Waldorf Third Grade Student Reading List

Most students in Waldorf Third Grade are 8 and a half or nine years old.  They should be this age!  The third grade curriculum is designed specifically to speak to the developmental issues surrounding the nine-year change.  There are quite a few articles on this blog regarding the nine-year old if you need to look those up!  If your second grader is doing “third grade academics”, so be it, but please let the fables, folktales, Native American tales be the conduit to carry these pieces until they are eight and a half or nine and then ready for those Old Testament Stories!

Here are some suggestions for Third Grade Reading; most of these are geared toward a child who is close to nine or at that nine-year-old change.  The themes may be too much for children under nine, so please pre-read if your children are not yet nine!  Also,  please feel free to add your suggestions via the comment box below!

  • Mr. Popper’s Penguins – Atwater – always a fun story to re-visit even if you have done it before!  Children like repetition!
  • The Wizard of Oz series – Baum (and this may be early for the whole series, my 13 year old daughter is reading the entire series now and really enjoying them; there is violence and such so pre-read!)
  • Burgess – Nature Stories
  • Carpenter- Tales of a Korean Grandfather
  • Dahl, Roald – Matilda, etc. (This recommendation came from the “Waldorf Student Reading List” book- I personally don’t really like Roald Dahl’s work).
  • Holling C Holling – The Book of Indians
  • Juster – The Phantom Tollbooth (which I also like in Fourth Grade and Fifth Grade math blocks, so you might consider saving)
  • Kipling – Just So Stories, The Jungle Book
  • Ursula Le Guin – Catwings series
  • Osborne – American Tall Tales
  • Patterson – Angels, People, Rabbis and Kings from the Stories of the Jewish People
  • Chief Seattle’s Brother Eagle, Sister Sky (may want to preread, I have heard this is a tear-jerker!)
  • EB White – Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web, The Trumpet of the Swan
  • Isabel Wyatt-  King Beetle-Tamer and Other Light-Hearted Wonder Tales, The Book of Fairy Princes
  • Ella Young- Celtic Wonder Tales, The Tangle-Coated Horse
  • Tove Jansson’s Moomintroll Series – either you love ‘em or hate ‘em; we love ‘em!
  • Rafe Martin’s The Boy Who Lived With Seals, The Brave Little Parrot
  • Meindert De Jong – The Wheel On the School (which you might consider saving for fourth grade for your Man and Animal block)
  • Brian Jacques – Redwall series
  • Susan Kantor’s One Hundred and One African-American Read-Alouds
  • Adele Geras – My Grandmother’s Stories:  A Collection of Jewish Folktales
  • Elizabeth Shub – The White Stallion
  • Phil Strong – Honk the Moose
  • Margaret Stranger – That Quail, Robert
  • Ethel Cook Eliot – The Wind Boy and others
  • E. Nesbit – Five Children and It and others
  • Farley Mowat – Owls in the Family – funny!
  • Donald Hall – Ox Cart Man – should be part of reading in your Farming Block along with “Farmer Boy” by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Noel Streatfield – Ballet Shoes and others
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher – Understood Betsy
  • Carol Ryrie Brink – Caddie Woodlawn
  • Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series
  • Astrid Lindgren – The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking – the reason we put these books around the nine-year-change is the lack of parents and Pippi as a strong individual character.
  • Selma Lagerlof’s The Wonderful Adventures of Nils
  • Elisa Bartone- Peppe the Lamplighter
  • Elizabeth Orton Jones – Twig – If you read it before, you can go back and re-read it!
  • Valerie Flournoy – Patchwork Quilt
  • Lois Lenski – Strawberry Girl, Texas Tomboy, etc.  I personally would hold off on these until at least fourth or fifth grade and perhaps tie them in with North American Geography for fifth grade, but up to you!
  • Robert Lawson – Rabbit Hill (pre-read)
  • Astrid Lindgren – Ronia the Robber’s Daughter  – I also like in fourth grade to tie in with map making but could be okay for third grade reading.  Pre-read and see what you think
  • Alice Dalglish’s The Bears in Hemlock Mountain
  • Johanna Speyri- Heidi
  • Anything by George MacDonald
  • Chronicles of Narnia Donna Simmons recommends for those 10 and up, but The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe might be okay for a nine-year-old.  I suggest waiting on JRR Tolkien.  Some children devour “The Hobbit” between the ages of 9 or 11, but my very avid 13 year old readers has started this book four times and has never gotten through it and finds the language hard to read.  So, do what you think is best!
  • Marguerite Henry’s horse books
  • Geraldine McCaughrean’s The Crystal Pool, The Golden Hoard, The Silver Treasure
  • Robert McClosky – I still love these, One Morning in Maine and the like and Homer Price and others are good for a nine-year-old.
  • Jospeph Bruchac – preread!   Donna Simmons recommends “Children of the Longhouse”
  • Enid Blyton –
  • George Seldon’s “Cricket in Times Square”

Again, please add your favorites at the bottom!  And please do pre-read, you know  your child best!

There is a comment below about Percy Jackson. I would not recommend these for third graders as the main characters are teens, the books are heavy on references to Roman Mythology which comes in the sixth grade curriculum in Waldorf, and there is violence.  I would put that series as reading for middle schoolers.




29 thoughts on “Waldorf Third Grade Student Reading List

  1. Carrie,
    You’re an life-saver. This was just what I needed and as always with all your insight and knowledge.
    Thanks so much,

  2. What a great list for third grade! A lot of the titles are also recommended on a Charlotte Mason reading list that we use. My 8 1/2 year old is currently reading through Elizabeth Enright’s series- The Saturdays. It is a great quartet!

    • Ah, yes , thank you – that is a lovely series for around the nine year change. Elizabeth Enright is a great author, thank you for mentioning her!

  3. Carrie, do you have recommendations for Grades 1 and 2? I do have the “Waldorf Student Reading List”, but anything else besides the books recommended there?

    Thanks and very nicely done again! You always seem to anticipate what we need 😀


  4. WONDERFUL list. Thank you so much. Ronia, the Robbers Daughter is a favorite. We did it as a read aloud when my child was in kindergarten but she reads it to herself now in 1st grade.

    I am printing out your list to use. Thanks!

  5. Pingback: Third Grade and The Nine Year Change « The Parenting Passageway

  6. Some more good books for 9 yr olds-
    Kate Di Camillo – The Tale of Desperaux (original story not the novel based on the movie!), The Tale of Winn Dixie,
    Isobelle Carmody – The Little Fur series, The Red Wind
    Laura Ingalls Wilder – Little House on the Prarie
    For 9/10 yr olds-
    Odo Hirsch – Hazel Green, The mystery of Theodore Guzman and other books by him which I can’t remember but will send if you are interested.


    • HI Joy!
      So glad you are here! I don’t use any Charlotte Mason in my homeschooling, so I wouldn’t be a great source for you. I know there are many Charlotte Mason sites out there and forums; I hope you can find what you need!
      Many blessings, thank you for being here.

  7. The boxcar children – Gertrude chandler Warner. My 3rd grade teacher read these to us and they were awesome and empowering . The chocolate touch – Patrick skene was a fun tale with great morals . As well as the lion the with and the wardrobe series as books not movies it makes a big difference

  8. I personally love the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan. Those have more to do with ADHD but it still shows that ur so called learning disability is a part of who you are and that you can still be a superhero. They have ADHD and dyslexia and they are still freaking badass!

  9. Pingback: Third Grade Read Alouds | The Parenting Passageway

  10. Winnie the Pooh. I feel so bad for this book… Disney ruined it by giving it a reputation for babies.. but it’s a 3rd grade reading level and so sweet and wonderful.

  11. Pingback: Recommended Reading & Book Lists for 3rd Grade | Mrs. G's Kitchen

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  13. my first grader is in a waldorf school and the teacher has chosen to read books to the class that I think is extremely inappropriate for meeting their developmental stages, i.e Matilda, Peter Pan, Wizard of Oz, and other mainstream books that seem to be much more appropriate for the older grades. I mentioned this and she said that if there was a problem, the kids would tell her. Is that weird? I don’t know how to address it. But maybe you don’t either as you are a homeschooler. But maybe you could help me articulate why they aren’t appropriate, but maybe you think they are okay. I really enjoy how articulate you are on such issues! thank you.

  14. My son’s teacher said that the Percy Jackson books are also inaccurate so she has to re-teach them in sixth grade the proper history. My son is in 3rd and LOVES the Brambleheart series by Henry Cole.

  15. Thank you for your helpful list! I did want to say though that my daughter and I read the whole series of The Wizard of Oz when she was around 7 and had she loved it. I actually find book 1 to be the only one I don’t care for because of the whole mission to kill the witch, although this is a small part of the book – unlike the movie. We also read The entire series of The Chronicles of Narnia at age 8. We both loved it and I do not regret reading it to her at all, but there were a number of parts in book 7 in particular that were too violent. I was reading ahead for the most part and was able to skip over them without her noticing. I do think that both series are extremely well written for all ages so an older child would get even more out of them. One of our favorites that I didn’t see mentioned here was Polyanna. We also read that at age 8 although I think 7 would have been fine. It is a beautiful story and the message is such a good one – definitely a must read!

  16. Which one of any Blyton’s book you think will be fitting a nine-year-old? In the third grade. Mind you my third grader listens to story time before bed with his younger brother who is in the first grade. Any tips on navigating that?

    • Hi There!
      Sorry this comment got a little lost – Have you done the Magic Faraway Tree series? That would be good for both children. Cheers, Carrie

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