Third Grade Reading List: Books at the 3rd Grade Reading Level

Supplemental reading can help your third grader build on skills he or she is already learning in the classroom, like recognizing themes, analyzing characters and building vocabulary. Encourage your child to read any of the following books, which include historical fiction, detective stories, fantasy and adventure.

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Third Grade Reading Skills

By third grade, your child is developing such critical thinking skills as finding main ideas and supporting details, explaining character development and using context to define unfamiliar words. Your child may also understand the difference between his or her own perspective and those of the characters or narrator. Here are some suggestions for supplemental reading.

Book List for Third Grade

1. Smells Like Dog by Suzanne Selfors

Homer Pudding is an average country boy who dreams of being a treasure hunter like his Uncle Drake. When Uncle Drake vanishes, Homer inherits his lazy, clumsy basset hound that has lost its sense of smell. The dog wears a clue around its neck that sends Homer on a quest for elusive pirate treasure. This book may delight fans of adventure stories.

2. The Encyclopedia Brown Series by Donald J. Sobol

Mystery lovers may enjoy this series, which began with Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective in 1963. These books require careful reading because each one is divided into several short mysteries that contain a factual or logical error. The reader must identify the error in order to solve the mystery, but solutions are given at the end. In these stories, Encyclopedia solves mysteries for his police chief father, outsmarts the local bully and works on cases with his friend Sally.

3. Noonie's Masterpiece by Lisa Railsback

Nobody understands 10-year-old Noonie's talent. She's an aspiring artist who moves in with her aunt, uncle and cousin after the death of her mother. The book follows Noonie's struggle to find her place in her new household. This story addresses topics that you can discuss with your child, like art and human relationships.

4. Half Magic by Edward Eager

Siblings Jane, Martha, Mark and Katherine are having a boring summer. One day, they find a magical coin that grants half of each wish they make. This leads to a series of misadventures, until the children figure out that they have to double up their wishes. This is the first book in the classic Tales of Magic fantasy series.

5. The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick

This fictional Civil War story is about a young boy named Homer who runs away from his mean uncle to find and rescue his older brother, whom his uncle sold to the Union Army. Homer narrates - and exaggerates - the account of his journey and the many unusual situations he encounters. However, he also learns lessons about war and slavery. You can read this book with your child to discuss issues related to the Civil War.

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