The options of book series to read really opens up to kids once they reach third grade. At this point, they can afford to be a little picky. They can hold out for something that really strikes their interest. My kids definitely picked up a few books, decided they weren’t their cup of tea, and then tried again. It is worth it let kids keep looking until they find something that really excites them. Below are some suggestions based on what our family has found to be the best book series for third grade.
Note that these third grade books are targeted at 8 and 9 year olds. However, remember that all children are different. Whatever your child’s age, they will have the most success if you find books that are at or just above their current reading level.
Third Grade Book Series
When my son finished reading the Nate the Great series, I knew he needed another slightly more difficult detective series. Jigsaw Jones fit the bill perfectly. I honestly didn’t read these with him, but I know he really enjoyed them. He only finished about half the series though before he started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, then his detective phase was overtaken by his wizard phase. (For girls who enjoy mysteries, check out the Cam Jansen series.)
Ivy and Bean
My daughter loves Ivy and Bean. They are two girls who are a tiny bit naughty and a lot funny. Be aware that these books occasionally use words like “stupid” and “shut up.” My daughter knows she is not allowed to talk like that, but honestly, I think reading such naughtiness makes her want to read these books even more. If living vicariously turns her into a reader, at this point, I’ll allow it. Also, I read the first one with my daughter and it involved the girls trying to make potions and spells. My family is a fan of fantastical stories, but if magic isn’t your cup of tea, just be aware.
Choose Your Own Adventure – Dragonlarks
I remember loving Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid. My oldest child really enjoyed this Dragonlark series meant for younger children. They can be read in any order. Each book has completely different characters. These are great to bring along on outings in case your child gets bored. They are fun and quick and can be read multiple times with different endings each time.
Our family did this Fudge series as read-alouds and everyone loved them. I remember thinking they were hilarious as a kid. Fudge and all the mischief he gets into is hysterical. Even though we read them a couple years ago, my son who is going into fifth grade recently asked if we could do them as read-alouds again, since my 3 and 5 year olds didn’t get to appreciate them the first time. I was surprised he even remembered them, but they definitely left a lasting impression!
Baby Sitters Little Sister
I bought a stack of about ten Baby Sitters Little Sister books at our local bookstore and I bought them for my daughter thinking she was not quite ready for Baby Sisters Club. These are the first real chapter books that she got into. The first one took her about 3 weeks to get through, reading a chapter a night. By the tenth one, she could finish the whole book in two nights. These are definitely the books that made her believe she was a reader.
Fly Guy Presents
More challenging than the Fly Guy early reader series, the Fly Guy Presents series features non-fiction information for kids. There are books on topics such as dinosaurs, space, monster trucks, various animals, and community helpers. My son who liked Fly Guy when he was learning to read enjoyed a few of these titles. If your child prefers non-fiction, this might be a good fit.
Magic Tree House
Magic Tree House is a widely loved series. They are fun and educational. My kids just never really got into them. My son definitely read a few, they just didn’t catch him the way his detective books did. It is definitely worth seeing if your child enjoys these however as there are over 50 books in the series with supplemental guides as well.