You can see that there are a lot of books out there, but I’m just going to show you some. A list of books we like, recommendations from our friends, and lists from our local libraries. We haven’t read all of them yet. Please don’t forget to leave any of your favorite things in the comment box below!
I also gave you the lexile numbers so that you can figure out which books your child can read at a level that’s about right. This isn’t the only thing that makes each family unique. We may not agree on what a 3rd grader should read. You should read anything before you let your child see it or check a site like Common Sense Media to see if it’s something you’d like.
Lizard Music by: Daniel Manus Pinkwater – (Dodd, Mead, 1976) 144 pages.
A band of giant lizards are playing wild music on TV. Victor, 11, is up way past his bedtime. Victor watches the same show over and over again, but it doesn’t seem to be real.
Shredderman: Secret Identity by: Wendelin Van Draanen, illustrated by: Brian Briggs – (Random House, 2004) 144 pages.
It’s been a long time since Nolan has been happy with Bubba Bixby’s bullying. To do a newspaper expose, Nolan thinks this is the best time to really show Bubba for what he is. Then, Nolan comes up with shredderman.com, a website that hides his identity while he fights back against Bubba’s tyranny.
Freddy the Detective by: Walter R. Brooks, illustrated by: Kurt Wiese – (Alfred A. Knopf, 1932) 272 pages.
Freddy the Detective was written in 1932, but many people don’t know about it. One day Freddy is in the barn and finds The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. He decides that this is what he wants to do, and he starts reading it. Freddy’s witty and still very young language is so fun to listen to!
Framed by: Frank Cottrell Boyce – (HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2006) 306 pages.
In this story, a young boy tells the story. He is endearingly naive and doesn’t know as much as the reader about what is going on. He doesn’t have a parent, and he’s doing the best he can with the information he has to make things better for everyone else. It also changes not only his family, but the whole town. Dylan lives with his sisters and parents, and he is the only boy in a small town in Wales that gets a lot of rain and is very small. These people are running a small garage called the Snowdonia Oasis Auto Marvel, which is close to going broke. Neither Dylan nor Tom, the man who tried to rob them, are fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Instead, they hire the man who tried to rob them instead. Now, things start to change for them and their community after a series of events that seem unrelated start to happen at the same time.
Boy of a Thousand Faces by: Brian Selznick – (Harper, 2000) 48 pages.
Alonzo King, who is 10 years old, knows a lot about monster movies. A lot of time goes into making his favorite monster faces in the mirror with Scotch tape and make up. Whenever a mysterious animal is said to be trampling on flower beds and scratching up cars, Alonzo is called in.
Mariella Mystery series by: Kate Pankhurst – (B.E.S. Publishing, 2014) 176 pages.
“Mystery” is the name of your last name, so of course you’re going to be a good detective. Mariella, a nine-year-old girl, likes to solve simple, age-appropriate mysteries, like who is trying to sabotage the local baking contest. Keep track of clues in this super-secret notebook, just like a good detective would do If you are a reluctant or beginning reader, this book has funny sketches and tips that will help you become a better reader.
Young sleuths and problem solvers will love this.
Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective
Each short story in Encyclopedia Brown books is its own little mystery. They are a collection of short stories that are all different. To find out if you solved each one, turn to the back of the book. He read these when he was younger, so it’s fun to see him now. It has a Lexile score of 600L.
The Hardy Boys: The Tower Treasure
If you like the Hardy Boys, you could read any of their books. I haven’t read them all yet. So again, check them out for yourself. In the Tower Treasure, I did read it. It’s like most of the Hardy Boys books I remember reading. There isn’t any gore in it. My son thought other kids would enjoy it, too. At 740L, the Lexile level is about the same.
Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew: Sleepover Sleuths
You can’t talk about the Hardy Boys without talking about Nancy Drew, and that’s what I did when I was a kid. When you read Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew, you see a younger version of Nancy Drew for people who are younger.
The Great Mouse Detective: Basil of Baker Street
Find a set of twins that have been lost and solve many other mysteries with Basil and Dawson, a mouse detective. There is a movie version that is fun, but it isn’t the same as the book. 730L is the Lexile score for this text.
The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency: The Case of the Missing Moonstone
If I want to read this series, I put it on my library hold list. When Ada Lovelace and Mary Shelley met as girls, they started putting together a detective agency together. They use math, science, and their own ideas to solve mysteries. 840L is the Lexile score for this text.
The Boxcar Children
These are so well-known. Each book in this series deals with a new mystery for the kids to solve, and they have to figure it out. It has a Lexile score of 580L.
Maisie Hitchins: The Case of the Stolen Sixpence
With her dog Eddie by her side, Maisie Hitchins, a 12-year-old girl from the series, solves crimes with her friends. The Lexile: 770