Fourth Grade Reading List
by No Author Text Year Published:Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has become a world classic -- a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with the Nazis occupying Holland, 13-year-old Anne and her Jewish family went into hiding in the "secret annex" of an old office building; while living there, Anne recorded her experiences in a diary. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and a compelling self-portrait of an extraordinary young woman whose life was tragically cut short by No Author Text Year Published:Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni's mother walked out on her seven years ago, and she's been asking about her ever since — so that she won't forget her mom. But when she moves to Naomi, Florida, and befriends a lively stray dog, the canine helps her meet some unusual characters who teach her about love, life, and forgiveness. by Christopher Paul Curtis Year Published:In this Newbery Award winning book we are asked to believe that a ten-year-old boy, without resources other than his own self-constructed list of rules "to Have a Funner Life and Make a Better Liar Out of Yourself", will find love, a home and a real family. Such is the skill of Christopher Paul Curtis that we take all that and more with hardly a nod toward the percentages. Meet Bud, not Buddy, one of the most delightful young people you'll ever know. He belongs right in there with Maniac Magee (http://www.carolhurst.com/titles/maniacmagee.html) and others of their ilk who enlighten the human experience for readers and make us wish we could step into the action to help. Bud's mother has been dead for four years when this novel opens and Bud is in an orphanage. He holds all the remnants of his once loving home in a cardboard suitcase: some flyers advertising Herman F. Calloway and various bands, a few mysteriously labeled rocks and his blanket. Soon he is farmed out to a foster home where he is abused. After pausing to wreak a funny, mild vengeance, Bud strikes out on his own, determined to walk from Flint, Michigan to Grand Rapids, the city listed in one of the flyers. Bud is convinced that his father must be Herman F. Calloway. There are, of course, many set-backs on the way and many people who lend a hand. At the mission where Bud is too late for the evening meal, another homeless family pretends that he's with them. A very kind man who turns out to be a labor union organizer finds Bud hiding at the side of the road near a very intolerant village and takes Bud home to his own family before transporting him to his supposed father. Having reached his destination, Bud's search must continue. He is still a child in search of family as it turns out that the musician cannot possibly be his father. Bud's irrepressible good nature, his innocence and his survival skills make him memorable. His literal interpretation of language, his belief system which includes vampires, tokens and ritual behavior all serve to allow us to see the world through the eyes of a ten year old. The setting in the 30s, the height of the Great Depression and the small tastes of racism that the author weaves in so skillfully make this book stand head and shoulders above the crowd. by No Author Text Year Published:Zinnia Taylor lives in Bybanks, Kentucky, with too many brothers and sisters -- a mess of "tadpoles" and "pumpkins" is what her uncle Nate calls them. When Zinny discovers a mysterious, overgrown trail that begins on her family's farm, she's determined to clear it, from start to finish. For she's finally found a place of her own, a place where she can go, away from her family, to hear herself think. But what Zinny didn't realize is that the mysteries of the trail are intertwined with her own unanswered questions and family secrets, and that the trail -- and her passion to uncover it -- is leading her on a journey home. CHASING REDBIRD is a powerful, beautifully crafted story about a young girl discovering that life is a tangle of mysteries, surprises, and everyday occurences -- a journey that often needs unravelling and that sometimes must be traveled alone. by No Author Text Year Published:When fourth grader Leigh Botts asks Mr. Henshaw to write to him personally, he gets more than he bargained for. Mr. Henshaw's letters are full of questions, and Leigh is getting tired of answering them. But as he continues his correspondence with his favorite author, he not only gets plenty of tips on writing, but he also finds a wise and thoughtful friend to whom he can tell his troubles by Phyllis Naylor Year Published: by No Author Text Year Published: by No Author Text Year Published:When he decides to turn his fifth-grade teacher's love of the dictionary around on her, clever Nick Allen invents a new word and begins a chain of events that quickly moves beyond his control. by No Author Text Year Published:The enchanting story of the unappreciated Claudia Kincaid, "boring straight-A Claudia" (oldest child and only girl and almost too old for half-fare tickets), who runs away with her little brother Jamie to live in the Metropolitan Museum, FILES is a sentimental favorite with a remarkable heroine. Crammed with fascinating details -- strategies for hiding in a museum, techniques for bathing in a fountain, the smell of a 16th-century bed (musty), and tantalizing peeks at the Met and its treasures -- it's a grand adventure. More important, FILES is the story of Claudia's quest to define herself. In the fulfillment of that quest, her own resourcefulness is bolstered by a statue that may or may not be by Michelangelo; a brother who proves to be a fabulous ally; and the wise, prickly Mrs. Frankweiler herself by J.K. Rowling Year Published:About This Book Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility. All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley — a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry's room is a closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry — and anyone who reads about him — will find unforgettable. For it's there that he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic in everything from classes to meals, but a great destiny that's been waiting for him . . . if Harry by No Author Text Year Published:As further evidence of his family's bad fortune, which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish boys' juvenile detention center in the Texas desert. As punishment, the boys here must each dig a hole every day, five feet deep and five feet across. Ultimately, Stanley "digs up the truth" -- and through his experience, finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself. HOLES is a wildly inventive, darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment -- and redemption. by No Author Text Year Published:Shirley Temple Wong sails from China to America with a heart full of dreams. Her new home is Brooklyn, New York. America is indeed a land full of wonders, but Shirley doesn't know any English, so it's hard to make friends. Then a miracle -- baseball -- happens. It is 1947, and Jackie Robinson, star of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is everyone's hero. Jackie Robinson is proving that a black man, the grandson of a slave, can make a difference in America. And for Shirley as well, on the ball field and off, America becomes the land of opportunity. by O'Dell, Scott Year Published: by Lewis, C.S. Year Published: by No Author Text Year Published:Matilda Wormwood started reading books at the age of four, but her crooked father and bingo-playing mother regard book reading as a waste of time -- and much prefer watching TV. In fact, they take no notice of their genius daughter at all! Only Miss Honey, Matilda's lovely and gentle teacher, recognizes her special gifts. Yet Miss Honey has problems of her own: Her aunt is the tyrannical Miss Trunchbull, an evil headmistress who bullies children and parents alike -- and has taken Miss Honey's house and money. Can Matilda use her extraordinary talents to seek revenge -- and make all of the wrong-doing grown-ups pay? Also recommended: James and the Giant Peach by No Author Text Year Published:How could someone like Mick die? He was the kid who freaked out his mom by putting a ceramic eye in a defrosted chicken, the kid who did a wild dance in front of the whole school -- and the kid who, if only he had worn his bicycle helmet, would still be alive today. But now Phoebe Harte's 12-year-old brother is gone, and Phoebe's world has turned upside down. With her trademark candor and compassion, beloved middle-grade writer Barbara Park tells how Phoebe copes with her painful loss in this story filled with sadness, humor -- and hope. by Sorensen, Virginia Year Published: by Cleary, Beverly Year Published: by O'Brien, Robert Year Published: by No Author Text Year Published:Wandering through the Natural History Museum with her grandchildren, Julia Creath feels the presence of her dead brother, Daniel. She remembers a time when fossil fever hit everyone, old and young -- a time when people would even kill for those old bones under the ground. Julia becomes the Nebraska farm girl she once was, as she weaves together the story of the great dinosaur rush -- an adventurous tale of love and treachery, but most of all the story of her own childhood, and of the older brother she loved more than anything. Daniel had a dream: to save their family farm by finding a dinosaur. It was a dream that Julia shared -- and that she alone would see come true. by DeCleents, Barthe Year Published: by No Author Text Year Published:Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think about life before the war. But it's now 1943, and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching in their town. When the Nazis begin "relocating" the Jews of Denmark, Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be part of the family. And as Annemarie helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis and embarks on a dangerous mission, she learns how to be brave and courageous -- to save her best friend's life. by Patricia Reilly Giff Year Published:Artistic 12-year-old Hollis Woods has a habit of running away from foster homes. Now she is staying with Josie, an elderly artist, who wants her and needs her, and Hollis thinks she'll stay for a while. But Hollis worries about Josie's forgetfulness, while also remembering the only other time she was happy in a foster home, with a family that truly seemed to care about her. by Cleary, Beverly Year Published: by Spinelli, Jerry Year Published:It's a new school year and Plumstead Middle School is opening its doors for the very first time. Everything about the place is new, from the classrooms to the gym, from the science labs to the lunch hall. The school principal, Mr. T. Charles Brimlow, is determined to get the year off to a good start. He memorizes every student's name and profile, but it's a handful of sixth graders that seem to take up all his time. There's Sunny Wyler, who refuses to bathe and wants to get expelled — all for good reason. There's Eddie Mott who hopes to survive sixth grade by being friendly, wearing the right clothes, and avoiding eighth graders. Salem Brownmiller is an aspiring writer with a knack for getting involved in other people's business and Pickles Johnson is as much an inventor of gadgets, as he is of bright ideas — to get himself out of trouble. Principal Brimlow calls these four kids to his office, where they eat lunch and get to know each other. He names the sixth graders his Principal Posse and assigns them, among other things, to come up with a name for the new school mascot. But for all his hard work, one thing Principal Brimlow can't help them with is negotiating the new world of middle school. That's something each of these kids will have to do for themselves. Young readers are sure to identify with this story by Newbery Award-winning author Jerry Spinelli. The comic touch of his writing catches all the awkwardness and uncertainty of middle school adjustment.