Sunday, September 21, 2014

10 Best Read Alouds for 3rd Grade

There's nothing like starting out the school year with a fabulous read aloud book.  I love it when the kids groan as I finish the chapter for the day or beg me to find extra time to read just a little bit more. There are so many great books out there that it was hard to choose just ten, but for various reasons these are definitely my top ten read alouds for 3rd grade.

Be a Perfect Person in Just 
Three Days!

By Stephen Manes
I love to start the school year with this story.
It tells the tale of a boy who wants to be
perfect.  He goes through various steps to
achieve his goal, only to realize in the end
that being perfect isn't really so great. It is
a great way to start a beginning of the school
year discussion on why none of us is perfect.

By Roald Dahl
This is one of my all time favorite read alouds, especially if you like to do voices.
Roald Dahl does such an excellent job of
using figurative language in this book
about a girl who gets kidnapped by a friendly
Charlotte's Web

By E.B. White
Nothing beats Charlotte's Web for beautiful
imagery.  This classic tale of a spider that
saves a pigs life has my students riveted in
their seats every year.  I also love to pair it
with Stuart Little and work on comparing
Grace's Letter to 

By Peter & Connie Roop
This non-fiction story is a fabulous peek into
the history of Abraham Lincoln and the slave
trade.  It is about a young girl, Grace, who
wrote a letter to Lincoln suggesting that he
grow a beard.  While it briefly introduces the
heavy issue of the slave trade, it does it in an
age appropriate way and is not the main focus of the story.
The Jacket

By Andrew Clements
This story is a great opener to a discussion
on racism and the assumptions we make about others.  In the story Phil assumes that an
African American boy stole his brother's
jacket only to discover that he was wrong.
Helen Keller: 
Crusader for the 
Blind and Deaf

By Stewart & Polly Anne Graff
There are many fabulous stories around about
Helen Keller. I appreciate this one for its age
appropriate approach.  My kids are always
fascinated by Helen's life.
Bad Kitty vs. 
Uncle Murray

By Nick Bruel
If you ever just want to laugh with your kids this book is it.  Bad Kitty is hysterical to
grownups and kids alike.  Kids also like that
it rotates between paragraph and comic book
styles of writing.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: 
The Lightening Thief

By Rick Riordan
Percy Jackson will always have a special place
in my heart because it was the first chapter
book that my then 3rd grade son ever became
totally engrossed in.  This epic adventure is a
fun way to talk about Greek Myths with a modern twist.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle

By Beverly Cleary
Ralph Mouse finds ways to go on grand adventures even though he never leaves his
hotel home.  This book is a great introduction
to the fabulous Beverly Cleary and is a book
both girls and boys enjoy.
The Secret School

By Avi
Set in 1925, The Secret School is a
fascinating snapshot into what life was like
for children at that time.  It is a fabulous
beginning of the school year read aloud as
it tells the story of a group of children that
went above and beyond to make sure they
could continue their own education.

These are my favorites,  but I'm always looking for a new favorite.  Share your favorite read alouds in the comments below.


  1. I had never heard of The Secret School until I saw it in a second-hand store this morning! I bought it and here it popped up on your list! I can't wait to read it!

    One book that I LOVE to read aloud in my class is Chocolate Fever. It touches on some great issues and is highly engaging as a read aloud.

    Thanks for the great list!

    1. Interested to hear how you and your students like The Secret School. Never heard of it before, but it sounds like an interesting read. Would love to hear your feedback if you try it out in your classroom.

      I've never used Chocolate Fever for a read aloud, but one of my favorite read alouds that I use ever year is the Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Such a powerful story - my students love it every year!