20 Best Picture Books For 3rd Graders Update 05/2022

Third-grade students’ energy and excitement are contagious, especially when it comes to reading and writing. You’ll always have your favorite book titles and series, but every now and again, your school library will benefit from a refresher course in reading. We’ve got you covered so that you can satisfy the needs of all of your pupils! This list of 60 new (and new-ish) 3rd grade books includes books for ELA strategy lessons and curriculum tie-ins, series to motivate independent reading, and compelling chapter books to discuss as a small group or as a whole class. We think these books are well worth adding to your classroom library shelves, so check them out!

Going Down Home With Daddy by Kelly Starling Lyons

Every summer, Lil’ Alan looks forward to the yearly celebration of family history at Granny’s house down the road, but he is concerned about how he will contribute to the annual celebration of family history. This heartwarming story delves into the topic of family and would be an excellent writing mentor book for younger writers.

I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes

Black boys’ tenacity, ingenuity, perseverance, and kindness are celebrated in this wonderful book, which emits a strong sense of black pride. It is impossible not to be invigorated and inspired after reading this book because there are so many specific instances to which all students may relate. Every year, make a point of reading this!

Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away by Meg Medina

Evelyn Del Rey, Daniela’s best friend and next-door neighbor, is preparing to relocate. During their final minutes together, Daniela describes them in heartbreaking detail, while also listing all the reasons she will miss her best friend. We really enjoy using this story to analyze the emotional responses of the characters to events, as well as as a writing mentor text while studying narrative voice.

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

We can’t seem to put this book down and keep reading it over and over. Encourage children to discover their own unique voices and to form bonds with one another.

How to Be a Lion by Ed Vere

The best picture books are so much more than what they appear to be on the surface. If you’re a lion, do you have to do things a certain way? The issues of bias, individualism, and friendship will be explored.

A House That Once Was by Julie Fogliano

Two children come across an abandoned house that is anything from devoid of life. This is a brilliant example of a book that can be enjoyed on a variety of levels, and we like discussing it with third-graders. Additionally, it can be used to inspire pupils to write about their own unforgettable experiences.

The One Day House by Julia Durango

Wilson longs to assist Gigi in repairing her home, despite the fact that she assures him that his companionship is more than sufficient. With the help of his friends and family, he is able to carry out his plans one day and achieve his goals.

The Very Last Castle by Travis Jonker

Featuring Ibb, the only girl brave enough to explore who actually lives in the old castle that stands in the heart of town, this traditional tale is given a modern twist by the author. Everyone is surprised when the truth is revealed since rumors are spreading like wildfire.

The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family by Ibtihaj Muhammad

She admires her older sister on her first day of hijab, both for wearing her “proudest” color blue in a way that is both strong and beautiful, as well as for standing up to unpleasant comments from others. This inspiring story is written by the first female Muslim American Olympian, who also happens to be a writer.

Drawn Together by Minh Lê and Dan Santat

With this beautiful, nearly wordless title, you may remind pupils about the various modes of communication available. A youngster and his grandfather are from different countries and speak different languages, but they are connected via art.

The Bell Rang by James Ransome

This heartbreaking story, told through the eyes of a young slave girl whose brother has escaped, will take your breath away.

Bookjoy, Wordjoy by Pat Mora

These poetry on reading, writing, and the love of words will bring you delight. In addition, the pictures are diversified and vibrant. Find plenty of ideas for launching a poetry subject or for reading to the class when a quick dose of literacy love is required.

Friends and Foes: Poems About Us All by Douglas Florian

Looking for meaningful rhymes addressing common social-emotional issues such as the evolution of friendships, envy, individual differences and more? Look no farther than this dependable classroom poet!

Whoo-Ku Haiku: A Great Horned Owl Story by Maria Gianferrari

You can use this book to educate about birds of prey, but you can also use it as a stand-alone title. This brilliantly illustrated collection of haikus that details the life cycle of the majestic Great Horned Owl is an instructive text gem. (Consider pairing it with the extremely outstanding Hawk Rising, also by the same creator.)

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

This fascinating memoir serves as a springboard for discussions on the immigrant experience, resilience, and the transformative power of literature.

Lovely Beasts by Kate Gardner

No one could have predicted that a nonfiction title about animal behavior could be so… lovely? This simple but powerful book presents readers to alternative ways of viewing creatures that are sometimes stereotyped as nasty, frightening, or unattractive in appearance.

The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Future of America’s Presidents by Kate Messner

Take a look at this imaginative and powerful reinterpretation of an instructional book about presidents. What were future presidents doing while their predecessors were inaugurated into the White House? Students might begin to consider the origins of famous leaders and to consider their own leadership potential.

Butterflies Belong Here: A Story of One Idea, Thirty Kids, and a World of Butterflies by Deborah Hopkinson

A young woman who has recently arrived in the United States finds her voice through environmental activism. Following her discovery that her village is devoid of monarch butterflies, she embarks on a campaign to establish a monarch way station. Share this story with children to encourage them to discover their own passions, establish goals, and effect change.

RESPECT: Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul by Carole Boston Weatherford

This title, which reminds us of Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport, packs a lot of information into a small amount of text and beautiful artwork. This is a fantastic addition to a collection of biographical mentor texts, and it should be read by everyone. Mentions of Aretha Franklin’s performances at a number of presidential inaugurations link this title to election-related discussions as well.

Digging For Words: Jose Alberto Gutierrez and the Library He Built by Angela Burke Kunkel

Parallel stories are told of a Colombian garbage collector who salvages discarded books and a young boy who looks forward to library day every week. This delightful narrative nonfiction offering is a rousing celebration of the power of books to transport and connect readers everywhere they go.

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