Straight From the 3rd Grader’s Pencil…


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I found a piece of gold on my desk this morning – in the form of three pieces of paper torn from a spiral notebook.  Catherine, one of our third grade students, a girl who is an avid reader, made a list over the weekend – a Kid’s Choice kind of document. She wrote the titles of what, in her view, are the top 20 books for kids her age. So helpful, right?  For all of you interested in a third grader’s opinion of the books in her life, here’s Catherine’s list:

1. Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo (I take some credit for this choice since I made kind of a fuss about it!)

2. Libby of High Hopes by Elise Primavera (one of the most popular books in our library)

3. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

4. Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little by Peggy Gifford

5. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

6. The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester

7. Ida B. by Katherine Hannigan

8. The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

9. The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy

10. Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M.M. Blume (such a fun – and overlooked – story!)

11. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

12. Sprinkles and Secrets by Lisa Schroeder (not an award-winning book, but I love her honesty and mix of titles. And when I was her age, I would have chosen this book because of the cover!)


13. The Templeton Twins by Ellis Weiner (this book has been on the library shelf for a while, but has recently been discovered!)

14. Bliss by Kathryn Littlewood

15. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

16. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

17. Tua and the Elephant by R.P. Harris

18. The Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff

19. Dumpling Days by Grace Lin

20. All That Glitters: Sparkle Spa by Jill Santopolo (an admission: I don’t know this book.)

And the two third grade boys pictured below are reading another favorite of this age – The Lunch Lady series!

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Today was the perfect day to find Catherine’s list – since I began the day feeling inspired by Frank Bruni’s editorial about reading in today’s New York Times:



3 thoughts on “Straight From the 3rd Grader’s Pencil…

    • Here are a few series I’ve had luck with (after they have read all of the Geronimo Stilton books!)….
      The Buddy Files, the Stink books, and Lunch Lady.

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