We highly recommend these books for grades 4 and 5 (listed alphabetically by author).
Edgar Allan's Official Crime Investigation Notebook (Juvenile Mysteries/J/Amato) by Mary Amato. Who took the pet goldfish — and other things — from Ms. Herschel's classroom? Edgar Allan plans to solve the mystery first!
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Juvenile Fiction/J/Angleberger) by Tom Angleberger. Can a Yoda finger puppet really predict the future? Strange experiences leave sixth-grader Tommy and his friends wondering.
The One and Only Ivan (Juvenile Fiction/J/Applegate) by Katherine Applegate. Ivan the gorilla spent 27 years living behind glass in a shopping mall. When he meets a baby elephant, taken from the wild, he knows he needs to find a better life for her.
Mr. Popper’s Penguins (Juvenile Fiction/J/Atw) by Richard Atwater. The unexpected delivery of a large crate containing an Antarctic penguin changes the life and fortunes of Mr. Popper, a house painter obsessed by dreams of the Polar regions.
Poppy (Juvenile Fiction/J/Avi) by Avi. Poppy the deer mouse urges her family to move next to a field of corn big enough to feed them all forever, but Mr. Ocax, a terrifying owl, has other ideas.
Tuck Everlasting (Juvenile Fiction/J/Bab) by Natalie Babbitt. A girl and a sinister stranger have discovered the secret of the Tuck’s spring water. Now what will happen?
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (Juvenile Fiction/J/Blu) by Judy Blume. Peter’s two-year-old brother is a pest!
The Name of This Book is Secret (Juvenile Fiction/J/Bosch) by Pseudonymous Bosch. Two eleven-year-old misfits try to solve the mystery of a dead magician and stop the evil Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais, who are searching for the secret of immortality.
How They Croaked (Juvenile Nonfiction/J/920/Bra) by Georgia Bragg. All the gory details of how nineteen world figures gave up the ghost.
Shakespeare's Secret (Juvenile Fiction/J/Broach) by Elise Broach. Life is rotten for sixth-grader Hero until she gets caught up in mystery involving a long-dead queen, Shakespeare's possible secret identity, and a missing diamond.
The Secret Garden (Juvenile Fiction/J/Bur) by Frances Hodgson Burnett. A ten-year-old orphan comes to live in a lonely house where she discovers an invalid cousin and a mysterious garden. (also available in Spanish)
The Incredible Journey (Juvenile Fiction/J/Bur) by Sheila Every Burnford. Mistakenly left behind, two dogs and a cat journey through the Canadian wilderness of rejoin their family.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle (Juvenile Fiction/J/Cle) by Beverly Cleary. A reckless young mouse makes friends with a boy and discovers the joys of motorcycling. (also available in Spanish)
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (Juvenile Fiction/J/Cle) by Beverly Cleary. The further adventures of the Quimby family as Ramona enters the third grade.
Frindle (Juvenile Fiction/J/Cle) by Andrew Clements. Fifth grader Nick Allen invents a new word and begins a chain of events that quickly moves beyond his control.
Granny Torrelli Makes Soup (Juvenile Fiction/J/Cre) by Sharon Creech. Nothing is worse than a fight with your best friend, but Granny Torrelli knows just the recipe to help Rosie and Bailey make things right. (also available in Spanish)
Walk Two Moons (Juvenile Fiction/J/Cre) by Sharon Creech. Sal and her grandparents retrace the route Sal’s missing mother took.
Bud, Not Buddy (Juvenile Fiction/J/Curtis) by Christopher Paul Curtis. Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father—the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids. (also available in Spanish-Teen)
The Watsons Go to Birmingham (Juvenile Fiction/J/Cur) by Christopher Paul Curtis. Everything changes for an African American family after they travel to see a grandmother in Alabama during the summer of 1963.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Juvenile Fiction/J/Dah) by Roald Dahl. Who will win a ticket into Mr. Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory? (also available in Spanish)
Matilda (Juvenile Fiction/J/Dah) by Roald Dahl. Matilda, a kindergarten genius, uses her amazing mental powers to save her teacher and classmates from the evil headmistress. (also available in Spanish)
Because of Winn-Dixie (Juvenile Fiction/J DiCamillo) by Kate DiCamillo. Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni describes her first summer in the town of Naomi, Florida, and all the good things that happen to her because of her big ugly dog Winn-Dixie.
Out of My Mind (Juvenile Fiction/J/ Draper) by Sharon M. Draper. Melody, a brilliant fifth grader with a photographic memory, refuses to be defined by the cerebral palsy that leaves her unable to speak, and she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow.
Half Magic (Juvenile Fiction/J/Eag) by Edward Eager. Four children, looking forward to an ordinary summer, enjoy a series of fantastic adventures by double-wishing on an ancient coin.
The Birchbark House (Juvenile Fiction/J/ Erdrich) by Louise Erdrich. Omakayas, a seven-year-old Native American girl of the Ojibwa tribe, lives through the joys of summer and the perils of winter on an island in Lake Superior in 1847.
MVP*: *Magellan Voyage Project (Juvenile Fiction/J/Evans) by Douglas Evans. Twelve-year-old Adam Story competes in the ultimate challenge: if he wins the race around the world, he will win $4 million!
The Black Stallion (Juvenile Fiction/J/Far) by Walter Farley. Alec Ramsay is shipwrecked on a desert island with a wild, unbroken stallion.
Harriet the Spy (Juvenile Fiction/J/Fit) by Louise Fitzhugh. Eleven-year-old Harriet keeps notes on her classmates and neighbors in a secret notebook. When some of the kids read the notebook, they want revenge!
The Ruins of Gorlan (Juvenile Science Fiction/J/ Flanagan) by John Flanagan. Rejected by Battleschool, fifteen-year-old Will is chosen as an apprentice by the shadowy and mysterious Rangers who have always scared him.
The Whipping Boy (Juvenile Fiction/J/Fle) by Sid Fleischman. A bratty prince and his whipping boy trade places when they run into dangerous outlaws.
Diamond Willow (Juvenile Fiction/J/Frost) by Helen Frost. In a remote area of Alaska, twelve-year-old Willow dreams of mushing the sled dogs out to her grandparent’s house by herself. But, one mistake can have frightening consequences.
Dead End in Norvelt (Juvenile Fiction/J/Gantos) by Jack Gantos. “Grounded for life,” twelve-year-old Jack is loaned out to help an elderly neighbor with an unusual chore involving underage driving, molten wax, Eleanor Roosevelt, a homemade airplane, a man on a trike, voices from the past. . . and possibly murder.
My Side of the Mountain (Juvenile Fiction/J/Geo) by Jean Craighead George. A young boy tells about his adventures living alone in a hollowed out tree in the Catskill Mountains.
Old Yeller (Juvenile Fiction/J/Gip) by Fred Gipson. A stray dog is adopted by a frontier family, who quickly grow to love this brave and faithful dog.
The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable (Juvenile Fiction/J/Gutman) by Gutman, Dan. Twelve-year-old twins Coke and Pepsi McDonald uncover a secret government organization called The Genius Files and are surprised to find their names on the list.
All the Lovely Bad Ones (Juvenile Fiction/J/Hahn) by Mary Downing Hahn. Mischief-makers Travis and Corey are sent to spend the summer in Vermont with their grandmother at her inn — that’s haunted.
Wishes, Kisses, and Pigs (Juvenile Fiction/J/Hea) by Betsy Gould Hearne. Louise made a wish and changed her brother into a pig!
Misty of Chincoteague (Juvenile Fiction/J/Hen) by Marguerite Henry. Paul and his sister Maureen are determined to have a pony from the herd on Chincoteague Island, Virginia. (also available in Spanish)
Chomp (Juvenile Fiction/J/Hiaasen) by Carl Hiaasen. When reality television show star Derek Badger of “Expedition Survival” goes missing, Wahoo Cray and his friend Tuna Gordon head out to find him.
Turtle in Paradise (Juvenile Fiction/J/Holm) by Jennifer Holm. It’s 1935, and eleven-year-old Turtle is sent to stay with relatives she’s never met in far-away Key West, Florida.
Bunnicula (Juvenile Mysteries/J/How) by James Howe. Who’s sucking the juice out of the vegetables? Is it the family’s new pet? Hmm, the cat suspects…
Into the Wild (Juvenile Fiction/J/Hunter) by Erin Hunter. Fulfilling a prophecy, a young house cat faces danger and treachery when he becomes an apprentice warrior in a clan of wild cats.
Redwall (Juvenile Fiction/J/Jac) by Brian Jacques. To save his friends, Matthias, a young mouse, must stop Cluny the Scourge, a cruel and evil rat.
The Phantom Tollbooth (Juvenile Fiction/J/Jus) by Norton Juster. Milo finds a cure for his boredom during a magical adventure with an unusual dog.
Babe: the Gallant Pig (Juvenile Fiction/J/Kin) by Dick King-Smith. Babe is a piglet who wants to be a sheep dog. A sheep dog?
43 Cemetery Road: Dying to Meet You (Juvenile Fiction/J/ Klise) by Kate Klise. Author I.B. Grumply gets more than he bargained for when he rents a quiet place to write for the summer.
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (Juvenile Mysteries/J/Kon) by E. L. Konigsburg. Twelve-year-old Claudia and her little brother, Jamie, run away and hide in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where they uncover a secret that will change the art world forever.
Swindle (Juvenile Fiction/J/Korman) by Gordon Korman. Conned out of a valuable baseball card, sixth-grader Griffin Bing and a band of misfits plan to steal the card back and use the money to finance his father's failing invention.
Savvy (Juvenile Fiction/J/Law) by Ingrid Law. What will Mibs Beaumont’s “savvy” be? While she waits impatiently to find out on her thirteenth birthday, her father is injured in a terrible accident.
Ella Enchanted (Juvenile Fiction/J/Lev) by Gail Carson Levine. After receiving the gift of obedience from a foolish fairy, Ella must obey every command given to her.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Juvenile Science Fiction/J/Lew) by C. S. Lewis. An enchanted closet takes four English children to the land of Narnia, where they encounter a battle between the forces of good and evil. (also available in Spanish)
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (Juvenile Fiction/J/Law) by Grace Lin. Minli, a young girl from the Valley of the Fruitless Mountain, befriends a dragon and embarks on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon, in hopes of changing her family’s fortune.
Pippi Longstocking (Juvenile Fiction/J/Lin) by Astrid Lindgren. The escapades of a lucky little girl who lives with a horse and a monkey — but without any parents — at the edge of a Swedish village.
Rules (Juvenile Fiction/J/Lord) by Cynthia Lord. Twelve-year-old Catherine wants a normal life, which just isn’t possible with an autistic brother. A new friendship turns her idea of “normal” upside down.
Number the Stars (Juvenile Fiction/J/Low) by Lois Lowry. In 1943, during the German occupation of Denmark, ten-year-old Annemarie helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis.
The Willoughbys (Juvenile Fiction/J/Lowry) by Lois Lowry. In this tongue-in-cheek take on classic themes in children's literature, the four Willoughby children set out to become “deserving orphans” after their neglectful parents embark on a treacherous around-the-world adventure, leaving them in the care of an odious nanny.
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (Juvenile Fiction/J/Mac) by Betty Bard MacDonald. From her upside-down house, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle dispenses marvelous cures for such common children's diseases as Won’t-Put-Away-Toys-itis, Answerbackism, and Fighter-Quarrelitis.
Sarah, Plain and Tall (Juvenile Fiction/J/McL) by Patricia MacLachlan. When their father invites a mail-order bride to come to live with them, Caleb and Anna are worried – will they like her? (available in Spanish)
Waiting for the Magic (Juvenile Fiction/J/MacLachlan) by Patricia MacLachlan. When Papa goes away for a little while, his family tries to cope with the separation by adopting four dogs and a cat.
The Sixty-Eight Rooms (Juvenile Fiction/J/Malone) by Marianne Malone. Ruthie and Jack discover a magic key that shrinks them so that they can explore the miniature Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago — but has someone been there before them?
A Dog’s Life: The Autobiography of a Stray (Juvenile Fiction/J/Mar) by Ann M. Martin. Squirrel, a stray puppy, tells the story of making her way in the world, facing busy highways, changing seasons, and humans both gentle and brutal.
The Candymakers (Juvenile Fiction/J/Mass) by Wendy Mass. Four twelve-year-olds compete in an annual candy making contest, unexpectedly becoming friends and uncovering secrets about themselves during the process.
Homer Price (Juvenile Fiction/J/McC) by Robert McCloskey. Bandits, a skunk, and a donut machine on a rampage? Join Homer Price in six hilarious escapades!
Fablehaven (Juvenile Science Fiction/J/Mull) by Brandon Mull. Kendra and Seth discover their grandparents’ estate is a sanctuary for magical creatures and that a battle between good and evil is brewing. (also available in Spanish-Teen)
Shiloh (Juvenile Fiction/J/Nay) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. When he finds a lost beagle in the hills behind his West Virginia home, Marty tries to hide it from his family and the dog's cruel owner.
The Borrowers (Juvenile Fiction/J/Nor) by Mary Norton. People so small, that they live hidden beneath the floorboards. But Arrietty can’t help it; she has to know what the big world looks like.
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Juvenile Fiction/J/Obr) by Robert C. O’Brien. Having no one to help her with her problems, a widowed mouse visits the rats of NIMH, who are able to read. (also available in Spanish)
Island of the Blue Dolphins (Juvenile Fiction/J/Ode) by Scott O’Dell. Karana, an Indian girl, is stranded on a deserted island. How will she survive? (also available in Spanish)
Wonder (Juvenile Fiction/J/Palacio) by R. J. Palacio. Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, born with extreme facial abnormalities, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school, where he’s teased and feared by his classmates. (also available in Spanish)
Bridge to Terabithia (Juvenile Fiction/J/Pat) by Katherine Paterson. The life of a ten-year-old boy changes after the death of his friend.
Hatchet (Juvenile Fiction/J/Pau) by Gary Paulsen. After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive with only the aid of a hatchet. (also available in Spanish)
A Long Way from Chicago (Juvenile Fiction/J/Peck) by Richard Peck. A boy recounts his annual summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister during the Great Depression, visiting their larger-than-life grandmother.
Summer of the Gypsy Moths (Juvenile Fiction/F/Pennypacker) by Sara Pennypacker. Twelve-year-old Stella loves living on Cape Cod with her great-aunt Louise, except for one thing – Angel, the foster kid Louise took in. When Louise unexpectedly dies, Stella and Angel decide not to tell anyone. Can they depend on each other to keep the secret?
My Dog May be a Genius: Poems (Juvenile Nonfiction/J/811.54/Pre) by Jack Prelutsky. A collection of short and hilarious poems, about underwater marching bands, shopping for dinosaurs, and so much more.
Where the Red Fern Grows (Juvenile Fiction/J/Raw) by Wilson Rawls. A young boy in the Ozarks teaches his two redbone hounds and trains them to be champion hunters.
The Maze of Bones (Juvenile Fiction/J/Thirty-Nine) by Rick Riordan. According to their grandmother’s will, Dan and Amy Cahill have to make a choice: they can either receive a million dollars or uncover 39 clues. Which one will they choose? (also available in Spanish)
The Lightning Thief (Juvenile Fiction/J/Riordan) by Rick Riordan. Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson learns he is a demigod, the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea. His mother sends him to a summer camp for demigods where he and his new friends set out on a quest to prevent a war between the gods. (also available in Spanish)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Juvenile Science Fiction/J/Row) by J.K. Rowling. Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy discovers his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. (also available in Spanish)
Becoming Naomi León (Juvenile Fiction/J/Rya) by Pam Muñoz Ryan. Naomi's life with her great-grandmother and little brother at Avocado Acres Trailer Rancho in California is happy and peaceful . . . until her mother reappears after seven years’ absence and stirs up all sorts of questions. (also available in Spanish)
Holes (Juvenile Fiction/J/Sac) by Louis Sachar. Like the rest of his family, Stanely Yelnats has bad luck. However, when he is sentenced to a correctional camp in the Texas desert, he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself. (also available in Spanish-Teen)
Sideways Stories from Wayside School (Juvenile Fiction/J/Sac) by Louis Sachar. A collection of short stories shows how each day is wacky and strange in Wayside School’s silliest classroom.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (Juvenile Nonfiction/J398.25/Sch) by Alvin Schwartz. Whatever you do, don’t read it by yourself. Don’t even open the cover when you’re alone. We warned you. (also available in Spanish)
The Cricket in Times Square (Juvenile Fiction/J/Selden) by George Selden. A Connecticut cricket named Chester hops a ride in a picnic basket and ends up in a near-bankrupt newsstand in Times Square. He teams up with the son of the newsstand’s owners, a fast-talking mouse, and a local cat to rescue the business.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Juvenile Fiction/J/Selznick) by Brian Selznick. When twelve-year-old Hugo, an orphan living and repairing clocks within the walls of a Paris train station in 1931, meets a mysterious toyseller and his goddaughter, his undercover life and his biggest secret are jeopardized.
Where the Sidewalk Ends (Juvenile Nonfiction/J/811.54/Ste) by Shel Silverstein. A boy who turns into a TV set? A girl who eats a whale? These are just two of the characters in this book of funny poems and drawings. (also available in Spanish)
The Bad Beginning (Juvenile Fiction/J/Sni) by Lemony Snicket. After the sudden death of their parents, the three Baudelaire children must depend on each other and their wits to foil a dastardly guardian. (also available in Spanish)
Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective (Juvenile Mysteries/J/Sob) by Donald J. Sobol. Using his detective skills, Encyclopedia Brown helps his father solve the most difficult cases for the Idaville police force.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond (Juvenile Fiction/J/Spe) by Elizabeth George Speare. Kit finds herself accused of witchcraft in colonial Connecticut.
Jake and Lily (Juvenile Fiction/J/Spinelli) by Jerry Spinelli. Twins Jake and Lily have always felt like two halves of one person – until they turn eleven and everything changes.
I Survived: The Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 (Juvenile Fiction/J/Tarshis) by Lauren Tarshis. Iceberg ahead! Ten-year-old George and his little sister are excited to be traveling with their aunt on the Titanic.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Juvenile Fiction/J/Tay) by Mildred D. Taylor. A black family struggles to survive the prejudice and poverty of the 1930s.
Mary Poppins (Juvenile Fiction/J/Tra) by P. L. Travers. A new, magical nanny takes Jane and Michael Banks on adventures that change their lives.
Three Times Lucky (Juvenile Mysteries/J/Turnage) by Sheila Turnage. Mo LoBeau and her best friend Dale try to save her adoptive father from being implicated in a murder, and attempt to uncover the truth.
The Boxcar Children (Juvenile Mysteries/J/War) by Gertrude Warner. Four orphaned children run away and live in a boxcar, until they are found by their grandfather. (also available in Spanish)
Pie (Juvenile Fiction/J/Weeks) by Sarah Weeks. What happens when an extraordinarily fat and disagreeable cat inherits a world-famous, top-secret pie crust recipe?
Charlotte's Web (Juvenile Fiction/J/Whi) by E. B. White. Wilbur, the pig, is going to be the farmer's Christmas dinner unless Charlotte can save him. (also available in Spanish)
Stuart Little (Juvenile Fiction/J/Whi) by E. B. White. The adventures of a stylish mouse as he sets out to find out his dearest friend.
The Sword in the Stone (Juvenile Fiction/J/Whi) by T. H. White. Wart, unaware of his true identity, is tutored by Merlyn the magician, and transformed into various animals as a part of his schooling to become King Arthur.
Little House in the Big Woods (Juvenile Fiction/J/Wil) by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Experience a pioneer year with Laura and Mary Ingalls in frontier Wisconsin. (also available in Spanish)
One Crazy Summer (Juvenile Fiction/J/ Williams-Garcia) by Rita Williams-Garcia. Eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters spend a crazy, funny summer in California with the mother who abandoned them seven years earlier.