Ever struggle to find the best books for 4th graders in your classroom? Whether it is read alouds, novel studies, or independent reading, it can be challenging to find quality novels with engaging storylines that support deep conversation and critical thinking about the text. That's why I compiled this list of the 20 best books for fourth grade.
The 20 Best Books for 4th Graders
Buy them for your classroom library. Add them to your read-aloud list. Build them into novel studies during ELA, or just use them for an independent study. These 20 novels are amazing reads for your fourth grade readers.
To help you determine which books are the best fit for your class, I shared a short summary of the plot. I also shared links to the trifold novel study pack to help save you prep time. (Read more about what a trifold novel study is here.)
I know your fourth graders will love these great stories and you'll be ready to rock your year with a great 4th grade book list! (Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. While it doesn't cost you any more to purchase books via the links provided, I earn a small commission from purchases.)
1. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
Out of all the 4th grade level books on this list, this one is my favorite. I can still remember reading it as a kid, and it was just as good when I picked it back up as an adult.
Here's a quick overview of the plot:
After being left behind when her community leaves their island village, a young girl named Karana must display courage and learn to survive alone.
With lots of adventure, some heartbreak, and great descriptive language, this novel will capture the imagination of your students. An added bonus is that the text is based on a true story, giving plenty of opportunities for discussion.
Buy the book: Island of the Blue Dolphins
Get the No Prep Novel Study: Island of the Blue Dolphins Novel Study
2. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
Another personal favorite from way back to my childhood, this novel is the adventure and independence that every kid wishes to have to have without the dangers that would come along with it!
Students follow Claudia and her little brother as they decide to run away from home and live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Read how they carefully avoid detection by the museum security, manage their day-to-day existence (including budgeting), and even end up solving a mystery along the way!
Buy the book: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Get the No Prep Novel Study: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler Novel Study
3. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
In my experience, all the students who read this book end up loving it. In fact, it is consistently selected as a favorite book when we do our book showdown at the end of each year.
After surviving a plane crash in the rugged wilderness of Canada, Brian is in the fight of his life. This story is the ultimate in survival fiction as students follow Brian's transformation from a scared, unsure boy to a strong, independent survivor. From making
From creating a fire to gathering food, Brian makes a lot of mistakes in his quest to survive, and Paulsen's writing captures the imagination of readers pulling them into Brian's journey.
Buy the book: Hatchet
Get the No Prep Novel Study: Hatchet Novel Study