Grade 4 Summer Reading

The following is a list of age and content appropriate novels for students entering Grade 4. We encourage children at this age to try to read at least two of these books over the summer.

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A Day of Signs and Wonders A Day of Signs and Wonders by Kit Pearson
Emily dreams of birds. She feels constrained by nearly everything—her overbearing sisters, the expectation to be a proper young lady, and even her stiff white pinafore. Kitty feels undone. Her heart is still grieving a tragic loss, and she doesn’t want to be sent away to a boarding school so far away from home. When the two girls meet by chance, on a beach on the outskirts of Victoria, BC, in 1881, neither knows that their one day together will change their lives forever. Inspired by the childhood of acclaimed Canadian artist Emily Carr, A Day of Signs and Wonders is a sensitive and insightful look at friendship, family, and the foundations of an artist, drawn over the course of a single day—a day in which a comet appears, an artist is born and an aching hole in one girl’s heart begins to heal.
The Amazing Story of Aldolphis Tips The Amazing Story of Aldolphis Tips by Michael Morpurgo
In the year 1943 at a seaside village in Devon, England an entire village is forced to evacuate in order to make room for the US troops as they prepare for D-day and the invasion of France. In all the chaos, Lily can’t find her precious cat, Tips. Maybe two friendly American soldiers will help her search? Dare she climb over the forbidden barbed wire fence to search herself? Sadly, Lily leaves without Tips. Will she ever see him again? Will the village be the same place when they finally return? Written in diary style, this is a heartwarming book about the relationship between a girl and her pet.
Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
The Cuthberts are in for a shock. They are expecting an orphan boy to help with the work at Green Gables—but a skinny red-haired girl turns up instead. Highly spirited Anne Shirley charms her way into the Cuthberts’ affection with her vivid imagination and constant chatter, and soon it’s impossible to imagine life without her.
Astounding Broccoli Boy
The Astounding Broccoli Boy by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Rory Roose likes to be prepared for all eventualities. He has devoured and memorized every survival manual going. He could even survive a hippo attack. Just because something is unlikely, it does not mean it won’t happen. But Rory isn’t prepared for when he suddenly turns green! Stuck in an isolation ward in a hospital far from home with two other remarkably green boys, there is one unavoidable conclusion: since it’s not something they’ve eaten nor is it a disease; and since there’s no green gene, they must be Superheroes sent to save the world. The boys just need to get past hospital security and discover what their superpowers are.
A Blinding Light A Blinding Light by Julie Lawson
The First World War is raging, and anti-German prejudice is rampant. Maddie and Will Schroeder are mourning the loss of their father, but their German heritage doesn't merit much sympathy. On the morning of December 6, there's a flash of light, then thunder underground: the Halifax Explosion hits. Instantly, the city is unrecognizable. Lost in the destroyed city, how will the siblings find each other? Exploring concepts of guilt, blame and the divide between locals and immigrants, A Blinding Light will hold readers spellbound.
A Wrinkle in Time A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Everyone in town thinks Meg Murry is volatile and dull-witted, and that her younger brother, Charles Wallace, is dumb. People are also saying that their physicist father has run off and left their brilliant scientist mother. Spurred on by these rumors and an unearthly stranger Mrs. Whatsit, Meg and Charles Wallace and their new friend Calvin embark on a perilous quest through space to find their father. In doing so, they must travel behind the shadow of an evil power that is darkening the cosmos, one planet at a time. This is no superhero tale, nor is it science fiction, although it shares elements of both. The travelers must rely on their individual and collective strengths, delving deep within themselves to find answers.
Castle Hangnail Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon
When Molly shows up on Castle Hangnail’s doorstep to fill the vacancy for a wicked witch, the castle’s minions are understandably dubious. After all, she is twelve years old, barely five feet tall, and quite polite. (The minions are used to tall, demanding evil sorceresses with razor-sharp cheekbones.) But the castle desperately needs a master or else the Board of Magic will decommission it, leaving all the minions without the home they love. So when Molly assures them she is quite wicked indeed (So wicked! REALLY wicked!) and begins completing the tasks required by the Board of Magic for approval, everyone feels hopeful. Unfortunately, it turns out that Molly has quite a few secrets, including the biggest one of all: that she isn’t who she says she is.
Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There's no more money for rent and not much for food, either. His parents, little sister and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again. Crenshaw is a cat. He's large, he's outspoken, and he's imaginary. He has come back into Jackson's life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything? This is an unforgettable and magical story about family, friendship, and resilience.
Fatty Legs
Fatty Legs by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton
This is a the true story of an Inuit girl who emerges from a residential school with her spirit intact. Eight-year-old Margaret Pokiak wants to learn to read, even though it means leaving her village in the high Arctic to attend school. Faced with unceasing pressure, her father finally agrees to let her make the five-day journey to attend school, but he warns Margaret of the terrors of residential schools. This book is complemented by archival photos from Margaret Pokiak-Fenton’s collection and striking artwork from Liz Amini-Holmes. This inspiring first-person account of a plucky girl’s determination will linger with young readers.
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Koingsburg
Claudia and her little brother run away from home and live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. She and her brother manage to dodge the guards and hide-out in the museum for days. While there, Claudia sees a statue so beautiful she is compelled to solve the mystery of its sculptor. To find out, she must visit the statue’s former owner, the elderly and unusual Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. This book won the Newberry Medal in 1968 and remains a classic today. Themes include: inquirer, risk-taking, art, and mystery.
Greenglass House
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
It's winter time at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler's inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House—and themselves.
Horton's Miraculous Mechanisms
Horton’s Miraculous Mechanisms by Lisa Evans
Enter a wonderful world filled with real magic, mystery…and danger. When ten-year-old Stuart stumbles upon a note daring him to find his missing, magician, Great-uncle and his hidden workshop full of wonderful mechanisms, trickery and magic, Stuart sets out on an adventure of a lifetime. With clues to follow, puzzles to solve and a bunch of strange characters, this charming and funny book will prove to be a page-turner.
The Invisible Dog The Invisible Dog by Dick King-Smith
Rupert, the family dog, has long been in his grave when Janie discovers his collar in the garage. Knowing her parents would never buy another Great Dane (they are too expensive to feed), the determined eight-year-old decides to invent a pet of her own. Enter Henry, the invisible dog who eats invisible food purchased with invisible money. What follows is a captivating conglomeration of crazy events, acts of fate and magical happenings which lead to Henry’s metamorphosis into a real live dog. This novel will appeal to animal lovers of all ages, and also to those who believe or fervently hope that wishes can come true.
Panda's on the Eastside Pandas on the Eastside by Gabrielle Prendergrast
When ten-year-old Journey Song hears that two pandas are being held in a warehouse in her neighborhood, she worries that they may be hungry, cold and lonely. Horrified to learn that the pandas, originally destined for a zoo in Washington, might be shipped back to China because of a diplomatic spat between China and the United States, Journey rallies her friends and neighbors on the poverty-stricken Eastside. Her infectious enthusiasm for all things panda is hard to resist, and soon she’s getting assistance from every corner of her tight-knit neighborhood.
Pax by Sarah Pennypacker
Pax was only a kit (baby fox) when his family was killed, and “his boy” Peter rescued him from abandonment and certain death. When Peter’s father goes to war, he has to move in with his grandpa. Far worse than being forced to leave home is the fact that Pax can’t go. Peter listens to his stern father—as he usually does—and throws Pax’s favourite toy soldier into the woods. When the fox runs to retrieve it, Peter and his dad get back in the car and leave him there—alone. But before Peter makes it through even one night under his grandfather’s roof, regret and duty spur him to action; he packs for a trek to get his best friend back and sneaks into the night. This is the story of Peter, Pax, and their independent struggles to return to one another against all odds. Told from the alternating viewpoints of Peter and Pax.
The Secret Garden The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
First published in 1911, this is a classic story of a frightened orphan girl who discovers the joyful wonders of life on the Yorkshire Moors with the help of two local boys and a mysterious, abandoned garden where all things seem possible. This beautiful story’s themes include: friendship, disability, tolerance, imagination and creativity.
The Sign of the Cat The Sign of the Cat by Lynne Jonell
Talking cats, a missing princess, sword fights with villains and secret identities combine in this epic tale of bravery and self-discovery on the high seas. Duncan is very smart. He also has a most unusual gift. So why does his mother encourage him to be perfectly average and insist he only get mediocre grades ? His special talent is the ability to talk to cats—but Duncan wishes more than anything for academic success. When Duncan rebels and gets a perfect test score, people start taking notice of him. And it turns out that some of those people may not have the best of intentions—not by a long shot.
The Sisters 8 The Sisters 8: Annie’s Adventures by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
On New Year’s Eve, eight sisters—octuplets—wait for Mommy to come back from the kitchen with eggnog and Daddy to come back from the shed with more wood for the fire. But they don’t ever return. It takes the sisters a few minutes to notice, but when they do it’s what one would expect. Disbelief! Outrage! Despair! Then a note appears, explaining that each girl has a power and a gift. They must all find theirs to learn what happened to Mommy and Daddy. That’s how the first story begins, and there’s more to follow.
Submarine Outlaw
The Submarine Outlaw by Phillip Roy
This book takes young readers on a unique journey when Alfred, a young boy who wants to be an explorer; not a fisherman as his family demands; teams up with a junkyard genius to build a submarine that he sails around the Maritimes. The book takes the reader through the hands-on process of submarine construction into the world of real ocean navigation, replete with high-seas chase, daring rescue and treasure hunting.
The Terrible Two
The Terrible Two by Jory John
If you like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, you will love this book. Miles is the new kid at school. He’s hoping to establish himself as the best prankster, a title he held in his last school. His pranks keep backfiring though and he finally learns why. Niles, the apparently goody-two-shoes kid is actually a prankster extraordinaire in disguise. The two eventually put aside their differences and team up to become “The Terrible Two,” eventually bringing their nemesis Principal Barkin to his knees. Both Miles and Niles have their different charms and humour abounds throughout the story. Short chapters and plenty of illustrations will keep reluctant readers engaged.
Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop
Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop by Kate Saunders
Enter a world filled with magical chocolate, evil villains, and an adventure twins Lily and Oz never could have dreamed—Lily and Oz Spoffard have just inherited a magical house with a mysterious boarded-up chocolate shop on the ground floor. The twins’ great-great-uncles were famous chocolatiers, and their chocolate was ANYTHING but ordinary. In fact, it had magical properties. Now an evil gang is after the secret recipe, and it’s up to Lily and Oz to stop them. The fate of their family, and the world, depends on it.
Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood "wishtree"—people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches. Along with her crow friend Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red's hollows, this "wishtree" watches over the neighborhood. You might say Red has seen it all. Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red's experiences as a wishtree are more important than ever.
Wollstonecraft Detective Agency
Wollstonecraft Detective Agency: The Case of the Missing Moonstone by Jordan Stratford
Imagine an alternate 1826 London, where Ada Lovelace (the world’s first computer programmer) and Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein) meet as girls and form a secret detective agency. Lady Ada Byron, age eleven, is isolated, awkward and a bit rude—but a genius. Mary Godwin, age fourteen, is adventurous, astute, and kind. Mary is to become Ada’s first true friend. Together, the girls form the Wollstonecraft Detective Agency—a secret constabulary for the apprehension of clever criminals. Their first case involves a stolen heirloom, a false confession, and an array of fishy suspects. But it’s no match for the deductive powers and bold hearts of Ada and Mary. Mystery fans will love this tween girl take-off on Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. History buffs will be delighted to recognize all the real figures that play a role in this story. In this series, clever girls use math, science, and creative analytical thinking to solve crimes. This is a well-written story filled with humour, action, intrigue and wonderful artwork.
Zorgamazoo by by Robert Paul Weston
Are You a Believer in Fanciful Things? In Pirates and Dragons and Creatures and Kings? Then sit yourself down in a comfortable seat, with maybe some cocoa and something to eat, and I’ll spin you the tale of Katrina Katrell, a girl full of courage (and daring, as well!), who down in the subway, under the ground, saw something fantastical roaming around—what was it she saw? I’d rather not say. (Who’s ever heard of a Zorgle, anyway?) But if you are curious, clever and brave, if intrepid adventure is something you crave, then open this book and I’ll leave it to you to uncover the secret of ZORGAMAZOO!

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