for more Amelia titles and also the Max Disaster series by Moss.

Babymouse: Queen of the World

Jennifer Holm
(Juvenile Graphic Novels - J Holm)
Babymouse; #1

An imaginative mouse dreams of being queen of the world, but will settle for an invitation to the most popular girl's slumber party.

Bones : Skeletons and How They Work

Steve Jenkins
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 573.76 Jen)

A guide to human and animal skeletons provides informative comparisons while sharing such facts as the number of bones in the human body and the ways that skeletal structures work. (Ask for other nonfiction books by Jenkins, too!)

Freckle Juice

Judy Blume
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Blume)

Andrew wants freckles so badly that he buys Sharon's freckle recipe for fifty cents.


Kate Klimo
(Juvenile Fiction - J Klimo)
Klimo, Kate. Dog diaries

Ginger the golden retriever narrates the story of her life, from her birth in a puppy mill through the various people who have "owned" her.

How Oliver Olson Changed the World

Claudia Mills
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Mills)

Afraid he will always be an outsider like ex-planet Pluto, nine-year-old Oliver finally shows his overprotective parents that he is capable of doing great things without their help while his class studies the solar system.

In Aunt Lucy's Kitchen

Cynthia Rylant
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Rylant)
Cobble Street Cousins

While staying with their aunt for a year, three nine-year-old cousins keep busy baking and selling cookies, putting on a poetry and singing performance, and more. First in the Cobble Street Cousins series.

Knights of the Kitchen Table

Jon Scieszka
(Juvenile Fiction - J Scieszk)
Time Warp Trio; #1

Joe receives a magic book for his birthday present from his uncle. Joe, Fred and Sam are transported to a time when evil knights, fire-breathing dragons and vile-smelling giants roamed the land. First in the Time Warp Trio series.

Nic Bishop Butterflies and Moths

Nic Bishop
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 595.789 Bis)

Engaging text presents both basic information and fun, quirky facts about the insects' appearance, habits, and life cycle. (Ask for other nonfiction books by this author, especially Frogs and Lizards.)

Poison Island

H.I. Larry
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Larry)
Larry, H. I. Zac Power ; 1.

Separated from his parents and older brother, twelve-year-old Zac, a secret agent of the Government Investigation Bureau, must rely on his own skills to obtain the formula for Dr. Drastic's secret Solution X.

Runny Babbit : a Billy Sook

Shel Silverstein
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 811.54 Sil)

Runny Babbit's topsy-turvy world is brought to life through wordplay and drawings.

Secret Identity

Wendelin VanDraanen
(Juvenile Fiction - J Vandraa)
Shredderman; #1

Fifth-grader Nolan Byrd, tired of being called names by the class bully, has a secret identity--Shredderman!  First in the Shredderman series.

The Buddy Files - Case of the Lost Boy

Dori Butler
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Butler)

While searching for his mysteriously lost human family, Buddy the dog is adopted by another family and helps solve the mystery of their missing boy. Look for more Buddy File titles.

The Haunted Toolshed

David Keane
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Keane)
Joe Sherlock; #1

A super-sleuth fourth grader solves the case of a neighbor's haunted toolshed. First in the Joe Sherlock series.

The Hundred Dresses

Eleanor Estes
(Juvenile Classics - J Estes)

In winning a medal she is no longer there to receive, a tight-lipped little Polish girl teaches her classmates a lesson.

The Magician's Boy

Susan Cooper
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Co)

When a boy working as a magician's helper cannot find a puppet in the middle of a performance, the magician is furious. He points a long magical finger at the boy, and poof, the boy is suddenly in the strange Land of Story, where he must find the puppet he misplaced.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Beverly Cleary
(Juvenile Fiction - J Cle)

A reckless young mouse named Ralph makes friends with a boy in room 215 of the Mountain View Inn and discovers the joys of motorcycling. Read more Ralph stories in Runaway Ralph and Ralph S. Mouse.

The Quiet Place

Sarah Stewart
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Ste)

A little girl moves to the United States from Mexico with her family and writes letters to her aunt in Mexico about her new life.

The Stories Julian Tells

Ann Cameron
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Cam)

Laugh-out-loud tales of family life, including Julian's attempt to grow taller, plant a garden, loose a tooth, and find a friend. Read more stories about Julian and his family by this author.

Toys Go Out: Being the Adventures of a Knowledgeable Stingray, a Toughy Little Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic

Emily Jenkins
(Juvenile Fiction - J Jenkins)

Six stories relate the adventures of three best friends, who happen to be toys.

Trolls, Go Home!

Alan MacDonald
(Juvenile Fiction - J Macdona)
Bloomsbury chapter books

When the Trolls move next door to the Priddles, both families find the other strange, which causes many misunderstandings.

Where in the Wild? Camouflaged Creatures Concealed - and Revealed: Ear-Tickling Poems

David Shwartz
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 590 Sch)

Ten creatures wait, camouflaged in artful, full-page photographs, while playful poems offer clues about each animal's identity and whereabouts. Includes pages readers can lift. Look for more related titles by this author.

Young Zeus

Brian Karas
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 292.13 Kar)

This playful retelling of the myth of Zeus proves that being small (and young) doesn't mean you can't be the hero, reign supreme and have fun.