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Best Read Aloud Books for Third Grade

Updated on February 1, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

It can be difficult finding the best read aloud books for third graders. You want something that will be interesting to them and hold their attention span but will also challenge them. You want something that introduces new vocabulary and thought provoking ideas but yet they can easily understand and identify with. Finally, you want something that will be fun to read. It may sound impossible but there are many read-aloud books that fit that category. Some are classics and others are newer books destined to be classics.

When you are choosing a book to read aloud to your third grader(s) spend a few minutes looking through the book.

  • Read a few paragraphs out loud from different chapters. Do the words flow?
  • Consider the story. Is it appropriate/interesting/entertaining?
  • Can a third grader take something positive away from this book?

Finally, if you start reading the book and the children seem disinterested and don’t become interested after two or three chapters don’t be afraid to put it down and choose another book.


Some of the Best Read Aloud Books for Third Graders

Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web is a classic story of friendship and loyalty. Because of the fanciful nature of the book, with animals that talk and spiders that have a large vocabulary, children just love the story of Wilbur and Charlotte. There is just enough suspense to keep them interested until the very last page.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

The Mouse on the Motorcycle is a classic as well, and also one where a human and an animal interact. This is again a book about friendship and loyalty but brings in the subject of making a mistake, trust, and forgiveness.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the beloved story of a very poor boy that gets the opportunity of a lifetime. Some lessons about gluttony, disobedience, selfishness, and other character issues are taught in a fun way. Charlie is likeable and most children will love the fact that he truly gets what he deserves.

Homer Price

Homer lives in Middle America in the middle of the 20th century. Not many children will be able to identify with the lifestyle; classic atomic age mom at home, small town, etc. However, all will be able to enjoy the antics that Homer goes through.

Little House in the Big Woods

This book is a history lesson that third graders will love. It is excellent in conjunction with a study of Pioneers. Laura and her family live in a small cabin in Wisconsin in the 1800s. The descriptions of daily life make this book fascinating to children.

Caddie Woodlawn

Caddie Woodlawn is another Pioneer story. Caddie is a little more of a tomboy than even Laura Ingalls and gets into a variety of scrapes and learns a lot about people.

Farmer Boy

This is also by Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of Little House in the Big Woods. This is about Almanzo Wilder and his life on a large, prosperous farm in New York State in the mid 1800s. It will balance out a history study very well.

Half Magic

Pure fun, Half Magic is about a group of children that find a magic coin… but since it is a half penny the results are not always very predictable.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

What would you do with a depressed penguin? Poor Mr. Popper must make some plans.

Dr. Doolittle

The timeless classic of the doctor who can talk to the animals in their own languages. Empathy, compassion, and friendship are subjects that are dealt with in this book.

Reading Aloud Helps Develop Skills

Reading aloud to children helps develop their reading, thinking, and concentration skills. If you can't afford new or used books you can often find books online for free. Choosing and reading one book a month does not take much time but the rewards will be lasting.


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    • Anthea Carson profile image

      Anthea Carson 6 years ago from Colorado Springs

      Great hub, great suggestions. Homer Price sounds intriguing. Thanks for writing this, very helpful, voted up.

    • profile image

      duncwilson 7 years ago

      I have bee teaching reading for years and have always read out loud.

    • profile image

      demjroberts 7 years ago

      I loved Half Magic as a child. I like your suggestions.

    • cbris52 profile image

      cbris52 7 years ago

      Growing up my all time favorite was Pippi Longstocking!

    • Esmeowl12 profile image

      Cindy A. Johnson 7 years ago from Sevierville, TN

      I used to read almost all of these to my third graders when I taught. Brings back memories . . .

    • profile image

      Michele 7 years ago

      I am a third grad teacher and I like most of the books on your list but my all time favorite book to read aloud is The Tale Desparaux. If you saw the movie, forget it-it was an ok movie but a terrible interpretation of this wonderful story.

    • Robin profile image

      Robin Edmondson 7 years ago from San Francisco

      Great Hub, Mary. I was a third grade teacher, and I loved the books for this age. I love all the Roald Dahl books; he was a genius. Another favorite author is Jon Scieszka. The Time Warp Trio books are great for third graders and his picture books, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, Squids will be Squids and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, and The Math Curse, are hilarious read alouds. I like theTrio books because they are funny and fairly short for kids to read on their own. Another of my favorites is Where the Red Fern Grows. This is a great read aloud. It had our whole family in tears at the end. ;)

    • netlexis profile image

      Katherine Koch 8 years ago from Southern California

      These books are some of my all time favorites, especially Charlotte's Web and Half Magic. I'm looking forward to introducing my granddaughter to them, but she's only three.

    • profile image

      WildIris 8 years ago

      Some books read aloud well and others do not. I am finishing off "James and the Giant Peach." I like the chapter length and the fluid writing; it make reading aloud fun and easy. Thanks for the reading suggestions. I'll put suggestions on my list.

    • HealthyHanna profile image

      HealthyHanna 8 years ago from Utah

      Love this topic. I am always looking for good books. Now that I am a Grandma, I am finding I can't remember what book for what age.

    • djbraman profile image

      djbraman 8 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing this hub with us, I have a 8 year old grandson, and I love the classics like Charlotte's web and Tom Sawyer, etc. This age group is very unique because they're too old for Cat and the Hat type books but not old enough for complicated words. I would love to see more writers geared toward this age. Reading is so important to children. I got my grandson his first children's bible and he really loves it. I always encourage parents to turn the tube off and spend time reading with their child, the rewards and quality time with their children will pay off one day.

    • rprcarz50 profile image

      rprcarz50 8 years ago

      Hi Mayre ,

      Thank you for writing this very helpful Hub. Great content. I believe our children can never read too much .

      We owe it to the kids to help them learn.

      Kudos to you


      As Always also a2z50

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      Very good advice on getting the right books to hold their attention.

    • profile image

      EnLydia Listener 8 years ago

      Very good list of books...Half Magic was one of my favorites and still is...also a very good read is the Mary Poppins series...the books are much better than the movie.

      Another favorite series of mine is the Borrowers...once you get the interest have quite a few in the series.

      I think more recent ones are the Series of Unfortunate Events...the writer has a unique style...sorry for talking so much, but my childhood was books.

    • jayjay40 profile image

      jayjay40 8 years ago from Bristol England

      Love reading Charlotte's web to the 7 year olds that I work with. I will bookmark this hub to get ideas. Thanks for sharing