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.

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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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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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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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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
This poignant novel is one of the best around.
By Kate DiCamillo
(2005)
(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 an orphan's search for home.
By Christopher Paul Curtis
(2004)
(1999)
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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 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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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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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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Harriet the Spy Book Poster Image
Great young sleuth helps kids be true to themselves.
By Louise Fitzhugh
(2003)
(1964)
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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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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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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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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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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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