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3rd, 4th, & 5th Grade

Excellent Reading for 3rd Graders

Mr. Popper's Penguins

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard & Florence Atwater

A classic of American humor, the adventures of a house painter and his brood of high-stepping penguins have delighted children for generations. Here is a book to read aloud in groups of all ages. There is not an extra or misplaced word in the whole story.

The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, illustrated by Jules Feiffer

For Milo, everything’s a bore. Somewhere along the way, Milo realizes something astonishing. Life is far from dull. In fact, it’s exciting beyond his wildest dreams!

The Penderwicks

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall

This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel’s sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures.

Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword

Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword by Barry Deutsch

Spunky, strong-willed eleven-year-old Mirka Herschberg isn’t interested in knitting lessons from her stepmother, or how-to-find-a-husband advice from her sister, or you-better-not warnings from her brother. There’s only one thing she does want: to fight dragons! A delightful mix of fantasy, adventure, cultural traditions, and preteen commotion, Hereville will captivate readers with its entertaining new heroine.

Zita the Spacegirl

Zita the Spacegirl
by Ben Hatke

When her best friend is abducted by aliens, Zita leaps to the rescue and finds herself a stranger on a strange planet. Humanoid chickens and neurotic robots are shocking enough as new experiences go, but Zita is even more surprised to find herself taking on the role of intergalactic hero. Before long, aliens in all shapes and sizes don’t even phase her. Neither do ancient prophecies, doomed planets, or even a friendly con man who takes a mysterious interest in Zita’s quest.

When We Were Very Young

When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne, illustrated by Ernest Shapard

A classic celebration of childhood, A. A. Milne’s When We Were Very Young is a collection of poems that have touched the hearts of readers for more than 90 years. His verses sing with a playful innocence, weaving together the worlds of reality and enchanting make-believe.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie, steal, smoke cigars, swear, and hit little kids. So no one is prepared when this outlaw family invades church one Sunday and decides to take over the annual Christmas pageant. None of the Herdmans has ever heard the Christmas story before. Their interpretation of the tale — the Wise Men are a bunch of dirty spies and Herod needs a good beating — has a lot of people up in arms. But it will make this year’s pageant the most unusual anyone has seen and, just possibly, the best one ever.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School

Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar, illustrated by Adam McCauley

Come visit Wayside School! Kids zoom through these chapter books—laughing their way through the fast, funny, silly but relatable stories.

Stuart Little

Stuart Little by E. B. White, illustrated by Garth Williams

Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Though he’s shy and thoughtful, he is a true lover of adventure. His greatest adventure comes when his best friend, a little bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life. He finds adventure aplenty. But will he find his friend?

The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, illustrated by Patricia Castelao

This unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, as told from Ivan’s point-of-view.

Ragweed and Poppy

Ragweed and Poppy by Avi, illustrated by Brian Floca

Ragweed is determined to see the world. He leaves his family and cozy country home and sets off by train for the big city. What wonders await him: music, excitement, new friends… and cunning, carnivorous cats!

FrindleFrindle

Frindle by Andrew Clements, illustrated by Brian Selznick

A quirky, imaginative tale about creative thought and the power of words that will have readers inventing their own words.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake

Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline

A rabbit named Edward Tulane was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost. This extraordinary journey takes the reader from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. Along the way, we are shown a miracle — that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.

Pippi Longstocking

Pippi Longstocking by Astred Lindgren, illustrated by Louis Glanzman

Tommy and his sister Annika have a new neighbor, and her name is Pippi Longstocking. She has crazy red pigtails, no parents to tell her what to do, a horse that lives on her porch, and a pet monkey named Mr. Nilsson. Whether Pippi’s scrubbing her floors, doing arithmetic, or stirring things up at a fancy tea party, her flair for the outrageous always seems to lead to another adventure.

Island of the Blue Dolphins

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell, illustrated by Ted Lewin

On San Nicolas Island, dolphins flash in the surrounding blue waters, sea otter play in the vast kelp beds, and sea elephants loll on the stony beaches. Here, in the early 1800s, a girl named Karana spent eighteen years alone. Karana had to contend with the ferocious pack of wild dogs that killed her younger brother, constantly guard against Aleutian sea otter hunters, and maintain a precarious food supply. Her courage, self-reliance, and grit has inspired millions of readers in this breathtaking adventure.

Harry Potter

Harry Potter: The Illustrated Collection (Box Set) by J. K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay

The perfect introduction to the Harry Potter series, this Box Set contains the first three books in the series (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) with gorgeous full color illustrations by award-winning artist Jim Kay.

Smile

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there’s still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly.

Excellent Reading for 4th Graders

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

The story of Peter and his younger brother, Fudge. Peter feels like Fudge is always in his way, especially when he brings home his new turtle Dribbles. But the worst is that Peter feels like everyone, especially his parents, do not understand.

El Deafo

El Deafo by Cece Bell

El Deafo is a book that will entertain children, give hearing-impaired children a hero of their own, and challenge others to consider an experience unlike their own. Like other great works for children, it provides the opportunity for young readers to consider how they would act or react in a similar situation, helping to build empathy and understanding through the power of story.

Walk Two Moons

Walk Two Moons
by Sharon Creech

Sharon Creech intricately weaves together two tales, one funny, one bittersweet, to create a heartwarming, compelling, and utterly moving story of love, loss, and the complexity of human emotion.

My Side of the Mountain

My Side of the Mountain
by Jean Craighead George

Sam Gribley is terribly unhappy living in New York City with his family, so he runs away to the Catskill Mountains to live in the woods—all by himself. With only a penknife, a ball of cord, forty dollars, and some flint and steel, he intends to survive on his own. Sam learns about courage, danger, and independence during his year in the wilderness, a year that changes his life forever.

The Borrowers

The Borrowers by Mary Norton, illustrated by Diana Stanley, Beth Krush & Joe Krush

The Borrowers is the award-winning tale of three tiny people who are big heroes.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Box Set) by Rick Riordan

Accompany the son of the sea god Poseidon and his other demigod friends as they go on a series of quests that will have them facing monsters, gods, and conniving figures from Greek mythology. Do they have what it takes to save the Olympians from an ancient enemy?

Bridge to Terabithia

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, illustrated by Donna Diamond

Jess Aarons has been practicing all summer so he can be the fastest runner in the fifth grade. And he almost is, until the new girl in school, Leslie Burke, outpaces him. The two become fast friends and spend most days in the woods behind Leslie’s house, where they invent an enchanted land called Terabithia. One morning, Leslie goes to Terabithia without Jess and a tragedy occurs. It will take the love of his family and the strength that Leslie has given him for Jess to be able to deal with his grief.

I Survived Series Complete Books Set

I Survived Series (21-Book Box Set) by Lauren Tarshis

When disaster strikes, heroes are made. I Survived books are perfect for any young reader who enjoys an action packed, page turning thriller. Each book contains a true story, encouraging readers to further explore the historical topic.

Wonderstruck

Wonderstruck
by Brian Selznick

Two independent stories, set fifty years apart. Weaving back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry, how these stories unfold and intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder.

The Indian in the Cupboard

The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

It’s Omri’s birthday, but all he gets from his best friend, Patrick, is a little plastic Indian toy. Trying to hide his disappointment, Omri puts the Indian in a metal cupboard and locks the door with a mysterious skeleton key that once belonged to his great-grandmother. Little does Omri know that by turning the key, he will transform his ordinary plastic Indian into a real live man from an altogether different time and place! Omri and the tiny warrior called Little Bear could hardly be more different, yet soon the two forge a very special friendship. Will Omri be able to keep Little Bear without anyone finding out and taking his precious Indian from him?

Matilda

Matilda by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake

Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s just a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull, she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It’ll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves and Matilda may be just the one to do it!

The Black Stallion

The Black Stallion
by Walter Farley

From Alec Ramsay and the Black Stallion’s first meeting on an ill-fated ship to their adventures on a desert island and their eventual rescue, this triumphant tale of a boy and a wild horse will hold the rapt attention of readers new and old.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid
by Jeff Kinney

Boys don’t keep diaries―or do they? The launch of an exciting and innovatively illustrated new series narrated by an unforgettable kid every family can relate to.

Pax

Pax by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Jon Klassen

From bestselling and award-winning author Sara Pennypacker comes a beautifully wrought, utterly compelling novel about the powerful relationship between a boy and his fox. Pax is destined to become a classic, beloved for generations to come.

How to Train Your Dragon

How to Train Your Dragon
by Cressida Cowell

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, the quiet and thoughtful son of the Chief of the Hairy Hooligans, tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan by catching and training a dragon. Can Hiccup do it without being torn limb from limb?

Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables (Box Set) by L. M. Montgomery

The adventures of the spirited redhead Anne Shirley, who comes to stay at Green Gables and wins the hearts of everyone she meets.

Love That Dog

Love That Dog
by Sharon Creech

Jack hates poetry. Only girls write it and every time he tries to, his brain feels empty. But his teacher, Miss Stretchberry, won’t stop giving her class poetry assignments—and Jack can’t avoid them. But then something amazing happens. The more he writes, the more he learns that he does have something to say.

The Complete Chronicles of Narnia

The Complete Chronicles of Narnia (Box Set) by C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia has captivated readers of all ages for over sixty years, enchanting them with fantastical talking creatures, epic battles between good and evil, and magical doorways into new lands.

Excellent Reading for 5th Graders

Crenshaw

Crenshaw
by Katherine Applegate

Crenshaw is a cat. He’s large, he’s outspoken, and he’s imaginary. He has come back into Jackson’s life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?

The Wheel on the School

The Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong, illustrated by Maurice Sendak

Why do the storks no longer come to the little Dutch fishing village of Shora to nest? It was Lina, one of the schoolchildren who first asked, which set others to also wonder. Sometimes, when you begin to wonder, you begin to make things happen. So the children set out to bring the storks back to Shora. The force of their vision put the whole village to work until at last the dream began to come true.

Because of Winn-Dixie

Because of Winn-Dixie
by Kate DiCamillo

One summer’s day, ten-year-old Opal goes to the local supermarket for some groceries – and comes home with a dog. Winn-Dixie is no ordinary dog. It’s because of Winn-Dixie that Opal begins to make friends. And it’s because of Winn-Dixie that she finally dares to ask her father about her mother, who left when Opal was three. In fact, as Opal admits, just about everything that happens that summer is because of Winn-Dixie.

A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time
by Madeleine L’Engle

A tesseract is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L’Engle’s unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe. They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.

Number the Stars

Number the Stars
by Lois Lowry

Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that pride and human decency is possible even in the face of terror and war.

Hatchet

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson, haunted by his secret knowledge of his mother’s infidelity, is traveling by single-engine plane to visit his father for the first time since the divorce. When the plane crashes, killing the pilot, the sole survivor is Brian. He is alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother had given him as a present. At first consumed by despair and self-pity, Brian slowly learns survival skills—and even finds the courage to start over from scratch when a tornado ravages his campsite. When Brian is finally rescued after fifty-four days in the wild, he emerges from his ordeal with new patience and maturity, and a greater understanding of himself and his parents.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling

Explores the past of the boy wizard’s nemesis, Lord Voldemort, and Harry’s preparations for the final battle against Voldemort alongside his headmaster and mentor Albus Dumbledore.

Invention of Hugo Cabret (Hugo)

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy in this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me
by Rebecca Stead

It would be easy to ignore the strange messages, except that whoever is leaving them has an uncanny ability to predict the future. If that is the case, then Miranda has a big problem—because the notes tell her that someone is going to die, and she might be too late to stop it.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham

The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis

When the Watson family—ten-year-old Kenny, Momma, Dad, little sister Joetta, and brother Byron—sets out on a trip south to visit Grandma in Birmingham, Alabama, they don’t realize that they’re heading toward one of the darkest moments in America’s history. The Watsons’ journey reminds us that even in the hardest times, laughter and family can help us get through anything.

Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind
by Sharon M. Draper

Eleven-year-old Melody is not like most people. She can’t walk. She can’t talk. She can’t write. All because she has cerebral palsy. But she also has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school, but NO ONE knows it. Most people—her teachers, her doctors, her classmates—dismiss her as mentally challenged because she can’t tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by her disability. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow.

The Contest (Everest)

The Contest (Everest)
by Gordon Korman

Four kids. One mountain. They come from all across America to be the youngest kid ever to climb Everest. But only one will reach the top first. The competition is fierce. The preparation is intense. The challenge is breathtaking. When the final four reach the higher peaks, disaster strikes-and all that separates the living from the dead is chance, bravery, and action.

The Outcasts

Brotherband: The Outcasts
by John Flanagan

The Skandians, who are known for their size and strength, want nothing to do with Hal, Stig, and the others, who are labeled as the outcasts. That doesn’t mean they don’t have skills – and courage – which they will need to do battle at sea against the other bands, the Wolves and the Sharks, in the ultimate race. The icy waters make for a treacherous playing field… especially when not everyone thinks of it as playing.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien, illustrated by Zena Bernstein

Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, is faced with a terrible problem. She must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma. And Mrs. Frisby in turn renders them a great service.

Shiloh (Shiloh Quartet, The)

Shiloh
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

When Marty Preston comes across a young beagle in the hills behind his home, it’s love at first sight—and also big trouble. It turns out the dog, which Marty names Shiloh, belongs to Judd Travers, who drinks too much, has a gun, and abuses his dogs. When Shiloh runs away from Judd to Marty, Marty just has to hide him and protect him from Judd. But Marty’s secret becomes too big for him to keep to himself, and it exposes his entire family to Judd’s anger. How far will Marty have to go to make Shiloh his?

Holes (Holes Series)

Holes by Louis Sachar, illustrated by Vladmir Radunsky & Bagram Ibatoulline

This award-winning, modern classic reminds readers that adventure is right around the corner-or just under your feet!

A Series of Unfortunate Events Lemony Snicket

A Series of Unfortunate Events Lemony Snicket (Box Set) by Lemony Snicket

Snicket is a harried, troubled writer and photographer who is falsely accused of various felonies and continuously hunted by the police…

I Am Malala

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai

I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world.

PLEASE NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Fathers Truly Matter earns from qualifying purchases. The information in this post should not be construed as providing specific psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand the lives and health of themselves and their children. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist. Some of the information in this post was inspired by Kristen Ivy and Reggie Joiner and Parenting Your Third Grader, Parenting Your Fourth Grader, and Parenting Your Fifth Grader available on www.parentcuestore.org.

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