Classical Childrens Books

4th Grade Reading List

The Kalaidos Top Choices for Fourth Grade

This 4th grade reading list gives you our top thirteen picks for quality classic literature for fourth grade students.

For more book choices, see the bottom of this page.

Sarah, Plain and Tall

By Patricia MacLachlan

A mail order bride from Maine joins a widower and his two children on the plains of Kansas in this tale from the late 1800's. The brother and sister want their new mother to stay, but are afraid she will return to the ocean she loved. Here is a story about the meaning of home and family.


By William Armstrong

Sounder is the faithful hunting dog of a black Sharecropping family. When their father is imprisoned, the oldest son takes on the role of a man, trying to provide for his family and search for his father while surrounded by racism that has scarred their family and even their dog. A beautifully told story that reveals a quiet strength in the face of adversity.

Strawberry Girl

By Lois Lenski

A famous author shines the light on an American sub-culture, the Florida Crackers, with the tale of Birdie Boyer and her family who move to Florida to grow strawberries. Instead of a happy pioneer tale, they find a simmering feud with a drunken neighbor. A complex tale of empathy as Birdie moves between anger and understanding of her neighbors and the impact of their behavior.

Benjamin West and His Cat Grimalkin

By Marguerite Henry

The story of one of America's first famous painters, his upbringing on a Quaker farm in colonial Pennsylvania, and - of course - his cat, Grimalkin, who made a surprising contribution to American art history. When the Quaker community that disapproves of art becomes aware of Benjamin's growing talent, the close-knit community faces a dilemna.

Guns for General Washington

By Seymour Reit

The true story of patriots who are tired of the seige on Boston and make a daring and dramatic move: a 300 mile trek across mountains to capture the British artillery from Fort Ticonderoga. The story is told from the perspective of nineteen year old William Knox.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

By Frank Baum

Don't let the movie convince you that you already know the story; here you can meet new characters and fresh perspectives on the journey to Oz by the four unlikely companions. In America's most famous fairy tale, you can travel with Dorothy from the gray plains of Kansas to the dazzling Emerald City as she learns that there really is no place like home.

The Corn Grows Ripe

By Dorothy Rhoads

Learn about a traditional Mayan farming commmunity, as you read about twelve year old Tigre. Rejected by his grandmother for his laziness, the well-being of the family and farm fall on Tigre when his father is injured. But after all of his hard work, will the drought destroy the corn Tigre has worked so hard to grow?

Jungle Book

By Rudyard Kipling

Enjoy the real tale of Mowgli, the human boy adopted by the wolf pack and taught the Law of the Jungle by Baloo. It also includes the famous tale of the brave mongoose and murderous cobras who bring death to the garden.

Misty Of Chincoteague

By Marguerite Henry

A brother and sister living with their grandparents resolve to catch one of the most mysterious of the wild ponies. Chincoteague is a real island off the coast of Maryland famous for their wild ponies. While these characters are fictitious, it is based on true events. For those horse lovers captivated by Misty, an entire series of beautiful books about Misty and her off-spring is waiting.

Old Yeller

By Fred Gibson

A fictitious but realistic life in the 1860's in the hill country of Texas. A fourteen year old boy has to assume the responsibilities as the man of the house when his father leaves. Travis has to endure an ugly stray dog whom he comes to love, a pesty little brother, and numerous hair-raising encounters in his father's absence. Travis learns about responsibility, and the hope of a new generation in the midst of grief. Life on a nineteen century farm is accurately portrayed.

Wind in the Willows

By Kenneth Grahame

The classic tale of Mole, Rat, and Badger who would like to enjoy life on the River Thames, except for their need to keep their friend Toad in line. British humor and imagination continue to make this a favorite.

The Midnight Fox

By Betsy Byars

One of the newest books by an award winning author, Midnight Fox tells the story of a lonely boy who doesn't feel connected to the world and escapes into model building. Without enthusiasm, he finds himself on his aunt and uncle's farm. Everything changes when he sees the beautiful, black fox. Discovering that the fox and her cub are in danger, Tom decides that he must act. An introduction to children of subtle character development, as Tom finds he really does care about something besides his models.

American Tall Tales

By Adrien Stoutenburg

Tall tales are the Kalaidos selection for other genres of literature for fourth grade. Reach for the sky with Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, Johnny Appleseed, John Henry and other larger-than-life American legends.

Fourth Grade Book Club

We will have a book club certificate for fourth graders who read ten or more books from this 4th Grade Reading List. Join the Fourth Grade Book Club for fun reading adventures.

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