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4th Grade

American Revolution Resources

INSTRUCTIONS

Fouth graders, here are some books you might like!

Click the book titles to see if the books are currently available in our library.

ADVENTURE

When the Tooting family finds an old engine and fits it to their camper van, they have no idea what kind of adventure lies ahead. The engine used to belong to an extraordinary car . . . and it wants its bodywork back! But as the Tootings hurtle across the world rebuilding the original Chitty, a sinister baddie is on their trail -- one who will stop at nothing to get the magnificent car for himself. A rip roaring adventure. 

Gamers and nongamers alike who love exciting and dangerous stories won’t want to miss this excellent series. Jesse’s friend gets an early release of a video game — and it sucks in both boys. They’re literally trapped. Inside the game, they meet a classmate who has been missing for weeks, now a grown-up man in the game. Because there’s no way out.

Quirky and delightful, this is the tale of a girl named Flora who rescues a squirrel and keeps it as a friend. Together they experience the world in a unique, funny, and wonderful way, and straighten it out, too — especially Flora’s mother.

Inspired by the epic poem BEOWULF, the Kid Beowulf series follows the adventures of 12-year-old twin brothers Beowulf and Grendel as they travel to distant lands and meet fellow epic heroes therein! Kid Beowulf is filled with magic, intrigue, betrayal, and all the other good stuff that makes for a good story.

Jonathan Grisby is the newest arrival at the Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys -- an ancient, crumbling fortress of gray stone rising up from the ocean. It is dark, damp, and dismal. And it is just the place Jonathan figures he deserves. Because Jonathan has done something terrible. But things got very wrong when the warden and all the staff die in a freak weather storm. But freedom brings unexpected danger. This is a firm favourite of all the fourth graders who read it as part of the Shanghai Battle of the Books

A story where book characters come to life in a bizarre experiment being run by Dr Libris. Who will believe him and how can he stop the character interacting and causing chaos. This is a rollicking great adventure. 

Runt is a 12-year old with real problems. He doesn’t want to be a typical villager with the typical boring life. He wants to be a warrior like Steve. So he’s excited when his school finally agrees that the villagers might need warriors to fight back against the nightly attacks. When Steve loses everything and moves in with Runt’s family, Runt hopes that Steve will help with his warrior training. Runt’s a relatable, mostly serious, character who just wants a different life — like most kids his age and is competing for a dream opportunity

Darkus Cuttle’s museum director dad mysteriously disappears from a locked room in the museum. Darkus learns that there’s something very strange going on . . . and it has to do with intelligent beetles and a cruel benefactress of the museum. Well-done and unique!

I think you already know about these books but if you don’t, they’re beautifully written fantasy adventures that will hook you into the magical world of Narnia. 

Pax was only a kit when his family was killed, and “his boy” Peter rescued him from abandonment and certain death. This is the story of Peter, Pax his pet fox who are separated and their independent struggles to return to one another against all odds. Told from the alternating viewpoints of Peter and Pax.

Siblings Nick and Tesla are shipped off to live with their mad-scientist Uncle Newt for the summer while their parents are . . . doing something with soybeans in Uzbekistan? When left to fend for themselves, the siblings discover something very suspicious at the old mansion down the street. Throughout the story, these STEM wizards invent gadgets and gizmos and give you directions to do the same. This adventurous makes science and technology fun!

Poor Stanley. He’s got the worst luck of anyone — and is now sent to a youth detention camp in the desert where he has to dig holes all day long. All because of his no-good, pig-stealing great-great-grandfather. You’ll love the crazy adventures as Stanley and his new friend figure out what’s happening at this supposed detention camp and escape, with only onions to eat. And yes, even that has to do with Stanley’s pig-stealing grandfather.  You’ll love it.

Get ready for a fast-paced adventure series about a mad scientist who creates a hybrid crocodile-dinosaur-bird killer creature to stop visitors from entering the Everglades. Emmet and his father arrive to investigate but when his father is kidnapped, Emmet and his friend, Calvin, know it’s up to them to find where the kidnapper is holding Emmet’s father. GREAT anyone who loves an action-packed sci-fi mystery!

Wow – these are addicting reads! They’re excellent, fast-paced adventures set during significant historical events. Zip through these incredible adventures, learning history in the process. The books always are about a young person trying to survive a historically important, life-changing event such as Pompeii, the Titanic, Pearl Harbor, or the Battle of Gettysburg.

FANTASY

Narrated by a gorilla named Ivan, this true story will immediately grab at your heartstrings. Ivan is kept in a cage in a run-down mall for 27 years without seeing another gorilla. When his mistreated elephant friend dies there, she asks Ivan to help the new, younger elephant find a better life. With the help of the janitor’s daughter, he does just that. This is a MUST READ for all fourth graders.

This is another amazing story dealing with poverty. Jackson’s family is about to lose their apartment again. Although Jackson’s parents don’t tell him this, he knows the signs. He knows it’s not his dad’s fault for having MS but he’s mad and worried and alone. It isn’t until Crenshaw shows up and pushes Jackson to speak the truth to his parents that Jackson learns that he’s not facing this alone. Who is Crenshaw? He’s Jackson’s large, imaginary cat friend from when he was little returned to help Jackson in his time of need. I felt like it was a God metaphor. I wonder what you’ll think?

Arthur, a shy, fox-like foundling with only one ear and a desperate desire to belong, as he seeks his destiny. Welcome to the Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, an institution run by evil Miss Carbunkle, a cunning villainess who believes her terrified young charges exist only to serve and suffer. Part animal and part human, the groundlings toil in classroom and factory, forbidden to enjoy anything regular children have, most particularly singing and music. This is a magical, heart-warming yet scary tale.

Roz is a robot alone on an island with only animals. If she wants to survive, she must figure out how to live in the wild where the animals see her as a monster. That slowly changes when Roz adopts a gosling and makes a nest. It’s a meaningful story of family, love, and community.

Fairy tales become very real when Alex and Conner (a brother and sister) find themselves transported to the fairy tale world. To get home, they’ll need to find the ingredients for a Wishing Spell. Finding the items will be dangerous, mysterious, and life-changing. All the books in this series are compelling, magical adventures about characters you will ADORE

Do you know about familiars? They are the magical animal companions to wizards. And in this first story, the kids and their familiars must save the world when the wizards’ powers are taken away. A great series for anyone who loves animals and magical adventures.

Young and brave Creel wants nothing more than to own her own seamstress shop. In her pursuit of this dream, she befriends a special dragon who, along with magical dragon slippers, changes her life. Read the whole series on Sora.

Every Tuesday, the castle where Princess Celie and her family live, adds on a new room, or turret, or wing. Celie loves her castle and it’s living ways. So when robbers attack her parents’ carriage, and they are never seen again, Celie takes comfort that their room is exactly the same, hoping the castle knows they are still alive. But can the castle and Celie stop the Royal Council and the foreign prince from taking over the kingdom?

A story where book characters come to life in a bizarre experiment being run by Dr Libris. Who will believe him and how can he stop the character interacting and causing chaos. This is a rollicking great adventure.

Runt is a 12-year old with real problems. He doesn’t want to be a typical villager with the typical boring life. He wants to be a warrior like Steve. So he’s excited when his school finally agrees that the villagers might need warriors to fight back against the nightly attacks. When Steve loses everything and moves in with Runt’s family, Runt hopes that Steve will help with his warrior training. Runt’s a relatable, mostly serious, character who just wants a different life — like most kids his age and is competing for a dream opportunity

This popular graphic novel series is about two siblings trying to save their mom who was taken to an underground world of elves, demons, robots, and talking animals. Beautiful artwork with compelling characters and an adventurous plot make this a sure-fire hit.

This series is amazing! Greek gods still exist and so do their kids, demigods, who have incredible abilities. Unfortunately for these kids, monsters are out to kill them. But, they are also the only ones who can save the world from a war between the Greek gods the Titans. Percy goes to Camp Half-Blood where he gets trained to protect himself… that is until he’s sent on a dangerous quest. Betrayal, adventure, plot twists, and incredible mythological world-building make these stories that you can’t put down.

Easily one of the best books for fourth grade, Mesopotamian Blue cat, Varjak Paw, has never been Outside before; he and his family have always lived in the isolated house at the top of the hill. But Varjak is forced out into the city when the sinister Gentleman and his two menacing cats take over his home. With help from his mystical ancestor, Jalal, Varjak manages to overcome challenges such as self-survival and a threat from the gangland cats, and he ultimately discovers the terrifying secrets behind the Vanishings. But can he save his own family from their fate?

Sarcastic and hilarious, this is a laugh-out-loud story about a precocious young girl and her reluctant unicorn “best friend”.

A group of dragonets who might be the long-awaited dragonets of the prophecy that will end the dragon wars for good leave their protectors safety only to be captured by a cruel dragon faction. One thing’s for sure: when the dragonets are captured, things don’t look good for their safety and future.

GRAPHIC

In this multiple award-winning graphic novel, Cece Bell shares the story of growing up with a hearing impairment, using a very bulky hearing aid, and finding her place in the world. Funny and moving, this is a beautiful coming-of-age story of courage and determination.

This hilarious book makes the zombie apocalypse seem fun. Because that’s how Jack approaches life and zombie fights. He and his best friend, Quint, live in an upgraded, well-defended treehouse where they plan on rescuing his crush June (she doesn’t need rescuing being quite capable) and fighting zombies. Illustrations throughout make this even more appealing to read and imagine. Delightful. Who would have thought?!

This graphic novel is the Newbery winner for 2020Jordan’s parents make him go to a private school across town where he’s one of the only kids of color. Besides having the tricky business of navigating friendships, he now must deal with the two separate worlds of his neighborhood and his school along with racism and balancing schoolwork with his artwork. This story feels truthful, relatable, and important.

Inspired by the epic poem BEOWULF, the Kid Beowulf series follows the adventures of 12-year-old twin brothers Beowulf and Grendel as they travel to distant lands and meet fellow epic heroes therein! Kid Beowulf is filled with magic, intrigue, betrayal, and all the other good stuff that makes for a good story.

Roller Girl shows the struggles of friendship and finding your place in the world as Astrid works hard to become a better roller derby skater, reconcile her friendship with her best friend, and develop a new one. Well-written and relatable.

This popular graphic novel series is about two siblings trying to save their mom who was taken to an underground world of elves, demons, robots, and talking animals. Beautiful artwork with compelling characters and an adventurous plot make this a sure-fire hit.

In the summer of 1908 in Muskegon, Michigan, a visiting troupe of vaudeville performers is about the most exciting thing since baseball. They’re summering in nearby Bluffton, so Henry has a few months to ogle the elephant and the zebra, the tightrope walkers and — lo and behold — a slapstick actor his own age named Buster Keaton. Buster Keaton is one of the Kings of the Silent Screen and this book is based on true accounts of his summer vacations.

Graphic novel version illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
These are updated Babysitter’s Club graphic novels by the uber-talented Raina Telegemeier who wrote the highly-acclaimed Smile and Sister. It’s a good idea to start with book one since the stories are told in a specific order with details from previous stories. These are funny and fun to read, maybe even more than once.

HISTORICAL

Brought from India to live with her rich reclusive uncle in Yorkshire, Mary discovers a charming walled garden which is always kept locked. The mystery deepens when she hears sounds of sobbing from somewhere within her uncle's vast mansion. The kindly servants ignore her queries or pretend they haven't heard, spiking Mary's curiosity. Commonsense, truth and kindness, compassion and a belief in the essential goodness of human beings lie at the heart of this unforgettable story.

Annemarie’s best friend hides Annemarie’s Jewish family. The tension is high as the Nazis are everywhere in Denmark looking for Jews and Jewish sympathizers. It’s challenging for Annemarie to hide knowing that every day she might be caught and sent to a death camp. Finally, the family escapes to Sweden where they will be safe from the Nazis.

In the summer of 1908 in Muskegon, Michigan, a visiting troupe of vaudeville performers is about the most exciting thing since baseball. They’re summering in nearby Bluffton, so Henry has a few months to ogle the elephant and the zebra, the tightrope walkers and — lo and behold — a slapstick actor his own age named Buster Keaton. Buster Keaton is one of the Kings of the Silent Screen and this book is based on true accounts of his summer vacations

Forced to flee a dangerous situation in Mexico, Esperanza and her mother arrive in California and start working as migrant farm workers. The back-breaking work is only part of their new, challenging life. In this beautifully written, soulful novel, Esperanza learns to thrive no matter what her circumstances.

Wow – these are addicting reads! They’re excellent, fast-paced adventures set during significant historical events. Zip through these incredible adventures, learning history in the process. The books always are about a young person trying to survive a historically important, life-changing event such as Pompeii, the Titanic, Pearl Harbor, or the Battle of Gettysburg.

An award winning story of an unlikely friendship between two lonely children set against the backdrop of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Bronze an only child who is mute and Sunflower a city girl whose father dies in a freak accident. Together they endure grinding poverty and hardship in remote rural China of the past but their bonds of family and friendship overcome everything.

HUMOR

If you like funny, you’ll LOVE this series! Plus, in this first book, you’ll learn valuable cow trivia. But, it’s mostly the hilarious adventure of two pranksters who start out as rivals but eventually work together to pull off the biggest prank of all time — a prank that will ensure they get April Fool’s Day off from school. Read the whole series on Sora.

Charlie is one of the five winning children allowed to tour Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory. But it’s a tour unlike any other and the other not-too-nice-kids kids strangely disappear throughout. Funny and quirky, this book remains a classic for a good reason.

One of the most popular book series ever, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, shares the hilarious story of Greg, in his own words and drawings. Life in middle school is not easy. And Greg is here to prove it! A series to read over and over again.

If you haven’t read these addictive and hilarious graphic novels, they are a must — anyone who has eaten lunch in school will appreciate the humor, even parents love these books.

Timmy is a clueless detective with a polar bear sidekick. Their adventures will make you laugh out loud! Timmy is the clueless, comically self-confident CEO of the best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation. Add his impressively lazy business partner, a very large polar bear named Total. Throw in the Failuremobile — Timmy’s mom’s Segway — and what you have is Total Failure, Inc., a global enterprise destined to make Timmy so rich his mother won’t have to stress out about the bills anymore. 

Rafe’s goal in middle school is to break every single rule. You can imagine how his plan will go, right? Filled with cartoon-like illustrations, this story will crack you up.

I think the Big Nate comics and the novels are just so funny! Lincoln Peirce “gets” kids and their struggles — the episodes will keep you cracking up.

Joe has a lot of reasons to be happy. About a billion of them, in fact. You see, Joe's rich. Really, really rich. Joe's got his own bowling alley, his own cinema, even his own butler who is also an orangutan. He's the wealthiest twelve-year-old in the land.But Joe isn't happy. Why not? Because he's got a billion pounds… and not a single friend. But then someone comes along, someone who likes Joe for Joe, not for his money. The problem is, Joe's about to learn that when money is involved, nothing is what it seems.The best things in life are free, they say – and if Joe's not careful, he's going to lose them all… A true laugh aloud book

Any of David Walliams books are a fun read

MYSTERY

12-year old Ben accidentally is recruited for a secret spy school. Which he kind of loves. Even though people are trying to kill him. And even though he’s not an encryption wizard. This is a fantastic, fast-paced and hilarious adventure series.

Kyle and a few classmates win a sleepover at the town’s newly created library by game-creator Mr. Lemoncello. The silly Mr Lemoncello devises a fun way to get OUT of the library — you can only get out if you solve the puzzles around the entire library. Will the kids work together or will it be every child for himself?

Timmy is a clueless detective with a polar bear sidekick. Their adventures will make you laugh out loud! Timmy is the clueless, comically self-confident CEO of the best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation. Add his impressively lazy business partner, a very large polar bear named Total. Throw in the Failuremobile — Timmy’s mom’s Segway — and what you have is Total Failure, Inc., a global enterprise destined to make Timmy so rich his mother won’t have to stress out about the bills anymore. 

A dark mystery about the Baudelaire children who are magnets of misfortune. The series gets better and better with each book. There is nothing so important in your lives that you can’t put off in order to read this series!

Dozens respond to a peculiar ad in the newspaper asking for gifted children and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests. Only four children-two boys and two girls-succeed. Their challenge is to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.

REALISTIC

In this multiple award-winning graphic novel, Cece Bell shares the story of growing up with a hearing impairment, using a very bulky hearing aid, and finding her place in the world. Funny and moving, this is a beautiful coming-of-age story of courage and determination.

Aven Green is used to making up creative stories for why she doesn’t have any arms. Especially now in Arizona where her parents are the new managers a rundown theme park. She befriends a boy at school who has Tourette Syndrome. Together they investigate a mysterious storage shed which leads them to a mystery involving Aven’s past. This story is about friendship, facing your fears, and discovering your true (significant) potential.  One from this year’s Shanghai Battle of the Books list.

This graphic novel is the Newbery winner for 2020Jordan’s parents make him go to a private school across town where he’s one of the only kids of color. Besides having the tricky business of navigating friendships, he now must deal with the two separate worlds of his neighborhood and his school along with racism and balancing schoolwork with his artwork. This story feels truthful, relatable, and important.

Raymie Nightingale seems to be a book about friendship and loss but it’s also very much about the big questions of who we are as individuals and why we are here on this earth. “She could feel her soul. It was a tiny little spark somewhere deep inside.” Raymie joins two other girls for baton-twirling classes where no baton instruction happens but friendships develop. The characters are unique and well-developed.

Roller Girl shows the struggles of friendship and finding your place in the world as Astrid works hard to become a better roller derby skater, reconcile her friendship with her best friend, and develop a new one. Well-written and relatable.

What would middle school be like if you lived in a zoo? Ana didn't ask to be named after an anaconda. She didn't ask for zoologist parents who look like safari guides. And she definitely didn't ask for a twin brother whose life goal seems to be terrorizing her with his pet reptiles. Now, to make matters worse, her parents have decided to move the whole family INTO the zoo! Ana tries to channel her inner chameleon and fade into the background, but things are changing too quickly for her to keep up.

Chase has no memory of who he is or was. But he starts to get clues when straight out of the hospital when a strange girl dumps ice cream on his head. Chase soon realizes that he doesn’t like his former self. Now he’ll have to decide what kind of person he wants to be. Because he’s enjoying his new life in the film club and the new (“nerdy”) friends he’s made. This thought-provoking novel will challenge you to consider your choices, behavior, and life goals.

Thoughtful, strong-willed sixth-grader Merci Suarez navigates difficult changes with friends, family, and everyone in between. This book full of gentle humor and wisdom has won multiple awards and was enjoyed by the Shanghai Battle of the Books Group.

These are updated Babysitter’s Club graphic novels by the uber-talented Raina Telegemeier who wrote the highly-acclaimed Smile and Sister. It’s a good idea to start with book one since the stories are told in a specific order with details from previous stories. These are funny and fun to read, maybe even more than once.

These stories are about an angel named Aria who is earning her wings by helping girls who are struggling in some way. In the first book, Aria helps Gabby. Gabby’s brother is hospitalized indefinitely and her mom is totally focused on her brother. It’s up to Aria to help Gabby at her new school and discover who she is. These are sweet, uplifting stories.

In a Japanese seaside neighborhood lives Jason Parker:

one year older than his classmates
a stinking foreigner to some classmates
an orange belt in aikido
a big brother
Jason Parker is just a boy trying to get through his days with calm and courage. If only everyone around him would let him.
This is a beautifull novel in verse about one boy's life--a story that will resonate with anyone who has ever struggled to fit in

Written in evocative yet readable verse, follow a young girl from her home in Syria as she moves with her mother the United States. Jude’s journey is one of growing up, being brave, and discovery. You will see how Jude finds her way– relating other students in their safe classroom space, finding new friends, and starting to wear a headscarf, even performing in the school play. Her insights on life in America helps us understand what it’s like to be an immigrant experiencing this country for the first time. Beautiful!

Mia and her parents have struggled ever since moving to America from China. When her parents take a new live-in job at a motel, they end up working around the clock for very little pay. Mia helps out by working at the front desk. She befriends the weekly tenants and uses her English skills to write letters on behalf of other people in tough spots— like her uncle whose sweatshop boss has taken his passport and Hank, who needs a letter of recommendation to get a job. This book is more than a memorable coming-of-age immigrant story, it’s also about tolerance and diversity. You’ll love this story— the writing, the characters, and the plot.

SCARY

Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But one night Poppy swears that she is being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity.

Eleven-year-old Jon Whitcroft never expected to enjoy boarding school. Then again, he never expected to be confronted by a pack of vengeful ghosts, either. And then he meets Ella, a quirky new friend with a taste for adventure...
Together, Jon and Ella must work to uncover the secrets of a centuries-old murder while being haunted by terrifying spirits, their bloodless faces set on revenge. 

One especially dull and rainy day traps young Coraline inside the new house. Her parents are busy and she must entertain herself. She finds a little door in the drawing room and a little key that fits in. She discovers a passageway into the otherworld. In it are her other-mother and her other-father - both of which always have the time for her and adore making her favorite foods. But, there's something... too otherly about the two that raises her hackles. The other- mother wants Coraline to stay and suddenly Coraline finds her way back to be blocked. How can she return to real life?

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a perfectly normal boy. Well, he would be perfectly normal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the world of the dead.
There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard But it is in the land of the living that real danger lurks, for it is there that the man Jack lives and he has already killed Bod's family.

Luke is one of the shadow children, a third child forbidden by the Population Police. He's lived his entire life in hiding, and now, with a new housing development replacing the woods next to his family's farm, he is no longer even allowed to go outside.Then one day Luke sees a girl's face in the window of a house where he knows two other children already live. Finally he's met a shadow child like himself. Jen is willing to risk everything to come out of the shadows - does Luke dare to become involved in her dangerous plan? Can he afford not to?

Hahn Travis and his sister, Corey, can t resist a good trick. When they learn that their grandmother's quiet Vermont inn, where they are spending the summer, has a history of ghost sightings, they decide to do a little haunting of their own. Before long, their supernatural pranks have tourists flocking to the inn, and business booms. But Travis and Corey soon find out that theirs aren't the only ghosts at Fox Hill Inn. Their thoughtless games have awakened something dangerous, something that should have stayed asleep.

Prue McKeel's life is ordinary. At least until her brother is abducted by a murder of crows and taken to the Impassable Wilderness, a dense, tangled forest on the edge of Portland. No one's ever gone in, or at least returned to tell of it. This is a long book for those who like a meaty plot

A dark mystery about the Baudelaire children who are magnets of misfortune. The series gets better and better with each book. There is nothing so important in your lives that you can’t put off in order to read this series!