BlogEnglishYear 3 Recommended Reading List: Best Books for 7 and 8 Year Olds

Year 3 Recommended Reading List: Best Books for 7 and 8 Year Olds

Best Books for 8 Year Olds - Recommended Reading List for Year 3 Students - Featured Image

Finding the best books for 7 and 8 year olds can be tricky at the best of times. That’s why we’ve created a recommended reading list for Year 3 students!

This list consists of numerous picture books, Australian literature and literary texts from other countries and times, so there’s a variety of books to choose from.

If you’re interested in any of the texts below, you can click on the titles for more information on the books. If your child would like to read some of the books from the list, you can check if your child’s school library or your local library has it available!

Every book listed has been recommended by NESA, so you can have a look at the syllabus right here.

Now let’s dive into the best books for 7 or 8 year olds!

Picture Books
Australian Literature
Literary Texts from Other Countries and Times
English Resources

Looking for reading lists for other year groups?

If you have a child in a different year group to Year 3, we’ve also got reading list for them! Check them out:

Year 1 | Year 2Year 4 | Year 5 | Year 6 | Year 7 & 8 | Year 9 | Year 10

You can also check out our guide to Year 3 English right here!

Picture Books


Image sourced from Goodreads
Margaret WildThis is the story of a fox and a magpie who are good friends, and rely on each other through their disabilities. The magpie has a burned wing, and the dog has one eye.

The two animals learn to help each other and live happily; however, a jealous fox seeks to separate them.
Potato Music

Image sourced from Goodreads
Christina BoothDuring World War II, one family copes with the bleak events of the war by playing the piano and taking comfort in the music. As the family grows poorer, the music remains, even though their spirits have weakened.

One day, the piano is sold for a bag of potatoes, and the narrator learns about the sacrifices that need to be made in such desperate times.
The Sneetches

Image sourced from Wikipedia
Dr SeussSome Sneetches have stars on their bellies, but some do not. Star-Belly Sneetches ignore everybody else, believing they are the best.

However, we quickly realise this isn’t true, as being a Plain-Belly later becomes the trend. This book is an excellent introduction to how discrimination may occur.
Zoola Palooza: A Book of Homographs

Image sourced from Goodreads
Gene BarrettaZoola Palooza is a wonderful introduction to homographs, explored through different animals and what they get up to.

These homographs include read (present tense) and read (past tense), as well as other tricky pairs, so it’s a good idea to read this one aloud.

Australian Literature

Amazing Grace: An Adventure at Sea

Image Sourced from NewSouth Books
Stephanie Owen ReederGrace Bussell is a 16 year old girl who finds herself in unfortunate circumstances. A ship nearby is sinking, and she needs to get there fast.

This is a story full of Australian history, heroism and teamwork.
Just a Dog: Some Dogs Change Everything

Image sourced from Goodreads
Michael Gerard BauerThis heartwarming story describes the unconditional love we have for our pets.

Written from the perspective of the eldest child of a family, Just a Dog is an emotional collection of stories about life with a dog called Mr. Mosely.
Malu Kangaroo

Image sourced from Goodreads
Judith Morecroft, Bronwyn BancroftMalu Kangaroo is an Aboriginal spirit who teaches the first children how to surf.

Bronwyn Bancroft’s stunning illustrations bring this story to life through dot painting and rich, earthy colours.
The Big Big Big Book of Tashi

Image sourced from Goodreads
Anna Fienberg, Barbara FienbergThe Big Big Big Book of Tashi is a thrilling compilation of books about one of Australia’s favourite childhood characters.

Tashi is a quick-thinking and clever hero who fights off all sorts of creatures, such as ghosts, giants and witches.

This collection has seven of these excellent stories, and is perfect for those who love reading as well as those just getting started.
Where the Forest Meets the Sea

Image sourced from Goodreads
Jeannie BakerA young boy explores the rainforest in his ‘time machine’ boat and imagines what the forest would have looked like thousands of years ago.

This book teaches readers that while we can appreciate the country we have now, we should remember its past and take care of it for the future.
Why I Love Australia

Image sourced from Goodreads
Bronwyn BancroftWhy I love Australia is a beautifully descriptive picture book which showcases the best parts of Australia.

From the unique baobab trees in the outback, the splashing water along the coast, Bronwyn Bancroft offers her own illustrative style to represent Australia.

Literary Texts from Other Countries and Times

Flat Stanley

Image sourced from Goodreads
Jeff BrownStanley has woken up only 1 inch thick after a heavy bulletin board fell on him.

While most people would think that this was a terrible accident, Stanley loves it, and he finds that there’s so much he can do with his new body.
The Tale of Despereaux

Image sourced from Wikipedia
Kate DiCamilloDespereaux Tilling is a special mouse; he’s extremely small and has large ears. He’s also too curious for his own good.

Having fallen in love with Princess Pea, the mouse council decides to send him to the dungeons. Despereaux needs to find a great deal of courage to escape the dungeons and reunite with Princess Pea.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Image sourced from HarperCollins Australia
C.S. LewisAttempting to escape the London Blitz, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie move to a house in the country.

Soon after arriving, Lucy realises that the wardrobe is actually a doorway to Narnia, a magical land full of fantasy creatures. However, not everything in Narnia is good...

Image sourced from Penguin Books Australia
Roald DahlMatilda is a gifted girl who is far more intelligent than others of the same age. However, her parents do not agree with this.

Faced with multiple bullies, Matilda finally finds the strength to retaliate. With support from Miss Honey, Matilda teaches readers that they should never be bystanders when it comes to bullying.

English Resources


This year will be the first time your child will be completing the NAPLAN! It may feel a little intimidating having never done the tests before, but not to worry — we’ve got all the info you need to know about how the assessments work.

The tests they’ll be sitting will focus on three key areas:

  • Reading & Writing
  • Language Conventions
  • Numeracy

Discover how all these assessments work by having a read of our guide here!

As we’ve mentioned, Reading is one of the areas in which your child will be assessed. This test involves your child responding to simple imaginative texts and simple information texts.

Your child will be expected to do the following:

Text TypeWhat Students Are Expected To Be Able To Do
Simple Imaginative Texts- Find directly stated information
- Connect ideas across sentences and paragraphs
- Interpret ideas, including some expressed in complex sentences
- Identify a sequence of events
- Infer the writer’s feelings
Simple Information (Informative) Texts- Find directly stated information
- Connect an illustration with ideas in the text
- Locate a detail in the text
- Identify the meaning of a word in context
- Connect ideas within a sentence and across the text
- Identify the purpose of the text
- Identify conventions such as lists and those conventions used in a letter

Find out more about the Year 3 NAPLAN in our article here!

Reading Comprehension

With the criteria above, it’s clear that your child will need to demonstrate their ability to comprehend texts they have read and derive meaning from them.

While your child will have more autonomy with the books that they read, and reading independently, you can still play a part in helping to develop their reading comprehension.

You can do this by having discussions with your child about what they’ve read and help them to make inferences from the text.

For handy tips on improving reading comprehension, check out our guide here!


Inevitably, as your child reads various books, they will encounter words they may not be so familiar with — and this can help to build their vocabulary, but also their spelling ability.

In the NAPLAN assessments, your child will be assessed on their spelling ability through the Language Conventions test.

Since it’s a skill that goes hand in hand with reading, you could get your child to write down any words they found difficult or were unfamiliar with, and test them on the spelling!

To supplement this, you can also download our FREE Year 3 spelling words worksheets for more practice. Check them out here!

Looking for some extra help for your child with English?

We have an incredible team of English tutors and mentors!

We offer tutoring and mentoring for Years K-12 in a variety of subjects, with personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home, online, or at one of our state of the art campuses in Hornsby or the Hills!

We’ve supported over 8,000 students over the last 11 years, and on average our students score mark improvements of over 20%!

To find out more and get started with an inspirational English tutor and mentor, get in touch today or give us a ring on 1300 267 888!

Alicia Hassell is a K-6 English Resource Designer at Art of Smart, currently completing her final year of a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) with teaching areas in French, English and EAL/D. Teaching is a big passion of hers, and she loves everything involving languages. In her spare time she likes to read a good book and sew her own clothes!

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