Looking for something besides Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume to give to your fourth grader to read? Libraries and bookstores are full of books like this one with main characters in the fourth grade. Books like Fourth Grade Weirdo by Martha Freeman, Help! Somebody Get Me Out of Fourth Grade (Hank Zipzer) by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, Who’s Afraid of Fourth Grade?: Super Special (Katie Kazoo, Switcheroo) by Nancy E. Krulik are easy picks that help guide parents and teachers to suitable and age appropriate reading material.
Of course, fourth graders should not be limited to titles that only refer to their grade level! The bookshelves are full of selections from every genre for fourth grade readers looking for something new to add to their reading list.
There are many excellent resources on the web for finding book lists arranged by age, grade level, reading level or even by interest. Librarians across the country have worked collaboratively through a wikispace sponsored by Nancy Keane, a well-known librarian who has written many books aimed at matching book titles to readers. When you visit the wikispace, you will find Readership Targeted Lists. Scroll down the alphabetical list to fourth grade and a vetted list of book recommendations comes up. This list does not include book descriptions or summaries, but it is a place to begin when looking for appropriate titles. Suggestions range from classics like Sarah, Plain and Tall, or Shiloh to newer titles like Diary of A Wimpy Kid, or Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan.
Booksellers like Amazon also put together reading lists and recommendations based on grade levels. These lists do contain summaries and descriptions of the book suggestions. Highlights include titles like Sweet Farts by Raymond Bean, a hilariously appealing book about one kid’s efforts to find a cure for the common fart after he is given the label SBD (silent but deadly) by his classmates. Lists like this are helpful because once you click on a title, you can see other titles that customers bought in this age range. Dork Diaries, The Dodgeball Chronicles, and Ivy and Bean are just some of the books that would also appeal to fourth graders. These series offer many opportunities for reading because multiple titles are contained within the series.
Fourth graders looking for something more sophisticated might enjoy The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. This unique book blends narrative, illustration and cinematic technique to unravel a mystery in a Paris train station. Fourth grade readers who enjoy graphic novels will want to start the award winning Bone series by Jeff Smith. Volume 1, titled Out From Boneville, introduces three cousins kicked out of their town for cheating its citizens. They are separated on their journey out of town and encounter adventures, mysteries and strange happenings on their journey.
When looking for age appropriate reading material, use the expertise of the librarians and booksellers. Their knowledge will lead you to books beyond the typical fourth grade reading selections.