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Year 3: 50 Recommended Reads

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recommended books for year 3 ages 7 to 8

50 Best Books for Y3 (Ages 7-8)

We’ve selected 50 top recommended books for Year 3 (children aged seven and eight). Find the best books to level up your Y3 reading collections with our carefully selected list of storytime chapter books, independent reads, funny stories, picturebooks, poetry collections, graphic novels, non-fiction texts and more. There’s something for all tastes, but keep an eye out for ninja cats, adventuring polar bears, intrepid explorers and the odd exploding dragon poo here and there, too…

As well as taking into account which reading trends are currently the most popular with Year 3 children, our team of experts at BooksForTopics loves to put each book through its paces. Each title on our booklist has been chosen based on its age-appropriateness, quality of writing, engaging illustrations and ability to spark children’s imagination and creativity. Our booklists have been carefully compiled by experts in children’s literature, and we have taken care to ensure that we feature include a variety of characters, themes and styles that hook in different types of readers.

This booklist includes popular Year 3 stories such as The Boy Who Grew Dragons, Charlotte’s Web and Varjak Paw, as well as the most popular read-it-yourself choices like Dog Man and The 13-Storey Tree House. We also included some lesser-known storytime delights that we recommend for Y3, like The Wild Robot, the wildlife rescue story Red Panda Rescue and the exquisitely illustrated story of one mouse’s voyage to the moon in Armstrong.

So, if you are looking for recommended reads to capture the attention of your Year 3 children, our specially selected reading list has got you covered with books that have been matched to the age, developmental stage and interest level of children in Year 3.

As well as the Y3 booklist below to browse, we’ve also got a printable poster and downloadable checklist for you, and schools can purchase full sets of the books via Peters.

Scroll down to find more purchasing options and printable resources.

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Favourite Storytime Books for Year 3

Peter Brown
Chapter book

If you’re looking for a heartwarming and thought-provoking storytime read, The Wild Robot by Peter Brown is the perfect choice. This highly original story combines themes of technology and nature and is a sure-fire hit in the classroom.

The story follows a curious robot called Roz, who finds herself stranded in the wild on an island. Roz must learn to survive and earn the trust of the island’s animals. This is a beautiful tale of acceptance, friendship and what it means to care about others. With short chapters and lovely illustrations, The Wild Robot is a delightful read for Year 3 and beyond.

Andy Shepherd
 & Sara Ogilvie
Chapter book

The first in a series, this hugely entertaining adventure about a small boy and his pet dragon would make a super read-aloud for lower KS2. Tomas is busy in the garden with Grandad, planning which fruits to grow that might be turned into delicious jams or tarts. When Tomas stumbles across a strange tree with curious-looking fruit, he never expects that what might emerge from the fruit is a real live dragon! This is an adventure that is humorous at every turn, but also full of heart. Tomas is a great positive role model for showing how young people can apply curiosity and creativity to the process of growing and nurturing plants and see ‘magic’ in the course.

Lucy Brandt
 & Gladys Jose
Chapter book

Leonora Bolt Secret Inventor is an entertaining STEM-themed narrative and a great story choice for Year 3 and above. The book follows a young female scientist named Leonora, who is passionate about creating new and ingenious inventions to solve the problems of those around her.  Gladys Jose’s illustrations enhance the storytelling experience, as does the good dose of humour woven through the narrative.

Leonora’s secret workshop serves as the backdrop for her endeavours, which become critical in her confrontations with her invention-stealing uncle. What follows is an imaginative adventure with quick-thinking Leonora using her STEM skills and natural wit to triumph.  Readers who love science and innovation will find this an engaging and entertaining storytime choice.

Jo Clarke
 & Becka Moor
Chapter book

Debut author Jo Clarke makes a triumphant entry to the lower middle-grade market with the start of a new detective adventure series about a travelling school, which will be illustrated by Becka Moor. The series promises adventures in different cities around the globe, and this first one is set in Paris.

The dreamy scenes of the Parisian skyline provide a backdrop for a detective adventure in which macarons are never far from the thoughts of the main characters. If you’ve never had the chance to fall in love with the sights, sounds and tastes of Paris, you will be charmed by the city’s delights after reading this story.

Just the right amount of peril for a younger audience combined with a fun boarding school element and enough clues to keep the predictions rolling makes for a perfect stepping stone into the detective fiction genre for the younger end of the middle-grade market.

The author’s expertise as a librarian and book blogger shines through in hitting just the right spot for the intended age of the book’s audience. With themes of friendship and loyalty, a positive tone and a good sprinkling of fun, the story is likely to be a big hit with lower KS2.

SF Said
 & Dave McKean
Chapter book

Varjak Paw has become a modern classic and an absolute staple of primary school storytimes. The eponymous feline is far from ordinary. Varjak is a Mesopotamian Blue, an exotic and ancient breed descended from the legendary adventurer and hunter, Jalal. As Varjak listens to his grandfather recount the mesmerizing tales of Jalal, the fabled ancestor begins to visit him in his dreams, inspiring the young kitten with his tales of bravery and daring.

But when a malevolent Gentleman and his two vicious black cats arrive on the scene, Varjak’s comfortable life is abruptly overturned. To save himself, his family, and his newfound friends, Varjak must master the long-forgotten Seven Skills in the Way of Jalal. – a sort of martial arts for cats.

This is a story of loyalty, courage and self-belief that will keep readers hooked from beginning to end and of course, it is a must-read for all cat lovers.

Tom Fletcher
 & Shane Devries
Chapter book

An adventure story that fans of Roald Dahl will enjoy. The story revolves around the plight of a girl named Lucy, who has been left distraught after her parents suddenly go missing. Lucy soon finds that all of the children on her street seem to be facing the same fate – with their parents disappearing as well. Consequently, the children embark on a rampage, causing havoc in houses and on the street, throwing toilet paper on trees, and creating a mess everywhere.

Lucy is a natural-born leader as well as an instinctive problem solver. Amid the chaos, Lucy takes it upon herself to investigate and locate the missing parents. In her quest for answers, she discovers a mysterious creature called Woleb from the world of Creakers, hidden under her bed. The strange state of the world she discovers leads her to wonder if the Creakers are responsible for the parents’ disappearance.

Lucy teams up with Norman Quirk, a smart and organized boy with multiple scout badges, to formulate a plan to rescue their parents.  Lucy Dungston is a likeable character whose curiosity and determination drive the story forward. Norman Quirk’s sharp wit and intelligence make him an excellent addition to the team. A thrilling adventure follows as the pair try to uncover the truth behind the strange happenings.

Most children have wondered at some time or other if there is another world under their bed, and this story makes a light-hearted fantasy out of a common fear. A brave adventure story coupled with likeable characters and good clean humour makes this a popular choice with Year 3 at storytime.


Torben Kuhlmann

How do you convince your friends that the moon is not made of cheese? Be the first to venture into space and prove it of course! Armstrong is a captivating and compelling work of beauty. It centres around a determined little mouse who is eager to discover the secrets of the universe and to become the first creature to step onto the surface of the moon. Inspired by a mysterious invitation, Armstrong leaves boxes of pecorino behind him and arrives at the Smithsonian. Here he is amazed and inspired by the heroic mice who have ventured before him in their flying machines. Later, Armstrong sneaks himself into university so that he might learn and discover all that humans know. He never allows his diminutive size to hold him back and he uses courage and determination to achieve his lunar dream.

Through the character of a persevering mouse, children will learn about the obstacles and challenges of space travel. They will also understand the power of resilience and fortitude as Armstrong never gives up hope that he will succeed. This is a book that has appeal on so many levels: it’s a gorgeous picturebook with exquisite illustrations, perfect for sharing; it has bags of potential for linking to a unit in school about space travel and it shouts out loud the importance of aspiration, imagination, perseverance and resilience.

Classic Books for Year 3

E. B. White
 & Garth Williams
Chapter book
A poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl. Wilbur the pig's life has already been saved by Fern, but when he is sold to her uncle, he realises his life is in even more danger. Enter Charlotte A. Cavatica, a beautiful large grey spider. Charlotte is determined to keep Wilbur from the chopping block, and comes up with an ingenious way to do just that.
Ted Hughes
 & Chris Mould
Chapter book
As you'd expect from a former Poet Laureate, this story about a mysterious metal giant who befriends a farm boy is gorgeously written and hauntingly strange. The origins of the Iron Man are never fully explained - he just arrives one night, starts feasting on farm equipment, and after some initial misgivings is accepted into the local community. The book was retitled The Iron Giant in America (so as not to confuse the readers of Marvel comics), and was later turned into a really lovely animated film.
Jill Murphy
Chapter book
Hold on to your broomstick for magical mayhem with Jill Murphy's much-loved classic The Worst Witch- the original story of life at a magical boarding school.Mildred Hubble is a trainee at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches, but she's making an awful mess of it.She keeps getting her spells wrong and crashing her broomstick. And when she turns Ethel, the teacher's pet into her worst enemy, chaos ensues...

Recommended Funny Books for Year 3

Steven Butler
 & Steven Lenton
Chapter book
Welcome to The Nothing to See Here Hotel! A hotel for magical creatures, where weird is normal for Frankie Banister and his parents who run the hotel. When a goblin messenger arrives at The Nothing to See Here Hotel, announcing the imminent arrival of the goblin prince Grogbah, Frankie and his family rush into action to get ready for their important guest. But it soon becomes obvious that the Banister family are going to have their work cut out with the demanding prince and his never-ending entourage, especially when it turns out the rude little prince is hiding a secret... The first book in a fabulously funny series by bestselling author Steven Butler, with a host of whacky characters brought to life with illustration from the wonderful Steven Lenton !
Philip Reeve
 & Sarah McIntyre
Chapter book

If you are looking for something to read that is fast-paced and humorous, this laugh-out-loud adventure story is the one for you! This is the whacky tale of cabin boy Shen and his friend Sika, who together with a motley crew of pugs enter an exciting race through vast and varied Arctic landscapes. This exciting and amusing tale is a great story to read aloud.

Sam Copeland
 & Sarah Horne
Chapter book
Charlie McGuffin has an incredible secret . . . He can change into animals. All sorts of animals: a flea, a pigeon, even a rhino. Trouble is, he can't decide when - it only happens when he gets worried. And right now, Charlie has quite a lot to worry about: * His brother (who is in hospital) * His parents (who are panicking about it) * And the school bully (who has Charlie in his sights) And even though every kid wants a superhero power, Charlie isn't keen on changing into a chicken in the middle of the school play. So with the help of his three best friends, Charlie needs to find a way of dealing with his crazy new power - and fast!
Philippa Gregory
 & Chris Chatterton
Chapter book
Princess Florizella may live in a classic fairy-tale world, but she’s no ordinary princess…This third volume in THE PRINCESS RULES series sees the feisty princess take her baby brother and best friend, Bennett, on another round of adventures together.Can they rescue their new-found friend the sea serpent from a travelling circus? And hold back the pirate, Five-fathom Freida. Or will Florizella’s worst fairygodmother prove that in a fairytale world, you really do have to be careful what you wish for?…
Pamela Butchart
 & Thomas Flintham
Chapter book
Hilarious, illustrated school-based antics where everything that happens leads to DRAMA and RUNNING AROUND and even some FAINTING! Izzy and her friends are on a school trip to a big lake. Gary Petrie is excited because the lodges where they're staying have ROBES AND SLIPPERS! The lake is dark and deep and a bit scary. But it's when they open their packed lunches that they know! There's a MONSTER in the lake and it's coming for their CRISPS! Laugh-out-loud fun from Blue Peter Award winners Pamela Butchart and Thomas Flintham.

Animal Stories for Year 3

Jess Butterworth
 & Kirsti Beautyman
Chapter book
Do you like exploring, animals and adventure? Then join The Adventure Club this summer! A brand new illustrated series for younger readers about animals and adventure from much-loved author Jess Butterworth - writer of classic adventure stories in vibrantly described settings. Tilly has no plans for the summer holidays and is dreading months of boredom -- that is until she becomes part of The Adventure Club and wins a place to go track and monitor endangered red pandas in Nepal! In the Himalayas, she meets other members of the club, rides on yaks, plants a bamboo forest and even spots the secretive red panda. But then the red panda Tilly and her team has been monitoring disappears. Will Tilly be able to help find it, or will her first ever adventure end in disaster? Packed full of illustrations and set as Tilly's own diary, this new series is perfect for young readers who are beginning to read on their own.
Michael Morpurgo
 & Benji Davies
Chapter book

Originally published in November 2020, this month sees the gorgeous new paperback edition of The Puffin Keeper by Michael Morpurgo and Benji Davies.

The Puffin Keeper is a beautiful story of friendship, love, family, hope and new beginnings, which pays homage to memories of family holidays to the Scilly Isles and is set alongside Benji Davies’ colour illustrations that evoke the untamed coastal setting, the character’s passion for painting and the value of passing time in bringing relationships to blossom through life’s differing seasons. The story was also a tribute to Puffin Books on their 80th birthday and is inspired by the founder of Puffin Books, Allen Page. Interestingly, Morpurgo’s wife Claire is one of Allen Page’s daughters and the real-life family connection gives an added element of depth and breath to the story.

The book tells the story of a young boy named Allen and the friendship he forges with solitary Benjamin Postlethwaite, the lighthouse keeper who saves his life. The ship that Allen and 30 others are sailing on becomes washed up on some rocks near the lighthouse, Benjamin saves them all and give them shelter until help can come. Although he doesn’t have much to say, Benjamin and Allen sow the seeds of a friendship that will last a lifetime.

As years go by, Allen grows up and seeks out Benjamin. He returns to Puffin Island and rekindles his friendship with Benjamin, who is feeling unwanted as he no longer has the job of keeping the lighthouse going. Together, they rescue an injured puffin and nurse it back to health. Over time, the puffin returns and brings more puffins to the island. Thus Benjamin becomes known as the puffin keeper.

This story is so beautiful and heart-warming and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It will appeal to readers of all ages, although at just over 100 pages it sits well among Morpurgo’s much-treasured shorter illustrated stories like The Rainbow Bear and Dolphin Boy, which are well loved for capturing hearts in KS1 and lower KS2 classrooms before readers progress onto the author’s lengthier chapter books. There is also an accompanying Resource Pack available to download.

Ben Fogle, Steve Cole
 & Nikolas Ilic
Chapter book
A brand new young fiction series by TV broadcaster and intrepid explorer Ben Fogle, inspired by his real-life animal experiences…Co-written with best-selling children’s author Steve Cole.When Mr Dog meets a reckless young wildcat called Angus in the woods he soon makes an important discovery – a whole group of exotic animals are being held in captivity.Mr Dog wants to help them – but will Angus charge in and turn a rescue into a kitten catastrophe?
Holly Webb
 & Ellie Snowdon
Chapter book
Ruby's dad has arrived home with a wonderful surprise - Coco the sausage dog puppy! And when the family go on holiday to the seaside, of course Coco will be coming too. The beach is a thrilling place for a dog - so many sights, smells and holes to dig! Ruby and Coco can't wait to spend the day splashing in the waves and playing in the sand. But disaster strikes when Coco disappears. Suddenly she's lost and all alone on the huge, busy beach ... Will she ever find her way back to Ruby? Worldwide bestseller Holly Webb makes her Barrington Stoke debut with a truly adorable sausage-dog tale!
Helen Peters
 & Ellie Snowdon
Chapter book
The fourteenth in a fantastic series of animal stories for younger readers by Waterstones Children's Book Prize-shortlisted author Helen Peters, with beautiful black-and-white illustrations by Ellie Snowdon.Jasmine's dad is a farmer, and her mum is a vet, so Jasmine spends a lot of time caring for animals and keeping them out of trouble. Unfortunately, this often means she gets into hot water herself...It's not easy rescuing two frightened pet rabbits, but once they're safe on the farm, Jasmine only has to find their owner. But Clover is an expert at escaping and soon she's on the loose again. Can Jasmine track her down before she runs into trouble she can't escape?Brilliant storytelling that will make you laugh and cry, this is Dick King-Smith for a new generation. Perfect for readers aged seven and up.

Popular Independent Reads for Year 3

Sophy Henn
Chapter book
The fifth book in the SUPER (like, actually, with powers and stuff) new series for readers aged 7+ from the amazingly talented illustrator and author Sophy Henn! Brimming with Sophy's hilarious illustrations, this is the perfect read for fans of Dork Diaries, Tom Gates, Amelia Fang, Wimpy Kid and Dog Man.BEING A SUPERHERO IS THE BEST THING EVER, RIGHT? WRONG!Everyone’s favourite 9¾-year-old reluctant superhero is back, and she’s facing her biggest challenge yet . . . EVERYONE (and EVERYTHING)! Will it all prove too much? Will Pizazz manage to keep using her powers for good? Or will this push her over the edge to . . . THE DARK SIDE?
Andy Griffiths
 & Terry Denton
Chapter book
The 13-Storey Treehouse is the first book in Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton's wacky treehouse adventures, where the laugh-out-loud story is told through a combination of text and fantastic cartoon-style illustrations.Andy and Terry live in the WORLD'S BEST treehouse! It's got a giant catapult, a secret underground laboratory, a tank of man-eating sharks and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and shoots marshmallows into your mouth whenever you're hungry! Just watch out for the flying cats, or the mermaids, or the sea monsters pretending to be mermaids, or the giant mutant mermaid sea monster. Oh, and, whatever you do, don't get trapped in a burp-gas-filled bubble . . .
Alastair Chisholm
 & Eric Deschamps & Ben Mantle
Chapter book
The first book in a thrilling, magical, and action-packed new fantasy series, illustrated throughout and perfect for 7 - 9 year olds.In the land of Draconis, there are no dragons.Once, there were. Once, humans and dragons were friends, and created the great city of Rivven together.But then came the Dragon Storm, and the dragons retreated from the world of humans.To the men and women of Draconis, they became legends and myth.Tomas has always been told that now, dragons are extinct, and so he can't believe it when a mysterious stranger invites him to join a secret society, the Dragonseer Guild - and tells him that not only do dragons still exist, but also that Tomas has a very special power... he can summon his very own dragon!But Tomas faces a difficult choice, and he and his dragon, Ironskin, must learn to trust each other - and together, they have to save their home from a deadly threat.
Simon Mugford
 & Dan Green

The perfect book for any football fan! Simon Mugford’s informative text set alongside Dan Green’s fun and realistic illustrations makes for an engaging read that will leave children knowing a lot more about Mo Salah.

The text is formatted in a highly visual and easy-to-read way so that it can engage a range of children, including readers embarking on their first chapter books as well as older reluctant readers. Small chunks of text are interspersed with key stats and tables throughout that will engage football fans.

There is also a free-to-download pack of Teachers’ Notes and Activities to accompany the series. 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 growing series of ‘Football Superstars’ books, showcasing the best modern-day footballers around. We highly recommended this series to newly independent readers or reluctant readers in KS2.  The books in the series lend themselves well to being collected, swapped and shared like football cards. Many children know snippets about these players but these books provide a detailed insight into every aspect of the footballer’s life.

Ross Montgomery
 & Marisa Morea
Chapter book
A thwarted thespian must use his talents to save his flock from a woolly situation in this hilarious gem from bestselling children’s author Ross Montgomery.William the lamb just can’t stand still. His feet are always tapping, ready to dance, and he loves nothing more than bursting into song. But his talents aren’t always appreciated at Sheep School. Cast out of the flock, he wanders miserably away only to witness the rest of the sheep being captured by the Big Bad Wolf. Can William find a way to put his artistic skills to use to save the day?

Katie & Kevin Tsang
 & Amy Nguyen

The story of gadget-loving Suzie Wen, who finds herself on a laugh-out-loud adventure exploring space and who is ultimately tasked with saving the universe.

Full of illustrations and reader-friendly, short chapters, this book would be a great addition to a lower key stage 2 classroom as part of a class library. Easy to read and set in space, it is bound to be a popular book with children.

It is lovely to see the representation of a friendship that is not formed quickly or easily, with the characters overcoming jealousy and insecurity to work together. It provides great opportunities for discussion around this topic and the challenges friendships can pose or face.

It is also great to see the inclusion of scientific enquiry approaches – something that isn’t found very often in books for this age level. The book could support discussions in the classroom about fair testing and how to complete a scientific enquiry.

Vashti Hardy
Chapter book

This is the third book in the Harley Hitch series and it works as a standalone. Harley is an excellent role model, as a girl who is into STEM and fascinated by subjects such as palaeontology. She is smart and ecologically aware – and also has great hair!

Children who are starting on their reading journeys often love finding series they can devour and the Harley Hitch books entirely fit the bill. And just because it is aimed at younger readers does not mean they are talked down to – Vashti Hardy uses some great words (‘prodigious’ springs to mind), it is just a shorter and simpler story. The world-building is both imaginative and contains humour. Iron Regis was my particular favourite place name!  Everything is almost like reality, but not quite. George Ermos’s illustrations are lively and amusing and perfectly fit the story. Harley with her purple (sorry, violet) hair springs to life on the page, and the book has an almost cartoon-like quality. In fact, this would make an excellent animated series as it entirely lends itself to visual representation.

Graphic Novels for Year 3

Dav Pilkey
Graphic Novel
Howl with laughter with the FIRST book in the hilarious full-colour illustrated series, Dog Man, from the creator of Captain Underpants! George and Harold (the co-stars of the enormously popular Captain Underpants series) are in big trouble again!George and Harold have created a new breed of justice -- one that is part dog, part man, and ALL HERO!With the head of a dog and the body of a human, this heroic hound digs into deception, claws after crooks, rolls over robbers, and scampers after squirrels.Will he be able to resist the call of the wild to answer the call of duty?
Thomas Flintham
Graphic Novel

Press Start! is a series of books aimed at readers who are ready for their first chapter books or those who feel overwhelmed by longer chapter books.

‘Game On, Super Rabbit Boy’ is set in the game of Super Rabbit Boy Land, a platform game that is activated when the boy in the story presses start. For this book, Super Rabbit Boy has to save Singing Dog who has been captured by the game’s main enemy, King Viking. Once he starts the rescue, he is faced with the challenge of successfully completing six levels of increasing difficulty with only limited lives. As the game progresses, failure occurs and Super Rabbit Boy has to learn from his errors as he restarts a level. He has to remember what he has learned, apply his new knowledge, overcome his fears and go for the win. Not only must Super Rabbit Boy not give up, but nor should the boy who is playing the game – the theme of resilience and perseverance is very strong and would suit classroom conversations about not giving up.

Children who love gaming would very likely be attracted to the book – it reflects the visual style of Minecraft of Roblox, but it will appeal to a wide audience because of the level of detail, bright colours and range of illustrations page after page. The speech bubbles, relatively simple sentences, repetition and short paragraphs will make this work well as an independent reader for the more confident, as well as a shared reader.

Phil Corbett
Graphic Novel
Dog Man meets the Lord of the Rings in this laugh-out-loud graphic novel debut about two aspiring adventurers who face off against startling ghosts, rampaging monsters and bumbling wizards! This is the perfect new read for fans of Captain Underpants, Dog Man and The Simpsons ! Woolfrik and Perigold are two down-on-their-luck cats in need of some extra cash, so they've decided to become professional monster slayers - except they don't know the first thing about it! So when a huge beast starts rampaging through the town, they are put to the ultimate test. But the monster is just the beginning of their worries, because someone even more troublesome is pulling its strings. So even though they've never been in a battle - or even gone on a real quest before - it's up to these cats to save the day and prove they've got what it takes to be heroes.
Joe Todd Stanton
Graphic Novel
This highly appealing text is a hybrid between picture book and graphic novel. It follows the story of young Arthur, who embarks upon a quest to seek out the help of the Viking gods in relighting a fire before the villagers back home freeze to death. In return for their help, Thor sets his own quest for Arthur to complete. A highly engaging book that offers an introduction to Norse mythology.
Mike Barfield
 & Jess Bradley

This colourful, cartoon-style reference book brings facts to life with humour and fun illustrations. Following on from the enormous success of its award-winning predecessors, this latest book in the ‘Day in the Life Of..’ series is packed full of information and facts about space, presented in an entertaining comic style that is a joy to read.

Readers will enjoy the variety of scientific information, which felt like a balanced view of different areas including science, technology, astrology and the history of space travel. This would be a great book for children who love a highly visual element to what they read. Readers could dip in and out of the various topics individually, or teachers could choose sections to share as a class when exploring related topics. When added to a classroom library, this series is sure to be in high demand during independent reading time. 

Recommended Picturebooks for Year 3

Elys Dolan
Mr Bunny is back... and this time he's running for mayor. Coop Town needs some urgent repairs-and Mr Bunny is promising to make it great again. At first, the chicken electorate is wowed by Mr Bunny's promises of new chocolate houses, new chocolate parks, new chocolate swimming pools-as well as his bold claim that chocolate will repel hungry foxes. But what will happen when the truth comes home to roost?
The Fan Brothers
From the creators of The Night Gardener , comes a stunning new picture book about a young boy who sets sail to find a place his grandfather told him about... the spot where the ocean meets the sky. It's a good day for sailing. Finn lives by the sea and the sea lives by him. Every time he looks out his window it's a constant reminder of the stories his grandfather told him about the place where the ocean meets the sky. Where whales and jellyfish soar and birds and castles float. Finn's grandfather is gone now but Finn knows the perfect way to honor him. He'll build his own ship and sail out to find this magical place himself! And when he arrives, maybe, just maybe, he'll find something he didn't know he was looking for.
Dan Santat
Graphic Novel
We've all heard about Humpty Dumpty's catastrophic fall, but what about how he got back up again? In this humorous picture book, Humpty Dumpty recounts his brave and arduous journey back up to the top of the wall again. We like the way in which this cleverly illustrated story acknowledges that things go wrong sometimes but that it can be our individual response to such misfortunate that often harvests resilience and hatches us into something stronger than ever before.
Angela Mcallister & Grahame Baker-Smith
Wanting to prove to his brothers and sister that magic really exists, Leon volunteers to be in Abdul Kazam's magic show and gets transported to a mysterious world. Filled with rabbits, doves, playing cards and magician's assistants - among other things - if a magician can make it disappear, it will end up in the Place Between! When Leon returns, not only do his brothers and sister believe, but we do too. With diecut holes into and out of the Place Between, the reader takes a journey right through the pages of the book, into the mysterious world of Grahame Baker-Smith's breath-taking illustrations.
Mac Barnett
 & Jim Klassen

This retelling of The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Mac Barnett is humorous and engaging in equal measure. The tone is set within the first few pages with disgusting troll details which children will love, like scraping ear wax and goop from his belly button. The story keeps to the traditional aspects of the tale at the same time as modernising it too. There is repetition of key phrases but with a focus on different ways of eating the goat, including curried or poached goat. The biggest twist of the story comes at the time the third goat is introduced and this is where discussion can be explored with children around the alternative ending. The illustrations by Jon Klassen are a darker take than many of this tale but would give lots of opportunity for discussion, especially around the appearance of the troll. I believe children will enjoy this version as although it does keep the same structure of the more traditional versions, the language used and the illustrations make this a very different version of this classic tale.

Sophia Payne
 & Sandhya Prabhat

There’s so much to like about this colourful picturebook: the lively illustrations, including endpapers; the different fonts which are almost as expressive as the text and conjure up beautifully the scents and sounds of Caribbean culture, the warmth conveyed by artful storytelling, warmth which derives from Faruq’s relationship with the characters who shape his culinary (and boyhood) journey; not to mention the addition of a recipe for lime cookies.

This is a story to make your mouth and your eyes water – as if witness to the work of cooking up a sumptuous family feast and then finding yourself invited too. It’s a book that lends itself to being read aloud in class or at home (and even more so if the dialect sounds authentic). It would also work well in a nurture group setting, allowing the children a hand at making some of the food and as a celebration of different cultures.

Anita Ganeri
 & Margaux Carpentier
Non-fiction Picturebook

The Story of Chico Mendes is a story that is perfect for children in KS2 learning about rainforests, as well as inspirational figures who have changed the world for the better.

Chico Mendes is a hero that everyone should know about. Chico was a rubber tapper who stood up for his community and the importance of preserving the Amazon rainforest. Being an environmental activist, Chico worked tirelessly to help others and was recognised for his efforts by being awarded for his work towards protecting the rainforests by multiple countries. Tragically, Chico was murdered whilst working for this cause due to his efforts to support the rubber tappers, waking up the world to the plight of the rainforest destruction and protesting about the clearing of the forest.

Each page features beautiful coloured illustrations to support the text in each section. It is a recommendable book for use in sharing why it is important to protect the rainforests and also about highlighting the difference one person can make. There are plenty of interesting Amazon rainforest facts and a supporting glossary with technical language.

This is a special book to be shared with a class and an excellent addition to rainforest topic texts or classroom libraries.

Recommended Poetry for Year 3

Joshua Seigal
 & Sarah Horne
Joshua Seigal, winner of the 2020 Laugh Out Loud Book Awards, brings his raucous humour, creativity and wit to another brilliant collection of poems. Ideal for fans of Michael Rosen, this book will delight all young readers and fans of funny books. From hilarious to heartfelt poems - and everything in between - this collection offers something for everyone. Discover the eight steps for having a successful tantrum, and why you should NEVER attend a Teddy Bear's Picnic (you have been warned). Packed full of fun illustrations by Sarah Horne, and covering a range of imaginative topics, Yapping Away is the perfect follow-up to Joshua Seigal's prize-winning collection I Bet I Can Make You Laugh. Ideal for children as young as 3 to read with adults, or for children aged 5-7 to read by themselves.
Joseph Coelho
 & Daniel Gray-Barnett
From the fantastic duo behind Poems Aloud and Smile Out Loud comes another compendium of 25 original confidence-building poems to read out loud which will show children that their voice has FANTASTIC power.From multi-award winning poet and Waterstones Children's Laureate Joseph Coelho comes 25 more brilliant, sparkling and truly original poems for children, specially written to help build confidence, develop speaking skills and help foster self-belief.The collection contains mantras to be true to yourself, to help you feel brave, project happiness, conjure a smile, make you laugh or cheer others up. Some are odes, some can be said as personal mantras or just poems that instil confidence and help children realise the power of their voices.Reading these poems aloud will teach children the power of a poem, encouraging them to explore the magic of language and foster a love of verse.
Brian Moses
 & Ed Boxall

This is a quirky, fun collection of poems from the brilliant Brian Moses. Covering topics as diverse as the eponymous komodo dragons to earwigs, vampires and librarians, there is a poem here to suit everyone. Some are crying out to be read aloud – such as Bang a Drum- while others, like The Moment, are worth reading quietly and savouring. Some will make you think (Custodian), and others will make you giggle (Labrador). Some rhyme, some don’t. My personal favourites have to be Lost in a Book and Librarians – celebrating the power of stories and the value of having someone to guide you through them. With a poem for every occasion, this book of poems is sure to be a hit in any classroom from Key Stage 1 upwards, whether it is used for reading for pleasure or as a basis for writing poetry.

Recommended Non-Fiction Books for Year 3

Andy Seed
 & Nick East

A hilarious books of animal interviews with underwater creatures, from ocean giants like blue whales and orcas to deep-sea dwellers like anglerfish and conger eels. The interviewer quizzes his oceanic guests on life in the deep blue sea – from what they eat and how they swim, to dangers they face and where their names come from. True to style, Andy Seed packs a lot of humour into the interviews and the creatures’ personalities shine through hilariously. The Q&A format breaks the information into bite-size chunks, making it a brilliant choice of book for readers to dip into at their leisure and to find some interesting facts to take away each time they do. With lively colour illustrations by Nick East, this is a highly enjoyable information book that will be sure to make a splash with readers in lower KS2.

Charlotte Guillian
 & Yuval Zommer

A beautiful fold-out book that showcases the wonders of the earth beneath our feet and one with real wow-factor. We recently used it to introduce Class 3’s ‘Under Our Feet’ topic and there were gasps from the children. Sublimely illustrated, its concertina-style pages fold out into a long cross-section of the Earth: in one side and out the other. It contains a wealth of information about geology and science, and opportunities for further questions from curious young minds. Just stunning.

Lucy Letherland

The first thing that strikes you about this book is the size and weight of it. As an almost A3 sized and hardback book, it is akin to opening up a chest of treasures for a child reading it and it does indeed contain details of treasures from all around the world.

The book is dedicated to exploring around the globe. It is split into a section for each continent and takes the reader on an expedition to see superb sights from around the globe – both natural and man-made – from elephants bathing in Chiang Mai, Carnival time in Brazil or canoe trips down the Zambezi River.

Each double-page spread features a beautiful illustration of the featured adventure accompanied by a section of text explaining its significance and geography. The style of writing is engaging to children and addresses the reader directly. In addition to this, there are smaller chunks of text dotted around the illustration, each of which shares fascinating facts about the place and people associated with it. The language used is accessible but will also expand the children’s vocabulary.

This book is likely to inspire child-led learning as the information and engaging style leave readers in KS2 feeling like well-travelled global citizens and wanting to find out more about the places, animals and people featured. 

Dominic Walliman
 & Ben Newman
Professor Astro Cat is much loved in schools for non-fiction guides relating to space, atoms, human bodies and deep-sea voyages. Frontiers of Space was first published in 2013 as the starting book in the series and is now back with a new edition featuring eight new spreads and updated details about how rockets work, recent missions to Mars, space junk, black holes, and many more new insights into the ever-developing science of space and the outer reaches of the universe. There's something new to learn about on every page. Fictional guide Professor Astro Cat walks his readers through some of the key questions that children might have about the universe, and many more that they've probably never even thought about before. Where does our sun go at night? What are stars made of? If the Earth was a cherry tomato, what size would the other planets be (hint: Mars would be a pea and Jupiter a watermelon). This is a beautifully designed non-fiction book with illustrations by an artist whose use of bold shapes and retro colours draws readers right in to enjoy soaking up the information. Each page has plenty of varied and interesting information to read and - coupled with the quality, durable feel of the book - the purchase of this text is a good investment as readers are likely to get a lot out of each sitting and still be left with plenty to come back and discover. If you have yet to fall in love with the Astro Cat series, this is a great place to start.
A vibrant encyclopedia that combines facts and figures with the inspiring stories of sporting legends and icons.This exciting book for children is packed with fun facts about a range of popular sports such as football, karate, badminton, and skiing, as well as ones you might never have heard of like biathlon or cheese rolling. Whether you're a fan of team sports, winter sports, water sports, extreme sports, and even board games such as chess and go, this reference book has it all!My Encyclopedia of Very Important Sport also celebrates the unique talents, lives, and careers of sporting heroes such as Usain Bolt, Serena Williams, Yuna Kim, Lin Dan, and Donald Bradman, and chronicles the most celebrated stories in sporting history, such as breaking the Four-minute mile, Nadia Comaneci's Perfect 10, and Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics. Featuring everything from obscure rules and strange equipment, to moments of triumph and sporting events like The World Cup, Superbowl, Olympics, Paralympics, and more - this is the perfect compendium for budding superstars everywhere.

David Long
 & Harry Bloom

A treasure trove of information about Ancient Egypt presented in a seek-and-find format, with a magnifying glass included (because “every Egyptologist needs a magnifying glass”). This fun and interactive book includes 16 scenes depicting daily life for the Ancient Egyptians, each with hundreds of miniature cartoon-style figures going about their daily activities. Readers familiar with the Where’s Wally? books will dive right in without hesitation as they search for different characters, animals, symbols and objects that all build up to create a detailed picture of different aspects of life in Ancient Egypt.

Dara McAnulty
 & Barry Falls
Join brilliant young naturalist Dara McAnulty - winner of the 2020 Wainwright Prize for his book Diary of a Young Naturalist and author of Wild Child! - on a journey through a year in the life of birds. A Wild Child's Book of Birds is a fantastic nature book, illustrated in full colour by Barry Falls.This beautiful, informative book takes you through a year in the life of the birds you will find in Britain and Ireland and is divided into four sensational seasonal sections. Find out what birds do in each season, learn about birdsong, beaks, nests and eggs, the science of flight, migration, what to grow to attract different birds to your garden and what foods to put out on your bird table. Learn about different ways of recording what you see and about birds in literature. There are sections on birds of prey and corvids too.
Isabel Thomas
 & Dawn Cooper
Did you know that the world's biggest tongue belongs to the blue whale? Or that the snub-nosed monkey's nostrils point upwards, and when it rains it makes them sneeze? From paws to claws, tongues, teeth, tails and more, compare the biggest and the smallest animals (and all the others in between) in this illustrated exploration of creatures and their features.Includes stunning 'UP CLOSE' pages, which take a life-size look at a particular feature of two very different animals. See the mighty elephant's trunk (it can grow as long as a bathtub!) and compare it to the sensitive snout of an elephant shrew. Study the bristly tongue of a penguin and see how different it is to the stretchy, long tongue of a salamander.Written by science writer and children's book author Isabel Thomas, with beautiful illustrations by Dawn Cooper, this absorbing book will delight and educate young animal lovers aged 6+.

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Guidance: About the Year 3 Booklist

What books do Year 3 children read?

Year 3 children like books that entertain them and help them to understand the world around them. Year 3 teachers like to provide pupils with reading-for-pleasure choices designed to entertain and delight as well as books that open up a host of new worlds to curious children. Books provide children of this age group with opportunities to stretch their imagination as well as to consider what life might be like in a myriad of different settings and situations.

Children in Year 3 often enjoy stories about the lives of other people, like STEM-loving Leonora Bolt or the intergenerational coastal adventure in The Puffin Keeper. Stories like this can help children to develop empathy and understand emotionswhile at the same time increasing children’s language skills and vocabulary.

Animals stories are hugely popular choices in Year 3 too, and many children of this age enjoy wildlife rescue adventures like Zoe’s Rescue Zoo and Red Panda Rescue, or stories about talking animals with their own secret lives, like the classroom storytime favourite Varjak Paw.

Funny books like Charlie Changes into a Chicken are very popular with this year group, as are short chapter books with highly illustrated elements like The 13 Storey Treehouse or A Monster Ate My Packed Lunch. Many parents and teachers report that books like this, with high image-to-text ratio and plenty of humour, are the ones that first hook their Year 3 children into reading independently.

In addition to independent reading, story time with adults remains important and treasured in Year 3, too – both at home and in the classroom. With shared storytimes, Year 3 children can handle more complex narratives or more deeply emotive tales that can be discussed together with adults, including true classics like Charlotte’s Web or books that touch on wider social or environmental themes, like The Wild Robot.

Should children read to themselves in Year 3?

Year 3 is a great age to encourage children to be reading independently and is often considered the year when independent reading really begins to take off, as long as the right books are available.

At the ages of 7 and 8, many children have learned to read short books by themselves and begin to exercise greater freedom of choice over their independent reads at school and home. Furthermore, research shows that reading for pleasure in childhood is a more powerful indicator of future educational attainment than parental socioeconomic status. In order to facilitate the enjoyment of reading, getting the right book into the right child’s hands at the right time is the key. 

Many children looking for independent reads in Year 3 first gravitate towards highly illustrated short books like Press Start! or graphic novels like Kitty Quest, while others simply love a story with entertaining characters like Pugs of the Frozen North or Pizazz.

Every reader develops differently and some children will not quite be ready for the leap into independent reading yet. Where this is the case, keep providing plenty of opportunities to enjoy shared reading or storytime with trusted adults or older siblings is the best thing to do. Some books lend themselves brilliantly to being shared together, like the search-and-find Egypt Magnified or the fold-out non-fiction with wow factor, The Street Beneath My Feet.

Try to make available plenty of books to freely browse during independent times, too – even if the words are not all being read, remember that books can still be enjoyed in a myriad of wonderful ways.

Which are the best books for Year 3?

Year 3 children should be given the opportunity to choose from different styles, genres and formats. Make the most of library trips to find new books to read, or use our checklists and school bookpacks to help guide choices.

Our team has carefully selected a range of books especially picked for encouraging reading for pleasure in Year 3, both as independent book choices and for texts to be read aloud by an adult. Some of the stories in the collection will be especially appealing to children looking for an illustrated chapter book series, such as the Nothing to See Here Hotel series, the stem-themed Harley Hitch series and the Princess Rules books, which all have memorable characters and frequent visual elements to break up the text. A number of stories in the collection are brilliant choices for making children laugh out loud, like the Pugs of the Frozen North or Charlie Changes into a Chicken.

Other stories chosen for our Year 3 booklist are more tender-hearted and thought-provoking. We love Andy Shepherd’s story The Boy Who Grew Dragons, all about a young boy who finds a baby dragon hatching from a ‘dragon-fruit’ tree in the garden, or Peter Brown’s popular storytime choice The Wild Robot, which explores themes of technology and nature. Animal lovers will be drawn towards the feline world of Varjak Paw or to Michael Morpurgo’s poignant story of life-changing animal-to-human friendship in The Puffin Keeper. Not all of the stories on the list are longer reads – for excellent picturebook choices suitable for Year 3, we recommend the completely magical Leon and the Place Between or the stunningly illustrated Ocean Meets Sky  More picturebooks for this age group can be found on our separate Lower KS2 Picturebooks booklist.

If you are looking for classic stories, you’ll find on our list some real favourites suitable for children aged 7-8, like Ted Hughes’ thrilling and mysterious story of The Iron Man or the poignant farmyard tale of friendship, courage and loss in Charlotte’s Web. Other stories in the collection are part of a much newer series, such as the fantasy Dragon Storm series, or Jo Clarke’s macaron-filled mystery Libby and the Parisian Puzzle.

You’ll find a variety of genres and formats included on our recommended Year 3 reading list, from poetry collections like Joshua Seigal’s giggle-worthy Yapping Away to the empowering illustrated poetry collection Courage Out Loud, penned by children’s laureate Joseph Coelho. We’ve also included some graphic novel-style stories, such as Arthur and the Golden Rope and Kitty Quest. If you are looking for a short chapter book for an ideal first step into independent reading, try Holly Webb’s sausage-dog seaside story The Beach Puppy or Ross Montgomery’s brilliantly funny Sheep School. For more ideas, be sure to check out our separate booklist listing recommended First Chapter Books.

What are the best non-fiction books for Year 3?

When choosing information books for Year 3, look for highly illustrated non-fiction texts with smaller chunks of text. Non-fiction books that are particularly well-suited to readers aged 7 and 8 include the comic-style fact book An Astronaut, Mars and the Distant Stars, DK’s inspiring Encyclopedia of Very Important Sport and Yuval Zommer’s beautifully illustrated The Street Beneath My Feet, which provides a real wow-factor to shared reading experiences with its 2.5 metre fold-out spread.

If you are looking for books themed around a particular topic, head over to our KS2 topic booklists.

Where can I purchase the books on the BooksForTopics Year 3 booklist?

What other booklists for children in Y3 are available?

We offer a selection of resources and booklists catered to the age and stage of 7 and 8 year olds. To explore children’s books centred around popular Year 3 curriculum topics such as Stone Age to Iron Age topic texts, recommended books about Rocks & Soils or stories about Rainforests, or those that align with common interests such as animal stories or children’s space books, browse through the BooksForTopics KS2 topic booklists.

At this age, children usually establish a fondness for a particular series or author. To help parents and teachers discover new story characters that children might adore, our Branching Out booklists featuring a variety of books will come in handy. – including stories for fans of Beast Quest, books similar to David Walliams’ stories and more books like Dog Man.

Not everybody is ready for longer chapter book stories at this stage of Year 3 and some children will thrive on alternative formats. Take a look at our Lower KS2 Graphic Novels booklist or our selection of first chapter books featuring very short or colour-illustrated options for newly independent readers. Y3 children who have not yet caught the reading bug might like our booklist for reluctant readers aged 7-9 or our Top-Notch non-fiction booklist for more options to appeal to different types of readers.  Similarly, more advanced Year 3 readers can look ahead with our list of Recommended Reads for Year 4.

For children’s books showcasing a broader range of characters, cultures and experiences, our collection of Diverse and Inclusive Books for Lower KS2 is recommended for parents and educators seeking diversity and inclusivity.

Finally, we have a number of booklists in our KS2 PSHE collection designed to support the emotional well-being of children in this age group. Head over to our Mental Health Awareness booklist, our list of anti-bullying books, our selection of stories to develop Emotional Literacy or get ready for the next class move with our booklist for class transitions.

Can I download a printable version of the Year 3 Booklist?

All of our Year Group Recommended Read lists come with a printable poster and checklist. Schools are very welcome to display the posters or to share the printable resources with their community.

Printable Poster – Best Year 3 Books PDF

y3 recommended reading list poster

Printable Checklist – Best Year 3 Books PDF

y3 recommended reading list checklist

Where can I find recommended reading lists for other primary school year groups?

In addition to the Year 3 booklist, you can also find more primary year group reading lists right here! BooksForTopics is a reliable source for discovering recommended books for each Year Group. Our team of experts at BooksForTopics has meticulously curated a selection of top-quality books appropriate for each primary year group, with input and evaluation from our school-based Review Panel. Each booklist includes 50 recommended books and includes a printable poster and checklist. Schools can purchase full sets of each Year Group list through our partners at Peters.

Here are the quick links to our other primary school booklists:

Year 3: 50 Recommended Reads

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