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3rd Grade Summer Reading List

Required Reading

Ada, Alma Flor         My Name is Maria Isabel

For María Isabel Salazar López, the hardest thing about being the new girl in school is that the teacher doesn't call her by her real name. "We already have two Marías in this class," says her teacher. "Why don't we call you Mary instead?"

But María Isabel has been named for her Papi's mother and for Chabela, her beloved Puerto Rican grandmother. Can she find a way to make her teacher see that if she loses her name, she's lost the most important part of herself?

We highly recommend the following books.


Atinuke         The No. 1 Car Spotter

Oluwalase Babatunde Benson, the No. 1 car spotter in his community, must come up with a solution when the cart breaks down and the villagers cannot get their goods to the market. Oluwalase’s adventures continue in The No. 1 Car Spotter and the Firebird.

Barrows, Annie        Ivy & Bean Series

Join best friends Ivy and Bean on their adventures through the six books in this series. Kids will love reading about how these two friends deal with everything that comes their way.

Cameron, Ann          Gloria's Way

Gloria, from Cameron's entertaining books about Julian, is the star of six short stories. They highlight predicaments that include losing a very important valentine and feeling hurt by a friend who seems lured away by the new kid on the block. With a little help from some special grownups Gloria finds her way through each problem.

Cleary, Beverly         The Mouse and the Motorcycle

This timeless story captures the adventures of a pet mouse who at times seems almost human. From the moment Ralph first sees a toy motorcycle in the boy's hotel room it becomes an irresistible symbol of speed, adventure, and freedom. Ralph is determined to ride the motorcycle with disastrous results. Despite all the problems this fascination brings, his love of the motorcycle endures.

Clements, Andrew   Frindle     

Masterful at skating on the edge of teacher defined appropriateness, Nick decides to dodge an assignment by inventing his own new word. Mrs. Granger, his language arts teacher, is not amused and the two lock horns with humorous results.

Cowley, Joy   Snake and Lizard

From award-winning author Joy Cowley comes an engaging story of two unlikely. but inseparable friends. Snake is elegant. calm and a little self-centered . while Lizard is exuberant and irrepressible. Through a series of small (and not so small) adventures. the two friends bicker. compete with each other. go into business and finally. end up as lifelong friends.There is something the matter with your voice.Ga-runch! Ga-runch! said Snake. Ive got a frog in my throat! she whispered. Lizard said. Oh. I know how to fix that. and he gave Snake a mighty slap on her back. The frog shot out of Snake s mouth. It landed in the grass and. quick as a blink. it hopped away.My supper! cried Snake. That was my supper!

Cronin, Doreen        The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure; The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken: The Next Misadventure

They're darling. They're daring. They know their shapes! They're chicks on a mission-and on this, their first (mis)adventure, the Chicken Squad launches a galactic backyard expedition. Meet the Chicken Squad: Dirt, Sugar, Poppy, and Sweetie. These chicks are not your typical barnyard puffs of fluff, and they are not about to spend their days pecking chicken feed and chasing bugs. No sir, they're too busy solving mysteries and fighting crime. So when Squirrel comes barreling into the chicken coop, the chicks know they're about to get a case. But with his poor knowledge of shapes ("Big" is not a shape, Squirrel!) and utter fear of whatever it is that's out there, the panicky Squirrel is NO HELP. Good thing these chicks are professionals. But even professionals get worried. Especially once they see that round, shiny, green, BIG thing in the yard. What if it's a UFO full of aliens who want chickens as pets? It's up to the Chicken Squad to crack a case that just might be out of this world. Don’t miss the sequel, The Case of the Weird Blue Chicken: The Next Misadventure.

Dahl, Roald   Fantastic Mr. Fox

It's all out warfare. Bunce, Boggis,and Bean, three of the meanest farmers to be found, turn to heavy equipment to rid themselves of the fox and his family who are stealing their chickens, duck, turkeys, and geese.

Dowell, Frances O'Roark    Phineas L. Maguire...BLASTS OFF!; Phineas L. Maguire...erupts!; Phineas L. Maguire...Gets Slimed!

Phineas L. Maguire is an expert in all things scientific. His specialties include volcanoes and other things that explode, slime molds, bug identification, and perhaps slobber. When not involved in scientific endeavors, he takes on the challenges of know-it-all girls, surviving a school project with his "unfriend" also named Mac, and walking the very unhygienic Lemon Drip to earn money for space camp.

Gifford, Peggy           Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Writing Thank-you Notes; Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little. Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Practicing the Piano

Moxy's mother has issued an ultimatum: either she writes all her thank you notes for Christmas presents today or she does not get to go to California to visit her Dad. In this hilarious sequel to  Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little, this queen of procrastination decides that the brand new, under no circumstances to be touched, printer sitting idle in the downstairs study just might provide salvation. 

Hale, Shannon & Dean       The Princess in Black; The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party

Who says princesses don't wear black? When trouble raises its blue monster head, Princess Magnolia ditches her flouncy dresses and becomes the Princess in Black! Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret --she's also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her ! Can the princess sneak away, transform into her alter ego, and defeat the monster before the nosy duchess discovers her secret? From award-winning writing team of Shannon and Dean Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham, here is the first in a humorous and action-packed chapter book series for young readers who like their princesses not only prim and perfect, but also dressed in black.

Don’t miss book 2- The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party.

Hanlon, Abby           Dory Fantasmagory; Dory and the Real True Friend; Dory Dory Black Sheep

Move over, Junie B. Jones and Ivy & Bean! Here comes a lovably energetic little sister with a BIG personality—and an imagination to match!

As the youngest in her family, Dory really wants attention, and more than anything she wants her brother and sister to play with her. But she’s too much of a baby for them, so she’s left to her own devices—including her wild imagination and untiring energy. Her siblings may roll their eyes at her childish games, but Dory has lots of things to do: outsmarting the monsters all over the house, escaping from prison (aka time-out), and exacting revenge on her sister’s favorite doll. And when they really need her, daring Dory will prove her bravery, and finally get exactly what she has been looking for.

With plenty of pictures bursting with charm and character, this hilarious book about an irresistible rascal is the new must-read for the chapter book set.

Don’t miss the sequels: Dory and the Real True Friend; Dory Dory Black Sheep

Howe, James             Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery

Harold, the dog, tries to enlist the help of Chester, the cat, when the humans in the family discover and adopt a cute little rabbit that just happens to be a vampire bunny.

Jenkins, Emily          Toys Go Out

The lovable toys, Lumphy, Stingray, and Plastic are the favorite companions of their beloved owner. They begin their humorous adventures in her backpack where they speculate on their ultimate destination and share their amusingly naive observations of life. Enjoy the escapades of this endearing trio in the sequel, Toy Dance Party.

Khan, Hena   Power Forward: Zayd Saleem, Chasing the Dream (Book 1); On Point (Book 2)

Fourth grader Zayd Saleem has some serious hoop dreams. He's not just going to be a professional basketball player. He's going to be a star. A legend. The first Pakistani-American kid to make it to the NBA. He knows this deep in his soul. It's his destiny. There are only a few small things in his way. As tryouts for the Gold Team approach, Zayd has to find the courage to stand up for himself and chase his dream.

LaFevers, R.L.           Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist: Flight of the Phoenix

When Nathaniel Fludd's parents are declared to be lost at sea, he becomes the ward of a distant cousin, the world's only Beastologist, who whisks him off. Two new adventures: The Basilisk's Lair and The Wyverns' Treasure are scheduled to be released soon.

Levine, Gail Carson The Princess Test; The Fairy's Mistake; Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep; For Biddle's Sake

Each of these titles is a humorous retelling of a folktale done in a short chapter book format. Each is filled with fluff, fantasy, and fun.

Look, Lenore Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things; Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters

Alvin is afraid of everything. Join him on his adventures as he is forced to confront his fears. Lenore Look creates a memorable, funny character who kids will enjoy reading about.

Look, Lenore            Ruby Lu, Brave and True; Ruby Lu, Empress of Everything

At first Ruby Lu can't wait for her baby brother Oscar to do the things that her best friend's baby brother always seems to do first, until one day Oscar can do something that Ruby doesn't want anyone other than herself to know how to do. Then Ruby finds herself doing something that even she knows she shouldn't know how to do at eight. It is an easy step from being brave and true to becoming empress of everything.

Lubar, David Numbed

When Logan's class takes a trip to a math museum, his mischievous friend Benedict is sure it will be a boring day until he discovers a robot and its creator in an off-limits area. The robot proves feisty, and soon both boys get zapped. They realize only later that they left the museum without their math skills. To get back the knowledge they need for school not to mention buying food at the mall, divvying up dinner at home, and much more they'll have to get back to the museum and pass a series of math challenges. Being numbed will teach Logan and Benedict just how useful, and even fun, math can be.

Lubar, David             Punished! 

Playing tag is never recommended, but often irresistible in libraries. When Logan runs into an elderly man in the reference section by mistake, he is surprised to discover that his hasty "Sorry!" is not enough. He receives a highly unusual pun...ishment worthy of the best magicians and wordsmiths. 

Naylor, Phyllis          Roxie and the Hooligans 

Simon Surly, Freddy Filch, Smoky Jo, and their leader, Helvetia Hagus, have it out for Roxie Warbler, tormenting her before and after school. Little do the bullies know that Roxie has long sat at the knee of her Uncle Dangerfoot, hanging on this adventurer's every word as he dispenses advice about escaping life-threatening perils. 

Orr, Wendy   Nim's Island    

Nim and her father, a scientist, live alone on an island where they love every minute of every day. When her father sails off to work on an experiment, she has her animal friends for company. A storm delays his return and a second, stronger storm is on the way.

Pennypacker, Sara   Clementine

Clementine is exasperating. Rambunctious, impulsive, stubborn, and dangerously inventive, she bounces from one hilarious disaster to another, trying the patience of everyone. In the end her good heart conquers all. Further adventures include Talented Clementine and Clementine's Letter.

Sternberg, Julie       Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie

When Eleanor's beloved babysitter, Bibi, has to move away to take care of her ailing father, Eleanor must try to bear the summer without Bibi and prepare for the upcoming school year. Her new, less-than-perfect babysitter just isn't up to snuff, and she doesn't take care of things like Bibi used to. But as the school year looms, it's time for new beginnings. Eleanor soon realizes that she will always have Bibi, no matter how far away she is. 

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.

Warner, Sally            Ellray Jakes in Not a Chicken; Ellray Jakes is a Rock Star; Ellray Jakes Walks the Plank

Follow 9-year-old Ellray Jakes as he deals with the class bully, tries to impress his friends and has to take care of the classroom goldfish. You will love these lively tales about Ellray and his friends.

White, E.B.    Stuart Little

Stuart is a two inch mouse born to a human family in New York City. Despite his size, Stuart's resourceful, resolute, cheerful personality sees him through many adventures.

Whybrow, Ian           Little Wolf or any other title in this series

Whether you choose Little Wolf's Book of Badness, Little Wolf's Diary of Daring Deeds, or Little Wolf's Haunted Hall for Small Horrors, reading letters to home from Whybrow's invincible heart of gold hero is like eating just one potato chip. You can't do it.


Aldrin, Buzz Buzz Aldrin: Reaching for the Moon

Aldrin flew in a plane for the first time when he was two years old. It was a small, white plane painted to look like an eagle, and piloted by his father. The small child was thrilled by the experience. Here Aldrin recalls all those things that may have contributed to his decision to become an astronaut.

Applegate, Katherine          Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla

In a spare, powerful text and evocative illustrations, the Newbery medalist Katherine Applegate and the artist G. Brian Karas present the extraordinary real story of a special gorilla.
Captured as a baby, Ivan was brought to a Tacoma, Washington, mall to attract shoppers. Gradually, public pressure built until a better way of life for Ivan was found at Zoo Atlanta. From the Congo to America, and from a local business attraction to a national symbol of animal welfare, Ivan the Shopping Mall Gorilla traveled an astonishing distance in miles and in impact.
This is his true story and includes photographs of Ivan in the back matter.

Bildner, Phil The Unforgettable Season: The Story of Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and the Record-Setting Summer of ‘41

Follow Joltin’ Joe Dimaggio and the Splendid Splinter, Ted Williams as they assault the major league record books in 1941.

Bishop, Nic    Frogs; Spiders; Lizards, Marsupials; Butterflies and Moths 

Wonderfully clear, close-up photos of frogs caught in mid-leap and mid-bite dominate the pages of this not-to-be-missed frog extravaganza that covers frog behavior, types, and habitats. Bishop has four other books with extraordinary photos that kids just cannot put down.

Chin, Jason   Coral Reefs

During an ordinary visit to the library, a girl pulls a not-so-ordinary book from the shelves. As she turns the pages in this book about coral reefs, the city around her slips away and she finds herself surrounded by the coral cities of the sea and the mysterious plants and animals that live, hunt, and hide there.

Curlee, Lynn Ballpark

Baseball fans all have favorite ballparks that are tied to the legend, lore, and mystique of the game. This history of ballparks shows how the concept of ballparks developed, why each one is unique, and how ballparks are inseparable from the game itself.

Davies, Jacqueline   Tricking the Tallyman

Believe it or not, taking the very first census of the United States in 1790 was not as easy a task as it is today, even though counting up hundreds of millions rather than a mere 3,929,326 seems the bigger task.

Demi One Grain of Rice

Rani's clever mathematics save her village from a greedy Raja. Demi's illustrations equal a quick magic carpet ride to India.

Dowson, Nick           North: The Amazing Story of Arctic Migration

A passionate nature lover and a renowned artist trace the awe-inspiring spring migration of millions of creatures to the Arctic--the greatest journey on Earth.

At the top of our world is a huge wild place called the Arctic.

In the winter, it is a cold and barren land, where few animals can survive. But when spring comes, it brings with it animals from every corner of the earth. Gray whales, white cranes, wolves, and caribou begin their migrations as the snow melts, gradually making the long journey north. Once they reach their destination, they will raise their young, feast on the lush Arctic tundra, and bask in the sunlight that lasts all summer. Still, this season too must pass, and by the time winter grips the Arctic once again, the visitors have gone--only to return the following year. This lushly illustrated picture book celebrates the cyclical nature of the seasons, showcasing the barren and beautiful landscapes of the Arctic Circle and reminding the reader of the hardships and harmony of life in the wild.

Fleming, Candace                Giant Squid

The giant squid is one of the most elusive creatures in the world. As large as whales, they hide beyond reach deep within the sea, forcing scientists to piece together their story from those clues they leave behind.

An injured whale's ring-shaped scars indicate an encounter with a giant squid. A piece of beak broken off in the whale's belly; a flash of ink dispersed as a blinding defense to allow the squid to escape-- these fragments of proof were all we had . . . until a giant squid was finally filmed in its natural habitat only two years ago.

In this beautiful and clever nonfiction picture book about the giant squid, Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann explore, both visually and poetically, this hidden creature's mysterious life.

George, Jean Craighead      The Buffalo are Back; The Wolves are Back

Award-winning author, Jean Craighead George, documents the extraordinary comeback of two species from the brink of extinction.

Hamilton, Virginia The Girl Who Spun Gold

Does this ring a bell? Once upon a time there was a beautiful maiden, lots of wheat, a spinning wheel, a bony imp, a king, and dreams of great wealth? This tale from Africa is a nice spin on the tale you know.

Hatkoff, Isabella       Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship

A baby hippo, separated by a tsunami from its parents, overcomes the unfriendliness of a cranky, ancient tortoise in an effort to find a new mother.

Hatkoff, Isabella       Knut 

When a polar bear cub was born in the zoo in Berlin, Germany in 2006, the world watched as a zoo-keeper took over his care, never left the snowball sized baby's side, and became its foster parent. 

Jenkins, Steve           How Many Ways Can You Catch a Fly? 

Or snare a fish, or hatch eggs, or dig a hole, or eat a clam? This fascinating little compendium of unusual animal behavior is part game, part scientific investigation, and magnificently illustrated with brightly colored animals cut from homemade papers. 

Maestro, Betsy and Giulio The Discovery of the Americas

Christopher Columbus is credited with discovering America, but the Maestros tell a more complex story. Beginning with the Stone Age, they describe the many people who came to North America before Columbus, and then examine the Age of Exploration that brought so many explorers to a new land.

Mandela, Nelson      Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales

Thirty-two folktales chosen by Mandela come from fourteen different countries and are illustrated by South African artists. This selection of tales highlights the power of Africa's storytelling traditions.

Nagda, Ann Whitehead       Chimp Math; Polar Bear Math; Panda Math

Timelines, charts, clocks, and calendars help zookeepers raise a baby chimpanzee. Fractions help explain how two baby polar bears were saved by a zoo hospital.

Nivola, Claire            Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle

Sylvia Earle first lost her heart to the ocean as a young girl when she discovered the wonders of the Gulf of Mexico in her backyard. As an adult, she dives even deeper. Whether she’s designing submersibles, swimming with the whales, or taking deep-water walks, Sylvia Earle has dedicated her life to learning more about what she calls “the blue heart of the planet.” With stunningly detailed pictures of the wonders of the sea, Life in the Ocean tells the story of Sylvia’s growing passion and how her ocean exploration and advocacy have made her known around the world. This picture book biography also includes an informative author’s note that will motivate young environmentalists.

Life in the Ocean is one of The Washington Post's Best Kids Books of 2012.

Pearson, Carrie A.    Stretch to the Sun: From a Tiny Sprout to the Tallest Tree on Earth

Located in Redwood National Park in northern California, a coast redwood tree dubbed Hyperion is the tallest known tree on earth. More than six hundred years old, it is approximately 379 feet tall--and still climbing!

Hyperion (Greek, for "the High One") sprouted, flourished, and survived ecological threats for over six hundred years before being discovered by tall-tree researchers. The coast redwood tree provides a unique ecosystem for the many plants and animals in its tree canopy and managed to survive extensive deforestation by loggers nearby. Discovered in 2006, the tree's location is kept secret to protect it.

Robbins, Ken For Good Measure

Span, hand, cubit, fathom, dram, rod, and furlong are all units of measure. This look at measurement beyond ho-hum inches and feet is an interesting look at how humans have tried to size up their world.

Rumford, James       Chee-Lin: A Giraffe's Journey 

Rumford once again finds a little known piece of history to spin into a compelling tale. Here he imagines how it might have happened that the Chinese emperor in 1414 received a giraffe from Africa as a gift. 

Settel, Joanne           Exploding Ants

If gory and gruesome is your thing, this scientific look at some unusual goings on in the world of nature is for you.

St. George, Judith    So, You Want to Be an Explorer?

Full of humor and quick facts, this compendium of discoverers, both ancient and modern, shows the diverse experiences, personalities, and motivations of all those looking for something never seen or experienced before.

Tallchief, Maria        Tallchief: America's Prima Ballerina

Maria Tallchief tells the story of her life. Born on an Osage Indian reservation in Oklahoma, she was helped by her parents, who recognized her talent and supported her dream of becoming a world-class ballerina.

Weitekamp, Margaret         Pluto’s Secret: An Ice Worlds Tale of Discovery

People, children especially, have been baffled, bewildered, and even outraged by the fact that Pluto is no longer called a planet. Through whimsical artwork and an entertaining dialogue format, Pluto’s Secret explains the true story of this distant world. Providing a history of the small, icy world from its discovery and naming to its recent reclassification, this book presents a fascinating look at how scientists organize and classify our solar system as they gain new insights into how it works and what types of things exist within it.


Greenfield, Eloise    The Great Migration: Journey to the North

We were one family among the many thousands. Mama and Daddy leaving home, coming to the city, with their hopes and their courage, their dreams and their children, to make a better life.

When Eloise Greenfield was four months old, her family moved from their home in Parmele, North Carolina, to Washington, D.C.

Before Jan Spivey Gilchrist was born, her mother moved from Arkansas and her father moved from Mississippi. Both settled in Chicago, Illinois. Though none of them knew it at the time, they had all become part of the Great Migration.

In this collection of poems and collage artwork, award winners Eloise Greenfield and Jan Spivey Gilchrist gracefully depict the experiences of families like their own, who found the courage to leave their homes behind and make new lives for themselves elsewhere.

Graphic Novels

Colassal, Eric            Rutabaga: The Adventure Chef

In a world where there are dragons, wyverns, and haunted squash, you'd figure someone would have recipes for them, right? Rutabaga and his magic cooking pot, Pot, join young adventurers Winnifred, Manny, and Beef on a quest to defeat a dragon, discover new ingredients, find monsters to have for and/or to dinner, and to save the day through cooking. Rutabaga will dare any danger to uncover new tastes, and there's a whole world full of food to try--from roasted mud leech to spider soup to peanut butter on crackers. Rutabaga The Adventure Chef is the perfect adventure for any kid grossed out when something weird shows up on the dinner table.

Hatke, Ben    Little Robot

When a little girl finds an adorable robot in the woods, she presses a button and accidentally activates him for the first time. Now, she finally has a friend. But the big, bad robots are coming to collect the little guy for nefarious purposes, and it's all up to a five-year-old armed only with a wrench and a fierce loyalty to her mechanical friend to save the day!

O’Neil, Katie Aquicorn Cove

When Lana and her father return to their seaside hometown to help clear the debris of a storm, the last thing she expects is to discover a colony of Aquicorns—magical seahorse-like residents of the coral reef. As she explores the damaged town and the fabled undersea palace, Lana learns that while she cannot always count on adults to be the guardians she needs, she herself is capable of finding the strength to protect both the ocean, and her own happiness.


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