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I feel like I am repeating myself but I must mention it again in case you haven’t visited my categories for younger kids.
Before you start exploring this list, check out the other categories for kids 7 and up, or 8 and up, and what my daughter read in earlier grades (My Daughter in 3rd Grade, My Daughter in 2nd Grade, My Daughter in 4th Grade). Different books may be listed under My Son in 3rd Grade and My Son in 4th Grade.
I place the books in the category that I think is closest to the earliest age the book can be read independently. Most of the books are in a wide age range and can be enjoyed by kids from 8 – 12. Your child will not feel s/he is reading something babyish. On the contrary, I am sometimes not sure if the books in my lists shouldn’t be placed in a higher age range. Definitely start there first. You could miss great books if you didn’t.
Important: Once my daughter or son read a book from this list, I place it on the list My Daughter in 4th Grade or My Son in 4th Grade and it is no longer here. For safer bets and the best books, check that list out as well.
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
Because of Winn-Dixie My daughter brought home from the school library two months into 3rd grade (8 and 1/2) and did not finish it. She read about 50 pages. It may be that she is not mature enough to enjoy this book. I hope she will try it again in a year or two.
Ida B: . . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World A lot of people compare this book to Because of Winn-Dixie and like this one better.
The One and Only Ivan
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda The series should be read in order.
The Anybodies For a list of books in this series click here.
The Shadows Click here for a list of books in The Books of Elsewhere series.
A Little Princess
Diary of a Wimpy Kid For a list of books in this series click here.
Rules My daughter listened to this book when she turned 8.
The Chronicles of Prydain For reviews and a list of books in this series click here.
Into the Wild For a list of books in the Warriors series click here. The Warriors series continues in Warriors: Power of Three series and Warriors: Omen of the Stars series.
By the Great Horn Spoon!
The Secret Garden
The Wee Free Men Somebody mentioned they read the Discworld series to their 4- and 7-year-old and they loved it. If you like it, check out the second book A Hat Full of Sky and the third book called Wintersmith.
I Shall Wear Midnight
The Tiger Rising
The View from Saturday
Million Dollar Shot For a list of books in this series click here.
The Captain’s Dog: My Journey with the Lewis and Clark Tribe Read more reviews here.
Love That Dog
Touch Blue Read more reviews here.
The Last Dragon More reviews can be found here.
Wonkenstein (funny) For a list of books in The Creature from My Closet series click here.
My Life as a Book (funny) For a list of books in The My Life series click here.
Half a Chance Read more reviews here.
Igraine the Brave (for girls)
Lionboy Click here for the other books in the Lionbook Trilogy.
Where the Red Fern Grows
Bridge to Terabithia
The Red Pyramid For a list of books in The Kane Chronicles series click here.
Dear Mr. Henshaw
Eggs Some one wrote: From my best estimate, the book reads at around a 3rd grade level, but deals with concepts more appropriate for 4th or 5th grade. Eggs does not have a “happily ever after” type conclusion, which would definitely appeal to some students.
Lily’s Crossing Read more reviews here.
Gone-Away Lake For more reviews and the title of the sequel click here.
The Saturdays For a list of books in this series and more ratings click here.
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place For a list of books in this series click here.
A Long Way From Chicago For a list of books in this series click here.
The Real Boy Read more reviews here.
The Boy in the Dress Read more reviews here.
MR Stink See more ratings and reviews here. I read the book to my kids when they were 7 and 9.
The Boundless Read more reviews here
Granny Torrelli Makes Soup Read more reviews here.
The Doll in the Garden: A Ghost Story Other ghost stories can be found here.
A Season of Gifts
Magyk This book has a lot of great reviews so it is worth mentioning but I want to warn you that some people were disappointed in the lack of originality compared to Harry Potter and other fantasy books. You can find more reviews and a list of books in this series here. My son read it at the end of 5th grade and loved the whole series.
The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1: Magic Marks the Spot Perfect for girls and boys! For a list of other books in this series (I think it is planned as a trilogy) click here. (the audio book is supposed to be great)
Detectives in Togas For other books in this series click here.
Homer Price We listened to the audio book when my kids were 7 and 8.
Glory Be Read more reviews here.
A Tangle of Knots (maybe for 8-year-olds too)
David and the Phoenix My friend’s daughter read this book a few weeks ago and although it is a very nice book, one part is very sad–she cried a lot I heard. I would advise you to read the reviews first before giving this book to your child–it is not a tragic ending but not happy either.
A Crooked Kind of Perfect
Aru Shah and the End of Time
The Lost Heir For a list of books in The Gryphon Chronicles click here.
All’s Faire in Middle School
Projekt 1065: A Novel of World War II
The Door by the Staircase
How Angel Peterson Got His Name
The Clockwork Three
The Science of Breakable Things
Max Einstein: The Genius Experiment
School of Fear For a list of books in this trilogy click here.
The Call For a list of books in The Magnificent 12 series click here.
Turtle in Paradise
The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop (not among the top books considering the number of reviews but probably still enjoyable)
Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things
The Thieves of Ostia For a list of books in The Roman Mysteries series click here.
Saffy’s Angel For a list of books in the Casson Family series click here.
The Box of Delights Try to find this edition which is unabridged and has beautiful illustrations.
Handbook for Dragon Slayers
Pi in the Sky
All Four Stars
The Rescuers For a list of books in this series click here.
The Little White Horse
The Madman of Piney Woods
The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond
Absolutely Almost (maybe not for everyone, read reviews first, but I’ve seen it mentioned several times and decided to put it on my list)
Urchin of the Riding Stars (The Mistmantle Chronicles, Book 1)
Jinx For a list of books in this series click here. My son read the series at the end of 2nd grade.
The Dragonet Prophecy For a list of books in the Wings of Fire series click here. My son read it at the end of 2nd grade.
Dark Hills Divide For a list of books in the Land of Elyon series click here.
The Secret of Zoom
Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos For a list of books in this series click here.
Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made (Supposedly funny but we didn’t like it that much. We stopped listening to the audiobook after 40 minutes. I think that it also contains a lot of complicated vocabulary that kids may not understand without explanations)
Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword (graphic novel)
A Whole Nother Story For a list of books in this trilogy click here.
Anyone but Ivy Pocket (for fans of Lemony Snicket)
Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters
The Map to Everywhere My son read it at the end of 2nd grade.
The Keepers: The Box and the Dragonfly
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer
Of Giants and Ice For a list of books in the The Ever Afters series click here.
The Tapper Twins Go to War (With Each Other) (maybe not for everybody but based on the reviews probably worth being on this list if you want to take a break from more serious books)
Ms. Bixby’s Last Day
The Best Man
Save Me a Seat
The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes My son read it in 3rd grade.
My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights
Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story
The Dollhouse Murders (Halloween read)
DragonSpell (Dragon Keepers Chronicles)
Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians For a list of books in the Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians series click here.
My Life in Pink & Green For a list of books in this series click here.
Books for 9- or 10-year-olds?
I am not sure about the right age for the following books. If you are not sure it is better to wait one more year before your child reads them.
Bone (graphic novel) For a list of books in this series click here.
Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading (funny)For a list of books in the Charlie Joe Jackson Series click here. (funny)
Masterpiece I read it to my kids when they were 7 and 9.
The Blackthorn Key For a list of books in this series click here.
The Thing About Jellyfish
The Mighty Miss Malone
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.(4th grade)
Book Scavenger My daughter read it at the beginning of 4th grade. For a list of books in this series click here.
The Menagerie For a list of books in this series click here. My son read this book in 3rd grade.
The Trials of Apollo For a list of books in this series click here.
The Demigod Files (A Percy Jackson and the Olympians Guide)
The Chronicles of Harris Burdick
A House Called Awful End (funny and silly) For a list of books in the Eddie Dickens Trilogy click here.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Island of the Blue Dolphins
The Fourteenth Goldfish (reading level 8 and up but the themes resonate more with older kids). My daughter read it at the beginning of 5th grade.
One Crazy Summer Check out the sequels P.S. Be Eleven and Gone Crazy in Alabama
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes Read more reviews here. My daughter read it at the end of 3rd grade.
Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze Read more reviews here.
The Two Princesses of Bamarre (start with Ella Enchanted first)
Wonderstruck My daughter read it at the beginning of 4th grade.
Inside Out and Back Again
The Swiss Family Robinson
Number the Stars My daughter read it in 3rd grade. My son as well.
Ways To Live Forever
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow
Sugar and Ice
A Wrinkle in Time I read the book with my kids when they were at the end of 3rd and 5th grade.
The Luck Uglies For a list of books in this series click here.
The Great Good Thing For a list of books in this series click here.
Pennyroyal Academy (a good read-aloud for kids 7 and up, we listened to the audio book in the car)
The Humming Room This book borrows its story line from “The Secret Garden” (Warning: read the reviews first—some people are not comfortable with the topics—see this review)
Walls Within Walls
Journey to the River Sea
Mr. Tucket For a list of books in this series click here.
The War that Saved My Life I read this book to my kids when they were in 3rd and 5th grade and they loved it.
Tuck Everlasting This is a book I’d like my kids to read but I have read in several reviews that some kids appreciate it when they are slightly older so there is no hurry. This would be probably the lowest age I’d recommend the book to a child. (I read it to my kids when they were at the beginning of 4th and 6th grade)
The Eighth Day For a list of books in this series click here.
The Toothpaste Millionaire
Walking with Miss Millie
The Seventh Most Important Thing
13 Treasures For a list of books in this series click here.
Willa of the Wood
If you are still looking for more books, check out some reading lists for grades 3 & 4:
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