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Recommended Reads for Year 3: New Additions for 2024

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Recommended Reads: New Additions for Year 3

If you’ve previously purchased our 50 Recommended Reads pack for Year 3, then this list is for you! Update your collection with this special list of books which have been newly added to our 50 Recommended Reads list for Year 3.

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New Additions to our Year 3 List

Steve Webb
Graphic Novel

This graphic novel is based on a very silly story and one that will go down a treat! Firstly, it’s about pizza – always a popular topic with children! Secondly, it stars two likeable, somewhat barmy characters (the good guys) and several creepy, villainous ones.

Its comic strip style is super appealing and colourful and the story is crammed with jokes and high jinks. The storyline is interesting (read fun, surprising, wacky, and inventive) and there’s a drawing tutorial at the end. Readers will be pleased to see the promise of future Peng and Spanners books.

This book will fly off the graphic novel shelf and is perfect for fans of the Investigators, Sparks and Cool Dude in KS1 and KS2.

Ben Miller
 & Elisa Paganelli
Chapter book

Lawrence, a big, bad, wolf, has just emerged from his den after a long, hard winter. He’s weak, tired and hungry and so embarks on a mission to get fit and find the ultimate, delectable treat: Little Red Riding Hood. But it’s not as easy as he thinks, for Lawrence is a lone wolf, without a pack and there is a pesky group of characters who keep getting in the way of his nefarious dinner plans… three little pigs, a woodcutter, a grandma and a mysterious old woman who brews concoctions in her gingerbread house all get in his way, tricking or outwitting him!

This is a fun and easy read that children will love. It’s funny, silly and the outcomes of Lawrence the Wolf’s actions are always hilariously predictable, making the story highly enjoyable. You can’t help but like and feel sorry for the misguided Lawrence, who struggles to see what is right in front of him.

The illustrations are endearing and add to the fun element of the story. There is a mixture of fonts and page layouts, which make the book appealing to reluctant readers.

A really enjoyable read which I would recommend to all pupils.

Marchella Ward
 & Asia Orlando
Chapter book

‘Beasts of the Ancient World’ is a phenomenal illustrated book, which will appeal to any child who loves to learn about history, animals or mythology. The book contains an array of stories about monsters from all over the ancient world, while including facts and illustrations about them.

From the very beginning of the book, the content page taps into the reader’s interests, by including subheadings for each group of stories. Are you interested in terrifying monsters? Then look at the ‘Our worst fears’ section. Love to hear about epic wars? ‘Battles with monsters’ is for you! A bit of a scaredy cat? There is also a section titled ‘Kind beasts’, which would suit the less brave!

The stories throughout claim to remind us that ‘things are never really as simple as brave human defeats monster’. They have been carefully selected from around the world and allow readers to learn about the creatures within them, as well as the cultures they came from. There are many unique features within it to help gain a breadth in children’s learning about mythology and cultural legends from around the globe. For example, there is a world map with a key, which explains where each of the mythical creatures was created by ancient storytellers. Interwoven through the stories are fact pages with beautiful illustrations of different creatures. There are snippets of non-fiction fact files, which include anything from beasts that fly, great guardians and creatures from under the sea. There is something in this book for everyone!

Chitra Soundar
 & Soofiya
Chapter book

This is a great first chapter book for readers aged 6 or 7, plus an engaging way of learning about India and Indian culture.

Nikhil and Jay got to India with their family over the Christmas and New Year period. They are sad to leave their cat but very excited to visit their relatives in India. The story tells you about Christmas in India and the New Year celebrations held as well. Traditions, stories, culture and food are also explored in the story so it brings alive the feeling that the family are away from home experiencing new things.

At the end of the book, there are activities, a glossary and some facts about elements referred to in the story. This is a really good way for younger children to learn about a different country and culture, or to explore their heritage.

Timothy Knapman
 & Nik Henderson
Non-fiction
We look out of our window at the dark and twinkling sky.It's full of stars and planets and there's comets whooshing by.We want to go and see them, there's so much to explore.So let's count down and blast off - then we can find out more!Journey through space with 15 of the most iconic missions of all time, including the moon landing, Voyager 1's journey into interstellar space and Perseverance's exploration of Mars.

Adam Baron
Chapter book

Oscar wakes up to find his parents have been replaced by a lion. It’s not any old lion either; this one will indulge him with reading his favourite story over and over and letting him eat as many biscuits as he likes. Even stranger, it seems to be able to transform into different animals when it needs to. Best of all, it has a taste for fun.

With the lion as his guide, Oscar has adventure after adventure and the weekend of his life – all within a few miles of his house. Then, just as Benji has learned to trust and appreciate the lion, the weekend comes to an end and their exuberant partnership is over. This time it’s Oscar who is transformed. Now that he understands the world around him that little bit better, rather than grieving what is lost, he celebrates and cherishes what remains.

This is a moving book about seizing the day and looking for the wonder in the familiar weather in nature, museums or, most especially, people. It has the warmth of feeling of the best picture books. Adam Baron is a confident storyteller whose every word is measured and who can subtly manipulate his reader’s emotions without even seeming to try. Big themes are alluded to with such gentle hints that it’s up to the reader to decide how far to investigate them.

The episodic structure of the story would make this little gem a good read aloud for lower Key Stage 2 to help build emotional intelligence and resilience, especially in the face of loss and uncertainty.

Sinead O'Hart
 & Rachel Seago
Chapter book

Lola and Larch Fix a Fairy Forest is an enchanting short chapter book perfect for independent readers aged 7 and up.

When Lola stumbles upon a mysterious rabbit in the middle of a storm, little does she know that it’s the beginning of an extraordinary adventure. With heartwarming moments, the story follows Lola and her new friend, Larch the tree fairy, as they embark on a quest to save the forest from the clutches of the evil fairy, Euphorbia Spurge, and her beetle army.

Filled with captivating illustrations, this book not only sparks the imagination but also teaches valuable lessons about friendship, bravery, and the importance of helping others. From the moment Lola discovers the tiny, grumpy fairy in place of the rabbit, readers are drawn into a magical world.

With its delightful characters and engaging plot, Lola and Larch Fix a Fairy Forest is sure to be a favourite among young readers who love adventure and fantasy. Join Lola and Larch on their journey as they navigate challenges, overcome obstacles, and ultimately, save the day. This book is a must-read for anyone who enjoys tales of courage, teamwork, and the magic of friendship.

Carol Ann Duffy
 & Jane Ray
Chapter book

This is a unique picturebook by celebrated poet Carol Ann Duffy and illustrated by Jane Ray.

A witch steals a girl’s sack of happy endings, which she has collected to carry through the forest before bedtime. Now, without the happy endings, children all around are sad and distressed because their bedtime stories are ending unhappily. Resourceful Jub finds a golden pen and creates her own happy endings instead.

With fairy tale motifs and an original concept, this fascinating picturebook is well suited for KS2.

Caroline Binch
Picturebook

This text has become a classic that has earned its place in many primary school classroom book corners.

It tells the story of young Gregory as he sets about on his first day in Tobago with his grandparents. At first he can find nothing familiar or desirable, but as he begins to adjust to life in the Caribbean, he soon finds that it is possible to feel right at home in a new culture.

Yasmine Naghdi,Chitra Soundar
 & Paula Franco
Chapter book

The first in a new inclusive series by Principal Ballerina Yasmine Naghdi and well-known children’s author Chitra Soundar.

Yara wants to become a professional ballerina. Her parents had signed her up for ballet classes at Shimmer and Shine and they even put on a show – but Yara learns that it couldn’t come at the cost of her school lessons.

Yara gets distracted with ballet practising for her lead in Sleeping Beauty. When she forgets to complete her homework or concentrate on her classwork, Miss Diamond and her mum explain that schoolwork is equally important to pursue a career in ballet. Yara’s passion for ballet at first distracts her from school work especially because she gets the lead part in a performance that had so much at stake. But with the help of her friends and timely advice from her teachers and her parents, Yara realises that it’s important to balance both without giving up one or the other.

We also see this through the experiences of her friends, Indu and Dante, too. Indu is not learning ballet because she wants to be a professional dancer. Her hobby might always remain a hobby, but that’s ok too. Dante on the other hand has two passions – football and ballet – while also focussing on his studies and he does make it seem easy to balance them.

This illustrated chapter book will appeal to Lower KS2 children who love dance.

 


Christina Balit
Picturebook

In Ancient Athens, a young slave is known only as ‘The Corinthian Girl’ in a reference to where she had been found, left by her father who couldn’t afford to keep her. She grows up learning to serve her new Athenian family by fetching, carrying, cleaning and scrubbing. Girls were unimportant; slave girls even less so. Very occasionally, she is able to play with the youngest son and her athletic talents are noticed by the master of the house, himself a famous athlete. He forms an ambitious plan for her – will it succeed?

This inspiring short story is based on the Heraean Games, a real event held every four years in honour of Hera and only open to female athletes. It is accompanied by gorgeously subtle but graphic watercolour illustrations that suit the subject matter perfectly both in style and colour palette. Readers who have enjoyed Escape from Pompeiiwhich has been used in classrooms for years alongside the Romans topics – will immediately recognise Christina Balit’s distinctive style.

I was pleased to see these lesser-known Greek games brought to light to counterbalance the male perspective which dominates the study of Ancient Greece. Although as a story it is plausible rather than likely, it’s stirring, and the factual pages at the back address potential misconceptions by explaining the context and introducing the small number of key sources. Much has to be imagined because of the limited evidence for the lives of women in Ancient Athens.

A highly recommendable picturebook to share alongside study of Ancient Greece.

Swapna Haddow
 & Sheena Dempsey
Chapter book
Dave Pigeon and his trusty sidekick, Skipper, are minding their own business in the garden shed when they see Mean Cat behaving very strangely. The arrival of some very cute kittens is disastrous news.  But then the kittens come under threat. Are Dave and Skipper coldhearted enough to leave them defenceless, especially when one looks a teeny, tiny little bit like Dave?Packed full of funny black-and-white illustrations, perfect for emerging readers.
Shannon Stocker
 & Devon Holzwarth
Picturebook

An inspiring picture book true story of the inspiring life of deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie.

Evelyn began to experience hearing loss at ten years old. She loved music, and did not want to give up on her passion because of her deafness. Trying different instruments helped, and she switched to percussion, where the vibrations could help her to feel the music with her body. Over time, Evelyn became an award-winning percussionist and opened doors to making music education more accessible for others.

The beautiful and evocative artwork captures the optimistic tone of the story and highlights the idea of ‘feeling’ the music.

Karen McCombie
 & Anneli Bray
Chapter book

For those studying Ancient Egypt as part of the KS2 history curriculum, this would make a good (quick) class read. This short read from dyslexia-friendly publisher Barrington Stoke is a time-slip novel about a community of village children and their families who live, work and play by the banks of the Nile, the Pharaoh’s palace shimmering in the distance. Modern-day schoolboy Seth comes tumbling into their world, dragging himself out of the crocodile-infested river and coming face-to-face with a hyena.

The font style and overall design will also suit those with dyslexia, which is apt since main character Seth struggles at school. He can’t focus on lessons and thus begins a prank that lands him on the muddy banks of the Nile, far removed from his teacher Mr Ali, his baby sister Freema and his beloved cat Muppet. The way back isn’t at all clear, so, while he works it out, he’ll just have to muddle along with Mery, the Egyptian girl he first meets, and her family, who are soon busily preparing for Pharaoh Akhenaten’s visit to their neighbourhood. The exact details of their celebration – as well as other aspects of life in Ancient Egypt – has Seth questioning not just his knowledge of history, but also customs that seem quite shocking. As readers, we are offered some ‘facts behind the story’; insights into Seth’s experience which might just help others when learning is a little challenging.

Author Karen McComibie also visited our blog to tell us more about the inspiration for the story.

Laura Ellen Anderson
Chapter book

I’m a really big fan of Rainbow Grey so I was really excited to review this first book in the new series from Laura Ellen Anderson. It certainly didn’t disappoint!

Marnie is a very young moth, who finally having gained her wings, is off to Mini Beast Academy to learn what being a mini beast is all about. She has always dreamed of visiting the moon like her hero Lunora Wingheart, who was lost on a mission to the moon. When she arrives at school, Marnie soon begins having visions and hearing Lunora calling for help. However, whenever she asks about the moon, the adults go quiet. Marnie and her friends Floyd and Star discover that their teacher Mr. Atlas has a devious plot to destroy the moon. Can they stop him in time and save Lunora?

I enjoyed how the characters lived in a world that was just like ours, except hidden from human sight. Marnie, Floyd and Star are brilliant characters. They have completely different personalities, but they become the best of friends. This is a fabulous book for ages 6-9 for teaching friendship, determination and resilience. The world building and descriptive language are exceptional, making it easy to picture the book in your mind; perfect for young readers. I think this is going to be a fantastic series for engaging young readers exploring short, illustrated chapter books.


Stuart Heritage
 & Vincent Batignole
Chapter book

When you start reading this book you think it’s going to be a typical super hero book – but it’s far from it! There are lots of things that scream a typical superhero comic but lots of things that make this younger graphic novel a unique and fun read for Lower KS2.

Invisidog has superpowers that mean he is invisible and he is desperate to use them to get rid of Captain Bad. The problem is he can’t help, because no one can see him. The other heroes, Quack Attack and Detective Octopus, continue to fight crime until they have a disagreement and Quack Attack decides to go it alone. All the time Captain Bad continues to devise a plan to destroy Planet Earth. Whilst trying to stop Captain Bad, Invisidog learns that when you believe in yourself you can have mighty powers and the importance of working in a team. Will they save Planet Earth?

This is a brilliant book for children who enjoy graphic novels or for those ready to be introduced to the format. The chapters are short, which makes it easier for children who are just reading chapter books to enjoy the story. Some entertaining chapters reflect the news reports and follow a more traditional comic strip format. The book is humorous and the author often talks directly to the reader, which offers extra insights to what is happening and excitement about what will happen next.

This is a brilliant start to a series of books about the ODD squad.

John Patrick Green
 & Pat Lewis
Graphic Novel

We are big fans of the InvestiGators graphic novel series. This pun-filled action series is a hit with younger fans of the graphic novel format and has hooked in lovers of Dog Man and The Bad Guys through its full-colour animal antics, funny cases to solve, and clever wordplay.

Now, a new standalone spin-off story featuring Cilantro the Chameleon has landed. Cilantro is a newly appointed Agent of S.U.I.T (Special Undercover Investigation Team), and as she faces her first big case involving a sheep revolt and an alien cover-up, she learns to step up and prove her place on the team.

We love the good, clean fun of this series, and parents and teachers know that young graphic novel fans are in good hands with these books. Author John Patrick Green said of the series, “Of all the comics I’ve created in my professional career, making InvestiGators has come closest to recapturing that feeling of being 11 years old, drawing comics in my bedroom, with the sole intention of making my friends and classmates laugh.” John’s commitment to child-centred visual humour and puns has clearly paid off and is reflected in the popularity of this series, which teachers and librarians tell us is flying off primary bookshelves at lightning speed. For children, the books are funny from the get-go, and pun-loving grown-ups like us can’t help but smile at the non-stop wordplay woven through the action scenes, too.

This new series of standalone adventures sees appearances from familiar faces from the previous InvestiGators books, while new characters are fleshed out too. The end of the book hints at adventures to be continued with new agents taking centre stage, and we’re already looking forward to the next mission.

Simon Mugford
 & Dan Green
Non-fiction

We love the Football Superstars series, which is responsible for getting a lot of football fans reading!

Simon Mugford’s informative text set alongside Dan Green’s fun and realistic illustrations make for an engaging read that will leave children knowing a lot more about the history of football around the globe.

The text is designed in such a way that it can engage a range of children, including readers embarking on their first chapter books as well as older reluctant readers. Interspersed throughout the book are a range of jokes that children will enjoy. The text is displayed in a range of interesting ways, including speech bubbles, fact boxes and comic style sequences. The variety on layout keeps readers engaged, while the narrative is simple to follow.

This book is a member of a fantastic series of ‘Football Superstars’ books, showcasing the best modern-day footballers around. The books in the series lend themselves well to being collected, swapped and shared like football cards.

Polly Ho-Yen
 & Sojung Kim-McCarthy
Chapter book
Ita is afraid of lots of things. She’s afraid of talking to her classmates at her new school. She’s afraid of walking through her new town. But most of all she is afraid of water.When one day she realises the river in her new town turns her into a fish, she is forced to face up to her fears. In doing so, can she bring her family together again?With themes of change, and deftly tackling the topic of fear for younger readers, this is another heart-warming and beautifully-written early reader by Polly Ho-Yen, filled with charming artwork by Sojung Kim-McCarthy.
Hannah Peck
Chapter book

Kate on the Case is an absolutely gorgeous introduction to the mystery genre for young readers. This smaller-than-average chapter book is illustrated and a brilliant choice for readers just getting to grips with chapter books.

Kate is an aspiring reporter, and finds herself embroiled in a mysterious locked-room mystery about a train.

This is a really sweet story, with enough mystery to keep readers excited but nothing too scary. Readers will enjoy the animal and human characters, the moments of humour, the gently unravelling mystery and the unexpected twist in the tale. There’s also a Teachers’ Resource pack to download, that would make this book a great choice for guided reading in Year 3.


Various authors
 & Various illustrators
Poetry

A beautiful collection of poems about mindfulness from a diverse range of poets, suitable for all age groups. There are a few poems included that were familiar to me, but most were new to me and I enjoyed discovering them. I loved the illustrations bringing the poems to life and I thought these could also inspire follow-up work in the classroom.

This would be a great book to use for a whole-school focus on poetry as each year group could use a different poem. The poems could be used during PSHE lessons, during mental health week, or as inspiration for children’s own poems in KS2.

The biographies of all the poets and illustrators at the back of the book were a lovely touch and would encourage children to learn more about them.

Paula Harrison
Chapter book

If you have children who enjoy a fractured fairy tale, then this fast paced, illustrated chapter book is one they’ll love. It’s got everything you want in a fairy tale – magical settings, mythical creatures, a magic carpet, a talking toad and the triumph of good over evil – with three strong female protagonists and some ninja moves mixed in for good measure!

Red, Goldie and Snow lead very normal lives, but Red longs for adventure beyond the bounds of their home town. One day, they discover that their dance teacher, Madame Hart, is more than she seems and she begins to teach them sword play and ninja moves under the guise of ballet. When young Prince Inigo goes missing and Madame Hart is framed for the crime, the girls head into the Shadowmoon Forest; where they must use all their courage, imagination and self belief to catch the real villain.

This fun story would make a great read aloud alongside a traditional tales topic and gives lots of ideas for creating your own tale with a twist.

Katie Tsang,Kevin Tsang
Chapter book
From the authors of the bestselling Dragon Mountain comes the first in a brand-new, action-packed, dragon-obsessed series.Twelve-year-old Lance Lo, his younger sister Zoe and new friends have enrolled at Camp Claw to learn all the skills they need to become protectors of the new world. But when the camp is mysteriously attacked and an evil plot exposed, it’s up to the latest recruits to prove they’ve got what it takes to save the day.

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