Fourth grade is an exciting time to share books with kids. Whether it’s reading aloud a fascinating nonfiction picture book or compelling personal narrative, hooking a reluctant reader with a new graphic novel, or matching a kid with just the novel they need right now, your fourth grade classroom library should be where it’s at. Old favorites are awesome, but when you’re looking to update the choices on your shelves, check out this big list of recent fourth grade books recommended by educators.
Note: There’s such a huge range of emotional maturity in fourth grade, and you know your students best. A few of these books may be best read aloud and discussed together.
(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)
1. Paradise Sands: A Story of Enchantment by Levi Pinfold
Four siblings visit a creepy desert hotel and plunge into a haunting adventure. This mesmerizing and mysterious picture book is guaranteed to get your fourth graders talking, wondering, flipping back to check text evidence, and making inferences.
Buy it: Paradise Sands: A Story of Enchantment at Amazon
2. Heart Berry Bling by Jenny Kay Dupuis
Maggie visits her grandmother for a delicious fry bread lunch and cozy afternoon beading together. Through this relatable personal narrative, kids can learn about Anishinaabe beading and culture, as well as the impact of the Indian Act on First Nations women and families in Canada. This is a fantastic upper elementary picture book—so much to learn and discuss together!
Buy it: Heart Berry Bling at Amazon
3. Noticing by Kobi Yamada
Add this beauty to your fourth grade books to encourage mindfulness. A girl and an artist learn together how to notice both the familiar and the unknown.
Buy it: Noticing at Amazon
4. The Little Mermaid retold by Jerry Pinkney
Jerry Pinkney’s breathtaking update to a classic, high-interest tale stars a main character of color and has affirming themes of friendship, family, and identity.
Buy it: The Little Mermaid at Amazon
5. Love by Matt de la Peña
This moving title is ageless, but we particularly love how it can get fourth graders talking in more depth about a complex topic.
Buy it: Love at Amazon
6. Bringing Back the Wolves: How a Predator Restored an Ecosystem by Jude Isabella
This book is a science unit unto itself! In systematic sections, it explores what happened when wolves disappeared from—and then came back to—Yellowstone National Park. Build kids’ understanding of vocabulary about relationships within an ecosystem with this memorable real-world story.
Buy it: Bringing Back the Wolves at Amazon
7. How Do You Spell Unfair? MacNolia Cox and the National Spelling Bee by Carole Boston Weatherford
This is the nonfiction account of African American eighth grader MacNolia Cox and her trip to the 1936 National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. It puts experiences with racism into relatable contexts for all kids and would be great to spark additional learning and discussion about kids’ experiences with discrimination.
Buy it: How Do You Spell Unfair? MacNolia Cox and the National Spelling Bee at Amazon
8. Glitter Everywhere! Where It Came From, Where It’s Found, and Where It’s Going by Chris Barton
The awesome thing about sharing nonfiction picture books with fourth graders is how everyone can learn something new. From teaching vocabulary words like “iridescent” to looking at the environmental impact of its microplastic composition, this author answers every imaginable question about glitter! We love how this title shows kids an unconventional nonfiction writing topic too.
Buy it: Glitter Everywhere! at Amazon
9. Stand as Tall as the Trees: How an Amazonian Community Protected the Rain Forest by Patricia Gualinga and Laura Resau
This inspiring story highlights the activism of Kichwa people to stop rainforest deforestation. It reminds us of Lynne Cherry’s The Great Kapok Tree but with more in-depth factual information. It’s a perfect complement to rainforest or ecosystem studies or as part of an exploration of indigenous cultures. The author’s note “Standing Up for Land Around the World” would be a fantastic springboard for small-group research projects on indigenous movements to protect land.
Buy it: Stand as Tall as the Trees at Amazon
10. Becoming Muhammad Ali: A Novel by James Patterson and Kwame Alexander
Before he was a household name, Cassius Clay was a kid with struggles like any other. Written in prose and verse, this book looks at his life from birth to age 17. It captures the budding charisma and youthful personality of one of the greatest sports heroes of all time.
Buy it: Becoming Muhammad Ali at Amazon
11. Sound: Shhh … Bang … POP … BOOM! by Romana Remanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv
Here’s a perfect example of artistry in informational writing. A neon color scheme and tons of visual features give readers a primer on the topic of sound. Share as part of a science unit on sound or to simply help students up the cool factor in their own nonfiction writing.
Buy it: Sound: Shhh … Bang … POP … BOOM! at Amazon
12. She Was the First! The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm by Katheryn Russell-Brown
This biography chronicles the bold achievements of the first Black person to run for president as a major party candidate. While short in stature, Shirley Chisholm was a strong, influential leader and advocate who made a lasting impact. Your students deserve to be inspired by her!
Buy it: She Was the First! at Amazon
13. Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham and Charles Waters
When an unlikely pair works on a poetry project together, they think they have nothing in common. The effective back-and-forth format will get kids thinking.
Buy it: Can I Touch Your Hair? at Amazon
14. Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley, and Marjory Wentworth
Award-winning authors Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley, and Marjory Wentworth have compiled this collection of poems that celebrates poets who have touched their lives and influenced their work.
Buy it: Out of Wonder at Amazon
15. I’m Trying To Love Math by Bethany Barton
After convincing arguments heralding bees and spiders in her previous titles, Bethany Barton uses her powers of persuasion to demonstrate the wide reach, usefulness, and coolness of math. Read this to quell any groans about the relevance of math in the real world.
Buy it: I’m Trying To Love Math at Amazon
16. Pass Go and Collect $200: The Real Story of How Monopoly Was Invented by Tanya Lee Stone
It’s a history lesson from a completely unique angle. Add this to your fourth grade books to use as nonfiction writing mentor texts. Of course, after reading, you’ll need to break out the board game during indoor recess or invite your students to design their own.
Buy it: Pass Go and Collect $200 at Amazon
17. Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went From the Football Field to the Art Gallery by Sandra Neil Wallace
This isn’t your typical athlete’s biography. Everyone thought Ernie Barnes should play professional football, but he never gave up on his dream of being an artist.
Buy it: Between the Lines at Amazon
18. So Tall Within: Sojourner Truth’s Long Walk Toward Freedom by Gary D. Schmidt
Introduce students to this fascinating and influential woman who worked tirelessly to fight against both racial and gender inequality.
Buy it: So Tall Within at Amazon
19. Flight for Freedom: The Wetzel Family’s Daring Escape From East Germany by Kristen Fulton
A family secretly builds a hot-air balloon for a nighttime crossing over the Berlin Wall. This compelling story is a perfect-sized slice of history to captivate students. The information provided about the actual construction of the hot-air balloon, both in the text and extensive back matter, could also spark interesting STEM conversations about the design process.
Buy it: Flight for Freedom at Amazon
20. The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman
Maria Merian was a brave and passionate scientist who was well ahead of her time. This beautifully written and illustrated chapter book biography offers so many discussion opportunities.
Buy it: The Girl Who Drew Butterflies at Amazon
21. Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! by Marley Dias
Marley Dias, creator of the #1000blackgirlbooks movement, is an amazing peer role model to teach kids about activism.
Buy it: Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! at Amazon
22. Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night by Rob Laidlaw
Great nonfiction challenges readers’ thinking with a clear focus. This fascinating title about bat conservation does just that.
Buy it: Bat Citizens at Amazon
23. Two Truths and a Lie books by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson
Make discussions about responsible research practices memorable and fun. This innovative series asks readers to separate fact from fiction in short sections ideal for classroom discussion.
Buy it: Two Truths and a Lie books at Amazon
24. You Choose series by various authors
Hopefully you already have a few titles from this longstanding “Choose Your Own Adventure”–style series mixed into your fourth grade books, but did you know they keep coming out with cool new titles? We love this series for getting kids thinking and talking about their reading. After all, they have to make the decisions about how they’d react when faced with dangerous animals, infamous monsters, and plenty more! Great for small-group or partner reads.
Buy it: You Choose: Wild Encounters at Amazon
Buy it: You Choose: Monster Hunter at Amazon
25. I Survived Graphix series by Lauren Tarshis
These popular nonfiction chapter book adventures are now fast-paced graphic novels! You’ll want the entire series for sure.
Buy it: I Survived Graphix at Amazon
26. Grace Needs Space! by Benjamin A. Wilgus and Rii Abrego
We were glad to add this futuristic, inclusive graphic novel to our fourth grade book offerings. Grace can’t wait to travel on her own to visit one of her moms, who works on a space station on a distant moon. Despite the out-of-this-world setting, kids will have lots of connections to how hard it can feel when a highly anticipated experience doesn’t quite go as expected.
Buy it: Grace Needs Space! at Amazon
27. When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed
This unparalleled graphic novel shares the true story of Somali brothers’ life growing up in a refugee camp. Put this at the top of your stack of fourth grade books to build kids’ background knowledge about the experiences of refugees. We’ve seen many kids finish it and then immediately start it over again!
Buy it: When Stars Are Scattered at Amazon
28. Paws series by Nathan Fairbairn
This graphic novel series is ideal for kids who like the Baby-Sitters Club graphic novels. Four best friends who love animals but aren’t allowed to have pets come up with a masterful plan to start a dog-walking business.
Buy it: Paws series at Amazon
29. Squished by Megan Wagner Lloyd
Avery Lee is one of seven siblings, and she wishes she could just have some of her own space! This graphic novel shares all the drama, chaos, and love that happens in a big family. It’s perfect for kids who live in large families themselves or have wondered what it would be like. We adore this author-illustrator team—also check out Allergic—and hope they keep creating together.
Buy it: Squished at Amazon
30. Witches of Brooklyn series by Sophie Escabasse
When Effie moves in with her aunts in Brooklyn and finds out she’s part of a family of witches, everything changes. This graphic novel series has an appealing balance of fantasy and realistic themes about growing up.
Buy it: Witches of Brooklyn series at Amazon
31. Front Desk series by Kelly Yang
This delightful series follows the adventures of Mia Tang, who lives in a motel with her immigrant parents. As her parents clean the motel and help other immigrant families, Mia dreams of being a writer. A timely collection of fourth grade books that honors Chinese culture and experiences.
Buy it: Front Desk series at Amazon
32. New From Here by Kelly Yang
Just go ahead and stock your fourth grade bookshelves with every title Kelly Yang writes! Kids especially love this pandemic-themed story. Ten-year-old Knox has to move suddenly from Hong Kong to California when COVID-19 first begins to spread. The racism he faces in his new home is an unexpected challenge.
Buy it: New From Here at Amazon
33. City Spies series by James Ponti
In this thrilling series that Stuart Gibbs called “a must-read,” Edgar Award winner James Ponti brings together five kids from all over the world and transforms them into real-life spies. It’s wonderful for fans of Spy School and Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls.
Buy it: City Spies series at Amazon
34. Count Me In by Varsha Bajaj
An uplifting story, told through the alternating voices of two middle schoolers, in which a community rallies to reject racism.
Buy it: Count Me In at Amazon
35. A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga
Mars rover Res (short for Resilience) is not designed to have feelings—but as he observes the humans around him, emotional responses seem to start creeping in. When his Mars mission launches, he has to dig deep to live up to his name. Quick chapters and varying formats and points of view keep readers hooked on this story. It would be a huge hit as a class read-aloud or for coding- and robotics-loving kiddos.
Buy it: A Rover’s Story at Amazon
36. Welcome to Wonderland series by Chris Grabenstein
Kids will race through this zany series about ambitious P.T. Wilkie, who goes to desperate creative lengths to save his grandfather’s Florida motel. It has a perfect blend of humor and inspirational kid power winning over greedy adults. Plus, kids will learn a bit about business. Add these to your fourth grade books to energize reluctant readers.
Buy it: Welcome to Wonderland series at Amazon
37. The Many Fortunes of Maya by Nicole D. Collier
Maya has a lot on her mind. She loves soccer, music, and her family. But this summer, it feels like things aren’t right. Fresh, readable, and relatable, kids who have experience with parental separation will connect with Maya and appreciate the feel-good ending. The fortune cookie fortunes at the start of each chapter are a fun detail.
Buy it: The Many Fortunes of Maya at Amazon
38. Speculation by Nisi Shawl
When Winna breaks her glasses by mistake, her grandfather gives her a pair that used to belong to her great aunt. She’s in for a huge surprise when it turns out the glasses are magic! They can transport her back in time to learn more about her ancestors—and now it’s up to Winna to solve a crucial mystery. Fantasy-lovers will blaze through this enthralling story, but you can also add this title to your fourth grade books that build kids’ background knowledge about slavery.
Buy it: Speculation at Amazon
39. The Firefly Summer by Morgan Matson
For as long as Ryanna can remember, it’s just been her and her movie-director dad living a quiet, organized life in California. Then her dad gets a letter from her maternal grandparents on the East Coast inviting Ryanna to spend the summer at their camp. She plunges into a wild extended-family scene and a family mystery, complete with a mysterious treasure map to decipher. Share this fun story with fourth graders as they anticipate summer break, or anytime they need a dose of summer family fun.
Buy it: The Firefly Summer at Amazon
40. The Probability of Everything by Sarah Everett
This recent title gets rave reviews from educators for good reason—it’s breathtaking. Eleven-year-old Kemi shares her experiences and reflections as a catastrophic asteroid approaches Earth. This would make a powerful class read-aloud. Be sure to preview it: You’ll love savoring it solo but also because the ending is a surprise, and the book includes themes you’ll want to know about before sharing with students.
Buy it: The Probability of Everything at Amazon
41. Gold Rush Girl by Avi
Wanting to stay with her father, Tory stows away on a ship heading west to search for gold in 1848. Spot-on details and high suspense make this a vivid, absorbing historical adventure for your collection of fourth grade books.
Buy it: Gold Rush Girl at Amazon
42. Shuri: A Black Panther Novel by Nic Stone
Add this to your fourth grade books for students who love the Marvel Universe. This story, written by award-winning YA author Nic Stone, takes readers on an adventure with Shuri, the younger sister of T’Challa (aka the Black Panther).
Buy it: Shuri: A Black Panther Novel at Amazon
43. Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan
A beautifully written fantasy novel about a young man setting out on a perilous quest. This book, written by the author of Esperanza Rising, is sure to be well loved by your fourth grade students.
Buy it: Mañanaland at Amazon
44. New Kid by Jerry Craft
Winner of the Newbery Medal, the Coretta Scott King Author Award, and the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature, this is a graphic novel about the struggles of being the new kid in school.
Buy it: New Kid at Amazon
45. Weird Little Robots by Caroline Crimi
When two science-savvy girls create an entire robot world, they don’t expect the robots to come alive. But life may be a bit more magical than they thought.
Buy it: Weird Little Robots at Amazon
46. Pumpkin Falls Mysteries by Heather Vogel Frederick
These stories follow the adventures of Truly Lovejoy, a young girl whose family has moved from Texas to a tiny town in New Hampshire to take over their family’s century-old bookstore. Left largely to her own devices, Truly finds herself chasing down clues found in old books.
Buy it: Pumpkin Falls Mysteries at Amazon
47. Pax books by Sara Pennypacker
Included on the National Book Award Longlist, this poignant tale follows the growing pains of a relationship between a boy and his fox.
Buy it: Pax series at Amazon
48. Dragons in a Bag series by Zetta Elliott
This urban fantasy series begins when Jaxon finds out the mean old lady next door is a witch, and she asks him for his help delivering baby dragons to a magical world where they’ll be safe.
Buy it: Dragons in a Bag series at Amazon
49. Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
Inspired by her childhood love of classic books like A Secret Garden and The Chronicles of Narnia, bestselling author Tahereh Mafi crafts a spellbinding new world where color is currency, adventure is inevitable, and friendship is found in the most unexpected places.
Buy it: Furthermore at Amazon
50. Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
There are so many levels to this story of an 11-year-old boy and his grandmother’s unconventional road trip. The story packs in tons of background about the Civil Rights era without being preachy.
Buy it: Clean Getaway at Amazon
51. The One and Only series by Katherine Applegate
Endearing animal characters and perspectives, relatable emotions—this series of instant fourth grade book classics is a delight to kids and teachers alike!
Buy it: The One and Only series at Amazon
52. The Nerviest Girl in the World by Melissa Wiley
Pearl lives on a cattle-and-ostrich ranch and dreams of following in her brothers’ footsteps as a stunt double in silent films. This historical fiction title is full of fun and spunk and is great for learning about a storyteller’s voice.
Buy it: The Nerviest Girl in the World at Amazon
53. On These Magic Shores by Yamile Saied Méndez
When Minerva’s mother doesn’t come home from her night shift, Minerva takes care of her younger sisters. Amid grave uncertainty, unexplained events bring bits of comfort. This Peter Pan spinoff layers magical thinking with real themes of resilience, responsibility, and family bonds. It’s a fantastic class discussion novel or one to add to a list of fourth grade books to push independent readers toward deeper comprehension.
Buy it: On These Magic Shores at Amazon
54. Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai
Jingwen has lots to cope with between his recent move to Australia and his father’s death, but there’s still room for plenty of humor in this highly readable Own Voices graphic novel. It will particularly resonate with ELL students and those who’ve had to navigate a move to a new place.
Buy it: Pie in the Sky at Amazon
55. Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh by Uma Krishnaswami
Part sports novel, part World War II–era historical fiction—with a strong dose of girl power—readers will be cheering for Maria.
Buy it: Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh at Amazon
56. Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier
We’re predicting it here: This will become a new classic for kids. It’s a fable that stars a young chimney sweep girl during Victorian times who meets tragic circumstances, but the themes of friendship, acceptance, and resilience are timeless. If you have sensitive kiddos, preview it first before reading aloud.
Buy it: Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster at Amazon
57. We’re Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey
This book asks students to imagine they were sent to a completely different planet where they were the outcasts. When it happens to the main character, the situations range from funny to potentially dangerous, but the overall message is timely and meant to make your students think. And isn’t that what the best fourth grade books do?
Buy it: We’re Not From Here at Amazon
Plus, check out our other elementary grade–level book lists:
Which recent fourth grade books are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!
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