2014 Summer Reading (G3-G5)

View all Recommendations by Grades > Recommendations for Grade 3 book lists; This list was last updated on 6/5/2014
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This list is complied by ALA staff. 

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The Lost Heir
The Wings of Fire saga continues with a thrilling underwater adventure--and a mystery that will change everything!

The lost heir to the SeaWing throne is going home at last.

She can't believe it's finally happening. Tsunami and her fellow dragonets of destiny are journeying under the water to the great SeaWing Kingdom. Stolen as an egg from the royal hatchery, Tsunami is eager to meet her future subjects and reunite with her mother, Queen Coral.

But Tsunami's triumphant return doesn't go quite the way she imagined. Queen Coral welcomes her with open wings, but a mysterious assassin has been killing off the queen's heirs for years, and Tsunami may be the next target. The dragonets came to the SeaWings for protection, but this ocean hides secrets, betrayal--and perhaps even death.
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Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
This Newbery Honor book features magic, adventure, friendship, and even a dragon who can't fly!

In the valley of Fruitless Mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life's questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family's fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer.

Grace Lin, author of the beloved Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat, returns with a wondrous story of adventure, faith, and friendship. A fantasy crossed with Chinese folklore, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a timeless story reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz. Her beautiful illustrations, printed in full-color, accompany the text throughout. Once again, she has created a charming, engaging book for young readers.

release date: Dec 22, 2009
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Weird But True
At last, all those weird but true facts that readers of National Geographic Kids love so much are collected into a fun-filled book that you'll come back to again and again!

Weird But True is based on the hugely popular magazine page of quirky, fun facts that many readers of National Geographic Kids magazine turn to first. Why? Well did you know that... Peanut butter can be converted into a diamond? The world's oldest pet goldfish lived to be 43 years old? The world's longest soap bubble was as long as four school buses? On Neptune, the wind blows up to 1,243 miles an hour? An elephant's tooth can weigh as much as a bowling ball?

All of the facts in this handy book will amaze friends and family: Animals Superpowers...Chills and Thrills...Eat or Be Eaten...Mini and Mega...Wild and Crazy, and much, much more. Adjacent pages for such facts present a one-paragraph explanation of how that fact is possible or why it is so.

Wacky facts, fascinating information, and lively art combine in this easy-to-browse, casual reference book that is sure to give young readers hours of fun.
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Tuesdays at the Castle

Every Tuesday Castle Glower takes on a life of its own-magically inventing, moving, and even completely getting rid of some of its rooms. Good thing Princess Celie takes the time to map out these never-ending changes. Because when the castle is ambushed and Celie's parents and oldest brother go missing, it's up to Celie to protect their home and save their kingdom. A great new series that readers will devour!

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Mistakes Were Made
Want to aspire to greatness? Check out this new edition of Timmy Failure's first adventure—featuring the bonus section “How to Draw Timmy and Total.”
 
He may be clueless, but the comically self-confident Timmy Failure is CEO of the best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation. Now Timmy's legion of fans are invited to set off on their own path to mastery with the help from Stephan Pastis. Added material includes step-by-step instructions on how to draw Timmy and his impressively lazy business partner, the polar bear Total—including a trick to making them both look a tiny bit nuts (hint: the secret is in the eyes). Even better, kids are invited to share the spotlight with Timmy by sending their drawings to his website, for a chance to be featured in the Timmy Failure Gallery of Greatness.
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The 13-Story Treehouse

Andy and Terry live in a treehouse. But it's not just any old treehouse, it's the most amazing treehouse in the world!

This treehouse has thirteen stories, a bowling alley, a see-through swimming pool, a secret underground laboratory, and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and automatically shoots marshmallows into your mouth whenever you are hungry.

Life would be perfect for Andy and Terry if it wasn't for the fact that they have to write their next book, which is almost impossible because there are just so many distractions, including thirteen flying cats, giant bananas, mermaids, a sea monsters pretending to be mermaids, enormous gorillas, and dangerous burp gas-bubblegum bubbles!

Join the fun with The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton.

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The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
In this funny, uncannily wise portrait of the dynamics of a sixth-grade class and of the greatness that sometimes comes in unlikely packages, Dwight, a loser, talks to his classmates via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. If that weren't strange enough, the puppet is uncannily wise and prescient. Origami Yoda predicts the date of a pop quiz, guesses who stole the classroom Shakespeare bust, and saves a classmate from popularity-crushing embarrassment with some well-timed advice. Dwight's classmate Tommy wonders how Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. With contributions from his puzzled classmates, Tommy assembles this first case file in the blockbuster bestselling Origami Yoda series, written by Tom Angleberger, author of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side, and hailed by School Library Journal as “honest, funny, and immensely entertaining.”

 
 
F&P Level: T
F&P Genre: RF
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Wild Born
#1 New York Times bestseller Brandon Mull launches Scholastic's wildly popular multiplatform phenomenon.

Four children separated by vast distances all undergo the same ritual, watched by cloaked strangers. Four flashes of light erupt, and from them emerge the unmistakable shapes of incredible beasts -- a wolf, a leopard, a panda, a falcon. Suddenly the paths of these children -- and the world -- have been changed forever.

Enter the world of Erdas, where every child who comes of age must discover if they have a spirit animal, a rare bond between human and beast that bestows great powers to both. A dark force has risen from distant and long-forgotten lands, and has begun an onslaught that will ravage the world. Now the fate of Erdas has fallen on the shoulders of four young strangers . . . and on you.

Part engrossing book series, part action role-playing game -- discover your spirit animal and join the adventure.
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Serafina's Promise
A luminous novel in verse from the author of the Jefferson Cup award winner ALL THE BROKEN PIECES.


Serafina has
a secret dream.

She wants to go to school
and become a doctor
with her best friend, Julie Marie.

But in their rural village
outside Port-au-Prince, Haiti,
many obstacles
stand in Serafina's way--
little money,
never-ending chores,
and Manman's worries.

More powerful even
than all of these
are the heavy rains
and the shaking earth
that test Serafina's resolve
in ways she never dreamed.

At once heartbreaking and hopeful,
this exquisitely crafted story
will leave a lasting impression
on your heart.
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Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin
This funny fractured fairy tale goes behind the scenes of Rumpelstiltskin. "A most magical feat," writes Newbery Honor-winner Kirby Larson, "Liesl Shurtliff spins words into gold."

In a magic kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone's joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she's right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse.

To break the spell, Rump must go on a perilous quest, fighting off pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a wickedly foolish queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship—and a cheeky sense of humor—he just might triumph in the end.

A Texas Bluebonnet Master List Selection, Rump is perfect for fans of Gail Carson Levine's Ella Enchanted or Adam Gidwitz's A Tale Dark and Grimm.

"Lighthearted and inventive, Rump amusingly expands a classic tale." —Brandon Mull, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Fablehaven.


From the Hardcover edition.
release date: May 01, 2012
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Out of My Mind
From award-winning author Sharon Draper comes Out of My Mind, the story of a brilliant girl who cannot speak or write.

“If there is one book teens and parents (and everyone else) should read this year, Out of My Mind should be it” (Denver Post).

Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she's determined to let everyone know it…somehow.

In this breakthrough story—reminiscent of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly—from multiple Coretta Scott King Award-winner Sharon Draper, readers will come to know a brilliant mind and a brave spirit who will change forever how they look at anyone with a disability.
release date: Jan 01, 2012
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Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales
Nathan Hale, the author's historical namesake, was America's first spy, a Revolutionary War hero who famously said “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country” before being hanged by the British. In the Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales series, author Nathan Hale channels his namesake to present history's roughest, toughest, and craziest stories in the graphic novel format.
One Dead Spy tackles the story of Hale himself, who was an officer and spy for the American rebels during the Revolutionary War. Author Hale highlights the unusual, gruesome, and just plain unbelievable truth of historical Nathan Hale—from his early unlucky days at Yale to his later unlucky days as an officer—and America during the Revolutionary War.

Praise for Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: One Dead Spy
"An innovative approach to history that will have young people reading with pleasure."
—Kirkus Reviews

"Readers interested in American history will enjoy these graphic novels... Comic panels of varying sizes enhance the real-life events and support the stories' over-the-top humor... the writing is accessible and entertaining; author Hale's style gives readers an insider-y, you-are-there-type scoop."
—Horn Book
release date: Jan 01, 2007
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The Mysterious Benedict Society
"Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?"

When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear reader, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.

As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they have no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?

Welcome to the Mysterious Benedict Society.
release date: Mar 04, 2010
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Mirror Mirror
With 6 starred reviews, 8 best of the year lists, and over 20 state award nominations, everyone is raving about Mirror Mirror!

"Remarkable."—The Washington Post

"This mind-bending poetry is accompanied by Masse's equally intelligent, equally amusing art."—Time Out New York for Kids

What's brewing when two favorites—poetry and fairy tales—are turned (literally) on their heads? It's a revolutionary recipe: an infectious new genre of poetry and a lovably modern take on classic stories.

First, read the poems forward (how old-fashioned!), then reverse the lines and read again to give familiar tales, from Sleeping Beauty to that Charming Prince, a delicious new spin. Witty, irreverent, and warm, this gorgeously illustrated and utterly unique offering holds a mirror up to language and fairy tales, and renews the fun and magic of both.

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Inside Out and Back Again

Inside Out and Back Again is a New York Times bestseller, a Newbery Honor Book, and a winner of the National Book Award! Inspired by the author's childhood experience of fleeing Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon and immigrating to Alabama, this coming-of-age debut novel told in verse has been celebrated for its touching child's-eye view of family and immigration.

Hà has only ever known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, and the warmth of her friends close by. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Hà and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope—toward America.

This moving story of one girl's year of change, dreams, grief, and healing received four starred reviews, including one from Kirkus which proclaimed it "enlightening, poignant, and unexpectedly funny."

An author's note explains how and why Thanhha Lai translated her personal experiences into Hà's story. This paperback edition also includes an interview with the author, an activity you can do with your family, tips on writing poetry, and discussion questions.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

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The Grand Plan to Fix Everything
Rose petal milk shakes and a world of surprises awaits Dini when her family moves to India in this spirited novel with Bollywood flair.

Eleven-year old Dini loves movies—watching them, reading about them, trying to write her own—especially those oh-so-fabulous Bollywood movies where you don't need to know the language to get what's going on. But when her mother reveals some big news, it does not at all jibe with the script Dini had in mind. Her family is moving to India. And not even to Bombay, which is the “center of the filmi universe” (and home to Dini's all-time most favorite star, Dolly Singh). No, they're moving to a teeny, tiny town that she can't even find on a map: Swapnagiri. It means Dream Mountain, a sleepy little place where nothing interesting can happen....

But wait a movie minute! Swapnagiri is full of surprises like rose petal milk shakes, mischievous monkeys, a girl who chirps like a bird, and...could it be…Dolly herself?
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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets A Night in the Museum in this action-packed New York Times Bestseller from Chris Grabenstein, coauthor of I Funny, Treasure Hunters and other bestselling series with James Patterson!

Kyle Keeley is the class clown and a huge fan of all games—board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the construction of the new town library. Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot as one of twelve kids invited for an overnight sleepover in the library, hosted by Mr. Lemoncello and riddled with lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors stay locked. Kyle and the other kids must solve every clue and figure out every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route!

Don't miss the next puzzle-packed adventure—Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics—coming in January 2016!

"Discover the coolest library in the world." —James Patterson, #1 New York Timesbestselling author


34 STATE AWARDS AND COUNTING -- INCLUDING THE SUNSHINE STATE AWARD!

Starred Review, Booklist

* “An ode to libraries and literature that is a worthy successor to the original madman puzzle-master himself, Willy Wonka.”

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

*"Full of puzzles to think about, puns to groan at . . . this solid, tightly plotted read is a winner for readers and game-players alike."
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Doll Bones
Discover the Newbery Honor winner Doll Bones, from Holly Black, the cocreator of the Spiderwick Chronicles. A Kirkus Reviews Best Book. A School Library Journal Best Book. A Booklist Editor's Choice Books for Youth. A Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book. A NYPL “100 Titles for Reading and Sharing.” A 2013 Goodreads Choice award nominee. A People Magazine “Best New Kids Book.” Six starred reviews!

Winner of a 2014 Newbery Honor Medal.

Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends forever. And for almost as long, they've been playing one continuous, ever-changing game of pirates and thieves, mermaids and warriors. Ruling over all is the Great Queen, a bone-china doll cursing those who displease her.

But they are in middle school now. Zach's father pushes him to give up make-believe, and Zach quits the game. Their friendship might be over, until Poppy declares she's been having dreams about the Queen—and the ghost of a girl who will not rest until the bone-china doll is buried in her empty grave.

Zach and Alice and Poppy set off on one last adventure to lay the Queen's ghost to rest. But nothing goes according to plan, and as their adventure turns into an epic journey, creepy things begin to happen. Is the doll just a doll or something more sinister? And if there really is a ghost, will it let them go now that it has them in its clutches?

Doll Bones is a winner of the Newbery Honor, is the recipient of six starred reviews, was on four Best Book lists, and was called "perfect" by The New York Times.
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The Day-Glo Brothers
A discovery that made the world a brighter place!

Joe and Bob Switzer were very different brothers. Bob was a studious planner who wanted to grow up to be a doctor. Joe dreamed of making his fortune in show business and loved magic tricks and problem-solving.

When an accident left Bob recovering in a darkened basement, the brothers began experimenting with ultraviolet light and fluorescent paints. Together they invented a whole new kind of color, one that glows with an extra-special intensity—Day-Glo.

This cover reproduction is not printed with Day-Glo colors. The actual book, however, is printed using three Day-Glo colors: Saturn Yellow, Fire Orange, and Signal Green.
release date: Jan 01, 2007
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Clementine

Clementine is having not so good of a week.
  • On Monday she's sent to the principal's office for cutting off Margaret's hair.
  • Tuesday, Margaret's mother is mad at her.
  • Wednesday, she's sent to the principal again.
  • Thursday, Margaret stops speaking to her.
  • Friday starts with yucky eggs and gets worse.
  • And by Saturday, even her mother is mad at her.
Okay, fine. Clementine is having a DISASTROUS week.
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Bluffton
In the summer of 1908, in Muskegon, Michigan, a visiting troupe of vaudeville performers is about the most exciting thing since baseball. They're summering in nearby Bluffton, so Henry has a few months to ogle the elephant and the zebra, the tightrope walkers and — lo and behold — a slapstick actor his own age named Buster Keaton. The show folk say Buster is indestructible; his father throws him around as part of the act and the audience roars, while Buster never cracks a smile. Henry longs to learn to take a fall like Buster, "the human mop," but Buster just wants to play ball with Henry and his friends. With signature nostalgia, Scott O'Dell Award–winning graphic novelist Matt Phelan visualizes a bygone era with lustrous color, dynamic lines, and flawless dramatic pacing.
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The Birchbark House
"[In this] story of a young Ojibwa girl, Omakayas, living on an island in Lake Superior around 1847, Louise Erdrich is reversing the narrative perspective used in most children's stories about nineteenth-century Native Americans. Instead of looking out at 'them' as dangers or curiosities, Erdrich, drawing on her family's history, wants to tell about 'us', from the inside. The Birchbark House establishes its own ground, in the vicinity of Laura Ingalls Wilder's 'Little House' books." --The New York Times Book Review
release date: Jan 01, 2010
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Big Nate Fun Blaster

For fans of the hilarious Diary of a Wimpy Kid series: Get ready to meet Big Nate! In the first novel in the New York Times bestselling series, Big Nate is in a class by himself!

Nate knows he's meant for big things. REALLY big things. But things don't always go your way just because you're awesome. Nate barely survives his dad's toxic oatmeal before rushing off to school—minus his lunch. He body slams the no-nonsense principal. He accidentally insults his least favorite teacher, the horrifying Mrs. Godfrey (aka Godzilla). And school has barely started!

Trouble always seems to find him, but Nate keeps his cool. He knows he's destined for greatness. A fortune cookie told him so.

Here comes BIG NATE, accidental mischief maker and definitely NOT the teacher's pet. 

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Battle Bunny
When Alex gets a silly, sappy picture book called Birthday Bunny, he picks up a pencil and turns it into something he'd like to read: Battle Bunny. An adorable rabbit's journey through the forest becomes a secret mission to unleash an evil plan--a plan that only Alex can stop. Featuring layered, original artwork, this dynamic picture book celebrates kids as storytellers.
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