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.
Because of Mr. Terupt by Buyea
Room One: A Mystery or Two by Clements
Hate That Cat: A Novel by Creech
The Lemonade War by Davies
Salsa Stories by Delacre
The Magician’s Elephant by DiCamillo
The Spiderwick Chronicles by DiTerlizzi
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Gantos
The Homework Machine by Gutman
When Mules Flew on Magnolia Street by Johnson
This book was extremely popular with our son!
Inside Out and Back Again by Lai
Dumpling Days by Lin
Alvin Ho by Look
Ruby Lu by Look
Rain Reign by Martin
11 Birthdays by Mass
Shiloh by Naylor
Wonder by Palacio
Big Nate by Peirce
Becoming Naomi Leon by Ryan
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Snicket Made into a movie!
4th Grade Rats by Spinelli
No Girls Allowed (Dogs Okay) by Trueit
Peace, Locomotion by 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.
Bugged: How Insects Changed History by Albee
Dinosaurs in Your Backyard by Brewster
Locomotive by Floca
The Wolves Are Back by George
Galaxies, Galaxies! by Gibbons
The Reasons for Seasons by Gibbons
Bones: Skeletons and How They Work by Jenkins
Remember: The Journey to School Integration by Morrison
Polar Bears by Newman
How to Clean a Hippopotamus by Page
Volcano Rising by Rusch
Discovering Black America by Tarrant-Reid
Separate Is Never Equal by Tonatiuh
Insect Detective by Voake
Secrets of Droon by Abbott
Jinx by Blackwood
Dragon Castle by Bruchac
The Sisters Grimm by Buckley
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III by Cowell
Half Magic by Eager
The Dream Stealer by Fleischman
Zita the Spacegirl by Hatke
Warrior by Hunter
A Wrinkle in Time by L’Engle
Dragon Slayers’ Academy by McMullan
The Magic Thief by Prineas
The True Meaning of Smekday by Rex
Harry Potter by Rowling
The Night Fairy by Schlitz
The Books of Elsewhere by West
City of Fire/City of Ice by Yep
American Girl – History Mystery series:
- Hoofbeats of Danger by Holly Hughes
- The Night Flyers by Elizabeth McDavid Jones
- Smuggler’s Treasure by Sarah Masters Buckey
- Voices at Whisper Bend by Katherine Ayers
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Fighting Ground by Avi
Journey to Freedom a Story of the Underground Railroad by Courni C. Wright
Night Journeys by Avi
The Orphans’ Journey series by Arleta Richardson:
- Looking for Home – Book one
- Whistle-stop West – Book two
- Prairie Homestead – Book three
- Across the Border – Book four
Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
The Whispering Cloth: a Refugee’s Story by Pegi Deitz Shea
“Tuck Everlasting” 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
“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 Tasha Tudor.
The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth
“Alice in Wonderland” 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” 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 is a Common Core “Text Exemplar” for the fourth grade reading level. Read the book then watch the movie!
Gentle Ben by Walt Morey
Hang Tough Paul Mathier, by Alfred Slote
Indian in the Cupboard by Lynn Reid Banks
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Mandie Books by Lois Gladys Leppard
- Mandie and the Abandoned Mine
- Mandie and Fiery Rescue
- Mandie and the Ghost Bandits
- Mandie and the Forbidden Attic
- Mandie and the Schoolhouse Secret
- Mandie and the Cherokee Legend
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert O’Brien
Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
The Paint Brush Kid, by Clyde Robert Bulla
The Song of the Trees by Mildred D. Taylor
Stone Fox, by John Reynolds Gardner
Winnie-the-Pooh, by A.A. Milne
The Astronomy Book by Dr. Jonathan Henry
Dinosaurs by Design by Duane T. Gish
From Sea to Shining Sea for Children by Peter Marshall & David Manuel
The Light and the Glory for Children by Peter Marshall & David Manuel
Sounding Forth the Trumpet by Peter Marshall & David Manuel
The Weather Book by Michael Oard
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 Poetry by Myra Livingston
Hand in Hand; An American History Through Poetry collected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
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 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.