3rd Grade Reading

Our Top Ten Choices for Third Grade Reading

This 3rd grade reading list gives you our top ten picks for quality classic literature for third grade students.

See the bottom of this page for more choices.


The Courage of Sarah Noble

By Alice Dalgliesh



This is the true story of a young girl who travels with her father through the Connecticut wilderness in the early 1700's. Sarah's resolve to be brave is tested when her father leaves her with a tribe of Native Americans. Sarah learns about bravery and friendship.







Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims

By Clyde Robert Bulla



Many children are familiar with Squanto, the Native American who helped the pilgrims of Plymouth survive.. This book tells the true and amazing story of how this man - the only Indian on the continent who could speak English - happened to be right there when the pilgrims needed him.







Keep The Lights Burning, Abbie


Peter and Connie Roop



It is up to Abbie to keep the lighthouse burning while her father is away at sea. Abbie's courage and diligence rescue the family as well as ships at sea. A true story that took place in Maine in the mid 1800's.






Key to the Treasure

Peggy Parish



This is the fictitious story of three children visiting their grandparents over the summer. The treasure hunters meet adventure and success. They set out to solve a family mystery with an old map. First published in 1964, this book has almost met the standard of 50 years in continuous publication.








Sarah, Plain and Tall

By Patricia MacLachlan


A mail order bride from Maine joins a widower and his two children on the plains of Kansas in this tale from the 1800's. The brother and sister want their new mother to stay, but are afraid she will return to the ocean she loved. This is a story about the meaning of home.








Charlotte's Web

By E.B. White


Talking animals and a wise spider teach about life and relationships - from a barnyard perspective. This is a long standing favorite 3rd grade reading book.









The Bears On Hemlock Mountain

By Alice Dalgliesh


A folk tale from Pennsylvania, this is the story of a boy afraid of bears who needs to make a trip over Hemlock Mountain. The easy to read book has the perfect amount of repetition and gentle humor to engage young readers. Adults, too, will find themselves asking, "Are there bears on Hemlock Mountain?"






Mr Popper's Penguins

By Richard and Florence Atwater


This story has entertained generations of children, just as the performing penguins entertained the crowds. Mr. Popper's logic also leaves children giggling. In addition to humor, the book subtley addresses the age old question of success. What is better: fame and fortune or a humble, happy, home?






What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin?

By Jean Fritz


A great book by an author who has written many greats. This book illuminates one of the world's most illuminating characters. Young readers can grasp the astonishing accomplishment of this writer, inventor, scientist, statesman, and revolutionary.








The Bobbsey Twins

Laura Lee Hope


A cheerful reflection of family life in a simpler age, the Bobbsey Twins is one of the earliest series of beginning chapter books. Two sets of twins, a boy and girl each, enjoy adventure and travel.







3rd Grade Book Club

Join the Third Grade Book Club and earn a certificate for reading the best literature.

More Third Grade Books

So many, many books to choose from. In addition to those listed above, here are a few other sources for finding great books for your third grader:

For short, paperback books check out our discount classics for 2nd to 4th grade.

If your student enjoys certain themes, check out the book themes on the left navigation bar.

Sign up for the Classic Lit Report in the upper right hand of the screen. We will let you know when new pages are added.




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