3rd Grade

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut – Derrick Barnes

This rhythmic, read-aloud title is a celebration of the way boys feel when they leave the barber’s chair.

Stella Díaz Has Something To Say – Angela Dominguez

This award-winning book introduces an infectiously charming character with relatable writing and adorable black-and-white art throughout. Simple Spanish vocabulary is also integrated within the text, providing a bilingual element. **series**

Lovely Beasts – Kate Gardner

A stunning debut picture book that encourages kids to look beyond first impressions by sharing unexpected details about seemingly scary wild animals like gorillas, rhinoceroses, and more. This nonfiction picture book is an excellent choice to share and it sends a positive message: it’s best not to judge a beast until you understand its full, lovely life.

The One Day House – Julia Durango

Wilson longs to help Gigi fix up her house, even though she reassures him his company is more than enough. One day, he’s able to realize his intentions, with the support of his community.

The Wild Robot – Peter Brown

Wall-E meets Hatchet in this New York Times bestselling illustrated middle grade novel from Caldecott Honor winner Peter Brown. **series**

Starstruck: The Cosmic Journey of Neil Degrasse Tyson – Kathleen Krull & Paul Brewer

A picture-book biography on science superstar Neil deGrasse Tyson, the groundbreaking American astrophysicist whose work has inspired a generation of young scientists and astronomers to reach for the stars.

This Is My Eye: A New York Story – Neela Vaswani

Shapes, colors, patterns, and people are everywhere, and things look different depending on how you look at them — and who is doing the looking. In this playful ode to photography and point of view, a poetic story posits how one young girl might capture moments of insight, community, and art in her beloved hometown, New York City.

Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face – John Doughterty

These will appeal to students who like wacky humor. Stinkbomb and his messy little sister Ketchup-Face get themselves into madcap adventures in this mega silly series.

Digging For Words: Jose Alberto Gutierrez and the Library He Built – Angela Burke Kunkel

Parallel stories tell of a Colombian garbage collector who salvages discarded books, and a young boy who waits all week for library day. This narrative nonfiction title is a heartwarming celebration of the power of books to both transport and connect readers.

The Very Last Castle – Travis Jonker

This traditional tale with a twist stars Ibb, the one girl brave enough to investigate who actually lives in the old castle that stands in the middle of town. Rumors run rampant, but the truth surprises everyone.

Dragons in a Bag – Zetta Elliott

This super fun adventure story has great life lessons about the meaning of family and the value of friendship, bravery, perseverance. There are also conversation starters for conservationism, environmentalism, imagination, open-mindedness, and forgiveness. Quite a fun romp.

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The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Future of America’s Presidents – Kate Messner

Here’s a creative and empowering take on an informational book about presidents. What were future presidents doing when their predecessors took office? Students can begin to think about where great leaders start and explore their own potential.

The Boy Who Grew Flowers – Jen Wojtowicz

Shunned at school because he sprouts flowers every full moon, Rink Bowagon makes a special pair of shoes for a classmate who is able to appreciate his unique abilities.

Jada Jones – Kelly Starling Lyons

Fans of Princess Posey and Ivy and Bean will enjoy engaging with science-loving Jada Jones in this easy-to-read chapter book. **series**

Me and the World: An Infographic Exploration – Mireia Trius

Kids who love facts and numbers will love browsing this visually enticing title. Creative infographics—like a world map made of different balls to show each nation’s most popular sport—introduce kids to the endless possibilities for displaying data.

Drawn Together – Minh Lê

This award-winning book tells the story of a young boy who visits his grandfather but their lack of common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. As they sit down to draw together, something magical happens — with a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words.

The Enchanted Files: Cursed – Bruce Coville

For fans of Shrek. Cursed is the first book in a magical, hilarious comedy series about fantastical creatures in the modern world by the bestselling author of My Teacher Is an Alien: Bruce Coville.    **series**

Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes – Wab Kinew

Inspired by President Barack Obama’s Of Thee I Sing, this incredible tribute to historic and modern-day Indigenous heroes features important figures such as Tecumseh, Sacagawea and former NASA astronaut John Herrington.

The Day You Begin – Jacqueline Woodson

National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson and two-time Pura Belpre Illustrator Award winner Rafael Lopez have teamed up to create a poignant, yet heartening book about finding courage to connect, even when you feel scared and alone.

When You Trap A Tiger – Tae Keller

Would you make a deal with a magical tiger? This uplifting story brings Korean folklore to life as a girl goes on a quest to unlock the power of stories and save her grandmother.

Turning Pages: My Life Story – Sonia Sotomayor

Justice Sotomayor shares her love of books with a new generation of readers, and inspires them to read and puzzle and dream for themselves. Accompanied by Lulu Delacre’s vibrant art, this story of the Justice’s life shows readers that the world is full of promise and possibility–all they need to do is turn the page.

Butterflies Belong Here: A Story of One Idea, Thirty Kids, and a World of Butterflies – Deborah Hopkinson

This is a powerful story of everyday activism and hope. In this moving tale of community conservation, a girl finds a home in a new place and a way to help other small travelers.

The Unicorn Rescue Society – Adam Gidwitz

Gidwitz delivers a quick-witted fantasy focused on supposedly imaginary creatures and finding like-minded friends, told from Elliot’s fresh, young perspective. Though friendship and cooperation are emphasized, a more subtle lesson about fallibility and recovering from mistakes demonstrates slightly more complex, and necessary, life skills. **series**

Made for Each Other: Why Dogs and People Are Perfect Partners – Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

Dog lovers everywhere will enjoy this insightful, adorable, and fact-filled photographic picture-book exploration of why dogs really are a human’s best friend.

Sparks – Ian Boothby and Nina Matsumoto

Readers will cheer for the masquerading feline stars of this graphic novel—great for students who love Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man books.

A Boy Called Bat – Elana K. Arnold

The first book in a funny, heartfelt, and irresistible young middle grade series starring an unforgettable young boy on the autism spectrum.

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Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History – Vashti Harrison

These beautifully illustrated mini-biographies of 40 Black female trailblazers are meant to be inspiring for all readers; Harrison says she wrote it for her younger self, wondering “what kind of dreams I might have had if I had known about all these women when I was growing up.”  **series**

The Proudest Blue: a Story of Hijab and Family – Ibtihaj Muhammad

Faizah admires her older sister on her first day of hijab—both for wearing her “proudest” color blue with strength and beauty and for resisting the hurtful words of others. This inspirational story is written by the first female Muslim American Olympic medalist.

Paper Wishes – Lois Sepahban

In this work of historical fiction, 10-year-old Manami is forced to leave her home after the attack on Pearl Harbor – her Japanese American family is relocated from Bainbridge Island to an internment camp in the California desert. When her dog is taken from her in the process, Manami stops talking. A good introduction to the tough subject of Japanese internment – and the personal and social cost of intolerance.

Whoo-Ku Haiku: A Great Horned Owl Story – Maria Gianferrari

In this thrilling nonfiction picture book, a combination of haiku and dazzling illustration shows readers the fierce majesty of one of North America’s most ubiquitous wild animals.

Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away – Meg Medina

It’s moving day for Daniela’s best friend and neighbor, Evelyn Del Rey. Daniela narrates their final moments together in heart wrenching detail as she lists all the reasons she’ll miss her friend. This story discusses characters’ emotional responses to events.

Wonder – R.J. Palacio

August Pullman – Auggie – has had numerous surgeries to correct facial anomalies, but when he enters school after years of homeschooling, he still has a face that draws nicknames. R.J. Palacio’s novel presents Auggie’s perspective as well as those of friends and family members. Palacio has called the novel “a meditation on kindness.”

Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum – Meghan McCarthy

The delightfully entertaining history of gum and of how our modern-day love of bubble gum came to be. It reads like a great fictional story, made even better by McCarthy’s fantastic illustrations.

The Last Kids on Earth – Max Brallier

The relatable characters in these hybrid graphic novels navigate real-life emotions, even during apocalyptic turmoil. Plus, there’s a good dose of oozing zombie grossness to hook reluctant readers. **series**

Drita, My Homegirl – Jenny Lombard

A poignant story about the difficulties of leaving everything behind and the friendships that help you get through it. When their teacher puts Maxie and Drita together for a class project, things get off to a rocky start. But sometimes, when you least expect it, friendship can bloom and overcome even a vast cultural divide.

Growing Up Pedro – Matt Tavares

Originally published as a picture book, this biography of Pedro Martinez has been reformatted as an illustrated chapter book for the Candlewick Biographies series. With a perfect blend of sports facts, human interest, and history, this is a highly engaging narrative nonfiction book.

Gumazing Gum Girl: Chews Your Destiny – Rhode Montijo

Gabby Gomez loves to chew bubble gum even though her mother has warned her against it. It’s not like she will turn into gum…except, that’s exactly what happens! With her new, stretch-tastic powers Gabby can help save the day, but she will have to keep her gummy alter-ego a secret from her mother or else she’ll find herself in a really sticky situation.   **series**

Make Way For Dyamonda Daniel – Nikki Grimes

Readers will fall in love with Dyamonde Daniel, the spirited star of a new series by Nikki Grimes. With her upbeat, take-charge attitude, Dyamonde is a character to cheer for – and the fun, accessible storytelling will hook kids from the first page.  **series**

Guinness World Records 2020 – Guinness World Records

Fully revised and updated, the record-breaking compendium of superlatives is back and bursting with facts, figures and incredible stories – each one selected to inspire you to learn about the fascinating world we live in… and to break records of your own.

Binky the Space Cat – Ashley Spires

Binky is a space cat, or so he thinks. In order to “save” his humans, Binky must build a spacecraft and blast off into outer space (the backyard) where he will battle ferocious aliens (bugs).

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie – Julie Sternberg

Written in a lyrical style with thoughtful and charming illustrations throughout, this remarkable debut novel tells a poignant story of friendship and the bittersweet feelings of growing up.  **series**

El Deafo – Cece Bell

This Newbery Honor book is the author’s true story of suffering hearing loss at age four and of her experiences navigating elementary school with her Phonic Ear hearing aids. Funny, sweet, and relatable to all kids.

Zita the Spacegirl – Ben Hatke

Zita the Spacegirl is a fun, captivating tale of friendship and redemption. This science fiction graphic novel series follows Zita, a little girl who is accidentally sucked through a portal to another world and must rescue her friend before she can go home. She teams up with a mysterious inventor and a large, sentient mouse, as well as a few robots and aliens along the way.  **series**

Saving Winslow – Sharon Creech

No one can pack so much emotion into a slim novel like Sharon Creech. Louie’s efforts to nurse a sickly newborn donkey back to health turn into much more in this delightful testament to hope and healing.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls – Elena Favilli

This book is packed with 100 bedtime stories about the life of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present, illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world. This book inspires readers with the stories of great women, from Elizabeth I to Serena Williams.

Written and Drawn by Henrietta – Ricardo Siri Liniers

Reading books is fun . . . but what about making them? Armed with new colored pencils, Henrietta’s ready to try. Peek over her shoulder as she draws the story of a brave young girl, a three-headed monster, and an impossibly wide world of adventure. Liniers’s celebration of the creative process is sure to make everyone want to bring out their pencils.

Julieta and the Diamond Enigma – Luisana Duarte Armendáriz

When a diamond goes missing from the Louvre, it is up to nine-year-old Julieta to identify the thief, exonerate her father, and return home to Boston before her baby brother is born. Includes glossary of French and Spanish words and notes about the Regent Diamond, Athena, and works of art mentioned in the book.

Weird But True!: 300 Outrageous Facts – National Geographic Kids

Weird But True is based on the hugely popular magazine page of quirky, fun facts that many readers of National Geographic Kids magazine turn to first. All of the facts in this handy book will amaze readers: Animals Superpowers…Chills and Thrills…Eat or Be Eaten…Mini and Mega…Wild and Crazy, and much more. Adjacent pages for such facts present a one-paragraph explanation of how that fact is possible or why it is so.