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Book recommendations for 3rd grader reading at a 6th/7th grade level?

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Showing 1-25 of 40 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 15, 2010 8:20:39 AM PST
My son devours books.

I am always looking for new titles to introduce to him.

He has read Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series. He's read the Fablehaven series. Those are 2 of his favorite series. He reads and re-reads those books constantly.

He loves stories about mythology, dragons, wizardry, mythical creatures. He loves spooky stories (but not truly scary stories).

Is the Alex Rider (by A Horowitz) series appropriate for a 3rd grader? Not worried about mild violence, more worried about sexual content and/or gory violence.

Any thoughts on the Kingdom Keepers (by Ridley Pearson) series?

Thanks for any and all suggestions!

Posted on Jan 15, 2010 8:39:00 AM PST
Buttercup says:
Emily Rodda writes good fantasy series -- Rowan of Rinn and Deltora Quest. My son also loved Dave Barry's and Ridley Pearson's Peter and the StarCatcher series (prequels to the Peter Pan story.) Have you tried Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain?

Just a few to start with....

Posted on Jan 15, 2010 10:06:02 AM PST
Have you tried Pendragon by D.J. MacHale? Of course the obvious Harry son read those as a third grader also.

Posted on Jan 15, 2010 1:09:53 PM PST
I would like to suggest my new chapter book: Imagia and the Magic Pearls in which I am the Author and Illustrator. I think he will enjoy the fantasy world i've created and the interesting creatures like my: Braidworms, Creepod flowers, water ostriches and Fuddlefish. This is my first book out of a 4 book series(and that may grow). I'm currently working on the 2nd book in which the elf boys and Princess Imagia get to ride the water ostriches in the games.
[[Imagia and the Magic Pearls (Book 1) (Softcover). ]]

Posted on Jan 15, 2010 11:47:56 PM PST
Mrs D says:
Has he read the Redwall series by Brian Jacques? - there is a list on this website of authors that the author enjoyed as a boy. A librarian recommended them to us when he was in first grade and we read them as bedtime stories until he wanted to read them himself. There are a lot of books. My nephews liked them also. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle and other books in that series. Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quartet Box Set (A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters)

Posted on Jan 16, 2010 7:02:45 AM PST
ACox - He has read Emily Rodda - he love the Deltora series (all 3 series). He hasn't tried Lloyd Alexander's books. Thanks!

Amy - He's read the 1st 3 HP books. We won't allow him to read further -- we don't feel the later books are appropriate for 8 yr olds. Thanks for the Pendadragon suggestion.

MT & Mrs. D -- Also thank you for those suggestions!

If anyone has any other suggestions, please do share!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2010 10:34:09 AM PST
K. McNamara says:
For your son, specifically, I would recommend The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn by the Hooblers, about
a boy in feudal Japan who is taken on as an apprentice by a Samurai. No actual ghosts.
I also really liked Sarah Prineas's The Magic Thief, which includes cryptograms if he's into word play.

Avi, Perloo the Bold
Kendall, The Gammage Cup & The Whisper of Glocken
C.S. Lewis, The Narnia Chronicles, starting with "The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe"
Butterworth, The Enormous Egg
Cooper, The Boggart
Alexander, The Prydain Chronicles, starting with "The Book of Three"
Coville, Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher, & Jennifer Murdley's Toad
Grahame, The Reluctant Dragon

Jane Cutler, No Dogs Allowed & Rats
Mills, 7 x 9 Equals Trouble
Andrews Clements, No Talking
Morgenstern, A Book of Coupons

Talking Animals
Avi, Poppy, Ereth's Birthday
King-Smith, Martin's Mice
O'Brien, Mrs Frisby & the Rats of Nimh

What to classify?
Winterfield, Detectives in Togas - mystery set in Rome
Karr, The Great Turkey Walk - the audio book is also supposed to be great

Fitzgerald, The Great Brain
George, My Side of the Mountain
Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth
North, Rascal

Enzenberger, The Number Devil (4.4)

Posted on Jan 17, 2010 8:18:53 AM PST
The 39 Clues series would be an awesome fit for your son! It is published by Scholastic

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2010 8:37:19 AM PST
I recommend L.M. Boston. Her 6 book series about Green Knowe is excellent, starting with _The Children of Green Knowe_. There are ghosts, but friendly ones, it's set in an English castle, still inhabited by the descendants of the Norman builder.

Posted on Jan 17, 2010 8:45:37 AM PST
You and your son can read the first chapter of your humble author's traditionally published fantasy novel Collinsfort Village here (.pdf file):

And we thank you. :)

Posted on Jan 17, 2010 9:02:16 AM PST
J.E. Johnson says:
I agree with A.Cox about Emily Rodda; I'm an adult and I love her books. I would also recommend Eragon (Inheritance) if he hasn't read it already and of course, Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7). Hope this helps!
-J.E. Johnson The Legend of Oescienne: The Finding (Volume 1)

Posted on Jan 17, 2010 1:05:53 PM PST
jess says:
Having a similar kid, I understand your position. I asked our local librarian the same question recently. Based on her recommendations (and my own experience), I offer these recommendations:
1) Leven Thumps series, starting with: Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo. This series is 5 books which offer a well-defined fantasy world where there is lots of action but little in the way of real scares. He may be put off by the thickness of these books, but they have relatively large type, and won't take too long to plow through.
2)Gregor the Overlander series, starting with: Gregor The Overlander (Underland Chronicles, Book 1).
3) I would not recommend the Harry Potter series for this age because it is too frightening in places. He could definitely read it, but he would probably not enjoy it.
4)On the same note, just because he is reading at a higher level doesn't mean that he should not read books that are designed for kids his age. (I'm not being preachy, I just got the same advice from my son's teachers.) Books for 3rd graders explore issues that 3rd graders might need to deal with - like getting through their homework, not picking on girls too much, whatever - that will be not be addressed by books designed for older kids and adults who face different issues.

Posted on Jan 17, 2010 1:55:18 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 17, 2010 1:56:32 PM PST
Omnireader says:
I know you have been reading to him because he so very much enjoys reading, this is a very good time to read Mac Donald (The Golden Key, etc.), Lewis Carroll, and the Hobbit followed by the Lord of the Rings.

You might want to introduce him to reading on his own myths and fables from Greece/Rome and the Norse Sagas, these will give him an edge when it comes to reading the classics in prose and poetry; remember they were written when the basic education of children included these references. Just a dash of Latin and Greek would be good too, it is fun to learn as a child, later it becomes harder.

Posted on Jan 17, 2010 1:56:12 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Nov 25, 2011 6:50:36 AM PST]

Posted on Jan 17, 2010 4:43:54 PM PST
Christine says:
My son is also in 3rd grade and has similar reading interests.

Another series to check out is the Cressida Cowell books. (How to Train your Dragon, How to Speak Dragonese, etc.) My son has read all of them... and loves them!

(A lot of great suggestions listed here!! I am ordering the Gregor the Overlander series.... they look like great books!)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2010 8:34:41 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 17, 2010 8:45:01 PM PST
Benjamin says:
My son is 9 years old and has the same interests. We have the Kingdom Keepers series, but have not gotten around to reading them yet. Alex Rider would be fun, but it has more of a secret agent/technology theme than fantasy. My son loved The Mistmantle Chronicles by M.I. McAllister. It is a four book series. He really liked the Solomon Snow books by Kaye Umansky. He would definitely second the recommendation for the Gregor the Overlander series. He has enjoyed every novel by Kate DiCamillo. He also loves Roald Dahl. Jenny Nimmo also has some fun books with a magical/fantastic theme. The Edge Chronicles by Stewart and Riddell are good too. He devoured Secrets of Dripping Fang by Greenberg and the Spiderwick Chronicles. Those are both very fast series.

I agree wholeheartedly on the Prydain Chronicles. I had (and still have) very similar interests. I read the Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper at that age and just reread them a couple of years ago. Harry Potter is my favorite all time series, but I agree with holding off. My son has not read them either. I very much agree with Jessi C. on having him read books designed for his age too. I often have to reign my son in a bit. Just because he can make it through a book doesn't mean that he can really appreciate it. I have several series waiting in the wings for when he is more mature. He still reads a lot of easy series that are just fun like Zack Files, Magic Tree House, Geronimo Stilton, Dragon Slayers Academy and Secrets of Droon. I am sure your son would love those. It is great that your son enjoys reading so much. Feed that passion as much as you can!

Posted on Jan 19, 2010 12:13:54 PM PST
Kate Coombs says:
Definitely the Gregor the Overlander books. And if he's a Percy Jackson fan, the Alex Rider books are probably fine. They have no sex, just some violence and suspense. The main focus is on Alex's determination and ingenuity. That said, Alex is presented as being used by British Intelligence as a spy--his role is not a cutesy one. Though he does have gadgets! The books might be a bit more appropriate in a year or two just because they're intended for middle schoolers and teens, is the only thing.

The Mysterious Benedict Society and sequels are pretty good. And I recommend Terry Pratchett--the Johnny Maxwell books and The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. Oh, and what about Diana Wynne Jones? Especially The Nine Lives of Christopher Chant, Charmed Life, Archer's Goon, The Ogre Downstairs, and Witch Week. And I recently read a funny spoof of The Hardy Boys called The Brixton Brothers: The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity by Mac Barnett. Another thought would be some of Gordon Korman's adventure books. And a book I just love, Alabama Moon by Watt Key.

Posted on Jan 19, 2010 6:32:06 PM PST
B. Abbott says:
I was just a few years older when I was introduced to Anne McCaffrey and The Dragonriders of Pern series. She is still my favorite author!

Posted on Jan 19, 2010 9:01:46 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 19, 2010 9:07:13 PM PST
Ann C. says:
I have a 4th grade daughter who also reads 3 to 4 grade levels over her own and reads voraciously to boot, with well over 400 AR points for the year so far. She doesn't even bother to take tests on everything she reads: too time-consuming. :-)

She loved the Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and Gregor the Overlander series, so add another vote for Gregor. She has been enthralled by Erin Hunter's Warrior series for the last couple of weeks. (Ms. Hunter has written at least a dozen books about clans of cats.) You might try him on those; if he likes them, he'll be set for a while. Once she finishes the Warriors, I'm probably going to steer her towards the Prydain Chronicles, the Dark is Rising series or a boxed set of Robin McKinley's Spindle's End, The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown. (I have them waiting on the shelves.) I'm also still reading aloud to her, presently from All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. She tried reading a few chapters on her own, but the veterinary terminology and Yorkshire dialect were a little difficult for her. (I also leave out some of the cursing.)

She loved the Magic Treehouse series, Roald Dahl and Beverly Cleary books when she was younger. She still rereads those and similar books; I agree that it's nice for a child to continue reading age-appropriate books too.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 20, 2010 7:26:26 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 20, 2010 8:23:58 AM PST
I had a few suggestions, but if you don't want your son reading Harry Potter, they won't work for you. My 7-year-old loved them, by the way. I guess it's a mater of taste and how sheltered your child needs to be.

Posted on Jan 20, 2010 7:46:28 AM PST
Sandy says:
Focus on appropriate storylines rather than reading level. Consider what your child will be reading as a 13 year old if they continually read high above their maturity level. Keeping your child in stories appropriate to their age and experiences will do more for him than trying to find challenging books.
Chasing Vermeer Calder Game The Wright 3
Harry Potter- the books are not as scary as the movies
Kingdom Keepers
Peter and the Starcatchers series
Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage
39 Clues
Sideways Stories from Wayside School
Carl Hiassen books
P W Catanese books
More advanced:
Hunger Games
The Last Apprentice series
The Giver

Keep him in the Geronimo Stilton/Weird School/Stink/How to Train a Dragon type books as long as possible. If they are there- they will be read. My daughter still can't walk past a book she hasn't read. lol

Posted on Jan 20, 2010 10:33:10 AM PST
I Miss My Sis

Give this one a try and let me know what you think.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 20, 2010 1:53:20 PM PST
Omnireader says:
I think you are saying that Sex Drugs, cruelty , etc., are not appropriate for children. I would heartily agree. However, how about TV which has let its standards slip so badly that children and adults who do not wish to be inundated with garbage yet are exposed to it. It is better to begin to teach the child critical thinking. When you see an ad selling burgers but they are being sold by a lady with very little clothes on, or the content of the words in an ad suggest rather more than a burger is being sold. Be aware, dissect it, put into a category of logical fallacy, Ad Hominem , etc. Use these experiences as tools to let him be aware of danger without being prey to it. It will be very hard, but the gain is that you have protected your child by having them "on the 'games'" that entertainment, merchandising and other children or adults may wish to enlist them into. Better to be smart than naive. Better to be on to the games than a victim of them. Your child should be able to listen and watch, come to you ask questions and be informed as to the real agendas, versus being unaware and vulnerable. Make it a game, make the bad guys the fools they are.
Example: Lady selling bugers in wet T shirt.
Look at that! I bet that burger is soggy and has soap in it. That lady is silly.

Posted on Jan 20, 2010 2:01:27 PM PST
T.K. says:
Spirit Boy: An Earth Spy (Volume 1)
This is a great book for any age. Highly endorsed as a great inspirational story that is set in the doubtful life of two boys who are beaten down and almost given up on life. This drama reflects around all aspects of family hardship, the teenage years, sibling relationships that is entwined with the novel.

Posted on Jan 20, 2010 4:58:11 PM PST
S. Litrel says:
My voracious reader (4th grade girl) suggests: The Mysterious Benedict Society series, Harry Potter series (she finished them when she was nearly 8, but has read and re-read them until they were in tatters); The Invention of Hugo Cabret; The Greatest Show on Earth; and possibly the Redwall series. Hope this helps :)
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Discussion in:  Children's Books forum
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Initial post:  Jan 15, 2010
Latest post:  Nov 11, 2011

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