Education World: Third Grade Summer Reading List

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Take aim at the "Summer Slide" and get your students excited about reading with these titles picked specifically for kids at the third grade reading level.

THIRD GRADE SUMMER READING LIST
 
The Best School Year Ever
by Barbara Robinson

The Herdmans are the most famous kids at Woodrow Wilson School. In fact, they are the most famous kids in the whole town -- and they are the worst kids in the history of the world. They are dirty, rotten, lazy, and ornery. They tell lies and smoke cigars and set fire to things. They stay away from school whenever they want to and won't learn anything when they are there. Every September the students and teachers gear up for another year of dealing with the Herdmans. But no matter what precautions are taken, these modern-day outlaws still manage to cause hilarious mayhem year-round. Their wild behavior always leads to disaster for someone, but somehow all six of them continually escape blame. Could there be something good about this horrible clan after all? Also recommended: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

 

The BFG
by Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (illus.)

Kidsnatched from her orphanage by a BFG (Big Friendly Giant) who spends his life blowing happy dreams to children, Sophie concocts with him a plan to save the world from nine other man-gobbling cannybull giants. Also recommended: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Brother Eagle, Sister Sky, A Message from Chief Seattle
by Susan Jeffers

During the 1850s, the white man negotiated to buy some land from the Northwest nations. Chief Seattle, head of the Suqamish and Duwamish Indians, spoke to the white man in his native tongue about the importance of preserving the earth. His speech, translated and lushly illustrated by Susan Jeffers, eloquently conveys the message that we must respect the Earth and all it has on it. This speech has been the inspiration for many environmental movements.

Charlotte's Web
by E. B. White

This is the story of a little girl named Fern who loves a little pig named Wilbur -- and of Wilbur's dear friend, Charlotte A. Cavatica, a beautiful, large, gray spider who lives with Wilbur in the barn. With the help of Templeton, the rat who never does anything for anybody unless there is something in it for him, and by a wonderfully clever plan of their own, Charlotte saves the life of Wilbur, who by this time has grown up to be quite a pig.

Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective (Encyclopedia Brown Series #1)
by Donald J. Sobol

A Civil War sword ... a watermelon stabbing ... missing roller skates ... a trapeze artist's inheritance ... and an eyewitness who's legally blind! These are just some of the ten brain-twisting mysteries that Encyclopedia Brown must solve by using his famous computerlike brain. Try to crack the cases along with him -- answers to all the mysteries are found in the back of the book!

Go Free or Die, A Story About Harriet Tubman
by Jeri Ferris, Karen Ritz (illus.)

A biography of Harriet Tubman, the black woman whose cruel experiences as a slave in the South led her to seek freedom in the North for herself and for others through the Underground Railroad.

How to Eat Fried Worms
by Thomas Rockwell, Emily A. McCully (illus.)

Billy makes a bet with his friends that he can eat 15 worms in 15 days. Even with a free choice of condiments -- from peanut butter to horseradish -- Billy wonders if he can really do it.


The Keeping Quilt
by Patricia Polacco

When Patricia Polacco's great-great-grandmother came to America from Russia, she made a quilt out of the family's old clothes. This quilt became a cherished symbol of love passed down from mother to daughter for almost a century -- and was used for a variety of purposes. Heartwarming pictures of the quilt welcoming new babies and celebrating weddings -- even being used as a Sabbath tablecloth -- tie together the lives of four generations of an immigrant Jewish family and chronicle their enduring love and faith. In this tenth-anniversary edition, Polacco has expanded her beloved story with new pages of text and paintings to include her own two children using the quilt in the same ways that their ancestors did.

Miss Nelson Is Missing!
by Harry Allard, James Marshall (illus.)

The children in Miss Nelson's class go beyond misbehaving; they are downright terrible! Near her wits' end, Miss Nelson thinks up a brilliant plan. The next day the kids have a substitute -- the nasty Viola Swamp -- who loads the boys and girls with homework and never gives them a story hour. By the time Miss Nelson finally returns, the children are so grateful they behave well. But now Viola Swamp is missing!

Mr. Popper's Penguins
by Richard Atwater, Florence Atwater, Robert Lawson (illus.)

It is hard enough for Mr. Popper to support himself, Mrs. Popper, Bill, and Janie Popper. The addition of 12 penguins to the family makes it impossible to make both ends meet. Then Mr. Popper has a splendid idea -- the talented penguins will be a sensation on the stage. And so they are.... A classic of American humor, this Newbery Honor-winning story of a gentle housepainter and his high-stepping penguins has delighted children for generations.

Poppy
by Avi, Brian Floca (illus.)

As ruler of Dimwood Forest, Ocax the hoot owl has promised to protect the mice occupying an abandoned farmhouse as long as they ask permission before "moving about." Poppy, a timid deer mouse, is a loyal, obedient subject -- until she sees Ocax devour her fiancé. To prove that the intimidating ruler is a phony, Poppy embarks on a dangerous and eye-opening quest, which ends with her one-on-one battle with Ocax.

Poppy and Rye
by Avi, Brian Floca (illus.)

Heartbroken over the death of her fiancé Ragweed, Poppy, a deer mouse, journeys west through the vast Dimwood Forest to bring the sad news to Ragweed's family. But Poppy and her prickly porcupine pal, Ereth, arrive only to discover that beavers have flooded the serene valley where Ragweed lived. Together Poppy and Ragweed's brother, Rye, brave kidnapping, imprisonment, and a daring rescue to fight the beavers. At the same time, Rye -- who has lived in Ragweed's shadow -- fights to prove himself worthy of Poppy's love.

Ramona Quimby, Age 8
by Beverly Cleary, Alan Tiegreen (illus.)

Ramona feels quite grown-up taking the bus by herself, helping big sister Beezus make dinner, and trying hard to be nice to pesky Willa Jean after school. Turning eight years old and entering the third grade can do that to a girl. So how can her teacher call her a nuisance?

Sarah, Plain and Tall
by Patricia MacLachlan

When their father invites a mail-order bride to come live with them in their prairie home, Caleb and Anna are captivated by their new mother and hope that she will stay. This tender, reassuring story is a Newbery Medal winner and a timeless classic.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
by Judy Blume, Roy Doty (illus.)

Living with his little brother, Fudge, makes Peter feel like a fourth-grade nothing. Fudge is never far from trouble. He's a two-year-old terror who gets away with everything -- and Peter's had enough. When Fudge walks off with Dribble, Peter's pet turtle, it's the last straw.

Walking the Road to Freedom
by Jeri Ferris

This is the important and inspiring story of a woman who called herself Sojourner Truth. Using only the power of her voice, she spoke out against slavery throughout New England and the Midwest.

What Are You Figuring Now?, A Story About Benjamin Banneker
by Jeri Ferris, Amy Johnson (illus.)

A biography of the African-American farmer and self-taught mathematician, astronomer, and surveyor for the new capital city of the United States in 1791, who also calculated a successful almanac notable for its preciseness.

 

 

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