Looking for the perfect chapter book series for your 3rd grader?
There are so many great series out there for early readers!
Your book list probably already includes some great books though. There are the classic books, such as The Boxcar Children and everything written by Roald Dahl. And then the more modern, popular books like Harry Potter.
I didn’t want to provide a list of obvious choices you’ve already heard of though.
Below you will find a lot of fresh, new options, but I also included a good number of classics to balance out the list.
How To Pick The Best Book Series For Your 3rd Grader
If your younger readers aren’t chomping at the bit to start their next book…then maybe you need some help picking out the best books to bring out their love of reading.
Especially if this is their first book with chapters, you’re going to want it to be a good experience.
Below are my tips to help you find the perfect book this school year!
1. Try Graphic Novels
Graphic novels are a wonderful way to help elementary school-level readers connect with books!
Seeing the images and less words on a page helps to bring the story to life, engage their interest, and keep them going to the end.
Many of the below books have pictures, but #16 is a good choice if you think graphic novels are where you want to start.
2. Choose A Main Character They Can Relate To
This will probably not surprise you, but if you have a boy who loves sports and dirt…they might not enjoy a book about a little girl who turns into a mermaid.
And a girl who gravitates towards unicorns and princesses…may not enjoy a book about zombie goldfish.
Of course those are stereotypes, but you know your kid and what makes their eyes sparkle.
Each of the books below has a detailed description to give you a solid snapshot of what the books are about. Try to think of what they would love, even if it’s not one of your favorite books.
3. Find Out What Their Best Friends Are Reading
Peer pressures is sometimes a good thing.
Reading the same books as their peers might give your kid some much needed motivation to dig into a book. If their good friend is into it – it can’t be that bad, right?
This is actually how my own daughter went from casual reader to an avid reader!
4. Pick A Book That is Part of A Series
Since you’re already searching for a chapter book series, you’re ahead of the game!
A great series can keep younger readers engaged and coming back for more.
They will fall in love with the characters and become invested in the story. But when the book is over, they can just reach for the next one in the series!
No need to start searching for a new book or author.
25 Best Series For 3rd Graders!
1. Geronimo Stilton Series
Name of Series: Geronimo Stilton
# of Books in Series: 81
Who Is Geronimo Stilton? That’s me! I run a newspaper, but my true passion is writing tales of adventure. Here on Mouse Island, my books are all best-sellers! What’s that? You’ve never read one? Well, my books are full of fun. They are whisker-licking good stories, and that’s a promise!
It all started when my sister, Thea, discovered a mysterious map. It showed a secret treasure on a faraway island. And before I could let out a squeak of protest, Thea dragged me into her treasure hunt!
In no time at all, we’d set sail for the island. It was an adventure I’d never forget….
2. Magic Tree House Series
Name of Series: Magic Treehouse
# of Books in Series: 63
Magic. Mystery. Time-travel. Get whisked back in time in the magic tree house with Jack and Annie in this #1 bestselling chapter book series!
Meet Jack and Annie! Jack and his younger sister, Annie, are just regular kids. But when they discover a tree house in the woods, something magical happens. Jack and Annie are whisked back in time to the Age of Dinosaurs, a medieval castle, ancient pyramids, and treasure-seeking pirates.
3. Cam Jansen Series
Name of Series: Cam Jansen
# of Books in Series: 34
Perfect for beginning chapter book readers, the Cam Jansen series continues to be a bestseller after over thirty years. Each mystery features Cam—the fifth-grade sleuth with the photographic memory—who solves the case with the help of her best friend, Eric.
Book #1: Can Cam help catch the diamond thief? Cam and her friend Eric are sitting at the mall when the jewelry store is robbed. Cam sees the thief, but the police arrest the wrong person. Now it’s up to Cam to catch the real criminal!
The Cam Jansen books are perfect for young readers who are making the transition to chapter books, and Cam is a spunky young heroine whom readers have loved for over two decades.
4. The Lemonade War Series
Name of Series: The Lemonade War
# of Books in Series: 6
Here is a clever blend of humor, math wizardry, and business know-how. As it captures the one-of-a-kind bond between brother and sister, this poignant novel also subtly explores how arguments can escalate beyond anyone’s intent.
For a full hour, he poured lemonade. The world is a thirsty place, he thought as he nearly emptied his fourth pitcher of the day. And I am the Lemonade King.
Evan Treski is people-smart. He’s good at talking with people, even grownups. His younger sister Jessie, on the other hand, is math-smart—but not especially good at understanding people. She knows that feelings are her weakest subject.
With just five days left of summer vacation, Evan and Jessie launch an all-out war to see who can sell the most lemonade before school starts. As the battleground heats up, there really is no telling who will win—and even more important, if their fight will ever end.
5. Whatever After Series
Name of Series: Whatever After Series
# of Books in Series: 16
Once upon a time my brother and I were normal kids. The next minute? The mirror in our basement slurped us up and magically transported us inside Snow White’s fairy tale.
I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. But hey — we’re heroes! We stopped Snow White from eating the poisoned apple. Hooray! Or not. If Snow White doesn’t die, she won’t get to meet her prince. And then she won’t get her happy ending. Oops. Now it’s up to us to: -Avoid getting poisoned- Sneak into a castle- Fix Snow White’s story. But Snow White’s REAL happy ending might not be quite what we expected . . .
6. Dragons In A Bag Series
Name of Series: Dragons In A Bag
# of Books in Series: 4
The dragon’s out of the bag in this diverse, young urban fantasy from an award-winning author!
When Jaxon is sent to spend the day with a mean old lady his mother calls Ma, he finds out she’s not his grandmother–but she is a witch! She needs his help delivering baby dragons to a magical world where they’ll be safe. There are two rules when it comes to the dragons: don’t let them out of the bag, and don’t feed them anything sweet. Before he knows it, Jax and his friends Vikram and Kavita have broken both rules! Will Jax get the baby dragons delivered safe and sound? Or will they be lost in Brooklyn forever?
AN ALA-ALSC NOTABLE CHILDREN’S BOOK
AN NPR BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
A CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
A KIRKUS REVIEWS BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
7. Amelia Bedelia
Name of Series: Amelia Bedelia
# of Books in Series: 30
Short, fast-paced chapters, tons of friends and funny situations, and black-and-white illustrations on every page make the Amelia Bedelia chapter books an ideal choice for readers of the Ivy + Bean, Magic Tree House, and Junie B. Jones books. Each book features a guide to the idioms introduced in the story.
This Amelia Bedelia chapter book boxed set makes a great gift and a wonderful way to introduce newly independent readers to a favorite character.
8. Trapped In A Video Game Series
Name of Series: Trapped In A Video Game
# of Books in Series: 5
With nonstop action, huge plot twists, and tons of humor, this series will quickly have your 7- to 12-year-old video game fan begging for just one more chapter.
Getting sucked into a video game is not as much fun as you’d think. Sure, there are jetpacks, hover tanks, and infinite lives, but what happens when the game starts to turn on you? In this best-selling series, 12-year-old Jesse Rigsby finds out just how dangerous video games – and the people making those games – can be.
9. Sideways Stories From Wayside School Series
Name of Series: Sideways Stories From Wayside School
# of Books in Series: 4
Bestselling and Newbery Medal-winning author Louis Sachar knows how to make readers laugh. And there are laughs galore in perennial favorite Sideways Stories from Wayside School!
Accidentally built sideways and standing thirty stories high (the builder said he was very sorry for the mistake), Wayside School has some of the wackiest classes in town, especially on the thirtieth floor. That’s where you’ll meet Bebe, the fastest draw in art class; John, who only reads upside down; Myron, the best class president ever; and Sammy, the new kid—he’s a real rat.
More than fifteen million readers have laughed at the clever and hilarious stories of Wayside School. So what are you waiting for? Come visit Wayside School! Kids 7 to 13 will zoom through these chapter books—laughing their way through the fast, funny, silly but relatable stories.
10. The Secret Lake Series
Name of Series: Secret Lake Mystery Adventures
# of Books in Series: 2
A lost dog, a hidden time tunnel and a secret lake. A page-turning time travel adventure for children aged 8-11. Now enjoyed by over 400,000 young readers! Book 2 now available!
When Stella and her younger brother, Tom, move to their new London home, they become mystified by the disappearances of Harry, their elderly neighbour’s small dog. Where does he go? And why does he keep reappearing wet-through?
Their quest to solve the riddle over the summer holidays leads to a boat buried under a grassy mound, and a tunnel that takes them to a secret lake.
Stella and Tom soon discover that they have travelled back in time to their home and its gardens almost 100 years earlier. Here they make both friends and enemies, and uncover startling connections between the past and present.
Karen Inglis describes it as, a time travel mystery adventure with modern twists – the kind of story that I loved to read as a child, but brought right up to date.
11. The Ralph Mouse Series
Name of Series: The Ralph Mouse Series
# of Books in the Series: 4
In this imaginative adventure from Newbery Medal–winning author Beverly Cleary, a young mouse named Ralph is thrown into a world of excitement when a boy and his shiny toy motorcycle check in to the Mountain View Inn.
When the ever-curious Ralph spots Keith’s red toy motorcycle, he vows to ride it. So when Keith leaves the bike unattended in his room one day, Ralph makes his move. But with all this freedom (and speed!) come a lot of obstacles. Whether dodging a rowdy terrier or keeping his nosy cousins away from his new wheels, Ralph has a lot going on! And with a pal like Keith always looking out for him, there’s nothing this little mouse can’t handle.
12. A to Z Mysteries
Name of the Series: A to Z Mysteries
Number of Books in the Series: 26
Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose are just regular kids with a knack for solving mysteries. In their first four adventures, they find a missing person, catch a thief, save neighborhood pets, and uncover a haunted dungeon! What mystery will they solve next? Follow the clues from A to Z to find out!
With more than 10 million copies in print, the A to Z Mysteries® have been hooking chapter book readers on mysteries and reading for years.
13. My Weird School Daze Series
Name of the Series: My Weird School Daze
# of Books in the Series: 12
Things have gotten weirder! From a zany graduation ceremony to the off-the-wall antics of their new third-grade teacher, A.J. and the gang from Ella Mentry School have had some weird and wacky adventures.
Perfect for reluctant readers and word lovers alike, Dan Gutman’s hugely popular My Weird School series has something for everyone. Don’t miss the hilarious adventures of A.J. and the gang.
14. Nancy Clancy, Chapter Book Series
Name of the Series: Nancy Clancy, Chapter Book Series
# of Books in the Series: 8
For young readers who grew up with the bestselling Fancy Nancy picture books, Nancy Clancy is now starring in her own chapter books!
In this first in a series of delightful chapter books, Fancy Nancy takes on the role of detective. When one of Nancy’s classmate’s most treasured possessions disappear from school, it’s up to detective Nancy to solve the mystery and save the day.
With the help of her friend Bree, she follows the clues to an unexpected source. Fans of Nancy Drew’s Clue Crew will be among the readers happy to see a new Nancy join the ranks of super sleuths!
15. Ellray Jakes Series
Name of the Series: Ellray Jakes
# of Books in the Series: 9
Join EllRay on his silly adventures, from mastering skateboarding to standing up to a bully in the schoolyard, there’s no mission too difficult for EllRay to conquer.
16. The Bad Guys Series
Name of the Series: The Bad Guys
# of Books in the Series: 19
“I wish I’d had these books as a kid. Hilarious!” — Dav Pilkey, creator of Captain Underpants and Dog ManThey may look like Bad Guys, but these wannabe heroes are doing good deeds…whether you like it or not! This New York Times bestselling illustrated series is perfect for fans of Dog Man and Captain Underpants.
Get ready to laugh up your lunch with the baddest bunch of do-gooders in town! Watch the fur fly in the first five hilarious installments in this bestselling series.
17. The World Of Emily Windsnap Series
Name of the Series: The World Of Emily Windsnap
# of Books in Series: 3
Even though she lives in a houseboat, Emily Windsnap doesn’t know how to swim. Her mother has always cautioned her to stay out of the water. But it’s hard to make friends at the beach when everyone else is having fun in the waves! So when swimming lessons start at school, Emily is excited to finally have the chance to learn. Standing beside the pool, she feels the water calling her, but when she jumps in, she gets a strange, kind of scary sensation . . . like her legs are stuck together. Eager to figure out what’s happening, Emily later dives into the sea. She gets that weird feeling again, but this time she looks down to see that her legs are gone—replaced by a shiny, beautiful tail!
Welcome to Emily’s Big Discovery, the first in a sparkling, charmingly illustrated series of readers. With a mermaid tail and an entire ocean awaiting her, Emily is eager to meet new friends and swim off on big adventures in this inviting new series for the younger set, based on the best-selling middle-grade series by Liz Kessler.
18. Magic Faraway Tree Series
Name of the Series: Magic Faraway Tree
# of Books in the Series: 4
The Enchanted Wood is the first magical story in the Faraway Tree series by the world’s best-loved children’s author, Enid Blyton. When Joe, Beth and Frannie move to a new home, an Enchanted Wood is on their doorstep. And when they discover the Faraway Tree, that is the beginning of many magical adventures!
Join them and their friends Moonface, Saucepan Man and Silky the fairy as they discover which new land is at the top of the Faraway Tree. Will it be the Land of Spells, the Land of Treats, or the Land of Do-As-You-Please? Come on an amazing adventure – there’ll be adventures waiting whatever happens.
19. National Park Mystery Series
Name of the Series: National Park Mystery
# of Books in the Series: 2 so far
Before Jake’s grandfather died, he was on the trail of a centuries-old mystery. And he has entrusted that mystery to Jake, leaving behind a set of hidden codes, riddles, maps, and other clues that lead Jake and his friends on a scavenger hunt into the heart of Colorado’s wild and rugged Rocky Mountain National Park.
Through twists and turns, the mystery unfolds while Jake, Amber, and Wes learn about survival skills, natural history, integrity, character, and friendship. Along the way, they discover they are not the only ones on this quest. An elusive shadow group is close on their heels.
20. My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish
Name of the Series: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish
# of Books in the Series: 6
This must-have paperback boxed set includes the first three books in the winning and wacky My Big Fat Zombie Goldfishillustrated chapter book series, from New York Times–bestselling author Mo O’Hara.
Zapping Frankie the goldfish back to life with a battery was the best thing Tom’s ever done. A BIG FAT ZOMBIE GOLDFISH with incredible hypnotic powers is a great pet to have on your side when your big brother is an evil scientist whose plans regularly need to be thwarted. Join Tom and Frankie as they go on incredible adventures involving revenge plots, evil scientist older brothers, a Super Electric Zombie Eel and other paranormal pets!
21. Unicorn Academy
Name of the Series: Unicorn Academy
# of Books in the Series: 13
What if your best friend was a unicorn? Chapter book fans are flocking to this magical series, where everyone is paired with their very own unicorn!
Imagine a school where you meet your own unicorn and learn to talk to them! Sophia is sure she and her unicorn, Rainbow will be great partners, but their first test isn’t a part of their lessons. Sparkle Lake gives unicorns their magic, and when it starts turning a funny color, everything goes wrong! Can Sophia and Rainbow brave the dangerous woods to save the unicorns’ magic?
Fans of Rainbow Magic, Purrmaids, and Princess Ponies will love this chapter book series about the magic of bonding with your own unicorn. Be sure to read all the books in this magical series!
22. MetaVerse Legends Series
Name of The Series: MetaVerse Legends
# of Books in the Series: 4
Lucas is like every other tween in that he just wants to have fun with his friends and get the ultimate score on his VR game. Racing, ninjas, undead, and a zombie king? No problem!
But problems galore find him when he leaves the game for a minute only to find that it somehow took his sister! Now he has to find a way in, race and battle all those creatures he only ever dreamed of facing, and hope he can find his sister in time to save her.
Little does he know, she’s having the time of her life, and they might just have the best adventure anyone’s ever had.
23. Third Grade Detectives
Name of the Series: Third Grade Detectives
# of Books in the Series: 11
Mr. Merlin’s Third Graders are known as the Third Grade Detectives — with some hints from secret code clues and help from Mr. Merlin’s friend, the police scientist Dr. Smiley, they help solve cases. This two-in-one flip book contains the full text and illustrations for the first two Third Grade Detectives books. In their first case, The Clue of the Left-Handed Envelope, the Detectives find out who has been sending Amber Lee anonymous letters. And in their next case, a dirty handkerchief provides a clue to who’s been trespassing in Todd’s tree house.
24. Judy Moody
Name of the Series: Judy Moody Collection
# of Books in the Series: 27
“Are you in a bad mood or something?” asked Rocky. “Or something,” said Judy Moody. Bad moods, good moods, even back-to-school moods – Judy Moody has them all! When her teacher assigns the class the task of creating “Me” collages, it puts Judy in a cut-and-paste mood! Meet Judy Moody, her little “bother” Stink, her best friend Rocky, and her “pest” friend Frank Pearl. They’re guaranteed to put you in a very Judy Moody mood… or something.
25. Rosco The Rascal Series
Name of the Series: Rosco the Rascal
# of Books in the Series: 12
On a sunny autumn day, ten-year-old James and seven-year-old Mandy set out to choose their pumpkins for Halloween on the family’s annual trip to the countryside. This time they’re taking along their new German shepherd, Rosco, whose innocent mischief soon lands him on his leash. But deep inside the corn maze on a scavenger hunt, James, Mandy, and Rosco find that two bullies in skeleton masks are scaring unsuspecting kids. Will Rosco shape up and help out? Join the kids and their lovable dog in this wholesome family adventure, a rascal-turned-hero autumn story for kids.
And That’s It!
I hope this list has given you some great options for the 8-year-olds in your life!
Of course, I couldn’t fit every fantastic series on the list, so I would love to hear from you.
Drop a comment below if you have a favorite original series that you loved at this age.
Anne of Green Gables?
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?
Thanks for sharing!