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Turning Third Grade Readers into Lifelong Readers

Turning Third Grade Readers into Lifelong Readers

Needed: Great 3rd Grade Chapter Books

3rd grade reader

Third grade students are at a crucial point in their reading careers.

Almost a dangerous point.

They have mastered many reading skills. But do they LIKE to read? Do they read for pleasure, or only when required to?

Turning a kid into a lifelong reader – that’s what happens in third grade, if we do it right. 

That means 3rd graders need the right books. Popular chapter book series need a fascinating main character. And that's what make the best chapter books: a best friend, a funny friend, or a slightly weird friend.

Book series are popular with eight-year-olds, because they like to read a new story about that good friend they met in Book 1. And they can keep hanging out with them throughout the series.

Here's is the Mims House book list for 3rd graders. These chapter books feature interesting characters for kids to follow throughout the series.

Got Me a Cat (490L)

“…excellent tale for young readers.” Kirkus Reviews

Got Me a Cat cover

Lifelong readers aren’t built in a day. But third graders, especially those still struggling to master skills, will love this book about cats, sign language, and friendship.

This is a good first book for a student starting to read independently because it's shorter than normal. The main characters are a boy who wants a pet, and a deaf girl who must live with her grandmother to attend the Deaf School.

It begins with the cat.

“She arrived on Halloween Eve, in the Year of Acorns. Benjy named her Tricks.”

After playing with Tricks all day, Benjy asks Mom if he can keep her.

You know the answer – NO! 

And then, they find out that the cat really belongs to the next-door neighbor’s granddaughter, Erika. And the cat is named Fluffy.

Erika starts to teach Benjy sign language, which is fun. But Benjy still wants Tricks to live with him. The story includes 13 b/w sign language illustrations. Below, Erika is signing, "SNAKE."

Sign Language - Chapter Book, GOT ME A CAT

Written in short chapter, this is an excellent book to bring along the third graders reading skills. It’s also a great book to add to the classroom library.


The Aliens, Inc. Chapter book series

The Aliens, Inc. Series features Kell, an alien from the planet Bix, whose family has shipwrecked on Earth. They must fit into Earth society until they can be rescued. That means Kell goes to elementary school in third grade.

And the family must figure out how to pay the bills with Earthlings’ money.

Kell’s next door neighbor, Bree, is having a birthday, so the aliens decide to plan and host the birthday party. Bree wants a birthday party with an alien theme.

That’s when the funny tales begin because what do aliens know about what Earthlings think aliens are like? Of course, they get it all wrong!

This classic book series follows Kell and his gang of friends with adventure stories in a typical elementary school setting. Third graders, even reluctant readers, will love these great books – and be a step closer to becoming that lifelong reader.

Each book in The Aliens, Inc. series includes:

  • A project from a subject in school (history, nutrition, etc.)
  • A song
  • A party of some kind
  • A food fight
  • A look at how an alien family survives in our world


Publisher’s Weekly says, “amusing” and “engaging and accessible.”

Book 1: Kell, the Alien (530L)

Cover of Kell the Alien

Shipwrecked on earth and desperate to make money, an alien family decides to make a living by opening Aliens, Inc., an intergalactic event-planning business master-minded by 9-year-old alien boy, Kell Smith.

Kell discovers that his neighbor, Bree Hendricks, turns 9-years-old next month and she wants a party with an alien theme. That should be simple as flying from star to star. But things aren’t that easy: Earthling’s ideas about aliens are totally wrong. Even worse, Principal Lynx is a UFO-Chaser and suspects aliens around every corner.

Will the Aliens totally blow the Aliens Party? Will Principal Lynx capture Kell and his family and them over to the government?

Kell, the alien

Book 2: Kell and the Horse Apple Parade (550L)

Kell and the Horse Apple Parade cover

For Kell, the Friends of Police Parade is a big deal, his first Earthling parade. With Bree’s help, he must figure out how to deal with City Hall, figure out fund-raising and find superheroes and superheroines to march in the parade. To make things worse, Principal Lynx believes someone in third grade in an alien, and she has a new Alien Catcher App on her smart phone. Survival on planet Earth just got harder for the Smiths, those friendly aliens from Bix.

The Alien Chaser's Society


Book 3: Kell and the Giants  (550L)

Kell and the Giants

If you’re an alien on Earth, you have one giant secret to keep. After a while, even friends want to tell your secret. Kell and Bree plan a birthday party with giants—Big Foot, Cyclops, Goliath and the Jolly Green Giant—while they struggle with keeping their own giant secret. But they have an even bigger problem: Principal Lynx and the Society of Alien Chasers is back with a dog trained to sniff out an alien in a crowd. When Mom is stung by a bee, Kell must find a doctor who can keep a giant secret, too. Will Aliens, Inc. be able to pull off the Giant Party and keep everyone happy.

Bree, Kells BFF

Book 4: Kell and the Detectives (540L)

Kell and the Detectives

Kell makes a startling discovery: he has zigzag fingerprints. Worse, Mrs. Lynx and the Society of Alien Chasers know about the fingerprints, and they are on the hunt. Everyone turns detective in this continuing adventure of an alien family from planet Bix, who struggles to make ends meet by putting on birthday parties for kids. But the stakes are higher than ever because Kell’s mom has just laid a beautiful green egg. With Mrs. Lynx on the prowl, can Kell and Bree keep the egg safe?

Kell and the Detectives

THE ALIENS, INC. Series is also available as audiobooks.

Aliens, Inc. audiobooks


The Kittytubers Series

The Kittytubers series starts with the birth of three Persian kittens—Angel, PittyPat, and Quincy—who are destined to become Kittytube's star actors. Angel, the white Persian, is especially camera-friendly, and the story follows her rise toward stardom.

But the Persian family has its own problems. DaddyAlbert is stranded in France and can’t get home. He was offered the star role in a Puss and Boots adaptation movie. But when he arrived in France to film, the movie company had financial problems. They can’t pay for DaddyAlbert to fly back home.

Can the kittens help earn enough to bring DaddyAlbert home? Now their acting skills are tied to the family welfare. If Angel, PittyPat, and Quincy could just earn enough on their videos, their father would finally come home!

This relatable novel series is great fun. The popular series has been read over 125,000 times!

In the world of 3rd grade books, When Kittens Go Viral is becoming a classic book. 


The Kittytubers series

Step right up and get a behind-the-scenes look at the hilarious adventures of KittyTube's feline superstars in "When Kittens Go Viral”.

Watch as Angel Persian, the newest addition to the Majestic Kennels, sets her sights on following in the paw prints of her famous parents and becoming a viral sensation on KittyTube. Join her as she conquers her first screen test, explores the world around her, and captures the hearts of viewers everywhere.

From water cats splashing in sinks to piano cats walking the black and white keys, this heartwarming tale follows Angel on her quest to find her niche and make it big in the world of KittyTube. But will fame bring her happiness, or will the pressures of the public eye prove too much to handle. 

Perfect for chapter book and intermediate readers, "The KittyTubers" is a delightful exploration of the ups and downs of social media fame, and the courage it takes to chase your dreams. Don't miss out on this captivating tale of a tiny kitten with big aspirations!

Angel, star of The Kittytubers series


The Kittytubers series

Join the suspenseful buzz in Kittywood as 27 adorable kittens vie for a coveted spot in the final 20. Angel and Jazz are determined to make it, but to do so, they'll need to up their game and create even more captivating videos to gain views.

As if that weren't enough, Director Stanley adds a new challenge to the mix, bringing in the talented ex-Marine Captain Piper Crouch to teach the kittens acrobatics. With a daunting task ahead of them, including mastering a double flip from a 10-foot height, Angel is both nervous and excited to take on the new challenge.

In this thrilling continuation of "The KittyTubers" chapter book series, the lovable kittens continue to develop their acting skills, growing and maturing with every new obstacle they face. Follow along as Angel discovers her new passion for acrobatics and works tirelessly towards her dreams of stardom.

Don't miss out on this heartwarming tale of perseverance and dedication as these charming feline stars push themselves to new heights in their quest for fame. Join the journey and watch as the kittens of Kittywood become true stars in their own right!

Angel and her roommate, Jazz


The Kittytubers series

The stakes have never been higher for Angel Persian, the adorable kitten born into a family of KittyTube superstars. With only ten coveted acting contracts up for grabs, the pressure is on for Angel to prove herself and secure her place in the limelight.

But the road to stardom is far from easy, and Angel must navigate the vastly different worlds of the five competing kennels, each with their own unique approaches to achieving success. Will she thrive in a laid-back environment, or will a competitive atmosphere bring out her best?

As Angel works tirelessly to accumulate views on KittyTube and impress each kennel's director, she must also grapple with the weighty decision of where to call home. Will she find the perfect fit for her talents and aspirations, or will she be left searching for her place in the world?

In this heartwarming addition to Angel’s story she continues her journey of self-discovery and determination, searching for her future and chasing her dreams of stardom. Don't miss out on this touching tale of perseverance, friendship, and the true meaning of finding one's place in the world.

Angel, PittyPat, and Quincy

KITTEN FRIENDS: Quincy’s Story (570L)

The Kittytubers

Quincy Persian has two simple goals: to become a food-cat sensation on KittyTube and to find the perfect roommate. Unfortunately, his dorm room has been taken over by the intimidating Joaquin Maine coon, leaving Quincy cowering in fear on the top bunk.

Despite his struggles with Joaquin, Quincy throws himself into his passion for creating food cat videos. But when he's paired with the bumbling Mirko Bengal, Quincy's patience is put to the test. Feeling lonely and overwhelmed, Quincy finds solace in Ismo Bobtail, an international kitten with big dreams of his own.

As the competition heats up and the kitten actors are cut down to just twenty, Quincy must juggle his friendships and ambitions in order to make the cut and continue his journey toward stardom.

In this exciting new addition to the KittyTube universe, follow along with Quincy Persian as he navigates the ups and downs of life in the Kitten Dorm, faces off against tough competition, and fights to achieve his dreams. Don't miss out on this heartwarming tale of friendship, perseverance, and the power of never giving up on your goals.

Quincy, star of Kittytube


Third grade is a fragile time for many young readers! Consolidate their skills and help them transition to lifelong readers by introducing them to fascinating characters!

Girl reading Got Me a Cat
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About Darcy Pattison

Children’s book author and indie publisher DARCY PATTISON writes award-winning fiction and non-fiction books for children. Five books have received starred PW, Kirkus, or BCCB reviews. Awards include the Irma Black Honor award, five NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books, two Eureka! Nonfiction Honor book, two Junior Library Guild selections, two NCTE Notable Children’s Book in Language Arts, a Notable Social Studies Trade Book, an Arkansiana Award, and the Susannah DeBlack Arkansas Children’s History Book
award. She’s the 2007 recipient of the Arkansas Governor’s Arts Award for Individual Artist for her work in children’s literature. Her books have been translated into ten languages.

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