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Runaway Ralph by Beverly Cleary - A classic that all children should read. This book is great for summer because Ralph is on summer vacation in it. Simple, silly, entertaining light read for kids.
Anything by Roald Dahl but especially The BFG or The Witches - Those were my two favorite Roald Dahl books when I read them as a kid. James and the Giant Peach is another good one, but I just wasn't as big a fan. The Witches TERRIFIED me, but if your kid isn't a giant wuss like I was (or am) then they'll love it. These books are on every third grade teacher's bookshelf, I guarantee it.
Charlotte's Web by EB White - This is one of my favorites to read-aloud to second graders, but I think it would be even better for third graders. Again, this has classic themes like life or death, so be prepared to discuss. Some teachers actually skip over the death part when they read it, but I find that to be ridiculous.
Pippi Longstocking - Every little girl should read Pippi Longstocking. She's spunky and thinks for herself and goes on crazy adventures.
Look Up!: Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer - Learn about the woman who discovered the importance of a star's brightness.
Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom - Zeus is kidnapped and finds that he can defend himself
Last Laughs: Animal Epitaphs - A collection of funny poems about animals and how they died. It's pretty morbid and pretty hysterical.
Dogs on Duty: Soldiers' Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond - Pretty self-explanatory. A look
at dogs who have served in battle.
Liberty Porter, First Daughter - The story of a girl whose father is elected President and her entire life was turned upside down.
Stellaluna - A baby bat falls into a bird's nest and learns how to be a "proper" bird. A good book for teaching kids about fitting in and how sometimes it's better to just be yourself.
Magic Tree House Series - A great series that combines magic and history. Each book also has a nonfiction guide that goes into more detail.
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