Third Grade Read-Aloud Novels

Third grade is upon us! One of my favorite parts of planning for the school year ahead is picking out the books Maddie and I will read together. We’ve already read many classics and are looking forward to adding more to our list this school year.

Books We’ve Already Read & Recommend for Third Grade:

The books mentioned above are some of our favorites! I highly recommend you read those with your first graders and beyond!

Books We Will Be Reading This Year

The One and Only Ivan
by Katherine Applegate

Synopsis: Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living in a shopping mall, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.

Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting.

Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.

Age Range: 8-10 years
Grade Level: 3-7

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
by Kate DiCamillo

Synopsis: Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost. . . . Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. Along the way, we are shown a miracle — that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.

Age Range: 7+
Grade Level: 2-5

Because of Winn-Dixie
by Kate DiCamillo

Synopsis: One summer’s day, ten-year-old India Opal Buloni goes down to the local supermarket for some groceries—and comes home with a dog. But Winn-Dixie is no ordinary dog. It’s because of Winn-Dixie that Opal begins to make friends. And it’s because of Winn-Dixie that she finally dares to ask her father about her mother, who left when Opal was three. In fact, as Opal admits, just about everything that happens that summer is because of Winn-Dixie. 

Age Range: 8-10 years
Grade Level: 4-7

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
by L. Frank Baum

Synopsis: “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” follows the magical adventure of Dorothy, a young girl who lives with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry on a farm in Kansas. One day when Dorothy is caught up in tornado with her little dog, Toto, she finds her farmhouse has been magically transplanted to Munchkin Country in the mystical Land of Oz. Her house lands on the evil Wicked Witch of the East, killing her, and freeing the Munchkins from her rule. As a reward the Good Witch of the North gives Dorothy the magical Silver Shoes that belonged to the Witch and sets her on her way down the yellow brick road to the Emerald City to ask the Wizard for help in returning to Kansas. Along the way she meets several interesting characters including the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion who join her on her travels to ask the Wizard for help of their own. The journey is not without peril though, as the Wicked Witch of the West, who wants revenge for the killing of her sister and to regain the magical Silver Shoes, unleashes numerous dangers against Dorothy and her companions.

Age Range: 4-10 years
Grade Level: 3-6

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
by C.S. Lewis

Synopsis: Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.

Age Range: 5-10 years
Grade Level: 3-6

Ella Enchanted
by Gail Carson Levine

Synopsis: At her birth, Ella of Frell receives a foolish fairy’s gift—the “gift” of obedience. Ella must obey any order, whether it’s to hop on one foot for a day and a half, or to chop off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not accept her fate…

Against a bold backdrop of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse forever.

Age Range: 9-12 years
Grade Level: 3-7

by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Synopsis: When Marty Preston comes across a young beagle in the hills behind his home, it’s love at first sight—and also big trouble. It turns out the dog, which Marty names Shiloh, belongs to Judd Travers, who drinks too much and has a gun—and abuses his dogs. So when Shiloh runs away from Judd to Marty, Marty just has to hide him and protect him from Judd. But Marty’s secret becomes too big for him to keep to himself, and it exposes his entire family to Judd’s anger. How far will Marty have to go to make Shiloh his?

Age Range: 8-11 years
Grade Level: 3-7

The Amazing Panda Adventure
by Todd Strasser / Jeff Rothberg

Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Ryan has never cared about saving pandas. That’s always been his father’s job. In fact, Ryan’s father seems to care more about the pandas than he cares about his son. But when Ryan goes to visit his father, the pandas’ troubles become his own. Poachers have stolen a cub from its mother. Without her, the cub will die. Once Ryan lays eyes on the cub, he can’t help but get involved. With his father injured and poachers on the trail, it’s up to Ryan to save the little panda. He risks his own life for the cub and discovers that there are some things worth fighting for. *Book adapted from the movie!*

Age Range: 9-12 years
Grade Level: 4-6

by Louis Sachar

Synopsis: Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes. It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.

Age Range: 9+
Grade Level: 5-6

*This one might still be a bit old for Madeline on her own, but I think she will definitely enjoy it as a read-aloud.

Saving Winslow
by Sharon Creech

Synopsis: Louie doesn’t have the best luck when it comes to nurturing small creatures. So when his father brings home a sickly newborn mini donkey, he’s determined to save him. He names him Winslow. Taking care of him helps Louie feel closer to his brother, Gus, who is far, far away in the army.
Everyone worries that Winslow won’t survive, especially Louie’s quirky new friend, Nora, who has experienced loss of her own. But as Louie’s bond with Winslow grows, surprising and life-altering events prove that this fragile donkey is stronger than anyone could have imagined.

Age Range: 8-9 years
Grade Level: 3-7

Stone Fox
by John Reynolds Gardiner

Synopsis: Based on a Rocky Mountain legend, Stone Fox tells the story of Little Willy, who lives with his grandfather in Wyoming. When Grandfather falls ill, he is no longer able to work the farm, which is in danger of foreclosure. Little Willy is determined to win the National Dogsled Race—the prize money would save the farm and his grandfather. But he isn’t the only one who desperately wants to win. Willy and his brave dog Searchlight must face off against experienced racers, including a Native American man named Stone Fox, who has never lost a race.

Age Range: 8-10 years
Grade Level: 2-6

There you have it. Those are our reading picks for this year. In addition to the books listed above, Maddie will have independent reading where she will enjoy favorite series like The Magic Treehouse, The School of Good & Evil, Junie B. Jones, Goosebumps, and more. Reading is a huge part of our focus as homeschoolers and I’m so lucky that she really loves it!

What will you and your elementary-aged kids be reading this year? I’m always looking for more books to add to our rotation, too!

Have a great school year, everyone!!!

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