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4th Grade Novel Suggestions
Old 06-19-2008, 06:11 AM
 
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I am looking for a novel that my whole class can read together. I teach at a private Christian school and only have 11 students in my class next year. The third grade reads Mr. Popper's Penguins and fifth grade reads Number the Stars. Does anyone have a reccommendation for a novel that would be appropriate for 4th graders? I can't use anything with magic and would like to avoid novels dealing with death since one of the students just lost his dad this spring.
Thanks for your suggestions!


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Old 06-19-2008, 06:27 AM
 
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Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

Chocolate Fever

The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

The Whipping Boy

These are some good books my class has enjoyed. I don't believe anyone dies in these books.
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Novels for Fourth Grade
Old 06-19-2008, 06:28 AM
 
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Just to mention a few--
**Sign of the Beaver (Colonial Times after the Revolution) This one does make a reference to a baby at the very end who dies of typhoid fever--you might read the book to determine if it would be innappropriate for your class.

---Cricket in Times Square (no social studies relation)

---War with Grandpa (No social studies relation) Humorous

I hope that is a good start. Your situatioon is unique in that you are limited. There are so many great novels but many of them have circumstances where death is an issue. Good luck!
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A few suggestions
Old 06-19-2008, 06:52 AM
 
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Because of Winn-Dixie
(they make a reference to a brother that drowned the year before, but it talks about how that made the sister "pinched-faced" because she was sad all the time, but she learned to be happy. This a GREAT book!)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing (Any Fudge Books)
Otherwise Known as Shelia the Great
Any Ramona/Ralph the Mouse books
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Old 06-19-2008, 07:06 AM
 
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I agree with Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Cricket in Times Square- both cute books!

Other appropriate books for that age:

Judy Moody Saves the World (great for discussing ecology)

Trumpet of the Swan (can bring in music with Louis Armstrong)

Water Horse (different than the movie, but 5.4 reading level)


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Book ideas
Old 06-19-2008, 07:19 AM
 
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I really like Kate DiCamillo's books: Tale of Despearux is great. There is another one besides Winn Dixie, but can't remember the title. Kids love them!
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How about
Old 06-19-2008, 08:25 AM
 
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Summer of the Swans?
I have used this in my classroom for years. The little boy in the book is mentally challenged. Many skills can be highlighted including prediction and cause/effect.
I have also used Love That Dog. I thought it was too easy for 4th graders at first, however the students love it. It was on sale one year through Scholastic so I bought enough copies for everyone in the class. The boy's dog dies, however it is so beautifully written that the students were able to share so much discussion. Hope this helps!
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Old 06-19-2008, 08:57 AM
 
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I taught 4th grade at a private Christian school for 4 years. We read Swiss Family Robinson together as a class. What curriculum do you use? We use Abeka. Abeka has several other novels: Song of the Brook and Saved at Sea are a couple I can remember. They all have a Christian perspective.
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Old 06-19-2008, 11:17 AM
 
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The school dropped Abeka reading curriculum the summer before I was hired. This will only be my second year teaching. I think that some of the Abeka novels were saved, but I didn't use them last year. I didn't use any novels in my curriculum last year, but I am really disappointed with the basal series (Scott Foresman-Reading Street). I am thinking of trying to change the way I teach reading this year to have a balance between the basal series and some trade books. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks!
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Old 06-19-2008, 12:48 PM
 
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I only do about 2 whole class novels and they are:

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (previously mentioned) because I start the year with this as a shared reading. Students each have a copy but I read it aloud and we stop and make meaning together and have fruitful discussions about what's happening. It's a terrific novel and kids make tons of connections and predictions along the way.

The other novel is an oldie but goodie called Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat, set in Sasketchewan Canada. It's another great book that kids relate to.

My book talk asks them:
Do you enjoy books about kids your age?
Do you enjoy books about animals?
Do you enjoy books that make you laugh/cry?
Do you like adventure?
Well this book is for you


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Old 06-19-2008, 01:30 PM
 
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Just a note:

Tale of Desperoux is a cute book, but the queen dies in the beginning, and I think she didn't want anything with death in it. I had 2 students who had lost their moms and I read that book - not a good choice for me! Thankfully they seemed okay with it, but I still felt bad. That's what I get for not reading a book alone before I read it to my class!
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what about
Old 06-19-2008, 04:15 PM
 
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Holes or There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom?
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DiCamillo
Old 06-19-2008, 05:59 PM
 
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The other book is Tiger Rising. The boy's mother is dead, and the story deals with the boy's feelings about this. Probably not what you're looking for.
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:56 PM
 
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I love
Because of Winn Dixie
There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom
Shiloh
Night of the Twisters
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
How to Eat Fried Worms
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Thanks!
Old 06-20-2008, 05:00 AM
 
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Thanks for all of the great suggestions! I am going to read a few of these over the summer and then make some decisions. This seems to be a very helpful place to get answers. I am a second year teacher without a mentor teacher. I survived all of last year figuring things out on my own. This summer I am trying to get it together and have lots of questions. So thanks for the help!
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Old 07-02-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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I've done Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and By the Great Horn Spoon, which covers California gold rush for us. It's a really fun read, though, even if you don't live in California.
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:53 PM
 
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I love Because of Winn-Dixie but note that the word "h***" is used a few times so figure out how to address it. It is a wonderful book.

If you want something else that the kids will love and has GREAT character development, consider trying some Andrew Clements books--A Week in the Woods, Frindle, The Janitor's Boy, Room
One, etc.

He is a master at developing characters that kids love to get to know. He is a great storyteller.
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the book you're thinking of...
Old 09-23-2009, 08:07 AM
 
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My favorite Kate DiCamillo book is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. She also wrote the Mercy Watson series - I haven't read them and can't offer an opinion. I think they're about pigs.
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Novels
Old 05-04-2010, 06:42 PM
 
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I love the Orphan Train series. The first book is A Family Apart, then there are about 5 sequels to the book. Each book tells what happened to each of the children after they find new homes in the west.
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teacher guides
Old 08-03-2012, 08:54 AM
 
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thanks to everyone for such great suggestions. I, too teach at a private school and we need to improve the "rigor" of our novels. Do any of these have teacher guides with them? THat helps so much with extensions in class.
Thanks.
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