Staff Picks

Too-Good-to-Miss Books: Fourth Grade

Staff recommendations for children at a fourth grade reading level.

Children's Services Staff
A Room with a Zoo     A Room with a Zoo    
Jules Feiffer
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Feiffer)

Julie loves animals. In fact, she loves animals so much that she's assembling a zoo in her room -- complete with a hamster, a gangster fish, Turtlini the turtle, and others. Laugh along as Julie adds more pets to her collection and chaos in her family's life.

Archer's Quest     Archer's Quest    
Linda Sue Parker
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Park)

Twelve-year-old Kevin Kim helps Chu-mong, a legendary king of ancient Korea, return to his own time.

Black Elk's Vision: A Lakota Story     Black Elk's Vision: A Lakota Story    
S.D. Nelson
    (Juvenile Nonfiction - J 978.0049 Nel)

A simple biography of Lakota-Oglala medicine man Black Elk, from his childhood vision which shaped his life through his battles with the whites and his travels with Buffalo Bill's Wild West show.

Brothers at Bat: the True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team     Brothers at Bat: the True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team    
Audrey Vernick
    (Juvenile Nonfiction - J 796.3579 Ver)

Documents the story of the Baseball Hall of Fame honorees, tracing how the Acerra family of New Jersey formed their own semi-pro baseball team in the 1930s and became the longest-running all-brother team in history.

Cockroach Cooties     Cockroach Cooties    
Laurence Yep
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Yep)

Teddy and his little brother Bobby devise strategies using bugs to defeat the school bully.

Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea     Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea    
Steve Jenkins
    (Juvenile Nonfiction - J 591.77 Jen)

Provides a top-to-bottom look at the ocean, from birds and waves to thermal vents and ooze.

Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a Scientist's Microscope     Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a Scientist's Microscope    
Stephen P. Kramer
    (Juvenile Nonfiction - J 570.282 Kr)
Scientists in the field

Enter the world of a microscopist. See magnified pictures of jellyfish, dust mites, and other creatures, neatly tinted to accentuate body features. Look for more Scientists in the field titles.

Ida B: - and her pans to maximize fun, avoid disaster, and (possibly) save the world     Ida B: - and her pans to maximize fun, avoid disaster, and (possibly) save the world    
Katherine Hannigan
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Hanniga)

In Wisconsin, fourth-grader Ida B spends happy hours being home-schooled and playing in her family's apple orchard, until her mother begins treatment for breast cancer and her parents must sell part of the orchard and send her to public school.

Igraine the Brave     Igraine the Brave    
Cornelia Funke
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Funke)

The daughter of two magicians, twelve-year-old Igraine wants nothing more than to be a knight, and when their castle is attacked by a treacherous neighbor bent on stealing their singing magic books, Igraine has an opportunity to demonstrate her bravery.

Jack Adrift: Fourth Grade Without a Clue     Jack Adrift: Fourth Grade Without a Clue    
Jack Gantos
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Gantos)

When his father rejoins the Navy and moves the family to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, ten-year-old Jack becomes confused by a crush on his teacher, contradictory advice from his parents, and a very strange neighbor. Look for more Jack Henry titles.

Junonia     Junonia    
Kevin Henkes
    (Juvenile Fiction -- J Henkes)

The week of her tenth birthday, Alice and her parents go to Sanibel Island, Florida, just as they do every year, but this time some of the people who are always there are missing and some new people have come, which unsettles Alice, who wants things to be exactly the same as they alway are.

Love That Dog     Love That Dog    
Sharon Creech
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Creech)

A young student, who comes to love poetry through a personal understanding of what different famous poems mean to him, surprises himself by writing his own inspired poem.

Marooned: The Strange but True Adventures of Alexander Selkirk, the real Robinson Crusoe     Marooned: The Strange but True Adventures of Alexander Selkirk, the real Robinson Crusoe    
Robert Kraske
    (Juvenile Nonfiction - J 996.18 Kra)

In 1704 Alexander Selkirk, was dropped off on a deserted South Pacific island by his ship's captain. After four years alone, he was rescued by a British privateer.

Merlin and the Making of the King     Merlin and the Making of the King    
Margaret Hodges
    (Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.2 King Arthur Hod)

In this collection of three exciting Arthurian tales, Merlin the magician watches over young Arthur as he rises to become king of all England.

Millions     Millions    
Frank Cottrell Boyce
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Cottrel)

After their mother dies, two brothers find a huge amount of money which they must spend quickly before England switches to the new European currency, but they disagree on what to do with it.

Mirror Mirror : a Book of Reversible Verse     Mirror Mirror : a Book of Reversible Verse    
Marilyn Singer
    (Juvenile Nonfiction - J 811.54 Sin)

A collection of short poems which, when reversed, provide new perspectives on the fairy tale characters they feature.

No Talking     No Talking    
Andrew Clement
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Clement)

The noisy fifth grade boys of Laketon Elementary School challenge the equally loud fifth grade girls to a "no talking" contest.

One Crazy Summer     One Crazy Summer    
Rita Williams-Garcia
    (Juvenile Fiction -- J Williams)

In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.

Sahara Special     Sahara Special    
Esme Raji Codell
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Codell)

Struggling with school and her feelings since her father left, Sahara gets a fresh start with a new and unique teacher who supports her writing talents and the individuality of each of her classmates.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School     Sideways Stories from Wayside School    
Louis Sachar
    (Juvenile Ficiton - J Sachar)

Humorous episodes from the classroom on the thirtieth floor of Wayside School, which was accidentally built sideways with one classroom on each story. Look for more Wayside School titles.

Snarf Attack, Underfoodle, and the Secret of Life: The Riot Brothers Tell All     Snarf Attack, Underfoodle, and the Secret of Life: The Riot Brothers Tell All    
Mary Amato
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Amato)

Join Orville and Wilbur as they get in and out of trouble and invent new games. The objective of Snarf Attack is to make an opponent laugh so hard at dinner that milk comes out of his or her nose. The objective of Underfoodle is to get as many pairs of underwear as possible on your head in thirty seconds. Look for more Riot Brothers titles.

The One-Eyed Giant     The One-Eyed Giant    
Mary Pope Osborne
    (Juvenile Nonfiction - J 883 Osb)

Meet Odysseus and share his adventures in which he battles such famous monsters as the Cyclops and meets powerful Greek gods and goddesses.  This is the first installment of Mary Pope Osborne's retelling of Homer's "The Odyssey."

The Postman Always Brings Mice     The Postman Always Brings Mice    
Holm & Hamel
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Holm)
Stink files ; 1

A dashing British feline spy is dismayed to find himself stranded in New Jersey and adopted by a typical suburban family, until he puts his skills to good use for his new human. First installment of The Stink Files mystery series.

The Princess Test     The Princess Test    
Gail Carson Levine
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Le)

In this humorous retelling of "The Princess and the Pea," Lorelei must pass difficult tests in order to prove that she is a true princess.

The Tale of Despereaux: being the story of a mouse, a princess, some soup, and a spool of thread     The Tale of Despereaux: being the story of a mouse, a princess, some soup, and a spool of thread    
Kate DiCamillo
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Dicamil)

The adventures of Desperaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, the princess that he loves, the servant girl who longs to be a princess, and a devious rat determined to bring them all to ruin.

Thor's Wedding Day     Thor's Wedding Day    
Bruce Coville
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Coville)

Thialfi, the Norse thunder god's goat boy, tells how he inadvertently helped the giant Thrym to steal Thor's magic hammer, the lengths to which Thor must go to retrieve it, and his own assistance along the way.

Turtle in Paradise     Turtle in Paradise    
Jennifer L. Holm
    (Juvenile Fiction - J Holm)

In 1935, when her mother gets a job housekeeping for a woman who does not like children, eleven-year-old Turtle is sent to stay with relatives she has never met in far away Key West, Florida.