Looking for a good book series for your 4th grader? (Ages 9 – 10)
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 (4th grade) 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
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.
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.
Trapped in a Video Game by Dustin Brady, illustrated by Brady Jessee
Gamers and non-gamers alike who love exciting and dangerous stories won’t want to miss this excellent action-packed series. Jesse’s friend gets an early release of a video game — and it sucks both boys into the game. Inside the game, they meet a classmate who has been missing for weeks and is now a grown-up man in the game. They’re all trapped with no escape possible.
The Magical Reality of Nadia by Bassem Youssef and Catherine R. Daly, illustrated by Douglas Holgate
Funny, entertaining, and filled with important themes of friendship, growing up, and racism. Nadia unexpectedly discovers an ancient Egyptian teacher (Titi) trapped in her hippo amulet. He comes out onto a paper and TALKS! Tita helps Nadia with problems she faces at school like the new kid who is prejudiced about her Egyptian culture as well as her troubles with working on a school project with friends. Wonderful, heartfelt, and relatable.
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.
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
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.
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. Spradlin
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 parent’s 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.
The Royal Guide to Monster Slaying by Kelley Armstrong
Rowan wants to be a Monster Hunter instead of the future queen. When tragedy strikes her brother, she gets her chance to switch roles and become the Royal Monster Slayer with her aunt with her brother as king. Unfortunately, she must face and kill a gryphon soon or her scheming uncle will get the throne instead. The story is an exciting adventure filled with surprises, mythical creatures, and new friendships. It’s not a cliff-hanger but it does leave the door open for another book. (I can’t wait!)
From an Idea to Nike: How Marketing Made Nike a Global Success by Lowey Bundy Sichol, illustrated by C. S. Jennings
Kids will see that it’s not enough to have a good idea and great product but you also must figure out how to sell your product — and Nike did this by sponsoring elite athletes like Michael Jordan to wear their shoes. The company’s journey shows kids that businesses go through ups and downs. However, continued innovative thinking combined with hard work and determination leads to success.
Anyone But Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp
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.
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
Wild Survival: Crocodile Rescue! by Melissa Cristina Marquez
#OWNVOICES / ADVENTURE / ANIMAL RESCUE
Adrianna’s parents have an animal sanctuary and host an animal rescue that is moving from YouTube to television. On this trip, which is being filmed for the new show, the family goes to the mangrove forest of Cuba to help an injured crocodile. (The book is interspersed with factual information about all the wildlife they encounter!) Andriana messes up and gets grounded but besides saving a dog, she realizes something the grown-ups missed– that the rescued crocodile had a nest of eggs. She convinces her brother to help her save the eggs but they have a very close call with poachers, adding in suspense and a touch of danger. Engaging and interesting!
Dragon Vs. Unicorns: Kate the Chemist by Dr. Kate Biberdorf with Hillary Homzie
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 things happening 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.
The Vanishing Coin (Magic Shop Series) by Kate Egan and Mike Lane, illustrated by Eric Wight
Kids like fourth-grader Mike who can’t sit still will relate to Mike’s struggles with getting work done, avoiding the school bully, and staying out of trouble. It’s such a great story because Mike discovers something that he IS good at something– magic.
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 into 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
I read this book 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 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!
The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg
I loved this Sherlock-inspired book because it’s very well written and tells a great story. John Watson and his mom move to Harlem. There he meets a unique girl named Shelby Holmes who reluctantly allows him to tag along with her as she solves her latest crime — the mystery of who took a posh, show-dog from a classmate’s secure house.
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.
The Friendship Code #1 Girls Who Code by Stacia Deutsch
Lucy joins coding club so she can make an app for her uncle to remember his medications. But the class is moving TOO slow. Then, a mysterious letter arrives on her locker with instructions in code:
The subsequent messages in code put her back in touch with old friends and help her build a new friendship. Whoever is sending messages is teaching Lucy and her friends about input/output, conditionals, loops, and variables. To solve the mystery, the girls decide to write their own code . . .
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 from history and in 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 sleepover 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.
The Story of Olympic Swimmer Duke Kahanamoku by Ellie Crowe, illustrated by Richard Waldepr
Well-written like all of the books in this series and totally fascinating! Kids will love learning about cool but lesser-known people like Duke, a famous Hawaiian who is known for his dominance of the sport of surfing as well as being an Olympic swimmer. Helpful informational insets give readers background on topics covered in the biography such as how surfboards are made. Love it.
Hero Rescue Mission by Jennifer Li Shotz
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.
If the Magic Fits (100 Dresses) by Susan Maupin Schmid
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 dress 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.
You Might Also Like:
ALL book recommendations and reviews for 9-year-olds (4th grade) HERE.
Nonfiction book recommendations for 4th graders HERE.