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Best Books for 3rd Grade Boys; Nurturing a Love for Reading

Don’t hate me when I say this but I have to say it; when it comes to reading, boys tend to be more delayed than girls. I have a girl and a boy and I’ve seen this first hand. Is this always the case? Definitely not. Do I mean that boys aren’t as intelligent as girls? No, absolutely not. It just seems that boys have a harder time finding books and reading materials that interest them. 

This year, our state currently enforced a new educational rule that states that 3rd graders could be held back if the child is not reading on grade level. This means that if your kid doesn’t score “on or above” a 3rd grade reading level, they will repeat third grade. Whew, that can be a lot of pressure on parents, teachers and third graders. 

best books for 3rd grade boys

What does this mean for young readers, especially those that might be reluctant readers? This means it’s imperative to find good books, whether it be graphic novels or a fun series of books, that they can get interested in reading. Selecting books for early readers is quite an adventure. At this age, boys are transitioning from learning to read to reading to learn. Their books need to engage their increasingly active imagination and newfound interests while still being age-appropriate. A great book can turn reading from a chore into a joy. 

I hope to share six book reviews that I’ve personally seen my 3rd grade readers enjoy, especially those focused more toward boys.

Disclosure; this post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This does not affect the price you pay. This disclosure statement refers to the rest of the Amazon links in this post. See more on my disclosure page.

Here we go:

The best books for 3rd grade boys

Below are a few of the best chapter books (and fun visual books) that will help inspire 3rd grade boys to read. 

Lucky Baseball Bat

best 6 books for 3rd grade boy

This book is a solid choice for captivating younger readers who love baseball. 


  • Engages young sports enthusiasts with a relatable theme
  • Enhances vocabulary with age-appropriate language
  • Encourages a transition to chapter books from graphic novels


  • The vintage language may confuse modern readers
  • Format may not entice fans of more visually-driven books

If your son has a love of baseball then The Lucky Baseball Bat does just that, placing the excitement of baseball center stage. It offers a story that both entertains and resonates with third graders, particularly those who are just beginning to enjoy longer form stories.

Trapped in a Video Game Series

We think this complete series is a fantastic choice for boys who have sparked an interest in video games. 


  • Relatable for video game lovers
  • Capable of capturing the attention of reluctant readers


  • More suitable for younger kids, despite the reading age range
  • Might not appeal to readers not interested in video games

The series “Trapped in a Video Game” by Dustin Brady invites them into a world where the lines between gaming and reality blur. It’s an enticing concept that appeals directly to the imaginative minds of 3rd grade boys, who often seek fast-paced adventure and heroism.

This series serves as a bridge for kids who are transitioning to more complex reading. Its ability to hold a child’s attention has been noted as particularly beneficial for those who haven’t yet discovered a love for reading. This is key for boys who don’t love to read.

Zombie Goldfish Adventures

We believe this book series can foster a love for reading in boys around the third-grade level with their humorous storytelling. This hilarious graphic novel will keep your kids wanting to read more. 


  • Engages readers with humor and adventure
  • Comes as a boxed set, providing a series to follow
  • The high-interest content encourages regular reading


  • Some parents may find the zombie theme unsuitable for sensitive children
  • Since the text may challenge some 3rd graders, they might require occasional adult assistance
  • The humor may not appeal to all children

My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish Boxed Set offers 3rd graders an opportunity to engage with books in a fun way. The series includes books filled with funny adventure and humor, elements that help keep children’s attention. 

Each book within the set promotes a sense of accomplishment as boys advance through the series, and having a boxed set may also provide them with a tangible collection. 

It’s worth noting, however, that parents should gauge their child’s comfort with the zombie and mad scientist themes. While these are handled playfully and are intended to be light-hearted, individual sensitivities may vary. 

How to Not Start Third Grade

We think “How Not to Start Third Grade” offers a humorous take on school jitters, perfect for readers transitioning into third grade. If your kid likes funny books, you have to try this one! 


  • Relatable story that captures the school experience
  • Humor that appeals to kids
  • Encourages independent reading with manageable length


  • May be too simplistic for advanced readers
  • Style and humor not universal; some kids may not connect with it

Navigating a new school year can come with its ups and downs. This book captures the essence of those moments through funny tales that speak directly to the heart of 7 to 8-year-olds. “How Not to Start Third Grade” will have your child smiling and perhaps even laughing out loud as they follow the adventures – or misadventures – within its pages.

The illustrations complement the story beautifully, providing visual cues to help young readers understand the text and, at the same time, making the reading journey more enjoyable. 

My opinion? Anything that a child can read and relate to will automatically keep them reading. Not to mention the funny story that keeps them laughing. 

Ralph Mouse Adventures

The Mouse and the Motorcycle is an awesome book for young explorers with a taste for adventure. This book shares a good story, perfect for 3rd grade teachers to supply in their classroom. 


  • Encourages imaginative thinking and adventure-seeking
  • Timeless story that appeals to multiple generations
  • Language and content appropriate for third-grade readers


  • Some references may feel dated to contemporary readers
  • Book format is smaller, which may be less appealing to some

Kids, especially boys, often look for stories that have make-believe and adventure and Beverly Cleary’s “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” does just that. It’s a book that fires up the imaginations of third graders with a blend of reality and fantasy in these adventure stories.

This book is about a boy’s encounter with a brave and adventurous new friend mouse named Ralph. The relationship they form (best friend) and the adventures they embark on capture the hearts of young readers. If your son loves to read a more “classic” style tale, then this is it!

Weird But True World 2024

The Weird but True Books are some of my kids favorites. They are easy to read and fun to read aloud as well. This was my kids first book to ever want to read. The short snippets of text helped to keep them engaged and wanting to read more. This particular book in the “Weird but True” series is one of it’s best sellers and we can see why. The nonfiction book style is great for those that prefer real life history facts. 


  • Filled with a wide variety of interesting facts
  • Features vibrant pictures and easy-to-digest sections
  • high-quality paper enhance durability


  • Some may find it a bit pricey
  • Content may overlap with previous editions
  • Best suited for readers who enjoy short snippets over traditional narratives

When we think of fostering a love for reading and learning in 3rd-grade boys, presenting them with fascinating material is key. “Weird But True World 2024” offers just that—a collection of bizarre yet true tidbits that capture anyone, from elementary aged to middle school to even high school! 

This edition continues the tradition, serving up a treasure trove of oddities from around the globe. 

Balancing education with entertainment is an art, and this book nails it. This is definitely a favorite book for many 3rd grade boys. 

I hope I’ve shared a few excellent books that will entertain your 3rd grade reader. Whether you are looking to fill third grade classrooms or your home library, make sure to keep a few of these around.