Summer reading list for Grade 3&4

View all Recommendations by Grades > Recommendations for Grade 3 book lists; This list was last updated on 6/10/2013
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Based on the list created by Buffalo Library

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Charlotte's Web

This beloved book by E. B. White, author of Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan, is a classic of children's literature that is "just about perfect."

Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte's Web, high up in Zuckerman's barn. Charlotte's spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur's life when he was born the runt of his litter.

E. B. White's Newbery Honor Book is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come. It contains illustrations by Garth Williams, the acclaimed illustrator of E.B. White's Stuart Little and Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series, among many other books.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

release date: Oct 01, 2007
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Three Good Deeds
If Howard had known the old hag was a witch, he never would have taunted her. But he did, and she did what witches do--cursed him--and now he's a goose, which to tell you the truth, is not as serene and peaceful as it might look from the shore. People try to kill geese, for crying out loud, and the other geese are none too nice to newcomers. Howard is desperate to become a human again so he can show that old witch a thing or two.

But the only way to break the curse is to do three good deeds--and how can you help others when you've got webbed feet, wings for hands, and can't say anything but "Honk"?
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The Blacker the Berry

We are color struck
The way an artist strikes
His canvas with his brush of many hues

Look closely at these mirrors
these palettes of skin
Each color is rich
in its own right

Black is dazzling and distinctive, like toasted wheat berry bread; snowberries in the fall; rich, red cranberries; and the bronzed last leaves of summer. In this lyrical and luminous collection, Coretta Scott King honorees Joyce Carol Thomas and Floyd Cooper celebrate these many shades of black beautifully.

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The Grapes Of Math
This innovative and delightful book challenges children -- and parents -- to open their minds and solve problems in new and unexpected ways. By looking for patterns, symmetries, and familiar number combinations displayed within eye-catching pictures, math will become easier and quicker -- and much more fun -- than anyone could have ever imagined!
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Traditional Stories
This is the tale of Mufaro's two daughters, two beautiful girls who react in different ways to the king's search for a wife - one is aggressive and selfish, the other kind and dignified. The king takes on disguises to learn the true nature of both girls and of course chooses Nyasha, the kind and generous daughter, to be his queen.
release date: Jan 20, 2004
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Where the Sidewalk Ends 30th Anniversary Edition

If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer,
A wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er,
A magic bean buyer . . .

Come in . . . for where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein's world begins. You'll meet a boy who turns into a TV set, and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.

Shel Silverstein's masterful collection of poems and drawings is at once outrageously funny and profound.

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Math Curse
Did you ever wake up to one of those days where everything is a problem? You have 10 things to do, but only 30 minutes until your bus leaves. Is there enough time? You have 3 shirts and 2 pairs of pants. Can you make 1 good outfit? Then you start to wonder: Why does everything have to be such a problem? Why do 2 apples always have to be added to 5 oranges? Why do 4 kids always have to divide 12 marbles? Why can't you just keep 10 cookies without someone taking 3 away? Why? Because you're a victim of the Math Curse. That's why. But don't despair. This is one girl's story of how that curse can be broken.
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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Are you brave enough for Scary Stories?

Some boys and girls were at a party one night. There was a graveyard down the street, and they were talking about how scary it was.

"Don't ever stand on a grave after dark," one of the boys said. "The person inside will grab you."

"A grave doesn't scare me," said one of the girls. "I'll do it right now. . . ."

Welcome to the macabre world of Scary Stories. Inside, you'll find alarming tales of horror, dark revenge, and the supernatural, with spine-tingling illustrations by renowned artist Brett Helquist.

release date: Dec 01, 2000
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Minty
This is the story of young Harriet Tubman, then called "Minty". A slave in the Brodas household, she is often punished for her feisty, rebellious spirit, and always, above all, dreams of escape.
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The Talking Eggs
The author of such delights as The Christmas Ark and The Enchanted Tapestry joins forces with illustrator Pinkney to resurrect a colorful folktale that captures the unique flavor of the American South. A 1989 Caldecott Honor Book.
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there's a boy in the girls' bathroom
Youth / Children's Fiction - Sometimes the hardest thing in the world is believing in yourself... Bradley Chalkers has a serious behaviour problem. No one likes him - except Carla, the new school counselor. She thinks Bradley is sensitive and generous and she even enjoys his far-fetched stories. She knows he can change, if only he weren't afraid to try.
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Holes

   A modern classic . . . from the New York Times bestselling author who has been recognized with the Newbery Award as well as the National Book Award!

Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys' detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.

It doesn't take long for Stanley to realize there's more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.

Includes a double bonus: an excerpt from Small Steps, the follow-up to Holes, as well as an excerpt from Louis Sachar's new middle-grade novel, Fuzzy Mud.

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How to Eat Fried Worms
Fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Worst Class Trip Ever, and the Tapper Twins series "will revolt and delight" in How to Eat Fried Worms.

   Because of a bet, Billy is in the uncomfortable position of having to eat fifteen worms in fifteen days. The worms are supplied by his opponent, whose motto is "The bigger and juicier, the better!" At first Billy's problem is whether or not he can swallow the worm placed before him, even with a choice of condiments from peanut butter to horseradish. But later it looks as if Billy will win, and the challenge becomes getting to the worm to eat it. Billy's family, after checking with the doctor, takes everything in stride. They even help Billy through his gastronomic ordeal, which twists and turns with each new day, leaving the outcome of the bet continually in doubt. This edition also includes an eight-page full color insert with photos from the movie!

Praise for How to Eat Fried Worms:

[STAR] "The clear writing, clever illustrations, and revolting subject matter are sure to make a hit."—School Library Journal, Starred Review

"A hilarious story that will revolt and delight....Colorful, original writing in a much-needed comic vein."—Booklist

"Rockwell's sensibilities (if that's the word) are so uncannily close to those of the average ten-year-old boy that one begins to admire Billy as a really sharp operator."—Kirkus Reviews
release date: Feb 01, 2000
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Forty Acres and Maybe a Mule
Winner of the 1999 Scott O'Dell Award
A Notable Children's Book in the Field of Social Studies

Maybe nobody gave freedom, and nobody could take it away like they could take away a family farm. Maybe freedom was something you claimed for yourself.
Like other ex-slaves, Pascal and his older brother Gideon have been promised forty acres and maybe a mule. With the family of friends they have built along the way, they claim a place of their own. Green Gloryland is the most wonderful place on earth, their own family farm with a healthy cotton crop and plenty to eat. But the notorious night riders have plans to take it away, threatening to tear the beautiful freedom that the two boys are enjoying for the first time in their young lives. Coming alive in plain, vibrant language is this story of the Reconstruction, after the Civil War.
release date: Jan 01, 2011
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Big Nate on a Roll

The third Big Nate novel in the New York Times bestselling series by Lincoln Peirce is here! And Big Nate is on a roll!

Nate's a big deal in his scout troop . . . until Artur—aka Mr. Perfect—joins. Now Nate's stuck in second place. And Artur means business. Will Nate take the grand prize? Or wipe out, big time?

This hilarious third novel in the Big Nate series includes a sneak peek to the fourth Big Nate novel, Big Nate Goes for Broke.

Big Nate On A Roll was a 2012 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers and a Junior Library Guild selection!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney says, "Big Nate is funny, big time!"

release date: Jun 03, 1988
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Journey to Jo'burg

If only Mma was here, Naledi wished over and over. . .

Mma lives and works in Johannesburg, far from the village thirteen-year-old Naledi and her younger brother, Tiro, call home. When their baby sister suddenly becomes very sick, Naledi and Tiro know, deep down, that only one person can save her. Bravely, alone, they set off on a journey to find Mma and bring her back. It isn't until they reach the city that they come to understand the dangers of their country, and the painful struggle for freedom and dignity that is taking place all around them.

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Malcolm X

"I believe in recognizing every human being
as a human being, neither white, black, brown, nor red."

This was just one of the messages that Malcolm X brought to people of color. He lived by the idea that black people should demand equality by taking their lives and futures into their own hands. With guidance from the religious leader Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm became one of the most powerful leaders of the civil rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s, and his beliefs live on today.

Award-winning author Walter Dean Myers, together with illustrator Leonard Jenkins, delivers a straightforward and compelling portrayal of one of America's most influential figures.

release date: Sep 07, 1983
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The Drinking Gourd

The stars of the Big Dipper have led a runaway slave family to Deacon Fuller's house, a stop on the Underground Railroad. Will Tommy Fuller be able to hide the runaways from a search party—or will the secret passengers be discovered and their hope for freedom destroyed?

This Level 3 I Can Read book is a captivating first-person historical fiction account of the Underground Railroad, narrated by Tommy, a ten year-old Quaker boy,. With beautiful, simple prose that folds in historical facts about slavery and the Civil War, this book makes this important period of American history accessible to beginning readers. Includes an afterword from the author F.N. Monjo that explains the historical context of the Fugitive Slave Law.

Supports the Common Core Learning Standards

release date: Jan 22, 2009
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Listen to the Wind
Greg Mortenson stumbled, lost and delirious, into a remote Himalayan village after a failed climb up K2. The villagers saved his life, and he vowed to return and build them a school. The remarkable story of his promise kept is now perfect for reading aloud. Told in the voice of Korphe's children, this story illuminates the humanity and culture of a relevant and distant part of the world in gorgeous collage, while sharing a riveting example of how one person can change thousands of lives.
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Mason Dixon: Fourth-Grade Disasters
Here's the second entry in Claudia Mills's charming middle-grade series, that finds the lovably sardonic title character starting the fourth grade, which he's dreading because everyone in fourth grade is expected to join the school choir. And sing. In front of everyone. Mason can't think of many things he enjoys less than singing--but performing in front of other people might come close. Mason devises a foolproof plan that will keep him out of the spotlight on concert night. Of course, in the world of Mason Dixon, there is no such thing as a foolproof plan. There is only disaster.
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Sarah, Plain and Tall

"Did Mama sing every day?" Caleb asks his sister Anna.

"Every-single-day," she answers. "Papa sang, too."

This Newbery Medal–winning book is the first of five books in Patricia MacLachlan's chapter book series about the Witting family. Set in the late nineteenth century and told from young Anna's point of view, Sarah, Plain and Tall tells the story of how Sarah Elisabeth Wheaton comes from Maine to the prairie to answer Papa's advertisement for a wife and mother. Before Sarah arrives, Anna and her younger brother Caleb wait and wonder. Will Sarah be nice? Will she sing? Will she stay?

This children's literature classic is perfect for fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie books, historical fiction, and timeless stories using rich and beautiful language. Sarah, Plain and Tall gently explores themes of abandonment, loss and love.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

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Bless This Mouse

"Fun and lighthearted." —Publishers Weekly

A resilient and quirky colony of church mice fears another Great X more than they fear cats. Under the Mouse Mistress Hildegarde's leadership, a resilient group of church mice save themselves from one danger after another—sometimes by the skin of their tails! Can one ultimate act of bravery during the feast day of St. Francis get Father Murphy to bless these mice and keep them safe forever?

Rife with humor and personality, this young middle-grade novel has an old-fashioned feel with the makings of a modern classic.

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Anastasia Krupnik
To Anastasia Krupnik, being ten is very confusing. For one thing, she has this awful teacher who can't understand why Anastasia doesn't capitalize or punctuate her poems. Then, there's Washburn Cummings, a very interesting sixth-grade boy who doesn't even know she is alive. Even her parents have become difficult. They insist she visit her 92-year-old grandmother who can never remember Anastasia's name. On top of that, they're going to have a baby -- at their age! It's enough to make a kid want to do something terrible. Anastasia knows that if she didn't have her secret green notebook to write in, she would never make it to her eleventh birthday.
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In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

Shirley Temple Wong sails from China to America with a heart full of dreams.Her new home is Brooklyn, New York. America is indeed a land full of wonders, but Shirley doesn't know any English, so it's hard to make friends. Then a miracle-baseball-happens. It is 1947, and Jackie Robinson, star of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is everyone's hero. Jackie Robinson is proving that a black man, the grandson of a slave, can make a difference in America and for Shirley as well, on the ball field and off, America becomes the land of opportunity.

release date: Jan 01, 2000
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Ella Enchanted

How can a fairy's blessing be such a curse?

At her birth, Ella of Frell was given a foolish fairy's gift—the "gift" of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it's hopping on one foot for a day or chopping off her own head!

But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. She goes on a quest, encountering ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, fairy godmothers, and handsome princes, determined to break the curse—and live happily ever after.

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From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn't just want to run from somewhere she wants to run to somewhere--to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and preferably elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing that her younger brother, Jamie, has money and thus can help her with the serious cash flow problem she invites him along.

Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie, find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at an auction for a bargain price of $250. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn't it? Claudia is determined to find out. This quest leads Claudia to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.
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Maniac Monkeys on Magnolia Street
Welcome to Magnolia Street, where Charlie has just moved into her new home. It isn't long before Charlie's exploring, meeting all of her new neighbors, and getting herself into trouble. Her adventures with her bound-to-be best friend Billy--tricking Charlie's older brother, making a racket on a bus trip to the museum, or digging up a box of buried treasure--make even ordinary exciting. This collection of interrelated short stories is a true delight, perfect for newly emerging independent readers. Both girls and boys will cheer for this spunky girl as she takes on Magnolia Street and blossoms day by day.
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Class Clown
"Once again Hurwitz exhibits her talent for creating characters who talk, act, and think just like real kids. Realistic dialogue . . . and commonplace situations that sparkle with humor combine to make this a fine choice."--School Library Journal.
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The Road to Paris
Paris has just moved in with the Lincoln family, and she isn?t thrilled to be in yet another foster home. She has a tough time trusting people, and she misses her brother, who?s been sent to a boys? home. Over time, the Lincolns grow on Paris. But no matter how hard she tries to fit in, she can?t ignore the feeling that she never will, especially in a town that?s mostly white while she is half black. It isn?t long before Paris has a big decision to make about where she truly belongs.
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Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel
Dyamonde Daniel may be new in town, but that doesn't stop her from making a place for herself in a jiffy. With her can-do attitude and awesome brain power she takes the whole neighborhood by storm. The only thing puzzling her is the other new kid in her class. He's grouchy - but Dyamonde's determined to get to the bottom of his attitude and make a friend.
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