19 Best Chapter Books For Third Graders In 2024, As Per Reading Expert

Once your little one grows up and is ready to attend third grade, they should be able to read and understand stories. The best chapter books for 3rd graders can help instill a love of reading in children. To learn how to read and write without much effort, they must have the right books, and chapter books are great for training children to read longer books gradually, thereby improving their literary proficiency.

Keep scrolling as we have listed some expert-approved chapter books that your little ones will enjoy reading.

In This Article

19 Best Chapter Books For Third Graders

Chapter books break down the story into small portions that a third grader can read easily. The unique features of these best-selling books for kids include short sentences, simple words, and the intermingling of illustrations with the text.

1. Best Fascinating:Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Author: Roald Dahl

This popular book narrates the story of Charlie Bucket and four other children winning tickets for a tour of the nearly magical chocolate factory of Willy Wonka. The tale takes us through the adventures within the factory as seen by Charlie Bucket. Fascinating and appealing, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is among the top classic children’s books that will be loved by a third grader. This classic, parent-recommended children’s book is included among the perfect chapter books for 3rd graders to keep them entertained while enhancing their language learning skills.

2. Best Personality:Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

Author: Betty MacDonald

It is a tale of a sweet woman called Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, who lives in an upside down house with her pets. Her house is an exciting place since it always smells of cookies and has a backyard where some treasures are buried. The main character of the book has a charming and appealing personality, which makes it an excellent read for third graders.

protip_icon Quick Tip
As a chapter book can extend beyond a reading session, do a quick review of the previous chapter to ensure your child remembers the storyline and is ready to proceed. Ask them to explain the story so far to help them remember and stay engaged.

3. Best Adventure:Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye

Author: Geronimo Stilton

Set in the world of mice, this exciting story is about a mouse called Geronimo Stilton and his daily adventures. The narrative is in the first person and takes the reader through the many journeys of the mouse, including one where he finds a map to a treasure on a secret island. This light-hearted and funny story is an ideal read for a third-grader.

4. Best Illustrations:Fantastic Mr. Fox

Author: Roald Dahl

Fantastic Mr. Fox is a classic children’s book that tells the tale of a sly fox who plunders the farms of three farmers. The farmers gang up and decide to catch the fox. But Mr. Fox and his family have a trick up their sleeve. This best-selling chapter book for 3rd graders is fun to read and filled with eye-catching illustrations.

5. Best Mystery:The Boxcar Children

Author: Gertrude Chandler Warner

It is a set of four books of a series that was first published in 1942. The books chronicle the adventures of four homeless children who make a boxcar, also called a railroad car, their home. Each story has a hint of mystery and will keep the child intrigued and glued to the stories, making it the perfect book for nighttime reading.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Getting your child interested in a book series can be a good decision as they can retain the information better when they move to the next story. Also, it can make book selection easy.

6. Best Adorable:Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel

Author: Nikki Grimes

The main character of the story is Dyamonde Daniel, who is a third-grader. She moves to a new town, but her fantastic persona and intelligence make her instantaneously popular in the neighborhood. All is well until a new ill-tempered kid joins her class and Dyamonde is determined to become friends with him. An adorable and straightforward chapter book for a third grader, this book talks about friendships and the challenges kids deal with at school.

7. Best Classic:The BFG

Author: Roald Dahl

A young girl named Sophie is kidnapped by a giant who initially comes across as menacing, but is indeed a gentle giant. Sophie and the giant become good friends, and the young girl eventually helps the giant fulfill his quest. Showcasing Roald Dahl’s literary expertise, this classic book tells the heartwarming story of discovering friendship in unlikely situations with unexpected people.

8. Best Detective:Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Babe Ruth Baseball

Author: David A. Adler

Cam Jansen loves mysteries, and she always solves problems that no one else can solve. In this book, she uses her detective skills to find a missing baseball autographed by Babe Ruth, a famous baseball player. The story is an exciting whodunit that will be loved by a third grader, especially if they enjoy reading mystery books.

9. Best Humor:Sideways Stories from Wayside School

Author: Louis Sachar

The entertaining story is set in a weirdly constructed school that has thirty classrooms, one on top of another, forming a really tall tower. The thirteenth floor is the strangest of all since several goofy things happen there. Each story in Sideways Stories from Wayside School is a mix of humor, fun, and entertainment.

10. Best Quest:The Trouble with Chickens

Author: Doreen Cronin

A retired search-and-rescue dog called Tully accepts the request from a family of chickens to search for their lost siblings. The chickens promise the dog a cheeseburger, so the dog sets out in search of clues but is unable to find any until he uncovers a larger mystery. The third grader will love the illustrations in the book and appreciate the simple language.

11. Best Chronicle:The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail

Author: Richard Peck

A tiny mouse, living in London, has a tail shaped like a question mark. His aunt sends him to a mouse academy for education, but he does not do so well at school. One day, the mouse finds his way into Buckingham Palace where he meets none other than Queen Victoria. The rest of the story is about the chance encounter, which has the right mix of fantasy and humor.

12. Best Spellbinding:Mischief Season (The Witches of Benevento)

Author: John Bemelmans Marciano

The story is set in the fictitious town of Benevento, which is famous for its witches. The tale focuses on five cousins who are residents of the town and how they have to be careful to evade the evil witches. The chapter book for 3rd graders is printed in an enticing and easy-to-read font for children.

13. Best Charming:Muggie Maggie

Author: Beverly Cleary

Maggie is a young school-going girl who is just beginning to learn cursive writing, which she does not enjoy. Because of her disinterest in that, Maggie writes the ‘a’ in her name in an awkward fashion, such that it looks like ‘Muggie’ and not Maggie. Her classmates and teachers make fun of her, which makes Maggie determined to learn cursive. It’s a funny story with a charming main character.

14. Best Finest:The Phantom Tollbooth

Author: Norton Juster

The book introduces the reader to a character called Milo, a school-going child who is bored easily. One day, a tollbooth magically appears in his room, and the bored Milo decides to explore it. The tollbooth leads Milo to a mystical world where there is something to discover at every corner. The story is considered a classic and one of the finest books for children.

15. Best Thrilling:Danger! Tiger Crossing: Fantastic Frame series

Author: Lin Oliver

Tiger is a ten-year-old boy who moves into a new neighborhood, where he notices strange magical things happening in one of the houses in the area. Tiger teams up with his neighbor Lopez and the duo set out to unravel the mystery of the house and its residents before time runs out. A part of a popular series, the story is thrilling and fast-paced, making it one of the best 3rd-grade chapter books to keep your child engaged.

16. Best Exciting:The 26-Story Treehouse

Author: Andy Griffiths

Two friends, Andy and Terry, live in a 26-story treehouse that has a lot of exciting things including a bumper car rink and a skating ramp. The story tells about the exciting adventures of the two friends in the treehouse and the various tasks they complete while living all by themselves in there. The tale is interspersed with illustrations on nearly every page to keep a third-grade reader’s attention hooked.

Item Weight: 15.2 ounces

17. Best Quick-Thinking:Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Author: Richard Atwater

Mr. Popper is a simple man who works as a house painter. One day he finds a penguin and takes it home. He then gets another penguin from the zoo to give the first penguin company. Soon, there is a brood of penguins at Mr. Popper’s place, and he has to think quickly about what to do with the penguins before his house collapses! The book is considered a children’s classic and was first published in 1938.

18. Best Exploration:Anna Hibiscus

Author: Atinuke

Anna Hibiscus is the titular character of the story who lives in a nondescript country of Western Africa. The story narrates the adventures of Anna, her family, her experiences in Africa, and how she longs to see snow. Anna Hibiscus is a simple and sweet story that will go well with third graders. It is an easy chapter book for third graders to encourage them to read and built early reading skills.

Item Weight: 8 ounces

19. Best Entertaining:Curious George

Author: H. A. Rey

This animal story talks of the adventures experienced by the monkey named George. George is captured from the jungle and brought to the city, where everything is fascinating. The constant curiosity of George leads to some amazing and hilarious situations throughout the story. Loved by many reviewers, this is a classic chapter book for third graders with adequate drawings to keep them entertained.

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How To Choose The Right Chapter Books For Third Graders?

Here are a few things to consider when choosing a chapter book for a third grader.

  1. Reading level: Consider your child’s reading level to choose a suitable book. Some advanced readers may be ready for more challenging reads, while others may be working on mastering basic reading skills.
  1. Interests: Choose a book based on your child’s interests. They will feel more motivated to read if the book is on topics they are passionate about.
  1. Reviews: Check online reviews to see what other parents and children think about the book. Look for parent-recommended titles, as it will help you determine if the book is appropriate for your child.
  1. Chapter length: Choose a book with short and precise chapters that your child can finish in a sitting. Short chapters will keep your child motivated to continue reading.

Taylor Beal, a reading specialist and educator, says, “If you’re trying to instill a love of reading in your third-grader, let them pick the story. When given a choice on what to read, children are more likely to engage with the book than if it is given to them as a chore. Another great way to read all these chapter books is to read them with your child. Reading aloud together can strengthen your bond and also improve your child’s reading skills.”

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What kind of books should a third grader be reading?

Most third graders are capable of independent reading, and the type of books they read helps them imagine and understand independently. They should read books with short stories, age-appropriate nonfiction, comics, and picture books with moral values that are easy to understand but not boring.

2. At what age should a child read fluently?

Reading fluency develops gradually when the child can quickly recognize the words and automatically understand their meaning. Generally, by the age of seven to eight years, kids usually began to read fluently and can correctly spell many words.

3. How long should third graders read?

Reading daily for a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes helps them to develop a habit of reading.

4. How can I help my third grader with reading?

If your third grader is finding it difficult to read or is not showing interest in reading, you can help by co-reading with them. Choose a charming series that your child is interested in, and you can read together by sharing paragraphs or chapters alternately. Make it an exercise to find new words every day, look up the meaning, and put it to use in a sentence. You can even help your child by discussing the topics in a fun and engaging way.

5. How many pages should a third-grader read?

On average a third grader can read around 120 to 170 words per minute. For example, if a third-grade book contains 200 words per page, at this average speed your third grader can read 12 to 17 pages in 20 minutes.

Why Trust MomJunction?

Wedetso Chirhah writes product articles covering books and children’s products. His extensive knowledge and experience enable him to understand children’s preferences. He has compiled this list of the best chapter books for 3rd graders after in-depth examination of the plots and numerous reviews. Moreover, he has provided a brief summary of each of the books listed here to help you select the right one for your children.

The Bottom Line

Chapter books are a great way to introduce your little one to the habit of reading, as these books break down complex stories into coherent, smaller parts. They help your child take on each chapter at their own pace, making their reading experience seamless. Chapter books are a must to help your children become avid readers, especially third-graders who can now read independently. Our top picks are Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, which captures the vibrant and joyous personality of the protagonist; Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye, a fun, fast-paced adventure story with visually appealing illustrations; and Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel as the main character is a third-grader herself and talks about her school life and friendship in the most relatable way. However, when choosing the right book for them, ensure it is age-appropriate and interesting to keep them hooked.

Infographic: Tips For Selecting The Right Books For Third Graders

If you enjoy reading and want to encourage your children to do the same, introducing them to the world of books at an early age can help. Reading books will provide knowledge and help develop literacy, vocabulary, and pronunciation, among other skills. Look at the following infographic for some pointers to ensure you pick the best books for your little ones.

How To Select Books For Third Graders? (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

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