The 4th grade reading list includes books with unfamiliar words to help students develop word identification strategies. Other 4th grade reading goals include emphases on increasing reading comprehension, literary analysis, vocabulary, and improved grammar. Skip straight to the recommended 4th grade reading list.
Fourth grade can be a fun time for your budding readers. This is the year students will expand upon the reading concepts they learned in grade three. In grade four, students deepen their use and understanding of the English language. This includes an increase in both oral and written presentations.
An Overview of Fourth Grade Reading
Reading curriculum for the fourth grade goes a bit beyond just reading. Lessons throughout the year will also concentrate on writing, speaking and grammar. Together, these lessons help the student understand how to use reading as research in order to create their own presentations.
The writing process is also emphasized in the fourth grade. By the end of the year, students should be able to read informational texts, understand their meaning, and use the information to create original written assignments consisting of multiple paragraphs.
Reading Goals for the Fourth Grade
- Improved Word Recognition
By now, your child should be able to read age-appropriate multi-chapter books on their own. They should have plenty of exposure by now to a wide variety of reading materials including literary works, informational text and more. Fourth grade is a time to expose them to an even wider world of reading.
This means they’re likely to encounter unfamiliar words. Throughout the year, the fourth grade curriculum is geared towards developing word identification strategies. These include:
- Understanding graphophonic, syntactic and semantic word identification strategies
- Using reference materials including dictionaries, thesauruses and glossaries
- Using root words, prefixes and suffixes to infer word meanings
- Increased Reading Comprehension
Beyond individual words, students will start to analyze written material as a whole. This includes understanding the difference between fact and opinion, recognizing point of view and becoming proficient in how to use information taken from text.
These comprehension strategies include the ability to:
- read for difference purposes (reading to gather information, reading for fun, etc.)
- summarize major plot points
- understand the order of events in a story, as well as understand how to identify missing items in an event sequence
- re-read a passage quickly by locating key words in order to answer specific questions about the text
- differentiate between facts and opinion
- understand authorial intent
- Expanded Literary Analysis
Fourth grade students are now capable of understanding and experiencing different types of text. In third grade, the concentration was on myths, tall tales and contemporary fiction with a clear moral lesson. In fourth grade, texts become more sophisticated while still retaining some of those lessons. The main goal is to provide an easily identifiable subtext which fourth graders can understand.
The recommended fourth grade reading list includes books in the following genres:
- Fiction: novels, legends, myths, folklore, sci-fi, fantasy
- Non-fiction: informational books, autobiographies, diaries and journals
- Poetry: formal haiku, limerick, stanzas
- Drama: plays, short skits
As students are exposed to more types of text, they’ll also learn the characteristics of a variety of genres. Fourth graders are capable of recognizing the basic conventions of fiction, nonfiction, biography, autobiography. Advanced students may also expand that list to include fantasy, science fiction, fairy tales, fables, legends, myths, historical fiction and more. As a homeschool teacher, you have a lot of leeway in selecting text which appeals to your child.
- Increased Vocabulary
As your child begins to read and write in a variety of styles his or her vocabulary will likely increase naturally. You want to help this process with a variety of vocabulary instruction. As the year continues, you want to help your student:
- Understand the difference between synonyms, antonyms, homonyms and homophones
- Determine the correct meaning of homonyms based on context
- Increase the overall number of recognized words
- Improved Grammar and Usage
By the end of fourth grade, students should have a pretty good grip on a lot of Standard English conventions. This includes a basic understanding of:
- Subject consistency
- Subject/verb tense consistency
- Verb tense consistency
4th Grade Reading List
While third grade does emphasize correct spelling and punctuation, these lessons are also important in fourth grade. This year students will also learn about correct capitalization. This includes capitalization inside sentences as well as the proper use of capitalization for magazines, newspapers, composition titles, organizations and more.
Are you searching for a 4th grade reading list to supplement your child’s other studies? Here are some recommended books for fourth grade students.
We included a list of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and classic novels that you may even remember reading when you were younger. If you missed them as a kid, you may still enjoy them now.
Click on the story name link for a book description and reviews from Amazon if you want to learn more.
These are multi-chapter books in a variety of genres. Your fourth grader will be able to follow these stories, but they also contain words which will be unfamiliar. This provides great opportunities for your student to learn new words contextually.
How Tia Lola Came to (Visit) Stay (The Tia Lola Stories) by Julia Alvarez
Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Origami Yoda 1) by Tom Angleberger
The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney
Kinda Like Brothers by Coe Booth
Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
Room One: A Mystery or Two by Andrew Clements
Hate That Cat: A Novel by Sharon Creech
The Lemonade War (The Lemonade War Series) by Jacqueline Davies
Salsa Stories by Lulu Delacre
The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Complete Series by Tony DiTerlizzi
Brendan Buckley’s Universe and Everything in It by Sundee T. Frazier
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos
The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman
When Mules Flew on Magnolia Street by Angela Johnson
Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 1 by Jeff Kinney
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Dumpling Days (A Pacy Lin Novel) by Grace Lin
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look
Ruby Lu, Brave and True by Lenore Look
Rain Reign (Ala Notable Children’s Books. Middle Readers) by Ann M. Martin
11 Birthdays: A Wish Novel (Willow Falls) by Wendy Mass
Shiloh (The Shiloh Quartet) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Becoming Naomi León (Scholastic Gold) by Pam Muñoz Ryan
The Complete Wreck (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Books 1-13) by Lemony Snicket
Fourth Grade Rats by Jerry Spinelli
No Girls Allowed (Dogs Okay) (Secrets of a Lab Rat Book 1) by Trudi Trueit
The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods
Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
These non-fiction books are a great way to introduce a variety of new subjects to your student. They’ll gain an even stronger grasp on how to learn by reading.
Millions, Billions, & Trillions: Understanding Big Numbers by David A. Adler
Bugged: How Insects Changed History by Sarah Albee
Shimmer & Splash: The Sparkling World of Sea Life by Jim Arnosky
Buried Beneath Us: Discovering the Ancient Cities of the Americas by Anthony Aveni
Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth by Molly Bang
Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard by Loree Griffin Burns
Locomotive (Caldecott Medal Book) by Brian Floca
The Wolves Are Back by Jean Craighead George
The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Reasons for Seasons by Gail Gibbons
Bones: Skeletons and How They Work by Steve Jenkins
Volcano Rising by Elizabeth Rusch
Discovering Black America: From the Age of Exploration to the Twenty-First Century by Linda Tarrant-Reid
Insect Detective: Read and Wonder by Steve Voake
Jinx by Sage Blackwood
Dragon Castle by Joshep Bruchac
The Fairy Tale Detectives (The Sisters Grimm, Book 1) by Michael Buckley
Half Magic by Edward Eager
The Dream Stealer by Sid Fleischman
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
Warriors Power of Three Box Set Volumes 1 to 6 by Erin Hunter
A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet) by Madeleine L’Engle
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
The New Kid at School (Dragon Slayers’ Academy, No. 1) by Kate McMullan
The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz
The Shadows (The Books of Elsewhere, Vol. 1) by Jacqueline West
City of Fire (City Trilogy) by Laurance Yep
[City of Ice (City Trilogy)] [Author: Laurence Yep] [July, 2012] by Laurance Yep
American Girl – History Mystery series:
Hoofbeats of Danger (Mysteries Through Time) by Holly Hughes
The Night Flyers (Mysteries Through Time) by Elizabeth McDavid Jones
American Girl (History Mysteries) 1-3 by Sarah Masters Buckey
Voices at Whisper Bend (Mysteries Through Time) by Katherine Ayers
Farmer Boy: Full Color Edition (Little House) by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Fighting Ground by Avi
Journey to Freedom by Courni C. Wright
Night Journeys by Avi
The Orphans’ Journey series by Arleta Richardson:
Looking for Home (Orphan’s Journey) – Book one
Prairie Homestead (The Orphans’ Journey Series) – Book three
Sarah, Plain and Tall – by Patricia MacLachlan
The Whispering Cloth: A Refugee’s Story by Pegi Deitz Shea
Tuck Everlasting by is a Common Core “Text Exemplar” for the fourth grade reading level.
Charlotte’s Web by E.B.White
The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli
The Secret Garden (HarperClassics)
A Secret Garden is a Common Core “Text Exemplar” for the fourth grade reading level that just celebrated its 100th anniversary. This edition is illustrated by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is a Common Core “Text Exemplar” for the fourth grade reading level. Great examples of poetry and imaginative fiction which are sure to make most children laugh! Some of the poems are pure silliness. This can be a great book to read and then watch the movies that are based on it.
Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, can be read just for the enjoyment of the story but is even more interesting when discussing the different motives of the adults and the lessons from the book. This is a read the book then watch the movie selection. Our youngest enjoyed the recently published graphic novel series of the same name that uphold the philosophy of the original in a format that appeals to younger readers.
The Black Stallion by Walter Farley is a Common Core “Text Exemplar” for the fourth grade reading level. Read the book then watch the movie!
Gentle Ben (Puffin Modern Classics) by Walt Morey
Hang Tough, Paul Mather (A Harper Trophy Book) by Alfred Slote
The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynn Reid Banks
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Mandie Collection, Volume 1: Mandie and the Secret Tunnel/Mandie and the Cherokee Legend/Mandie and the Ghost Bandits/Mandie and the Forbidden Attic/Mandie and the Trunk’s Secret (Mandie 1-5) by Lois Gladys Leppard
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O’Brien
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
Paint Brush Kid (Stepping Stone, paper) by Clyde Robert Bulla
Song of the Trees (Logan Family Saga) by Mildred D. Taylor
Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardner
The Complete Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh by A.A. Milne
The Astronomy Book: Study Guide (Wonders of Creation) by Dr. Jonathan Henry
Dinosaurs by Design by Duane T. Gish
From Sea to Shining Sea for Children: Discovering God’s Plan for America in Her First Half-Century of Independence, 1787-1837 by Peter Marshall & David Manuel
The Light and the Glory for Children : Discovering God’s Plan for America from Christopher Columbus to George Washington by Peter Marshall & David Manuel
Sounding Forth the Trumpet for Children by Peter Marshall & David Manuel
The Echoing Green, by William Blake is listed as a Common Core “Text Exemplar” for the fourth grade reading level. Search for it on YouTube (also spelled “Ecchoing Green”) and find your favorite version. For aspiring song writers: there’s a young woman who wrote her own music to the poem and recorded it for others to watch.
All God’s Children: A Book of Prayers by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Cricket Never Does: A Collection of Haiku and Tanka by Myra Livingston
Hand in Hand: An American History Through Poetry collected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
The Oxford Book of Christmas Poems edited by Michael Harrison & Christopher Stuart-Clark
Poetry in the Holy Bible: Psalms 1, 8, 23, 24, 46, 91, 100, 119:1-8, 121, 150
Poem Stew (Harper Trophy Book) by William Cole, Harper Collins
Poems for Youth by E. Dickenson. Little, Brown, & Co.
Fourth grade is a very exciting time. Your child can now understand more complicated forms of storytelling. The stories you and your child read together are likely going to be equally entertaining to both of you! While you’ll still want to read aloud to your child, this year you’ll also want to encourage your fourth grader to read to you. Fourth grade also includes accompanying lessons on story structure, grammar and genres. Overall, fourth grade is the year where your child gains a deeper understanding of the various types of texts and how they can create a more well-rounded individual.
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