Classic childhood favorites for third graders

These are the books you'll remember from childhood - and that your child will love for a lifetime

By GreatSchools Staff

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Joseph Schindelman (Alfred A. Knopf, 1964).$6.99.
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell's.

Poor Charlie Bucket is practically starving to death, but his luck changes for the better when he wins a lifetime supply of candy — and a chance to visit Willy Wonka's fabulous, top-secret chocolate factory. This charming, irreverent tale, one of Roald Dahl's best, has captivated children for more than thirty years. In the best fairy-tale tradition, Dahl doesn't hide the fact that the world can be a grim and unfair place. Charlie's depressing life of poverty at the beginning of the novel reflects this bleak view. But, also in the best fairy-tale tradition, Dahl appeals to the strong sense of natural justice in children, and invites them to revel in a marvelously imagined world where people, both good and bad, get exactly what they deserve. 176 pages.

— Common Sense Media

Half Magic

Half Magic

Half Magic by Edward Eager (Oxford University Press, 2000, originally published in 1954). $6.99.
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell's.

Half Magic was the Magic Tree House of its day. As if wizardry was not enough, our four main characters take on multiple adventures with only "half" the magical prowess they need from a found coin. The kids devise clever ways to utilize the coin's capacity and the result is a very cool and captivating story. If your child falls in love with Half Magic, there are several sequels to quench their thirst for more. 208 pages.

— Danielle Marshall and the Kids' Team at Powells.com

Homer Price

Homer Price

Homer Price by Robert McCloskey (Puffin, reissue 1976, originally published in 1943). $5.99.
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell's.

Homer Price's six sidesplitting exploits included here will keep your child reading and rolling in the aisles. Author of many wonderful books, including the award-winning Make Way for Ducklings and Blueberries for Sal, Robert McCloskey was truly inspired by his funny bone when he wrote these stories. 160 pages.

— Danielle Marshall and the Kids' Team at Powells.com

Little House in the Big Woods

Little House in the Big Woods

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Wilder, illustrated by Garth Williams (HarperCollins Children's Books, 2007). $6.99.
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell's.

Little House In The Big Woods is a classic reborn with great illustrations by Garth Williams. New readers and those familiar with Laura Ingalls and her family will love following along as Laura takes them through a year in the life of the little family of pioneers. This story is a straightforward, fun read with a child's look into the life of a pioneer. It's great to see Laura and her sisters take simple pleasure in playing with their dolls, making homemade goodies and listening to their father's stories. Laura Ingalls is a kid who loves to help her family, is afraid of wolves and hates her "boring" brown hair. She lives in a little house in the big woods where she and her siblings work hard at their many chores, mind their ma and pa, go to school all in one room and have lots of frontier adventures. 256 pages.

— Common Sense Media

Peter Pan

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie (HarperFestival, 2003).
Amazon / IndieBound / Powell's.

The original language is rich, and the story, so much a part of our culture, inspires children to dream. Some of the racial and gender stereotypes, typical for their time, will need explanation. 240 pages.

— Common Sense Media