Oldies but Goodies: Great Books for Fourth Graders

After posting about The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew yesterday, I am feeling inspired to share the rest of my recommended reading list for fourth graders.

As when I have listed “Oldies but Goodies” before, several favorites have bitten the literary dust, but still might be found at libraries or garage sales, so keep an eye out for them: Old Bones: The Wonder Horse, by Mildred Mastin Pace, the All of a Kind Family series, by Sydney Taylor, and Trumpet of the Swan, by E.B. White, of Charlotte’s Web fame. Chancy and the Grand Rascal and McBroom’s Ghost, both by Sid Fleishman, were also unavailable except from Amazon’s second party sellers, although with Mr. Fleishman’s unfortunate recent passing, these could be back in print in the near future. Two are only available from the Kindle store: Eight Cousins and A Rose in Bloom, both by Louisa May Alcott, are 99¢ each.

As I was writing this, my older son suggested that I add two recent titles that he enjoyed reading in school last year, The Tale of Despereaux (2006), and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (2007), both by Kate DiCamillo. Unfortunately, I discovered that they are both already out of print, with Amazon so low in stock that it won’t let me select them for the list. While “Edward Tulane” is available on Kindle, “Despereaux” is not. (I guess that the “fifteen minutes of fame” applies to successful authors, as well, these days.) 

If you click on the link, you will see the list. If you click on any of the titles, you will be taken straight to that page on Amazon.com to see the descriptions and reviews: 

Amazon.com Widgets

I do want to note that The Great Brain series (reminiscences of actual events from the author’s childhood), which I love, does have some questionable content near the end of the first book. A friend loses a leg and decides to end it all, and enlists the narrator’s help. The narrator is game, and they are attempting to do it when The Great Brain arrives and tells them why that is a terrible idea and then teaches the boy how to get along with only one leg. The book makes it very clear that focusing on improving one’s circumstances is the path to take.




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3 responses to “Oldies but Goodies: Great Books for Fourth Graders

  1. I read everything by Louisa May Alcott when I was little. There were so many authors I read in ‘chunks’. I would devour everything they’d read in a row, then move on to a new author & revisit my favourites every few books.

    • I did that too. I remember going to the library and discovering Elizabeth Enright, then moving to Eleanor Estes and then Edward Eager, because they all happened to be in the same section and looked good. And I just realized that they are all E.E. names. What an odd coincidence! 🙂

  2. Thanks for the list. My second grader is a phenomenal reader and some of these books look right up his alley.

    It’s always nice to know what to keep an eye out for.

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