Too-Good-to-Miss Books: 4th Grade

Staff recommendations for children at a fourth grade reading level.

Compiled by:
Children's Services Staff
The Animal Book: A Collection of the Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest – and Most Surprising – Animals on Earth

Steve Jenkins
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 590 Jen)

Shares facts on over three hundred animals and offers a brief overview of the history of life on Earth. Dance with a blue-footed booby, or stare down an eyelash viper. But mind your step-- in the animal world, the name of the game is survival.

Archer's Quest

Linda Sue Park
(Juvenile Fiction - J Park)

Twelve-year-old Kevin Kim helps Chu-mong, a legendary king of ancient Korea, return to his own time.

Black Elk's Vision: A Lakota Story

S.D. Nelson
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 978.0049 Nel)

A simple biography of Lakota-Oglala medicine man Black Elk, from his childhood vision which shaped his life through his battles with the whites and his travels with Buffalo Bill's Wild West show.

Brothers at Bat: the True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team

Audrey Vernick
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 796.3579 Ver)

Documents the story of the Baseball Hall of Fame honorees, tracing how the Acerra family of New Jersey formed their own semi-pro baseball team in the 1930s and became the longest-running all-brother team in history.

Chews Your Destiny

Rhode Montijo
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Montijo)
Series: Montijo, Rhode. Gumazing gum girl!

When Mom issues a no-gum rule, Gabby Gomez sneaks a piece of special bubble gum that turns her into a superhero.


Louise Erdrich
(Juvenile Fiction - J Erdrich)

In 1866, Omakayas's son Chickadee is kidnapped by two ne'er-do-well brothers from his own tribe and must make a daring escape, forge unlikely friendships, and set out on an exciting and dangerous journey to get back home.

The Field Guide

Tony DiTerlizzi, Holly Black
(Juvenile Fiction - J DiTerli)
Series: DiTerlizzi, Tony. Spiderwick chronicles ; bk. 1.

When the Grace children go to stay at their Great Aunt Lucinda's worn Victorian house, they discover a field guide to fairies and other creatures and begin to have some unusual experiences.

Full of Beans

Jennifer Holm
(Juvenile Fiction - J Holm)

Ten-year-old Beans Curry, a member of the Keepsies, the best marble playing gang in Depression-era Key West, Florida, engages in various schemes to earn money while "New Dealers" from Washington, D.C., arrive to turn run down Key West into a tourist resort.

Gertie's Leap to Greatness

Kate Beasley
(Juvenile Fiction - J Beasley)

When her estranged mother decides to move out of town, Gertie devises a five-step plan that will make her the best fifth grader ever in order to show her mother what she'll be leaving behind, but a new student challenges her efforts.

Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a Scientist's Microscope

Stephen P. Kramer
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 570.282 Kr)
Series: Scientists in the field

Enter the world of a microscopist. See magnified pictures of jellyfish, dust mites, and other creatures, neatly tinted to accentuate body features. Look for more Scientists in the field titles.

Ida B: - and her plans to maximize fun, avoid disaster, and (possibly) save the world

Katherine Hannigan
(Juvenile Fiction - J Hanniga)

In Wisconsin, fourth-grader Ida B spends happy hours being home-schooled and playing in her family's apple orchard, until her mother begins treatment for breast cancer and her parents must sell part of the orchard and send her to public school.


Kevin Henkes
(Juvenile Fiction -- J Henkes)

The week of her tenth birthday, Alice and her parents go to Sanibel Island, Florida, just as they do every year, but this time some of the people who are always there are missing and some new people have come, which unsettles Alice, who wants things to be exactly the same as they alway are.

Love That Dog

Sharon Creech
(Juvenile Fiction - J Creech)

A young student, who comes to love poetry through a personal understanding of what different famous poems mean to him, surprises himself by writing his own inspired poem.

Mirror Mirror : a Book of Reversible Verse

Marilyn Singer
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 811.54 Sin)

A collection of short poems which, when reversed, provide new perspectives on the fairy tale characters they feature.

Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab: A Mystery with Electromagnets, Burglar Alarms, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself

Bob Pflugfelder
(Juvenile Fiction - J Pflugfe)
Series: Pflugfelder, Bob, 1967 NIck and Tesla ; 1

After moving in with their eccentric uncle, Nick and Tesla encounter strange occurrences in their new neighborhood and build gadgets using simple household objects to help them solve the mysteries.

No Talking

Andrew Clement
(Juvenile Fiction - J Clement)

The noisy fifth grade boys of Laketon Elementary School challenge the equally loud fifth grade girls to a "no talking" contest.

Out of My Mind

Sharon M. Draper
(Juvenile Fiction - J Draper)

A brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy, considered by many to be mentally retarded, discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.

Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis

Jabari Asim
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 921 Lewis Asi)

Critically acclaimed author Jabari Asim and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator E. B. Lewis give readers a fascinating glimpse into the boyhood of Civil Rights leader John Lewis.

Real Friends

Shannon Hale
(Juvenile Graphic Novels - J Hale)

When her best friend Adrienne starts hanging out with the most popular girl in class, Shannon questions with whether she and Adrienne will stay friends, and if she is part of the clique.

A Room with a Zoo

Jules Feiffer
(Juvenile Fiction - J Feiffer)

Julie loves animals. In fact, she loves animals so much that she's assembling a zoo in her room -- complete with a hamster, a gangster fish, Turtlini the turtle, and others. Laugh along as Julie adds more pets to her collection and chaos in her family's life.

Sahara Special

Esme Raji Codell
(Juvenile Fiction - J Codell)

Struggling with school and her feelings since her father left, Sahara gets a fresh start with a new and unique teacher who supports her writing talents and the individuality of each of her classmates.

Seven Wild Sisters

Charles de Lint
(Juvenile Fiction - J Delint)
Series: De Lint, Charles, 1951- Newford series (Young adult)

Sarah Jane Dillard discovers and helps an injured 'sangman fairy in the Tanglewood Forest, putting herself, her six sisters, and friends Aunt Lillian and the Apple Tree Man in the middle of a fairy feud.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School

Louis Sachar
(Juvenile Ficiton - J Sachar)

Humorous episodes from the classroom on the thirtieth floor of Wayside School, which was accidentally built sideways with one classroom on each story. Look for more Wayside School titles.

The Tale of Despereaux: being the story of a mouse, a princess, some soup, and a spool of thread

Kate DiCamillo
(Juvenile Fiction - J Dicamil)

The adventures of Desperaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, the princess that he loves, the servant girl who longs to be a princess, and a devious rat determined to bring them all to ruin.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Grace Lin
(Juvenile Fiction - J Lin)

Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, buys a magical goldfish, and then joins a dragon who cannot fly on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon in hopes of bringing life to Fruitless Mountain and freshness to Jade River.

Words with Wings

Nikki Grimes
(Juvenile Fiction - J Grimes)

When Gabby's parents separate, her tendency to daydream becomes essential to coping with life's difficuties, which only increase when she moves with her mother to a new home and a new school.

The Zoo at the Edge of the World

Eric Kahn Gale
(Juvenile Fiction - J Gale)

Marlin, a stutterer, can talk smoothly and freely with the jungle animals that populate his father's zoo in South America--until a mysterious man-eating black jaguar that his father catches and brings back home talks back.