Skip to Content

55 Of Our Favorite Chapter Books For 3rd Graders!

It is important for 3rd graders to engage in reading to help them develop more skills and confidence in their abilities.

Contents show
55 Of Our Favorite Chapter Books For 3rd Graders!

Here are some of the best chapter books for 3rd graders to read that will entertain them and help them to learn.

1. Cat Kid Comic Club – Dav Pilkey

This is the first book in the bestselling graphic novel series by bestselling author, Dav Pilkey. It features 21 funny characters who get into heartfelt and entertaining adventures.

This book has poetry, different styles of art, and will capture your imagination. It is ideal for children between the ages of 7 and 9.

2. InvestiGators – John Patrick Green

Mango and Bash are undercover agents who use toilets to travel around and solve mysteries using high tech technology.

Can they crack the clues and stop the criminals, uncovering the answers they need to solve the case? This is the first book in a 7 part series which is perfect for children between ages 6 and 9.

3. The Bad Guys – Aaron Blabey

This hilarious book has now been turned into a popular animated movie. It is the first book in a series so if you like it you can buy the rest.

Mr Wolf, Mr Piranha, Mr Snake and Mr Shark want to change their ‘bad guy’ reputation, and they have a plan! They are going to rescue all of the dogs in the pound.

4. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid – Jeff Kinney

Greg Huffley is a middle schooler who is heading back to school for the first day of term.

His diary is a funny and relatable story of the ups and downs of school life for kids. Will he be able to navigate the social circles of school life?

5. Two-Headed Chicken – Tom Angleberger

This is an absurd but hilarious book about a two-headed chicken who is on the run from a moose.

The story takes place in the multiverse where anything is possible – even chickens driving cars and eating pizza. The characters are exciting and this will get the imagination racing.

6. Real Pigeons Fight Crime – Andre Mcdonald & Ben Wood

In this fun story, the pigeons that you see all over town are actually busy fighting crime.

They keep your neighborhood safe, when they aren’t getting distracted by crumbs and food trucks. This is a great book for children aged 6 to 8.

7. Dragonbreath – Ursula Vernon

Dragonbreath is a heartwarming story about a dragon who can’t breathe fire. But he does have something going for him – he is very brave.

He will need this courage to approach the sea serpent when he needs help with a project. These wonderful characters will soon become your favorites.

8. Escape This Book: Tombs Of Egypt – Bill Doyle & Sarah Sax

This is an activity adventure book that lets the reader choose their own path. You might need to fold over pages or draw an escape route to make sure that you get out of the ancient Egyptian tomb.

Whether you choose to be a Pharaoh, a pyramid worker or an archaeologist, you will enjoy your adventure. This book has been designed for children aged 8 to 12 years old.

9. The First Cat In Space Ate Pizza – Mac Barnett & Shawn Harris

This is a graphic novel based on a very popular animated cartoon. When rats start eating the moon, the only one who can stop them is a bio-engineered cat who is going to be sent to space.

But every hero needs a sidekick, and this one has a robot that clips toenails.

10. The Adventures Of Captain Underpants – Dav Pilkey

This is a classic children’s book that is perfect for 3rd graders. It is about two children, George and Harold who design their own comics complete with a superhero – Captain Underpants.

Enjoy book one of the series and then continue to follow the adventures of Captain Underpants.

11. Once Upon A Tim – Stuart Gibbs

Stuart Gibbs is a New York Times bestselling author who has created a four book series which starts with ‘Once Upon A Tim’.

Tim is a woodsman’s son who wants more out of life, but is struggling to rise above his station. When the princess is captured he finally has his chance to prove his worth.

12. Swim Team – Johnnie Christmas

Bree is a middle schooler who is excited about starting at a new school. That is, until it’s time for swimming lessons.

Bree is scared to tackle her fear of swimming, but she has some help from an elderly neighbor who offers to give her lessons. Will it be enough to get her a spot on the swim team?

13. Odder – Katherine Applegate

Odder is a sea otter that lives off the coast of California. She is known for her agility and water acrobatics, which makes her the most playful otter in the ocean.

Her life changes when she meets a great white shark – a hungry shark at that! This is inspired by the Monterey Bay aquarium and their orphaned otter system.

14. Surprisingly Sarah – Terri Libenson

This sweet book follows the intertwining storylines of Sarah and Leo. They are best friends and do everything together, but things start to change when Sarah develops a crush on Leo’s best friend – Ben. Will Sarah have the courage to ask Ben to the dance?

15. The Midnight Children – Dan Gemeinhart

This is a number 1 New York Times bestseller that will soon become your new favorite book. It is aimed at children aged 8 to 12 years old, but would also be ideal for younger readers who like a challenge.

It is about a family of 7 runaway children who arrive in a small town. Whilst there, they learn the importance of making new friends.

16. Maizy Chen’s Last Chance – Lisa Yee

This award winning book is a celebration of family and food. It is set in a Chineses restaurant called the Golden Palace, in the town of Last Chance in Minnesota.

The restaurant has been in Maizy’s family for generations, but she has never visited – until now. Miazy is discovering everything there is to know about the Golden Palace, including its secrets!

17. Honestly Elliot – Gillian McDunn

This story about boyhood is written by a critically acclaimed author. It follows Elliot, a young boy with ADHD who is struggling to fit in.

Elliot loves to cook, and when he is partnered up with Mabel on a school project together he gets the chance to make a real friend.

18. Secondhand Dogs – Carolyn Crimi

This heart warming story is a must-read for any animal lover. Miss Lottie has created an unconventional family by rescuing dogs (and one very nervous cat).

Gus, Roo, Tank and Moon Pie are getting on well, but when Miss Lottie rescues Decker things start to change. Will the dogs be able to find a way to get along?

19. Phoebe And Her Unicorn – Dana Simpson

This comic book is wonderfully illustrated and is perfect for any children aged between 6 and 10. It is a favorite with teachers, and the fun characters will capture your heart.

Phoebe makes a magical wish and ends up with a unicorn as her best friend. But how much do a 9 year old girl and unicorn have in common?

Continue with the rest of the books in the series if you want to follow the hilarious adventures of Phoebe and her unicorn.

20. Babymouse #1: Queen Of The World – Jennifer Holm

Babymouse is a popular character who has brought a lot of joy to young readers over the years.

Babymouse wants excitement and fame, and she gets the perfect opportunity when she hears about an exclusive slumber party.

But how will she get an invite? And will her best friend forgive her for bailing on their plans.

21. Banana Fox And The Secret Sour Society – James Kochalka

This is the perfect book for encouraging newly independent readers as it has a great mixture of worlds and illustrations.

The structure is easy to follow and it has been designed to be a little bit of a challenge without being too difficult to discourage the reader. This funny series has artwork from an award winning cartoonist.

22. Your Pal Fred – Michael Rex

This is book one of a two part series. It is a comedic graphic novel about Fred, a life-size toy who comes to life.

Fred is designed to always try to see the best in people, and to always be there for his friends no matter what. But how will he navigate a world full of savage survivors?

23. The Absent Author – Ron Roy & Steven Gurney

This is the first book in the A-Z mystery series. Dink, Josh and Ruth Rose are three friends who always find themselves caught up in a mystery, starting with a famous author, Wallis Wallace, who doesn’t show up to a book signing. Can the children figure out where Wallis Wallace is?

24. Happy Birthday. Bad Kitty – Nick Bruel

This is one of the books in the much loved Bad Kitty series which is ideal reading material for children between 6 and 8.

Bad Kitty has wished for a special birthday gift, but how will she behave if her birthday wish doesn’t come true? Meet the guests at her party – chatty kitty, strange kitty, stinky kitty and the other neighborhood cats.

25. P.I. Butterfly: Gone Puppy – Karen Kilpatrick

This zany cartoon book is an exciting Whodunnit for children to read.P.I. Butterfly has a mystery to solve about a missing puppy. The case seems to involve a fish and cat.

The story was created by an award winning team, and is not only fun but helps children to develop their skills. They will help P.I. Butterfly to spot the clues and solve the problem.

26. Word Dragon – Tevin Hansen

This is a book that can help children to improve their spelling skills in a fun way. Eli and Grace visit an antique store with an unusual feature – a dragon in the junkyard.

But this is no ordinary dragon – Fireball is a word dragon who loves to play scrabble. This book is recommended by teachers and parents.

27. Star Wars: Jedi Academy – Jeffrey Brown

This is the first book in a fun series written by New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Jeffrey Brown. It is set in the Star Wars universe.

Roan is facing all of the challenges of any other middle schooler, except his are taking place at Jedi Academy. He dreamed of becoming a pilot, but will he adjust to his training under Master Yoda?

28. Rory & Lloyd Build A Time Machine – A J Mueller

This is the first book in a 10 part series called ‘The Time Travel Adventure Of Rory & Lloyd’.

Rory and Lloyd are two 4th graders who want to build a time travel machine for the science fair. But is it possible? And how will they handle everyone’s lack of faith in their idea?

29. Who Would Win: Lion v Tiger – Jerry Pallotta & Rob Bolster

The ‘Who Will Win’ book series are a fun way for children to learn about different animals.

It includes lots of facts about lions and tigers including their size and their behaviors, along with photographs and illustrations. If you know an animal loving 3rd grader then these books are ideal.

30. Dragons In A Bag – Zetta Elliott & Geneva B

Jaxon is spending the day with Ma, but it turns out she isn’t his grandmother after all. Ma is a witch who needs Jaxon’s help to deliver a bag of bay dragons to a magical realm to keep them safe.

There are only 2 rules – don’t let the dragons out of the bag and don’t give them any sugar. Can Jaxon stick to the rules?

31. Amulet: The Stonekeeper – Kazu Kibuishi

This is book one of the amulet series which is ideal for 3rd graders. Emily and Navin are still grieving the loss of their father when they are sent to live in their old family home that used to belong to their grandfather.

When a sinister creature from the basement takes their mum, they will stop at nothing to get her back.

32. Kirsty’s Great Idea: The Baby Sitters Club – Ann M Martin & Raina Telgemeier

This graphic novel comes from a New York Times bestselling author and is a wonderful story about a baby-sitting club.

Kirsty, Mary-Anne, Claudia and Stacey are all members of the club, and are there for each other through thick and thin. Baby-sitting isn’t easy, but it is better when you have your friends there to support you.

33. Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet – Zanib Mian & Nasaya Mafaridik

Omar is worried about starting a new school- he doesn’t know whether the kids will be nice to him. He makes a friend on his first day and things start looking up, until he starts getting bullied by Daniel.

Daniel is making comments about Omar’s Muslim faith. How will Omar cope with these mean comments?

34. The Good Egg – Jory John & Pete Oswald

The Good Egg is a New York Times bestseller and is great for children of many ages. It is about a good egg who always tries hard to be good, even when other people aren’t.

He feels a lot of pressure to be perfect, especially when the other eggs start behaving much worse. Something needs to change, but what?

35. The Coldfire Curse: Dragon Kingdom Of Wrenly – Jordan Quinn

If you know a 3rd grader who is a fan of fantasy then you need to make sure that they read this book. This is the first installment of a wonderful series set in an exciting Dragon Kingdom.

Ruskin is a red dragon who has lived a pampered life, but he must find courage and resilience when it is down to him to save his kingdom.

36. Tales From The Bully Box – Cat Woods

This is an important anthology of stories for 3rd graders to read. It deals with how it feels to be bullied, but also the dilemma of seeing bullying going on and not knowing what to do about it.

This is a relatable topic for 3rd graders, so this book will be very helpful when it comes to navigating school.

37. Stick Dog – Tom Watson

Stick dog is on a quest for the perfect burger. Follow him on his journey, but fair warning – it will make you hungry!

It will also make you laugh, as the excellent illustrations perfectly capture his character. It is a great book for children aged 6 to 10 years old, and is nice and light-hearted.

38. Olga & The Smelly Thing From Nowhere – Elise Gravel

This is the first book of a three part series about Olga, an animal-loving child scientist.

She is a vibrant character – smart and independent with a good dose of curiosity which gets her into some difficult situations.

When she discovers a new species, she has a lot of questions! It will take careful observation to learn all she can about this creature.

39. Because Of Winn-Dixie – Katie DiCamillo

This is a classic heart-warming story from an award winning and much loved American author.

When 10 year old India heads to the store for groceries, she is not intending on returning home with a dog. But Winn-Dixie is a special dog, and she changes India’s life in unimaginable ways.

40. Jada Jones: Rockstar – Kelly Starling Lyons

This easy to read chapter book is ideal for 3rd graders. Jada struggles to adjust when her best friend moves away – school just doesn’t feel the same.

She is excited to hear that her class will be working on a school project about rocks and minerals, as she already enjoys collecting rocks. But she finds it difficult to work with her classmates.

41. If Mom Became An Octopus – C M Healy

When a young boy realizes how hard his mom is working to look after the family, he starts imagining how her life could be easier.

Which animals could his mom turn into to make things easier for her? Perhaps a cheetah so she can get from place to place faster, or an octopus so she has multiple arms to do the chores?

42. Zita The Spacegirl – Ben Hatke

Zita ends up on a strange planet when her best friend is abducted by aliens.

She quickly gets over her shock and becomes the intergalactic hero that her friend needs. But her quest is made more complicated by strange creatures and a mysterious person she doesn’t know whether to trust.

43. Zoey & Sassafras: Dragons & Marshmallows – Asia Citro & Marion Lindsay

This is a wonderful, easy to read book that is perfect for children up to 8 years old. Zoey is shocked to find injured magical animals coming to her backyard for help.

When a sick baby dragon called marshmallow arrives. Zoey isn’t quite sure what to do, but she must find a way to make the dragon better.

44. From Nerd To Ninja – Anh Do

Everyone loves waking up on their birthday – a day of gifts and fun. But what if you woke up on your birthday with powers?

This is exactly what happens to 10 year old Nelson when he gets ninja powers overnight. But how is he going to use them?

45. Ada Lace On The Case – Emily Calandrelli & Renee Kurilla

This is book one of a series about Ada Lace, an intelligent 8 year old girl who is great at solving mysteries.

When her neighbor’s dog is dognapped Ada knows that she must do everything she can to solve the problem.

Her neighbor, Nina, thinks the dog was taken by aliens, but Ada is determined to uncover the truth.

46. Trapped In a Video Game – Dustin Brady & Jesse Brady

If you know a 3rd grader who loves gaming and you want to get them into reading, why not try them on this book?

It is about a boy who tries out a new video game, then realizes that one of the menacing characters from the video game is following him in real life.

47. Lottie Saves The Bees – Heather B Moon

Lottie is a young girl who becomes concerned to discover that the bees are dying. She must find a way to save them, and becomes involved with the ‘Secret Bee Project’.

Will she be able to make enough change within 7 days to protect the bees?

48. Book Buddies: Ivy Lost & Found – Cynthia Lord & Stephanie Graegin

Anne is a librarian who has created a collection of ‘book buddies’ – toys that can be checked out like books for children who need some extra support.

Ivy used to be Anne’s doll, but now that Anne has grown up Ivy finds herself becoming a book buddy.

She isn’t sure at first, but when a young girl called Fern checks Ivy out, it becomes clear that she needs a friend.

49. Jop & Blip Wanna Know – Jim Benton

Jop and Blip Want To Know is a funny series that asks bizarre questions. It will entertain 3rd graders and get their minds racing, encouraging them to ask their own questions about the world around them and even the things that go on in their imagination.

The way that these questions are answered encourages problem solving and critical thinking.

50. Galactic Hotdogs: Cosmoe’s Wiener Getaway – Max Brailler And Rachel Maguire

Cosmoe is a 13 year old orphan who gets whisked away on a space traveling adventure.

The Neon Weiner is a space truck-spaceship that sells galactic hot dogs, and Cosmoe joins the team. But when a stowaway gets on board, they bring some unexpected trouble.

51. The Magical Reality Of Nadia – Bassem Youssef & Catherine R Daly

This is a moving story about Nadia, who moves from Egypt to America when she is 6 years old. The book will teach children about prejudice, friendship and courage.

52. Dragon Girls: Azmina The Gold Glitter Dragon – Maddy Mara

This is the first book of a 12 part series that introduces different dragon characters. It is a very easy to read and fun collectible series.

When three girls learn that they have magical powers and can transform into dragons, they realize that this gift comes with responsibility.

53. Monday Into The Cave Of Thieves – Ralph Lazar

This fun and chaotic story is a perfect book for 3rd graders who want to engage their imagination and have a laugh. The illustrations are fun and exciting.

54. Dolphin Girl: Trouble In Pizza Paradise – Zach Smith

Dolphin Girl is getting ready to open a pizza restaurant with her father, but they have issues with their rivals. Dolphin girl and Captain Dewgong must get the help of some friends to keep their plans on track.

55. Ivy & Bean – Annie Barrows

Ivy and Bean don’t like each other, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be friends…does it? Sometimes friendship can be found in the most unlikely of places.


These books are perfect for 3rd graders and will get their imagination flowing.

Simon Lewis

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *