Saturday, November 14, 2015

Third Grade Chimes in with Their Choics

Third grade always seems to me to be a huge jump for students.  Over the summer, while out of my sight, they grow in many different ways.  They are taller and their faces change.  Most importantly, so many of them come into a strong sense of where they are going and what they are thinking.  This makes their reading habits change.  Some need the security of well loved series from years past and others start test the waters with new genres.  Even the way I collected this list reflects how differently they attack problems.  Some of them wanted to meet as a group to select titles together while others wanted to head off to write their own lists.  The list below is a mix of all of those lists and reflects the individuality of students at this period in their lives.

Picture Books
Yes, third graders appreciate good picture books and are eager to suggest them for their peers and for younger readers as well.  This list is short only because they got so excited by listings of chapter books.
  • Berenstain Bears (Series) by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  • I'm Not Bobby! by Jules Feiffer
  • Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen

Chapter Books
You will notice a wide range of interests and reading challenges here.

  • Sherlock, Lupin and Me (Series) by Irene Alder
  • The Dragon Princess (Series)  by E. D. Baker  This has a fifth grade reading level but readers who do not struggle with the reading will do fine with the stories.  Many students listed this series or individual titles from it.
  • Ivy and Bean (Series) by Annie Barrows  These are very popular with this age and perfect for exploring friendships.
  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (and the rest of the Fudge series) by Judy Blume
  • The Pain and the Great One (Series) by Judy Blume
  • The Enchanted Wood, The Magic Faraway Tree, The Folk of the Faraway Tree or others by Enid Blyton
  • Bad Kitty (Series) by Nick Bruel
  • The Sisters Grimm (Series) by Michael Buckley
  • The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling
  • Summerland by Michael Chabon  
  • Any books by Matt Christopher  These books are about almost every major sport.
  • Ramona and Beezus (and others in the Ramona Series) by Beverly Clearly
  • Land of Stories (Series) by Chris Colfer
  • The Hunger Games  by Suzanne Collins  It will not surprise you that I, and most of the adults I talk to, think that this is better suited for readers in late middle school or older.  There is a great deal of violence and fearful settings.  Many third graders can read all the words and understand most of what is happening but the deeper philosophy of the book will be missed by younger readers so they will get only the adventure and violence.  I would so much rather they wait until the discussion of good and evil will be more meaningful.
  • Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, and  The BFG  by Roald Dahl
  • My Father's Dragon (Series) by Ruth Stiles Gannett
  • Baseball Card Adventures (Series) by Dan Gutman
  • My Weird School (Series) by Dan Gutman
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  • Katie Kazoo (Series) by Nancy E. Krulik
  • Tales of Narnia (The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe) by C. S. Lewis  This got more than one listing.  It is a favorite of many and a little too much for some, but only because of its length and thoughtfulness.
  • Rush Revere (Series) by Rush Limbaugh
  • The Babysitter's Club (Series) by Ann M. Martin
  • The Candy Makers by Wendy Mass
  • Akimbo (Series) by Alexander McCall Smith
  • Judy Moody (Series) by Megan McDonald
  • Stink (Series) by Megan McDonald  These are a little easier to read than the Judy Moody books and tell of the antics of her little brother.
  • Olive Moon (Series) by Sue Mongredien
  • The Magic Tree House (Series) by Mary Pope Osborne
  • Wonder by R. J. Palicio
  • Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish These are often found in the beginning reader section.
  • Timmy Failure by Stephan Pastis
  • Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce  Big Nate appears in both chapter book and graphic formats.  The kids love both formats so this is a good way to transition from reading just graphic novels to reading chapter books with familiar characters.
  • Clementine (Series) by Sara Pennypacker
  • American Chillers and Michigan Chillers (Series) by Johnathan Rand
  • Percy Jackson (Series) by Rick Riordan  These will gain meaning as the reader gets older and learns more about mythologies of the world.  However, they also work the other way around by getting readers to find out more about mythology.
  • All of the  Harry Potter stories by J. K. Rowling  I personally would suggest students wait to read all of the series until they are a bit older as Harry matures through the series and so do his interests and concerns.  Kids can read them but the later books get rather dark for many third and fourth graders.
  • A - Z Mysteries by Rob Roy
  • Encyclopedia Brown (Series) by Donald Sobol
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  • Beware : R. L. Stine Picks His Favorite Scary Stories by R. L. Stine
  • Goosebumps (Series) by R. L. Stine
  • Wings of Fire (Series) by Tui Sutherland
  • I Survived (Series) by Lauren Tarshis
  • Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon  These clever books are part graphic format and part prose.  They lure kids in and are read and reread many times over.
  • Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
  • The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak  Because this is a story of the horrors of  the Holocaust it is generally considered, and I think rightfully so, for high school students and older.  It is a very moving story but I am surprised to find it on a third grade list, especially one that includes Judy Moody and the Magic Tree House.

  • Childhood of Famous Americans by Various Authors  This is a large series of biographies.  They are usually paperback and have a mostly blue cover with red and white lettering.
  • Magnificent Sam : The Amazing Adventures of Sam Houston by Laurie Cockerell  Biographies are very popular with third grade readers.
  • Weird But True (Series) published by National Geographic
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Comic Books and Graphic Novels
  • Fox Trot by Bill Amend
  • Garfield (Series) by Jim Davis
  • Tin Tin by Herge
  • Amulet  (Series) by Kazu Kibuishi
  • The Croc Ate My Homework by Stephan Pastis
  • Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce
  • Sidekicks by Dan Santat
  • Smile by Raina Telgemeier  The only problem with reading Smile at this age is that the other Telegemeier books are really written for somewhat older readers.
  • Cardboardby Doug TenNapel  I found this a big scary but I don't see our readers being upset by it.
  • Calvin and Hobbes  by Bill Watterson

Subject Areas
  • Any book illustrated by Garth Williams (Some of these inlcude The Cricket in Times Square, The Little House books, Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, Bedtime for Frances, and many more.)
  • Basketball
  • Dogs and Puppies
  • Dragon Ball 
  • Dragon Drawing 
  • Fantasy
  • How To 
  • How To Annoy Little Brothers and Sisters
  • Lego
  • Mine Craft
  • Mystery
  • Origami
  • Short Stories

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