I just love a good book list! I can’t help but look through it for our family favourites but I also love to keep an eye out to discover new favorites.
TJ’s third-grade year was filled with some fabulous books for kids. We listened to many audiobooks, read more books while we cuddled on the couch, and even re-listened to some old favorites.
The Candymakers by Wendy Mass was one of her favorites of the year (I think we’ve listened to it 3 times now). If your library has the audio version, we recommend it for you and your kids. It’s a great story that’s told from different points of view (and provides a great lesson in teaching about points of view!).
If you have a book you just love to read with your elementary kids, please let me know about it!
- Fabulous books for kids
- Homer Price
- The Rescuers
- Bunnicula (and sequels)
- Five Children and It
- The Phoenix and the Carpet
- The Story of the Amulet
- Misty of Chincoteague
- Nurse Matilda (and sequels)
- The Candymakers
- Toliver’s Secret
- How to Train your Dragon
- Half Magic
- The Saturdays
- Ella Enchanted
- Understood Betsy
- The Ordinary Princess
- The Wheel on the School
- The Incredible Journey
- From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
- Black Beauty
- The Hobbit
- Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
- Fantastic Mr. Fox
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
- Caddie Woodlawn
- Mr. Revere and I
Fabulous books for kids
I really can’t say enough good things about cuddling with your child and reading a good book together. Even when TJ has friends sleep over I read aloud to them and they all love to be read to.
After one particularly exciting chapter, TJ had to lend the book to her friend when we’d finished reading it because he just had to know what happened. I guess you can’t give a book a better recommendation than that!
Here’s a list of our very favorite read alouds during TJ’s third-grade year:
Homer Price is about a boy called Homer that lives in Centerburg, Ohio. Homer has gentle manners and loves fixing radios but he gets himself involved in some crazy situations throughout the story.
Some of these include a robbery experience, donut making using the machine in his uncle’s diner, and mouse traps.
Miss Bianca is a beautiful self-confident white mouse that lives in a luxury porcelain pagoda. The mouse has been pampered and that makes her the unlikely person selected to help on a challenging mission.
The Prisoner’s Aid Society tasks Miss Bianca with the rescue of a poet from Norway that is imprisoned in a black castle.
Bunnicula (and sequels)
Bunnicula is book series about a vampire rabbit that drains juice out of vegetables. Throughout the series, the Monroe family and their pet animals are put in focus. Also, the stories are being told through the perspective of Harold – the family dog.
The vampire rabbit – Bunnicula – was found at a movie theatre by the Monroe family when the Dracula film was being shown. The book series is recommended for kids and has great character development.
Five Children and It
This fantasy book tells the story of five English kids that stumbles upon a sand fairy that has the ability to grant their heart desires but their wishes are limited to one a day.
While this appears to be a situation anyone would dream to be in it turns out to be their worst nightmare.
The Phoenix and the Carpet
This a sequel to the Five Children and It, and is the second book of a three-part series. It centres around the same five kids; Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane, and the Lamb. Their mother purchases a brand-new carpet for them to fill in for the old one that got burnt by accident in the nursery.
On the carpet, the children find an egg that hatches into a phoenix. This phoenix tells them the magic carpet can grant them three wishes every day. This is another fantasy that will keep kids glued to each page.
The Story of the Amulet
The Story of the Amulet is the sequel to The Phoenix and the Carpet and the last book in the three-part series. Here, the reoccurring five kids in this series have another run-in with Psammead (the “It” in Five Children and It).
Psammead does not grant their wishes this time, instead, it gives them advice when they find an amulet. Like other books in this series, this is another fantasy story.
Rascal – a mischievous dog – likes chasing the chickens on Nonc Noon’s farm around. One day, Nonc Noon gives Rascal to Meely and both of them walk through the swamps until the day Meely gets seriously injured.
Rascal has to get to Nonc Noon to ask for help but a massive snake blocks his path. The unexpected events that unfold in this book make it an interesting read.
Misty of Chincoteague
Paul and Maureen Beebe live with their grandparents on Chincoteague Island and work so they can save and get a Chincoteague Pony mare called Phantom for themselves.
Before they can pay for the pony, a man from the mainland comes and gets it for himself. Will they still be able to get Phantom for themselves?
Nurse Matilda (and sequels)
Nurse Matilda is the first book in a three-part series that focuses on an ugly witch – called Nurse Matilda – that was strongly recommended by several agencies to Mr. Brown and his wife to be a nursemaid. When the witch arrives at Brown’s residence, she becomes the caretaker of the couple’s numerous children.
The children are obnoxious and many nannies have gotten fed up with them but the story seems to be different with Nurse Matilda. How will she get them to behave? The adventures in this book are captivating enough to make one want to stick around to find out.
Four twelve-year-old children – Logan, Miles, Daisy, and Philip – sign up for a candy-making competition. The story is being told by the four children from their different perspectives. Logan’s parents own the confectionary where the contest takes place.
Miles saw someone drown; Daisy turns out to be a professional spy, and Philip’s viewpoint lets us see different unsavory intentions of people throughout the plot. This is a thrilling non-fantasy that teaches forgiveness and atonement of one’s wrongdoing.
Toliver’s grandfather hurt his ankle and now she has to deliver a loaf of bread to New Jersey in his place. The loaf of bread was baked with a silver snuffbox that has a secret message in it.
While on her mission, she encountered a pair of street urchins and some redcoats before she arrives at her destination. After delivering it, she finds out that she is over 13 miles away from her town and has to get a ride from a stranger.
How to Train your Dragon
A Viking in this story had to overcome a cave full of several vicious young dragons and two full-sized ones to become a hero. Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was sent to capture and train a dragon as a rite to pass into the Hairy Hooligan Tribe, and he returned with one called Toothless that turned out to be as easy to train as a cat is.
Hiccup and Toothless make up a good team and embark on several adventures throughout the story. The book teaches the importance of courage, intelligence, and loyalty.
On a sunny day in this work of fiction, Jane finds a strange coin on a sidewalk and picks it up. She and her siblings are in the middle of a boring summer, so she idly wishes for something fun to happen.
To her surprise, something happens but it is just half of what she wished for. She finds out that the coin only grants half wishes, so to get your heart’s desire, you have to wish twice but not all double wishes come out perfect.
The Melendy family has four children – Mona, Rush, Randy, and Oliver – living with their dad and their housekeeper Cuffy in New York City.
They get tired of wasting away their Saturdays being idle and wishing they could have bigger allowances and this motivates them to follow Randy’s suggestion and launch the Independent Saturday Afternoon Adventure Club. This kicks of a series of events that make their Saturdays a lot more fun.
Upon Ella of Frell’s birth, she receives the gift of obedience from a fairy. The gift prompts her to always obey orders given to her no matter how ridiculous or disastrous it could be.
However, Ella has a strong will and is not willing to accept her fate and she embarks on a quest to get rid of this curse once and for all.
Elizabeth Ann, a nine-year-old timid girl that appears to be too small for her age finds out that she has unique abilities.
This discovery makes her see the world in a different light when she lives behind her lifestyle in an urban area and goes to live on a farm in Vermont with her relatives.
The Ordinary Princess
When Princess Amy was given birth to, she was beautiful and extraordinary – like everyone born into a royal family – but her fortunes changed when a fairy godmother – Crustacea – cast a spell on her to make her ordinary.
So, she ends up different from her six older sisters and prefers playing around in the woods than wearing the finest of clothes. This book gives its readers on Amy’s lifestyle and her parent’s attempts to make her extraordinary again.
The Wheel on the School
Storks stop coming to nest in Shora – a little Dutch fishing village – and it was not until Lina – a schoolchild – pointed it out that people began to take note.
Instead of laying around and wondering why they stopped coming, the schoolchildren in the village work towards bringing them the storks back to the village. The whole village puts in effort until they get the storks back to Shora.
The Incredible Journey
The Hunters leave for England for a few months because Jim – their father – has lectures to deliver in a university in the country. They live their three dogs in the custody of a family friend – John Longridge – who later sets out on a hunting trip that lasts for two weeks.
The dogs need human attention and set out to look for the Hunters, their owners. The book portrays the rewards bravery and perseverance can bring one.
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Claudia – a girl from New York City – will become twelve years of age in a month but she decides to run away from home with Jamie – her younger brother.
She is aware that running away from home in the heat of the moment without a destination in mind is something that is doomed to fail, so she plans everything to perfection.
This book is about a horse called Black Beauty and is told in the first person. The story tells the reader how Black Beauty lived a carefree life with his mum on an English farm until he became tasked with pulling cabs on the streets of London and finally retired happily in the countryside.
Black Beauty experienced hardships and has stories of both kindness and wickedness to tell.
A hobbit named Bilbo Baggins lives a comfortable and unambitious life and does not bother to travel further than his pantry in his home in Bag End.
One day, his peaceful way is disturbed when a wizard named Gandalf and thirteen dwarfs suddenly turn up at his doorstep and make him join them on an unexpected journey.
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Mrs. Frisby who heads a family of field mice has Timothy – her son – fall ill with pneumonia when a farmer prepares to spring plow the garden where the Frisby family lives. Mrs. Frisby normally moves with her family to their summer home but she cannot go this time because Timothy will not survive the cold trip there.
She seeks help and medicine from different characters in the book, even from the cat that killed her husband. Reading this book would let one follow Mrs. Frisby’s adventures and find out if Timothy would recover from his illness or not.
Fantastic Mr. Fox
This book tells the story of Mr. Fox who is a clever fox that lives with his family of a wife and four kids underground beside a tree. Mr. Fox has to visit a farm that belongs to three mean farmers every night to get food to feed his family.
The farmers get tired of Mr. Fox and come up with plans they think they can use to capture him. Will they be successful in getting Mr. Fox?
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie – an eleven-year-old boy – lives with his parents and four grandparents live poorly in a small out-of-town house. Charlie’s grandfather tells him the story of Willy Wonka and the sweets he always made until he had his secret recipe stolen and his factory shut down.
One day, Willy Wonka announces the reopening of his factory and a tour for five kids but they have to find golden tickets in a Wonka Bar. Charlie finds a golden ticket and joins four other kids on a tour of the factory. Many adventures unfold during the tour which would keep readers engaged.
Caroline “Caddie” Woodlawn is a hyperactive tomboy that is eleven years of age and lives in Dunnville, Wisconsin. She left Boston for Dunnville with her family when she was a kid but that trip nearly cost her life.
While ill, she is allowed to play and explore the woods and river with her two brothers so she can regain her health. Her hyperactive nature makes her encounter many things and is involved in different circumstances including embarrassing her mum with her antics when she is late for dinner after an excursion to a local Indian tribe.
Mr. Revere and I
Scheherazade, a horse that was once the quickest and most admired in the King’s Army was let down by her British rider when they arrived in America.
She ends up being recruited to join Sons of Liberty where she teams up with Paul Revere. They both play a key role in the American Revolution. The story is told from the viewpoint of “Sherry”, the horse.
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