Once you can get kids hooked into a book series, you know that it will keep them reading for awhile. Not to mention, they probably will be reading longer hours because the books are just too good to put down.
For each of these chapter book series, I’ve included the genre and description so you can easily find what might interest your child.
Also, I debated about including the Harry Potter series because 4th grade is the time when many kids start these books. However, the reading level a bit more challenging than 4th grade so I’ve put it on the 5th grade book series list. But if your child can read Harry Potter and wants to — hooray! This is a great time to start. 🙂
See ALL my book recommendations for 9-year-old children here.
Good Book Series for 4th Graders (That Will Keep Them Reading)
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.
The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer
Fairy tales become very real when Alex and Conner (a brother and sister) find themselves taken to the fairy tale world through a book given to them by their grandmother. In the first story, their only way out of the Fairy Tale world is to find the ingredients for a Wishing Spell. Finding the items will be dangerous, mysterious, and life-changing. The stories are non-stop adventures in magical, imaginative worlds. My kids couldn’t put these down. (Neither could I.) Buy a box set here.
The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John, illustrated by Kevin Cornell
REALISTIC / HUMOR
If you like funny, you’ll LOVE this series! 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.
Elements of Genius: Nikki Tesla and the Ferret-Proof Death Ray by Jess Keating
ADVENTURE — STEM
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
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. Greg’s here to prove it. Box set here.
The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier, illustrated by Douglas Colgate
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.
The Imaginary Veterinary by Suzanne Selfors
Ben doesn’t think his summer could be any more boring. Until he rescues a baby dragon and discovers a secret veterinarian for imaginary creatures. That’s when he and his friend accidentally let a Sasquatch escape. Whoops. Now the pair must lure the big guy back before the townspeople find out. (Easier said than done.) This series is an entertaining page-turner.
I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 by Lauren Tarshis
HISTORICAL FICTION / ADVENTURE
Wow – these are addicting reads! They’re excellent, fast-paced adventures set during significant historical events. Your kids will zip through these adventures, learning history in the process. The books always are about a young person trying to survive the historically important, life-changing event such as Pompeii, the Titanic, Pearl Harbor, or the Battle of Gettysburg. Boxed set here.
Big Nate Welcome to My World by Lincoln Peirce
GRAPHIC NOVEL / HUMOR
Lincoln Peirce “gets” kids and their struggles. Nate’s real-life adventures will keep your kids laughing from the first page to the last. These are great for reluctant readers. Boxed set here.
Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George
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 encounters and befriends a special dragon who will change the course of her life along with the magical dragon slippers that can help her speak or control her most esteemed dragon friend.
Killer Species by Michael P. Spralin
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!
Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
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? LOVE this series!
The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg
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.
From an Idea to Nike: How Marketing Made Nike a Global Success by Lowey Bundy Sichol, illustrated by C. S. Jennings (SERIES)
Everyday Angel by Victoria Schwab
My daughter loves these sweet 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 apart from her family. These are charming, uplifting stories.
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!
Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke
FANTASY / GRAPHIC NOVEL
While Jack’s single mom works, Jack takes care of his little sister, Maddy. And like the other Jack, this Jack also trades the family’s one valuable thing only in this story it’s his mom’s car which he trades for seeds. It all goes downhill from there: The seeds turn in to a freaky, monster-growing garden which attacks them, their neighbor 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, . . . Book two, Mighty Jack and the Goblin King, concludes this fantastic series for 4th graders.
Treasure Hunters by James Petterson and Chris Grabenstein, illustrated by Juliana Neufeld
The life of the four Kidd siblings isn’t typical — they live on a boat and their parents are treasure hunters. Unfortunately, not only is their mom missing but their father went overboard in a bad storm. Now the kids are on their own and need money to survive. The only way they know is to find a treasure and sell it. But danger is around every wave and they’re not sure who to trust. This is a fast, action-packed adventure that sets the tone for more books to come. Full boxed set here.
The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
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, they’ll have to save the world when the wizard’s powers are taken away. Great for kids who love animals and magical adventures. We read this with our mother-daughter book club and it was a big hit.
Ostriches: The Superpower Field Guide by Rachel Poliquin, illustrated by Nicholas John Frith
NONFICTION / SUPERPOWER FIELD GUIDE SERIES
You think you know. But you have no idea…how cool and weird and amazing ostriches are. Not until you read this book. I read it cover to cover in one sitting because it was so incredibly interesting and compelling! I mean, the ostriches have TOE CLAWS OF DEATH. For real. And their bones are just bizarre yet for a really good reason! What you think is their knee is their ankle bone. Not to mention their eyeballs are the biggest of any land animal. But let’s not get too much into all the fascinating facts that you’ll learn; let me just sum up by saying that this book makes me awestruck by the ostrich. It’s my new favorite animal! Run to your library or bookstore and get this book & entire series.
Phoebe and Her Unicorn: A Heavenly Nostrils Chronicle by Dana Simpson
HUMOR / GRAPHIC NOVEL
Sarcastic and hilarious, this is a laugh-out-loud comic book story about a precocious young girl and her reluctant unicorn “best friend”. We highly recommend the Phoebe books — and have read them long after 4th grade!
The Curious Cat Spy Club by Linda Joy Singleton
Three kids from seemingly different social circles band together to rescue kittens they find in a dumpster, forming their own detective investigation group. Who could have dumped these innocent kittens? Surprisingly, the answers they find will be a total shock. Boxed Set Here.
Kristy’s Great Idea Babysitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin, illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
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.
The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry
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.
Who Would Win? Whale vs. Giant Squid by Jerry Pallotta, illustrated by Rob Bolster
Teachers tell me that their students can’t get enough of the Who Would Win? books. This book 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.
Timmy Failure by Stephan Pastis
Timmy is a clueless detective with a polar bear sidekick. Their adventures will make your 4th grader laugh out loud!
Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja by Marcus Emerson
I thought this was not just a great story but I loved that the main character (the ninja) was a girl. The story is easily read, written in a combo of text and comics. It’s a great series for 4th-grade readers!
Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
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.
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.
Twintuition Double Vision by Tia and Tamera Mowry
Identical twins living in a new town experience flashes of precognition when touching other people. But the twins are facing conflicts with each other and at their new school until their policewoman mother faces a serious problem. The twins use their abilities to save her from scandal and connect with each other again. Twintuition is an enjoyable read.
Who Was (famous person) . . . Biographies
Learn more about the many inspiring people in history and modern life. The 120 Who Was biographies feature important leaders, inventors, activists, and trailblazers like Claude Monet, Annie Oakley, Harriet Tubman, Leonardo Da Vinci, Johnny Appleseed, Louis Armstrong, and Queen Elizabeth. While not a chapter book, I included this series for those nonfiction book loving 4th graders.
Stink and the Shark Sleepover by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
I loved this adventure because it’s exciting as well as it includes a lot of factual information about marine life. Stink gets to sleep over at the aquarium. While he’s there, he learns more about sharks, gets to solve a mystery, learns a ghost story, and has tons of fun. I like that kids can easily relate to the characters in the story, as well as the setting. Of course, the Peter H. Reynolds illustrations are ah-mazing.
Goosebumps by R. L. Stine
This book series is easy to read with just enough scare to compel even the most reluctant of 4th grade readers to read, read, read. Can you believe these books still fly off the library shelves after all these years?!
The Kicks Saving the Team by Alex Morgan
Finally, a fantastic book (series) for 4th-grade soccer players! Written by Olympic Gold Medalist and U.S. Soccer team member, Alex Morgan, these are relatable stories of life, friendship, and playing soccer at just the right level for 4th graders. Box set here.
Of Giants and Ice by Shelby Bach
Rory finds out that her new after-school club, Ever After School, is a fairy tale training school. On 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.
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
The Story of Olympic Swimmer Duke Kahanamoku by Ellie Crowe, illustrated by Richard Waldep
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.
Plants vs. Zombies by Paul Tobin and Ron Chan
HUMOR / GRAPHIC NOVEL
I wasn’t expecting these books to be so funny in an ironic way that you don’t see in children’s books. Yes, there are zombies and kids with plants trying to kill the zombies (just like the video game) but you’ll be surprised (as I was) to read comic panels with smart, punny humor. In summary, if your child likes these graphic novels and word play, give this series a try.
Liberty Porter, First Daughter by Julia DeVillers
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 life as the First Daughter.
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ALL book recommendations and reviews for 9-year-olds (4th grade) here.
Nonfiction book recommendations for 4th graders here.