Too-Good-to-Miss Books: Fourth Grade

Staff recommendations for children at a fourth grade reading level.

Compiled by:
Children's Services Staff
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.

Archer's Quest

Linda Sue Parker
(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)
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.

Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a Scientist's Microscope

Stephen P. Kramer
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 570.282 Kr)
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 pans 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.

Igraine the Brave

Cornelia Funke
(Juvenile Fiction - J Funke)

The daughter of two magicians, twelve-year-old Igraine wants nothing more than to be a knight, and when their castle is attacked by a treacherous neighbor bent on stealing their singing magic books, Igraine has an opportunity to demonstrate her bravery.


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.

Merlin and the Making of the King

Margaret Hodges
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.2 King Arthur Hod)

In this collection of three exciting Arthurian tales, Merlin the magician watches over young Arthur as he rises to become king of all England.

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)
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.

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)
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.

Snarf Attack, Underfoodle, and the Secret of Life: The Riot Brothers Tell All

Mary Amato
(Juvenile Fiction - J Amato)

Join Orville and Wilbur as they get in and out of trouble and invent new games. The objective of Snarf Attack is to make an opponent laugh so hard at dinner that milk comes out of his or her nose. The objective of Underfoodle is to get as many pairs of underwear as possible on your head in thirty seconds. Look for more Riot Brothers titles.

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.

The Field Guide

Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
(Juvenile Fiction - J DiTerli)
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.

The One-Eyed Giant

Mary Pope Osborne
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 883 Osb)

Meet Odysseus and share his adventures in which he battles such famous monsters as the Cyclops and meets powerful Greek gods and goddesses.  This is the first installment of Mary Pope Osborne's retelling of Homer's "The Odyssey."

The Princess Test

Gail Carson Levine
(Juvenile Fiction - J Le)

In this humorous retelling of "The Princess and the Pea," Lorelei must pass difficult tests in order to prove that she is a true princess.

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)

Gabby daydreams to tune out her parents' arguments, but when her parents divorce and she begins a new school, daydreaming gets her into trouble. Her mother scolds her for it, her teacher keeps telling her to pay attention, and the other kids tease her...until she finds a friend who also daydreams and her teacher decides to work a daydreaming-writing session into every school day. With a notebook "thick with daydreams," Gabby grows more confident about herself and her future. This verse novel poignantly celebrates the power of writing and the inspiration a good teacher can deliver.