I’m trying to keep track of my son’s 4th Grade reading log because if I don’t write it down, I forget what he read and at what age. I’m hoping that the books that appeal to him — he has a very narrow range of book genres he likes — with help other parents find books for their 4th graders! Note that during my Parent/Teacher conference, his teacher wanted him to branch out to other genres besides Fantasy! We’re trying!!! I’ll keep updating this list as the year progresses!
I also have my son’s Going Into 4th Grade summer reading list.
My son and I are going to give feedback on each book. He’ll go first (in italics) and I add my take on his book selection.
4th Grade Chapter Books My Son Recommends
Frindle by Andrew Clements
This was the first book I read on my own in 4th grade. I liked it because it’s about a boy who makes up a word and gets everyone to go along with it.
All three of my kids loved this book about a young rebel. I’m surprised I forgot to suggest to my son and so happy that he found it on his own in his classroom library. We really should read more of Andrew Clements great books. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
I think it was a great book with a lot of action and excitement. I’m very sad that the series is over now.
My son has read every single word Rick Riordan wrote for kids. I actually tried to keep him from reading Percy Jackson when he was in 2nd grade because I wanted him to stay in Early Chapter Books — no rush, right?! — so he just borrowed The Lightening Thief from a friend and that was that. This final book was amazing and helped us get through his recent surgery! [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan
I think it’s very funny non-fiction with a lot of informative facts. I learned a lot about the Greek Gods.
I’m glad my son is reading about Greek Mythology; he will study it in 6th grade and this is a really fun take on the Greek Gods from Percy’s point of view. We can’t wait for the Percy’s Heroes. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
The Lemonade War series by Jacqueline Davies
I liked this book a lot and I really wanted to keep reading more.
My son was sick and missed Jacqueline Davies school visit which included a writing workshop which was unfortunate timing, but I have her author visit for him to watch. 3rd graders and 4th graders seem to really enjoy The Lemonade War series! [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
The Guardians of Ga’Hoole: The Captive by Kathleen Lasky
This book is very good because I like the concept of owls battling other evil owls.
We are both really enjoying this anthropomorphic owl fantasy series! [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
The Guardians of Ga’Hoole: The Journey by Kathleen Lasky
I think this book is great and I love how the owls have different task groups.
My son will take apart an Owl Pellet in 5th grade and I think this series will make the science portion much more interesting because Lasky has vast knowledge of different owl species that she includes in her series. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
The Guardians of Ga’Hoole: The Rescue by Kathleen Lasky
I’m not sure if we are going to make it through all fifteen books of this excellent series, but so far we are chugging away. My son is reading 3 books at the same time so this one gets pulled out from time to time. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
So far, this book is very sad but still I want to keep reading.
All my kids have read and loved this book as part of 4th grade 19th Century Immigration unit. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
Timmy Failure: We Meet Again by Stephan Pastis*
This is a very hilarious book with great characters. My favorite is Rollo Tokus.
I am finding that the Timmy Failure series is just as potent as Diary of a Wimpy Kid to get reluctant readers reading. I took my son to a local bookstore to find this one, and he grabbed a copy then sat in a chair and read until it was time to go. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
The Big Book of Superheroes by Bart King
It’s a very funny book that tells you information about superheroes. I especially like the quizes.
My son and I have been giggling for days as we read The Big Book of Superheroes. For those kids who fan reference obscure superheroes culled from Marvel and DC comics, this book mixes humor with DIY book project extensions. It’s an addicting combination! [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
Descent into Overworld by Liam O’Donnell
I really like how people can come into Minecraft in this book. I am halfway through it; I read 80 pages in class this week!
My son loves Minecraft and all things gaming so I thought this was a great fit. I personally don’t understand the Minecraft references but he gets it all. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
Hoot by Carl Hiaasan
My friends are reading his books so I wanted to try one too. My mom suggested Hoot and it is one of four books I am reading right now.
I thought Hoot and other books by Carl Hiaasan would be better for my son next year when he’s in 5th grade but his friends are reading and loving the books now so I persuaded my son to start with Hoot which is one of my favorite books! My son’s friends were also reading Percy Jackson and Harry Potter in 1st grade and 2nd grade when I was trying to keep my son in early chapter books and picture books (unsuccessfully). The power of peer pressure (but here in a good way!). [middle grade, ages 10 and up]
Olympians graphic novel series by George O’Connor
I like Greek mythology and learning about the gods. I can read two of these books in one sitting.
My son received this graphic novel series for Christmas and we are really enjoying learning yet another layer of Greek myths. George O’Connor’s graphics are dark which is a nice contrast to the Percy Jackson series and he focuses on bringing out details of lesser-known myths all tied around one Olympian god per book. It’s a really great series! [graphic novel series, ages 9 and up]
El Deafo by Cece Bell
My son read this award winning graphic novel and said, “I really like this graphic novel because it tells you how deaf people feel in ordinary situations.” [graphic novel, ages 8 and up]
Joshua’s Song by Joan Hiatt Harlow
I forgot my book from home so I had to pick one from the classroom library. I chose this one and it’s good so far.
This is the first time my son selected historical fiction. It’s set in 1919 Boston, so I think this is a fun connection for him since we live near Boston. [historical fiction middle grade, ages 9 and up]
The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleishman
It is a very funny historical fiction book. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
The Lemonade Crime by Jacqueline Davies
A very funny book that reminds me of me and my sisters. [middle grade, ages 7 and up]
The Candy Smash by Jacqueline Davies
A very cool fiction book with some mystery. [middle grade, ages 7 and up]
The Magic Trap by Jacqueline Davies
Another great book of the Lemonade War series. [middle grade, ages 7 and up]
The Book That Proves Time Travel Happens by Henry Clark
A very funny book with a very creative plot. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
The Zodiac Legacy: Convergence by Stan Lee
An amazing action book with lots of laughs. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
The Candymakers by Wendy Mass
An awesome book with a sweet concept. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
The Crown of Ptolemy by Rick Riordan
Another outstanding book by Rick Riordan. [middle grade, ages 8 and up]
4th Grade Classroom Read Alouds
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
This is a very nice book about a boy and a dog. I love how it makes me want to see what is happening next.
Our 4th grade reads this book every year and my other kids have gone on to read the entire series. [middle grade series, ages, 9 and up]
So Far From Home: The Diary of Mary Driscoll, An Irish Mill Girl, Lowell, Massachusetts, 1847 (Dear America Series) by Barry Denenberg
I liked this book and how it tells you about immigration at that time. Later we went to the Lowell Mills Museum for a field trip.
Historical fiction is not my son’s favorite genre so I’m glad this was the class read aloud. I think it made the Lowell Mills field trip more memorable. Other books to tie into the Industrial Revolution would be Bobbin Girl by Emily Arnold McCully set in Lowell, and Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtmakers’ Strike of 1909 set in NYC. [historial fiction middle grade, ages 9 and up]
City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
City of Ember is a very great book where you can predict what is happening next but makes you read on to find out if it really happens.
My son’s sisters also loved this book though Grasshopper and Sensei only liked part of the series. [middle grade, ages 9 and up]
The Watsons Go to Birmingham– 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
It is a very funny but serious book and I really like it. [middle grade, ages 9 and up]
4th Grade Non Fiction Books My Son Likes
Plant Hunters: True Stories of Their Daring Adventures to the Far Corners of the Earth by Anita Silvey
I think it’s a very interesting non-fiction book about how people get different plants and how we use them.
I never realized how dangerous and exciting life is for explorers who search out new plants. Anita Silvey’s book appeals to all ages; my 91-year-old mother loved this book too! [non-fiction middle grade, ages 8 and up]
The Abracadabra Kid: A Writer’s Life by Sid Fleischman
It’s very interesting learning about Sid Fleishman’s amazing life.
Sid Fleischman’s The Whipping Boy won the Newbery award and this experience is but one chapter in his life who career began as a Vaudeville magician and he’s since been conjuring up magic with words for adults, kids, and the silver screen. A memoir that is also a How To guide for writers and those in search of their dreams, this is another chapter book with a wide age appeal! I loved it too! [autobiography middle grade, ages 9 and up]
Icons: The DC Comics and Wildstorm Art of Jim Lee
I like looking at the drawings, especially the ones that turned into action figures.
It was a Superhero Wii game that got my son really in Marvel and DC comic superheroes but it’s launched him into drawing comics at a mad frenzy, reading comics and now reading these books on comic book artists. I was thrilled to learn that Jim Lee is Korean American (my son is half Korean American) and persuaded his parents to let him try this “comic book drawing thing” instead of pursuing medicine at Princeton. I told my son that we might even be related!
What is really great about this book is that you see the sketches Jim Lee drew as well as the finished artwork. He’s a master at drawing realistic faces and muscles; not an easy thing to do! We also noticed how all the elements in his drawing have a sense of movement and drama and tried to pay attention as to how he did that. [coffee table nonfiction book, ages 9 and up]
100 Most Feared Creatures on the Planet from Scholastic
This is a cool nonfiction book about the 100 feared creatures around the world like snakes and sharks.
My son has enjoyed several books from this series. It’s great at bedtime when you are rushing to get the lights out because you can read just a page or two on one creature and feel fulfilled. [nonfiction picture book, ages 6 and up]
2015 Book of World Records from Scholastic
I like the Book of World Records because it lets me see all the crazy things that people do to set records.
This is a surefire book along with Ripley’s Believe It or Not to get boys reading! [non fiction, ages 5 and up]
D’Aulaire’s Book of Norse Myths by Ingri and Edgar Darin D’Aulaire
I like this book because all of the mythology that it tells you about will be in Rick Riordan’s new series and it helps me get ready to predict what’s happening.
My son refused to read this two years ago when I bought it for him but he asked to read it after finishing the last Percy Jackson book because he said he was getting ready for the Magnus Chase new series! I love how my son is planning ahead! And I am finding that we might need to read this Norse myth book at least twice; the gods and goddesses are unfamiliar to us and it’s hard to keep track of them! [mythology middle grade, ages 8 and up]
Twenty-two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank by Paula Yoo, illustrated by Jamel Akib
This was a very inspiring biography and it helps me connect with a book I read called One Hen.
I love how my son got the message from this biography picture book that one person CAN make a huge impact in the world, but it takes a lot of perseverance! He read One Hen two years ago at school so I was surprised that he talked about the book as if it was read to him in class that day. [nonfiction picture book, ages 7 and up]
Everyone Prays: Celebrating Faith Around the World by Alexis York Lumbard, illustrated by Alireza Sadeghian
This was a fun short nonfiction picture book about religion around the world.
My son asked about world religions so I rushed to get this book in front of him. It gives a nice overview of different religions and I hope it will set him up ask to learn more. [nonfiction picture book, ages 4 and up]
The Unofficial Holy Bible for Minecrafters: A Children’s Guide to the Old and New Testament by Christopher Miko
[graphic novel, ages 6 and up]
Picture Book That Made My Son Laugh
A Call for a New Alphabet by Jef Czejak
I like this book because of the take on the letter X wanting an entirely new alphabet.
We met Jef Czejak at an author event when the kids drew collaborative comics. My son sat and read this picture book while I waited in line to have books signed. He then very shyly went to Jef to tell him how much he liked his book. It’s great because it’s a funny story that embeds grammar into the book such as “i before e except after c”. Very clever and effective! [picture book, ages 4 and up]
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.