I am compiling a list of quality read alouds for 4th grade. I'm looking for books that my kids would not necessarily pick up for themselves, but a great attention getting read aloud I could do with them.
So far I have Shiloh, Castle in the Attic, Bunnicula, Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Wish Giver, Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing, The Kid in the Red Jacket, Mick Harte Was Here, Crash, Dinosaur Habitat, Tarot Says Beware.
Any more suggestions? I'm also looking for a good nonfiction read aloud and also a mystery and humor.
Hatchet is a great read a loud. My students begged for me to keep reading each day. There are a lot of lessons that can be done with this book. Good writing lessons. We each made a survival guide as well.
Try this web site. http://www.mce.k12tn.net/units/units_with_books.htm
Bud, Not Buddy is a good one too. There is a tape that goes with it. I believe it is James Avery reading the story and he does a great job bringing the story to life.
I was going to mention Among the Hidden for a mystery type of book - very good book!!!! It's a series, so it really gets them hooked. Also, The Boxcar Children is a good mystery and there are a ton of books in the series.
For humor, Skinnybones is a good one (another Barbara Parks book). The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a great one for humor - but you have that listed already.
I don't normally do nonfiction for read alouds, although I'm not sure why. I'll have to keep watching this thread to hear some good ones to try for that genre.
I can recommend Hatchet, also. There are a few gross parts in it, so I just prepared them ahead of time when something was coming up. Also, mine really liked Maniac Magee - great book!
Some of the books that I have used as read alouds are Bud Not Buddy, Sadako and a Thousand Paper Cranes, The Divide, Fourth Grade Rats, and Jennifer Murdley's Toad. I know there are others, but I can't think of them right now. Some of the others mentioned such as Hatchet, Number the Stars, Bunnicula, Maniac Magee, and Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing I use for literature study groups.
I think the Wayside School collection is great for read aloud humor books. I am also in love with the book The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards. It is such a great fantasy story that forces the kids to use their imagination. It is a bit long (about 275 pages), but my kids absloutely love it each year. This past year my kids were moaning and groaning when I finished reading it because they didn't want it to end!
My class really liked Kate DiCamillo's - The Journey of Edward Toulane. I also read Roald Dahl's - The BFG. I'm going to add Neil Gaiman's - Coraline this year. Just read it a few days ago and think it will be great for an October read.
I actually read Bridge to Terabithia to my students last year. They loved it. When we finished, we watched the movie, which sparked a wonderful debate, and some great writings about how the two were different. THat was actually the first time all last year that my kids were excited to watch a movie.
I thought I'd add that I'll be reading, "King Matt the First." It's a book that was highly recommended by a heroine of mine, Esme Codell. It has been out of print for awhile, back when I first tried to find it a year or two ago. It's back in print now and I'm excited to read it! I got a used copy from B&N and it arrived in the mail today! Yahoo!!!!!
I read "The Watsons go to Birmingham-1963" to my class and they loved it! It talks about how African-Americans were treated in the South. I grew up in and teach in Tennessee, so it hit close to home. The book made me and several of my students cry at the end. It also helped spark a class discussion about equality. This is a great book!!!
I teach 4th grade too. My kids love Time for Andrew! Kids come back to me years later and still remember that story! There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom is also a great one for boys and girls alike. The Westing Game is a bit more challenging but a fun mystery to keep track of the various suspects involved in the story. I read this book when I had a group who I knew would not get frustrated by the incredible amount of details found within the book. The last one I would encourage you to read is the first book of a series entitled The Orphan Train. Once the kids are hooked, they are dying to read the other books on their own to find out what happens to all of the other children who were "adopted" along the way. This also opens a door to good nonfiction interests in the true Orphan Train on the internet.
Last year I started the year off with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I also read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Magician's Nephew (b/c they loved the 2nd book), Frindle, Giant Children (hilarous and sometimes gross poetry), and Beware! (short stories perfect for Halloween~ R.L. Stine).
I would also recomend Jim Trelease's Read Aloud Handbook and Esme Codell's book, How to Get Your Child to Love Reading: For Ravenous and Reluctant Readers Alike. Both of these books give great ideas of good books.
This year, I think I will start with Hatchet b/c I'm doing a Survivor theme.
I have read many of the books that every one has posted but I did read one that no one mentioned that my class loved. Pictures of Hollis Woods. The kids really got into the book and many wanted to read it on their own after I was finished.
The following books, some of which might well be repeats from above, were big hits with my 4th graders. We live in the SW.
1. The Ghost of Fossil Glen - Cynthia Defelice (mystery/detective work)
2. The Houdini Box - Brian Selznick (short, illustrated, engaging)
3. Esperanza Rising - Pam Munoz Ryan (multicultural)
4. Fudge-a-Mania - Judy Blume (funny)
5. Hank the Cow Dog: The Case of the Vanishing Fishhook - John Erickson (work on your drawl and the kids will be enthralled)
6. The Series of Unfortunate Events - Lemony Snicket (read whichever book your students have not been exposed to--these books are sure-fire winners, every one of them)
7. The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Field Guide - Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi (short, illustrated, engaging)
8. Jennifer Murdley's Toad - Bruce Coville (a standout dealing with superficial vs. true beauty)
9. Gooseberry Park - Cynthia Rylant (funny, heroic--animal fantasy)
10. Any title from the Junie B. Jones series (good, short books near beginning of year to help establish attention span, with the caveat that students should catch incorrect grammar in the story--fun in itself)
11. Walk Two Moons - Sharon Creech (tear jerker)
12. Shiloh - Phyllis R. Naylor (universal winner for any child who's ever really wanted an animal companion)
13. A book in the Captain Underpants series - Dav Pilkey (yes, portaits of school personnel are less than 100% respectful, but the books will draw in reluctant readers with impish twinkles in their eyes--the old bait and switch has never been made easier for teachers <g>)
14. Sammy Keyes and the Skeleton Man - Wendelin Van Draanen (mystery/seasonal--Halloween)
My teammates and have read many of those already posted....Number the Stars, Among the Hidden, etc.
These are one I didn't notice yet, but we absolutely love:
The Seven Wonders of Sasafrass Springs by Betty G. Birney
The Zebra Wall by Kevin Henkes
Wringer by Jerry Spinelli
Probably our favorite and the one our kids seem to enjoy the most is Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins. It is the first in a series of five books in the Underland Chronicles. I like to do books like this and Among the Hidden that are a first in a series because it gets them excited to read the rest of the books.
Blood on the River is an awesome book. It tells the story of John Smith and the others coming to the new world, but from the perspective of a 15 yo orphaned boy who was living on the streets in England.
We are reading it right now and my kids can't get enough. They would be happy if I would read all day and groan when I stop and cheer when I pull it out to read!
Gregor the Overlander is our all-time favorite, guaranteed to bring around the most reluctant readers. It's the first in a series, so they have more to look forward to.
Kensuke's Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo is a great survival story about a boy who is shipwrecked on an island. His only human companion is a Japanese man who has been there since WWII. Their relationship is what makes the book unforgetable.
I always start the year with The VanGogh Cafe by Cynthia Rylant. This magical book includes a series of vignettes that take place at a small cafe in Nebraska. The writing is simple, but profound.
I read the Series of Unfortunate Events. The kids love them. After the third book, we watch the movie and compare and contrast it to the book. There are big differences! Once I start, the kids start reading the series the students start checking them out of the library and get ahead of me.
that has lots of ideas writing and reading mysteries. The only mystery I can put my hands on that is a classroom set is House onHackman's Hill by JoanLowry Nixon. I have used it as a read aloud in past years and it has so many cliff hangers, it really keeps the kids hooked.
And since I teach ancient history, it fits in perfectly. Only trouble is that I cannot find any teaching resources. I have searched the web and asked around teachers in surrounding schools. Does anyone in the PT family have any ideas?
I agree. I read Silverwing to my class the last time I taught fourth grade. My class had an aid at the time, and not only did the class RAVE over the book, my aid was disappointed every time she was out of the room for read aloud.
I have read many of the above listed too. I always read, "The Story of Harriet Tubman: Conductor of the Underground Railroad" (Dell Yearling Biography) by Kate McMullan, when we study the southeast and slavery. Not only does it introduce a biography, it gives the kids a good look at slavery, the underground railroad, civil rights. It's a great read aloud.
There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom (realistic fiction unit...beginning of year bully/friendship)
Tale of Despereaux (fantasy unit)
Holes and Hatchet (adventure unit)
Freedom Crossing (historical fiction unit)
A Dog's Life (autobiography of a stray dog...biography/autobiography unit)
Newberry Honor book/ Short book/ Could be read in a week or less/ Two close friends with different interest and PEER pressure. Perfect book to teach about peer pressure and sometimes deadly consequences. Box of tissues required.
My fourth-graders love "There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom". It's wildly funny, as well as thought-provoking discussion starters regarding bullying/character development. My students also love "The Word Eater." It's imaginative and creative and they beg for it each day because the premise is so intriguing. Enjoy!
There was a book made into a movie named Toby Tyler, Circus Boy, or something like that. It was about a boy who joined a circus, met a young girl who was a trick rider on horseback. She taught him. I just remember watching the movie and loving it when I was a little boy myself.
And it was a big hit! Great for November as it has a theme of thankfulness but any month works too! Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin was great and every time I picked it up it was so quiet I could hear a pin drop! Very well written...
I absolutely love love love Mary Downing Hahn and most of you have posted Time for Andrew...but I love Wait Til Helen Comes. My class for the last few years has loved it and remember it years later.
I also love to read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, The One and Only Ivan, Tale of Despereaux, Because of Winn Dixie, Matilda, but.....the one my students love the most and it is always the biggest hit is The Witches by Roald Dahl. I do the voice of the witch and all. We watch the 1989 movie after I read (before animation) and we have a lot of discussions.
Me and Caleb by Franklyn Meyer
Across The Wide and Lonesome Prairie by Kristiana Gregory
Sasquatch by Roland Smith
The Transall Saga by Gary Paulsen
The Land I Lost by Hyunh Quong Nhong (nonfiction stories about growing up in a hamlet in Vietnam)
Grayson (the story of a mother and baby whale who get separated). In the beginning I cover the cover and don't tell my students they are whales...makes them infer and predict). Author....Lynne ??? Can't remember last name. Cox maybe
I started last year by reading "Frindle." I love the story, but it taught my students to question everything, and to be sneaky about it. I will read it again, but never again as the first read aloud of the year.