Top Ten Read Alouds for 4th Grade


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You can find a similar post for 5th grade and 3rd grade at these links!

There are so many ways to utilize novels in the classroom--read alouds, novel studies, literature circles, independent reading, etc. But which ones should you use??

These are my TOP 10 novel choices for 4th grade. 

Fish in a Tree: In this realistic fiction text, Ally struggles with her identity and success in school. As the story progresses, she is diagnosed with dyslexia and finally gets the help she needs.  Fish in a Tree is the perfect book for the beginning of the year. The text lends itself to discussions on classroom community, anti-bullying, and friendships. 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Young Harry Potter discovers he’s a wizard and learns about a secret wizarding world. This is perfect to read in October during the Halloween season. It has no overt Halloween themes, but it is full of suspense, witch-craft, wizardry, and good vs. evil. 

Esperanza Rising: Esperanza is a young Mexican girl who faces many tragedies and difficulties. But, as her name suggests, she grows and learns to have hope for the future. This book is perfect for building empathy in your classroom. The discussion questions and tough themes will allow your students grow in unexpected ways.  

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: This classic holiday story brings laughs every holiday season! When the troublesome Herdmans take over the Christmas Pageant, everyone predicts disaster. But in the end, the town learns about acceptance and the love of the holidays. 

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane: A china rabbit named Edward Tulane is loved an adored…until the day he is lost. Off he goes on a “miraculous journey,” learning through themes of love and loss. This is a great New Year read to refocus your class and delve deeper into your classroom community.  

Frindle: Nick comes up with a clever way to play a prank on his teacher and get out of homework. But his teacher is smarter than he thinks and ends up teaching him a valuable lesson. This book is funny and light-hearted, but also perfect for building classroom community. 

I Am Malala: This memoir is the best-selling story of Malala Yousafzai. After the Taliban placed major limitations on women’s rights, young Malala decided to fight back. She almost lost her life in her pursuit of education for girls/women. This inspiring story is personal and eye-opening for students. It is a great choice for a mid-spring motivational read. 

The Wild Robot: Roz is a robot that awakens alone on a deserted island. She learns to survive and finds more about her past while dealing with her harsh surroundings. This clever story is fascinating to students and is sure to keep their attention.

The War that Saved My Life: This Newberry Honor book is set during the turbulent time of WWII. Young Ada is hidden away by her cruel mother because of a “twisted foot.” But through the story, Ada escapes from her mother, learns to trust others, and plays an important role in the war effort. This story is perfect and exciting for both boys and girls!

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler: The main character of this novel, Claudia, is bored and frustrated with her life. So she convinces her brother to run away from home and head to the museum of art. The two avoid security guards and have a great adventure. But, the plot then takes a mysterious twist that the children must help solve. This novel is perfect for the end of the year when students are yearning for a summer adventure. 

When I use these novels as read alouds, I've developed a bookmark and journal system for each book. 

As I read, I try to get my students talking with 2 questions. One question is asked before I read, the second is asked after. That's it! I can hold students accountable and assess understanding with 2 simple questions. I keep these on a ring, right in my book. See below!


I also have the same questions in journal form for students. This helps me see individual answers that I don't always hear when we discuss as a whole group. Since there are only 2 questions it's not too cumbersome for students either. Check out the companions for each title (plus the 5th grade bundle!) below. 

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