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20 Amazing 3rd Grade Read Alouds

By the time kids get to the 3rd grade they are becoming fluent readers and learning what kind of books they enjoy. But just because they can read by themselves doesn’t mean they always should.

20 Amazing 3rd Grade Read Alouds

Sharing one of our 20 amazing 3rd grade read alouds with you can help kids to become more fluent readers. It can also allow them to talk about tough topics or things they may struggle with. 

1. Action Jackson By Jan Greenberg & Sandra Jordan

This is a great read aloud picture book about the artist Jackson Pollock. He earned the name Action Jackson from his work Number 1 1950 because of its energy and style.

The book is a wonderfully told story and was inspired by some of the people who knew him best.

It is a wonderful introduction to the artist for young children and is beautifully illustrated. Who knows it may even inspire some 3rd graders to start painting.

2. Charlotte’s Web By E. B. White

Charlotte’s Web is a classic and a book that every child should read. It also makes a fantastic read aloud story. Telling the story of a spider named Charlotte and her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur who just wants a friend. 

This is the story of friendship, life, love and death. It has gorgeous illustrations by the acclaimed illustrator Garth Williams that children will adore. Despite its age this is still a wonderful book for 3rd graders.

3. The One And Only Ivan By Katherine Applegate

Children will love reading aloud the story of The One and Only Ivan. It is based on true events about a captive gorilla named Ivan and is told from his own point of view.

Having spent most of his days behind glass being stared at, Ivan occupies himself with TV, his friends Stella and Bob and painting.

When he meets a baby elephant named Ruby however, he begins to see his situation and that of his friends in a new light.

4. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory By Roald Dahl

Kids love Roald Dahl books because they are wonderfully written stories about ridiculous things and mostly awful people.

They will love reading aloud about the odious Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Mike Teavee and Violet Beauregarde. And not forgetting the hero, Charlie Bucket of course.

Charlie, along with the four other children win a trip inside Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory where oompa loompas work, some amazing things happen, and secrets are revealed.

5. What The Moon Saw By Laura Resau

A young girl called Clara Luna is sent to stay with her Mexican grandparents even though she has never met them and doesn’t speak Spanish or the indigenous language.

She sees how different her life in the United States is to theirs and begins to discover where she came from.

As well as getting to know her grandparents she meets a young goat herder called Pedro. Kids will really enjoy reading aloud about Clara’s adventures in Mexico.

6. Cress Watercress By Gregory Maguire

With a new home and a new community Cress is finding it hard to think about life after her father didn’t come home from a nighttime expedition. Now it’s just her and her mother and little brother, Kip.

This heartwarming and beautifully written book will keep children interested and engaged as they read about the Watercress family.

Whether they read it aloud or to themselves 3rd graders will be enraptured by this wonderful coming of age story.

7. Three Ninja Pigs By Corey Rosen Schwartz

Kids will love the great rhyming text and awesome illustrations of the Three Ninja Pigs. It will have them howling with laughter as they read aloud about these three martial art piggies.

Tired of having the wolf come into town only to blow down everyone’s houses they decide to take a stand and learn some moves.

One takes aikido lessons while his brother learns jiu jitsu. But then the wolf appears and it’s a different story. Luckily their sister knows karate!

8. Holes By Louis Sachar

An award winning book by Louis Sachar this is the story of a boy whose family lives under a curse. It began with Stanley Yelnats’ great, great, grandfather who stole a pig.

Now Stanley has been sent to a detention center where he spends his days digging holes. But Stanley has realized this is not some random punishment.

The warden is looking for something and Stanley is determined to find out what. 3rd graders will love this darkly humorous tale.

9. In A Glass Grimmly By Adam Gidwitz

There’s nothing kids love better than a story with all the horrible gore of a Grimm Brothers tale. 3rd graders will relish the gruesome deeds, creepy forests and terrible monsters in this fairy tale like no other.

This is a companion book to the author’s A Tale Dark & Grimm. Reworkings of old fairy tales as they were meant to be read, full of terror and awful things. Children will love it!

10. If I Ran The Circus By Dr. Seuss

Of all the books that kids can read out loud in the 3rd grade we guarantee they will always choose a Dr Seuss story.

The rhythm and rhyme of this tale will appeal to children and as usual the fantastic illustrations add to the ridiculousness that kids love.

This book sees Dr. Seuss at his imaginative best with young Morris McGurck wanting to turn a vacant lot into a circus. Great fun to read aloud.

11. Babe The Gallant Pig By Dick King-Smith

The classic story of Babe, the sheep pig, is a wonderful choice for 3rd graders to read aloud.

An irresistible tale of a pig who arrives at Hogget Farm destined to be turned into bacon until he displays a unique talent. He can control Farmer Hogget’s stubborn flock of sheep.

When the farmer enters Babe into the Sheepdog Trials everyone thinks he’s crazy, but Babe is about to prove everybody wrong. A heartwarming book for young readers.

12. The Wishing Spell (The Land Of Stories) By Chris Colfer

This is the first book in Chris Colfer’s series The Land of Stories. It tells the story of a brother and sister who fall into a world of fairy tales.

The story blends the modern world with the realm of classic fairy tales in a fast paced adventure. Kids will enjoy reading aloud the encounters that the siblings have with witches, goblins, trolls and wolves.

13. Fortunately, The Milk By Neil Gaiman

This oddly titled book is typical of New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman’s style. Its madcap storyline and bizarre mix of characters will keep 3rd grades enthralled and entertained.

With pirates, aliens, and piranhas all combined in a story of adventure, oddity and love this book is a real treat. Children will love reading this aloud. The brilliant illustrations by Skottie Young add to the wonderfully weird feel of this story.

14. The Wild Robot By Peter Brown

What happens when nature and technology collide? This is the story of Roz, a robot who wakes up on a remote island. She doesn’t know how she got there or what her purpose is, but she knows she has to find a way to survive.

Battling violent storms and vicious bears, Roz begins to realize that in order to survive she has to adapt to her surroundings. Kids will enjoy the easy-to-read text and wonderful illustrations.

15. Escape From Mr. Limoncello’s Library By Chris Grabenstein

In what has been described as a cross between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and A Night at the Museum this story will be a big hit with 3rd graders.

Kyle Keeley loves games and along with 11 other kids he gets to spend a night in the library built by creative game maker Luigi Lemoncello.

But when morning comes the doors are still locked. Kyle and the others need to solve all the puzzles and clues to find their escape route.

16. Flora And Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures By Kate DiCamillo

The story begins with a tragic accident which has unexpected consequences. When a squirrel is accidentally sucked into her mother’s new vacuum Flora Belle Buckman knows just what to do.

She saves the squirrel. But he’s no longer an ordinary squirrel. This is a laugh out loud story that 3rd graders will really enjoy reading. It is full of eccentric but endearing characters and unexpected occurrences.

17. Skunk And Badger By Amy Timberlake

Skunk and Badger is a tale about an extraordinary and unlikely friendship written by Newbery Honor author Amy Timberlake. When Skunk arrives on Badger’s doorstep he makes quite the impression but perhaps not in the way he had hoped.

Now Skunk is Badger’s new roommate and there’s nothing Badger can do about it. Kids will love reading about this odd couple who now find themselves living together.

18. The Legend Of Rock Paper Scissors By Drew Daywalt

This is an hilarious story about how the famous rock, paper, scissors game came to be. Rock is the strongest in all the Kingdom of Backyard, but he is sad because no one presents a worthy challenge to him.

So he begins to battle those around him. Will he find someone who can stop him, or will he be victorious over all in the land? Children will love reading this illustrated book out loud.

19. How To Be Cool In The Third Grade By Betsy Duffey

A book that all 3rd graders will want to read, How To Be Cool In The Third Grade is the story of Robbie York. It tells the story of how he deals with being the target of a bully in school.

Deciding the best way to survive is by being cool, that’s exactly what Robbie sets out to do. This read aloud book is a great way for 3rd graders to learn about how to deal with difficult situations in school.

20. No Pirates Allowed Said Library Lou by Rhonda Gowler Greene

A fun book about Pirate Pete and his quest for buried treasure at Seabreezy Library. Pete is determined to find his treasure, but he’ll have to get past Library Lou.

She is going to help him with his hygiene, his library etiquette and learning his letters. With rhyming text, fun characters and wonderful illustrations kids in the 3rd grade will really enjoy reading this book aloud.

Final Thoughts

You should continue to listen to children read aloud even after they become fluent. This will help you assess their reading level and deal with any problems they may be having.

Reading aloud also lets kids connect with the world around them and sometimes relate to the things they are reading about. We hope you have found this guide to 3rd grade read alouds helpful.

Simon Lewis

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