I love recommending books for 3rd graders because this is the prime age for new readers. By the 3rd grade, most kids are confident readers and very into book series. On this list of book series for 3rd graders, I’ve included some of my favorites, which means mostly realistic fiction with lovable protagonists you can root for. Although all the books on this list are fully illustrated, some would also work for more advanced readers and a few for those who aren’t as confident yet.
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20 Fabulous Book Series for 3rd Grade Readers
Here are 20 wonderful book series that 3rd graders love:
Published: January 16, 2018
Meet Stella, a Mexican-American girl who loves animals. When she gets a new classmate, Stella wants to welcome and befriend him, but she accidently speaks Spanish instead of English! This is a great young middle grade book that is perfect for beginning readers and a middle grade audience! I really love Stella and her lovable Mexican family, and I’ve kept up with this series over the years. The sprinkling of Spanish words throughout the book makes for an authentic reading experience. This book would also be perfect for a read-aloud. Hand to fans of Cilla Lee and Jasmine Toguchi (two additional recommendations)!
Miss Daisy Is Crazy (My Weird School)
Published: June 29, 2004
If your kids are always on the lookout for funny, silly stories with a weird bent, the My Weird School books are just what the doctor ordered. This series is perfect for your voracious reader, and there are now over 21 books available altogether. It all begins with Miss Daisy Is Crazy, in which the kids in A.J.’s second-grade class encounter a wacky teacher who doesn’t seem to know basic math and keeps trying to trick them–all the while sneakily teaching them.
The Carver Chronicles
Published: December 17, 2013
Gavin had lots of friends at his old school, but the kids at Carver Elementary don’t even know that he’s pretty good at skateboarding or how awesome he is at soccer. When his classmate Richard comes over, and the boys end up in trouble, not only does Gavin risk losing his one new friend, but he also has to take care of his great-aunt Myrtle’s horrible little dog as punishment. To make matters worse, Gavin seems to have attracted the attention of the school bully. Will he be able to avoid getting pounded at the skate park? And how will he ever prove he’s cool with a yappy little Pomeranian wearing a pink bow at his side? This is a funny, realistic series loved by many third-grade boys.
Published: January 11, 2022
Omar is a young Muslim boy with a huge imagination. He and his family (his mom, dad, and two siblings) are adjusting to a new move (new house, new school) and approaching the month of Ramadan. Unfortunately, the adjustment process is NOT smooth. First, there’s a neighbor who doesn’t seem to like Omar’s family and a bully at school who keeps making fun of him. Things come a head when Omar and Daniel, the bully, get lost together during a school trip. Brought to life by doodles and illustrated text, this book will appeal to young readers looking for more books with male protagonists.
Published: April 19, 2022
Ten-year-old Zara has been crowned Queen of the Neighborhood by a loving neighbor. Zara makes fair rules for all the games she and her brother Zayd play with the other kids and Zara likes things just like that. But a new family moves in when her neighbor, Mr. Chapman, moves out. Their daughter Naomi has other ideas for playing and the other kids seem to like many of her ideas too. To win back her crown, Zara decides she’ll try to break a World Guinness Record. But as time passes, she realizes it may be better to share her crown instead. This sweet chapter book from master storyteller Hena Khan contains lovely black-and-white illustrations and short chapters.
Published: January 14, 2020
Mindy and her father have recently moved from the city to a suburb in Florida where she is the only Asian girl in her school. On top of that, Mindy’s mom died shortly before their move and her dad is adjusting to being a single parent. Like any normal child, Mindy wants to be liked at her new school. She’s fortunate to meet a new friend on her first day, even though the kids complain about the way her Korean lunch smells. Things start to look up for Mindy when the kids try and love her seaweed snacks. At first, she starts a snack trade-off but later decides to start selling the snacks so she can save up money to buy a puppy. If you’re looking for a chapter book with a sweet protagonist dealing with grief, moving, and fitting in with a new school crowd, this is your pick.
Frankie Sparks, Third-Grade Inventor
Published: June 18, 2019
Frankie thinks that a rat—just like the rats in her beloved Aunt Gina’s lab—would be the perfect fit. But her best friend, Maya, doesn’t think a rat would be great at all. They are kind of gross and not as cool as a hermit crab, which is Maya’s top choice. Using her special workshop, can Frankie find a way to convince her teacher and her best friend that Team Rat is the way to go? Hand this cutesy series to third graders who love all things STEM and animals.
Published: February 1, 2022
Harriet, an energetic child has been sent to Marble Island where her grandmother lives and runs a bed and breakfast. She’s understandably frustrated, feeling abandoned by her parents. Thankfully, she takes her cat, Matzo Ball with her. When she arrives at Marble Island, Harriet starts to learn more about her father’s childhood and discovers that they have more in common than she expects. Filled with sweet illustrations and set in a small island town, this story will appeal to fans of stories set in motels/B&B’s, lovers of animal stories, and readers who enjoy stories with strong grandparent bonds.
The Kids in Mrs. Z’s Class
Published: May 28, 2024
This is the first book in a new middle grade series I’m excited for, about new third graders in Mrs. Z’s class. Get your pre-orders ready! Each book will be written by a popular middle grade author from the perspective of a different classmate, starting with Kate Messner and including stars like Karina Yan Glaser and Rajani LaRocca. The first book follows Emma McKenna who’s excited for third grade until she realizes that her frenemy, Lucy is also in the same class!
The Kid Barber
Published: February 23, 2021
Eight-year-old J.D. has to devise a means to correct a haircut gone wrong. His mom doesn’t care much about lining his cut evenly, and J.D. gets laughed at school by his friends. Eventually, after using his little brother as a subject, J.D. figures out how to cut his hair — and he does a fantastic job! J.D. gets so good at cutting hair and thinking up creative hairstyles that his schoolmates start asking him to do theirs. The only barbershop in town is owned by an elderly man Mr. Henry and run by his son, Mr. Henry Jr. Unlike J.D., they only know three cut styles, so there’s no real competition. Until Mr. Henry Jr. tries to stop J.D. from running the business out of his house, the two have to engage in a “Barber Battle.” This is the first in a fun new chapter book series about a Black boy who discovers his barbing skills and entrepreneurial spirit.
Published: September 19, 2017
When Jada Jones’s best friend moves away, school feels like the last place she wants to be. She’d much rather wander outside looking for cool rocks to add to her collection, since finding rocks is much easier than finding friends. So when Jada’s teacher announces a class project on rocks and minerals, Jada finally feels like she’s in her element. The only problem: one of her teammates doesn’t seem to like any of Jada’s ideas. She doesn’t seem to like Jada all that much, either. Can Jada figure out a way to make a winning science project and a new friend? This was one of the first chapter books I ever read and I love Jada’s spirit. Great for STEM-loving kids especially if they’re into geology and rocks.
Published: April 28, 2020
Ryan Hart and her family are moving to a new (old) house because her dad lost his post office job and his new job doesn’t pay as much. Ryan is unhappy about the change for many reasons. She liked their old house, and even though she has her own room in this new house, this house is a smaller bungalow, which means there will be no stairs to play on. She also fears that it will be too small to entertain guests, because Ryan loves to create new recipes — and cook them! This is an absolutely delightful early middle-grade book with a memorable protagonist.
Published: July 12, 2011
Ziggy and his friends Rico, Rashawn, and Jerome build a clubhouse in Ziggy’s backyard and decide to bury their secret treasures nearby. But when the boys start digging, they uncover a box of bones and are swept up in a mystery more intriguing—and scary—than anything they could have imagined. Who could have buried a box of bones behind their clubhouse? If your third grader loves mysteries, this one and the A-Z Animal Mysteries are fantastic.
The Good Sports League
Published: April 11, 2023
I loved the second book in this series (you don’t have to read them in order) but this one is on my TBR and I’ve heard wonderful things about it. It follows Ben Cutler, who loves everything about soccer! He’s got a great team, and they have the best pre-game chants and half-time jokes. He and his best friend, Jay-Jay, even invent dances for when they score a goal! And Ben is good at soccer. Like REALLY good. Too good for a casual rec team. Soon, he’s recruited for a travel team. His new team plays amazingly well, but they take soccer super seriously. No pre-game chants, no juice-box breaks, and the most important rule of all: NO DANCING. Even though his new team is winning all the time, Ben is left to wonder: Is winning all that matters in the end?
The Terrible Two
Published: January 13, 2015
Miles is devastated to be moving from his town to another one called Yawnee Valley. He loved his town, had good friends, and, most importantly, was well-known as the best prankster around. When he arrives in Yawnee Valley, he immediately discovers that there’s already a superb prankster there — with a secret identity no less. When Miles gets out-pranked by the Yawnee Valley prankster, it starts a prank war between both kids until they decide to join forces. This is a riotous, animated middle grade book about pranks, unlikely friendships, and cows.
The Critter Club
Published: January 1, 2013
I love this sweet series about friends who love pets and things related. The first book involves solving the mystery of a missing puppy. It manages to be have substance despite being targeted towards a very young audience–I was so invested in the mystery. Each book features cute black and white illustrations to keep young readers engaged. Hand to animal loving third graders.
Published: October 22, 2019
This one is a huge favorite of many young readers! Dory is a lastborn with an overactive imagination who exhausts her parents and siblings with her high energy and propensity for chaos. Join her in the first book of the series as she finds monsters around the house and puts them in their place. This series just gets better and better with each installment.
Mia Mayhem Is a Superhero!
Published: December 18, 2018
Mia Macarooney is a regular eight-year-old girl who finds out that she’s A SUPERHERO! Her life literally goes from totally ordinary to totally super when she’s invited to attend the afterschool Program for In-Training Superheroes a.k.a. THE PITS! This book is so much fun and readers will have a blast watching Mia learn some serious superhero skills!
The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza
Published: May 10, 2022
Something terrible is happening in the skies! Rats are eating the MOON! There’s only ONE hero for the job, a bold and fearsome beast bioengineered in a secret lab to be the moon’s savior and Earth’s last hope! And that hero is . . . a cat. A cat who will be blasted into space! Accompanied by the imperious Moon Queen and LOZ 4000, a toenail clipping robot, the First Cat in Space journeys across a fantastic lunar landscape in a quest to save the world. Will these unlikely heroes save the moon in time? Can a toenail-clipping robot find its purpose in the vast universe? And will the First Cat in Space ever eat some pizza?
Marya Khan and the Incredible Henna Party
Published: October 18, 2022
Marya’s eighth birthday is coming up in a week, and all she wants is an over-the-top birthday party just like the ones Alexa, her rich neighbor, always throws. When Alexa parades into school with fancy invitations, Marya can’t help herself—she claims that she’s having the most epic henna party ever. Now she has to convince her family to make it happen. Enter Operation Help the Khans! Marya’s siblings clearly need help with their projects. Maybe she could cook dinner for her parents, or clean her grandmother’s room? Except everything Marya does seems to end in disaster. Will Marya and her family be able pull it together and throw the best party ever?!
Get a printable of this list to take to your library. Just pop your email in the box below and it’ll come right to you!
There they are: 20 of the best book series for 3rd graders! Which of these series have you read and loved? What did I miss?
More Books for 3rd Graders