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57 Awesome 4th Grade Books You’ll Want To Share With Students
Titles to inspire each one of your fourth graders!
Fourth grade is an exciting time to share books with kids. Whether it’s reading aloud a fascinating nonfiction picture book or compelling personal narrative, hooking a reluctant reader with a new graphic novel, or matching a kid with just the novel they need right now, your fourth grade classroom library should be where it’s at. Old favorites are awesome, but when you’re looking to update the choices on your shelves, check out this big list of recent fourth grade books recommended by educators.
Note: There’s such a huge range of emotional maturity in fourth grade, and you know your students best. A few of these books may be best read aloud and discussed together.
(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)
1. Paradise Sands: A Story of Enchantment by Levi Pinfold
Four siblings visit a creepy desert hotel and plunge into a haunting adventure. This mesmerizing and mysterious picture book is guaranteed to get your fourth graders talking, wondering, flipping back to check text evidence, and making inferences.
Buy it: Paradise Sands: A Story of Enchantment at Amazon
2. Heart Berry Bling by Jenny Kay Dupuis
Maggie visits her grandmother for a delicious fry bread lunch and cozy afternoon beading together. Through this relatable personal narrative, kids can learn about Anishinaabe beading and culture, as well as the impact of the Indian Act on First Nations women and families in Canada. This is a fantastic upper elementary picture book—so much to learn and discuss together!
Buy it: Heart Berry Bling at Amazon
3. Noticing by Kobi Yamada
Add this beauty to your fourth grade books to encourage mindfulness . A girl and an artist learn together how to notice both the familiar and the unknown.
Buy it: Noticing at Amazon
4. The Little Mermaid retold by Jerry Pinkney
Jerry Pinkney’s breathtaking update to a classic, high-interest tale stars a main character of color and has affirming themes of friendship, family, and identity.
Buy it: The Little Mermaid at Amazon
5. Love by Matt de la Peña
This moving title is ageless, but we particularly love how it can get fourth graders talking in more depth about a complex topic.
Buy it: Love at Amazon
6. Bringing Back the Wolves: How a Predator Restored an Ecosystem by Jude Isabella
This book is a science unit unto itself! In systematic sections, it explores what happened when wolves disappeared from—and then came back to—Yellowstone National Park. Build kids’ understanding of vocabulary about relationships within an ecosystem with this memorable real-world story.
Buy it: Bringing Back the Wolves at Amazon
7. How Do You Spell Unfair? MacNolia Cox and the National Spelling Bee by Carole Boston Weatherford
This is the nonfiction account of African American eighth grader MacNolia Cox and her trip to the 1936 National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. It puts experiences with racism into relatable contexts for all kids and would be great to spark additional learning and discussion about kids’ experiences with discrimination.
Buy it: How Do You Spell Unfair? MacNolia Cox and the National Spelling Bee at Amazon
8. Glitter Everywhere! Where It Came From, Where It’s Found, and Where It’s Going by Chris Barton
The awesome thing about sharing nonfiction picture books with fourth graders is how everyone can learn something new. From teaching vocabulary words like “iridescent” to looking at the environmental impact of its microplastic composition, this author answers every imaginable question about glitter! We love how this title shows kids an unconventional nonfiction writing topic too.
Buy it: Glitter Everywhere! at Amazon
9. Stand as Tall as the Trees: How an Amazonian Community Protected the Rain Forest by Patricia Gualinga and Laura Resau
This inspiring story highlights the activism of Kichwa people to stop rainforest deforestation. It reminds us of Lynne Cherry’s The Great Kapok Tree but with more in-depth factual information. It’s a perfect complement to rainforest or ecosystem studies or as part of an exploration of indigenous cultures. The author’s note “Standing Up for Land Around the World” would be a fantastic springboard for small-group research projects on indigenous movements to protect land.
Buy it: Stand as Tall as the Trees at Amazon
10. Becoming Muhammad Ali: A Novel by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander
Before he was a household name, Cassius Clay was a kid with struggles like any other. Written in prose and verse, this book looks at his life from birth to age 17. It captures the budding charisma and youthful personality of one of the greatest sports heroes of all time.
Buy it: Becoming Muhammad Ali at Amazon
11. Sound: Shhh … Bang … POP … BOOM! by Romana Remanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv
Here’s a perfect example of artistry in informational writing. A neon color scheme and tons of visual features give readers a primer on the topic of sound. Share as part of a science unit on sound or to simply help students up the cool factor in their own nonfiction writing.
Buy it: Sound: Shhh … Bang … POP … BOOM! at Amazon
12. She Was the First! The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm by Katheryn Russell-Brown
This biography chronicles the bold achievements of the first Black person to run for president as a major party candidate. While short in stature, Shirley Chisholm was a strong, influential leader and advocate who made a lasting impact. Your students deserve to be inspired by her!
Buy it: She Was the First! at Amazon
13. Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham and Charles Waters
When an unlikely pair works on a poetry project together, they think they have nothing in common. The effective back-and-forth format will get kids thinking.
Buy it: Can I Touch Your Hair? at Amazon
14. Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley, and Marjory Wentworth
Award-winning authors Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley, and Marjory Wentworth have compiled this collection of poems that celebrates poets who have touched their lives and influenced their work.
Buy it: Out of Wonder at Amazon
15. I’m Trying To Love Math by Bethany Barton
After convincing arguments heralding bees and spiders in her previous titles, Bethany Barton uses her powers of persuasion to demonstrate the wide reach, usefulness, and coolness of math. Read this to quell any groans about the relevance of math in the real world.
Buy it: I’m Trying To Love Math at Amazon
16. Pass Go and Collect $200: The Real Story of How Monopoly Was Invented by Tanya Lee Stone
It’s a history lesson from a completely unique angle. Add this to your fourth grade books to use as nonfiction writing mentor texts. Of course, after reading, you’ll need to break out the board game during indoor recess or invite your students to design their own.
Buy it: Pass Go and Collect $200 at Amazon
17. Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went From the Football Field to the Art Gallery by Sandra Neil Wallace
This isn’t your typical athlete’s biography. Everyone thought Ernie Barnes should play professional football, but he never gave up on his dream of being an artist.
Buy it: Between the Lines at Amazon
18. So Tall Within: Sojourner Truth’s Long Walk Toward Freedom by Gary D. Schmidt
Introduce students to this fascinating and influential woman who worked tirelessly to fight against both racial and gender inequality.
Buy it: So Tall Within at Amazon
19. Flight for Freedom: The Wetzel Family’s Daring Escape From East Germany by Kristen Fulton
A family secretly builds a hot-air balloon for a nighttime crossing over the Berlin Wall. This compelling story is a perfect-sized slice of history to captivate students. The information provided about the actual construction of the hot-air balloon, both in the text and extensive back matter, could also spark interesting STEM conversations about the design process.
Buy it: Flight for Freedom at Amazon
20. The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman
Maria Merian was a brave and passionate scientist who was well ahead of her time. This beautifully written and illustrated chapter book biography offers so many discussion opportunities.
Buy it: The Girl Who Drew Butterflies at Amazon
21. Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! by Marley Dias
Marley Dias, creator of the #1000blackgirlbooks movement, is an amazing peer role model to teach kids about activism.
Buy it: Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! at Amazon
22. Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night by Rob Laidlaw
Great nonfiction challenges readers’ thinking with a clear focus. This fascinating title about bat conservation does just that.
Buy it: Bat Citizens at Amazon
23. Two Truths and a Lie books by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson
Make discussions about responsible research practices memorable and fun. This innovative series asks readers to separate fact from fiction in short sections ideal for classroom discussion.
Buy it: Two Truths and a Lie books at Amazon
24. You Choose series by various authors
Hopefully you already have a few titles from this longstanding “Choose Your Own Adventure”–style series mixed into your fourth grade books, but did you know they keep coming out with cool new titles? We love this series for getting kids thinking and talking about their reading. After all, they have to make the decisions about how they’d react when faced with dangerous animals, infamous monsters, and plenty more! Great for small-group or partner reads.
Buy it: You Choose: Wild Encounters at Amazon
Buy it: You Choose: Monster Hunter at Amazon
25. I Survived Graphix series by Lauren Tarshis
These popular nonfiction chapter book adventures are now fast-paced graphic novels! You’ll want the entire series for sure.
Buy it: I Survived Graphix at Amazon
26. Grace Needs Space! by Benjamin A. Wilgus and Rii Abrego
We were glad to add this futuristic, inclusive graphic novel to our fourth grade book offerings. Grace can’t wait to travel on her own to visit one of her moms, who works on a space station on a distant moon. Despite the out-of-this-world setting, kids will have lots of connections to how hard it can feel when a highly anticipated experience doesn’t quite go as expected.
Buy it: Grace Needs Space! at Amazon
27. When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed
This unparalleled graphic novel shares the true story of Somali brothers’ life growing up in a refugee camp. Put this at the top of your stack of fourth grade books to build kids’ background knowledge about the experiences of refugees. We’ve seen many kids finish it and then immediately start it over again!
Buy it: When Stars Are Scattered at Amazon
28. Paws series by Nathan Fairbairn
This graphic novel series is ideal for kids who like the Baby-Sitters Club graphic novels . Four best friends who love animals but aren’t allowed to have pets come up with a masterful plan to start a dog-walking business.
Buy it: Paws series at Amazon
29. Squished by Megan Wagner Lloyd
Avery Lee is one of seven siblings, and she wishes she could just have some of her own space! This graphic novel shares all the drama, chaos, and love that happens in a big family. It’s perfect for kids who live in large families themselves or have wondered what it would be like. We adore this author-illustrator team—also check out Allergic —and hope they keep creating together.
Buy it: Squished at Amazon
30. Witches of Brooklyn series by Sophie Escabasse
When Effie moves in with her aunts in Brooklyn and finds out she’s part of a family of witches, everything changes. This graphic novel series has an appealing balance of fantasy and realistic themes about growing up.
Buy it: Witches of Brooklyn series at Amazon
31. Front Desk series by Kelly Yang
This delightful series follows the adventures of Mia Tang, who lives in a motel with her immigrant parents. As her parents clean the motel and help other immigrant families, Mia dreams of being a writer. A timely collection of fourth grade books that honors Chinese culture and experiences.
Buy it: Front Desk series at Amazon
32. New From Here by Kelly Yang
Just go ahead and stock your fourth grade bookshelves with every title Kelly Yang writes! Kids especially love this pandemic-themed story. Ten-year-old Knox has to move suddenly from Hong Kong to California when COVID-19 first begins to spread. The racism he faces in his new home is an unexpected challenge.
Buy it: New From Here at Amazon
33. City Spies series by James Ponti
In this thrilling series that Stuart Gibbs called “a must-read,” Edgar Award winner James Ponti brings together five kids from all over the world and transforms them into real-life spies. It’s wonderful for fans of Spy School and Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls .
Buy it: City Spies series at Amazon
34. Count Me In by Varsha Bajaj
An uplifting story, told through the alternating voices of two middle schoolers, in which a community rallies to reject racism.
Buy it: Count Me In at Amazon
35. A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga
Mars rover Res (short for Resilience) is not designed to have feelings—but as he observes the humans around him, emotional responses seem to start creeping in. When his Mars mission launches, he has to dig deep to live up to his name. Quick chapters and varying formats and points of view keep readers hooked on this story. It would be a huge hit as a class read-aloud or for coding- and robotics-loving kiddos.
Buy it: A Rover’s Story at Amazon
36. Welcome to Wonderland series by Chris Grabenstein
Kids will race through this zany series about ambitious P.T. Wilkie, who goes to desperate creative lengths to save his grandfather’s Florida motel. It has a perfect blend of humor and inspirational kid power winning over greedy adults. Plus, kids will learn a bit about business. Add these to your fourth grade books to energize reluctant readers.
Buy it: Welcome to Wonderland series at Amazon
37. The Many Fortunes of Maya by Nicole D. Collier
Maya has a lot on her mind. She loves soccer, music, and her family. But this summer, it feels like things aren’t right. Fresh, readable, and relatable, kids who have experience with parental separation will connect with Maya and appreciate the feel-good ending. The fortune cookie fortunes at the start of each chapter are a fun detail.
Buy it: The Many Fortunes of Maya at Amazon
38. Speculation by Nisi Shawl
When Winna breaks her glasses by mistake, her grandfather gives her a pair that used to belong to her great aunt. She’s in for a huge surprise when it turns out the glasses are magic! They can transport her back in time to learn more about her ancestors—and now it’s up to Winna to solve a crucial mystery. Fantasy-lovers will blaze through this enthralling story, but you can also add this title to your fourth grade books that build kids’ background knowledge about slavery.
Buy it: Speculation at Amazon
39. The Firefly Summer by Morgan Matson
For as long as Ryanna can remember, it’s just been her and her movie-director dad living a quiet, organized life in California. Then her dad gets a letter from her maternal grandparents on the East Coast inviting Ryanna to spend the summer at their camp. She plunges into a wild extended-family scene and a family mystery, complete with a mysterious treasure map to decipher. Share this fun story with fourth graders as they anticipate summer break, or anytime they need a dose of summer family fun.
Buy it: The Firefly Summer at Amazon
40. The Probability of Everything by Sarah Everett
This recent title gets rave reviews from educators for good reason—it’s breathtaking. Eleven-year-old Kemi shares her experiences and reflections as a catastrophic asteroid approaches Earth. This would make a powerful class read-aloud. Be sure to preview it: You’ll love savoring it solo but also because the ending is a surprise, and the book includes themes you’ll want to know about before sharing with students.
Buy it: The Probability of Everything at Amazon
41. Gold Rush Girl by Avi
Wanting to stay with her father, Tory stows away on a ship heading west to search for gold in 1848. Spot-on details and high suspense make this a vivid, absorbing historical adventure for your collection of fourth grade books.
Buy it: Gold Rush Girl at Amazon
42. Shuri: A Black Panther Novel by Nic Stone
Add this to your fourth grade books for students who love the Marvel Universe. This story, written by award-winning YA author Nic Stone, takes readers on an adventure with Shuri, the younger sister of T’Challa (aka the Black Panther).
Buy it: Shuri: A Black Panther Novel at Amazon
43. Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan
A beautifully written fantasy novel about a young man setting out on a perilous quest. This book, written by the author of Esperanza Rising , is sure to be well loved by your fourth grade students.
Buy it: Mañanaland at Amazon
44. New Kid by Jerry Craft
Winner of the Newbery Medal, the Coretta Scott King Author Award, and the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature, this is a graphic novel about the struggles of being the new kid in school.
Buy it: New Kid at Amazon
45. Weird Little Robots by Caroline Crimi
When two science-savvy girls create an entire robot world, they don’t expect the robots to come alive. But life may be a bit more magical than they thought.
Buy it: Weird Little Robots at Amazon
46. Pumpkin Falls Mysteries by Heather Vogel Frederick
These stories follow the adventures of Truly Lovejoy, a young girl whose family has moved from Texas to a tiny town in New Hampshire to take over their family’s century-old bookstore. Left largely to her own devices, Truly finds herself chasing down clues found in old books.
Buy it: Pumpkin Falls Mysteries at Amazon
47. Pax books by Sara Pennypacker
Included on the National Book Award Longlist, this poignant tale follows the growing pains of a relationship between a boy and his fox.
Buy it: Pax series at Amazon
48. Dragons in a Bag series by Zetta Elliott
This urban fantasy series begins when Jaxon finds out the mean old lady next door is a witch, and she asks him for his help delivering baby dragons to a magical world where they’ll be safe.
Buy it: Dragons in a Bag series at Amazon
49. Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
Inspired by her childhood love of classic books like A Secret Garden and The Chronicles of Narnia , bestselling author Tahereh Mafi crafts a spellbinding new world where color is currency, adventure is inevitable, and friendship is found in the most unexpected places.
Buy it: Furthermore at Amazon
50. Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
There are so many levels to this story of an 11-year-old boy and his grandmother’s unconventional road trip. The story packs in tons of background about the Civil Rights era without being preachy.
Buy it: Clean Getaway at Amazon
51. The One and Only series by Katherine Applegate
Endearing animal characters and perspectives, relatable emotions—this series of instant fourth grade book classics is a delight to kids and teachers alike!
Buy it: The One and Only series at Amazon
52. The Nerviest Girl in the World by Melissa Wiley
Pearl lives on a cattle-and-ostrich ranch and dreams of following in her brothers’ footsteps as a stunt double in silent films. This historical fiction title is full of fun and spunk and is great for learning about a storyteller’s voice.
Buy it: The Nerviest Girl in the World at Amazon
53. On These Magic Shores by Yamile Saied Méndez
When Minerva’s mother doesn’t come home from her night shift, Minerva takes care of her younger sisters. Amid grave uncertainty, unexplained events bring bits of comfort. This Peter Pan spinoff layers magical thinking with real themes of resilience, responsibility, and family bonds. It’s a fantastic class discussion novel or one to add to a list of fourth grade books to push independent readers toward deeper comprehension.
Buy it: On These Magic Shores at Amazon
54. Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai
Jingwen has lots to cope with between his recent move to Australia and his father’s death, but there’s still room for plenty of humor in this highly readable Own Voices graphic novel. It will particularly resonate with ELL students and those who’ve had to navigate a move to a new place.
Buy it: Pie in the Sky at Amazon
55. Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh by Uma Krishnaswami
Part sports novel, part World War II–era historical fiction—with a strong dose of girl power—readers will be cheering for Maria.
Buy it: Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh at Amazon
56. Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier
We’re predicting it here: This will become a new classic for kids. It’s a fable that stars a young chimney sweep girl during Victorian times who meets tragic circumstances, but the themes of friendship, acceptance, and resilience are timeless. If you have sensitive kiddos, preview it first before reading aloud.
Buy it: Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster at Amazon
57. We’re Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey
This book asks students to imagine they were sent to a completely different planet where they were the outcasts. When it happens to the main character, the situations range from funny to potentially dangerous, but the overall message is timely and meant to make your students think. And isn’t that what the best fourth grade books do?
Buy it: We’re Not From Here at Amazon
Plus, check out our other elementary grade–level book lists:
Best kindergarten books, best 1st grade books, best 2nd grade books, best 3rd grade books, best 5th grade books, which recent fourth grade books are your favorites let us know in the comments, looking for more great book lists subscribe to our newsletters to receive notifications when we post new ones .
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25 Must-Read Books for 4th Graders
M. Lynx Qualey
M. Lynx Qualey is the founder of ArabLit.org, a website that brings together translators, authors, publishers, critics, academics, and readers around discussions of Arabic literature in translation. She works as a book critic, reader, editor, and ghostwriter. You can follow her at @arablit .
View All posts by M. Lynx Qualey
Choosing books for 4th graders can be difficult. After all, they can be as different as any other group of readers! There are 4th graders who enjoy stories in The New Yorker, and there are 4th grade readers who struggle to read independently.
This list of the best books for 4th graders aims for the 9- and 10-year-old’s sweet spot. Not too old, not too young; not too serious, not too silly.
1) Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
This award-winning novel is a book for all ages. It’s a perfect road-trip fantasy, and it’s a crowd pleaser for kids and adults.
The novel is inspired by Chinese folklore. It opens in the Village of Fruitless Mountain, where 10-year-old Minli lives with her family. Minli sets off from home in a series of nested adventures, something like a journey through 1001 Nights , but for kids.
Grace Lin is worth following anywhere.
My fourth grader also recommends Lin’s 2) When the Sea Turned to Silver and 3) Starry River of the Sky . All are family favorites.
4) Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
My 4th grader can’t stop reading this series. In the opening book, a telepathic 12-year-old has never quite fit in. Finally, she meets Fitz and discovers a different world. She must leave her old life and figure out a new one before things go very wrong.
There are currently eight books in this compulsively readable series.
5) Camp by Kayla Miller
This book would make a fun gift for a kid going off to summer camp for the first time.
It follows Miller’s popular Click, and it sees protagonists Olive and Willow nervously head off to camp.
Olive makes friends right away, but Willow struggles. This book gets both the stress and the excitement of sleep-away camp.
6) Encyclopedia Mythologica: Fairies and Magical Creatures Pop-Up by Matthew Reinhart (Author) and Robert Sabuda (Illustrator)
“Open this entrancing book and meet Shakespeare’s Queen Titania, springing up with her silver wings aflutter.” This is a delight for fans of elves, castles, hobgoblins, and trolls. It is a 3D book with both facts and fancy, brownies and menfolk and more.
7) Wildwitch: Wildfire by Lene Kaaberbøl, Translated by Charlotte Barslund
Eleven-year-old Clara is an ordinary girl, so-called. But everything changes after an encounter with a huge and frightening black cat. It scratches her, and Clara is wracked with fever. Clara’s mother knows there is only one solution, and it’s with Aunt Isa in the wild woods. A wondrous Danish fantasy, now in English.
There are currently four Wildwitch books.
8) Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliot
After his mom leaves him in Brooklyn with grouchy “Ma,” 9-year-old Max finds a mysterious package on her table. This sets in motion a series of magical events.
As it turns out, Ma just might be a real witch who must return three dragons to their magical realm.
This is an enthralling city-based fantasy for kids.
9) Ana Maria Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle by Hilda Eunice Burgos
Ana Maria is living in a two-bedroom in Washington Heights with her parents and three sisters. Then her parents announce a new baby is on the way! All Ana Maria wants is to practice piano and get good enough for a new school. But it’s not easy to practice with so many competing needs in one small space.
10) Wolf and Dog by Sylvia Vanden Heede, Translated by Bill Nagelkerke
Wolf and Dog are cousins. Wolf is wild and lives in a forest on top of a hill. Dog is tame and has a basket and an owner. In these nine funny short stories by the popular Flemish children’s writer Sylvia Vanden Heede, Dog and Wolf discuss the important things in life. Food, for instance, and also family and fleas.
11) The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: Mya in the Middle by Crystal Allen and Eda Kaban
This third and final book in a series focuses on middle child Mya.
Like many middle children, Mya struggles to get the attention of her sleep-deprived parents. Mya’s baby sister is too cute, and her older brother is too smart. Her struggles will be familiar to many middle kids.
12) Who Can Crack the Leonardo da Vinci Code? By Thomas Brezina, Translated by Hannah Sartin
This an excellent book for the mystery-oriented 4th grader! It’s a children’s adventure book. In it, accompanied by a little dog Pablo, readers start their journey in a Museum of Adventures. From there, they travel back in time to meet the artist himself.
Using the tools provided, readers can solve seven riddles hidden inside Da Vinci’s paintings. When they do, they can save the museum from cunning villains.
13) Each Tiny Spark by Pablo Cartaya
Emilia is having a tough time. At school, she can’t focus. At home, her dad is newly home from deployment. He’s spending a lot of time alone in his studio, welding.
Eventually, Emilia and her father begin to weld together. The shared experience brings them together and helps them heal.
14) Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai
This book is a heartbreaker. In it, Jingwen has immigrated to Australia after the death of his father, along with his mother and brother. Jingwen struggles to learn English and feel motivated in class. The only thing that still makes him happy is baking pies, something he shared with his bakery owner father.
15) The Last-Last Day of Summer by Lamar Giles and Dapo Adeola
This is a quirky adventure novel about cousins Sheed and Otto Alston, legendary heroes in their hometown. This book has everything that you might for a rollicking adventure: time travel, robots, time freezing, magic mirrors and familial bickering. Overall, this strange tale kept me on my toes and left me with a smile on my face.
16) Max & The Midknights by Lincoln Peirce
This half-book, half-comic hybrid is set in the Middle Ages. In it, Max is a troubadour wandering 14th century Europe in the hopes of finding an epic quest. He needs just such a quest to make him a knight.
17) Blended by Sharon M. Draper
Isabella is struggling to deal with her parents’ divorce. She’s torn between the worlds of her white waitress mother and her Black lawyer father.
Both are in serious relationships with other people and have a hard time being around each other.
Isabella’s parents finally find a way to make common cause after Isabella and her half-brother are stopped by police.
18) The Case of the Missing Auntie by Michael Hutchinson
On the list of the American Indians in Children’s Literature list of “ Best Books of the Year ” in 2019.
In The Case of Windy Lake , Hutchinson introduced four mystery-solving Cree cousins: Atim, Chickadee, Samuel, and Otter. The four of them are known as the Mighty Muskrats. In this book, the Muskrats head for the city to visit even more cousins.
19) The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi
In this book, a trio of friends find themselves trapped inside a mechanical board game, something like a giant Rubik’s cube. They must take it apart, and defeat the game’s architect, to save themselves and other children.
More than anything, 12-year-old Farah and her two best friends must save Farah’s baby brother Ahmed.
They do this with the help of a lizard guide named Henrietta Peel and an aeronaut Vijay. They battle camel spiders, red scorpions, grease monkeys, and sand cats.
20) Farah Rocks Fifth Grade by Susan Muaddi Darraj
Farah is finding 5th grade difficult. A new girl shows up and starts bullying Farah’s younger brother. Farah decides she wants to deal with it on her own.
For 4th graders who are looking forward to 5th, and especially those who enjoy cooking. This book also includes the author’s recipe for hummus.
21) The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
“ The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.”
This is the first book in a best-selling series, and it follows Sophie and Agatha as they make their way into their new lives. Sophie thinks she’ll be headed for the School for Good. Agatha, it seems, will be going to the School for Evil. The two girls are surprised as their assignments are reversed.
22) Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
One of the many delights by Funke, along with her Inkheart series and her wonderful The Thief Lord.
In this book, a young dragon named Firedrake gets a frightening warning. Humans are planning to destroy his valley. All the dragons must flee, and Firedrake needs to help them look for a new home. With a lonely boy named Ben on his back, Firedrake might have a chance.
23) Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! by Mariko Tamaki (Author) and Brooklyn Allen (Illustrator)
The Lumberjanes is a fun adventure series. In this book, April leads her friends up a mountain. Except…they didn’t plan to run into the Cloud People.
The characters are bright and quirky, fun to spend time with, both for 4th graders and their adults.
24) The Unicorn Quest by Kamilla Benko
“Claire Martinson still worries about her older sister Sophie, who battled a mysterious illness last year. But things are back to normal as they move into Windermere Manor…until the sisters climb a strange ladder in a fireplace and enter the magical land of Arden.
“There, they find a world in turmoil. The four guilds of magic no longer trust each other. The beloved unicorns have gone, and terrible wraiths roam freely. Scared, the girls return home. But when Sophie vanishes, it will take all of Claire’s courage to climb back up the ladder, find her sister, and uncover the unicorns’ greatest secret.”
25) Arnica, the Duck Princess by Ervin Lazar, Translated by Anna Bentley
A classic Hungarian’s children’s story. In it, clever Princess Arnica loves Poor Johnny. Both are cursed by the Witch of a Hundred Faces. One must always be a duck, one must be human.
The Seven-Headed Fairy must help them, but will she come in time?
A story of friendship for children of all ages.
Find even more books for 4th graders in our list of the best chapter books for kids .
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Best Books for Fourth Graders
By fourth grade, 9- and 10-year-olds are not only devouring books, they're expanding their worldviews, too. They love reading about all kinds of families and kids in all kinds of situations and countries, living in their own time or other eras . We've selected some surefire titles in a variety of genres -- from mystery to mythology to middle school tales and more -- that we know click with kids at this age and stage of development. And some are series starts, so they keep on giving. Get ready to get hooked!
City Spies, Book 1
Diverse young, skilled misfits team up in exciting spy romp.
Boy and grandma's thrilling ride through U.S., family past.
Soaring, poignant, novel in verse hits all the right spots.
Front Desk, Book 1
Immigrant kid tackles racism, bullying in powerful tale.
Brilliantly written, inventive pre-LOTR tale.
The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1
Greek myths meet fast-paced adventure in boy-demigod tale.
Tween rescues refugees in moving magical realism tale.
Shuri: A Black Panther Novel, Book 1
Bold princess shines in African superhero adventure.
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
Toddler antics bug brother, amuse readers in 1st Fudge book.
The War That Saved My Life
Abused girl finds courage, family in compelling WWII story.
When You Reach Me
Perfectly voiced, mysterious sci-fi coming-of-age tale.
"Who Could That Be at This Hour?": All the Wrong Questions, Book 1
Snicket in fine form as a 12-year-old solving noir mystery.
As Brave As You
Poignant summer adventure brims with family love and hope.
Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court
Thoughtful memoir by basketball star and civil rights icon.
Becoming Muhammad Ali
Lyrical novel traces childhood, evolution of sports legend.
Soccer player faces divorce, bullies in fast-paced novel.
Brown Girl Dreaming
Captivating poems depict coming-of-age in tumultuous 1960s.
Count Me In
Powerful, appealing story about 7th grader fighting racism.
The Ear, the Eye and the Arm
Amazing adventure about siblings lost in a future Zimbabwe.
Girl finds her strengths in rich, poignant Depression tale.
Other great lists from our editors
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- Help Your Kids Find Books with Diverse Characters
Whether you're looking to challenge voracious readers or intrigue more reluctant students, a diversified library filled with compelling, engaging texts is an essential part of any classroom. The titles in this collection have been carefully chosen by Scholastic Editors to specifically meet the needs of fourth grade learners.
For instance, The Bad Guys is a hilarious graphic novel series about a misfit crew that often fails miserably when trying so hard to be good. These are titles that reluctant or voracious readers will be sure to laugh their way through. The engaging text and fun graphics will be appealing and relevant to your students. There's also Who Would Win?: Killer Whale vs. Great White Shark — a nonfiction book that showcases facts about mighty animals. Your student will love the full-color pictures and easy-to-read scientific facts.
Filled with award-winners, favorite authors, beloved characters, and engaging fiction and nonfiction titles across a wide range of reading levels, these texts will keep students reading while also challenging them to think more deeply and make more complex connections with the books they love.
Shop these noteworthy books below! You can find all books and activities at The Teacher Store .
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4th Grade Reading List Books
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