Fourth Grade Summer Reading List (page 2)

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based on 37 ratings
May 16, 2011
Updated on Apr 2, 2014

Our 2010 Fourth Grade Summer Reading Picks

Drizzle by Kathleen Van Cleve. This coming-of-age tale is served a la Wizard of Oz, with flavors reminiscent of Roald Dahl and Norton Juster. Eleven-year-old Polly lives on her family farm, but it's not like any other farm. The rhubarb tastes like chocolate, the bugs can communicate, and it rains at exactly the same time every single day. Then, one day, the rain stops, her brother falls deathly ill, and Polly must use her unique relationship with the farm to bring back the rain and save her brother's life. A well-crafted fantasy, with a message about the magic of nature that is perfect for the summer months. (Dial Books for Young Readers, $11.55) 

100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson. Looking for a heart-pounding but well-written series to keep kids flipping pages frantically all summer long? This page-turner, the first in a three book series, may be just the ticket. Like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe or A Wrinkle in Time, this book features a regular child who unlocks a portal to another world. In this case, it's Henry York, a 12-year-old boy sent to live on his aunt and uncle's farm when his parents go missing. When strange noises are heard behind his bedroom wall, Henry scratches off the plaster to find ninety-nine mysterious cupboards, each of which leads to another world. But when his cousin goes missing, can Henry figure out how to get her back? This sometimes spooky, sometimes scary, and ultimately pitch-perfect adventure will leave kids biting their nails and begging for more. And good news: the next two installments have already hit the shelves! (Random House, $6.99)

A Whole Nother Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup Imagine The Matrix, with sock puppets, and you'll get the gist of this madcap adventure, full of secret government agents, "three attractive, polite, relatively odor-free children" and their mad scientist father. On the run from the corporate and government suits who would steal their most inventive device, The Cheeseman family must shield their identities as they remain on the lam. Narrated by the bizarre and verbose Dr. Cuthbert Soup, head of the National Center for Unsolicited Advice, this extremely quirky book will keep kids turning pages all summer! A silly, tongue-in-cheek pleasure of a read. (Bloomsbury, $11.55) 

The Dreamer by Paul Munoz Ryan. This book sketches the childhood of beloved poet Pablo Neruda in lyrical and heartfelt prose, interspersed with poetry and woven together with the uniquely stippled illustrations of Peter Sis. His harsh and overbearing father rejects his pensive walks in the woods, his lively imagination, and his collection of artifacts--the things that make him who he is. As young Neruda grows up, he learns about the plight of the indigenous Mapuche of his Chilean homeland, and realizes that while injustice may be a fact of life, it is something that he can fight...with words. This book grapples with serious themes, artistically handled, and is a celebration of the dreamer in all of us. (Scholastic, $12.23)

Once by Morris Gleitzman. It's 1942 in war-torn Poland, in a cold and crowded orphanage, and 10-year-old Felix has just found a whole carrot in his soup. He takes it as a sign, and embarks on a harrowing journey across Poland to find his parents. Along the way, he encounters Nazis, an orphan named Zelda, and the horrors of war. Narrated by Felix himself, Once gives readers a chance to view a horrific time in history through the eyes of a child. This beautiful story touches on some heavy themes surrounding the Holocaust--death, displacement, starvation--but it does so in a way that is at once gentle and profound. Through and through, a fantastic read. (Henry Holt and Company, $11.23)

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