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Let’s INSPIRE summer reading! I spent the last month interviewing students, parents, and teachers about what books should make our Summer Must-Read Lists. One response was, “This series required some emergency trips to the library!” I hope that every child feels that excited to rush off to the library to get the next book. If you need some additional summer reading inspiration, check out our annual, 7 Tips to Encourage Reading and Avoid Summer Slide.
Each grade level has a 2022 “Must Read” list that includes 9 titles. I chose these books because they are inspiring, diverse, age-appropriate, and most importantly, adored by real kids!
The books chosen for the 3rd grade list were selected for independent readers. They are high-interest, popular books that will build excitement and reading stamina. The books chosen for this list are NOT decodable readers meant for an emergent reader to read independently. If your child is not an independent reader, use this selection to read together and build excitement, rich vocabulary, great conversations, connection, and a love for reading! If you would like to find out more about why decodables are important for striving readers and where to find those for independent reading practice, click here.
Beauty and the Beak was new to me this year and now an “All Time MUST Read.” It follows the story of an American Bald eagle from hatching to the terrible moment she was shot in the beak.
Left brutally mamed, the eagle was starving death unable to hunt for food or drink water. She was found and taking to a wildlife center.
Some incredibly compassionate humans name the eagle Beauty and created a plan. They would create a prostetic beak for Beauty.
My third grade teacher read this Newberry Honor classic aloud and it was one that I never forgot! The Hundred Dresses is a beautiful story about kindness and doing the right thing.
Wanda Petronski comes to school every day wearing an old, ill-fitting, faded blue dress. She says she has a hundred beautiful dresses at home, and the other children roar with laughter. The more she is ridiculed, the more she describes her hundred dresses in detail.
One day, Wanda Petronski doesn’t arrive at school. In fact, she doesn’t come back at all. Her classmate Maddie wants to discover the truth, and when she does, she decides she will never stand by and do nothing when someone isn’t treated fairly.
Third grade is a perfect time for this thought-provoking story and the lessons that come with it.
This 6 book series is perfect for a family read aloud!
In book one, Ragweed is a mouse determined to find adventure. He leaves his safe home in the country and sets off for the bustling city. Ragweed soon discovers that power-hungry cats are determined to keep the mice down. Can Ragweed and his gang fight the cats and restore equality?
Poppy is the second book. The first chapter opens with Poppy witnessing the tragic death of her beloved Ragweed. She becomes the unlikely heroine when she’s the only mouse who can outwit Mr. Ocax the owl and evil antagonist. You can listen to Poppy dynamically read on YouTube here!
The third book is Poppy and Rye. Poppy is devasted over Ragweed’s death and ventures to tell his family. When she arrives, she meets Rye, Ragweed’s brother. Together, they must face the evil beaver’s who have taken over the valley.
Key Hunters is a perfect series because it exposed children to all of the genres! Each short, high-interest chapter book is written in a different genre!
Book 1- The Mysterious Moonstone: mystery
Book 2- The Secret’s Secret: Adventure
Book 3- The Haunted Howl: Kid-friendly Horror
Join CLeo and Evan as they unlock adventure… one key at a time. Read and play more on Scholastic’s Key Hunter’s website here.
National Geographic Kids Almanac 2022 is here! These are always a fan favorite. It’s non-fiction and packed with facts, map, activities, pictures, and games.
This year’s book has a special feature called Kids vs. Plastic. Your child can find out ways that they can be part of reducing the world’s plastic consumption.
If your child loves it, check out 2021 and 2023’s Almanac too!
Round Trip by Ann Jonas will literally blow your child’s mind. It may be trickier to find at a library, but it is well worth the hunt!
The story follows a family’s journey to the city. The text and illustrations are black and white and absolutely engrossing.
Then, on their return trip back to the country, you turn the book upside down and read from back to front. The illustrations still work!!
This is one you will want to read over and over and share with friends. It feels a little like a magic trick!
Lulu and the Brontosaurus is a hilarious, illustrated chapter book series about a spoiled girl who demands a brontosaurus for her birthday!
When her parents refuse, she throws a four-day temper tantrum and then sets out to find her own brontosaurus to keep as a pet. When she finally finds one, she convinces him a pet is a neccesity. He agrees and decides she will be his perfect pet!
Lulu trying to untangle her mess will surely bring laughter and leave you wanting more. Which is good… because there are more Lulu adventures in the next two books!
If you have not heard the incredible, true story of Malala Yousafsai, get ready to ne in awe. Malala was a young Pakistani girl who loved school. She defied the Taliban when girls were outlawed from school. Her bravery was met with unimaginable violence. Yet, Malala survives and continues to be an activist for equality. Malala and the Magic Pencil is a beautiful introduction to Malala’s story and what it means to stand up for what you believe in.
If your child loves this story, here are some higher level books about Malala that are just as incredible.
You can also visit https://malala.org/ for more.
The Magic Nesting Doll is my all-time favorite picture book because of the intricate, awe-inspiring illustrations.
It is a good old fashion Sleeping Beauty story with a Russian twist!
From her grandmother’s death bed, Katya receives a beautiful matryoshka doll and this advice, “If your need is great, open the doll and help will come. But you may only do so three times. After that the magic will be gone.”
Katya decides she must be the one to save the frozen prince. With the help of the magic matryoshka doll and her new friends, Katya is able to break the spell that the evil Grand Vizier has placed on the kingdom and find true love.
Have a great summer!
Do you have children of other ages? Check out each grade level’s Must Read List below.