Great Reads for Kids 8 and up (3rd Grade)

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A List of Books Recommended by Others or Books With Great Reviews

As I have mentioned in the previous categories, I strongly suggest you visit My Daughter in 2nd Grade list under 7 and up because she read many books recommended for age 8 and up then and it would be a shame to miss them. She often rereads the books from that list now in 3rd grade. Also check the Other Books 2nd Grade list because it contains tips on books appropriate for this age category but are easier to read and good for good second-grade readers. Another good source is the list My Son in 2nd Grade.

Definitely go to My Daughter in 3rd Grade list (or My Son in 3rd Grade) because whenever she reads a book from this list I take it off this list and move it there. You will find other books there that are a good read for both boys and girls. I do it for a simple reason. Sometimes I get a book for my daughter to read that turns out to be too hard for her or of no interest because she is not mature enough or the vocabulary is too difficult. Books that you will find in My Daughter in 3rd Grade or My Son in 3rd Grade list are safer bets because I can tell my friends–yes, it is good for her age and reading level, she read it and enjoyed it. I cannot be sure about the other books until she actually reads them.

Before you go on, I want to mention that there are many books great for this age by Andrew Clements. If you visited the category My Daughter in 2nd Grade, you would see that she enjoyed them during 2nd grade but she likes to reread them and she is planning to read the ones she hasn’t read yet. They are about kids and are very appropriate for this age and reading level. My daughter just brought No Talking for the third time from her school library.

Before you decide on a book based on the amount of reviews on Amazon, you should know that a lot of times, even excellent books don’t receive a huge number of reviews. If you want to check how people liked a book, try www.goodreads.com.

The titles toward the end of this lists are books that are suitable for the end of 3rd grade because I’ve seen them recommended either for 8- or 9-year-olds.

I have most of the titles on my lists here but not grouped together based on the interest in a book or movie. The following lists might make it easier for you to choose.
“Frozen” Chapter Books: 10 Titles for Kids Who Love the Disney Movie
Reading Post Greg and Rodrick: What to Read After Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Fantasy Chapter Books for Harry Potter Fans

The Borrowers For a list of books in this series click here.
borrowers

The Mouse and the Motorcycle For a list of the other titles click here. My son read the series in 2nd grade.
the mouse and motorcycle

Fablehaven For a list of books in this series click here. My son listened to the audio books in 2nd grade and loved them.
fablehaven

My Side of the Mountain My son listened to the audio book.
my side of the mountain

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp Somebody recommended listening to it (supposedly a well made audiobook). We tried the audiobook on our recent car trip and found it a bit boring, except for Dad. 🙂 So while it is probably a good book, it might not be for everybody.
the true blue scouts

Sweet Farts This book is not about farts, the author just uses the word to pull the story together, it is about family and friends. It is funny. For a list of books in this series click here. (maybe the end of 2nd grade)
sweet farts

One Dog and His Boy (a great read-aloud)
one dog and his boy

The Adventures of Beanboy (funny) Click here for more ratings and reviews (and another book) in this series.
the adventures of a beanboy

The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom My son read this book and its sequel at the end of 2nd grade.
the heros guide to saving

The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet
the wonderful flight

Dragon Rider My son loved the audiobook. He listened to it in 1st grade.
dragon rider

The Stonekeeper (graphic novel) For a list of titles in the Amulet series click here. My son read the whole series in 2nd grade.
the stonekeeper

The Secret Zoo For a list of books in this series click here. My son read it during the summer before he entered 3rd grade.
the secret zoo

The Dragon in the Sock Drawer For a list of books in the Dragon Keepers series click here. My son read it during the summer before he entered 3rd grade.
dragon in the sock drawer

Blubber  She listened to the audio version in 2nd grade.
blubber

The Familiars For a list of books in this series click here. I read two books to my kids and they loved it. My son finished reading the series on his own at the end of 2nd grade. If you liked The Familiars, try The Quest Begins (Seekers series) A lot of people say it is not as good as The Warriors but many liked it.
the familiars

Survivors #1: The Empty City For a list of books in this series click here.
the empty city

How to Eat Fried Worms
how to eat fried worms

Keeper of the Doves
keeper of the doves

Shiloh and the second book Shiloh Season  and the third book Saving Shiloh
shiloh

The Emerald Atlas and The Fire Chronicle For a list of books in the Books of Beginning series click here.
the emerald atlas

Heidi
heidi

Misty of Chincoteague A must-read for horse lovers. we listened to it on our way to Chincoteague Island when my son was 8 and my daughter 10.
misty of chincoteague

Niagara Falls, Or Does It?  For a list of books in the Hank Zipzer series click here.
niagara falls

There’s A Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom My daughter read it at the beginning of 4th grade.
there is a boy in the girls bathroom

The Ordinary Princess
the ordinary princess

Pearl’s Promise   Although this book does not have as many reviews as some others, I put it on my list to try because someone recommended this book and I also found reviews from teachers who read it to 2nd and 3rd graders and they loved it. To read more about it click here.
pearls promise

The Magician’s Elephant
the magicians elephant

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans This is a great read-aloud for kids 8 and up.
heart and soul

Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat For a list of books in this series click here.
emmy

A Dog’s Way Home
dogs way home

Utterly Me, Clarice Bean For a list of books in this series click here.
utterly me clarice bean

The Family Under the Bridge read more reviews here.
the family under the bridge

Lawn Boy For more ratings and reviews click here.
lawn boy

The Homework Machine Read more reviews here. My daughter read 50 pages and said she didn’t like it.
the homework machine

Breadcrumbs
breadcrumbs

Riding Freedom
riding freedom

Sir Fartsalot Hunts the Booger Read more reviews here. My son loved it–read it at the end of 2nd grade.
sir fartsalot

The Good Master
the good master

The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity For a list of books in the Brixton Brothers series click here.
the case of the case of mistaken indentity

The Hero Revealed For a list of books in The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy series click here.
the hero revealed

Bliss For a list of books in The Bliss Bakery trilogy click here.
bliss

The Iron Trial For a list of books in the Magisterium series click here. (It is compared to Harry Potter and probably not as good but plenty of people love it so you can give this series a try.)
the iron trial

Deltora Quest #1: The Forests of Silence  (for readers not quite ready for Harry Potter) For a list of books in this series click here. My son read the series at the end of 2nd grade.
deltora quest

Twelve Kinds of Ice (recommended as read-aloud for winter)
twelve kinds of ice

Nancy and Plum
nancy and plum

Bed-Knob and Broomstick For a list of books in this series click here.
bedknob and broomstick

Mousenet and its sequel Mousemobile
mousenet

The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook
the five lives of our cat zook

Zorgamazoo (rhyming, great read-aloud)
zorgamazoo

Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff  (rhyming, great read-aloud)
prince puggly

Rufus M.  (a great read-aloud) I read this book to my kids when they were 7 and 9 but I must admit it is not a page turner and a bit old-fashioned so it may not be for everybody.
rufus

Half Upon a Time For the other books in this trilogy click here. My daughter read almost half of the book but did not finish it. She said there was not much happening and started reading Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, which she couldn’t put down.
half upon a time

The Cat Who Went to Heaven
the cat who went to heaven

Rickshaw Girl
rickshaw girl

Eloise: A Book for Precocious Grown Ups For a list of books in this series click here.
eloise

Princess Tales by Gail Carson Levine If your daughter likes fairytales, this series is apparently very popular with a lot of girls (e.g. The Fairy’s Mistake, The Princess Test and others). My daughter is not a fan of fairytales so she will probably never pick these up. Many Moms read these stories to their five-year-olds so they are good read-alouds for princess lovers.
princess tales

Time Cat: The Remarkable Journeys of Jason and Gareth Read more reviews here.
timecat

Pie
pie

Caddie Woodlawn
caddie woodlawn

Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter I have never read the book but as a child I loved the movie.
ronia

Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher The second book of Magic Shop series (Monster’s Ring is the first). For a list of books in this series click here. We listened to the audio book when kids were 8 and almost 7 and liked it a lot.
jeremy thatcher dragon hatcher

Harriet the Spy I haven’t made up my mind about this series because I have read mixed reviews about it—people either hate her or love her). For a list of books click here and here.
harriet the spy

Tom’s Midnight Garden To read more reviews click here.
toms midnight garden

Sarah, Plain and Tall and its sequels Skylark and Caleb’s Story
sarah plain tall

Owls in the Family I read this book to my kids when they were 8 and 10.
owls in the family

Classic Starts series
treasure island Tom Sawyer the secret garden robin hood little princess

A friend of mine has told me about this series—abridged and retold classics. I was not sure if I’d like the idea of my kids reading an abridged version (sometimes retold) and not the original but it is true that kids can read a lot of the classics only when they are older because the originals are either long or difficult in vocabulary. I think I would run into one problem with my kids—they would not want to read the original later if they already knew the story. Since I studied literature, I myself would not be prone to offering these to my kids as long as there are other books they can enjoy.

However, if you view the abridged versions as a stepping stone to the originals or you’d like to introduce the classics to your kids at a younger age, give them a try. There are many adventures stories boys would love (Treasure Island, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Three Musketeers, etc.) and many stories girls would enjoy (Heidi, A Little Princess, Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden etc.)

I have looked for the reading levels of these books but it varies (2nd grade and up, some kids read them in 1st grade). However, although the reading levels might be higher on some websites, it looks like the books are not hard reads (from what people say). So just give them a try and see. I have found some information about the reading levels of this series here. At least you can choose from the least difficult ones.

For a list of books in the Classic Starts Series click here.

Abel’s Island
abels island

Dominic
dominic

Ballet Shoes For a list of books in the Shoes series click here.
ballet shoes

Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery For a list of books in this series click here.
bunnicula

Saddle Club (for girls who love horses) The stories in this series revolve around three girls at a horse riding school. For a list of books in this series click here.
saddle club

The Year of the Book My daughter did not like it when I brought it from the library at the beginning of 3rd grade but it has good reviews so we might try it later in the year.
the year of the book

The Children of Green Knowe
the children of green knowe

The Year of the Dog
the year of the dog

Coraline Some people recommend the audio book.
coraline

My Teacher Is an Alien Click here for more reviews and here for a list of the 4 books in this series. My son read the series in 2nd grade.
my teacher is an alien

The Gammage Cup For other books in the Minnipins series click here.
the gammage cup

The Jungle Book
the jungle book

The Castle in the Attic My son listened to the audio book when he was in 1st grade.
the castle in the attic

Big Nate Flips Out (series) For more Big Nate graphic novels click here.
big nate flips out

A Snicker of Magic Read more reviews here.
snicker of magic

The Wheel on the School Read more reviews here.
the wheel on the school

Marley: A Dog Like No Other
marley

Floors For a list of books in this series click here. My kids listened to the audio book when they were 8 and 10.
floors

A Nest for Celeste: A Story About Art, Inspiration, and the Meaning of Home People read it to younger kids, a lot of pictures, it would make a great read aloud for kids of different ages.
a nest for celeste

Nim’s Island My son read it in 2nd grade.
nims island

The Island of Adventure For a list of books in this series click here.
the island of adventure

House of Robots (great for reluctant readers)
house of robots

Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies Lots of fun silliness that will appeal to fans of writers like Dav Pilky and Jon Scieszka. I can imagine that my son would love this book.
attack of the fluffy bunnies

Gooseberry Park  This book might not be for everyone, it is for animal lovers. Parents read it also to younger kids.
gooseberry park

Into the Land of the Unicorns This is not a girly story, it is great for both boys and girls. For a list of books in the Unicorn Chronicle series click here.
into the land of unicorns

The Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy’s Great Idea For a list of books in this series click here.
the babysitters club

All-of-a-Kind Family For a list of books in this series click here.
all of a kind family

Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories of Growing up Scieszka (funny, somebody recommended the audiobook)
knucklehead

Boys Are Dogs For a list of books in the Annabelle Unleashed series click here.  My daughter read it at the beginning of 4th grade.
boys are dogs

Athlete vs. Mathlete (not among the top books but still enjoyable read)
athlete vs mathlete

Elvis and the Underdogs (also probably not among the top books but still enjoyable) For a list of books in this series click here.
elvis and the underdogs

Treasure Hunters For a list of books in this series click here. My son read the whole series in 2nd grade.
treasure hunters

Skinnybones (funny)
skinnybones

Story Thieves
story thieves

I Survived: The Shark Attacks of 1916 For a list of books in this series click here. My daughter read a few at the beginning of 4th grade.
I survived

Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor (funny) For a list of books in this series click here.
frank einstein

Snow Treasure
snow treasure

Celia and the Fairies
celia and the fairies

May B.
May B

The Day My Butt Went Psycho My son read it in 2nd grade.
the day my butt went psycho

Gone-Away Lake
gone away lake

Runt
runt

The Adventures of Robin Hood
the adventures of robin hood

Twice Upon a Time #1: Rapunzel, The One With All the Hair For a list of books in the Twice Upon a Time series click here.
twice upon a time

Whatever After #1: Fairest of All For a list of books in this series click here. My daughter discovered this series at the beginning of 4th grade and liked it a lot.
whatever after

Ms. Rapscott’s Girls My daughter is a fan of Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, Mary Poppins, and Nanny McPhee, so I think she’d love this book.
ms rapscotts girls

Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome This book has tons of great reviews but I don’t see my kids picking it up. My daughter read a few pages here and there but did not really come back to it (at the beginning of 4th grade).
kid presidents guide to being awesome

The Misadventures of Max Crumbly 1: Locker Hero For a list of books in this series click here.
The Misadventures of Max Crumbly

The Frog Princess For a list of books in this series click here.
The Frog Princess

The Black Stallion
The Black Stallion

The True Meaning of Smekday
The True Meaning of Smekday

Summer of the Monkeys
Summer of the Monkeys

The Last Kids on Earth
The Last Kids on Earth

The Girl with the Silver Eyes
The Girl with the Silver Eyes

Models Don’t Eat Chocolate Cookies
Models Dont Eat Chocolate Cookies

Property of the Rebel Librarian

24 Hours in Nowhere

The Benefits of Being an Octopus

The Night Diary

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

The Parker Inheritance

Dactyl Hill Squad For a list of books in this series click here.

The Book of Boy

The Kidnap Plot For a list of books in this series click here.

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

Inkling

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl

The Power of Poppy Pendle

Wild Life

Sky Jumpers For a list of books in this series click here.

The Land I Lost

Upside-Down Magic For a list of books in this series click here.

Loot  For a list of books in this series click here.

The London Eye Mystery For a list of books in this series click here.

Trapped in a Video Game For a list of books in this series click here.

Sophia’s War: A Tale of the Revolution

The Puzzling World of Winston Breen For a list of books in this series click here.

The Apprentice Witch

The Secret of Nightingale Wood

The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine

The Magic Misfits For a list of books in this series click here.

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery, & a Very Strange Adventure

The Doldrums

The Seventh Wish

The Accidental Hero For a list of books in this series click here.

The Hound of Rowan For a list of books in this series click here.

Smells Like Dog For a list of books in this series click here.

Night of the Twisters

Remarkable

Hate That Cat

The Boy Who Saved Baseball For a list of books in this series click here.

The House With Chicken Legs

Endling For a list of books in this series click here.

The Wild Robot Escapes For a list of books in this series click here.

Front Desk

 

8 or 9?

Pax
Pax

A Tale Dark and Grimm For a list of books in this series click here.
A Tale Dark and Grimm

Woof: A Bowser and Birdie Novel
Woof

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon We listened to the audio version when our kids were 7 and 9. I think it is probably more appropriate for a 9-year old for independent reading.
where the mountain meets the moon

Babe & Me For a list of books in the Baseball Card Adventures click here.
babe and me

Starry River of the Sky
starry river of the sky

Finally  The recommended age for this and the following book is 9 and up but my daughter really enjoyed 11 Birthdays when she was only 8 so I’ll leave it up to you). She read this one two months before she turned 9. They are all part of Willow Falls series.
finally

13 Gifts I’ve seen a comment that although you don’t have to read the previous book to enjoy this one, you will get more out of the jokes if you read Finally first. Since my daughter loved the previous books she devoured this one as well. She is planning on reading The Last Present.
13 gifts

The Chronicles of Chrestomanci (for Harry Potter lovers) For a list of books in this series click here. People recommend books by Diana Wynne Jones. Howl’s Moving Castle is on my list for 9 and up because I could not tell the level of difficulty from what I have read. I guess we’ll just have to try and see. However, there are so many books appropriate for this age group that my kids can wait a year or two longer to read these (since adults read them as well)
chronicles of chrestomanci

Gregor The Overlander (Underland Chronicles series) People rave about this series, even young kids listen to it (5 or 6). It can get a bit violent, I am not sure if it isn’t better for 9-year-olds for independent reading. For a list of books click here.
gregor the overlander

Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja For a list of books in this series click here.
diary of 6th grade ninja

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH I read it to my kids over the summer (7 and 9). We loved it.
frisby and the rats

The Secret of the Old Clock and other Nancy Drew mysteries
secret of the old clock

Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining A series for girls, a light read, a lot of people recommend closer to age 9. For a list of books click here.
every cloud has a silver lining

Goblin Secrets mixed reviews, some people love it, some say it’s mediocre but it is a National Book Award winner so I think it deserves to be on this list for you to try.
goblin secrets

Icefall
icefall

The Invasion For a list of books in the sci-fi series Animorphs click here.
invasion

The Forests of Silence For a list of books in the Deltora Quest series click here.
forest of silence

The Moffats
moffats

Nory Ryan’s Song (sequel Maggie’s Door)
Nory ryans song

Rascal
rascal

Circles in the Stream For a list of books in the Avalon Web of Magic series click here.
circles in the stream

Redwall For a complete list of 22 books in this praised series click here. My son listened to to audio books in 2nd grade and loved it.
redwall

Anne of Green Gables For a complete list of all 8 books click here.
anne of green gables

Poppy and it’s prequel Ragweed. Sequels Poppy and Ereth For a list of books in the Dimwood Forest series click here. My son listened to the first three books at the age of 6 and loved it.
poppy

Young Fredle (mixed reviews, not for kids who crave action but I put it on my list because I think my son might enjoy it)
young fredle

Bartlett and the Ice Voyage For more reviews click here. I was not sure about this book but it could be a very good read so it is on the list.
barlett and the ice voyage

The Guardians
the guardians

Ella Enchanted I could not ignore the number of great reviews of this book. My daughter will probably not read it as she is not fond of fairy tales but many girls are. If your daughter likes it, you may want to check out The Two Princesses of Bamarre which is probably suitable more for a 9-year old but I am not sure. My daughter listened to the audio version over the summer (before entering 4th grade)
ella enchanted

The Tale of Despereaux
the tale of despereaux

Chronicles of Ancient Darkness For a list of books in this series click here.

Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever.

Starry River of the Sky  (a great read-aloud)
starry river of the sky

The Pinballs
the pinballs

The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler
the turbulent

The Contract
the contract

When Life Gives You O.J.
when life gives you OJ

Capture the Flag For a list of books in this series click here. My daughter enjoyed this book when she read it at the beginning of 4th grade.
capture the flag

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher We listened to the audio book when our kids were 7 and 9.
the misadventures of the family fletcher

Olivia Kidney For a list of books in this series click here.
olivia kidney

Leon and the Spitting Image (funny) My daughter read this at the end of 3rd grade and liked it.
leon and the spitting image

The Word Eater
the word eater

Storybound (also check out its sequel)
storybound

The Flame of Olympus For a list of books in the Pegasus series click here.
the flame of olympus

Seven Wonders Book 1: The Colossus Rises (compared to Percy Jackson and some people thought it was not as good but still a lot of good reviews) For a list of books in this series click here.
seven wonders

Nothing’s Fair in Fifth Grade
nothings fair in fifth grade

Umbrella Summer
umbrella summer

Tales of the Greek Heroes
tales of the greek heroes

All the Answers My daughter read it at the beginning of 4th grade.
all the answers

Infinity Ring Book 1: A Mutiny in Time For a list of books in this series click here.
infinity ring

The Island of Dr. Libris My daughter read it at the end of 3rd grade and loved it.
the island of dr libris

Pickle: The (Formerly) Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School
pickle

The Capture For a list of books in the Guardians of Ga’hoole series click here.
the capture

Silverwing  For a list of books in The Silverwing Trilogy click here.
silverwing

It’s Raining Cupcakes For a list of books in the Cupcakes series click here.
its raining cupcakes

The Terrible Two
the terrible two

If you are still looking for more books, check out some reading lists for grades 3 & 4:

List 1

List 2

 

 

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