Fourth grade is often viewed as kind of a reading ‘stepping stone’, with children who are now too old for little children’s books and not quite old enough for young-adult fiction. A lot of emphasis is placed on content and especially on reading comprehension. Fourth grade girls most enjoy reading books about girls who are around their own age and encountering situations that they can personally identify with. Following is a list of books that your young reader should find very entertaining :
1. The Totally Made-Up Civil War Diary of Amanda Macleish (2008, Farrar, Straus and Giroux) by Claudia Mills
With her father moving out and her parents separating, Amanda Macleish’s home life is thrown into turmoil. Unable to talk to or confide in anyone, Amanda throws herself into her schoolwork and pours her feelings into writing the fictional diary of a ten-year old girl named Polly, who lives during the Civil War and has brothers fighting on opposite sides of the conflict. Polly’s feelings mirror those of Amanda, with both girls fighting to restore balance and harmony in their family life.
2. Anastasia Krupnik (1984, Yearling) by Lois Lowry
Anastasia has just turned ten, and her green notebook is full of things she loves (writing poems, her wart and her goldfish Frank) and things she hates, like Mr. Belden at the drugstore, liver and babies. She also likes a boy named Washburn Cummings—maybe. On top of that she’s dealing with having to visit a grandmother who can never remember her name and parents who announce out of the blue that they’re going to have a baby. Anastasia is sure that her parents are much too old for that. With all that’s going on, will she be able to make it to her eleventh birthday?
3. Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself (1977, Atheneum) by Judy Blume
It’s two years after the end of the Second World War and Sally’s family has moved to Miami. Sally finds herself dealing with a variety of situations, including a new school and new friends, missing her father, her attraction to Peter Holstein and her wild imaginings about a neighbor who bears a close resemblance to Hitler. Sally has a lot to deal with, it’s true, but one thing is certain—this year will be unforgettable.
4. Cyberpals According to Kaley (2006, Darby Creek Pub) by Dian Curtis Regan
Kaley’s class is working on writing letters, and the assignment involves making ‘Cyberpals’ and writing emails to other English-speaking students in other parts of the world. Her first attempt in writing involves a boy that treats her rudely, and her second attempt is with a girl from Zimbabwe who dumps her and chooses to write to someone else. With all these mishaps, will Kaley ever be able to find a cyberpal that works for her?
5. Almost Ten and-a Half (1990, Scholastic) by Candice F. Ransom
Is Kobie Roberts really grown up? She’s convinced that she is, and attempts to push the limits in every way possible, including challenging both her parents’ and her teacher’s rules and trying to boss her best friend, Gretchen. Kobie is determined not to do anything by the book. And when her favorite teacher is replaced and her mom is hospitalized, she sees a golden opportunity to finally do everything her way. But in the end, she finds that independence isn’t quite as much fun as she thought it would be.