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Third grade readers will continue to enjoy series fiction with familiar characters. They may still enjoy be read to, but have less interest in picture books, preferring to stick with chapter books.
Check with the local library to see if they are hosting a summer reading program and join in or check Barnes & Noble's Summer Reading program. B&N offers a free book for each child who reads 8 books and tracks them on the sheet from the website or store. If you do not have access to either of these programs, create your own summer reading program in which the child records the titles and authors of books read along with their favorite part of the book.
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White (Must Read)
Fern loves Wilbur, the little pig who is the runt of the litter. Wilbur's best friend is Charlotte, a spider in the barn where he lives. Kids will love this story of unusual friendships.
The Zack Files: Great Grandpa's in the Litter Box by Dan Greenburg
Ten year old Zack seems to end up in very interesting situations. When he tries to adopt a kitten, he ends up with an old cat who claims to be his great grandfather - reincarnated!
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
Ramona is in third grade and having a rough time of it. Children will easily relate to the experiences and feelings of this vivacious eight year old.
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
Billy makes the disgusting bet that he will eat fifteen worms in fifteen days in order to get $50 for a new bike. Yes, his recipes are disgusting, but you can bet your child will be laughing as Billy tries to make worms as palatable as possible.
Top Secret by John Reynolds Gardiner
Allen Brewster plans to do his school science project on the discovery of human photosynthesis, but his teacher assigns him a lipstick project instead. Does this stop Allen from experimenting with chlorophyll? Nope, and the results are hilarious.
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
This is historical fiction for kids. Sarah lives in the Midwest in the late 19th century and takes care of the children of a widower. Abandonment, love, and loss are all themes explored in this novel.
Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner (Must Read)
Willy is determined to win a dog sled race. He must beat Stone Fox, a quiet Native American, in order to win and save his grandfather's farm. This story is very suspenseful and emotional.
Geronimo Stilton: The Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye by Geronimo Stilton
Geronimo Stilton is a mouse and author of his own adventure series. In this first book, Geronimo's sister, Thea, discovers a treasure map. Of course they then set out to find the treasure!
Forest Explorer: A Life-sized Field Guide by Nic Bishop
A photographic guide to wildlife in the forest offers life-sized pictures with an occasional magnified section. Animals, plants, and insects are all shown and described in detail.
My Dog, My Hero by Betsy Byars
Eight short stories are offered as contestants for the most heroic dog contest. This is an interesting read because each story is told in a different voice - that of each dog's owner. This is a great piece for discussing how the writing reflects the different characters.
The Monster's Ring: A Magic Shop Book by Bruce Coville
Twist the ring and you might just become a monster... Russell needs a costume for a Halloween party and ends up with the magic ring. A great book for introducing the fantasy genre to young readers.
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Matilda's parents are not very nice, but Matilda is special. She uses her gifts to deal with her parents and the nasty Miss Trunchbull, her school principal. Kids will cheer when justice is served.