Ashwicken C of E Primary School

Ashwicken CE Primary School Caring for Each Other
and Caring for Our World

Recommended Reading for Year 3

Dear Parents/Carers,

Reading is an important part of everyday life. The more our children read, the better readers they will be and the better writers they will become.

Read a selection of books from the recommended book list attached:

Parents and family members play an important role in building successful readers. Hearing your child read is vital to your child retaining and building on the skills he or she has learned in school. But most importantly, this is a time for children to engage their imaginations, find amusement in books, and to learn to love reading. We ask that your child read for at least 15 minutes a day. Books can be of any genre or on any subject that is of interest to your child.


Here are some quick tips to encourage your child’s love for reading.

  • READ! READ! READ! Make reading important. Be a role-model for reading. Let your child see you reading throughout the day and use daily routines as reading opportunities. Cooking, reading TV listings, looking for information on-line, reading directions, or following a map all provide authentic reading experiences.
  • Give your child the power of choice. Having reading materials available, such as: books, magazines, comics, etc… is key to helping children love to read, and the reading materials they choose themselves are best. Help your child find texts that appeal to his or her interests, yet are age appropriate and ‘just right’ in difficulty.
  • Find opportunities to read aloud to your child. Read your favourite childhood book aloud, read signs while driving in the car, read at stores, and read while you’re on holiday!
  • Take frequent trips to the library.
  • Read a great story over and over again to help your child with fluency and reading with expression.
  • Talk it up. Talking about books during and after reading helps improve comprehension. Encourage your child to share their ideas and opinions by asking open-ended questions. Talk about what you read to let them know that reading is an important part of your life. Tell them why you liked a book, what you learned from it, or how it helped you— soon they might start doing the same.

We hope you and your family will read many stories and reap all of the wonderful benefits that reading has to offer!

I look forward to hearing all about the exciting books you have read.

Happy reading!


The following information is provided on the BooksForTopics website where you will also find a variety of other booklists and links for purchasing book. 

BooksForTopics’ recommended reading list

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 emotions, while 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.

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.