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
My Side of the Mountain My son listened to the audio book.
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.
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)
One Dog and His Boy (a great read-aloud)
The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom My son read this book and its sequel at the end of 2nd grade.
Dragon Rider My son loved the audiobook. He listened to it in 1st grade.
Blubber She listened to the audio version in 2nd grade.
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.
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.
There’s A Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom My daughter read it at the beginning of 4th grade.
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.
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans This is a great read-aloud for kids 8 and up.
Twelve Kinds of Ice (recommended as read-aloud for winter)
Zorgamazoo (rhyming, great read-aloud)
Prince Puggly of Spud and the Kingdom of Spiff (rhyming, great read-aloud)
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.
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.
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.
Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter I have never read the book but as a child I loved the movie.
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.
Owls in the Family I read this book to my kids when they were 8 and 10.
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.
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.
Coraline Some people recommend the audio book.
The Castle in the Attic My son listened to the audio book when he was in 1st grade.
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.
Nim’s Island My son read it in 2nd grade.
House of Robots (great for reluctant readers)
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.
Gooseberry Park This book might not be for everyone, it is for animal lovers. Parents read it also to younger kids.
Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Almost True Stories of Growing up Scieszka (funny, somebody recommended the audiobook)
Athlete vs. Mathlete (not among the top books but still enjoyable read)
The Day My Butt Went Psycho My son read it in 2nd grade.
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.
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.
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).
8 or 9?
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH I read it to my kids over the summer (7 and 9). We loved it.
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.
Nory Ryan’s Song (sequel Maggie’s Door)
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)
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)
Starry River of the Sky (a great read-aloud)
The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher We listened to the audio book when our kids were 7 and 9.
Leon and the Spitting Image (funny) My daughter read this at the end of 3rd grade and liked it.
All the Answers My daughter read it at the beginning of 4th grade.
The Island of Dr. Libris My daughter read it at the end of 3rd grade and loved it.
If you are still looking for more books, check out some reading lists for grades 3 & 4:
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