New Books for 3rd Graders
Reading Level: Grades 2-4
It was a sweet story when Gran Gran bought it. She wrote a loving inscription circled by a heart, "Happy Birthday, Alexander! To my little birthday bunny on his special day. Love, Gran Gran."
The saccharine book was more than Alexander could take. With pencil in hand he changes the gentle story of a little birthday bunny into the wild, raucous adventures of the villainous Battle Bunny!!!
Books by Jon Scieszka
Books by Mac Barnett
Other subversive stories include:
Chester by Melanie Watt
Killer Koalas From Outer Space by Andy Griffiths and
Tales for the Perfect Child by Florence Parry Heide
Reading Level: Ages 8 - 12
Dad has been left in charge of the house in Mom's absence and there is no milk for his children's cereal. Not much of a plot unless the author is Neil Gaiman. In the ultimate "the dog ate my homework" story, Dad explains why it took so long to get the milk. The story involves alien aduction, pirates, a dinosaur professor in a hot-air balloon, "wumpires," the space-time continuum- oh, you get the idea. Illustrator Skottie Young 's illustrations manage to match the zaniness of the plot. I'd write more, but I think Bigfoot needs help finding a book and there's the spell cast on the Youth Services Department and . . .
Reading Level: Grades 2 - 4
It's not that there's a lack of books about the racial barrier-breaking sports hero. This biography, written by his daughter Sharon, is different. Yes, this book about the racial divide in baseball and how Jackie Robinson was the first black man to play in the major leagues. It also gives a clear and interesting picture of his early years, his family life, his career in the military, and his life after baseball. Family photos throughout this short biography add that personal touch. Sharon Robinson has every reason to be proud of her father and her work.
Reading Level: Grades 2-4
It's obvious just from the cover that this book is going to be fun to read. And it's all in poems so you can impress your teacher or your parents with your knowledge of different types of poems. (Each one is labeled with the type of poem and at the back there's an explanation of what each type is.) The story is simple. Sam has been looking forward to a father-son fishing trip, but then his pesky little sister horns in. Tamera Will Wissinger's first book will have you hooked.
Sam is excited about his new neighbors, especially when he overhears someone yelling "Charlie, don't forget your baseball mitt!"
Sam runs over to meet his new neighbors, Charlie (short for Charlene, but never call her that) and Sam Too, Charlie's little sister. The three new friends have a lot in common other than their names and their love of baseball and hamentaschen.
In this fun beginning chapter book, play baseball, celebrate Purim, sneeze on a sick day, and much more with new friends Sam and Charlie (and Sam Too!).
For other early chapter books about good friends, try:
Pinky and Rex by James Howe (series)
Iris and Walter by Elissa Hadden Guest (series)
Mimi and Mati to the Rescue: Roger the Rat is on the Loose! by Brooke Smith
Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
Jamie Grimm, soon to be the world's greatest stand-up (actually sit-down-in-wheelchair) comedian, lives with his aunt, uncle, and cousin - an extremely boring version of the Durlseys. He has an uncanny ability to make anyone (other than the aforementioned boring Durlsey-esque relatives) laugh. Jamie Grimm just funny!
When Uncle Frankie (not the boring one) suggests to Jamie that he compete in The Planet's Funniest Kid Comic contest, he knows he's got to try. His only problem is stage fright!
I Funny is a fabulously funny story about being brave enough to stand up for your own talents, even if you can't actually stand up. Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans are sure to love Jamie Grimm.
Reading Level: Grades 2-4
This is the remarkable true story of John Price, former slave, and the citizens of Oberlin, Ohio. In 1856, Price and two others managed a daring escape from slavery, and settled in Oberlin, then home to many abolitionists and former slaves. Two years later, Price was snatched from the road by slave hunters. His cry for help was heard by an Oberlin college student. This is the inspiring story of the response to that cry.
Reading Level: Ages 3 - 9
A bunch of baby animals tell what they do on their first day of life, such as fighting their way out of shells or being pushed up to the ocean's surface for his first breath in this cute science book.
Reading Level: Grades 3-5
"Once upon a time my life was normal. Then the mirror in our basement ate us."
When a magic mirror transports 10-year-old Abby and her little brother Jonah to the forest next to the cottage of the seven dwarves, they stop Snow White from eating the poisoned apple. Now Snow White has two problems: 1) The evil queen keeps trying to kill her and 2) Since she didn't eat the apple, the prince didn't kiss her so she has lost her chance to live happily ever after.
It is up to Abby and Jonah to help the clueless Snow White stay alive AND get her happliy ever after. Then they can try to get back home.
Books by Sarah Mlynowski
For more fractured fairytales try:
The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker
Into the Woods by Lyn Gardner and
Little Wolf's Book of Badness by Ian Whybrow
Reading Level: Grades 1 and up. Not recommended for gerbilsssss or thosssssse ssssenssssitive to sssssslithererssssss.
Nic Bishop, one of the most terrifying authors in children's literature today, has done it again with his new book, Snakes. Prepare for sleepless, terrified nights after these horrific photographs of larger-than-life serpents (really, Nic? Did they have to be larger? Actual size is horrifying enough!). We gerbils hear a lot of kids talk about how scary R.L. Stine's books are (they are located right next to our cage) but clearly these kids have never read anything by Nic Bishop. He's the scariest there is!
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