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. 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.
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! April 27, 2015 Pin11K Share584 +11 Tweet27 StumbleThis 5th grade summer reading list was fun to put together. The Toothpaste Millionaire.A The practical side of math is highlighted when sixth-graders Rufus and Kate decide to invent a superior toothpaste, sell it and make their fortunes. Summerhouse TimeA is a free verse novel, which if you’ve been following my book lists, you might have noticed verse novels are my favorite type of book these days.
Under the EggA is part mystery, part treasure hunt, part friendship story and a suspenseful, engaging read. Surviving the Applewhites.A Jake has gotten kicked out of his last school and now has come to live with the eccentric, artistic, homeschooling Applewhite family. My daughter is heading into 5th grade in the fall, and these look like some great suggestions! We just finished the Applewhites as a read aloud (wonderful book) and Out of Dust was a very sad but memorable read.
Holocaust is a heavy subject for fifth graders and my girls explored it in the most gentle of ways.
Of the almost 500 Jews deported to Theresienstadt, all but 51 survived due in large part to the Danish government’s intercession on their behalf.
There are so many wonderful Grace Lin chapter books for this age, but if you only read one, this is my pick.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon blends Chinese folk tales and mythology into a story of friendship, adventure and hope when a young girl, MinLi, must leave her poor and desolate rural village to improve her family’s fortune. Both my girls said that this was the only read aloud they can recall and it is also one of my favorite books as kid though I only had fuzzy pleasant memory of the book and couldn’t recall the exact plot. This ingenious fantasy centers around Milo, a bored ten-year-old who comes home to find a large toy tollbooth sitting in his room.
My kids have a lot of special needs classmates and PickyKidPix in particular was drawn to stories about walking in those shoes. Richard Peck is one of my favorite authors and I chose this one because it really stuck with me.


I’m a big fan of Sharon Creech, especially Walk Two Moons and Love that Dog which I read as read alouds in earlier grades! One of my favorite reads for 5th grade was The One and Only Ivan–I absolutely LOVE that book. That’s so great that you are doing school visits Nancy and clearly the kids are getting a lot out of them! Multicultural Children’s Book Day Jan 27thMulticultural Children's Book Day is January 27th! This program includes five weeks of classroom instruction and stimulating activities led by an experienced teacher, engaging materials that provide instruction at home between the weekly lessons, and reading aloud in the best picture books ever written. This webpage contains the privacy policy governing the use of information gathered on this website.
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. First published 40 years ago, Jean Merrill’s book (she also wrote The Pushcart War) is still a highly entertaining celebration of the imaginative spirit.
Every book in the series has tons of adventure, twist and turns, loads of intelligent humor and a satisfying ending. My daughter and I have read a bunch but there are many new-to-us titles on here too that I can’t wait to explore.
She has already read Under the Egg, so we are thinking of doing Chasing Vermeer and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs.
It’s the first step in a chain reaction that bring a community of diversity nationalities together. Grasshopper and Sensei highly recommends this chapter book that shows the power of staying true to yourself in a feel great (not just good!) story where the underdog is actually the coolest kid at school. I just remembered that it had an Alice in Wonderland fantasy feel to it but was much more entertaining. Joining forces with a watchdog named Tock, Milo drives through the tollbooth’s gates and begins a memorable journey. This is the sequel to A Long Way from Chicago which also shows up on many 5th grade reading lists, but Grandma Dowdel is the star of this chapter book and someone you’d want as your own, indomitable grandmother. I also recently read and liked The Boy on the Porch (though it felt more adult oriented) and The Great Unexpected.
It works well for a read aloud for younger kids too, but its publication happened to coincide with my daughter’s year in 5th.
My son and I are reading the final Rick Riordan book and I don’t know who is more excited: me or him! I love it when authors sneak in rich language such that my child has to puzzle out the word!
As a result, your child will be prepared for kindergarten and get off to a strong start in school. 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. Unfortunately pirates don’t take young ladies into their ranks and she is sent off to finishing school.
Instead of being chaperoned by other families on the journey, she unexpectedly finds herself alone with the crew and becomes entangled in a nail-biting and dangerous adventure. After reading this book, don’t be surprised to see your kid start up a new entrepreneurial endeavor using his or her math skills!
Her hunt takes her all over New York City, into the past, and introduces her to a diverse group ofA new friends.
The feisty princesses also make an appearance and by the end of the book it is hard not to laugh out loud at the lovable foolishness of the princes’ exploits. He is starting a new school and gets an artistic new babysitter, who connects with him on a creative level. We met Sharon Draper that year too who was here on behalf of Understanding Our Differences. When she joins an academic competition school team, she’s the ringer that can help bring her team victory, but can they get past her special need and see her for who is really is? Mary Alice spends the year with her in this sleepy little town but there is a lot going on.
She loved it so much that she had her teacher do it as a read aloud for their Montessori class (combined 4th & 5th grade)! I thought The Great Unexpected was one of Sharon Creech’s best works and I was shocked that it didn’t wrack up a pile of awards! 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. Ada, born with a club foot, has never left theA apartment that she shares with her younger brother and cruelA mother.
Right before her 13th birthday party, her father has an accident and Mibs is convinced that her power will heal him. Dini loves Bollywood movies but when her mother announces they are going to live in India, she is disappointed they will be living in a small village instead of Bombay. Sophie looks forward to swapping secrets with her favorite cousin, trips to the donut shop and hanging out at the beach. When the family has to pull together to get the show up after they are blackballed by a local stage mom, the results are hilariously successful. At his new school he finds sympathetic teachers who help him navigate his learning delays.A He and his parents are still trying to understand each other. In free verse, she describes the difficulties of poverty, having a distant father, and the tragic accident of her mother’s death which also damaged her own hands so she is no longer able to play the piano. And English class doesna€™t make life any better, as she has to write a nonfiction book on anythinga€”anythinga€”by the end of the term. We weren’t allowed to read two of the stories at school so I found it at the public library and checked it out to read them. The realistic ending makes the reader a champion for special needs kids and that is what makes this book so powerful.
The backdrop is the Great Depression but the adventures that seem to find Grandma Dowdel and Mary Alice are laugh-out-loud funny. It’s a perfect story to read aloud, taking the entire class on a journey along with thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle that is both a geographic and an emotional one. They were inspired by the fact that my Corgi, Wilbur, inspired the book, but they also were so enthusiastic about learning about art. THAT BOY CHANGED MY LIFE AND MADE ME FEEL SO UNSAFE AND SO SAD THAT I DIDN’T WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL ANYMORE.
10 year old Flora, a self-proclaimed cynic and comic book reader becomes friends with this new superhero, and even opens up her cynical heart. When her mother sends her brother out of London to the countryside at the start of WWII, Ada runs away with him. I really enjoy how the story reinforces the necessity of cooperation when putting on a play. In other words, life is challenging for Albie, but he is learning about life and how he can succeed in the world, despite his difficulties. How can anyone survive this awkward, challenging, and at times just plain miserable period of life?
My oldest did a book club using Uglies but she didn’t seem to warm to the series but I hear it is a popular one. 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.
This book has loads of humor, quirky characters, a dynamic heroine, and all the qualities of a fantastic summer read.
The novel uses comic strip style illustrations to tell parts of the story and is wonderfully funny as well as touching.
In the country they begin to make a new life with Susan, a woman who reluctantly takes them in.
But Lily thinks the answer is just that: to write about middle school nightmares, and deal with cliques, crushes, bullies, friend fights, and more.
This is one of the best books I have read in recent months, with interesting historical details and a compelling narrative voice. She’s currently almost done with The Giver series and it’s so hard to find books that she likes!



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