Although I developed this as a 3rd Grade summer reading list for my own kiddo, it’s really perfect for kids Grades 3-5.
Holy Moly! I can’t believe my youngest is entering third grade next year.
So what else does this mom do? Create a 3rd grade summer reading list of course!
You can find these books at your local library or purchase through the affiliate links provided for your convenience.
And a special thanks to the Association for Library Service for the wonderful summer reading inspiration.
3rd Grade Summer Reading List (Grades 3-5)
Upper Elementary Summer Reading
When my boys were in 3rd grade and 5th grade, they liked very different books.
But they both agreed that Pax was their favorite summer read from this 3rd grade summer reading list.
A 2016 National Book Award Finalist.
Two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo returns to her roots with a moving, masterful story of an unforgettable summer friendship.
If Raymie can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father, who left town two days ago with a dental hygienist, will see Raymie’s picture in the paper and (maybe) come home.
As the competition approaches, loneliness, loss, and unanswerable questions draw the three girls into an unlikely friendship — and challenge each of them to come to the rescue in unexpected ways.
Newbery Honor Book. New York Public Library Best Book for Kids, 2016. Winner of the Scott O’Dell Award
Return to the wonderful world of Newbery Honor Book Turtle in Paradise through the eyes of Turtle’s cousin Beans!
Grown-ups lie. That’s one truth Beans knows for sure. With no jobs on the island, and no money anywhere, who can really blame the grown-ups for telling a few tales? Besides, Beans has plans. Big plans. And the consequences might surprise even Beans himself.
Ben Clanton showcases the joys of friendship, the benefits of working together and the power of imagination.
Narwhal is a happy-go-lucky narwhal. Jelly is a no-nonsense jellyfish. The two might not have a lot in common, but they do they love waffles, parties and adventures. Join Narwhal and Jelly as they discover the whole wide ocean together.
Fans of How to Train Your Dragon will love this whimsical tale, the first in a series by a Newbery Honor winner, featuring charming illustrations and pet “training tips” in each chapter.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year. A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year.
This emotionally resonant novel in verse by award-winning author Nikki Grimes celebrates choosing to be true to yourself.
The stories pop with adventure, original language, and an unstoppable protagonist who is as adorable as the egg she’s working so hard to protect.
Fort is a thrilling story about friendship, revenge, and standing up for yourself, even when you think you’re outmatched. It’s going to be one summer these boys will never forget.
In this first book in a series, young readers will be inspired by Lola’s big heart and creative spirit as she learns to navigate the second grade in true Lola style!
Lola is fierce on the field, but when a soccer game during recess gets too competitive, she accidentally hurts her classmate Juan Gomez. Now everyone is calling her Mean Lola Levine!
Lola feels terrible, but with the help of her family, her super best friend, Josh Blot, and a little “pencil power,” she just might be able to turn it all around.
Told in letters to Sophie’s abuela, quizzes, a chicken-care correspondence course, to-do lists, and more, Unusual Chickens is a quirky, clucky classic in the making.
What happens when you invite as many jazz musicians as you can to pose for a photo in 1950s Harlem? Playful verse and glorious artwork capture an iconic moment for American jazz.
Readers will delight in star cartoonist James Sturm’s tender and just depiction of a friendship in peril.
Armadillo is trying to come up with a plan for global domination…but with every new idea, being a bad guy seems a little less fun—especially if ruling the world means losing your best friend.
Told in a mixture of text and black-and-white illustration, this is the perfect book for any kid who’s ever dreamed of starring in his or her own comic book or video game.
Born of Mohawk and Cayuga descent, musical icon Robbie Robertson learned the story of Hiawatha and his spiritual guide, the Peacemaker, as part of the Iroquois oral tradition. Now he shares the same gift of storytelling with a new generation.
Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan (Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books)
Newbery Honor Book. Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book. Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book.
Using original slave auction and plantation estate documents, Ashley Bryan offers a moving and powerful picture book that contrasts the monetary value of a slave with the priceless value of life experiences and dreams that a slave owner could never take away.
In the 1930s, Lewis’s dad, Lewis Michaux Sr., had an itch he needed to scratch―a book itch. How to scratch it? He started a bookstore in Harlem and named it the National Memorial African Bookstore.
Read the story of how Lewis Michaux Sr. and his bookstore fostered new ideas and helped people stand up for what they believed in.
Who says words need to be concrete? This collection shapes poems in surprising and delightful ways.
Concrete poetry is a perennially popular poetic form because they are fun to look at. But by using the arrangement of the words on the page to convey the meaning of the poem, concrete or shape poems are also easy to write!
From the author of the incredibly inventive Lemonade: And Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word comes another clever collection that shows kids how to look at words and poetry in a whole new way.
From classics like “The Tortoise and the Hare” and “The Grasshopper and the Ants” to obscure gems like “The Frogs Who Desired a King,” Fable Comics has something to offer every reader.
Twenty-eight fables from different cultures and traditions are wonderfully adapted and illustrated in comics format by twenty-six different cartoonists.
In this award-winning sequel to Chickadee, acclaimed author Louise Erdrich continues her celebrated Birchbark House series with the story of an Ojibwe family in nineteenth-century America.
From the acclaimed author of The Lemonade War comes a new book starring two smart girls determined to liven up their town—one epic prank at a time.
Winner of the 2017 Pura Belpré Author Award.
Whether it is basketball dreams, family fiascos, first crushes, or new neighborhoods, this bold short story collection—written by some of the best children’s authors and published in partnership with We Need Diverse Books—celebrates the uniqueness and universality in all of us.
National Book Award Longlist * New York Times Bestseller * An Amazon Best Book of the Year
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.
A spine-tingling tale rooted in Caribbean folklore that will have readers holding their breath.
With its able and gutsy heroine, lyrical narration, and inventive twist on the classic Haitian folktale The Magic Orange Tree, The Jumbies will be a favorite of fans of Breadcrumbs, A Tale Dark and Grimm, and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.
This heartwarming story, told in a blend of poetry and prose, reveals the bonds that emerge when we let others into our lives.
Like this 3rd grade summer reading list (grades 3-5)? Don’t miss out on additional age-appropriate summer reading lists for all the kiddos – from Kindergarten all the way through 8th grade!