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Top 10 3rd Grade Reading Books: Popular Picks for Kids

Are you searching for fantastic books that will captivate 3rd graders? Picture this: your child eagerly seeking a new adventure in the pages of a book, but unsure where to begin. No need to fret! We’ve got just the solution. In this guide, we’ll unveil the top 10 picks for 3rd grade reading books, guaranteed to enchant and entertain young readers. From thrilling escapades to hilarious antics, these books promise an exciting journey through the world of literature. Join us as we embark on a quest to discover the perfect reads for your young bookworm!

Top 10 3rd Grade Reading Books: Popular Picks for Kids

List of 3rd Grade Reading Books

3rd Grade Reading BooksDateAuthorGenre
Charlotte’s Web1952E.B. WhiteFantasy | Friendship
Magic Tree House Series1992 – PresentMary Pope OsborneMary Pope Osborne
Diary of a Wimpy Kid2007Jeff KinneyHumor | Graphic Novel
The BFG1982Roald DahlFantasy | Adventure
The Tale of Despereaux2003Kate DiCamilloFantasy | Adventure
Matilda1988Roald DahlFantasy | Humor
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe1950C.S. LewisFantasy | Adventure
Junie B. Jones Series1992 – 2013Barbara ParkHumor | Realistic Fiction
The Boxcar Children Series1924 – PresentGertrude Chandler WarnerMystery | Adventure
Stuart Little1945E.B. WhiteFantasy | Adventure

If you don’t have these books at hand and want to find some English reading materials for your third grade child, you can download Wukong’s English reading resources for free.

1. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (1952)

1. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White (1952)

Genre: Fantasy | Friendship

“Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White is a beloved classic that has been enchanting readers since its publication in 1952. This heartwarming tale centers around a pig named Wilbur and his unlikely friendship with a spider named Charlotte. Wilbur is the runt of the litter and is saved from slaughter by a kind-hearted girl named Fern. However, as he grows, his life is once again in danger. Enter Charlotte, a wise and gentle spider, who weaves words into her webs to save Wilbur by making him famous. Through her clever messages, Charlotte highlights the themes of friendship, loyalty, and self-sacrifice. 

White’s eloquent prose and the book’s touching storyline make “Charlotte’s Web” a timeless read for third graders. The book teaches valuable life lessons while immersing young readers in a beautifully crafted world of talking animals and farmyard adventures.

2. The Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne (1992 – Present)

The Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne

Genre: Adventure | Historical Fiction

Mary Pope Osborne’s “Magic Tree House” series is a fantastic introduction to chapter books for third graders. Since the first book was published in 1992, the series has grown to include over 30 books, each one taking siblings Jack and Annie on magical adventures through time and space. In each book, the tree house whisks the duo away to a different historical period or geographical location, from the age of dinosaurs to ancient Egypt, to the moon and beyond. Osborne’s engaging storytelling combined with educational elements makes the series a hit among young readers. Each adventure is packed with facts about history, science, and geography, making learning fun and exciting. 

The “Magic Tree House” books are perfect for sparking curiosity and a love of reading in children, offering a blend of adventure, fantasy, and education.

3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (2007)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (2007)

Genre: Humor | Graphic Novel

Jeff Kinney’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series revolutionized children’s literature with its blend of humor and illustrations. The first book, published in 2007, introduces readers to Greg Heffley, a middle schooler navigating the challenges of adolescence. Written in a diary format with hand-drawn illustrations, the book is relatable and laugh-out-loud funny, making it highly appealing to third graders. Greg’s humorous take on his daily life, from dealing with his family and friends to surviving school, resonates with young readers. The series addresses common issues like bullying, peer pressure, and the struggle to fit in, all while maintaining a light-hearted tone. Kinney’s unique storytelling style and the book’s visual appeal make it a great choice for reluctant readers. 

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid” not only entertains but also encourages kids to express themselves and see the funny side of everyday situations.

4. The BFG by Roald Dahl (1982)

The BFG by Roald Dahl (1982)

Genre: Fantasy | Adventure

“The BFG” by Roald Dahl, published in 1982, is a magical story that takes readers on a fantastical adventure with Sophie, a young orphan, and the Big Friendly Giant (BFG). Unlike other giants, the BFG is gentle and spends his nights blowing good dreams into children’s bedrooms. When Sophie discovers the BFG’s secret, they form a unique bond and embark on a mission to stop the other giants who are not so friendly. Dahl’s imaginative storytelling and Quentin Blake’s whimsical illustrations create a captivating world where dreams and reality intertwine. The book’s themes of courage, friendship, and the triumph of good over evil resonate deeply with young readers. 

“The BFG” encourages children to embrace their differences and believe in the power of kindness. Dahl’s playful language and the book’s adventurous plot make it a delightful read for third graders, sparking their imagination and love for reading.

5. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (2003)

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (2003)

Genre: Fantasy | Adventure

Kate DiCamillo’s “The Tale of Despereaux,” published in 2003, is an enchanting story about an unlikely hero—a tiny mouse with big ears named Despereaux. Born different from other mice, Despereaux loves music, stories, and a human princess named Pea. His courage and love for Pea lead him on a daring quest to save her from the darkness of the dungeon. DiCamillo weaves a rich tapestry of themes including bravery, forgiveness, and the power of light over darkness. The narrative is divided into four books within the novel, each focusing on different characters whose lives intersect in surprising ways. 

The lyrical prose and charming illustrations by Timothy Basil Ering add depth to the story, making it a compelling read for third graders. “The Tale of Despereaux” teaches children about the importance of being true to oneself and standing up for what is right. 

DiCamillo’s masterful storytelling ensures that this book remains a favorite among young readers, inspiring them to embark on their own journeys of bravery and kindness.

6. Matilda by Roald Dahl (1988)

Matilda by Roald Dahl (1988)

Genre: Fantasy | Humor

Roald Dahl’s “Matilda,” published in 1988, is a delightful story about an extraordinary young girl with a passion for reading and a remarkable intellect. Despite her neglectful and often cruel parents, Matilda discovers her love for books at an early age, teaching herself to read before attending school. Her intelligence and special telekinetic powers come to the forefront when she starts school under the tyrannical rule of Miss Trunchbull, the headmistress. With the help of her kind and supportive teacher, Miss Honey, Matilda stands up to the injustices around her. Dahl’s witty and engaging storytelling, combined with Quentin Blake’s distinctive illustrations, create a captivating tale that resonates with readers of all ages. “Matilda” celebrates the triumph of good over evil and the power of knowledge and kindness. 

The book’s humor and clever plot twists make it an enjoyable read for third graders, inspiring them to value education and resilience.

7. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (1950)

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (1950)

Genre: Fantasy | Adventure

“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” the first book published in C.S. Lewis’s “The Chronicles of Narnia” series in 1950, is a timeless fantasy that has enchanted readers for generations. The story follows four siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy—who stumble upon a magical wardrobe that leads them to the fantastical land of Narnia. In Narnia, they encounter mythical creatures, talking animals, and the malevolent White Witch, who has cast the land into eternal winter. With the help of the noble lion Aslan, the children embark on a quest to overthrow the Witch and restore peace to Narnia. Lewis’s rich imagination and vivid descriptions bring the magical world to life, while the themes of bravery, redemption, and the battle between good and evil captivate young readers. 

“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” offers an immersive reading experience that encourages third graders to explore themes of courage, loyalty, and faith.

8. Junie B. Jones Series by Barbara Park (1992 – 2013)

Junie B. Jones Series by Barbara Park (1992 - 2013)

Genre: Humor | Realistic Fiction

Barbara Park’s “Junie B. Jones” series, which began in 1992 and concluded in 2013, is a delightful collection of humorous stories that capture the everyday adventures of Junie B. Jones, a spirited kindergartener. The series consists of over 30 books, each one portraying Junie B.’s humorous and sometimes mischievous perspective on school and family life. Park’s engaging writing style and relatable character make these books perfect for young readers. Junie B.’s experiences with friendships, school challenges, and family dynamics are both funny and heartwarming. 

The series not only entertains but also addresses important themes such as honesty, kindness, and growing up. With its light-hearted tone and accessible language, the “Junie B. Jones” series is ideal for third graders transitioning to chapter books, encouraging them to enjoy reading while learning valuable life lessons.

9. The Boxcar Children Series by Gertrude Chandler Warner (1924 – Present)

The Boxcar Children Series by Gertrude Chandler Warner (1924 - Present)

Genre: Mystery | Adventure

Gertrude Chandler Warner’s “The Boxcar Children” series, starting with the first book published in 1924, has been captivating young readers for nearly a century. The series follows the adventures of four orphaned siblings—Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny—who make a home for themselves in an abandoned boxcar. The children’s resourcefulness, independence, and strong family bond are central themes that resonate with readers. As the series progresses, the siblings solve various mysteries, showcasing their detective skills and teamwork. Warner’s simple yet engaging writing style makes the books accessible to young readers, while the intriguing plots keep them hooked. 

The “Boxcar Children” series not only provides thrilling adventures but also teaches important values such as cooperation, perseverance, and compassion. With over 150 books in the series, young readers have an extensive collection to explore, ensuring endless hours of reading enjoyment.

10. Stuart Little by E.B. White (1945)

Stuart Little by E.B. White (1945)

Genre: Fantasy | Adventure

E.B. White’s “Stuart Little,” published in 1945, is a charming story about a brave and adventurous mouse born to a human family in New York City. Despite his small size, Stuart embarks on a series of adventures, from navigating the perils of the family home to setting out on a journey to find his friend Margalo, a bird who has mysteriously disappeared. White’s gentle humor and imaginative storytelling make Stuart’s adventures both entertaining and inspiring. 

The book’s themes of friendship, determination, and the quest for identity are beautifully woven into the narrative, making it a timeless read for young readers. Stuart’s courage and resourcefulness teach children the importance of perseverance and believing in oneself. Garth Williams’ classic illustrations complement White’s prose, adding to the book’s charm. “Stuart Little” remains a beloved classic that continues to delight and inspire third graders, encouraging them to embark on their own adventures and embrace their unique qualities.

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FAQs on 3rd Grade Reading Books

Q1: How can I help my child choose 3rd grade reading books?

A: Encourage your child to explore various genres, such as fantasy, adventure, and mystery. Visit the library together and let them pick books that interest them.

Q2: What should I consider when selecting 3rd grade reading books?

A: Look for books that match your child’s reading level and interests. Books with engaging illustrations and relatable characters can also enhance their reading experience.

Q3: Why are 3rd grade reading books important?

A: Reading at this level helps improve vocabulary, comprehension, and critical thinking skills, setting a strong foundation for future learning.


In this article, we’ve highlighted the best 3rd grade reading books to spark your child’s interest in reading. These top 10 books cover a range of exciting genres and themes, perfect for young readers. Additionally, WuKong ELA offers fantastic English reading and writing courses for kids from kindergarten to grade 6. With flexible class times, experienced teachers, and a curriculum that meets international standards, WuKong ELA helps improve your child’s reading and critical thinking skills. By choosing these great books and enrolling in WuKong ELA, you can ensure your child has a fun and successful learning experience.

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