If there’s one thing that will draw an 8 year old into reading, it’s a funny book. And so with that in mind I made this list of 3rd grade books, perfect for summer reading! Some of the book will cause kids to giggle, some will make them guffaw, but all of titles on this book list for 3rd grade will make them smile all summer long.
So whether you are stocking up at the bookstore for a summer family vacation, or heading to the library for lazy summer reading in the park, these funny books for 3rd graders (really, ages 7-11) will surely hit the spot. (Note: book covers and titles are affiliate links.)
The Bad Guys (series) by Aaron Blabey. I read the first book in the series out loud and my 8 year old and I could not stop laughing! He subsequently gobbled up the next two books on his own. Mr. Wolf is on a mission to change his reputation and convinces his fellow reprobates, Mr. Snake, Mr. Piranha and Mr. Shark to join him in the Good Guys Club. Their first mission is to free 200 dogs from the Maximum Security City Dog Pound! Absolutely hilarious and extremely silly in the very best way.
Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little (series) by Peggy Gifford. We listened to this (and the sequel) on audiobook and my son spent much of the time laughing, especially during the periodic one word chapters. Moxy is supposed to read Stuart Little for her summer reading assignment, but she spends more time avoiding — and justifying that avoidance — than she does reading. Hilarious, and the text edition includes a very clever use of photographs to highlight Moxy’s creative procrastination skills.
All Paws on Deck (series) by Jessica Young, illustrated by James Burks. I was slightly skeptical about this series but my 7 year old was laughing his head off and so I picked it up and found the word play to be quite humorous. I’m a big fan of word play as a literary device; I think it gives kids a greater understanding of vocabulary. Haggis the scottie dog plays the straight man to Tank’s absentminded goof and together they set sail on an imaginary venture. This series, which is a graphic novel-hybrid, is a great choice for reluctant readers.
Babymouse (series) by Jennifer L. Holm, illustrated by Matthew Holm. This graphic novel series about an intrepid mouse will keep your 3rd graders reading and reading (there are at least 20 books in the series). I like graphic novels as a way to lure reluctant readers so give this popular series a spin.
8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel ÷ 1 Dog = Chaos by Vivian Velde, illustrated by Steve Björkman. I love to put this book on lists! It is perhaps the book that elicited the most laughter in our house ever (well, before we discovered Nanny Piggins). The story begins when a dog chases a squirrel into a nearby elementary school. The squirrel runs from classroom to classroom leaving chaos in its wake. Each chapter is narrated in the first person by the various class pets that inhabit the classrooms. The pets range from hamsters to snakes to fish to birds and getting their different perspectives on the ruckus is extremely entertaining to say the least. There’s now a sequel! Squirrel in the House.
Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon, Leroy Ninker Saddles Up (Tales from Deckawoo Drive series) by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. These two books begin a Mercy Watson spin-off series by Kate DiCamillo, there’s now a third book about Baby Lincoln. The trademark humor from the Mercy easy reader series permeates these longer chapter books. Leroy and Francine, both supporting characters in Mercy Watson, get their own stories. Leroy gets his dreamed of horse and Francine, the award winning animal control specialist ,comes face to face with the first animal who might actually elude her. Laugh out loud funny and very entertaining as read alouds, too!
The Giggler Treatment by Roddy Doyle, illustrated by Brain Ajhar. Unless you are a Kindle reader, this will be hard to find in the US libraries, but used copies can be found on line. It is an easy to read chapter book, perfect for so called reluctant readers, but steer clear if you don’t like the word, “poo.” I read it aloud on the subway to my son and he was in stitches. How any author managed to create such suspense over the possibility that a man might step in a pile of dog poo is an amazing (and hilarious) feat. I have to admit, I found it quite funny and well-written.
Alvin Ho (series) by Leonore Look, illustrated by LeUyen Pham. I love Alvin Ho and cannot resist encouraging you (yet again) to pick up one of these books for your child. Alvin suffers from anxiety over many things and this leads him to become mute at school. Nevertheless, his family life, antics and tales of how he navigates “scary things” never fail to charm. The humor here is more sophisticated than that of some of the books on the list, but quite enjoyable, nonetheless.
Thor’s Wedding Day: By Thialfi, the Goat Boy by Bruce Coville, illustrated by Matthew Cogswell. I was not expecting to enjoy this book, but I liked it just as much as my son and we both laughed out loud as I read it. A very funny take adaptation of a classic tale from Norse mythology.
Calvin Coconut (series) by Graham Salisbury, illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers. Your kids can imagine themselves having adventures on the Hawaiian shores while they get to know Calvin. Calvin tries to do everything right, but can’t seem to keep out of trouble. As you can imagine, hijinks ensue.
The Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery (series) by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Kevin Cornell. This series, inspired by hard-boiled detective novels, is perfect for kids who love tongue in cheek humor and mysteries. J. J. Tully is a retired search-and-rescue dog but when two plucky chicks promise him a cheeseburger in return for his help finding their missing siblings, he can’t resits. Be sure to read the spinoff books centering around the chicks: The Chicken Squad.
More summer reading:
- Summer reading list: the ultimate resource
- Summer reading for 4th grade
- Summer read alouds the whole family will love