50 Best 3rd Grade Books for Summer Reading (Age 8)

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What are the best 3rd grade books for summer reading? Here are my chapter book and nonfiction book recommendations for 3rd graders, ages 8 and 9 (third grade), to read during summer vacation– or anytime.

You’ll find the best of funny books, fantasy books, friendship stories, adventure stories, and books about animals. These are excellent books that will get your 3rd grade readers hooked on books all summer long!

I’m a former teacher, parent of two, avid reader, and book reviewer (15 years.) You can trust that I’ve read and reviewed all of these books and that these choices will be interesting to children and appropriate for third-grade readers.

3rd grade summer reading

You may be wondering: how old are 3rd graders? The third grade age is usually age 8, turning age 9 sometime during the school year.

These books for 3rd graders in the upper range of chapter books and the lower range of middle grade books. These 3rd grade books are short, illustrated, and about topics 3rd graders can relate to. Those topics and themes include friendship, family, real life, and hard things –like saving the world or solving a mystery!

Download the free printable of this summer reading list. NOTE: If you don’t see the printable sign-up below, please clear your cache and try again.

This list of 3rd grade books only shows the titles. If you want to read my detailed reviews, visit the best books for 3rd graders. There, you’ll read the book title, the author, the illustrator, the genre, and my review, elaborating on the plot, theme, and why kids will like it.

3rd grade books

Don’t forget that a summer reading program can be awesome motivation. Download my free printable summer reading packet to help your kids set goals and stay on track.

Make sure the book is at the “just right” reading level with the 5 Finger Test.

For book reviews, visit Best Books for 8-Year Olds Book Reviews.

More summer reading book lists:

2nd grade summer reading list
4th grade summer reading list
All reading lists by grade level

3rd Grade Books for Summer Reading (Age 8)

SHOP this list.

3rd Grade Books: Graphic Novels

3rd grade books to read for summer: GRAPHIC NOVELS

Young readers love graphic novels — and they count 100% as real reading with compelling stories and interesting characters and plots. Reluctant readers and all readers use essential reading comprehension skills like inference when reading graphic novels. So if your 3rd graders like graphic novels, pick one of these fantastic 3rd grade books.

3rd Grade Books: Funny Books

3RD grade books to read for summer

If your 3rd grade reader likes funny books, they’ll love these hilarious chapter books.

3rd Grade Realistic Books

3rd grade books to read for summer: REALISTIC

If your early readers in 3rd grade like realistic stories, they’ll love one of these great books:

3rd Grade Adventure & Mystery Books

If your 3rd graders like adventure and mystery books, they’ll love:

3rd Grade Fantasy and Science Fiction Books

3rd grade summer reading -- FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION

If your young reader enjoys reading fantasy and science fiction books, they’ll love:

3rd Grade Books: Animal Books

3rd grade books to read about animals

If your third grader loves animal books, pick from one of these good books:

3rd Grade Books: Nonfiction

3rd grade nonfiction Summer Book List

If your 8-year-old in third grade likes nonfiction books, try these good nonfiction choices for 3rd graders:

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  1. Could you please send me the printable summer reading lists for Grade 3 and Grade 4? Thank you so much!

  2. Hello. I love your summer reading book lists but I cannot find printable copies of them. Do you have these available?

    Thank you!

  3. Are these books meant to be at a third grade reading level or simply of interest to 8 and 9 year old third graders? Some of the books would be of great interest to my third grade reader, but Scholastic lists several at 5th and 6th grade reading levels. Confused.

    1. Thanks for asking, Ashleigh. It’s always a bit tricky for me on these posts since kids can vary in reading comprehension levels within a grade level so I tried to recommend books that are both of interest and that on reading level.

      Although, if you think your child would like the story in the harder books, you might consider making them your bedtime story.

      Do you want me to list the reading levels for each book? Would that help?

      1. Please do not reconsider your list! As a teacher, I hear from my students all the time that they are “embarrassed” at some of the books the librarian has them check out. They have to stay within a certain reading level. It does not challenge them and stagnates their love of reading. Challenge them! My own kids were reading the Eragon series in third grade.

        I tell my kiddos to go by the five finger rule. If there are five words on a page you struggle with, you will want to pick the next level down. Three words, but the book interests you, keep going, but look those words up. One to two words, you are at a comfortable level. Never be afraid to challenge a child – they will amaze you!

  4. Looking for more good reading books for a 3rd grader and a 6th grader – both entering the 2015/2016 school year.