3 Booklists for My 3rd Grader, 2016-2017

As a former literature student, I have an affinity for all things book! In fact, some people might say I have a bit of an obsession over buying good quality literature. Now that two of our girls are reading independently, I have created booklists for their school year, appropriate to the age and reading levels of each. Both girls are already bookworms — how could they not be?! My hope is that they will also develop a taste for “the true, beautiful, and lovely” and eschew the twaddle. Unfortunately, based on this week’s library run and all the Ron Roy mysteries, we haven’t arrived ūüôā

In my last post about our curriculum for Term 1, I mentioned sharing booklists for each of my students. Today, I am giving you a glimpse at the books Kate, my third-grader (age 7.5), is and will be reading over the course of the school year and how I constructed each of these lists.


First of all, let me be clear that my girls are both avid readers. I have not assessed reading levels so the books I have selected for them, in some cases, may prove too easy or too difficult, dull or tedious. We will take each book case-by-case and if it’s¬†just not working, we will consider a swap. I try not to allow my children to “cop out” on a book if they’ve just started reading it, but if they’ve given it a good shot — say read the first 2-3 chapters — and still admit struggle, then we will switch it out.

Resources for My Book Selection


Since we use Ambleside Online as our primary curriculum, I draw most of the literature and free reads from their Years 2-4¬†booklists.¬†I also draw my selections from Honey for a Child’s Heart and¬†Books Children Love¬†as well as recommendations from reputable sources like A Charlotte Mason Home, Liz Cottrill of Living Books Library,¬†Carol Joy Seid, and Sarah Mackenzie. Plus, over the past few years, I have slowly accumulated a pretty amazing home library of living books where¬†most of our books are housed.

History is¬†near and dear to my third grader’s heart, and since we are studying American history this term, I have included books on her list relevant to the time period we’re covering. These books include non-fiction,¬†biographies, and historical fiction.

This book list is divided into 3 categories: (1) Required Reading with Mom; (2) Required Independent Reading; and (3) Free Reads. With the first two categories, Kate is expected to narrate — or tell me in her own words about what she reads, while the latter category is for her enjoyment and to cultivate a love of GOOD books.

Kate’s 3rd grade booklist

#1: Required Reading Booklist*


Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher (Term 1)

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (Term 2)

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle (Term 3)

*I read these books to Kate, then she narrates back to me, telling me what she has learned or what interested her. Narration is KEY because it reveals what is most important to the child and is what she will most likely retain.

#2: Required Independent Reading Booklist**


The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes (Term 1)

The Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace (Term 1)

The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright (Term 1)

Ben Franklin of Old Philadelphia by Margaret Cousins (Term 1)

The Bears on Hemlock Mountain, by Alice Dalgliesh (Term 1)

The Story of Doctor Dolittle, by Hugh Lofting (Term 2)

Five Little Peppers & How They Grew by Margaret Sidney (Term 2)

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink (Term 2)

Abe Lincoln: Log Cabin to the White House (Landmark Books) by Sterling North (Term 2)

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George (Term 2)

The Railway Children by E. Nesbit (Term 3)

Along Came a Dog by Meindert de Jong (Term 3)

The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli (Term 3)

The Moffats by Eleanor Estes (Term 3)

Owls in the Family by Farley Mowhat (Term 3)

**Kate is expected to read independently for about 15 minutes every day. Then, she must narrate to me what she read.

#3: Free Reads Booklist***


In Grandma’s Attic by Arleta Richardson

Skippack School by Marguerite de Angeli

Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright

All-of-a-Kind-Family by Sydney Taylor

The Fairy Doll by Rumer Godden

The BFG by Roald Dahl

The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson

The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis

Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

Martha Washington & Clara Barton from the Childhood of Famous Americans Series (This biographical series is excellent for young readers!!)

***Kate also has daily free reading time when she must read for 15 minutes minimum. She does not have to narrate these books to me.

That’s the extent of Kate’s 3rd grade booklist. Of course, we’ll add in some books that go along with our history plus other literary works as they present themselves, but that’s it. I will share in the coming weeks my 1st grader’s booklists.

Until then, Happy Reading!





Do your children have booklists, or do you simply pick books for them to read as they come along? Do you have any advice for encouraging your children to select QUALITY literature over twaddle?

Related posts of interest:

Creating a Library for Children: 75+ Classic Books Your Young Child Will Love

3 Chapter Books Series We Love + a FREE Reading Log

5 Criteria for Selecting Read-Aloud Books for Children


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  1. […] this week I shared 3 booklists for my 3rd grader,¬†which is a compilation of living books my oldest will be reading through this school year.¬†I […]