Best Books for 9 Year Olds (4th Graders)

affiliate
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter

Are you looking for the best chapter books for 9-year old boys and girls in 4th grade? You’ll find everything you need here — all my top picks that kids will love plus reviews.

SHOP THIS LIST

If you want the TOP 15 BOOKS for 9-year-olds, I’d love to send you a free printable!

You might also like these book lists for 9-year-olds:

If you need harder books, go to my Best Books for 10-Year Olds.

If you need easier books, go to my Best Books for 8-Year Olds.

Also read: Gifts for 9 Year Old Girls and Gifts for 9 Year Old Boys

Best Books for 9 Year Old Boys and Girls (4th Graders)

best books for 9 year olds
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid
by Jeff Kinney
HUMOR
One of the most popular book series ever, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, shares the hilarious story of Greg, in his own words and drawings. Life in middle school is not easy. And Greg is here to prove it! One thing you’ll notice about these books is that kids will read them more than once which is great if you have them all. (hint, hint)

good books for 9 year olds
Amulet
 by Kazu Kibuishi
FANTASY / GRAPHIC NOVEL
This popular graphic novel series is about two siblings trying to save their mom who was taken to an underground world of elves, demons, robots, and talking animals. Beautiful artwork with compelling characters and an adventurous plot make this a sure-fire hit with young readers.

best books for 9 year olds
I Survived
by Lauren Tarshis
HISTORICAL FICTION
Wow – these are addicting reads! They’re excellent, fast-paced adventures great for 9 year old kids set during significant historical events that are perfect for elementary age kids just getting comfortable with chapter books. Kids will zip through these incredible adventures, learning history in the process. The books always are about a young person trying to survive a historically important, life-changing event such as Pompeii, the Titanic, Pearl Harbor, or the Battle of Gettysburg.
good books for 9 year olds
The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier, illustrated by Douglas Colgate
SCI-FI/ PARANORMAL
This hilarious book makes the zombie apocalypse seem fun. Because that’s how Jack approaches life and zombie fights. He and his best friend, Quint, live in an upgraded, well-defended treehouse where they plan for rescuing his crush June (she doesn’t need rescuing being quite capable) and fighting zombies. Illustrations throughout make this even more appealing to read and imagine. Delightful. Who would have thought?! BOXED SET HERE.

Best Boxed Chapter Book Sets for 9 year olds
Land of Stories by Chris Colfer
FANTASY
Fairy tales become very real when Alex and Conner (a brother and sister) find themselves transported to the fairy tale world. To get home, they’ll need to find the ingredients for a Wishing Spell. Finding the items will be dangerous, mysterious, and life-changing. All the books in this series are compelling, magical adventures about characters you will ADORE. My kids and I couldn’t put these down.

books for 9 year olds
The Wild Robot
by Peter Brown
REALISTIC (ish)
Roz is a robot alone on an island with only animals. If she wants to survive, she must figure out how to live in the wild where the animals see her as a monster. That slowly changes when Roz adopts a gosling and makes a nest. It’s a meaningful story of family, love, and community that consistently garners love from teachers and students.

good books for 9-year-olds
Restart
by Gordon Korman
REALISTIC
Chase has no memory of who he is or was. But he starts to get clues when straight out of the hospital when a strange girl dumps ice cream on his head. Chase soon realizes that he doesn’t like his former self. Now he’ll have to decide what kind of person he wants to be. Because he’s enjoying his new life in the film club and the new (“nerdy”) friends he’s made. This thought-provoking novel will challenge kids to consider their choices, behavior, and life goals.


Bernice Buttman, Model Citizen
by Niki Lenz
REALISTIC
A genuinely sweet story about a girl who goes from a bully to a trying-to-do-better model citizen that will make you laugh and warm your heart. When Bernice’s mom sends Bernice to live with her nun aunt, it’s a chance for this former bully to reform her mean-spirited ways. And Bernice does it — she makes a friend, becomes nicer, and finds an unexpected home with the nuns.


Trapped in a Video Game
by Dustin Brady, illustrated by Brady Jessee
SCI-FI
Gamers and non-gamers alike who love exciting and dangerous stories won’t want to miss this excellent series. Jesse’s friend gets an early release of a video game — and it sucks in both he and his friend while they’re playing. They’re literally trapped in the video game! Inside the game, they meet a missing classmate who is a grown-up man in the game. Because there’s no way out. Or is there?

Inventor Nikki Tesla joins a new school called the Genius Academy where she’s not the only genius and she’s supposed to start working well with others. (That will be hard!) When Nikki’s death ray is stolen from a locked safe, she and her classmates must collaborate to find it and hopefully, save the world. They follow clues around the world, thwart plots to divide their group, and capture the bad guy before he can use the death ray. Not only does this engrossing story feature smart kids who love STEM but the action and themes of friendship and growing up resonated and entertained me.

book list for 4th grade
The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John, illustrated by Kevin Cornell
HUMOR
If you like funny, you’ll LOVE this series, perfect for 9-year-olds! Plus, in this first book, you’ll learn valuable cow trivia. But, it’s mostly the hilarious adventure of two pranksters who start out as rivals but eventually work together to pull off the biggest prank of all time — a prank that will ensure they get April Fool’s Day off from school.

Diverse Historical Fiction Chapter Books Written by #OwnVoices
Indian No More
by Charlene Willing McManis and Traci Sorell
HISTORICAL FICTION
Indian No More is an emotional, important story about when the U.S. government arbitrarily made certain Native American tribes no longer tribes without reservations or legal rights. It also shows the historical landscape of prejudice and stereotypes towards people of color. I love the close-knit, loving family based on the author’s own life, a family who values each other and their survival. This book is a must-read and must-own for all schools and libraries and would make an excellent book club selection.
Also on: OwnVoices Historical Fiction Chapter Books

Dragon Slippers Dragon Books For Kids
Dragon Slippers trilogy by Jessica Day George
FANTASY
We can’t recommend these books enough! Young and brave Creel wants nothing more than to own her own seamstress shop. In her pursuit of this dream, she befriends a special dragon who, along with magical dragon slippers, changes her life.


Percy Jackson and the Olympians
by Rick Riordan
FANTASY
This series is amazing! Greek gods still exist and so do their kids, demigods, who have incredible abilities. Unfortunately for these kids, monsters are out to kill them. But, they are also the only ones who can save the world from a war between the Greek gods the Titans. Percy goes to Camp Half-Blood where he gets trained to protect himself… that is until he’s sent on a dangerous quest. Betrayal, adventure, plot twists, and incredible mythological world-building make these stories that kids can’t put down.

Esperanza Rising
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
HISTORICAL FICTION
Forced to flee a dangerous situation in Mexico, Esperanza and her mother arrive in California and start working as migrant farm workers. The back-breaking work is only part of their new, challenging life. In this beautifully written, soulful novel, Esperanza learns to thrive no matter what her circumstances.


Winterbone Home for Vengeance and Valor
by Ally Carter
MYSTERY
April is a foster kid invited to live at a fancy mansion with other orphans. There. she notices the same symbol that is on the key her mom left her. Could the key belong to this house? Then she discovers the home’s long lost missing heir lurking around the shadows and hiding in a secret part of the house. When she and her friends realize this new home is about to be acquired by a nefarious man, they are determined to solve the mystery of the heir, the key, and the house. If you like exciting, heartwarming mysteries, you’ll love this story.

FORTUNATELY the Milk
Fortunately, the Milk
by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Skottie Young
HUMOR
If you like quirky humor, then this is your perfect book. Because you will never believe, except you totally will, what happens when the kids’ father goes out to get more milk. He doesn’t even get the milk but he does run into pirates, aliens, and all sorts of incredible things! Totally hilarious and quite short–which is appealing to many readers.


books for 9 year olds
Kristy’s Great Idea Babysitter’s Club #1
 Full-Color Graphix Novel by Ann M. Martin, illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
REALISTIC
We’re loving these updated Babysitter’s Club graphic novels by the uber-talented Raina Telegemeier who wrote the highly-acclaimed Smile and Sister. It’s a good idea to start with book one since the stories are told in a specific order with details from previous stories. These are funny and fun to read, maybe even more than once. BOX SET HERE.

best books for 4th graders
Who Would Win? Whale vs. Giant Squid
by Jerry Pallotta, illustrated by Rob Bolster
NONFICTION
Kids can’t get enough of the Who Would Win? books who pits two ocean carnivores against each other. First, you’ll learn facts about a sperm whale, then you’ll learn about the giant squid. Finally, read what happens when these two creatures face-off.  Can you predict who will win? See all the addicting informational books in the Who Would Win series.

Alexa and her friends learn that the new kid, Ahmed, was in a real war and has been separated from his family. So when Alexa and her friends hear that England is going to shut the borders, they decide they must go to the Queen to help Ahmed be reunited with his family. They go to the palace in person, tangling with the guards, and getting in big trouble but it eventually leads to media attention and a happy solution. Showing the power of individuals to make a difference, this moving novel for upper elementary and middle school ultimately is about human kindness and friendship.

Big Nate Welcome to My World Review - good graphic novels for kids
Big Nate Welcome to My World
 
by Lincoln Peirce
GRAPHIC NOVEL / HUMOR
I think the Big Nate comics are even better than the novels — they are just so stinking funny! Lincoln Peirce “gets” kids and their struggles — the episodes will keep both you and your kids cracking up.

Harry Potter books GOOD BOOKS for 10 year olds 5th grade
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
FANTASY
The best selling children’s book of all time, this is a MUST READ for so many reasons: the brilliant storytelling, a complex and entertaining plot, relatable characters, rich language, essential life lessons about friendship and bravery, and more. (See all my reasons for reading Harry Potter.)


Phoebe and Her Unicorn: A Heavenly Nostrils Chronicle
by Dana Simpson
HUMOR / GRAPHIC NOVEL
Sarcastic and hilarious, this is a laugh-out-loud story about a precocious young girl and her reluctant unicorn “best friend”. BOXED SET

best books for 9 year olds
Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
FANTASY
Every Tuesday, the castle where Princess Celie and her family live, adds on a new room, or turret, or wing. Celie loves her castle and it’s living ways. So, when robbers attack her parents’ carriage, and they are never seen again, Celie takes comfort that their room is exactly the same, hoping the castle knows they are still alive. But can the castle and Celie stop the Royal Council and the foreign prince from taking over the kingdom? We LOVE this series!

Killer Species good books for 9 year olds
Killer Species
 by Michael P. Spradlin
ADVENTURE (SCI-FI)
Get ready for a fast-paced adventure series about a mad scientist who creates a hybrid crocodile-dinosaur-bird killer creature to stop visitors from entering the Everglades. Emmet and his father arrive to investigate but when his father is kidnapped, Emmet and his friend, Calvin, know it’s up to them to find where the kidnapper is holding Emmet’s father. GREAT for reluctant readers — and anyone who loves an action-packed sci-fi mystery!

good books for 9 year olds
Dying to Meet You 43 Cemetary Road
by Kate Klise, illustrated by M. Sarah Klise
HUMOR
The 43 Old Cemetery Road books are funny and punny adventures with a kid, a cat, a grumpy ghost, and a really cool writing style in letters, emails, newspaper clippings, jokes, and more. These books are addictive!

The Startup Squad
by Brian Weisfeld and Nicole C. Kear
ENTREPRENEUR KID
Resa’s class gets put into groups for a lemonade stand competition and Resa gets paired with her best friend, Didi, and a new girl named Amelia. Unfortunately, Resa demands to be in charge of everything and their communication problems affect how their team is doing in the competition. Even though their team don’t win, the girls, especially Resa, learn the importance of teamwork and listening to all ideas. It’s a great book for showing kids about entrepreneurship and communication.
good books for 9 year olds
Belly Up
by Stuart Gibbs
MYSTERY / HUMOR (series)
Was the FunJungle’s hippo murdered? Teddy and Summer think so. Mystery, adventure, and humor will keep your readers on the edge of their seats in this unique story with lovable, quirky characters.

FLora and Ulysses
Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo
MAGICAL REALISM
Quirky and delightful, this is the tale of a girl named Flora who rescues a squirrel and keeps it as a friend. Together they experience the world in a unique, funny, and wonderful way, and straighten it out, too — especially Flora’s mother.

More to the Story by Hena Khan
REALISTIC
Jameela is one of four girls in a Pakistani-American family and she’s passionate about journalism but in her enthusiasm, she hurts a new friend when she writes something he isn’t comfortable sharing with the world. While she digests these hard-earned lessons, she learns that her beloved little sister has lymphoma. Khan skillfully weaves a story of family, culture, community, and social justice that is sure to become a modern-day Little Women-type classic.

good books for 9 year olds
The Great Shelby Holmes
by Elizabeth Eulberg
MYSTERY
What a lovely surprise! This Sherlock inspired book is so well-written with a great plot. John Watson moves with his mom who has recently left both the military and John’s dad to Harlem. There he meets a very unique girl named Shelby Holmes who reluctantly allows him to tag along with her as she solves her latest crime — the mystery of a missing show-dog stolen from a classmate’s secure house.


Pie in the Sky
by Remy Lai
REALISTIC / IMMIGRATION
Pie in the Sky is an insightful, funny, and poignant look at the struggles of immigrating to a new country (Australia) and the difficulties of learning English along with growing up and grieving the loss of a father. Jingwen’s observations and wit make him a likable main character and the illustrations capture the depth and flavors of his experiences. He likens learning English with becoming human. Because a big part of his life centers around baking cakes from growing up in a bakery and baking with his papa, after school with his brother, he bakes the cakes that his father wanted to include at his dream Pie in the Sky bakery. (Even though it’s against his mother’s rules.) Like Jingwen says about his new beginnings and sad losses, it’s a story that is both salty and sweet.
best books for 9 year olds
Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab by Science Bob Pflugfleder and Steve Hockensmith
SCI-FI / MYSTERY
Siblings Nick and Tesla are shipped off to live with their mad-scientist Uncle Newt for the summer while their parents are . . . doing something with soybeans in Uzbekistan? When left to fend for themselves, the siblings discover something very suspicious at the old mansion down the street. Throughout the story, these STEM wizards invent gadgets and gizmos and give you directions to do the same. This adventurous STEM series makes science and technology fun!

good books for 9 year olds
Voyage of the Frostheart
by Jamie Littler
FANTASY
Voyage of the Frosthart is a fantastic, illustrated adventure story about an orphan boy with forbidden musical powers. 4th grade readers meet sentient creatures like the vulpi, a walrus and a yeti, not just human-kin, who live in Strongholds to stay safe from the monstrous Lurkers and Leviathans. After Ash’s Pathfinder parents disappear, Ash moves in with a strict guardian Yeti named Tobu. Unfortunately, they’re banished from their home when Ash uses his forbidden Song Weaver magic. They leave the village with a Pathfinder crew, a ship that sails over the snow. On their journey, Ash realizes that he can find his parents using the words in his childhood lullaby. But he’ll be tried, tested, and tricked. Who will he trust? And which side will he choose — light or dark?

good books for 9 year olds
Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead
MAGICAL REALISM
In the sweetest story of friendship, 10-year-old Livy meets Bob, a green zombie-looking monster wearing a chicken costume living in the closet at her grandma’s house. He’s been waiting for her to return for the last 5 years. Only Livy can’t remember him at all. Even when she leaves the house for an errand, she forgets. But, she’s determined to help Bob find his way back home. Wherever that may be. We love this story!! This is a great family read-aloud choice!

 best books for 9 year olds
The Familiars
 series by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
FANTASY
My kids and I are big fans of this series. Do you know about familiars? They are the magical animal companions to wizards. And in this first story, the kids and their familiars must save the world when the wizards’ powers are taken away. A great series for kids who love animals and magical adventures.
best books for 9 year olds
The Sasquatch Escape
 by Suzanne Selfors
FANTASY
Ben doesn’t think his summer could be any more boring. Until he rescues a baby dragon. He and his new friend, Pearl Petal, learn that the town has a secret veterinarian for… imaginary creatures. That’s when they accidentally let a Sasquatch escape. Whoops. Now the pair must lure the big guy back to the veterinarian. (Which is easier said than done.) This series is a delightful page-turner.

good books for 9 year olds
Middle School: The Worst Years of my Life
by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts, illustrated by Laura Park
HUMOR
Rafe’s goal in middle school is to break every single rule. You can imagine how his plan will go, right? Filled with cartoon-like illustrations, this story will crack you up.

good books for 9 year olds third grade
Liberty Porter, First Daughter  by Julia DeVillers
REALISTIC
This is a light-hearted series about a girl whose dad becomes the President. We follow along as she adjusts to living in the White House, having a bodyguard, and experiences being the First Daughter. BOXED SET

good books for 9 year olds
Mighty Jack
by Ben Hatke
FANTASY / GRAPHIC NOVEL
While Jack’s single mom works, Jack takes care of his little sister, Maddy. In this modern version, Jack trades the family’s one valuable thing, his mom’s car, for seeds. Of course, everything goes downhill from there… The seeds turn in to a freaky, monster-growing garden who attacks, their neighbor friend secretly steals some 0f the seeds, a dragon appears with a dire warning; and, Maddy is kidnapped by one of the monsters! Action, adventure, intrigue, . . . Don’t miss the sequel, Mighty Jack and the Goblin King.


Katerina Ballerina
by Tiler Peck and Kyle Harris, illustrated by Sumiti Collina
BALLET
An earnest young girl loves ballet but since her dad can’t afford lessons, she watches YouTube videos and practices in her room. After a disastrous talent shows Katerina’s dad her bravery, Katrina’s dad stretches the budget for lessons. It’s not a great start though– she shows up in red swimming suit and homemade tutu! But she makes a friend who helps her learn ballet terms and adjust to formal classes. As Katrina becomes more serious in her dancing, a competition reminds Katrina that she needs to balance both working hard and enjoying dancing.

Best Books for 9 Year Old Boys and Girls (4th Graders)
Everyday Angel
  by Victoria Schwab
REALISTIC
My daughter loves these stories about an angel named Aria who is earning her wings by helping girls who are struggling in some way. In the first book, Aria helps Gabby. Gabby’s brother is hospitalized indefinitely and her mom is totally focused on her brother. It’s up to Aria to help Gabby at her new school and discover who she is. These are sweet, uplifting stories.

 middle grade chapter books
Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy
 by Karen Foxlee
FANTASY
Stuck in a museum with her sister and father who is working on a sword exhibit, Ophelia’s curiosity leads her to a locked room where a boy has been trapped for thousands of years. But Ophelia doesn’t believe in magic. Except– she kind of does. She remembers how her mother used to tell her stories of magic . . . This is a breathtaking journey of loss, acceptance, hope, and friendship. Go here to see my book club guide about this book.
Holes by Louis Sachar good books for 4th grade 9 years old
Holes by Louis Sachar
ADVENTURE
Poor Stanley. He’s got the worst luck of anyone — and is now sent to a youth detention camp in the desert where he has to dig holes all day long. All because of his no-good, pig-stealing great-great-grandfather. This was one of my students’ favorite books (mine, too)! You’ll love the crazy adventures as Stanley and his new friend figure out what’s happening at this supposed detention camp and escape, with only onions to eat. And yes, even that has to do with Stanley’s pig-stealing grandfather.  You’ll love it.
If you LOVE kooky books, this book fits the bill. Olga finds a most unusual, unknown creature whom she names “MEH” after the sound it makes. She uses her deductive reasoning to figure out what it is (something new!) and what it likes to eat (olives)! But what will she do when Meh disappears? Things I love about this book: 1) the illustrations — they rock! 2) the narrator’s voice — it’s believable and funny 3) the plot — especially the mean girls who aren’t so mean after all.
Chapter Books for 9 year olds
What the Moon Saw by Laura Resau
MAGICAL REALISM
Mexican-American Clara Luna doesn’t know anything about her father’s Mexican heritage until she spends the summer with her grandparents in rural Mexico. There, she discovers the beauty of her grandparents’ life and culture and grows into her own identity. This is a beautiful, important book, one that I’ve read several times and highly recommend.
HPchroniclesofnarnia
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: Chronicles of Narnia
 by C. S. Lewis
FANTASY
I think you already know about these books but if you don’t, they’re beautifully written fantasy adventures that will hook your kids with the magical world of Narnia. We recently listened to the series on audiobook which was even more fun to hear it read in a British accent. (Since we’re American.)

good books for 9 year olds
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
REALISTIC
Narrated by a gorilla named Ivan, this true story will immediately grab at your heartstrings. Ivan is kept in a cage in a run-down mall for 27 years without seeing another gorilla. When his maltreated elephant friend dies there, she asks Ivan to help the new, younger elephant find a better life. With the help of the janitor’s daughter, he does just that.

The One and Only Bob
by Katherine Applegate, illustrated by Patricia Castelao
ANIMAL / FRIENDSHIP
(This is the sequel to award-winning, The One and Only Ivan…I think you could read this independently but it would be richer if you read it after the first book.) A slow start but once we get into the meat of the story, it’s absolutely captivating…Bob’s now living in a home with the girl from the mall but he’s restless and insecure, believing he has nothing inside to match his outside bravado; that he’s a fraud. When Bob visits his friends Ivan and Ruby at the zoo, a hurricane hits. Animals are on the loose, there’s flooding, Ivan is trapped under a building, and Bob can’t find his people. As Ivan says, there’s one and only Bob to help rescue everyone. Surprisingly, his search and rescue involves his long lost sister and her puppy.  Sweet, redemptive, and adventurous, this is a story of a dog who finds himself while searching for others.
Crenshaw review
Crenshaw
 by Katherine Applegate
REALISTIC
Crenshaw is the new book from the author of The One and Only Ivan, Katherine Applegate, and it’s another amazing story dealing with poverty. Jackson’s family is about to lose their apartment again. Although Jackson’s parents don’t tell him this, he knows the signs. He knows why they’re having a yard sale. He knows it’s not his dad’s fault for having MS but he’s mad and worried and alone. It isn’t until Crenshaw shows up and pushes Jackson to speak the truth to his parents that Jackson learns that he’s not facing this alone. Oh, and who is Crenshaw? He’s Jackson’s large, imaginary cat friend from when he was little returned to help Jackson in his time of need. I felt like it was a God metaphor. I wonder what you’ll think?
good books for 9 year olds
The Seven Tales of Trinket
 by Shelley Moore Thomas
FANTASY
Now that her mother has died, Trinket decides to take the map her missing storyteller father left behind and try to find him. Her friend, Thomas the Pig Boy, travels with her. Each place on the map gives Trinket a new story to tell and she imagines she could learn to be a storyteller like her father. Amazing adventures ensue. When Trinket learns the fate of her father in the seventh story, she must make a very hard decision.
Worst Class Trip Ever review
The Worst Class Trip Ever
 by Dave Barry
HUMOR
Hilarious. While on a class trip to Washington D.C., Wyatt and his best friend, Matt, are positive they’ve discovered a plot to blow up the White House. Wyatt’s crush, Suzanna, helps the friends make a plan, and as you can imagine, disaster and hilarity strike. I totally loved this book and know your kids (especially those who like humor) will as well.


The Kicks Saving the Team
by Alex Morgan
REALISTIC
Finally, a fantastic book (series) for soccer girls! If you have a soccer player in your house, and I think a LOT of you do, you’ll want to get your soccer lover this book –actually, buy her the entire series. Written by Olympic Gold Medalist and U.S. Soccer team member (among other things), Alex Morgan, it’s a realistic story of life, friendship, and playing soccer. Box set here.

best books for 9 year old
The Curious Cat Spy Club by Linda Joy Singleton
MYSTERY
Three kids from seemingly different social circles band together to rescue kittens that they find in a dumpster. Now their newly formed detective club wants to discover who dumped these innocent kittens. The answer surprises everyone. Each book in this lovely, well-written mystery series is about three kind kids who solve mysteries.

books for 4th grade 9 years old
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
by Roald Dahl
FANTASY
Charlie is one of the five winning children allowed to tour Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory. But it’s a tour unlike any other and the other not-too-nice-kids kids strangely disappear throughout. Funny and quirky, this book remains a classic for a good reason.

Good Books for 9 Year Olds (Fourth Grade)
Anyone But Ivy Pocket
 by Caleb Krisp
HUMOR
You are going to ADORE Ivy and this story entirely. Ivy’s totally clueless and so very quirky. Who else would say this to her future employer, the Duchess: “You poor deluded creature . . . dying has sapped the strength from your eyes. I’m remarkably pretty, and that’s a genuine fact.” I read many parts out loud to my kids while I was reading this book – they were just so funny!! Now my kids are addicted, too. Ivy’s adventures involve a sinister ghost, a mystical jewel, and a surprising destiny.
The Zombie Chasers: Recommended Chapter Books for Kids
The Zombie Chasers
 by John Kloepfer and Steve Wolfhard
ADVENTURE
Filled with cartoon illustrations, this early chapter book series highlights the bravery of a group of friends (and siblings) who will save the world from zombies. A fun kid-powered adventure with zombies.

Saucy
by Cynthia Kadohata, illustrated by Marianna Raskin
REALISTIC / ANIMAL RESCUE
Looking for a sweet story of animal rescue? Becca is a triplet who doesn’t feel special until she adopts a stray pig. Because he will grow to be 600 lbs, she can only keep him for a while before he’ll go to an animal rescue. Despite his destructive behavior, Becca falls head over heels in love with her crazy pig, Saucy. Unfortunately, he bites her mom and must leave early for his new home, a devastating event for the entire family including grandma. But, Saucy and her brothers find out about a pig factory with deplorable conditions. They rescue even more pigs which helps them with their sadness. Added to: Wholesome Middle-Grade Books for Boys and Girls and Illustrated Chapter Books for Kids
Diverse Historical Fiction Chapter Books Written by #OwnVoices
Charlotte Spies for Justice A Civil War Survival Story (Girls Survive)
by Nikki Shannon Smith
Based on the true story of a courageous female spy in the South during the Civil War. Charlotte is a servant girl in Elizabeth Van Lew’s house, who becomes a spy for the Union. Readable, compelling, and interesting.

The Campaign
by Leila Sales, illustrated by Kim Balacuit
REALISTIC
Maddie learns that the only person running for mayor wants to cut funding for school art programs. She convinces her babysitter to run for mayor, too — and rallies her classmates, most who aren’t even her friends, to support her babysitter so that the arts funding won’t get cut. Through her activism, she learns about the election process but also how to deal with jealousy and unexpected friends. A fantastic read! 
Added to: Books about Elections and Voting
ninja
Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja
 by Marcus Emerson
ADVENTURE
I thought this was not just a great story but I loved that the main character (the ninja) is a girl. The story is easily read, written in a combo of text and comics. Great for 9 year old readers!

Miles Morales 
by Jason Reynolds
Miles’s spidey sense is whacking out when he’s at school, especially in his history class. Add to that, he’s worried he will turn out like his criminal uncle. So, Miles, who is Puerto-Rican and African American, stops being Spider Man. Until he discovers a chilling plot of men named Chamberlain who work under the control of The Warden.  Now, he must use all his skills to save the world from a racist threat. You’ll love the diversity, the two-parent family, and the complexity of Mile’s character– this is a GREAT book.

Rapunzels Revenge good books for 9 year old 4th grade
Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale & Dale Hale
FAIRY TALE
One of my favorite books EVER! This Rapunzel story is set in the wild west — she uses her braids to lasso bad guys while searching for her mother with her sidekick Jack.


Stepping Stones
by Lucy Knisley
GRAPHIC NOVEL / SLICE OF LIFE / DIVORCE
After her parents’ divorce, Jen moves to a farm with her mom and her mom’s boyfriend whose kids visit on the weekends. It’s a huge transition — she doesn’t love how bossy and whiney her stepsisters are and how annoying her mom’s boyfriend is. But she loves the chicks she takes care of and the farmer’s market.  Well, she loves it until her math skills aren’t good enough to be helpful. This story gently shows the ups and downs of living with a new family in a new place.

good books for 9 year olds
Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior by Cube Kid, illustrated by Saboten
ADVENTURE / SCI-FI
Runt is a 12-year old with real problems. He doesn’t want to be a typical villager with the typical boring life. He wants to be a warrior like Steve. So he’s excited when his school finally agrees that the villagers might need warriors to fight back against the nightly attacks. When Steve loses everything and moves in with Runt’s family, Runt hopes that Steve will help with his warrior training. Runt’s a relatable, mostly serious, character who just wants a different life — like most kids his age and is competing for a dream opportunity. BOXED SET


Dragon Vs. Unicorns: Kate the Chemist
by Dr. Kate Biberdorf with Hillary Homzie
STEM
Exciting from the first page (a fire breathing science experiment!!), this awesome new STEM chapter book series is hard to put down. There are many thingshappening in Kate’s busy life every day but no matter if she’s dealing with science, the school play, or friends, she’s a determined problem solver. When she tries to figure out who is sabotaging the school musical, it’s going to take all her skills to find the culprit.

Best Books for 9 Year Olds
Timmy Failure
 by Stephan Pastis
HUMOR
Timmy is a clueless detective with a polar bear sidekick. Their adventures will make you laugh out loud!

The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
 by Christopher Healy, illustrated by Todd Harris
FANTASY / HUMOR
The princes in the fairy tales aren’t as famous as their princesses but in this story, it’s all about them! Kicked out of their castles, these princes turn from bumbling idiots into heroes and save their kingdoms with hilarity and adventure!

good books for 9 year olds
Hero Rescue Mission
by Jennifer Li Shotz
ADVENTURE
In this Hero story, Ben’s dad is captured by escaped convicts. Ben and police dog, Hero, set off to find Ben’s dad. Ben’s already injured and Hero’s too emotional to track the scent so they’re going to need help if they’re going to find his dad. Action from the first page to the last. Kids who love adventure and animals will love this book and series.
14-year-old Victoria sneaks aboard a ship with her father and younger brother bound for stinky, muddy San Francisco and the hope of gold. She’s surrounded by mostly men and no other kids and soon realizes that no one is getting rich but ships and people keep pouring in. Their dad leaves them in a tent for months while he searches for gold. Victoria makes the best of it but her 10-year-old brother doesn’t. Then he gets kidnapped and sold and Victoria and two friends race to rescue him. It’s an interesting, exciting story that gives readers a strong sense of setting and historical perspective.

Skunk and Badger
by Amy Timberlake
FRIENDSHIP
If you like sweet stories of friendship, you won’t want to miss this new story. Prickly Badger’s life and rock studies are the most (and only) important thing in his life. Unexpectedly, he’s rudely interrupted by a new roommate, the helpful, philosophical, and curious chicken-loving Skunk. Badger wants Skunk to leave but he’s surprised when he enjoys Sunk’s cooking and company. Then after a spray incident and cruel comments he regrets, Badger fixes his mistake the two friends find that they’re better off together.
Added to: Wholesome Middle Grade Books for Boys and Girls and Illustrated Chapter Books for Kids

STAT: Standing Tall and Talented: Home Court by Amar’e Stoudemir, illustrated by Tim Jessell
REALISTIC
Based on the real story of Amar’e Stoudemire, this is the story of when he was 11, a skateboarder, a basketball player, and a worker with his dad’s landscape company. When other kids start trash-talking his friends, he uses his intelligence and basketball skills to find a solution.

Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch
by Julie Abe
FANTASY
You will love this captivating main character about an apprentice witch who struggles with insecurity, bullying, and self-doubt. She doesn’t have a lot of magic but does have strength, even if she needs a few reminders about it. She will be able to help her city even with semi-magical skills. A sweet, magical story.

Cape (The League of Secret Heroes)
by Kate Hannigan
SUPERHEROES / HISTORY
Set during World War II when the superheroes have vanished from the skies, a young girl named Josie O’Malley still believes that her beloved superheroes will come back. Until then, she’s excited to apply for the job of a puzzler to help the war effort. She doesn’t get the job but she does meet two girls who discover that when they’re together, they transform into superheroes with amazing powers! Using their new superhero powers, they’re asked to uncover a spy ring and protect a secret computer from the Nazis. It’s an exciting, girl-power adventure of good vs. evil!
good books for 9 year olds 4th grade
Wallace the Brave
by Will Henry
HUMOR / GRAPHIC NOVEL
If you like the humor in Calvin and Hobbes, you must read Wallace the Brave. It’s totally hilarious. You’ll laugh your way through stories of Wallace’s life on the school bus, on the playground, playing with friends, hanging with his fisherman dad, and more. I’m smiling just writing this as I think back on his antics and adventures that cracked me up.

good books for 4th graders 9 year olds
Lunch Lady 
by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
HUMOR
If you haven’t read these addictive and hilarious graphic novels, they are a must — anyone who has eaten lunch in school will appreciate the humor, even parents love these books.

lawn boy
Lawn Boy
 by Gary Paulsen
REALISTIC
Paulsen’s summer job was mowing lawns. As his business grew, so did his profits, especially after advice from Arnold the stockbroker who helps Paulsen invest his money in a prizefighter!


The Genius Files Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman
ADVENTURE
Coke and Pepsi McDonald didn’t want to jump off a cliff. They didn’t want to get hit by poisoned darts from blowguns either. And they certainly don’t want to get locked in their burning school, thrown into a pit at the top of a sand dune, or drowned in a vat of liquified SPAM. But what are you supposed to do when you’re being chased across the country by your insane health teacher and two guys in bowler hats who are trying to kill you? One thing’s for sure, it’ll be a snap for Coke and Pep to write their essays on “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.”

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia
REALISTIC
Clayton feels happiest with his grandfather, playing the blues.  Unfortunately, his mom hates everything about the blues because it represents her father’s abandonment of the family. When Clayton’s beloved grandfather dies and his mom takes his harmonica, he ditches school to find his grandfather’s old band. Instead of musicians, he encounters a gang of boys and gets picked up by the police. This is a superbly crafted 2017 chapter book about grief, family, and forgiveness.

graphic novels for kids
Secret Coders: Get with the Program
 by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes
SCI-FI GRAPHIC NOVEL
What’s happening at Hopper’s new school? She and her friends discover something very amazing about the birds — they’re robotic and can be controlled by numbers. Which leads the kids to go up against the scheming, evil janitor.  Readers learn some basics of how to use the programming language Logo with sequence, iteration, and selection, and must apply their knowledge to help the characters. I love the interactivity, the diverse main characters, and the progressive way the authors teach the logical thinking of programming. Very well-done!

good books for 9 year old readers 4th grade
Aleca Zamm is a Wonder
by Ginger Rue, illustrated by Zoe Persico
FANTASY
Honestly, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this well-written, fast-paced adventure book, the first in a new easy chapter book series. On her 10th birthday, Aleca accidentally discovers if she says her full name, she can STOP TIME. Which helps her on her math test. Then her Aunt Zephyr arrives and explains a few things about being a Wonder. One, other Wonders who aren’t very nice could use those time stops to find Aleca. And two, she needs to learn how to control her power so it won’t control her. And three, a 10-year old shouldn’t be in charge of the world clock.

HPstorybound
Storybound by Marissa Burt
FAIRY TALE
Una falls into the land of stories of heroes and villains but something is very wrong. No new stories are being written. So how did she get written in and who is she? We read this for bedtime and my kids and I looked forward to it every night. A great, fairy tale world adventure!


Otto Tattercoat and the Forest of Lost Things
by Matilda Woods
FANTASY
Otto’s coat-maker mother disappears as soon as they arrive in the cold, cold city. Then, when searching for her, he’s kidnapped into a shoe polish factory. After escaping the cruelty of the factory with the help of a street urchin aka. Tattercoat named Nim and her rat Nibbles, they venture into a magical forest with another Tattercoat boy in search of Otto’s mother. There, they find a suspicious witch, men/wolves, a kind giant, and a trickster traveling salesman. Eventually, they find Otto’s mother and learn the truth about why it’s always cold. To fix things, they’ll have to go back to the factory to rescue the imprisoned sundragon and the other children. If you like magical adventures featuring brave, resourceful children, you’ll love this story.


Kiki’s Delivery Service
by Eiko Kadono, illustrated by Emily Balistrieri
FANTASY
As a huge fan of the movie, I was so impressed at how true to the original book, the film stayed. This sweet story is about a 13-year-old half-witch named Kiki who leaves home for her year-long apprenticeship to a town. She flies with her cat and they find a seaside town that needs a witch. There, Kiki settles above a bakery and uses her wits and magic to endear herself to the town as a helpful delivery girl. Lovely, lovely, lovely!

Wing & Claw Forest of Wonders good books for 9 year olds
Wing & Claw: Forest of Wonder by Linda Sue Park
FANTASY
Step into the world of a talented apothecary named Raffa. He’s horrified to discover that someone in the capital city is using the rare plant he and his cousin found to forcefully control animals. Not only that, whoever is doing this is removing baby animals from their mothers and training a bear to be a killer. When Raffa discovers who is behind it, he, his friend, and the animals he saves must escape from the city and the horrible truth.

Jonny Jakes Investigates BEST BOOKS FOR 9 YEAR OLDS
Jonny Jakes Investigates: The Hamburgers of Doom
 by Malcolm Judge
SCI-FI
Johnny is the anonymous reporter for the tell-the-truth secret school newspaper, The Woodford Word. His latest investigation is the unusual principal, an alien who is somehow brainwashing the whole school and the parents and turning them into chubby zombies. (The title is a BIG hint.) He pairs up with a girl named Julie, his friend Norris, and an unusual drama teacher to find a way to stop the alien principal from fattening up the students to eat them all. This sounds weird but it’s actually a great story of perseverance, friendship, and old-fashioned investigative journalism just right for fourth grade readers.

Teddy Mars Almost a World Record Breaker good books for 9 year olds
Teddy Mars Almost a World Record Breaker
by Molly B. Turnham
REALISTIC
Teddy is a boy who loves world records, has six siblings, and is so fed up with his destructive little brother that he moves to his tent in the backyard. He gets the chance to help his grumpy neighbor feed and care for his pigeons which turns into an interesting subplot. You’ll enjoy Teddy’s adventures trying to set world records and be as surprised as me when the record he sets, isn’t what he was even going for.

books for 9 year olds
King of the Bench No Fear!
by Steve Moore
HUMOR / SPORTS
You’ll laugh out loud, no joke, at the musings and life of Steve, our narrator. He’s totally hilarious as he shares about life getting on the baseball team but developing a fear of the baseball. His coach (Coach Earwax dubbed thusly because of well, you can imagine) calls everyone babe, a cool girl named Becky tries out and gets on the team, and all Steve’s teammates have the most interesting stories. Fantastically funny illustrations.

Magical Land of Birthdays
by Amirah Kassem
Amirah lives in Mexico and loves cooking and baking. When her neighbor gives her an old cookbook titled The Power of Sprinkles, Amirah knows it’s the perfect cookbook for her upcoming birthday cake. Strangely, the cookbook transports her to the Magical Land of Birthdays where she meets other kids with her exact same birthdate as her who are from different areas of the world. Together they have an exciting, magical adventure that includes finding a missing B-Bud girl, parties, unicorns, and of course, cake.

good books for 9 year old kids
Rosetown
by Cynthia Rylant
REALISTIC / WHOLESOME
This is an atmospheric, small town slice-of-life story that takes place in Rosetown, Indiana. A big part of 4th grader Flora’s life is her friendship with Yury and reading in the used bookstore where her mom works. Flora’s struggling to adjust to her parents’ separation and two different homes. No matter where she goes, she brings her cat, Serenity. Flora does things like take piano lessons and help Yury with his dog training classes. The story ends with Flora’s parents working things out and starting their own business together.

good books for 9 year olds
Galactic Hot Dogs: Cosmoe’s Wiener Getaway
by Max Brallier, illustrated by Rachel Maguire and Nichole Kelley
HUMOR SCI-FI
Non-stop action and danger, potty humor, space adventures, zombie aliens, mutant worm wrestling, a misunderstood evil princess, good friends, video games, and a diabolical, hunting-them-down evil queen make for a kid-favorite new series. Not to mention the loads of cartoon illustrations throughout and hilarious writing with a kazillion exclamation marks!!!! I see what kids are loving now — and see why it’s totally up some kids reading alleys. (Book 2, The Weiner Strikes Back is also available.)

race the wild Captivating Adventure and Mystery Chapter Books
Race the Wild series
by Kristin Earhart
ADVENTURE
Starting with #1 Rain Forest Relay and now with the latest, #4 Savanna Showdown, this adventure series is quick to read and constant action. Plus, each book is filled with interesting facts about the ecosystem and the creatures who live there. Savanna Showdown ends the reality adventure race with Team Red winning on the last leg in Africa.

good books for 9 year olds
The Jolly Regina: The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters
by Kara LaReau, illustrated by Jen Hill
ADVENTURE  / HUMOR
Even before their parents disappeared, Jaundice and Kale Bland loathed excitement and adventure. But their boring existence is rudely disrupted when they are kidnapped by all-female pirates. Who would have thought they could adapt to pirate life, search for their long-lost pirate parents, and return home with the exact same desire for boring as when they left? Funny and very entertaining!

good books for 9 year olds 4th grade
Elephant Secret
by Eric Walters
REALISTIC / ANIMALS
You’ll zip through this lovely story about a girl named Sam who lives on an elephant sanctuary with her father. A mysterious benefactor has paid for an elephant to become pregnant — but it’s not actually an elephant that she births, it’s a wooly mammoth cloned from DNA. Sam’s connection with the elephant is amazing, especially the baby mammoth whom she names Woolly. Things go very wrong when their benefactor forces she and her father to leave the sanctuary. As she deals with this, Sam must also come to terms with her father’s long-term girlfriend. It’s a great story that will keep animal-lovers enthralled with new knowledge about elephants and their behavior.

good books for 9 year olds
Of Giants and Ice
 by Shelby Bach
FANTASY
When Rory finds out that her new after-school club, Ever After School, is a fairy tale training school for characters. In fact, her first day she fights a real dragon! We learn that all the kids will be assigned their own character in a familiar tale – and the chance to prove themselves. It’s also the beginning of acceptance for Rory – finding friends for the first time and learning about herself. Love it.

Blood Oath good books for 9 year old boys historical fiction
Gladiator School Book 1 Blood Oath by Dan Scott
HISTORICAL
This is already a six-book series but just came to my attention. It’s a fun historical fiction adventure (and mystery) set in ancient Rome about a young boy named Lucius whose father is accused of a crime. When the family loses everything, the oldest brother decides to be a gladiator — which is equivalent to slave status and quite frankly, a good way to die young. You’ll learn a lot of Roman history while reading this entertaining story.

The Croc Ate My Homework
The Croc Ate My Homework
 by Stephan Pastis
HUMOR
This book is so funny I can hardly stand it. My kids LOVED this book, as did I. It’s from the author of the Timmy Failure books and the Pearls Before Swine comic strip which curated especially for younger readers. The crocs are not the smartest and their stupidity will keep you thoroughly entertained. You’ll be sharing page after page with your family, friends, and neighbors.

If the Magic Fits books for 9 year olds
If the Magic Fits (100 Dresses) by Susan Maupin Schmid
FANTASY
Darling Dimple is thrilled to be moved from a kitchen scrubber to an upstairs dress presser for the princess. One day, she discovers a special closet of enchanted dresses. When Darling suspects a plot against the princess she uses dresses magic to help her investigate. Who is trying to free the dragons? Who wants to take over the kingdom? This lovable heroine and a charming magical plot will enchant readers.

good books for 9 year olds 45h grade
The Loser’s Club
by Andrew Clements
REALISTIC
Ever been called a bookworm or a loser? Well, Alec has been called both — because he IS an avid reader. In fact, he gets in trouble for reading during class. As far as the loser comment? Alec decides to claim that word. He makes an after-school care club just for reading (not a book club because who wants to talk?), calling it the Loser’s Club. Surprisingly, the club attracts other kids (despite the name). As it does, Alec starts noticing life outside his stories — the cute girl, the needs of other kids, the feelings! Book lovers, you’ll want to read this genuine story with all your favorite books, relatable characters, and the growing pains that happen when we look up from a book.

continue . . . 

. . . MORE book recommendations for 9 year olds

. . . nonfiction books for 9 year olds

Book Lists By Age

Easy Reader Books for 5- and 6- year olds 
Beginning / Easy Chapter Books for 6- and 7- Year Olds
Books for 8-year olds
Books for 9-year olds
Books for 10-year olds
Books for 11-year olds
Books for 12-year olds
YA Books

Read Aloud Books by Grade Level

Read Aloud Books for 1st Grade

Read Aloud Books for 2nd Grade

Read Aloud Books for 3rd Grade

Read Aloud Books for 4th Grade

Read Aloud Books for 5th Grade

Read Aloud Books for 6th Grade

Book Lists By Genre

Adventure Books for Kids
Fantasy Books for Kids
Funny Books for Kids
Historical Fiction Books for Kids
Mystery Books for Kids
Nonfiction Books for Kids
Realistic Books for Kids
Science Fiction Books for Kids
ALL Picture Book Reviews

Book List By Topic

See all children’s books (picture books, nonfiction, and chapter books) organized by topic.

good books for 4th grade kids (9 year olds)

the best books for 9 year olds (4th grade)

40 Responses

  1. Jeremy Walker says:

    Hi Melissa,

    My son is 9 years old. We read a lot of these books already. I am wondering if you could help me identify some books or authors that handle the following things well.

    What books do you recommend for kids only living with one parent? There are a lot of books about missing Dad, but I can’t seem to find books about Mom’s that left. When there are, the Mom is dead. I know social-cognitive therapy is best, but if he could read about another kid, a story, I feel like my son would feel just a bit more normal.

    What are some books that focus on empathy and non-violent solutions? There are a lot of books that practice the hero’s journey, but there is always violence. It would be great if we could have something more complex. What if instead of the hero fighting his/her way to a solution, he/she built a solution with their friends and foes. There are a lot of great examples in younger kids books, but I am just not seeing them for my son’s age range – especially for boys! Everything seems to be fight, fight, fight!

    Are there healthy masculinity books for boys? I am not an expert, but there seems to be a particular dearth of literature for developing boys in how to treat women. Sure, we have books on how to be a gentleman, but even those books create love stories where the female character is so overwhelmed by the male character’s kindness he still wins the girl. There are a lot of “nice guys” out there in this world. They didn’t just start doing this. They learned it from somewhere, TV or books and I find both to set weak moral compasses on this. At least the popular ones.

    Are there books that handle race and social justice well? Ok, maybe you’re not the best person to answer this. I don’t know. However, I know my white son is growing up in a more racial and gender diverse world. It’s happening and it is a reality. I want my son to feel way more comfortable than me in addressing race and social justice and know that he too has a role to play.

    I really want my son to learn to respect people who are not like him. To ask way more questions than to assume answers and to work with other people to build solutions. However, I’m finding a lot of the literature, from a Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Percy Jackson to just be far short of helpful.

    Thanks in advance,
    A single parent just trying to find the right books.

    1. Jeremy,

      I’m going to send you an email– if you don’t get it, let me know!

      Melissa @imaginationsoup.net

  2. Where is Dork Diaries? You should add it! I’m a normal 4th grader and I’m 10. And isn’t it werid that 9 year olds are 4th graders but I’m 10??

    1. I know many kids love Dork Diaries but to be honest, I’m not a fan so it’s not listed for that reason. Yes, many 4th graders are 9 and 10. 🙂 Thanks for the comment.

  3. Thank you for this list! It has really helped me pick out some excellent books for my daughter.

  4. Wow, thank you for this awesome list!!

  5. Stonemommy4 says:

    Good Morning, just stumbled on your sight looking for character dress ideas and I started to browse around and I love this easy list of reading ideas, always can use already read recommendations. Thank you, I have saved you site to my favorites and look forward to browsing more. Be Blessed, Robin

  6. This looks like an awesome list! Do you have printable version of this list somewhere?

    Thanks for all the great ideas!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *