Reading Recommendations?

My youngest sister is 9 years old and a voracious reader. She called me today for some recommendations- I gave her a few ideas and she immediately ran out to the library. She ended up with Toys Go Out: Being the Adventures of a Knowledgeable Stingray, a Toughy Little Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic, Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little, Midnight (Warriors: The New Prophecy, Book 1), and Ivy and Bean and the Ghost That Had to Go (Book 2) (Ivy & Bean). These should appease her for a few days, but I need more ideas!

Admittedly, younger chapter books are not my forte. (I really need to work on that). I am looking for recommendations and your expertise. She reads at a high level, is entering 4th grade, and will give almost anything a shot. Some of her recent favorites include Frindle, the Clementine books, Oggie Cooder #1 (Oggie Cooder), and Lunch Money. Oh, and she read the entire The Spiderwick Chronicles series at the beginning of June. She LOVED them.

I am planning on recommending the Just Grace series next.  But I need more ideas!  I counting on you – do you have any recommendations for great books for 4th graders?

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13 Responses

  1. I have a few ideas:

    Me and the Pumpkin Queen by Marlane Kennedy.
    The Olivia Kidney books by Ellen Potter.
    Babymouse!
    The Secrets of Droon series.
    Star Jumper and Gravity Buster by Frank Asch.
    Holbrook by Bonny Becker.
    The Roald Dahl books (especially Matilda).
    Rickshaw Girl.

    Hope it helps! It’s an important cause, keeping a nine-year-old book lover reading.

  2. I’m bad at guessing appropriate ages for kids’ books, so some of these might be either too old or too young, but I remember loving:

    – My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Gannett Stiles (and its two sequels)
    – A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
    – A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels
    – The Narnia books
    – The Little House books
    – Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
    – Judy Blume
    – Roald Dahl
    – Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
    – My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
    – Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brian
    – The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books
    – The Pippi Longstocking books
    – E. B. White
    – Juniper by Monica Furlong
    – The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster

    She might also get a kick out of Coraline by Neil Gaiman or A Series of Unfortunate Events.

  3. Thanks, Jen!!!!

  4. Some of my favorites:

    Medusa Jones by Ross Collins
    The Year of the Dog (and sequel: The Year of the Dog) by Grace Lin
    A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban
    Whittington by Alan Armstrong (I read this out loud to a group of 4th/5th graders at a local school and they loooved it)
    The Mercy Watson books by Kate DiCamillo

    And the girls at my library are absolutely crazy for the Mallory series by Laurie B. Friedman

  5. All 7 Franny K Stein books–she’ll read them fast but I bet she’ll love them. Definitely Babymouse. Have her Give Hank Zipzer a try, If she likes it, there’s a whole series, if not, oh well. They’re kinda boy-ish, but FUNNY and well written and one of the few series that bridge easier chapter books to those I think of as more fifth and sixth grade-ish. Ivy and Bean #3 and #4. How To Steal A Dog. Larger Than Life Lara. The Frog Princess. I love the Deltora fantasy series, but it’s a rather big stretch forward from Spiderwick. Down Girl and Sit and Smarter than Squirrels. I firmly believe all kids her age ought to be offered the hilarity of Captain Underpants, (i’m no longer surprised when very refined little girl students eat those up). Jellaby was a way cute GN and one of my all time faves that’s more literary is called The Key Collection.

    Here’s something I’ve noticed about lots of fourth grade readers. :Just Right: is hard to find. Many books are pretty easy sailing, and many that they try out take them into rough waters. I’m all for finding “just right” books, but I think there is a jump in reading skills that happens, hopefully before or during fourth grade, that just requires some serious effort and stamina. One day you’re working hard at getting through a chapter book, and then you suddenly have the decoding skills and vocabulary to just get lost in the stories and you never look back. My ten year old daughter, who is going into fifth grade next year is in this zone, but I would not describe her as motivated. Resistant Reader would be the accurate label. But we’re working on it.

  6. The Penderwick books by Birdsall (there are two and they are both wonderful)
    No Talking by Clements

    I teach middle school so 4th grade is a little young for me but these three books came to mind.

  7. Love that Dog by Sharon Creech
    Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
    Rules by Cynthia Lord
    Charlotte’s Web
    Tale of Despereaux
    Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
    Confessions of a Closet Catholic

  8. Have her try the brand new series by Meg Cabot: Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls. If she liked Frindle, have her try Clements’s 2 most recent: No Talking and Lost and Found

  9. Try the Callahan Cousins series by Elizabeth Doyle Carey. The first one is _Summer Begins_. They are easy chapter books set in New England (Rhode Island, I think.)

    Also–the Betsy Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace. The first two are _Betsy-Tacy_ and _Betsy-Tacy and Tib_. The series of 8 take the trio of best friends from age 5 through about 21.

    She might like the Anne of Green Gables books, though they are a little more challenging. If she has already read those, try the Emily books, also by L.M. Montgomery. The first and best one is _Emily of New Moon._

    _Understood Betsy_, _Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm_, and _Caddie Woodlawn_ are also classic books. A great one that is hard to find is _Two are Better than One_ by the author of Caddie Woodlawn, Carol Ryrie Brink.
    Also–_Dandelion Cottage_ by Carroll Watson Rankin.

  10. My just nine year old has enjoyed Ottoline and the Yellow Cat and the Roscoe Riley Rules series.

  11. Clementine series by Sara Pennypacker

    My Weird School series by Dan Gutman

    Judy Moody series by Megan Mcdonald

    Sisters Grimm series Michael Buckley

  12. What about Abby Haise, Ida Bean, Little Women (not sure about the age on that one?). I read Where the Red Fern Grows in 4th grade and loved it.

  13. Sorry – that was supposed to be Ida B!

    Lucy Rose is a fun series too. Has she read the Dear America or My America books?
    My Haunted House by Angie Sage is a fun series too.

    Room One, A Room with a Zoo, and what about Cricket in Time Square?

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