Monday, January 30, 2012

3rd Grade Book Club List

I am always thrilled and honored when someone asks me for a book recommendation!  Recently, I was asked to come up with a "short list" of suggestions for a 3rd grade book club in my area.  I tried to think outside the Wimpy Kid/39 Clues/Harry Potter box, since most kids who joined the book club had already read these books (and those books were probably the cause of their excitement for books!!) The list I came up with was so darn good, I thought I would share it with all of you - and ask which books I should have added! 

3rd Grade Book List:

FRINDLE by Andrew Clements
Is Nick Allen a troublemaker?

He really just likes to liven things up at school -- and he's always had plenty of great ideas. When Nick learns some interesting information about how words are created, suddenly he's got the inspiration for his best plan ever...the frindle. Who says a pen has to be called a pen? Why not call it a frindle? Things begin innocently enough as Nick gets his friends to use the new word. Then other people in town start saying frindle. Soon the school is in an uproar, and Nick has become a local hero. His teacher wants Nick to put an end to all this nonsense, but the funny thing is frindle doesn't belong to Nick anymore. The new word is spreading across the country, and there's nothing Nick can do to stop it.

James Trotter loses his parents in a horrible accident and is forced to live-miserably-with his two wicked aunts. Then James is given some magic crystals that give him hope. But when he accidentally spills these crystals on an old peach tree, strange things begin to happen. A peach starts to grow and grow until James is able to climb inside and escape his awful aunts! And through this adventure, he makes some interesting friends, including Grasshopper, Earthworm, Miss Spider, and Centipede, and finally finds a place where he belongs.

HOLES by Louis Sachar
Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnats. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys' detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the warden makes the boys "build character" by spending all day, every day, digging holes: five feet wide and five feet deep. It doesn't take long for Stanley to realize there's more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.

NERDS by Michael Buckley
NERDS combines all the excitement of international espionage with all the awkwardness of elementary school, and the results are hilarious. A group of unpopular fifth graders run a spy network from inside their school. With the help of cutting-edge science, they transform their nerdy qualities into incredible abilities! Their enemies? An array of James Bond–style villains, each with an evil plan more diabolical and more ridiculous than the last. Publishers Weekly raved: “Buckley has a flair for exaggerated humor.” School Library Journal said: “Funny, clever, and thoroughly entertaining.”

SPACEHEADZ by Jon Scieszka
Michael K. just started fifth grade at a new school. As if that wasn’t hard enough, the kids he seems to have made friends with apparently aren’t kids at all. They are aliens. Real aliens, who have invaded our planet disguised as school children and a hamster. They have a mission to complete: to convince 3,400,001 kids to BE SPHDZ in order to save the world! But with a hamster as their leader, "kids" who talk like walking advertisements, and Michael K. as their first convert, will the SPHDZ be able to keep their cover and pull off their assignment?

Rob Buyea, a teacher and first time author, has written Because of Mr. Terupt. It is a beautiful book about a class of fifth graders and their new teacher. The book is told by seven students. They write about their experiences with a special teacher. The students share the impact that tragedy has on their young lives. The experiences are sad, touching and life changing. Jessica, one of the students, tells Mr Terupt early in the book that she likes happy endings. This book does have one.

HOW TO EAT FRIED WORMS by Thomas Rockwell
Because of a bet, Billy is in the uncomfortable position of having to eat fifteen worms in fifteen days. The worms are supplied by his opponent, whose motto is "The bigger and juicier, the better!" At first Billy's problem is whether or not he can swallow the worm placed before him, even with a choice of condiments from peanut butter to horseradish. But later it looks as if Billy will win, and the challenge becomes getting to the worm to eat it. Billy's family, after checking with the doctor, takes everything in stride. They even help Billy through his gastronomic ordeal, which twists and turns with each new day, leaving the outcome of the bet continually in doubt.

WONDERSTRUCK by Brian Selznick
In a return to the eye-popping style of his Caldecott-award winner,The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick’s latest masterpiece, Wonderstruck, is a vision of imagination and storytelling . In the first of two alternating stories, Ben is struck deaf moments after discovering a clue to his father’s identity, but undaunted, he follows the clue’s trail to the American Museum of Natural History, in New York City. Flash to Rose’s story, told simultaneously through pictures, who has also followed the trail of a loved one to the museum--only 50 years before Ben. Selnick’s beautifully detailed illustrations draw the reader inside the museum’s myriad curiosities and wonders, following Ben and Rose in their search for connection. Ultimately, their lives collide in a surprising and inspired twist that is breathtaking and life-affirming

SAVVY by Ingrid Law
Mibs Beaumont is anxiously awaiting her 13th birthday because, in her family, 13th birthdays bring about big changes. The Beaumonts always get their savvies--their supernatural powers--on their 13th birthdays. But this year, Mibs' dad is in the hospital and it looks like her savvy isn't coming. Ingrid Law has written a tale that is sure to appeal to kids of all ages. I loved the idea that all kids have their own savvy, even if it isn't as splashy as the ability to move mountains.

THE FOURTH STALL by Chris Rylander
Do you need something? Mac can get it for you. It's what he does—he and his best friend and business manager, Vince. Their methods might sometimes run afoul of the law, or at least the school code of conduct, but if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can pay him, Mac is on your side. His office is located in the East Wing boys' bathroom, fourth stall from the high window. And business is booming.

Or at least it was, until one particular Monday. It starts with a third grader in need of protection. And before this ordeal is over, it's going to involve a legendary high school crime boss named Staples, an intramural gambling ring, a graffiti ninja, the nine most dangerous bullies in school, and the first Chicago Cubs World Series game in almost seventy years. And that's just the beginning. Mac and Vince soon realize that the trouble with solving everyone else's problems is that there's no one left to solve yours.

FEVER CRUMB by Philip Reeve
Fever is a foundling, adopted as an infant girl and educated by the Order of Engineers, all male, who live in the head of a giant statue. But she has other memories, too--ones that aren't hers, that arise on her first assignment outside the head. Who is Fever Crumb, and why do people want her dead? This prequel to Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines quartet, set in a future London that bears the traces of our own in its language ("Who gives a blog?") and technology, introduces a new series. Yet smart, original, and full of memorable images--of paper boys, and movable fortresses, and a head full of bald engineers--Fever Crumb also stands alone. –

After being forced to move into an old Victorian household with her Math nut parents, 11-year-old Olive discovers an amazing secret, stuffed into a dresser drawer is a pair of spectacles that allows Olive to climb through the pictures on the walls and into another world that is strangely similar to the real world, right down to the houses and neighbors. However, Olive quickly realizes there are a lot of hidden secrets contained within the old house like why a mysterious cat follows her around, why none of the pictures on the wall can be moved and who is the child Morton who lives inside the mysterious world known as Elsewhere. This first book in the Books of Elsewhere series, weaves a dark tale of mystery, adventure and a battle against a darker power that is determined to turn the lights out on Olive’s world for good

The following books might be more “girly” than some of the boys would like…but they are fantastic books you should definitely share with the girls!

WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead

A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L’Engle



11 BIRTHDAYS by Wendy Mass

So, how did I do??


Julie P. said...

Great list. I enjoyed quite a few of those books.

Charlotte said...

Great books! But some of them might be a bit challenging- Fever Crumb is almost YA, and I don't think my own competent 8 year old reader is ready for it! One he really likes, that's both a bit challenging but still accessible, is Odd and the Frost Giants, by Neil Gaiman.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

You did great! Those on the list that I've read (a bit more than half), we've really enjoyed. My younger daughter is in 4th grade, and can't get enough of the Andrew Clements books :)

Can you believe I haven't yet read A WRINKLE IN TIME ... ever?! I know, the 50th anniversary is here, so this is my year.

Thanks for such a full list, Alison!

Zibilee said...

A lot of these are great and at least one of them is a book I remember reading as a child! This is such a great list, and I hope that the kids in the club enjoy the books you picked! Excellent job!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

LOVE Holes! And as you know I am starting Wonderstruck this week :)

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