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Top 10 Books of 2020 for 4th Grade

If you take a look at your child’s fourth grade required reading list, you might see a few titles that you read back when you were a kid… we think it’s time for an upgrade.

While we love many of the classics, it’s important for kids to connect with stories that feel relevant to the world they’re living in today. Growing readers can discover new voices, dive into invigorating storylines, and relate to fresh characters with Literati’s top 10 books of 2020 for fourth graders!

Book cover for Okay Witch

The Okay Witch

by Emma Steinkellner

Middle school means a lot of changes for everybody—but for Moth Hush, it means discovering her wild magical powers and uncovering a dark secret at the heart of her hometown’s history. In the face of all that change, it’s not easy to be a top-notch witch! Sometimes, it’s okay to just be okay.

Emma Steinkellner brings us a lovable protagonist in Moth, a budding young witch. Your magic-loving fourth-grader will adore this illustrated tale about finding family and your inner self.

Book cover for A Wolf Called Wander

A Wolf Called Wander

By Rosanne Parry

When rival wolves attack home, Swift is separated from his pack. Will he survive the journey to his new home? Watch your young reader become engrossed with a story of courage that perfectly captures the wonder of nature. Fact-seekers will be very happy here, too: A Wolf Called Wander is based on a true story and includes information and maps of the real wolf’s journey!

Book cover for Odd Gods

Odd Gods

by David Slavin

You may have heard of Zeus, the all-powerful king of Olympus: but what about Mathena, Germes, Puneus, and … Gaseous? In this wacky twist on Greek mythology, we follow Oddonis, son of Zeus. Will he be able to beat his beloved brother Adonis for class president?

Equal parts educational and silly, Odd Gods takes school drama to the next level. As your fourth grader builds their understanding of wordplay and metaphor, they’ll love reading about middle-grade deities with pint-sized powers.

Book cover for Ungifted


by Gordon Korman

Donovan Curtis has just pulled the biggest prank of his middle school career. This time, he’s certain he’s gone way too far. But thanks to an administrative mix-up, he’s not punished. Instead, he’s sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction, a special school for gifted students. Full of robot fights, middle school dances, and risky experiments, Ungifted entertains from start to finish—while teaching that everyone has their own gifts to share.

Book cover for Out of My Mind

Out of My Mind

by Sharon M. Draper

Imagine being the smartest kid in your whole school—maybe even your whole town—but nobody knows it. Your photographic memory allows you to absorb everything you’ve ever seen in high-def detail. Meanwhile, your peers, doctors, and classmates dismiss you completely.
That’s life for 11-year-old Melody, who lives with cerebral palsy. But Melody refuses to be defined by her disability. This stunning story helps middle-grade readers learn empathy, inclusion, and acceptance, while they get more comfortable with longer dialogue.

Book cover for Framed!


by James Ponti

Florian Bates is the only 12-year-old on the FBI director’s speed dial—for good reason. Using TOAST, or the Theory of All Small Things, Florian and his friend Margaret have to solve their biggest mystery yet. Can they save the National Gallery from an intimidating crime organization?

Framed! is a must for middle graders enthralled by thrillers. Watch your child eat up this mystery novel like a double-cheese pizza, scarfing it down as quickly as possible to reach the twist ending.

Book cover for The Last Human

The Last Human

by Lee Bacon

Lee Bacon’s post-apocalyptic middle-grade novel starts from the perspective of a 12-year-old robot (sent to destroy the human race) who’s just discovered the last human on earth. Will he question his original programming and take a risky journey for friendship? Packed with action, laughs, and lessons, The Last Human is one of the best fourth-grade books for budding sci-fi lovers.

Book cover for The Good Thieves

The Good Thieves

by Katherine Rundell

It’s 1920s Manhattan. A crooked real estate mogul has stolen Vita’s grandfather’s mansion. But Vita has hatched a plan—break into the mansion, take back what’s rightfully theirs, and expose the villain. With complex emotions of justice, hope, and grief, this enthralling story helps fourth-graders learn more about their world, and develop a love for independent reading.

Book cover for Liesl & Po

Liesl & Po

by Lauren Oliver

Liesl is a lonely girl locked in her stepmother’s attic, and her only friend is a ghost named Po. One night, a boy named Will messes up a simple delivery and accidentally causes a cataclysmic magical adventure.

Will’s mistake creates ripples across time and space that reach Liesl and Po, sending the three on an unforgettable adventure. Send your young reader along with them, and enjoy as they discover the magic of a compelling narrative.

Book cover for Pashmina


by Nidhi Chanani

Priyanka has a lot of questions about her family’s past, but her mother refuses to answer them. One day, Pri finds a magical pashmina that transports her to a mysterious world. Is this the key to her family’s history—or something more sinister? This graphic novel is a beautiful story about juggling two cultures. Not only can it mesmerize any young reader, but it’s packed with lessons in empathy and creative inspiration.

Discover Personalized Book Boxes from Literati

Strong reading skills do more than set kids up for classroom success—they set the stage for a lifelong love of reading. Books allow kids to spread their wings and learn more about themselves and the world we live in.

With Literati kids book clubs, readers can discover books that are perfectly suited to support reading development, and venture into independent reading with confidence. Each box comes filled with vibrant books picked to challenge your reader’s skills and keep their progress on track.

Take the Literati personalization quiz and get your very first box of perfectly-curated picks!

Authored by Charlie DeTar
September 15, 2022
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