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Third Grade Angels

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,100 ratings  ·  165 reviews
The long-awaited prequel to the bestseller FOURTH GRADE RATS

George, aka "Suds," has just entered third grade, and he's heard the rhyme about "first grade babies/second grade cats/third grade angels/fourth grade rats," but what does this mean for his school year? It means that his teacher, Mrs. Simms, will hold a competition every month to see which student deserves to be a
Hardcover, 112 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  1,100 ratings  ·  165 reviews

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Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A nice read (read it out loud to 5 and 7 year old boys) - dare I say, a clean read? A well-paced story about the ins and outs of daily child hood and trying to be good! And if the librarian in me must say - a clean read - as in no farting, no pooping, no vomiting like many of the other "boy" books we've read lately (not that we have a problem with that but this book shows that boys are interested in much more than just books about poops, farts, and the such!) Great pictures too (perfect for our ...more
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thought the book 3rd Grade Angels was a good book because the book had a kind of detail in the text that I can't identify, but it was very interesting. I thought the cover was interesting because it had a certain face on " Suds" that told you he was worried or really surprised. The detail of the cover other than that was also very good. I thought the text was average for a 4th grade book. I read the other book in the series "4th Grade Rats" and I thought that book was great( I read it with my ...more
Apr 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
George, nicknamed Suds, has just entered third grade, and he's worried about the schoolyard chant “first grade babies/second grade cats/third grade angels/fourth grade rats.” Being an angel in third grade means that his new teacher, Mrs. Simms, will hold a competition every month to see which student deserves to be awarded the halo, a small yellow circle that serves as a reward for the best-behaved, kindest, and most perfect third grader in her class. Suds (who gets his name from his predilectio ...more
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: zach-s-books
Zach's 3rd Grade Review - The main character Suds is trying to get the first class Halo. Mrs. Sims is giving the first class Halo to the best behaving person in class. Everybody wanted the Halo so when someone’s hat outside the school blew onto the playground they all fought over it to give it back and then it ripped apart.

Mrs. Sims got mad and a few days later everyone stopped caring about the Halo except for Suds and a few other kids. One day his sister was being annoying on the bus, so he go
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great book about a boys journey of being good both in and out of school. And how a teacher provided motivation through an incentive to do so. It takes one moment to change the way you operate through life. Teachers usually are those motivational beings to provide such lessons.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-kids-books
This was a cute story with a good message for young kids, especially perfectionists or those who always feel the need to be first.
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is so special to me. <3 ...more
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
Jerry Spinelli is a master, perhaps the quintessential master, of writing fascinating characters and creating visceral excitement for his readers, giving us the feeling the story is going somewhere important and we won't want to miss what's coming next. Third Grade Angels, though shorter than most of Jerry Spinelli's books, contains that same irresistible sense of velocity, the gentle but constant pressure exerted through the plot that keeps us steadily moving forward in the story, that slight ...more
Sep 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review is from my blog, Studies in Storytelling. Please view the complete version at

What I Learned about Storytelling From Third Grade Angels by Jerry Spinelli

I got this signed ARC at BEA. I grew up on Stargirl and Maniac Magee, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to meet Spinelli himself. And so this is how a 21-year-old college senior ended up reading Third Grade Angels for fun.

(The art inside the book is precious. The expressions of the
Sophie Muller
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen-literature
Just loved it! It reminded me of Jake Drake but with the Spinelli touch! I loved the lesson related to who gets the first halo: brilliant and very thought-provoking! I love the mom and how she puts things into perspective and hence releases tension. Example from page 34:
"I reached deep in the suds for my dinosaur. I took a deep breath. "Joey told Judy Billings I love her." Mom's eyebrows went up. That was the only hint that she was impressed. Then she gave a shrug. "So? What's the big deal? You'
Aidan Armas
Oct 17, 2015 rated it liked it
I kind of liked this book.This book was an ok book but what really ruined it was the fact that it was to small.I do like that that it has a series of books and not just one.The only thing is the characters are to young and very immature.The character (Spuds) and his situations did make me want to read the book more which is why I continued to read the book.Also I did enjoy the story line and it wasn't just this kid struggling with his homework or something but hes trying to win a halo and be a t ...more
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Read this with my very energetic third grader. Hoping that it would give him a good idea on how to act in school. Both of us found the entertaining, and my son was always asking to read more.
I found the concept awesome. The students learned some important life lessons in the first month in Ms Simms class. Repect of property, good sportsmanship, working without bribery, and keep working hard no matter what happens.
Might have to try this myself here at home.
Just a funny side note. Our school pr
Amber the Human
Mar 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
I checked this book out first, before I realized it was a prequel to Fourth Grade Rats. I didn't end up reading it, so it went back to the library, and later I read Fourth Grade Rats. Which was okay. Similar to other Spinelli books about how some kids are automatically "good" and others have to be shown the way. Anyway, later I picked up this one again, and it is definitely clear that Spinelli is a more mature writer than he was when he wrote Rats, but it's still just an okay book.
Jill Rosenberg
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reread
Cute book, good lessons and morals. Will be interesting what the 3rd graders think of it at book club next week.
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classroom-reads
This one is a classroom read that I read when subbing for a third grade class, and it's a very funny and relatable book for young readers. And even as a grown up, I found it laugh out loud funny. It has a spunky and fun main character, Suds, and a fast moving plot.

Suds has just entered the third grade, and is excited to meet his teacher and become a Third Grade Angel. The teacher introduces the reward for perfect behavior on the first day of school, a coveted halo. Suds is determined to be the
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
George, aka "Suds," has just entered third grade, and he's heard the rhyme about "first grade babies/second grade cats/third grade angels/fourth grade rats," but what does this mean for his school year? It means that his teacher, Mrs. Simms, will hold a competition every month to see which student deserves to be awarded "the halo" - which student is best-behaved, kindest to others, and, in short, perfect. Suds is determined to be the first to earn the halo, but he's finding the challenge of alwa ...more
Amber Malone
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! It subtly describes how important it is to be a "good" person-yet it implied the importance of being good from your own willingness, not because you HAVE to be good for someone. It also describes how we do not need to expect to be praised or rewarded every time that we so something good, or yet, do what is right. It was a great read in which many life lessons could be taken away from it. It would be a great book for students to read in order to see the imp ...more
Sheri S.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
George, aka "Suds," is starting third grade and at his school the third graders are known as angels according to a popular chant: "First grade, babies; second grade, cats; third grade, angels; fourth grade, rats." His teacher talks about how each student will work towards earning a halo and by the end of the school year, all student will have achieved this goal. Suds wants to be the first one to earn a halo in his class and he works very diligently towards improving his behavior.
I thought this
Mar 31, 2018 rated it liked it
A fictional story called “Third Grade Angels” by Jerry Spinelli. This story talks about 3 little third graders just playing basketball at recess but they can’t get their mind off this rumor that every student is talking about but I won’t spoil it you have to find out yourself but the rumor isn’t nothing bad but that is all that I’m telling you about the rumor but the rest of the story talks about the third graders trying to solve the problems that are happening in the school but this is all tha ...more
Fiona Helms
Jul 01, 2018 rated it liked it
I thought the book was OK. I loved that it was about third grade because I'm going into third grade. I picked out this book at the library because I thought I could relate to what it would be like in third grade. It really didn't that much. The book didn't seem that much about third grade. It was about a kid who goes into a classroom and his name is George. It's really Suds but they call him George. And there's a thing they do caused by a poem that says "Third Grade Angels". So the teacher sees ...more
May 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Suds displays a lot of self-awareness and proactively applies coping strategies whenever he feels "chipmunky". This could be a useful book to induce discussion about emotional regulation strategies for our children and/or students. I also like how Suds didn't get the first halo, despite his best efforts. Especially since his teacher, Mrs. Simms offered him a hug. Which goes to show that winning isn't everything, possessing the right attitude to win is.
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book about a teacher who gives halos each month as a prize for good behavior might be a good read-aloud for second or third graders. The book takes a little while to hold interest, so some readers might give up if they need lots of action. Humorous and believable, it is still a fun read. Many different kinds of students are represented, and readers are sure to identify with some of them.
Kim Mullins
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ed-689, chapter-books
Fun book about caring for others and being unselfish. Doing good students will be noticed.
I would use this book in my classroom to teach about caring for others and making the right choice even when others do not see you. Could also be used as a read aloud at the beginning of the school year with a new teacher and new expectations and incentives to do well.
Ms. Garr
Nov 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Grade 3 and up; pretty good tale about a sensitive, perfectionist third grader named Suds and his attempt to earn the first “halo” from his encouraging teacher Mrs. Simms. Nice theme overall and lots to discuss with an incoming third grade class (would work well as a read aloud) but the grownup characters and even some of the children felt two-dimensional and a little unrealistic.
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Carpool book.
I really liked the relational aspects of the story, between him, his sister, kids at school, the teacher and parents.
It was cute, short, funny and encouraging, which is a super combo for a kid audio book.
Lydia doesn't really like it for some reason which she can't express.
Jeannie Chambers
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Cute tale of the trials and tribulations of a third grader. 'Suds' is every child in a way, full of questions, but not wanting to stand out in a crowd.
I'd recommend this book for middle graders and their parents.
Ginny Daniels
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great, short read aloud for the beginning of the year in 3rd grade (or 2nd)! Turns out it’s a prequel to “Fourth Grade Rats” from 2012, which I’ve got to read now. Good lesson about doing what’s right because it’s the right thing to do.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, family-reading, jane
I was so impressed with both of these books by Jerry Spinelli. Great messages were taught and they were really fun to read with my elementary age kids. Jane (my 8 year old) really wants to read Fourth Grade Rats now, but I just read that to Isaac, so she'll have to read it on her own. :)
Jayne Chun
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
My favorite part of this book was when Mrs. Simms said “Welcome Angel George” because it was a happy welcoming. It’s about a boy who was scared of Third Grade. On the cover, it was very interesting and very detailed.
EK Braun
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: summer-2017
If you like.... 3rd grade, Funny books, or Diaries, You will like this book. Suds is funny because he is
always worries about stuff. For example, He worries about if his teacher has spies.
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When Jerry Spinelli was a kid, he wanted to grow up to be either a cowboy or a baseball player. Lucky for us he became a writer instead.

He grew up in rural Pennsylvania and went to college at Gettysburg College and Johns Hopkins University. He has published more than 25 books and has six children and 16 grandchildren.
Jerry Spinelli began writing when he was 16 — not much older than the hero of his

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