35 Can’t Miss 4th Grade Read Alouds
Are you looking for the very best 4th grade read-alouds for your homeschool or classroom library?
This book list is jam-packed with the best 4th grade books you’re going to find this school year!
Your fourth graders are likely very ready to move past the picture books of last year and into more complex chapter books. But they might not be ready to dive in and read that great book by themselves.
You can open a whole different world to young readers, full of new friends, an adventurous main character, and a world of possibilities!
Even the most reluctant reader can be hooked by the magic of a page-turning read-aloud book!
And absolutely nothing is better than hearing them beg for the next chapter!
So dive into this extensive list of our favorite read alouds!
You will find fantasy, adventure, funny books, true stories, historical fiction, and so much more!
Perfect for the beginning of the year, as a social studies supplement, an addition to your language arts lesson plans, or just because.
Best Read-Aloud Books for 4th Graders
Author: R.J. Palacio
Ten-year-old August Pullman wants to be ordinary. He does ordinary things. He eats ice-cream. He plays on his Xbox. He feels ordinary – inside. But Auggie is far from ordinary. Born with a terrible facial abnormality, he has been home-schooled by his parents his entire life, in an attempt to protect him from the cruelty of the outside world. Now, Auggie’s parents are sending him to a real school. Can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all? Narrated by Auggie and the people around him whose lives he touches, Wonder is a frank, funny, astonishingly moving debut to be read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.
2. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Title: Where The Mountain Meets The Moon
Author: Grace Lin
In the valley of Fruitless mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life’s questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family’s fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer.
3. Wild Robot
Title: The Wild Robot
Author: Peter Brown
The natural world meets technology!
When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is all alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is–but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a violent storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island’s unwelcoming animal inhabitants.
From bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Peter Brown comes a heartwarming and action-packed novel about what happens when nature and technology collide.
4. 100 Dresses
Title: The Hundred Dresses
Author: Eleanor Estes
This Newbery Honor classic, illustrated by a Caldecott Medalist, is a beautifully written tribute to the power of kindness, acceptance, and standing up for what’s right.
Wanda Petronski is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. She claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn’t. When Wanda is pulled out of school one day, the class feels terrible, and classmate Maddie decides that she is “never going to stand by and say nothing again.”
A timeless, gentle tale about bullies, bystanders, and having the courage to speak up.
5. Number the Stars
Title: Number The Stars
Author: Lois Lowry
The unforgettable Newbery Medal–winning novel from Lois Lowry. As the German troops begin their campaign to “relocate” all the Jews of Denmark, Annemarie Johansen’s family takes in Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family.
Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that there was pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war.
A modern classic of historical fiction, Number the Stars has won generations of fans.
6. The Ark, The Reed, and the Fire Cloud
Title: The Ark, The Reed, and the Fire Cloud
Author: Jenny L. Cote
Wit, Whimsy, Heartache, Tragedy, Triumph and Biblical Truth. A magical adventure of animals traveling worldwide to Noah’s ark. Max, a Scottish terrier, takes his usual morning trot down to the loch where he hears a mysterious Voice humming in the reeds saying, “COME TO ME . . .FOLLOW THE FIRE CLOUD.”
7. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Title: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Author: Kate DiCamillo
Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely.
And then, one day, he was lost.
Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the top of a garbage heap to the fireside of a hoboes’ camp, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. And along the way, we are shown a true miracle — that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.
8. Who Was Harriet Tubman
Title: Who Was Harriet Tubman
Author: Yona Zeldis McDonough
Born a slave in Maryland, Harriet Tubman knew first-hand what it meant to be someone’s property; she was whipped by owners and almost killed by an overseer. It was from other field hands that she first heard about the Underground Railroad which she travelled by herself north to Philadelphia. Throughout her long life (she died at the age of ninety-two) and long after the Civil War brought an end to slavery, this amazing woman was proof of what just one person can do.
9. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
Title: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
Author: Judy Blume
Two is a crowd when Peter and his little brother, Fudge, are in the same room. Grown-ups think Fudge is absolutely adorable, but Peter and his pet turtle, Dribble, know the truth. From throwing temper tantrums to smearing mashed potatoes on the wall, Fudge causes mischief wherever he goes!
“As a kid, Judy Blume was my favorite author, and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing was my favorite book.”—Jeff Kinney, author of the bestselling Wimpy Kid series
10. Mountain Born
Title: Mountain Born
Author: Elizabeth Yates
Every day on the sheep farm is an adventure for Peter and his pet lamb. They enjoy roaming the green hills and relaxing after a long day’s work. But the pastures hold danger, too – wolves, cliffs, and snowstorms. With the help of an old shepherd, Peter and the lamb learn the importance of courage and leadership.
11. When You Trap a Tiger
Title: When You Trap a Tiger
Author: Tae Keller
WINNER OF THE NEWBERY MEDAL • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE ASIAN/PACIFIC AMERICAN AWARD FOR CHILDREN’S LITERATURE
Would you make a deal with a magical tiger? This uplifting story brings Korean folklore to life as a girl goes on a quest to unlock the power of stories and save her grandmother.
When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger straight out of her halmoni’s Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history. Long, long ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers. Now they want it back. And when one of the tigers approaches Lily with a deal—return what her grandmother stole in exchange for Halmoni’s health—Lily is tempted to agree. But deals with tigers are never what they seem! With the help of her sister and her new friend Ricky, Lily must find her voice . . . and the courage to face a tiger.
12. The Girl Who Drank The Moon
Title: The Girl Who Drank The Moon
Author: Kelly Barnhill
Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is kind. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.
One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge—with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . .
13. My Side of the Mountain
Title: My Side of the Mountain
Author: Jean Craighead George
Sam Gribley is terribly unhappy living in New York City with his family, so he runs away to the Catskill Mountains to live in the woods—all by himself. With only a penknife, a ball of cord, forty dollars, and some flint and steel, he intends to survive on his own. Sam learns about courage, danger, and independence during his year in the wilderness, a year that changes his life forever.
14. Charlotte’s Web
Title: Charlotte’s Web
Author: E.B. White
Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.
15. The Courage of Sarah Noble
Title: The Courage of Sarah Noble
Author: Alice Dalgliesh
In this Newbery Honor book classic, young Sarah learns how to be brave even when the world is strange and new.
In 1707, young Sarah Noble and her father traveled through the wilderness to build a new home for their family. “Keep up your courage, Sarah Noble,” her mother had said, but Sarah found that it was not always easy to feel brave inside. The dark woods were full of animals and Indians, too, and Sarah was only eight!
The true story of Sarah’s journey is inspiring. And as she cares for her father and befriends her Indian neighbors, she learns that to be afraid and to be brave is the greatest courage of all.
16. Beyond The Bright Sea
Title: Beyond The Bright Sea
Author: Lauren Wolk
Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift in a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow’s only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar.
Crow has always been curious about the world around her, but it isn’t until the night a mysterious fire appears across the water that the unspoken question of her own history forms in her heart. Soon, an unstoppable chain of events is triggered, leading Crow down a path of discovery and danger.
Vivid and heart-wrenching, Lauren Wolk’s Beyond the Bright Sea is a gorgeously crafted and tensely paced tale that explores questions of identity, belonging, and the true meaning of family.
Author: Sara Pennypacker
From bestselling and award-winning author Sara Pennypacker comes a beautifully wrought, utterly compelling novel about the powerful relationship between a boy and his fox. Pax is destined to become a classic, beloved for generations to come.
Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day, the unimaginable happens: Peter’s dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild.
At his grandfather’s house, three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows he isn’t where he should be—with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox.
Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own. . . .
18. Sign of The Beaver
Title: The Sign of the Beaver
Author: Elizabeth George Speare
When Matt’s father leaves him on his own to guard their new cabin in the wilderness, Matt is scared but determined to be brave and prove that he can take care of himself. And things are going fine until a white stranger steals his gun, leaving Matt defenseless and unable to hunt for his food.
Then Matt meets Attean, a Native boy from the Beaver tribe, and soon learns that people called the land around him home long before the white settlers ever arrived. As Attean teaches him more about his own culture, Matt must come to terms with what the changing frontier really means.
19. A Wolf Called Wanderer
Title: A Wolf Called Wanderer
Author: Roseanne Parry
Swift, a young wolf cub, lives with his pack in the mountains learning to hunt, competing with his brothers and sisters for hierarchy, and watching over a new litter of cubs. Then a rival pack attacks, and Swift and his family scatter.
Alone and scared, Swift must flee and find a new home. His journey takes him on a remarkable one thousand miles across the Pacific Northwest. The trip is full of peril, and Swift encounters forest fires, hunters, highways, and hunger before he finds his new home.
Inspired by the extraordinary true story of a wolf named OR-7 (or Journey), this irresistible tale of survival invites readers to experience and imagine what it would be like to be one of the most misunderstood animals on earth.
20. 4th Grade Disasters
Title: Mason Dixon: 4th Grade Disasters
Author: Claudia Mills
Here’s the second entry in Claudia Mills’s charming middle-grade series, that finds the lovably sardonic title character starting the fourth grade, which he’s dreading because everyone in fourth grade is expected to join the school choir. And sing. In front of everyone. Mason can’t think of many things he enjoys less than singing–but performing in front of other people might come close. Mason devises a foolproof plan that will keep him out of the spotlight on concert night. Of course, in the world of Mason Dixon, there is no such thing as a foolproof plan. There is only disaster.
21. The Phantom Tollbooth
Title: The Phantom Tollbooth
Author: Norton Juster
For Milo, everything’s a bore. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through only because he’s got nothing better to do. But on the other side, things seem different. Milo visits the Island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping), learns about time from a ticking watchdog named Tock, and even embarks on a quest to rescue Rhyme and Reason. Somewhere along the way, Milo realizes something astonishing. Life is far from dull. In fact, it’s exciting beyond his wildest dreams!
22. Five Little Peppers And How They Grew
Title: Five Little Peppers And How They Grew
Author: Margaret Sidney
Times are tough around the little brown house! The widowed Mrs. Pepper has to sew all day long just to earn enough to pay the rent and to feed the five growing Peppers. But she faces poverty and trouble with a stout heart, a smiling face, and the help of her jolly brood: blue-eyed Ben, the eldest and the man of the house at the age of 11; pretty Polly, so eager to cook for the family and make everyone happy and comfortable; and the three littlest Peppers, Joel, Davie, and baby Phronsie.
A favorite of children, parents, and teachers for generations, this heartwarming classic first appeared in 1880. Since then, it has inspired countless young imaginations with its tender tales of the ways in which courage and good cheer can overcome adversity.
23. The Bears On Hemlock Mountain
Title: The Bears On Hemlock Mountain
Author: Alice Dalgiesh
People have always told Jonathan that there are no bears on Hemlock Mountain, no bears at all. So he isn’t afraid to set out alone over the mountain. But as Jonathan discovers one cold winter night, people aren’t always right…There are bears on Hemlock Mountain!
24. Island of the Blue Dolphins
Title: Island of the Blue Dolphins
Author: Scott O’Dell
The Newberry Medal-winning story of a 12-year old girl who lives alone on a Pacific island after she leaps from a rescue ship. Isolated on the island for eighteen years, Karana forages for food, builds weapons to fight predators, clothes herself in a cormorant feathered skirt, and finds strength and peace in her seclusion.
25. Because of Winn Dixie
Title: Because of Winn-Dixie
Author: Kate DiCamillo
One summer’s day, ten-year-old India Opal Buloni goes down to the local supermarket for some groceries—and comes home with a dog. But Winn-Dixie is no ordinary dog. It’s because of Winn-Dixie that Opal begins to make friends. And it’s because of Winn-Dixie that she finally dares to ask her father about her mother, who left when Opal was three. In fact, as Opal admits, just about everything that happens that summer is because of Winn-Dixie.
26. Sarah, Plain, and Tall
Title: Sarah, Plain, and Tall
Author: Patricia MacLachlan
Set in the late nineteenth century and told from young Anna’s point of view, Sarah, Plain and Tall tells the story of how Sarah Elisabeth Wheaton comes from Maine to the prairie to answer Papa’s advertisement for a wife and mother. Before Sarah arrives, Anna and her younger brother Caleb wait and wonder. Will Sarah be nice? Will she sing? Will she stay?
27. The Green Ember
Title: The Green Ember
Author: S.D. Smith
Heather and Picket are extraordinary rabbits with ordinary lives until calamitous events overtake them, spilling them into a cauldron of misadventures. They discover that their own story is bound up in the tumult threatening to overwhelm the wider world.
Kings fall and kingdoms totter. Tyrants ascend and terrors threaten. Betrayal beckons, and loyalty is a broken road with peril around every bend.
Where will Heather and Picket land? How will they make their stand?
28. The Tale of Despereaux
Title: The Tale of Despereaux
Author: Kate DiCamillo
Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other’s lives. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.
29. Summer of the Monkeys
Title: Summer of the Monkeys
Author: Wilson Rawls
The last thing fourteen-year-old Jay Berry Lee expects to find while trekking through the Ozark Mountains of Oklahoma is a tree full of monkeys. But then Jay learns from his grandpa that the monkeys have escaped from a traveling circus, and there’s a big reward for the person who finds and returns them.
His family could really use the money, so Jay sets off, determined to catch them. But by the end of the summer, Jay will have learned a lot more than he bargained for—and not just about monkeys.
30. Trumpet of the Swan
Title: The Trumpet of the Swan
Author: E.B. White
Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can’t trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can’t even make a sound. And since he can’t trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him.
Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena’s affection—he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love?
31. The Family Under The Bridge
Title: The Family Under The Bridge
Author: Natalie Carlson
Armand, an old man living on the streets of Paris, relishes his solitary life in the beautiful city. He is happy with his carefree existence, begging and doing odd jobs to keep himself warm and fed. With simple pleasures and no cares, what more could he need?
Then one day just before Christmas, Armand returns to his favorite spot beneath the bridge to find three cold and hungry children. Although he has no interest in children, Armand soon finds himself caring for the small family. It does not take Armand very long to realize that he must do whatever it takes to get them a real home.
32. How To Eat Fried Worms
Title: How To Eat Fried Worms
Author: Billy Forrester
Billy isn’t one to back down from a bet. But this one is gross: If he eats fifteen worms in fifteen days, Alan will pay him fifty dollars. Billy takes the bet and tries worms smothered in ketchup, drowned in mustard, even breaded and fried. Worm by worm, Billy gets closer to victory, and to buying the minibike he’s always wanted. But Alan won’t let him win that easily…
33. The Secret Zoo
Title: The Secret Zoo
Author: Bryan Chick
Noah, his sister Megan, and their best friends, Richie and Ella, live next door to the zoo. Megan is the first to notice the puzzling behavior of some of the animals. One day Megan disappears, and her brother and their friends realize it’s up to them to find her. Their only choice is to follow a series of clues and sneak into the zoo. But once inside, they discover there’s much more to the Clarksville City Zoo than they could ever have guessed…
Author: Tom Rogers
Alex Douglas always wanted to be a hero. But nothing heroic ever happened to Alex. Nothing, that is, until his eleventh birthday. When Alex rescues a stray dog as a birthday gift to himself, he doesn’t think his life can get much better. Radar, his new dog, pretty much feels the same way. But this day has bigger things in store for both of them. This is a story about bullies and heroes. About tragedy and hope. About enemies with two legs and friends with four, and pesky little sisters and cranky old men, and an unexpected lesson in kindness delivered with a slice of pizza.
35. The Wheel On The School
Title: The Wheel On the School
Author: Meindert DeJong
Why do the storks no longer come to the little Dutch fishing village of Shora to nest? It was Lina, one of the six schoolchildren who first asked the question, and she set the others to wondering. And sometimes when you begin to wonder, you begin to make things happen. So the children set out to bring the storks back to Shora. The force of their vision put the whole village to work until at last the dream began to come true.
Recap: Favorite Books for 4th Grade Read Aloud
High quality read-aloud books have really been the foundation of our homeschool. It has been such a great way to bring all the ages of my children together and share an experience.
I truly love the wonder, discussions, and learning that naturally comes from reading together.
I hope your upper elementary students (and even younger ones!) enjoy the books on this blog post – they really are the best books!
The time spent reading with them will greatly prepare them for the rigors of 5th grade and encourage them to pick up a good book themselves!