Teachers and parents, do you need suggestions for good read-aloud books for the 4th grade? Research shows that reading aloud, as you probably know, expands vocabulary, improves comprehension, develops imagination, increases attention span, and best of all, engages readers in wonderful stories!
What’s more, sharing a read-aloud story can offer a wealth of instructional value as well as spark rich discussions.
In addition, if you read aloud an instructional level book, it can get kids started on a new favorite book series.
(*For those of you not in the U.S., 4th grade here is about 9-years-old.)
Read-Aloud Books for 4th Grade
Restart by Gordon Korman
A head injury after a fall off the roof means Chase has no memory. No memory of his mom or his friends or who he was as a person. But he starts to get clues about his personality when a strange girl dumps ice cream on his head and his little sister is scared of him and his two best friends think it’s funny to torment other kids and treat old people with disregard. Just what kind of person was he? Chase doesn’t think he likes what he’s learning about himself. Now he’ll have to decide what kind of person he wants to be going forward. Because he’s enjoying the film club and the new (“nerdy”) friends he’s made. It’s a thought-provoking novel that will challenge kids to consider how their behavior influences the way other people perceive them.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Wonderfully crafted and imagined, this 2017 Newbery winner is a fairy tale of sorts about a good witch who rescues one of the town’s many abandoned (sacrificed) babies instead of giving her to another town to adopt and love. She’s a special baby named Luna who accidentally becomes infused with moon magic. It’s also the story of the baby’s magical, bereaved mother, a wicked witch who feeds off sorrow, a woodcarver who wants justice, and most of all, an amazing girl named Luna.
Rules by Cynthia Lord
I highly recommend reading this meaningful, coming-of-age story about 12-year old Catherine. Read it in your classroom and with your children to develop empathy and compassion for children who have autism. Catherine’s worked hard to help her autistic brother, David, learn the rules about life. But now that she has new friends, she’s feeling more embarrassed about her brother than compassionate.
All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor
This book hooked me from the first page, taking me on a coming of age story that was both heartbreaking and filled with hope. Perry is well-loved by his mother and her friends. . . in prison. That’s where Perry has lived since he was born eleven years ago. But in an unexpected and unpleasant turn of events, his best friend’s stepfather, the new District Attorney, forces Perry to leave the prison. Not only that, the DA tries to stall Perry’s mother’s parole hearing. Perry discovers the stories behind the inmates’ lives, hoping that they’ll be helpful in reuniting him with his mother. This story will stay with you long after you read the last page.
The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John, illustrated by Kevin Cornell (SERIES)
REALISTIC / HUMOR
Most kids love funny books which means that they will LOVE this series! (Read this to introduce the series.) Besides learning valuable cow trivia, this first book is about the hilarious adventure of two pranksters who begin as rivals but later work together to pull off the biggest school prank of all time — a prank that will ensure that they get April Fool’s Day off from school.
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Hands-down one of the best life-changing books you’ll ever read. Narrated by Melody, we learn what it’s like for her, trapped in a body with cerebral palsy that doesn’t allow her to speak or take care of herself. No one except her parents think that she’s smart. Then one day, she gets a chance to prove it. Heartbreaking. Real. Inspiring. Beautifully written and sure to develop empathy.
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Both Ally and her older brother have hidden that they can’t read — until Mr. Daniels who helps her learn to read and discover her value. It’s a beautiful, emotionally resonate story that will help kids either see themselves or develop empathy and compassion.
Space Case and Spaced Out by Stuart Gibbs (SERIES)
review written by 11-year old JJ
This series was AMAZING! It was a murder mystery on the moon. I can never turn down a good, realistic sci-fi PLUS murder mystery. It has it all! It was placed in 2040 and their second-in-command had died. He had walked out the airlock (to the moon’s surface) with his space suit on wrong– he died in seconds. Everyone thought he had gone crazy, but Dashiel Gibson suspected differently. Murder. The first book is almost mirrored in the second –the base commander this time disappears. With just enough breaking the rules, they can figure out where she is and who did it.
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein (SERIES)
Kyle and a few classmates win a sleepover at the new town newly created library by game-creator Mr. Lemoncello. The silly Mr. Lemoncello devises a fun way to get OUT of the library — you can only get out if you solve the puzzles around the entire library. Will the kids work together or will it be every child for himself? Kids can’t put this literary adventure book down, nor it’s the subsequent books in the series.
Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar
They’re not supposed to be in the woods, but to avoid Chad the bully, Tamaya and Marshall go there anyway. Tamaya discovers the weird-looking “fuzzy mud” and throws it at Chad’s face. When Chad goes missing, and Tamaya’s hand gets a bloody rash, it’s clear that the mud is not just mud. Fast-paced and adventurous, this read aloud book introduces 4th grade kids to the science fiction genre and environmentalism.
One-Third Nerd by Gennifer Choldenko, illustrated by Eglantine Ceulemans
Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart
It’s the 1890s and after losing his entire family, Joseph also loses his horse when it’s sold without his permission. He journeys to find and buy back his horse, which he considers his only family left alive. As he travels, he develops a friendship with a Chinese boy who speaks no English, wins a horse race, helps deliver a baby, and fights an outlaw. It’s excellent writing — your students won’t want to stop reading this story.
Patina by Jason Reynolds (SERIES)
Patina’s anger sometimes gets the best of her but running helps make it better. She’s mad about her dad dying, her mom’s legs being amputated, and her new school. When her track coach makes Patty work with her teammates in a relay, she’s forced to rely on them. And that changes things. Patina is a beautiful coming-of-age story that will tug at your emotions.
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser (SERIES)
Like The Penderwicks, you’ll fall in love with this quirky, wonderful family from the first page. The Vanderbeekers’ landlord wants them out by the end of December but the Vanderbeeker kids are determined to change his mind, even though he hates noise, kids, and their family. But it’s almost Christmas and their efforts are only making things worse. What will they do? Charming and heart-warming.
Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger (SERIES)
HUMOR / MAGICAL REALISM
A funny but poignant read aloud book of middle-school angst and discovery! Unpopular Dwight can make origami Star Wars characters. When his puppet of Yoda comes to life, just like Yoda, the origami Yoda is wise and helpful during the many trials of 6th grade.
The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg
Like the Harry Potter books, I’ve read this book so many times, often as a read-aloud choice for my 4th and 5th-grade students because it’s so well-written and interesting. This is a wonderful adventure of two siblings who run away from home and live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC where they discover a mystery. While unraveling the clues about of who created the angel statue, the brother and sister duo discover that a Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler will help them with more than the mystery, but with growing up and going home, too.