Parents: Boston Public Schools Grade 3

Grade 3 Reading List

These books constitute the Core Literature List for Boston public schools. You can find these titles at a Boston Public Library branch near you.

Picture Books
Abuela's Weave by Omar S. Castaneda
Angel Child, Dragon Child by Michele Surat
Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco
Come on Rain by Karen Hesse
Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter
Isla by Arthur Dorros
The Legend of the Bluebonnet by Tomie De Paola
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
A Young Genius in Old Egypt by Beatrice Lumpkin


Chapter Books
A Ballad of the Civil War by Mary Stoltz
Chocolate Touch by Patrick S. Catling
Good Grief...Third Grade by Colleen O. McKenna
Gooseberry Park by Cynthia Rylant
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World by Mildred Pitts Walter
Molly's Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen
The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
A Mouse Called Wolf by Dick King-Smith
The Night Crossing by Karen Ackerman
The Not-So-Jolly Roger by Jon Scieszka
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron
Thumbs Up, Rico by Maria Testa
Toad for Tuesday by Russell E. Erickson


Informational Books
Bird Boy by Elizabeth Starr Hill
Coming Home - From the Life of Langston Hughes by Floyd Cooper
The Drinking Gourd by F. N. Monjo
A Drop of Water by Walter Wick
The Great Wonder by Annabelle Howard
Have You Seen Bugs? by Joanne Oppenheim
Helen Keller by Margaret Davidson
How a Plant Grows by Bobbie Kalman
Mr. Revere and I by Robert Lawson
Rosa Parks by Keith Brandt
Sounds All Around by Wendy Pfeiffer


Poetry Books
The Great Frog Race by Christine O'Connell George
Insectlopedia by Douglas Florian
Pond Seasons by Sue Ann Alderson


Picture Books

Abuela's Weave by Omar S. Castaneda
A young Guatemalan girl and her grandmother work on a loom together to create a tapestry they hope to sell at market.

Angel Child, Dragon Child by Michele Surat
A Vietnamese girl is teased about her clothes and speech in school.

Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco
Easter is coming and Miss Eula has been admiring a beautiful hat for many Sundays now. More than anything, her grandchildren wish to earn enough money to buy her the hat.

Come on Rain by Karen Hesse
Tess pleads to the sky for a rainstorm on a scorching summer day. When the rain finally arrives, Tess and her friends engage in a joyous celebration by dancing and squealing in the rain.

Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter
In glowing paintings that evoke the American folk tradition, and with a simple text inspired by a slave narrative, JW tells the story of one brave family who followed the drinking gourd north to liberation.

Isla by Arthur Dorros
In this sequel to Abuela, a young girl and her grandmother take an imaginary trip to the Caribbean island where her mother grew up. The illustrations are vibrant and fanciful.

The Legend of the Bluebonnet by Tomie De Paola
A young Comanche girl, She-Who-Is-Alone, sacrifices her beloved warrior doll, the only object she has from the days before drought and famine claimed her parents. Bluebonnets spring up wherever the ashes of her sacrifice touch the ground.

Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
When Alice Rumphius was young, she dreamed she would visit faraway places, come home to live by the sea, and do something to make the world more beautiful. One summer, she scatters bushels of seeds over fields, highways, and country lanes. The Lupine Lady's flowers make the world more beautiful.

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe
In this African Cinderella story, Manyara is bad-tempered and jealous of her sister. Nyasha is gentle and kind to all. When the king asks all worthy and beautiful daughters to appear before him so that he may choose a queen, Mufaro's daughters travel to the city but have very different experiences.

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
Al, the wolf, finally gets to tell his side of the story. He goes knocking on the pigs' doors looking for a cup of sugar for his granny's birthday cake, but his awful cold makes him sneeze and he blows their houses down, one by one. This hilarious version of The Three Little Pigs is sure to delight.

A Young Genius in Old Egypt by Beatrice Lumpkin
An exciting story of a young African boy in ancient Egypt. Daily life is richly illustrated. Through his experiences as a student, we learn Egyptian ways with math and science.


Chapter Books

A Ballad of the Civil War by Mary Stoltz
Tom Rigby, a Union Lieutenant, recalls his life with his twin brother on their family's Virginia plantation and the events that led them to fight on different sides of the war.

Chocolate Touch by Patrick S. Catling
John Midas is candy mad. He'd rather eat chocolate than anything else, and he never shares. His addiction becomes out of control when everything he touches turns to chocolate, even his mother!

Good Grief...Third Grade by Colleen O. McKenna
Marsha Cessano's great plans for third grade at Sacred Heart Elementary School seemed doomed when she and her worst enemy, Roger Friday, are assigned to work together as "buddies." The situation seems hopeless until Marsha admits it's often her own temper, not Roger, that gets her in trouble.

Gooseberry Park by Cynthia Rylant
In this favorite read aloud, a gentle Labrador, a sensible hermit crab, a motherly red squirrel, a batty bad bat, and a retired biology professor find friendship and adventure.

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Orphaned at an early age, James lives a miserably unhappy life with his Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker. One day a giant peach appears on a tree in his aunts' yard and provides him with a means of escape.

Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World by Mildred Pitts Walter
Ten-year-old Justin can't do anything right. His mother and sister are always on his case about his chores. Grandpa takes Justin to the family ranch where he learns to do real men's work: mending fences, handling horses, and cooking lunch on the range. He also learns about some of his ancestors and the black cowboys.

Molly's Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen
Molly's classmates make fun of her Russian accent and her ignorance about American holidays. When the children laugh at Molly's Thanksgiving pilgrim, her teacher uses the opportunity to teach the class that pilgrims from many countries continue to come to America in search of freedom.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
When Keith Gridley and his parents check into rooms 215 and 216 at The Mountain View Inn, Ralph the mouse hopes to find some leftovers for a snack.

A Mouse Called Wolf by Dick King-Smith
Wolfgang Amadeus Mouse, or "Wolf" for short, has a big name for such a little mouse. He longs to sing and share his talent with Mrs. Honeybee, a widowed pianist. A sunny story and appealing chapter book for early readers.

The Night Crossing by Karen Ackerman
A little girl and her family flee the Holocaust. The family makes it to freedom but some of the people they meet along the way do not. A good introduction to the Holocaust because it is hopeful and developmentally appropriate for this age level.

The Not-So-Jolly Roger by Jon Scieszka
Joe, Sam, and Fred land in the middle of a pirate adventure on the high seas. Exciting adventure!

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
A timeless classic that tells the trials and tribulations of an eight-year-old girl. The story opens with the first day of school and continues through Ramona's year in third grade. Look for Beverly Cleary's newest Ramona book in fifteen years, Ramona's World, 1999.

The Stories Julian Tells by Ann Cameron
The author introduces readers to seven-year-old Julian, his brother Huey, and their parents. Five distinct stories recount the boys' mischief and the love among this young African American family.

Thumbs Up, Rico by Maria Testa
In three short stories about Rico, a boy with Down's syndrome, the author writes realistically about the trials and triumphs of children everywhere.

Toad for Tuesday by Russell E. Erickson
On Thursday, a toad is captured by an owl who carries him home to eat on Tuesday. The toad is fearful, but vows to make the best of it and keep busy until his final day. He cleans and cares for the owl. They sit up late talking and sharing stories. Will the toad's many kindnesses change the owl's mind?


Informational Books

A Drop of Water by Walter Wick
Astounding photographs bring the wonder of water to life. A beautiful addition to your library.

Bird Boy by Elizabeth Starr Hill
Chang is a mute Chinese boy whose father uses cormorants to fish. Chang is pleased when he is old enough to help with the "Big Catch," and finds that trying makes all the difference.

Coming Home - From the Life of Langston Hughes by Floyd Cooper
James Langston Hughes had a lonely childhood living in a two-room house with his grandmother in Kansas. Langston's dream was to be reunited with his parents someday. His feelings and ideas live on in his poetry. An excellent introduction to a poetry unit.

The Drinking Gourd by F. N. Monjo
This "I Can Read" book introduces younger readers to the genre of historical fiction. Tommy's parents are providing refuge for slaves traveling north on the Underground Railroad, breaking a law they feel is wrong.

The Great Wonder by Annabelle Howard
While Kevin is on a field trip to the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History, he finds himself transported back in time and inside an Egyptian pyramid. Will he ever get home?

Have You Seen Bugs? by Joanne Oppenheim
Paper sculpture creates a three-dimensional setting for the colorful insects that seem to jump off the pages. The rhyming text draws the reader into the book. This book complements the science unit on Life Cycles.

Helen Keller by Margaret Davidson
In this introductory biography, readers meet Helen as a young girl left blind and deaf by a strange fever. Helen's life changes dramatically with the arrival of her teacher, Annie Sullivan.

How a Plant Grows by Bobbie Kalman
Ms. Kalman examines the stages of seed development through germination, photosynthesis, and pollination. Activities include growing beans, examining how plants take in liquids, and making a terrarium. A plant glossary is included.

Mr. Revere and I by Robert Lawson
The story of Paul Revere as told from a horse's point of view. A wonderful introduction to American history.

Rosa Parks by Keith Brandt
Charcoal drawings illustrate the story of Rosa Parks, whose simple but heroic action in Montgomery, Alabama led to the civil rights movement.

Sounds All Around by Wendy Pfeiffer
This colorfully illustrated, easy-to-read book examines how sounds are made. Three sound activities are presented at the back of the book.


Poetry Books

The Great Frog Race by Christine O'Connell George
Poems filled with surprises, beautiful imagery, and science connections!

Insectlopedia by Douglas Florian
Watercolor illustrations on primed brown paper enhance 21 short science poems and bring insects to life.

Pond Seasons by Sue Ann Alderson
Pastel watercolors illuminate this appealing collection of verse that focuses on animals living around a pond. Fourteen poems take the reader from season to season and introduce animals like mallard ducks, butterflies, frogs, and Canadian geese.