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I had posted on Spawn of Diary of a Wimpy Kid so I brought in a selection of chapter books to yoga (we do yoga together) and gave her a brief synopsis of each one. The next day, I saw my Mom Friend Julie at Zumba (we do that together too), and she was thrilled that he picked up one book, Tales of a Sixth Grade Muppet by Kirk Scroggs, brought it upstairs to read, and then packed it in his backpack for school! Age Appropriate: Though James Patterson, Middle School The Worst Years of My Life fits the bill, the content is too heavy for 3rd grade. The fact that I have the author memorized means that I tracked this down at my library for my son who thinks this is hysterically funny.
I really love this series and it’s both engaging, funny and has a great message about being true to yourself.
I have heard a lot of great things about this book, and Jon Scieszka is the king of humor for kids. I found these two picks of a list for Funny Books for Kids by East Lansing Library in Michigan (and shout out to my college roommate who works at the University in East Lansing!).
If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Ps I was just like you regarding Wimpy Kid books but I swung the other way in full support too after seeing how powerful they are in getting kids excited to read. My 3rd grader is reading Artsy-Fartsy (part of the Aldo Zelnick Comic Novel Series by Karla Oceanak) and really likes it. My boys really love the Andrew Clements books- while not laugh-out-loud funny in the way some of these are, there are a lot of chuckle moments and he has a TON to choose from (I recommend Frindle). I had the great fortune to meet The Nerdy Book Club founders at a dinner for Anne Ursu hosted by Walden Pond Press to celebrate her latest chapter book, The Real Boy. Colby Sharp, one of The Nerdy Book Club founders, mentioned that he was teaching third grade this year, a move from years spent teaching fourth grade and I got very excited because I have a son in third grade! To complete this list of 10 perfect 3rd grade read aloud books either for parents to read at home or for a classroom, I asked my girls what books their teachers read to them in third grade.
Giving them wonderful works of writing to emulate helps them think about things like setting, voice, character, plot and experiencing sensations through words. The best part of a perfect read aloud, I think,  is how mesmerized the children become.
My son says, “Because of Winn Dixie was a extremely good book and when we read it, had everybody in the class wrapped inside the book. My oldest’s third grade teacher flagged me down two years ago to tell me how much she loved this chapter book.
In some ways this book reminds me of Charlotte’s Web so I like the pairing so kids can compare and contrast.
My son says, “My class is still reading it but it is a very good book so far and everybody loves it. Grasshopper and Sensei’s third grade teacher recommended this easy chapter book to me for her and I ended up using it for her book club. As I read this book with my daughter, I got that deja vu feeling and realized that I had read a long time ago too! THIS STORY HONORS THE TEACHER THAT TOOK TIME TO SEE A CHILD THAT WAS DROWNING AND NEEDED HELP. PickyKidPix said that these were her two favorite Doug Cushman mysteries that she read in third grade.
It’s about finding the wonder in everyday life and discovering that the people in your community have amazing stories and experiences!
My son ended up doing a book project on The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs for rising 4th grade summer homework. This is one of my favorite chapter books but remains is lesser known than it deserves to be. Chester is a cricket from Connecticut that winds up in picnic basket and ends up in New York City’s Times Square.
My son said that they read this mystery chapter book for read aloud and he highly recommends it.
The final Read Aloud book of the year was in prepration for a field trip to Plimoth Plantation.

This would be great because their cousin was working at Plimoth Plantation when we visited and that would make for a rich discussion! My son tells me that they started this chapter book about the Wampanoag Native Americans but will not have time to finish it before school ends. I am an Amazon affiliate which means if you buy anything through my blog, I get a very small kickback at no cost to you.
I love it when the movie is true to the book like Charlotte’s Web and equally fantastic! Right now, I really want to focus his mind on concentrating and understanding the story to another level.
Hi Mia – to answer your question, I taught a combined classroom of grades 3-5 for three years, then one year of just first grade, and three more years of grades 1-2. Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Rebecca Stead: From Attorney to Secret Writer to Newbery Winner! I really like this list – we read some of the books either together or separately, but I’d like to make sure that we will hang 10 on this list ?? Thanks for sharing with Afterschool! He loved Diary of a Wimpy Kid which I think is one of the best early chapter books for kids to get them excited about reading, but alas, a new one needs to come out or reading will be a nightly struggle.
Armed with the knowledge of what he likes and dislikes, I am right back at it and here’s my new list. Though Max Finder seems geared to Junior High age kids, my first grader is really enjoying these 5 page graphic novel mysteries.
I had fun putting the list together and my little son in first grade and I are slowly working our way through these books. I think the hybrid chapter book cum graphic novel is a great boon to boys and I think it helps to get them reading! I have been there… My 4th grade son is very picky and also is not that interested in sporty books.
You son might like those Pick Your Own Ending stories — Worst Case Scenario novels, Mars, Everest, I think there is one more. Some parents might roll eyes at this suggestion, but the Captain Underpants series is full of 3rd grade boy gross-out humor.
Quickly and not surprisingly, we started talking about perfect third grade read aloud books. And how much they learn to love reading; not as a chore to fill out a reading log but as a story that they can not wait to hear the next installment. It’s a perfect chapter book in my mind where whole adds up to much more than the sum of the parts. Her teacher said that girl bullying tends to rear its ugly head in third grade and this book centers around the role of bystanders in bullying.
FALKER HAD REACHED INTO THE MOST LONELY DARKNESS AND PULLED ME INTO BRIGHT SUNLIGHT AND SAT ME ON A SHOOTING STAR. His third grade teachers have used Cushman’s mystery picture books to lead off the mystery writing unit and have requested him!
I had always loved this book but wondered and worried if it was too old fashioned and slow paced to hold kids’ attention. Though it’s the first book in a series, the rest of the books are not nearly as good as this one. It’s a wonderful example of strong voice in writing as well as just a really great read.
Debbie Reese of American Indians in Children’s Literature has issues with how the Wampanoags are portrayed and her post is here. There are so many great themes in the book to think about that relate to kids and friendships.
Yes, this list is great for 3rd grade read aloud but kids in 4th and 5th grade would be able to read independently.
She is a teacher herself and feels that children and reading can be a struggle in the early elementary school years. I am the BEST at finding book series for all kinds of girl lists, but struggle at finding great books for my son.

And the weird thing is that my son’s teacher had read all three perfect third grade books that Colby mentioned! My two daughters each have had these other two 3rd grade teachers and they are wonderful teachers!
Their teachers also mentioned books to me in past years which I am including, trying as best as I can to channel them. At our elementary school, third graders are subjected to the Long Composition Standardized Test which takes the better part of the day for them to complete.
Other perfect read aloud books gently teach empathy by letting reader see the world from a point of view they would not ordinarily experience.
In this case, it’s Charlotte’s artistry with web making as well as her knowledge of words!
Every character is memorable with a story to tell and somehow all these stories meld together into a satisfying ending with an uplifting message. I actually think it makes the reader into a kinder person just through the act of experiencing the story. PickyKidPix said that it was because they knew the story from movies so the book was ruined for them. I was thrilled that my kids’ friends talked about it and, when questioned, said that they liked it a lot.
There aren’t many Newbery winners that work for third grade and this would work fine for 2nd grade too. If you want to do a book comparison, I’d recommend reading The One and Only Ivan next because there are very similar themes of friendship and saving your friend using your skills. There are so many great books out there that it was hard to choose just ten, but for various reasons these are definitely my top ten read alouds for 3rd grade.
We put our heads together for reading strategies to make reading for kids more fun, especially for her son! Sadly, everyone seems to agree, but I am on the wait list for the books and still haven’t heard back yet! My son loved Captain Underpants in 2nd grade and I always forget about poetry but you are right; kids love Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky. I REMEMBER FEELING DUMB, THAT TERRIBLE FEELING ABOUT MYSELF WAS COMPOUNDED BY BEING TEASED BY A BULLY. FALKER, BUT ALSO TO WARN YOUNG PEOPLE THAT MEAN WORDS HAVE A TERRIBLE POWER…AND THAT THEY SHOULD DO ALL THAT THEY CAN TO SEE THAT TEASING STOPS AT THEIR SCHOOL. I just tried it out with another little boy, and he’s in second grade and loving them too! We are taking a picture book segue and reading Arthur by Marc Brown books right now bit will circle back for more funny! One of the ways we help encourage his love for books is by finding series books that pull him in; capture him in the story. THAT BOY CHANGED MY LIFE AND MADE ME FEEL SO UNSAFE AND SO SAD THAT I DIDN’T WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL ANYMORE. I also love the ethnic diversity of the characters which includes the requisite bully and gang!
He likes to listen to them on audio, hear me read them to him and try to read them himself.
But I think kids, after reading Wonder, will realize that they can choose to be Summer, who doesn’t need to be coerced to be kind, or Jack, who will stand up for his friend even if it costs him his friends, or Julian, a bully.
It goes a long way in feeding his strong desire to work on his phonetic development and vocab recognition skills. I am printing this list, sharing it, and adding it to my Greatest List Ever of books we must have read in our house!

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