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Book Lists for Advanced 4th grade reader -- newer books?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by barbk, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    English is not my mother's first language, so no recommendations from her, although my parents did buy us a ton of books.

    For me it was the school library and the Scholastic Books program (remember the flyers they'd distribute and you could order books for about 60 cents apiece), which in the 70s, seemed to feature mostly titles from the 1950s. I was a bit surprised to find when I got to high school that there were no sororities and dinner dances where I would wear a new dress, gloves and a corsage from my escort :lol:

    An extended trip to Europe also had a big influence as I scoured the small English language sections of bookstores - thus ending up with the British boarding school stories, and reading Animal Farm at age 10. :eek:

    Later it was my grandmother's love of books - never got into her immense collection of medical stories or the sci fi, but did read all her historical romance (Marianne anyone?) as a tween and then all her Agatha Christie, which I still read today. She got me into pencil puzzles too - still buy the Dell collections, and look forward to the New York Times magazine every Sunday.

    Which, incidentally, has a great Book Review section. They do a lot of children's books at all levels - including *NEW* fiction, so maybe barbk can check those online, or pick up a copy on the weekend?

    Thread drift full circle ;)
  2. skateycat

    skateycat Minecraft Widow

    I think that's a great idea, too. Librarians can be a great source of help.

    One of my library and information sciences schoolmates keeps a blog called American Indians in Children's Literature. On her blog she has some lists for top books for various age ranges. Here's the link for the elementary school books:
  3. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    barbk loves most of the classics that have been mentioned. ;) Although the jury is still out on Louisa May Alcott. :shuffle: Gonna try it, though.

    I do appreciate all of the newer suggestions, few of which I've ever heard of...our chief children's librarian is on vacation, though that was a fine suggestion.

    As a major contributor to thread drift, no complaints from me. :)

    Unfortunately, my niece lives about twelve miles from the public library, and she seems to have pretty much devoured what's in her school library...so I hit the excellent used bookstore for her pretty heavily. (She's a kid who'd much rather get five used books than one new one, and given the speed with which she reads them, it is a wise choice.)

    I was so lucky to grow up living just a few blocks from our town's library, because there is no way my family could (or would) have purchased books. It was a rare treat to get one of the $.75 ones from Scholastic. (I still remember one set in Norway(?) about kids who used their sleds to move gold and hide it from the Nazis.) At .35/hour for being a mother's helper, that was still an investment.
  4. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Doesn't ring a bell, sorry. The one I've been on the hunt for was about a girl who gets a job in a fish cannery and falls for the owner's son. Can't remember the title of course, or the author, and searches usually turn up a lot of Steinbeck and nothing else :lol:
  5. Twizzler

    Twizzler Well-Known Member

    My oldest loved the "Fablehaven" series. She read them when she was 7:


    Hugely popular with her classmates (all in gifted classes) are Harry Potter, the Goosebumps series, and the Poison Apple series. Goosebumps and Poison Apple are NOT breaking any literary ground, will never be classified with the likes of Anne of Green Gables, but they are fun and the kids that age love them.

    Happy reading!!!
  6. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    That sounds familiar, but I can't quite place it . . .
  7. Lil Sarah

    Lil Sarah Active Member

    First, I also recommend the Golden Compass series (while it has other ideas than our religion, I wouldn't think it is offensive), and The Giver, which also has two books after it.

    Other books might be

    Peak by Smith
    Fourteen-year-old Peak Marcello’s goal is to become the youngest person to reach the top of Mt. Everest.

    The Tale of Despereaux by Di Camillo
    Tale of a tiny mouse with huge ears, a princess that he loves, a servant girl who wishes to be a princess and a rat named Roscuro who yearns for soup.

    Music of the Dolphins by Hesse
    The thoughts of a young girl, who was raised by dolphins from 4 years old after a plane crash, are recorded by a scientist as she is reintroduced to a civilized way of life

    There is also a list here about favourite books for fourth graders, it does have some interesting looking books on it.
  8. Prancer

    Prancer Slave to none, master to all Staff Member

    One of the biggest surprises for me when my kids started going to school is that they still put out those Scholastic flyers. I don't know why, but I expected them to be long gone. But nope, Scholastic still around and they have a Book Wizard that helps adults select books by reading level: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/ You have to click on the link there to go to the wizard.

    IME, the wizard is not to be entirely trusted, but it's not bad if you are looking for titles to check out. Don't take its word for reading level, though; it goes almost entirely by word size/sentence length, which isn't always the best way to determine reading level.

    A very good librarian-type resource is the ALSC. There are a lot of good books listed in their awards categories.

    The School Library Journal is another good source; they also have lists of award winners, including the ones for this year.
  9. sleepypanda

    sleepypanda Member

  10. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

  11. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Off-topic but it's really depressing that between the ages of 4 and 8 or so I've probably read more books than during the rest of my life. :/
  12. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    Awww, Ziggy. May I recommend "Snow Treasure" to get you back on course? :p
  13. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

    Those books were much shorter, so it was easier to read more! :lol:
  14. Spinner

    Spinner Where's my book?

    I'm reading Marianne Malone's The Sixty-Eight Rooms right now, perfect for this age group. Quite the charming story! The next in the series, Stealing Magic, comes out in January.
  15. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

    I read the Great Brain books around second grade and loved them. Another series I loved at that time was the Black Stallion books.

    For the fourth grader, I definitely second the Lloyd Alexander Chronicles of Prydain and, if she has not read them, the Narnia books. (The Christian mythology will go over her head, but she will still enjoy the books.) I've also heard good things about the Redwall series.

    The Westing Game and other books by the same author also are great for that age group.

    If the girl likes fantasy, see if you can find The Wizard Children of Finn. It's a retelling of the Finn Mac Cool legend, involving two very spoiled modern children who go back in time, It's only available used on Amazon, but is a fantastic fantasy book. I also like that Fiona, one of the two modern children, is a good female heroine.

    I think she may be okay with some of the Judy Blume books that are geared toward younger readers -- Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and the other Fudge Books and Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself are less mature. Has she read the Beverly Cleary books -- the Ramona, Beezus, Ribsy books? Some of the Paula Danziger books might seem more mature, because they are about teens, but would probably be fine for her -- The Cat Ate My Gymsuit and Pistachio Prescription.

    This might be pushing it for a fourth grader, but that's when I read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time. There was a chapter from the book in the text my school was using for my advanced reading group. It was the chapter where Atticus shoots the rabid dog, which to this day I wonder why anyone thought that was a good thing for 8-9 year-olds to read. But I then went home, read the entire book, and loved it.
  16. sleepypanda

    sleepypanda Member

    Marg Nelson's A Girl Called Chris?
    Jenny and (deleted member) like this.
  17. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Grimms' "Fairy Tales" and "The Chronicles of Narnia", to give two examples, were both huge tomes.
  18. dramagrrl

    dramagrrl Well-Known Member

    The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart is well-written, contains some advanced vocabulary, and would be absolutely appropriate for a nine-year-old.
  19. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

    Definitely anything by EL Konigsburg, the Narnia series, the Finn Family Moomintroll books, Beverly Cleary. Loved all of these as a kid. And reread them all at different ages.

    As for stuff that is actually new/contemporary: I have a 10-year-old who's a very advanced reader and adores fantasy and anything with dragons. Devoured the Peter and the Starcatchers seriest. Also totally digs all the How to Train Your Dragon series (Cressida Cowell) and E. D. Baker's the Frog Princess series (or is it the Dragon Princess series?). Cornelia Funke is also good--Dragon Rider and then there's the Inkheart Trilogy. Everything Kate DiCamillo writes is great.
  20. BrokenAnkle

    BrokenAnkle Active Member

    Wow, great suggestions!

    Other possibilities of more recent books an authors that are popular at my library:
    Andrew Clements and Sharon Creech for contemporary fiction
    Gail Carson Levine and Michael Buckley for fairy tale inspired novels

    For mysteries - The Red Blazer Girls by Michael Beil and the Sammy Keyes mysteries by Wendelen Van Draanan, also The 39 Clues, a series by a number of different authors.

    A good, complex fantasy series is the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage - the 1st book is called Magyk. Also, I don't think anyone mentioned the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan - they are very popular and really good too!
  21. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Oh, my, god, that's it!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

    Is there anything FSU can't do?? :rofl:
  22. Spinner

    Spinner Where's my book?

    Agree on COP vs. 6.0? ;)
  23. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Hey, I got the basics of the Christian mythology when I read them in 2nd grade, and I wasn't even Christian.
  24. Badams

    Badams Well-Known Member

    My daughter LOVES these books! She started them last year, she is 9 and In 4th grade now and she still asks for them when she finds one she doesn't have. She's constantly reading and Is a very strong reader as well.

    ETA: I'm sure I'm just repeating already known information, but you can buy cheap books from half.com. an entire series of Warrior books is less than $20, for example.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  25. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

    Perhaps. Actually, the obvious Aslan = Jesus (in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and God (The Magician's Nephew) was not lost on me when I read them at about the same age. But I never thought, while reading, that Edmund eating Turkish Delight was the equivalent of Adam eating the apple. I'll also admit that I did not get the references to Plato in The Last Battle until I reread the books as a teen.
  26. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

    These aren't modern books by any stretch, but "Behind the Attic Wall" by Sylvia Cassedy is a wonderful book for any age.

    And the original Mary Poppins books by PL Travers are wonderful and have a much more serious edge to them than the Disney movie. Definitely worth reading at least one of those.
  27. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member


    (What's even worse, I enjoyed it at the time :()
  28. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

    I used to love the Half Magic series by Edward Eager. Children discover magic coins that grant wishes; well, actually, the coins are only half magic so the wishes go unpredictably awry.
    gkelly and (deleted member) like this.
  29. Lanie

    Lanie Well-Known Member

    Is she into historical fiction? That's always been my big draw. I loved the Royal Diaries and Dear America series when I was younger. I admit I still re-read them. Catherine, Called Birdy is also a great book and re-reading it as an adult, oh boy, some dirty stuff in there! But not bad. More humorous.
  30. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Yes, very enjoyable, wasn't it? ;) :p