If you take a look at your child’s fourth grade required reading list, you might see a few titles that you had to read back when you were a kid! Maybe it’s time for an update.
While it’s always good to read the classics, you want to give your child books that are fresh and relevant to the world they’re living in today. Discover new voices, invigorating storylines, and relatable characters your child will never forget with Literati’s top 10 books of 2020 for fourth-graders!
1. The Okay Witch
Middle school means a lot of changes for everybody—but for Moth Hush, it means discovering her wild magical powers, befriending a smart-aleck familiar, 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.
2. A Wolf Called Wander
For any nine-year-old who has ever felt like a lone wolf on the playground: this one’s for you (Awooooo!).
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 raw power of nature.
(Bonus: it’s based on a true story and includes information and maps of the real wolf’s amazing journey.)
3. Odd Gods
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. Your kid will love reading about middle-grade deities with pint-sized powers.
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 (yep, you read that right!), middle school dances, and risky experiments, Ungifted entertains from start to finish—while teaching that everyone has their own “gifts” to share.
5. Out of My Mind
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.
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.
7. The Last Human
In Lee Bacon’s post-apocalyptic middle-grade novel, the story starts from the unique perspective of a robot who discovers the last human on earth. However, our hero also happens to be part of the robot race that’s taken over the planet, eliminating humankind.
The 12-year-old robot is at a crossroads. 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 sci-fi lovers.
8. The Good Thieves
Robin Hood, but with a dash of Great Gatsby flair? Sounds positively wonderful, old sport!
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.
Complex emotions of justice, hope, and grief grace these pages. Your fourth-grader will love learning about the lengths we’ll go for those we love.
9. Liesl & Po
Liesl is a lonely girl locked in her stepmother’s attic. Her only friend, Po, is a ghost. One night, a boy named Will messes up a simple delivery and accidentally causes a cataclysmic magical adventure!
Will’s tiny 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.
Family mysteries with a dash of magic make Nidhi Chanani’s Pashmina one of the best books for nine-year-olds, 10-year-olds, and beyond!
Priyanka has a lot of questions about her family’s past, but her mother refuses to answer them. She’s afraid she may never know why her mother left India, or who her father is.
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 that will mesmerize your young reader.
Unforgettable Books from Literati
Books allow kids to spread their wings and learn more about themselves and the world we live in. Ensuring they have access to the hidden gems of today’s literature will guarantee they treasure reading for years to come. But how do you find the extraordinary stories that set your child up for a lifelong love of reading?
Right here, at Literati!
Through our book subscription service, your middle grader will receive books handpicked by experts. Each box comes with five themed books as well as personalized extras!
For monthly books that are sure to reel in rampant and reluctant readers, sign your kid up for Literati Kids’ Club Phoenix and watch their imagination take flight!