Reading is an integral part of the school experience. Whether children read independently or you read aloud to them, it’s an excellent way to gain knowledge and interact with the world. But readers range from reluctant to avid, and not all books will suit all students.
Here are 67 of the best 4th grade books for your fourth-grade students to read.
1. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis’s classic story of good triumphing over evil is one all the students will love. Evacuated to the country and life with an aged professor, the Pevensie children resign themselves to a boring holiday. But a trip into the Professor’s old wardrobe leaves them changed forever.
2. Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
Fantastic Mr. Fox is another classic tale. It’s the story of the fantastic Mr. Fox, whose remarkable cunning makes enemies of the farmers. Fantastic Mr. Fox is ideal for reading aloud to our grade fours. It opens up discussion about right, wrong, and standing up for your beliefs.
3. Matilda by Roald Dahl
Matilda is another book by Roald Dahl that works well as a Friday afternoon read-aloud story. Since Matilda is an adventurous reader, more advanced readers may also enjoy getting to know Dahl’s intrepid heroine through independent study. It’s a book about a love of reading and standing up to bullies.
These things significantly shape Matilda’s character and will leave an impression on the interested reader, too.
4. The Girl Who Drank the Moon Kelly Barnhill
Kelly Barnhill’s The Girl Who Drank the Moon is a whimsical, fantastical story about a young girl with magical powers. Advanced readers will appreciate Xan’s coming-of-age story. As a teaching tool, it’s an excellent introduction to shifting perspectives. It also asks interesting questions about love, sacrifice, and our choices for the people we care about.
5. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
No list of 4th-grade books would be complete without Judy Blume’s classic tale of fourth-grader Peter, turtle Dribble, and younger brother Fudge. Their many misadventures will feel familiar to siblings, older and younger.
The humor should engage even the most reluctant readers. It’s also an excellent book to read aloud because there was something for everyone to enjoy in Blume’s storytelling.
6. The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail by Richard Peck
This is a charming story of a mouse who sets out to speak with Queen Victoria. In the capable hands of award-winning author Richard Peck, the novel combines mystery with a bit of historical fiction.
7. The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney
Another animal tale, The World According to Humphrey, is full of familiar classroom anecdotes from the perspective of the class hamster. It’s funny and engaging and an exercise in unusual points of view. Humphrey is as human as he is hamster, and even the most reluctant readers will sympathize with him as he embarks on misadventures learning reading, writing, and arithmetic.
8. Anastasia Krupnick by Lois Lowry
Another of those 4th-grade books that are a staple of classroom libraries everywhere, Anastasia Krupnick tells the story of ten-year-old Anastasia as she navigates love, loss, and the arrival of her impending baby brother.
The largely self-contained chapters are an excellent way to gauge reading comprehension. At the same time, Anastasia’s lists of things she loves and hates and her ever-present red journal offer a glimpse of life young girls especially can relate with.
9. Where the Mountains Meet the Moon by Grace Lin
Where the Mountains Meet the Moon is an excellent literary companion for teachers who want to teach their students about non-western mythology. Lin’s award-winning novel draws on Chinese folklore to the story of a young girl and her dragon. The cast of characters is colorful, the stories immersive, and the artwork accompanying the text is stunning.
10. The Arkadians by Lloyd Alexander
In Lloyd Alexander’s classic tale, Joy-in-the-Dance is a girl on a mission, Lucian is a young boy running from fortune-tellers, and Fronto the donkey is a poet who’s suffered a terrible accident.
This makes an excellent introduction to Greek mythology, and students can use knowledge from the accompanying unit to theorize about what would happen next. Even without knowledge of mythology, there are enough twists and turns to keep students engaged.
11. The Quilt Walk by Sandra Dallas
When Emmy Blue Hatchett and her family decide to move west, she must leave everything she’s ever known. But before leaving, her grandmother gives her a gift. Emmy quilts for her doll as the family and their wagons go west. It’s a heart-warming story that reminds students change isn’t always bad.
12. Sideways Stories from the Wayside School by Louis Sachar
Stories from the Wayside School is another 4th-grade book that even reluctant readers can enjoy. The stories are short and straightforward, catching readers’ attention quickly. They’re also wonderfully whimsical and full of humor. The jokes are funny, ensuring everyone enjoys the stories, but there are benefits to deeper analysis for more advanced readers.
13. Who Could It Be At This Hour? by Lemony Snicket
In Who Could It Be at This Hour, twelve-year-old Lemony travels to Stained-by-the-Sea with his mentor, Theodora S Marksman as a recent graduate of a secret organization. While there, they must investigate a theft. But nothing is as it seems, not even Lemony’s overbearing mentor.
Snicket uses wordplay and humor to keep his readers engaged. If that isn’t compelling enough, the adults’ ineptitude and the lengths the children go to outmaneuver them will delight any 4th-grade reader.
14. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Jesse’s life changes when he befriends new girl Leslie at school. She brings color and life to his mundane world. But then tragedy strikes, changing Jesse’s life still further. Katherine Paterson’s award-winning novel is a story of friendship, loss, and how to survive the grief that follows.
15. Jack and Rebel, Police Dog by Jack Perry
Animals are a staple of 4th-grade books, and Jack and Rebel have lots. There are the titular dogs, which will appeal to young dog-lovers. There are cats too, who write the witty footnotes, ensuring even cat-lovers can enjoy this 4th grade book.
Rebel’s work as a police dog offers insight into the life of a service animal. But, Jack’s canine vocabulary keeps it accessible for young readers. And, of course, the feline footnotes explain everything else.
16. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
With beautiful illustrations of the natural world, Julie of the Wolves is the story of a young Inuktitut girl in Alaska. When life in her village becomes dangerous, she soon finds herself lost in the Alaskan tundra. Its message of overcoming adversity will resonate with fourth-grade readers, whatever their struggles.
17. Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery
This Canadian classic tells the story of Emily Byrd Starr. After her father dies, Emily leaves her beloved home to live with spinster aunts. Ideal for independent or guided study, it’s a story about the power of story, friendship, and finding love where we least expect it.
18. Lily’s Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff
Set during World War Two, Lily’s crossing is an excellent read for middle-grade readers. While the action stays focused on the home front, it remains an informative, moving novel. Additionally, it explores the consequences even our most unthinking actions have on others.
19. A Handful of Time by Kit Pearson
Patricia isn’t happy about being sent to her Alberta family for the summer. But then she discovers a pocket watch engraved with her grandmother’s initials and everything changes. As Patricia becomes an observer of the past, she realizes she may not know her mother as well as she thinks. A Handful of Time makes an excellent fourth-grade introduction to time-slip novels.
20. Holes by Louis Sachar
This 4th-grade book is part mystery, part coming of age. Stanley Yelnats finds himself at a detention camp where he must dig holes every day. But Stanley is clever and soon realizes he must dig these holes for a reason, and he sets out to find out what that is.
21. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
The Invention of Hugo Cabret is another story that crops up when discussing books for fourth graders. Orphaned clockmaker Hugo is soon involved with a bookish young girl and an embittered older man.
As they work together to solve a mystery, readers will be engaged not only by the text but by the pages, often without words, that capture even the most reluctant readers’ attention.
22. Dog Diaries: A Middle School Story by James Patterson
In James Patterson’s playful 4th grade read alouds, told from a dog’s perspective, Rafe and his unruly pet must attend obedience school. If they can’t win a trophy, they must face sending the dog back to the pound. This fourth-grade book explores the meaning of responsibility while staying funny, playful, and accessible.
23. Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunn
Siblings Cat and Chicken set off for summer camp. But it doesn’t go to plan. Chicken has special needs, and Cat does her best, but being a caretaker and a sibling is hard. As they recover with grandparents, a story unfolds about how to heal even the most damaged relationships.
24. Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker
Ware would much rather dream about the Middle Ages than endure summer camp. It’s not all bad, though. In this fourth-grade book, Ware befriends fellow misfit Jolene. Different as they are, both enjoy the sanctuary of an abandoned church. But then the church is threatened, and it’s up to the children to save it from demolition.
25. The Case of the Missing Moonstone by Jordan Stratford and Kelly Murphy
Young scientist Ada Lovelace and budding feminist Mary Wollstonecraft team up to solve crimes and teach young children about brilliant 17th-century women at the same time.
26. Rocket to the Moon by Don Brown
Based on a true story, this fourth-grade book is an accessible look at the space race. It tells the story of how America sent a man to the moon in a way middle-grade readers can understand and engage with.
27. Clever-Lazy by Joan Bodger
Clever-Lazy is a story of a young girl whose ideas are ahead of her time. Her inventions range from gunpowder to fireworks and often frighten people. Part coming of age, part historical fiction, Clever-Lazy reminds children that they can be whoever they want and that sometimes the unknown is only frightening because it is unknown.
28. Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManis and Traci Sorell
An accurate and informative representation of the Indian Relocation Act, Indian No More tells the story of an Indigenous family whose tribe gets forcibly disbanded and relocated to Los Angeles. This story is an excellent tool for teachers wanting to explore complex issues in a middle-school-appropriate way.
29. Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban
Set during World War Two, this historical fiction novel tells the story of Manami. She’s ten years old and American, until the bombing of Pearl Harbour, and she and her family journey to an internment camp. Like other 4th grade books on this list, it’s a compelling, age-appropriate look at an overlooked part of history.
30. The Sky Is Falling by Kit Pearson
The first in a series of fourth-grade books, The Sky is Falling, is another look at the Second World War. Norah and Gabe are uprooted from their lives in London, Britain, and evacuated to a strange country. Gabe fits in right away, but Norah feels left out. Will this new place ever feel like home?
31. All the Impossible Things by Lindsay Lackey
In All the Impossible Things, a young girl’s persistence helps her overcome impossible odds. Like other fourth-grade books, it’s a story about rising above the challenges we face.
32. When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed
Set in a Kenyan refugee camp, When Stars are Scattered is the story of two brothers and the challenges they face. Written for fourth-grade reading level, it offers teachers an approachable way to teach children about current events and politics.
33. We’re Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey
This delightful science-fiction chapter book for grade four readers takes the alien invasion story and turns it on its ear. Instead of aliens invading, humans take over an alien planet. But things get complicated when it emerges there’s a lot aliens dislike, including singing and comedy. Can humans and aliens learn to live together, or will the humans return to earth?
34. Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
Scoob is supposed to be grounded. His parents say so. Conveniently, Scoob neglects to tell G’ma in this fourth grade book about the American Civil War. The road trip between grandmother and grandson keeps it accessible while still informative.
35. Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
As fourth grade books go, this one deals with weighty material. Caitlin has Asbergers and doesn’t take complicated things well. Luckily, her older brother can help – until he dies in a school shooting. Despite the subject matter, the book remains sensitive and appropriate for its young audience. It offers readers insight on loss, neurodiversity, and overcoming our problems.
36. The Girl with the Glass Bird by Esme Kerr
In The Girl with the Glass Bird, Esme Kerr effortlessly blends spy thriller with mystery. When a glass bird at her uncle’s boarding school disappears, orphaned Esme must go undercover to find it. But it’s not long before the mission turns dangerous.
Uniquely, Kerr combines modern technology, like cell phones, with old-world artifacts to keep modern fourth-grade readers’ interest. Excellent for reading aloud or group study.
37. Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee
Karen Foxlee’s Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy is an innovative retelling of The Snow Queen. After the death of Ophelia’s mother, her father takes a job as curator to a museum in a city that never stops snowing.
Things get interesting when Ophelia befriends a young boy who says he’s been imprisoned in the museum for over three hundred years. But the young boy isn’t the only thing in the museum, and some of the things Ophelia must face to save her family take bravery and courage she never knew she possessed.
38. Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Hà grew up in Saigon. But when it falls, she and her family must flee. Based on the true story of author Thanhha Lai’s refugee experience, the novel paints a child’s perspective of the struggles Hà and her family face. But it’s also about the dreams that help them survive.
The paperback includes discussion questions for the class and context on the Vietnamese refugee experience that inspired Lai.
39. Woundabout by Lev Rosen
When siblings Connor and Cordelia arrive in the town of Woundabout with their pet capybara, it doesn’t take them long to realize the village has lots of rules. It’s also wound a certain way, and it doesn’t take the children long to realize they can transform the town. But with the villagers afraid of change, can they succeed?
40. Savvy by Ingrid Law
In Savvy, all the young children get special abilities when they turn 13. At almost-13, Mibs can’t wait for her birthday. But its importance diminishes when her father falls into a coma after an accident. Now all she wants to do is save him.
In this moving fourth-grade book, Mibs struggles to find her place in the world and save her father, all while discovering just what her new power does.
41. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein
The first in a series of books by Chris Grabenstein, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, is the adventurous tale of Kyle Keeley. Kyle is desperate to spend the opening night in the newly designed town library. But getting in turns out to be the easy part. The next morning Kyle and his friends are still locked in, and they must work together to escape the library.
42. When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller
When You Trap a Tiger combines Korean folklore with a coming-of-age story. When Lily’s family moves in with her ailing grandmother, a tiger appears and strikes a bargain with Lily. But keeping it may be more challenging than she anticipated. This story about stories poses a powerful question- how far would you go for someone you love?
43. Journey to Zentobia by Stacy D’Alessandro
Nothing is normal in Zentobia. The rain is orange, the animals talk, and you get there by stepping through a rainbow. When a wizard intent on bringing dark magic back threatens Zentobia, Maggie and her brother Peter set out to stop him.
44. North of Nowhere by Liz Kessler
Mia is disturbed when her grandfather goes missing in this love letter to friendship and family. Adding to that, her best friend leaves her messages but never meets up in person, and something is off. Mia must find a way to save them both before their futures become erased.
45. Never Girls: The Space Between by Kiki Thorpe
Lainey, Mia, Gabby, and Kate aren’t like other girls. They’ve found a way through to Never Land. But their return home is peppered with unanswered questions. When it looks like there’s a splinter keeping the two worlds linked, the girls step in to investigate.
46. The Island of Lost Horses by Stacy Gregg
This is another 4th grade book perfect for animal lovers. Twelve-year-old Beatriz develops an unlikely bond with a wild horse on a remote island. Their fates become increasingly interwoven as she learns more about the horse and her former rider. The story is based on the real-life unsolved mystery of Abaco Barb.
47. The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling
In The Chocolate Touch, its young protagonist develops the power to turn anything into chocolate. At first, it’s wonderful, but then it becomes a problem – quickly. A fun, fourth-grade spin on the myth of King Midas, this story reminds readers to be careful what they wish for.
48. The Bookwanderers by Anna James
This is a fourth-grade book for readers who love reading. The Bookwanderers is a fun, imaginative exploration of the power of reading and its ability to transport you somewhere new.
49. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret, is another of Judy Blume’s classic stories about coming of age. In this story, Margaret moves house and discusses everything from bras to boys with her new friends, but also with God. She’s a witty, relatable character that readers will relate to.
50. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Like other 4th grade books on this list, The Penderwicks is the story of four siblings. Destined to become a modern classic, the novel chronicles the story of the four sisters and friend Jeff as they explore Arundale’s estate and do their best to stay out of trouble.
51. The Lost Flower Children by Janet Taylor Lisle
Orphaned sisters Nellie and Oliva aren’t looking forward to a summer with their great-aunt. But then they discover a teacup in the overgrown garden.
When they learn about the flower children- young girls transformed into flowers until the tea set assembled anew- Nellie and Oliva know how they will spend the summer. A magical, memorable tale worthy of a place on any 4th-grade book list.
52. Outlaw Red by Jim Kjelgaard
Yet another of those 4th-grade books that are perfect for dog lovers. Sean enjoys a pampered existence in his kennel, dreaming of the wilderness. Then he finds himself in the thick of it and must adapt quickly to this new life or risk succumbing to hunters, wolves, and other threats.
53. Catwings by Ursula K. LeGuin
The first in Ursula K. LeGuin’s charming series about cats with wings, Catwings is one of several classic stories about finding a place in the world when you’re different. Determined to find a peaceful life, the Catwings fly off to the country, only to discover it’s not the cozy haven they expected.
54. Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
This fourth-grade book tells the moving story of Jackson. As he and his family face homelessness, he conjures up his best friend, an imaginary cat named Crenshaw. Crenshaw is gigantic, and when he’s around, he reminds Jackson anything is possible, even the impossible.
55. Real Friends by Shannon Hale
Sometimes the most challenging part of fourth grade isn’t the schoolwork, it’s your friends. Shannon Hale’s middle-grade book explores this when the long-established friendship between Sharon and Adrienne gets put to the test. Hale’s book talks about bullying and the true meaning of friendship.
56. The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann
A great story to add to your list, The Peculiar is about the challenges of standing out from the crowd. Hattie and Bartholomew are Peculiars, and they do their best to go unobserved. But when other Peculiars become victims because of their difference, Bartholomew and Hattie must stand up for their Peculiar kindred.
57. The Smartest Kid In the Universe by Chris Grabenstein
When Jake swallows some jelly beans, chaos ensues. The candy isn’t candy at all, it’s an informational drug and turns Jake into a genius. Now everyone is interested in Jake, and all he wants is life as a normal kid. It’s the first book in a series guaranteed to make fourth-grade readers laugh out loud.
58. The Magnificent Lizzie Brown and the Ghost Ship by Vicki Lockwood
This is a delightful mystery for fourth graders. The Magnificent Lizzie and her circus arrive in an English coastal village, and things quickly go awry. There are rumors of a ghost ship, and when a necklace goes missing, Lizzie’s friends are suspects in the theft. She must solve the mystery and save her friends before anything else goes wrong.
59. Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Tania del Rio
Warren the 13th inherits a hotel full of twists, turns, and secret treasures. As the sole caretaker, it’s up to him to look after the hotel and uncover its mysteries. But first, he must solve all kinds of puzzles. Fourth graders who enjoy riddles and clues will love Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye.
60. Weird Little Robots by Carolyn Crimi
Penny Rose, a builder of robots, has only her creations for friends. Until she meets fellow scientist Lark. Lark is a fellow scientist, and together they embark on a bit of science, a bit of magic, and an adventure fourth-grade readers are sure to enjoy.
61. The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
Roz the Robot wakes up on an island and has no idea why she’s there. As she befriends animals and discovers the wildlife, the island starts to feel like home. But then her past re-emerges and threatens the life she created. This fourth-grade book is full of action, nature, and approachable philosophy.
62. Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
Serafina lives secretly underneath a large estate. She promises to stay secret, but things change when the estate’s children start disappearing. Assisted by her friend, Braeden Vanderbilt, Serafina must solve the mystery of the disappearing children, even if it means breaking her promise. It’s a story of self-discovery and finding light in the darkness.
63. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
The Phantom Tollbooth is another timeless classic for fourth-grade kids to enjoy. Milo’s dull life is changed forever when he investigates a phantom tollbooth that appears overnight and introduces him to a whole new world.
64. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
As Greg Heffley, a self-proclaimed wimpy kid starts middle school, he’s glad he’s not alone. He has his best friend Rowley. But Rowley soon eclipses Greg in popularity, and there follows a series of adventures that test the friendship. This is the perfect fourth-grade book for exploring the difficulty of growing up and the value of a good friend.
65. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
This classic fourth-grade book features India Opal, who goes out to do the shopping and returns with a dog. Winn-Dixie changes everything. He helps India Opal make friends and changes India’s relationship with her father. Life is better because Winn-Dixie is in it. This is a heart-warming tale about a young girl and her dog.
66. Wish by Barbara O’Connor
Charlie Reese only has one wish. But she never expects to have it granted. Then, summer in North Carolina introduces her to stray dog Wishbone and Howard, the young boy next door. As this delightful middle-grade novel unfolds, it reminds readers that sometimes the wish we think we want isn’t what we need.
67. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
When James unwittingly leaves crystals too close to his aunt’s peach tree, strange things start to happen. This tale of adventure is perfect for ambitious readers familiar with Dahl’s other books. It features memorable characters and Roald Dahl’s quintessential wit and wordplay.
From historical chapter books to magical lands, these 67 selections are sure to teach 4th graders the importance of imagination and comprehension while reading. No matter what their interests are, there’s sure to be something on this list for anyone to enjoy, whether it’s in the classroom, at home, or shared together with friends and family.
Last Updated on May 13, 2022 by Emily