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HAISLN Recommended Reading List 2013 (Grade 3-4)

View all Recommendations by Grades > Recommendations for Grade 3 book lists; This list was last updated on 8/9/2013
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HAISLN lists have been compiled by librarians at member schools of the Houston Area Independent Schools Library Network (HAISLN).  It includes both fiction and nonfiction books by some of the best authors for children and young adults.  This is the list for Grade 3 and 4.

For more book recommendations, please check out New York Times® Best Sellers, Children's Book Recommendations or the complete list of Featured Book Lists and Award Winners

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release date: Oct 03, 2011
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The House Baba Built
I knew nothing could happen to us within those walls, in the house Baba built.

In Ed Young's childhood home in Shanghai, all was not as it seemed: a rocking chair became a horse; a roof became a roller rink; an empty swimming pool became a place for riding scooters and bikes. The house his father built transformed as needed into a place to play hide-and-seek, to eat bamboo shoots, and to be safe.

For outside the home's walls, China was at war. Soon the house held not only Ed and his four siblings but also friends, relatives, and even strangers who became family. The war grew closer, and Ed watched as planes flew overhead and frends joined the Chinese air force. But through it all, Ed's childhood remained full of joy and imagination.

This powerful, poignant, and exquisitely illustrated memoir is the story of one of our most beloved children's illustrators and the house his baba built.
release date: Mar 01, 2011
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Meadowlands

A New York Times Notable Children's Book for 2011
One of Horn Book's Best Nonfiction Books of 2011
The 20,000 acres of wetlands in New Jersey now known as the Meadowlands were once home to hundreds of species of plants and animals. But in the four hundred years since European explorers first arrived in the Meadowlands, people have dammed up, drained, built over, and polluted this formerly vibrant ecosystem―and all but destroyed it. Still, signs of life remain―under bridges, on the edges of parking lots, and beside train tracks. Slowly but surely, with help from activist groups, government organizations, and ordinary people, the resilient creatures of the Meadowlands are making a comeback, and the wetlands are recovering.

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Bobby the Brave (Sometimes)
From Lisa Yee and Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat, a hilarious sequel to Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally).


Bobby Ellis-Chan is ready to fight his fears (maybe?).



In his last adventure, Bobby Ellis-Chan got stuck to a stinky tree, had underwear attached to his back, and faced down a whole wolfpack of girls. What could be scarier or more humiliating than that?



Oh, how about playing sports with his football-hero dad ...

A cat with 27 toes ...

An asthma attack in public ...

Dancing on stage in the school musical ...



And the list goes on! Bobby will have to overcome his fears if he's going to come out on top.
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You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!
In this striking picture book biography, an old-timer tells us what made Sandy Koufax such an amazing baseball player. We learn that the beginning of his career with the Brooklyn Dodgers was rocky, that he was shy with his teammates, and experienced discrimination as one of the only Jews in the game. We hear that he actually quit, only to return the next season—different—firing one rocket after another over the plate. We watch him refuse to play in the 1965 World Series because it is a Jewish high holy day. And we see him in pain because of an overused left arm, eventually retiring at the peak of his career. Finally, we are told that people are still “scratchin' their heads over Sandy,” who remains a modest hero and a mystery to this day.

Accompanied by sidebars filled with statistics, this Parents Magazine Best Book of the Year and Booklist Top of the List is sure to delight budding baseball fans.
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Old Cricket
Old Cricket tells his missus why he can't fix the roof -- "I woke with a creak in my knee, dear wife."

He tells Cousin Katydid why he can't pick berries -- "I woke with a creak in my knee and a crick in my neck."

He tells Uncle Ant why he can't harvest corn -- "I woke with a creak in my knee, a crick in my neck, and a crack in my back....I'm off to see Doc Hopper."

But before he gets there, Old Crow comes calling. "Caw-caw-caw," he says, hungrily. And caw is one C-word Old Cricket can't relish.

The creators of Sailor Moo present a second critter comedy, full of wordplay and antic animation.

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The Ball Hogs
Introducing a soccer series for new readers
Kickers #1

Nine-year-old Ben is brand-new to soccer, but he's a good athlete and knows he'll do well on the Bobcats, his team in the local Kickers soccer league. If he can only work around his obnoxious teammate Mark, the ball hog, Ben is sure he'll score his first goal. But Coach Patty, and Ben's own teammates, show him a little something about teamwork. And suddenly it dawns on him: he's a ball hog, too. Can he change his ways before the Bobcats lose their shot at the Kickers play-offs?

Award-winning sports novelist Rich Wallace introduces the Kickers soccer series, filled with lively black-and-white art and fast-paced, on-the-field action.


From the Hardcover edition.
release date: Sep 01, 1998
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Upchuck and the Rotten Willy
Okay, so I've told a few rotten dog jokes. So sue me. But we cats have to hang together in a dog-eat-cat world! I can think of a few nasty poodles and a fanged Doberman I'd like to bite right back. But to tell the truth, I'd rather be smart and "scared" than brave and "scarred."
release date: Apr 04, 2011
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Queen of the Falls
Annie Taylor, a short, plump and fussy sixty-two year old widow, runs a charm school, right by Niagara Falls. When this starts to fail, she resolves to find fame and fortune by being the first person to ever to go over the thundering waters of Niagara Falls in a barrel. Readers of all ages will warm to this inspiring story of bravery, as they take the roller coaster ride of a lifetime over the falls.
release date: May 24, 2011
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Justin Case

It's the start of the school year, and nothing feels right to Justin. He didn't get the teacher he wanted, he's not in the same class as his best friend, and his little sister, Elizabeth, is starting kindergarten at his school. Elizabeth doesn't seem nervous at all. Justin is very nervous about third grade. And to top it off, he's lost his favorite stuffed animal, but he can't tell anyone, because technically he's too old to still have stuffed animals. Right?

Here is third grade in all its complicated glory―the friendships, the fears, and the advanced math. Acclaimed author Rachel Vail captures third grade with a perfect pitch, and Matthew Cordell's line art is both humorous and touching. As Justin bravely tries to step out of his shell, he will step into readers' hearts.


Justin Case is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

release date: Jan 01, 2006
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The Curse of the Bologna Sandwich

Bad guys tremble at the sound of his name!

Meet Melvin Beederman. He's a pretty good superhero, even though it always takes him five or six tries to get launched and flying. His weakness (every superhero has one) is bologna, which makes it hard to go into a deli. Still, Melvin manages to keep the city of Los Angeles free of nasty villains―once he's airborne.

Crash! Splat! Thud! Kabonk!

This series has it all: hilarious story lines, amazing classic-comic-inspired illustrations, fearless new superheroes, and SNACKS!
Bad guys tremble at the sound of his name!
Melvin loves fighting crime in Los Angeles, until the McNasty Brothers, the baddest guys of all, start robbing banks―and Melvin's superpowers mysteriously disappear. Enter Candace, a third-grade actress with some surprising new talents. Once they team up, nothing can beat these partners in uncrime. Nothing but bologna, that is . . .

release date: Jan 01, 2008
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The Titanic
YOU are aboard the Titanic, the world's largest ocean liner. The ship is sinking, and the ocean water is freezing. Will you survive?
release date: Feb 02, 2010
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Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart developed a love of flying at a very young age. As she followed her dream and built a name in the field of aviation—breaking numerous records along the way—she inspired other women to soar to new heights.

With an introduction by astronaut pioneer Eileen Collins, Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean focuses on Amelia's triumphant crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in 1928. Panel by panel, it offers a glimpse of her relentless ambition and tireless will to promote women's rights. Above all, it leaves us with a sense of her deep-rooted desire to touch the sky.
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Grass (Hidden in the. . .)

From foxes in the snow to leopards in the trees, this fascinating series looks at how animals in every kind of habitat use camouflage to adapt to their surroundings.

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Henry Aaron's Dream
Matt Tavares hits one out of the park with this powerful tale of a kid from the segregated south who would become baseball's home-run king.

Before he was Hammerin' Hank, Henry Aaron was a young boy grow ing up in Mobile, Alabama, with what seemed like a foolhardy dream: to be a big-league baseball player. He didn't have a bat. He didn't have a ball. And there wasn't a single black ball player in the major leagues. B ut none of this could stop Henry Aaron. In a captivating biography of Henr y Aaron's young life – from his sandlot days through his time in the Negro Leagues to the day he played his first spring training game for the Braves – Matt Tavares offers an inspiring homage to one of baseball's all-time greats.
release date: Mar 01, 2012
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I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906
The terrifying details of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake jump off the page!

Ten-year-old Leo loves being a newsboy in San Francisco -- not only does he get to make some money to help his family, he's free to explore the amazing, hilly city as it changes and grows with the new century. Horse-drawn carriages share the streets with shiny new automobiles, new businesses and families move in every day from everywhere, and anything seems possible.

But early one spring morning, everything changes. Leo's world is shaken -- literally -- and he finds himself stranded in the middle of San Francisco as it crumbles and burns to the ground. Does Leo have what it takes to survive this devastating disaster?

The I SURVIVED series continues with another thrilling story of a boy caught in one of history's most terrifying disasters!
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Third Grade Angels
The long-awaited prequel to the bestseller FOURTH GRADE RATS

George, aka "Suds," has just entered third grade, and he's heard the rhyme about "first grade babies/second grade cats/third grade angels/fourth grade rats," but what does this mean for his school year? It means that his teacher, Mrs. Simms, will hold a competition every month to see which student deserves to be awarded "the halo" - which student is best-behaved, kindest to others, and, in short, perfect. Suds is determined to be the first to earn the halo, but he's finding the challenge of always being good to be more stressful than he had anticipated. Does he have to be good even outside of school? (Does he have to be nice to his annoying little sister?) And if Mrs. Simms doesn't actually see him doing a good deed, does it even count?

A warm, funny return to elementary school from master storyteller Spinelli.
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Marcel Marceau
From the age of five, Marcel Marceau knew he wanted to be a silent actor, just like Charlie Chaplin. When World War II intervened, he joined the resistance, helping to get young Jews to safety during this dangerous time. But Marcel never forgot his dream of being a mime artist and entertaining the world.
release date: May 01, 2011
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A Full Moon Is Rising

A children's book takes readers on a whirlwind tour of the world to discover an amazing collection of full moon celebrations, beliefs, customs, and facts. We'll visit India, Israel, Morocco, China, Australia, and many more places.

release date: Sep 20, 2011
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Every Thing On It

A spider lives inside my head
Who weaves a strange and wondrous web
Of silken threads and silver strings
To catch all sorts of flying things,
Like crumbs of thought and bits of smiles
And specks of dried-up tears,
And dust of dreams that catch and cling
For years and years and years . . .

Have you ever read a book with everything on it? Well, here it is, an amazing collection of never-before-published poems and drawings from the creator of Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, and Falling Up. You will say Hi-ho for the toilet troll, get tongue-tied with Stick-a-Tongue-Out-Sid, play a highly unusual horn, and experience the joys of growing down.

What's that? You have a case of the Lovetobutcants? Impossible! Just come on in and let the magic of Shel Silverstein bend your brain and open your heart.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

release date: Jan 01, 2011
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Ubiquitous
Summary:
0

About the Author:

Joyce Sidman lives in Minnesota, where she battles dandelions with great respect for their survival techniques. joycesidman.com

Beckie Prange lives in Ely, Minnesota, where she spends as much time as possible in the woods looking at lichens, crows, and other hardy northern species. Her first book received a Caldecott Honor. beckieprange.com

Author: Joyce Sidman
Illustrator: Beckie Prange
Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Books for Children
Published Date:04/05/2010
Format:Hardcover
ISBN:0618717196
#of pages:#N/A
release date: Apr 04, 2005
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Song of the Water Boatman
From spring's first thaw to autumn's chill, the world of the pond is a dramatic place. Though seemingly quiet, ponds are teeming with life and full of surprises. Their denizens—from peepers to painted turtles, duckweed to diving beetles—lead secret and fascinating lives. A unique blend of whimsy, science, poetry, and hand-colored woodcuts, this Caldecott Honor-winning collection invites us to take a closer look at our hidden ponds and wetlands. Here is a celebration of their beauty and their mystery.
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I, Vivaldi
In this dynamic picture-book biography, told as if by Vivaldi himself, the famous musician's energetic personality and steadfast dedication to music come alive.Despite his mother's vow for him to become a priest, young Vivaldi is only interested in music. He soon grows from a feisty boy who wants to play the violin into a stubborn young man who puts his musical training ahead of his studies for priesthood.Beautiful, ornate artwork portrays the spirit and splendor of Vivaldi's hometown, Venice. A historical note, musical score, and glossary will help readers more fully appreciate Vivaldi's life and musical genius.
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Spaceheadz
The campaign is going well. The SPHDZ word is getting out. 1000's of kids have signed up to say they are SPHDZ. But things haven't gotten any easier for Michael K. The SPHDZ are still trying to blend in to our Earth culture, but not very successfully. They're still mixing up Thanksgiving, cartoon plots, holidays, and commercials. This makes it especially hard for Michael K. to both hide the SPHDZ from Agent Umber and accomplish the SPHDZ Mission. He's forced to enlist the help of fellow fifth graders, Venus and TJ.

When they (Michael K. and the SPHDZ) are given the assignment to write and perform the school play, Umber thinks he's closing in on the aliens...the kindergartners playing the turkeys.
release date: Jun 23, 2009
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Panda Kindergarten

Follow a day in the life of the panda cubs at China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda at the Wolong Nature Preserve, the largest research facility for giant pandas in China. Cubs are raised together in a protected setting—dubbed panda kindergarten—where they grow strong and learn skills that will help prepare them to be released into the wild when they are older. With spare text by veteran nonfiction writer Joanne Ryder and irresistible full-color photographs by Katherine Feng, whose work has appeared in National Geographic, Panda Kindergarten will delight young readers as they learn more about these amazing creatures.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

by: Ron Roy
release date: May 09, 2006
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Detective Camp

Z was just the beginning! With A to Z Mysteries® Super Editions, chapter book readers keep on collecting clues and solving mysteries with Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose. Now with over 8 million copies in print, this classic kid-favorite series is back with a bright new look!
 
Welcome to summer camp for detectives! The kids can't wait to spend a week following clues and learning about the science of crime solving. Soon all the campers are working on a mystery. But while Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose are figuring out their part of the puzzle, they stumble onto something suspicious. Could a real crime be happening at detective camp?
 
Look for hidden messages inside A to Z Mysteries® Super Editions! 

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The Wonder Book

Hello, You!

So . . . this book is full of stuff I've always wondered about . . .

Like:

  • Did Miss Mary Mack have friends who liked other colors?
  • Could everything important about the world be summarized in a poem that rhymes?
  • How do Moms always know when you're about to sneak a cookie?
  • Who hid something under the Tooth Fairy's pillow when she was a little girl?

Inside you will find stories, short poems, lists, palindromes, visual treats, and random observations. Some parts are happy, some sad-ish, some silly, some serious, some crunchy, some with a soft center.

You can open the book up anywhere and read. So the beginning could be the end, and the end could be the beginning. But I guess the middle is always the middle. . . .

P.S. aren't Paul's drawings the best?!

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Paula Bunyan
Bounding with oversize visual and verbal humor, here is the previously untold story of Paul Bunyan's “little” sister, who was as tall as a pine tree, as strong as a dozen moose, and could run so fast that she once ran all the way back to yesterday. As she heads to the North Woods in search of freedom and adventure, Paula uses her brains and brawn to surmount every challenge that comes her way, proving to ferocious animals that she's their friend and becoming protector of a wild wonderland.

Antic-filled artwork by Kevin O'Malley accompanies Phyllis Root's text, a great read-aloud with a welcome eco-friendly twist at the end.
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Chase Against Time
Encyclopedia Brown and Jack Bauer have passed the torch to Chase Manning.

In a last-ditch effort to save Apple Valley Elementary's award-winning music program from looming budget cuts, the PTA plans to auction off a recently donated, handcrafted cello at the school's annual fund-raising dinner. Confidence is high until the cello turns up missing the morning of the event. The school principal charges Chase Manning, a fifth grader who has dreamed of playing in the Sixth Grade Honors Orchestra his whole life, with finding the cello by three o'clock. Each hour of the school day involves surprising and suspense-filled plot turns as Chase pursues the elusive cello. This single-day, real-time mystery thriller truly is a chase against time!
release date: Aug 01, 2003
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release date: Mar 01, 2010
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The Vermeer Interviews
In this innovative look at seven paintings by Jan Vermeer, author Bob Raczka takes on the role of interviewer and the people in the paintings become his willing subjects. From The Milkmaid to The Geographer, Raczka teases out fascinating details about these gorgeous works of art and their mysterious creator. As you might imagine, after more than three hundred years of silence, the characters inside these paintings have much to share.
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