Books for Second, Third and Fourth Graders

Finding books for your kiddos to read is a tricky game between books that are too easy, and books they don’t want to read. Especially for those children who have hit that point where they can read pretty much whatever they want to, but not necessarily as fast as they want to. Forcing them into books they don’t want to read, or making them read books that are longer than their attention span is a recipe for making a kid who says he doesn’t like reading.

To that end, I’m going to start writing up some books and series that my kids have enjoyed during the transition between just learning to read, and full readers.

Tom Gates Books

First up is a series of books by L. Pichon. The Tom Gates books have plenty of pictures in the form of drawings, but they aren’t young readers type picture books. There are also plenty of words, lots of text, and a fun, kid based story.

The good news is that there are several of these books, so if your kiddo likes one of them, then you have “the next book” ready to go.


My third grader’s favorite of the series that he read so far is Tom Gates Excellent Excuses, but he has devoured every one of them that I have managed to get in front of him. There is an eight-book Tom Gates set on Amazon, if you just want to get them all in one go.

Other Elementary Series Books with Drawings Like This

These kinds of books with fun drawings that go along with the text are a great way to encourage reading. The read is fast, and the stories are fun. Children get used to having a “regular sized” book in their hands without feeling like it takes forever to finish. It’s a great way to start transitioning to other books, all without bogging them down, or resorting to books beneath tier reading level.

Check out my Ebates review on Finance Gourmet.

Here are some other books like this that my own kids liked:

  • Stick Dog (and Stick Cat)
  • Dogman
  • 13-Story Treehouse (and the 26-Story Treehouse, and the 39-Story Treehouse…. you get the idea. – All the way to 91-Story Treehouse for Summer 2018).

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