12 Best Books for 4th Graders to Make Them Love Reading

best books for 4th graders

Fourth grade is a delicate time when it comes to inspiring kids to establish good reading habits. So, the books you choose for your fourth-grade class hold more significance than those that come before and after. It is for that reason that you should pick the best books for 4th graders carefully and with a lot of love and attention.

Below, you will find the list of the best books for 4th graders that will inspire your students/kids to read, develop their critical thinking skills, and help them learn about life and people in the best way possible.

12 Best Books for 4th Graders

1. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen


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This book combines everything kids love. It is a story about an adventure gone wrong, it features an insecure protagonist that they can relate to, and it is written in an interesting and compelling way.

Hatchet follows the story of Brian, a young boy who survives a plane crash and finds himself in the wilderness of Canada. There, he must grow from a shy and clumsy boy into a skilled and self-assured survivor. The transformation is as realistic as it is fun to follow.

The book shows kids that anything is possible if they work hard enough. It also shows them that they do not have to look for strength elsewhere and pretend to be something they are not. Rather, it teaches them that strength is within them already and that all they need is to be brave enough to let it shine.

Hatchet is precisely on the 4th-grade reading level. So, you do not need to worry about it being too difficult to understand and follow. It is a great book to start off the year and get kids interested in the books that will follow.

2. Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

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In today’s day and age, teaching kids to love, accept, and embrace their own and the differences of those around them is pivotal. This book’s main goal is exactly that, which makes it a necessary addition to your 4th graders’ reading list.

The book’s main protagonist is Auggie, a boy born with a facial deformity. He spends most of his life at home until it is time for him to transfer to public school and finally experience having a normal childhood surrounded by other kids.

This book focuses on how Auggie sees the world and how the world sees him in turn. Wonder will offer you amazing opportunities to discuss tolerance, being helpful and kind, and finding one’s place in the world despite all difficulties.

This particular book is on the advanced reading level for 4th graders. So, make sure you have enough time to truly delve deep into its analysis to ensure all kids understand the ideas and themes well.

3. Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard & Florence Atwater

Mr. Poppers Penguins

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Sometimes, all 4th graders really want from a book is to be entertained. This book does that perfectly, as the story will surely have the reader hooked from the very first page.

The book follows Mr. Popper after he receives a penguin from the South Pole and has to take care of it. In no time, one penguin turns into a whole group, and Mr. Popper discovers that penguins might not be that bad after all.

This book is beautifully written and perfect for enriching your students’/kids’ vocabularies. In addition, it allows for character analyses and reading comprehension exercises while still being on the students’/kids’ reading level.

So, if you are searching for the perfect winter break assignment, look no further. This book is a perfect choice.

4. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Pippi Longstocking

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You can never go wrong with this timeless classic. Your students/kids will love it, and you get to discuss important issues and themes disguised in a funny and feel-good story.

Pippi Longstocking is an unusual girl who finds her way in the world by herself, despite being different from the rest of the kids her age. Her trusted companions are a horse and a monkey, and her two best friends are her first neighbors, Tommy and Annika. Together, they go on adventures and ensure that life in their small town is anything but ordinary.

Due to how interesting and cleverly written this book is, it will capture and keep the attention of kids easily. And what’s even better, once they are done reading it, they will be itching for even more stories about Pippi and her friends. Luckily for them, you can recommend the sequels and inspire them to read and explore even further.

5. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

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This book is rightfully considered as one of the best books for 4th graders ever written. It follows the story of a beloved china bunny that goes on an adventure that changes how he sees the world.

At the beginning of the book, Edward is full of himself and even a bit rude. However, the reader gets to see him grow and change as he explores the world and himself. The students/kids are given a glimpse into his thoughts and feelings as he goes through grief and heartbreak and countless journeys and adventures.

This book is a perfect tool for studying and explaining character development to your students/kids. They can learn which writing strategies writers use to achieve it and what a well-written character arc looks like. Even more importantly, they can learn that anyone can change and learn to be better, no matter how hopeless it might seem.

6. The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

The Wild Robot

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There are not many good science fiction stories for this reading level. However, The Wild Robot is an exception in every way. Most teachers say that this book was especially interesting to boys. That is important since they often struggle to like or connect to the books they have to read for school.

The book is the story of a robot that ends up on a deserted island. There, it has to learn to live in the wilderness. It takes a while, but the animals accept the robot eventually, and it finds a home on the island.

This book is quite easy to read, and it has some great descriptive language. In addition, it has an abundance of unique and unusual characters your students/kids will find interesting right away.

7. Charlie & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Charlie the Chocolate Factory

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Roald Dahl is one of the most prolific children’s literature writers. Throughout his career, he has written some of the best books for 4th graders out there. He knows how to spin an interesting story and create characters kids will care about. Still, he also manages to teach the kids important lessons about life at the same time.

Every kid in your class will probably be familiar with this classic tale, likely from watching the movie. That will entice the kids to pick up the book and read it, eager to see whether the movie did it justice.

Your students/kids will get to follow Charlie Bucket through his wild adventure through Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Through reading, they will learn many new words and try their luck inferring and reading between the lines.

This book also offers you a great opportunity to study characters and talk about their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, the book is a great source of playful language. As such, it will allow you to show your students/kids how such a thing can make a writer’s style stand out easily.

8. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Charlottes Web

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Charlotte’s Web is one of the most beloved children’s tales out there, and it is easy to see why. It features lovable characters, a riveting story, and its foundations are friendship, family, and caring for someone despite being different from them.

The story follows the life of a little piglet named Wilbur, who is runty and slated to be slaughtered soon. However, he forms an unlikely alliance on his farm. Namely, he befriends a spider who is smart and cunning and a dreamer and who, eventually, saves his life.

This book will present you with the opportunity to discuss character traits and to practice visualization. In addition, it will help you teach your kids important lessons about life and friendship. Since this book is also a certified classic, it will cover all essential standards you need to meet throughout the course.

All in all, Charlotte’s Web is definitely one of the best books for 4th graders. Including it in your teaching materials will benefit your students/kids greatly.

9. The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies

Lemonade War

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Sibling rivalry and love is a subject that kids should read about, whether they have siblings or not. This book will give them the chance to do so as it follows a brother and sister in their competition to find out who can run a lemonade stand better.

The Lemonade War is highly entertaining, realistic, and hilarious. It will keep your students/kids hooked from page one, and they’ll devour it quickly to see who wins. The book is just the first part of a series. So, the ending will entice them to read further and find out even more about the characters.

Although the book is easy to read, you can still practice reading comprehension and inferring when you analyze it. What’s more, the language is descriptive. As such, it will give your students/kids the chance to imagine everything vividly and get even more immersed in the story.

10. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

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It is impossible to compile a list with the best books for 4th graders without including at least one by Judy Blume. She is a fantastic writer who manages to capture stories kids fall in love with time and time again. Her style is rich but easily digestible, and your students/kids will enjoy any book of hers you choose.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is a great option, and not just because its title shouts out the age group you are teaching. It follows the lives of two brothers, Peter and Fudge. Peter is nine years old and extremely unimpressed by his brother’s shenanigans, although everyone else seems to love them.

This book is fun, hilarious, and has just enough mystery to keep your students/kids engaged and interested. They will have no problems reading it as the language is easy to understand. They will be able to follow the story effortlessly thanks to that. The book will make them laugh and relax which is what every student needs, no matter their age.

11. The One and Only Ivan by K.A. Applegate

The One and Only Ivan

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Discussing point of view and how a narrator shapes the way readers see the world within a book can be difficult in fourth grade. However, this novel is one of the best books for 4th graders when it comes to that.

The One and Only Ivan is the story about a gorilla living behind glass at a roadside mall. He spends his time thinking about the friends he misses and gets used to a boring and sad life. Everything changes when a baby elephant arrives at the mall as well and shakes up Ivan’s life completely.

Apart from giving you a great chance to teach and discuss points of view, this novel is also a good source of descriptive language. It is easy to read and funny, which will make it an instant favorite with students/kids.

12. Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


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This book follows the main protagonist Marty on his quest to protect a puppy he saves from an unfortunate fate. Things escalate and get out of hand quickly, especially once Marty’s father finds out he’s rescued a dog and intends to keep it.

Marty has to learn the hard way that nothing in life is what it seems and that it takes a lot of courage to fight for the things he believes in. This book is a heartwarming tale about friendship and unconditional love, as well as growing up and facing everything that that entails.

This book is quite beloved by students/kids, mostly because it features a dog they instantly fall in love with. However, it is also a favorite because of Marty, as your students/kids will get to grow up with him and learn things about life that they might not have known.

When it comes to the reading level, your students/kids will have no trouble with this novel. It is one of the best books for 4th graders that many teachers recommend, and the fact that it is so easy to read is one of the main reasons behind that popularity.

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