Outwoods Primary School

Reading for Pleasure - Year 3


Reading for pleasure in Year 3 can provide entertainment and delight as well as opening up a host of new worlds to children. Books provide children of this age group with opportunities to stretch the imagination as well as to consider what life might be like in a myriad of different settings and situations. Stories about the lives of others can help children to develop empathy and understand emotions, while at the same time increasing children's language skills and vocabulary. Furthermore, research shows that reading for pleasure in childhood is a more powerful indicator of future educational attainment. 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. At the age of 7-8, many children have learned to read short books by themselves and begin to exercise a greater freedom of choice over their independent reads at school and home. Funny books are very popular with this age group, as are short chapter books with illustrated elements and visually appealing non-fiction texts. 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 these factors in mind, the Books for Topics 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, Laura Ellen Anderson’s Amelia Fang stories and the very popular 13-Storey Treehouse 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 story time favourite Charlie Changes into a Chicken or the inimitable Mr Gum.


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 story time 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 a whale that swims up the Thames in The Morning I Met a Whale. Not all of the stories on the list are longer reads - for excellent picture book choices suitable for Year 3, we recommend the completely magical Leon and the Place Between, the stunningly-illustrated Oceans Meets Sky or the inspiring story of Wangari’s Trees of Peace. 


If you are looking for classic stories, you will find on the 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 thoroughly modern in their themes, such as the eco-mystery in which we find STEM-loving Harley Hitch, or the video-game inspired illustrated adventure, Knights and Bikes.


You will find a variety of genres and formats included on the recommended Year 3 reading list, from poetry collections like Joshua Seigal’s giggle-worthy I Bet I Can Make You Laugh to the impressive nature poetry anthology Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright, which contains a poem for every day of the year. They have also included some graphic novel style stories, such as Arthur and the Golden Rope and Hilda and the Troll, which has recently seen increasing popularity since its launch as a Netflix series.


Please take time to read the PDF document, which includes details of 50 recommended reads.

Share with us what your child is reading by communicating it in your child's reading diary - we love to hear the new titles that they are enjoying.