Recommended 4th Grade Book List


    Flower with each petal showing an aspect of reading
    A Selection of Outstanding Books for Fourth Grade Students

    Wonder bookcover 

    by R.J. Palacio

    August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid but his new classmates cant get past Auggie's extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie's point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community's struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

    One & Only book cover

    The One and Only Ivan
    by Katherine Applegate

    Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.

    Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he's seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.

    Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home and his own art through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it's up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.

     The Cricket in Times Square
    by George Selden, Garth Williams (illus.)

    Business has not been good at the Bellini's newspaper stand in the Times Square subway station. Tucker the mouse, who lives in a drainpipe near the newsstand, wishes he could help. One night, Mario Bellini hears a beautiful sound -- it is Chester, a cricket from Connecticut who has been accidentally brought to New York City and plays music with his wings. After Mario convinces his parents to let him keep Chester, Tucker, his friend Harry the cat, and the cricket come up with a plan to help the Bellinis keep their newsstand: Chester can give concerts!

    Esperanza Rising
    by Pam Munoz Ryan

    Esperanza thought she'd always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico--she'd always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn't ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances--Mama's life, and her own, depend on it.

    Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key book cover

    Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key

    by Jack Gantos

    Joey Pigza can't sit still. He can't pay attention, he can't follow the rules, and he can't help it. Joey's had problems ever since he was born, problems just like his dad and grandma have. And whether he's wreaking havoc on a class trip or swallowing his house key. Joey knows he's really a good kid, but no matter how hard he tries to do the right thing, something always seems to go wrong. Will he ever get anything right?

     Fudge-a-Mania book cover

    by Judy Blume

    Peter Hatcher's summer is not looking good. First of all, Peter's brother, Fudge -- the five-year-old human hurricane -- has a plan: to marry Peter's sworn enemy, Sheila Tubman. Disgusting! Could anything be worse? Yes. Peter's parents have decided to rent a summer house next door to the Tubmans. Which means Peter will be stuck with Fudge and Sheila the Cootie Queen for three whole weeks! Will Peter be able to survive the summer? It may not be the vacation of Peter's dreams, but as millions of Judy Blume fans know, it won't be dull. When Fudge is around, anything can happen ... and does! Also recommended: Superfudge and Otherwise Known As Sheila the Great.

    The Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series

    by Jeff Kinney

    Boys don't keep diaries, or do they?

    The launch of an exciting and innovatively illustrated new series narrated by an unforgettable kid every family can relate to

    Its a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you're ready are uniquely revealed ...

    Mouse and the Motorcycle book cover

    The Mouse and the Motorcycle

    by Beverly Cleary, Louis Darling (illus.)

    Ralph the mouse is terrified. All he had wanted to do was ride the little motorcycle someone had left on the table. Instead, both Ralph and the motorcycle have taken a terrible fall -- right into the bottom of the wastepaper basket. He is trapped, left to wait for whatever fate has in store for him. But it turns out to be Ralph's lucky day. Along comes Keith, the owner of the toy motorcycle, who is staying with his family in the hotel room where Ralph lives. Not only does Keith save Ralph's life, but he teaches him how to ride the bike. And when everyone is asleep, he turns Ralph loose in the hotel halls to enjoy the biking adventure of his life. But adventures can be both fun and Ralph and Keith soon find out! Also recommended: Ralph S. Mouse and Runaway Ralph.

     The 39 Clues book cover              

    The 39 Clues, Book #1 in the Series

    by Rick Riordan

    Minutes before she died Grace Cahill changed her will, leaving her descendants an impossible decision: "You have a choice - one million dollars or a clue."

    Grace is the last matriarch of the Cahills, the world's most powerful family. Everyone from Napoleon to Houdini is related to the Cahills, yet the source of the family power is lost. 39 clues hidden around the world will reveal the family's secret, but no one has been able to assemble them. Now the clues race is on, and young Amy and Dan must decide what's important: hunting clues or uncovering what REALLY happened to their parents.

    The 39 Clues is Scholastic's groundbreaking new series, spanning10 adrenaline-charged books, 350 trading cards, and an online game where readers play a part in the story and compete for over $100,000 in prizes.

    The 39 Clues books set the story, and the cards, website and game allow kids to participate in it. Kids visit the website - - and discover they are lost members of the Cahill family. They set up online accounts where they can compete against other kids and against Cahill characters to find all 39 clues. Through the website, kids can track their points and clues, manage their card collections, dig through the Cahill archives for secrets, and "travel" the world to collect Cahill artifacts, interview characters, and hunt down clues. Collecting cards helps: Each card is a piece of evidence containing information on a Cahill, a clue, or a family secret.

    My Side of the Mountain book cover

    My Side of the Mountain
    by Jean Craighead George

    Tired of big-city life, Sam Gribley runs away to the Catskill Mountains to forge a life of his own. In this Newbery Honor book, Sam relates his adventures during the year he spends alone, including his struggle for survival, his dependence on nature, his animal friends, and his ultimate realization that he needs human companionship. Also recommended:
    On the Far Side of the Mountain.

    Native American Doctor, The Story of Susan LaFlesche Picotte book cover

    Native American Doctor, The Story of Susan LaFlesche Picotte
    by Jeri Ferris

    This is the inspiring biography of the young Omaha Indian woman who became the first Native American woman to graduate from medical school.

    Sideways Stories from Wayside School book cover

    Sideways Stories from Wayside School

    by Louis Sachar, Julie Brinckloe (illus.)

    There'd been a terrible mistake. Wayside School was supposed to be built with 30 classrooms all next to each other in a row. Instead, they built the classrooms one on top of the other ... 30 stories tall! (The builder said he was very sorry.) That may be why all kinds of funny things happen at Wayside School -- especially on the 30th floor. You'll meet Mrs. Gorf, the meanest teacher of all; terrible Todd, who always gets sent home early; and John, who can only read upside down -- along with all the other kids in the crazy mixed-up school that came out sideways. But you'll never guess the truth about Sammy, the new kid ... or what's in store for Wayside School on Halloween!

    Stuart Little book cover

    Stuart Little
    by E. B. White

    Stuart Little is a mouse in the family of the Frederick C. Littles and is a pleasantly debonair little character, with a shy, engaging manner and a somewhat philosophical turn of mind. He is a great help around the house, and everybody except Snowbell the cat likes him a great deal. In spite of his small size, Stuart gets around a good bit in the world, riding a Fifth Avenue bus with some aplomb, racing (and winning in) a sailboat in Central Park, teaching school for a day, and so on. His size -- just over two inches -- does give him some trouble now and then, like the time he was rolled up in the window shade, or when he got dumped into a garbage scow. But on the whole his life is a happy one. His great adventure comes when, at the age of seven, he sets out in the world to seek his dearest friend, Margalo, a beautiful little bird. Stuart Little, small in size only, has the adventurousness, the great purpose, and the indomitable spirit of a heroic figure, and his story, funny and tender and exciting by turns, will be read, re-read, and loved by young and old.

    Math Curse book cover

    Math Curse

    by Jon Scieska

    Jon Scieszka, a former teacher and a popular author for boys, presents a hilarious read for anyone who suffers from a math phobia. Imagine how you would feel if your math teacher told you, "You can think of everything as a math problem." Would your head immediately start hurting? Would your heart start to race? Spend the day with a girl who wakes up one morning to find that every event in her life has been reduced to some sort of math problem. Have fun solving the problems she encounters, and see if you agree that she has been cursed!

    Keeping Score

    by Linda Sue Park

    Linda Sue Park is familiar to readers as the winner of the 2002 Newbery Medal for her book, A Single Shard. A daughter of Korean immigrants, Linda grew up outside of Chicago as an avid baseball fan. She wrote Keeping Score, about a girl living in Brooklyn during the Korean War, combining her passion for baseball with her own family's past. Being a Brooklyn Dodgers fan in the early 1950s meant season after season of dashed hopes, but main character Maggie goes on rooting for the Dodgers. Against a background of major league baseball and the Korean War on the home front, Maggie looks for, and finds, a way to make a difference.

    Owen & Mzee book cover 

    Owen & Mzee: The Language of Friendship

    by Isabella and Craig Hatkoff and Paula Kuhumbu

    This book tells the true story of the friendship that developed at a Kenyan wildlife sanctuary between Owen, a baby hippopotamus orphaned by the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami, and Mzee, a 130-year-old giant Aldabra tortoise. The authors detail the animals' system of communication (nudges, nips and a special call), how they play together and how Owen acts more like a tortoise than a hippo. The text is clearly written and accompanied by full-color photos of this unique pair.

    50 Simple Things Kids Can Do To Save the Earth book cover 

    50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth

    by the EarthWorks Group (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 1990).

    A practical guide to conserving resources and protecting the environment, each brief chapter of 50 Simple Things provides information and tips designed to inspire ideas and action. Statistics and measurements are translated into age-appropriate terms, such as comparing children's weight to the amount of garbage thrown away in a year. The book also explains how everyday items like a light switch or a toilet are connected to the rest of the world. Fun ideas for the whole family to discuss and implement!