Fourth-graders are awesome. They have plenty of things they already love, but they’re still willing to give something new a chance. A classroom library full of fun, diverse choices will keep them exploring and growing as readers. We looked at tons of
4th grade books and chose our favorite 60+ to share with you. From beautiful picture books and poetry to hilarious tales to heart-wrenching coming-of-age stories, you’re sure to find something for every curious reader in your group.
Note: You know your students and their emotional maturity levels best. A few of these books may be best as read alouds so that you and your kids can discuss them together.
(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)
Best 4th Grade Books
1. Nightsong by Ari Berk
A beautiful picture book just waiting for a
class read aloud. As Chiro, a young bat, is sent out into the night by himself for the first time, his mother gives him some good advice. Navigating the world around him will be easy, as long as he uses his good sense. Chiro soon realizes
no matter how far away you go, with good sense, you can always find your way back home.
Buy it: Nightsong at Amazon | Nightsong at Bookshop
2. Crossover series by Kwame Alexander
In this Newbery Medal–winning middle grade novel in verse, twelve-year-old
twins and basketball stars Josh and Jordan Bell must learn to deal with problems on and off the court as they navigate homework, first crushes, family, and, of course, basketball.
3. Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk
Historical fiction at its finest! Echo Mountain tells the story of Ellie, whose family moves to the wilderness of Echo Mountain after losing everything in the Great Depression. When her father falls ill, Ellie has to learn the
secrets of the mountain to heal him. This book is a celebration of finding your own path and discovering your truest self.
4. Front Desk series by Kelly Yang
This delightful series follows the adventures of Mia Tang, who lives in a motel with her immigrant parents. As her parents clean the motel and help other immigrant families, Mia dreams of being a writer. A timely collection of 4th grade books with a contemporary
5. Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the
Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.
Buy it: Ghost at Amazon |
Ghost at Bookshop
6. City Spies series by James Ponti
In this thrilling series that Stuart Gibbs called “a must-read,” Edgar Award winner James Ponti brings together five kids from all over the world
and transforms them into real-life spies. It’s wonderful for fans of Spy School and
Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls.
7. Count Me In by Vasha Barjaj
An uplifting story told through the alternating voices of two middle-schoolers, in which a community rallies to reject racism.
Buy it: Count Me In at Amazon | Count Me In at Bookshop
8. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
classic tale of nine-year-old Peter, and his two-year-old brother, Fudge, is frequently listed as the book that made someone a reader. This makes it an easy choice to share with your collection of 4th grade books. (Check out more of our favorite Judy Blume books for the classroom!)
9. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
In 1899, 11-year-old Calpurnia lives with her grumpy grandfather, six brothers, and a lot of curiosity about the world around her.
10. I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis
When there’s an action-packed
series that kids find super-exciting, it’s great when the titles just keep coming. There’s no shortage of edge-of-your-seat moments in these historical fiction adventures.
11. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
collection of poems about the author’s life as a Black girl growing up in South Carolina and New York in the 1960s and 1970s.
12. Becoming Muhammad Ali by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander
Before he was a household name, Cassius Clay was a kid with struggles like any other. Written in prose and verse, the book looks at his life from birth to seventeen. Becoming Muhammad Ali captures the budding charisma and youthful
personality of one of the greatest sports heroes of all time.
13. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
A little bit sci-fi, a little bit whodunit, and a whole lot of fun. Your students will love this thought-provoking take about a sixth-grader who starts receiving anonymous notes that predict the future.
14. Gold Rush Girl by Avi
Wanting to stay
with her father, Tory stows away on a ship heading west to search for gold in 1848. Spot-on details and high suspense make this a vivid, absorbing historical adventure for your collection of 4th grade books.
15. Toothpaste Millionaire by Jean Merrill
Sixth-graders Rufus and Kate develop and sell toothpaste to become millionaires in just one year! This fun, breezy story includes many real-life mathematical problems which the characters must solve to succeed in their budding business.
16. Shuri: A Black Panther Novel by Nic Stone
Add this to your 4th grade books list for students who love the Marvel universe! This story, written by award-winning YA author Nic Stone, takes readers on an adventure with Shuri, the younger sister of T’Challa (aka the Black Panther).
17. The Bears of Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh
A quick, fun historical
fiction about a young man discovering that, unlike what he has been told throughout his life, there are definitely bears on Hemlock Mountain.
18. Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan
A beautifully written fantasy novel about a young
man setting out on a perilous quest. This book, written by the author of Esperanza Rising,
is sure to be well-loved by your 4th grade students.
Buy it: Mañanaland at Amazon | Mañanaland at Bookshop
19. Matilda by Roald Dahl
your 4th grade students to characters they’ll never forget. The story of Matilda, the Trunchbull, and Miss Honey is a delight for a read aloud or to put into the hands of students to discover the story for themselves.
Buy it: Matilda at Amazon |
Matilda at Bookshop
20. Weird Little Robots by Caroline Crimi
science-savvy girls create an entire robot world, they don’t expect the robots to come alive. But life may be a bit more magical than they thought.
21. The Little Mermaid by Jerry Pinkney
This is not Disney or the Hans Christian Andersen original!
Jerry Pinkney’s breathtaking update to a classic tale stars a main character of color and has affirming themes of friendship, family, and identity.
22. Love by Matt de la Peña
This moving title is ageless, but we particularly love how
it can get fourth graders talking in more depth about a complex topic.
Buy it: Love at Amazon | Love at Bookshop
23. Bringing Back the Wolves: How a Predator Restored an Ecosystem by Jude Isabella
This book is a science unit
unto itself! In systematic sections, it explores what happened when wolves disappeared from—and then came back to—Yellowstone National Park. Build kids’ understanding of vocabulary about relationships within an ecosystem with this
memorable real-world story.
24. Two Truths and a Lie books by Ammi-Joan Paquette
Make discussions about responsible research practices memorable and fun. This innovative series asks readers to separate fact from fiction in short sections ideal for classroom discussion.
25. Pumpkin Falls Mysteries by Heather Vogel Frederick
These stories follow the adventures of Truly Lovejoy, a young girl whose family has moved from Texas to a tiny town in New Hampshire to take over their family’s century-old bookstore. Left largely to her own devices, Truly finds
herself chasing down clues found in old books.
26. Dragons in a Bag series by Zetta Elliott
Want to breathe some new life into your classroom library? Try this diverse, young, urban fantasy series. The action-packed series
begins in Dragons in a Bag, when Jaxon finds out the mean old lady next door is a witch who asks him for his help delivering baby dragons to a magical world where they’ll be safe.
27. Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg
your students may have seen the old movie based on this classic book; others may have seen the new versions. Introduce your entire class to the book that started it all.
Buy it: Jumanji at Amazon | Jumanji at Bookshop
28. Sound: Shh…Bang…Pop…Boom! By Romana Romanyshyn
Here’s a perfect example of artistry in informational
writing. A neon color scheme and tons of visual features give readers a primer on the topic of sound. Share as part of a science unit on sound or to simply help students up the cool factor in their own nonfiction writing.
29. She Was the First: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm by Katheryn Russell-Brown
This biography chronicles
the bold achievements of the first Black person to run for president as a major party candidate. While short in stature, Shirley Chisholm was a strong, influential leader and advocate who made a lasting impact. Your students deserve
to be inspired by her!
30. Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham & Charles Waters
When an unlikely pair works on a poetry project together,
they think they have nothing in common. The effective back-and-forth format will get kids thinking.
31. Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley, and Marjory Wentworth
Award-winning authors Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley, and Marjory Wentworth
have compiled this collection of poems that celebrates poets who have touched their lives and influenced their work.
32. I’m Trying to Love Math by Bethany Barton
After convincing arguments heralding bees and spiders in her previous
titles, Bethany Barton uses her powers of persuasion to demonstrate the wide reach, usefulness, and coolness of math. Read this to quell any groans about the relevance of math in the real world.
33. Pass Go and Collect $200: The Real Story of How Monopoly Was Invented by Tanya Lee Stone
It’s a history lesson from a completely
unique angle. This is our favorite new narrative nonfiction mentor text. Of course, after reading, you’ll need to break out the board game during indoor recess
or invite your students to design their own.
34. Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery by Sandra Neil Wallace
This isn’t your typical athlete’s biography. Everyone
thought Ernie Barnes should play professional football, but he never gave up on his dream of being an artist.
35. So Tall Within: Sojourner Truth’s Long Walk Toward Freedom by Gary D. Schmidt
Introduce students to this fascinating and influential woman
who worked tirelessly to fight against both racial and gender inequality.
36. Flight for Freedom: The Wetzel Family’s Daring Escape from East Germany by Kristen Fulton
A family secretly builds a hot air balloon for a secret
nighttime crossing over the Berlin Wall. This compelling story is a perfectly-sized slice of history to captivate students. The information provided about the actual construction of the hot air balloon, both in the text and extensive
back matter, could also spark interesting STEM conversations about the design process.
37. The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman
Maria Merian was a brave and passionate scientific
mind, well ahead of her time. This beautifully written and illustrated chapter book biography offers so many discussion opportunities.
38. Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! by Marley Dias
Marley Dias, creator of the #1000blackgirlbooks movement, is an
amazing peer role model to teach kids about activism.
Buy it: Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! at Amazon | Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! at Bookshop
39. Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night by Rob Laidlaw
Great nonfiction challenges readers’ thinking with a
clear focus. This fascinating title about bat conservation does just that.
40. 2030: A Day in the Life of Tomorrow’s Kids by Amy Zuckerman and James Daly
From cool new gadgets to thoughtful discussions about how environmental change might impact the way we do things in the future, this easy-to-read book is excellent for your classroom futurists.
Buy it: 2030: A Day in the Life of Tomorrow’s Kids at Amazon | 2030: A Day in the Life of Tomorrow’s Kids at Bookshop
41. Locomotive by Brian Floca
Award-winning look at riding America’s first transcontinental railroad in 1869. The pages come alive with the details of the trip and the sounds, speed, and strength of the mighty locomotives; the work that keeps them moving; and the
thrill of travel from plains to mountain to ocean.
Buy it: Locomotive at Amazon | Locomotive at Bookshop
42. Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
Inspired by her childhood love
of books like A Secret Garden and The Chronicles of Narnia, bestselling author Tahereh Mafi crafts a spellbinding new world where color is currency, adventure is inevitable, and friendship is found in the
most unexpected places.
Buy it: Furthermore at Amazon | Furthermore at Bookshop
43. Mighty Jack series by Ben Hatke
Kids love the intense action and adventure in this three-part, modern-day retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk from a fan-favorite graphic novelist.
44. Sanity and Tallulah by Molly Brooks
This sci-fi graphic novel is such fun. BFFs Sanity
and Tallulah struggle to contain an overzealous three-headed kitten before it causes chaos in their space station home. The selection of diverse, admirable female characters is “out of this world.”
45. Maker Comics series by Various Authors (First Second Books)
These graphic novel riffs on procedural texts are great for hooking reluctant readers or simply expanding kids’ concept of informational text. With tons of engaging topics from
baking to costume creation to auto repair, to robot building, there is something to fit every interest in these 4th grade books.
46. Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
There are so many levels to this story of an eleven-year-old boy
and his grandmother’s unconventional road trip. The story packs in tons of background about the Civil Rights era without being teach-y.
47. The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate
Finally! This follow-up to the fan favorite The One and Only Ivan does not disappoint. Ivan’s funny canine friend Bob is equally endearing as a main character, especially for dog-lovers—both teachers and kids!
48. The Nerviest Girl in the World by Melissa Wiley
Pearl lives on a cattle and ostrich ranch and dreams of
following in her brothers’ footsteps as a stunt double in silent films. This historical fiction title is full of fun and spunk and is great for learning about a storyteller’s voice.
49. On These Magic Shores by Yamile Saied Méndez
When Minerva’s mother doesn’t come home from her
night shift, Minerva takes care of her younger sisters. Amidst grave uncertainty, unexplained events bring bits of comfort. This Peter Pan spinoff layers magical thinking with real themes of resilience, responsibility, and family bonds.
It’s a fantastic class discussion novel or one to add to a list of 4th grade books to push independent readers towards deeper comprehension.
50. Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai
Jingwen has lots to cope with between his recent move to Australia and his father’s death, but there’s still room for plenty of humor in this highly readable Own Voices graphic novel. It will particularly resonate with ELL students and those who’ve had
to navigate a move to a new place.
51. Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh by Uma Krishnaswami
Part sports novel, part
WWII-era historical fiction—with a strong dose of girl power—readers will be cheering for Maria.
52. Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina
This story of
a young Latina student trying to find her place in the world gets to the heart of the confusion and constant change that defines middle school—and the steadfast connection that defines family.
53. Moo by Sharon Creech
A wonderful story for those looking to add a blend of prose and poetry to their
stack of 4th grade books. When Reena moves with her family to Maine, the last thing she expects is to have to work hard on a farm and form an unlikely friendship with an ornery cow named Zora.
Buy it: Moo at Amazon |
Moo at Bookshop
54. Beautiful Blue World by Suzanne LaFleur
A moving story of two friends who are caught in a war-torn
world. When the army begins to recruit children, will Mathilde lose her best friend Megs?
55. The Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner
The fantastical story of a girl who finds
friendship in the unlikeliest of companions—a young member of the Bigfoot clan.
56. The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson
This acclaimed title is an ultimate classroom read
aloud option for 4th grade books. The puzzle will hook kids’ attention, but the historical context of the end of segregation offers plenty of compelling discussions.
57. Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier
We’re predicting it here: This will become a new
classic for kids. It’s a fable that stars a young chimney sweep girl during Victorian times who meets tragic circumstances, but the themes of friendship, acceptance, and resilience are timeless. If you have sensitive kiddos, preview
it first before reading aloud.
Buy it: Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster at Amazon | The Story of a Girl and Her Monster at Bookshop
58. A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry
Based on information collected by the real tracked wolf, OR-7, this story of a young wolf separated from his pack is a breathtaking tribute to both the power of both family and animal instinct. Read it aloud, then add extra copies to your stack of 4th
grade books for students who want to re-read it on their own.
59. Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManis
When the U.S. government passes a law declassifying her family’s tribe, Regina must grapple with tough questions about what that means for her identity—is she Indian, American, or both? This discussion-worthy novel, rooted in the author’s
own experiences, is ideal for advanced readers or as a compelling class read aloud.
60. We’re Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey
This book asks students to imagine
they were sent to a completely different planet where they were the outcasts. When it happens to the main character, the situations range from funny to potentially dangerous, but the overall message is timely and meant
to make your students think. And isn’t that what the best 4th grade books do?
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Plus, check out our other elementary grade-level book lists: