What Books Would You Reccommend for 3Rd. Grader Reading on 5Th Grade Level?

Updated on April 23, 2010
C.R. asks from Olathe, KS
23 answers

My daughter just turned nine and I'm trying to find some books that she can read. My problem is the books she has been reading are now too easy for her. Her teacher said she is past the Cam Jansen books, which she really enjoys. I remember reading Judy Blume books, but I just wonder if they are too mature for her age. We go to the library every week, so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


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answers from Portland on

Look up the Young Reader's Choice Award books. They have already done the voting for this year, but the idea that the kids could have a vote made them highly engaged in reading them. The YRCA comes out with a list at hte beginning of every school year.

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answers from St. Louis on

You have tons of suggestions already, but I just wanted to add that many children's books will have a small code on the back cover above the UPC. It will have "RL" and then a number. This stands for "Reading Level" and then the number is the grade. If it says RL 5, then it would be at the fifth grade reading level. Some newer books don't have these, but a lot of the older books do.

I remember enjoying the Babysitter's Club books, and I believe they were RL 4-6, although the characters were all in middle school.

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answers from Mansfield on

there is a great website www.bookadventure.org that is actually like a comprehension test site (Like AR) where kids read a book then take a quiz on it for points which they can then redeem for prizes. The site is free and super easy to sign up and navigate. You can go on the site without signing up and search for books by grade level (so search for 5th grade since that is her reading level) and there is a huge list of books. You can limit the search to areas on interest like animals, fiction only, fairy tales, drama, mystery, etc. That will give you an idea of what is at her reading level then when you go to the library you can check these out and see if they are appropriate for her to read, some of these tween moving toward teen books are not appropriate for someone her age (or even in 5th grade) so you should look at them first.
I know searching the library for a specific reading level book is not easy. If you have AR in your school system you should be able to ask the librarian for a list and look up her reading level that way too.
The original Oz books (Frank Baum) are 5th grade level so those could be fun. Magic tree house is below her reading level but still fun and educational if she hasn't read them yet. Also if she doesn't need to read at her reading level (like for AR tests) and she enjoys the Cam Jansen books, that is ok let her read them.
Have fun, I love the library! Hope this helps :)

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answers from Denver on

What a fantastic problem to have! We have the same issue and have found it's trial and error. The best thing is to give them permission to not read something they don't like.

Calvin and Hobbes. Ok, so they're comic books but the vocabulary is quite advanced.

Little House on the Prairie. there's a second series written in the late 90's early 00's that's more advanced than the first series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. do a keyword search on Caroline quiner.

Trixie Belden mysteries if she likes horses. Like nancy drew but trixie is not near as prissie....

Little women series

Andrew Clement - some are easy but most are in the 4th to 5th grade level - he's the first author our librarian recommended for my 2nd grader when I posed the same question (needing 5th-6th grade level).

boxcar children by Gertrude C Warner may be a little too easy but they're a lot of fun

American Girl - there's different series that range from about 3rd grade to about 7th grade

Ask both the librarian at the public library and the school library.

good luck!

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answers from Orlando on

Judy Blume books are great, but be careful which ones you pick. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and SuperFudge are great, but stear clear of Blubber and Are You There God It's Me Margaret. Ask the librarian, too

My daughter's favorite author is Roald Dahl (I know that's spelled wrong!) He wrote Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, and something Mr Fox (can't remember the title-- it just came out in a movie not too long ago) and tons of others. Check one out and see if the reading level is right, but I know the stories should be OK

The state of Florida has a list of books they come out with every year called Sunshine State Books. Google it and see if you can find the list from this year and previous years. There are 15 books on each list for 3-5 grade, but I think a lot of them are more on the 5th grade level. I have read several of them with my kids and they love, love, love most of them. Books like Holes and Marley and Me are on the list from previous years. (Sorry I keep naming books that have been turned into movies, but they're good books!) If she finds a book on the Sunshine State list that she likes, stick with that author and find another book.

My daughter has tappered out a bit this year (5th grade) but she used to eat through books so quickly we had trouble finding something for her to read! The school librarian would set aside new books for her as they came in!

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answers from Joplin on

My 4th grader likes almost all the same books my 7th grader likes so I would suggest finding out what some of the Mark Twain award books are in your local library that are on a middle school reading level. Also, she always enjoys the old Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Nancy Drew books sometimes. And what I like about the Little House books is that they give my girls a sense of what life used to be like, and they even like to pretend sometimes that they are living "back then". If you live close enough, I would suggest taking her to the Laura Ingalls Wilder home in Mansfield Mo. sometime too. My girls have been three times and always enjoy the sense they get, imagining what life was like then.



answers from Erie on

A to Z mysteries are more challenging than Cam Jansen. The American Girl series would be great. IF she likes Cam Jansen than maybe Encyclopedia Brown would be good, I used to LOVE those. Don't forget about NON-Fiction too.

Get her a note book adn encourage her to write her own stories


answers from Jacksonville on

My daughter is also finishing up 3rd grade, is in gifted program, and reads advanced grade material (I think for the Accelerated Reader Program she is required to read level 5 or 6 books, or something like that).
Anyway, I tried and tried to get her to read the LIttle House series...as I loved them at her age. But no dice. She likes the 39 Clues series, Chronicles of Narnia series, and LOVES the Diary of a WImpy Kid books.


answers from Minneapolis on

My 7yr old is an advanced reader too, and is right now reading the 39 Clues books. I've read ahead of him one book to make sure they are appropriate for his age (they are supposed to be for preteens) and while the first book is slow moving, the rest are fabulous and we've really enjoyed them.



answers from Chicago on

I teach 6th grade so generally make recommendations for children a little older than yours. There's a very cute series of books by Patricia Wrede called the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. The first one in the series is Dealing With Dragons. It's a very funny book, but not sure if the humor would be too sophisticated for your daughter. At any rate, it might make a nice read aloud for the two of you. No More Magic by Avi might be another good one to try. Also, Mrs. Frisbee and the Rats of NIMH. Enjoy!



answers from Augusta on

my daughter loves the Ivy and Bean series, and the Diary of a wimpy kid series. She's second grade with 5th grade reading level. She just started The Gumm Street Girls series. She also has Nancy Drew sitting on her shelf waiting to be read.



answers from Dallas on

Look at www.sonlight.com for their reading list, they tend to include classics as well.



answers from Seattle on

Madeline L'Engle
Roald Dahl
C.S. Lewis

All great authors with books that are content appropriate (for the most part) for a third grader, but a higher reading level.


answers from Denver on

Some ideas:
The Madeline L'Engle "Wind in the Door" series.
Roald Dahl's "James & the Giant Peach."
"The Hobbit" (but hold off on the rest of the LOTR series)
Lloyd Alexander's books for kids....
I remember enjoying Heinlein's "Space Cadet" at that age, but it might have been sexist and I just didn't understand that part of it - not sure.

And DEFINITELY ask your librarian for recommendations!



answers from Minneapolis on




answers from New York on

The first thing that comes to mind are the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary. There's a few "Ramona", "Ramona the Brave", "Ramona and Her Mother", and a few more. There's also the "Mouse on the Motorcylce" also by Beverly Cleary.

The American Girl series would be age appropriate.

I think the "Bailey School Kids" books are around that reading level. I had one daughter who loved them, the other who only read one book in the series.

Books written by Roland Dahl. Which include "Matilda", "The BFG", and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory".

There are the "Fudge" books by Judy Blume. If I remember correctly these may be 3rd or 4th grade level.

Definetly below the 5th grade reading level are "The Magic Tree House" series. My daughter who tested at a 12.9 reading level in 5th grade was reading these books in 5th grade. I thought they were great books because she was actually learning facts about science, history, etc. And they were such a quick read, that it brought her great satisfaction that she could sit down and read an entire book in a short period of time.

Neither of my daughters cared for these, but who knows, your daughter my love them are "The Little House on the Prarie" series.

Have fun at the library!


answers from Fresno on

My daughter is at that reading level as well, and loves the Harry Potter series! Also she's been reading Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden mysteries and loves those.



answers from St. Louis on

The Romona seriesy by Beverly Cleary are great and Judy Blume's Fudge series is good as well.



answers from St. Louis on

talk to the school librarian.....



answers from St. Louis on

Please go to your nearest public library and find the children's librarian. That's what s/he's there for. The librarian can pull out hundreds of books that will be both age appropriate, yet challenging enough for your daughter's reading level. A few books off the top of my head ...
Rules by Cynthia Lord
It's Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder
The Ellie McDoodle series by Ruth McNally Barshaw
The Gollywhopper Games by J. Feldman
The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart
Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee
Holes by Louis Sachar (also books in his Wayside School series)
Encyclopedia Brown series by Donald Sobol
Books in the dragon series by Patricia C. Wrede

There are thousands. Also to address your other question ...
I was in the same situation with my daughter, concerned she wasn't being challenged enough. I spoke with her teachers who would sometimes find parallel work for her to do when other kids were learning vowel sounds, for example. One also enlisted my daughter (and a couple other kids ... your daughter probably isn't the only one reading at a higher level) to act as helpers, pairing up with other students in a not-as-obvious-as-it sounds way. It made her feel very valuable (and you can learn a lot by helping others). Do understand that even though she needs to sit through lessons like learning to read, she's picking up other information that she may not already know, lessons that will be valuable down the line. And soon, even as early as within the next year, so many will be catching up to her.

Good luck!



answers from Kansas City on

My niece loves Judy Blume books and started reading them in 2nd grade. I think she has read them all and is so cute when she reads and acts them out. My daughter also loved the America books, I can't remember the exact name but there is a series of them. Little house in the Prarie are also good books she would probably enjoy. Don't worry about books being too big as they will let you know if it's too big. It is mainly the content you have to worry about if it's too mature or not. If you go to the library and go to the kids section she should be able to read most of the books in the section. She may like the Nancy Drew series too. My 4th grade son loves reading the Hardy Boys books and started reading them in 3rd grade. I wouldn't let her go to the young adult section as some of those book are too mature for young readers and probably most of them would be rated PG-13 if it were a movie.

My oldest son was reading 3rd grade level in Kindergarten and progressed very quickly from there. He has always loved to read and would read 300+ page books in 3rd grade. Everytime we go on a long trip he will make a trip to the library and get at least 4-6 big books with at least 500 pages and will have at least 4 or 5 of them read within 2 weeks. He is blessed to be able to read in the car and not get car sick so on a 15 hour trip he gets a lot of reading done.



answers from St. Louis on

This doesn't answer your question, but I am LMAO that there is a series of books with a character named Cam Jansen since he is also an awesome hockey fighter currently on the St Louis Blues. Now THAT would be a series of children's books ("Cam and the 5-game Suspension;" "Cam and the Mystery of the Trap Defense"...)!



answers from St. Louis on

Not sure if this is too young or not, but you can try the Box Car Children by Gertrude (sp?) Chandler Warner. They are chapter books with some pictures.

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