Best Books for Third Graders

As kids age 8 and 9 get deeper into the world of chapter books, they begin to discover the genres that most appeal to them, from sci-fi, horror, and fantasy to mystery, history, and adventure. From beloved classics to more recent sensations, these relatable books will be a hit with your third grader. There are also plenty of graphic novels and funny tales that are perfect to hook reluctant readers and get them hungry for other types of books. Take a look at our list and see what might grab your young reader. Once they're done, try the Best Books for Fourth Graders.

Browse Best Books for Third Graders

Amari and the Night Brothers Book Poster Image
Girl finds her magic in fun fantasy full of surprises.
By B.B. Alston
(2021)
(2021)
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Black Brother, Black Brother Book Poster Image
Boy challenges school bully in exciting sports story.
By Jewell Parker Rhodes
(2020)
(2020)
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The City of Ember Book Poster Image
Part fantasy, part mystery, part treasure hunt.
By Jeanne DuPrau
(2004)
(2004)
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Coraline Book Poster Image
Strange, surreal tale sure to creep kids out.
By Neil Gaiman
(2004)
(2004)
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Dragons in a Bag, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Exciting tale of New York kid's journey to magical world.
By Zetta Elliott
(2020)
(2018)
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Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures Book Poster Image
Funny, poignant tale of cynical girl, superpowered squirrel.
By Kate DiCamillo
(2013)
(2013)
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From the Desk of Zoe Washington Book Poster Image
Girl works to clear her father of a crime in smart tale.
By Janae Marks
(2020)
(2020)
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Gone Crazy in Alabama Book Poster Image
Harrowing tale of Gaither girls' summer in the South.
By Rita Williams-Garcia
(2015)
(2015)
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James and the Giant Peach Book Poster Image
Lonely boy's magical adventure still satisfies.
By Roald Dahl
(2011)
(1961)
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The One and Only Ivan Book Poster Image
Heartwarming story of a heroic, artistic, captive gorilla.
By Katherine Applegate
(2012)
(2012)
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Simon B. Rhymin' Book Poster Image
Fun novel about boy whose creativity sparks his empathy.
By Dwayne Reed
(2021)
(2021)
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Things Seen from Above Book Poster Image
Kids discover a quirky loner's talent in lovely, kind story.
By Shelley Pearsall
(2020)
(2020)
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Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky: Tristan Strong, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Teen connects with African folklore in exciting fantasy.
By Kwame Mbalia
(2019)
(2019)
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What Was? Series Book Poster Image
Exceptional, relevant series brings history to life.
By Who HQ, et al.
(2019)
(2018)
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When You Trap a Tiger Book Poster Image
Superb family tale of loss has mystery, folklore, sadness.
By Tae Keller
(2021)
(2020)
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Where Is? Series Book Poster Image
Interesting, fun facts about natural and human-made places.
By Who HQ, et al.
(2019)
(2015)
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Who Was? Series Book Poster Image
Exceptional biography series teaches history, culture, too.
By Who HQ, et al.
(2019)
(2014)
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A Wish in the Dark Book Poster Image
Dazzling, Thai-inspired riff on Les Mis has big heart.
By Christina Soontornvat
(2021)
(2021)
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Anne of Green Gables Book Poster Image
Beloved classic features lovable, imaginative heroine.
By L.M. Montgomery
(2011)
(1908)
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Artemis Fowl, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Witty and exciting series start with irresistible antihero.
By Eoin Colfer
(2014)
(2001)
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The Bad Beginning: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1 Book Poster Image
A cliff-hanging orphan adventure wrapped in black humor.
By Lemony Snicket
(2004)
(1999)
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Because of Winn-Dixie Book Poster Image
Stray dog helps lonely girl find friends in lovely tale.
By Kate DiCamillo
(2010)
(2000)
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Big Nate: In a Class by Himself: Big Nate, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Milder than Wimpy Kid and a sure hit with boys.
By Lincoln Peirce
(2010)
(2010)
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Bridge to Terabithia Book Poster Image
Honest, moving story of friendship and loss.
By Katherine Paterson
(2006)
(1977)
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Bud, Not Buddy Book Poster Image
Well-crafted tale of orphan boy's search for home.
By Christopher Paul Curtis
(2004)
(1999)
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Cape: The League of Secret Heroes, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Tween superheroes battle Nazis, prejudice in exciting story.
By Kate Hannigan
(2019)
(2019)
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City Spies Book Poster Image
Diverse young, skilled misfits team up in exciting spy romp.
By James Ponti
(2020)
(2020)
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Clean Getaway Book Poster Image
Boy and grandma's thrilling ride through U.S., family past.
By Nic Stone
(2020)
(2020)
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The Crossover Book Poster Image
Soaring, poignant, novel in verse hits all the right spots.
By Kwame Alexander
(2014)
(2014)
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Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Laugh-out-loud-funny series start tucks lessons in stories.
By Jeff Kinney
(2007)
(2007)
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El Deafo Book Poster Image
Charming, funny comics memoir of growing up deaf.
By Cece Bell
(2014)
(2014)
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Fly on the Wall Book Poster Image
Funny graphic novel hybrid about friendship, communication.
By Remy Lai
(2020)
(2020)
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Flying Over Water Book Poster Image
Refugee friendship tale has strong tolerance, faith message.
By N.H. Senzai, Shannon Hitchcock
(2020)
(2020)
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Front Desk, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Immigrant kid tackles racism, bullying in powerful tale.
By Kelly Yang
(2019)
(2018)
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The Graveyard Book Book Poster Image
Tale of boy raised by ghosts is both creepy and warmhearted.
By Neil Gaiman
(2008)
(2008)
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Harriet the Spy Book Poster Image
Great young sleuth helps kids be true to themselves.
By Louise Fitzhugh
(2003)
(1964)
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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Book Poster Image
Third Potter is darker, more complex, and fantastic.
By J. K. Rowling
(2005)
(1999)
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Hello, Universe Book Poster Image
Charming tale of friendship, courage, and self-acceptance.
By Erin Entrada Kelly
(2017)
(2017)
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The Hobbit Book Poster Image
Brilliantly written, inventive pre-LOTR tale.
By J.R.R. Tolkien
(2011)
(1937)
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The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Greek myths meet fast-paced adventure in boy-demigod tale.
By Rick Riordan
(2005)
(2005)
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Merci Suarez Changes Gears Book Poster Image
Upbeat coming-of-age story explores culture, class, aging.
By Meg Medina
(2018)
(2018)
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Middle School: Get Me Out of Here! Book Poster Image
Real middle school issues mix with lots of humor.
By James Patterson, Chris Tebbetts
(2012)
(2012)
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The Mysterious Benedict Society Book Poster Image
Suspenseful mystery with a Lemony Snicket vibe.
By Trenton Lee Stewart
(2007)
(2007)
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P.S. Be Eleven Book Poster Image
Tween coming-of-age set amid shifting family, '60s dynamics.
By Rita Williams-Garcia
(2013)
(2013)
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A Place to Hang the Moon Book Poster Image
Bookish orphan sibs seek family in old-school WWII tale.
By Kate Albus
(2021)
(2021)
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Sanity & Tallulah Book Poster Image
Lively graphic novel offers smart-girl adventures in space.
By Molly Brooks
(2018)
(2018)
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Sarah, Plain and Tall Book Poster Image
Warm family story of children's wish for a mother.
By Patricia MacLachlan
(2013)
(1985)
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Shuri: A Black Panther Novel, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Bold princess shines in African superhero adventure.
By Nic Stone
(2020)
(2020)
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Sisters Book Poster Image
Funny, moving memoir should appeal to younger comics fans.
By Raina Telgemeier
(2014)
(2014)
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Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing Book Poster Image
Toddler antics bug brother, amuse readers in 1st Fudge book.
By Judy Blume
(2011)
(1972)
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A Wolf Called Wander Book Poster Image
Exciting, vivid fictionalized autobiography of famed wolf.
By Rosanne Parry
(2019)
(2019)
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Wonderstruck Book Poster Image
Inventive story of runaways in New York, 50 years apart.
By Brian Selznick
(2011)
(2011)
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A Wrinkle in Time Book Poster Image
Classic sci-fi story still inspires and gets kids thinking.
By Madeleine L'Engle
(2003)
(1962)
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