Grades K-4 Book Reading Suggestions

Lower Melrose

Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: The First Computer Programmer. By Diane Stanley. Illus. by Jessie Hartland.
This engaging biography introduces nineteenth-century scientist Ada Lovelace, who developed the first algorithm used by the world’s early computers. Non-fiction/biography picture book.

Ada Twist, Scientist. By Andrea Beaty. Illus. by David Roberts.
Inquisitive Ada Twist is determined to identify a mysterious smell. Her mission includes some not-so-successful science experiments, supportive parents, and insatiable curiosity. Realistic fiction.
    
Coyote Moon. By Maria Gianferrari. Illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline.
Striving to feed her pups, a coyote hunts in the moonlight until dawn. This strikingly illustrated, nonfiction offering holds many facts and celebrates this skilled predator. Non-fiction picture book.

Du Iz Tak? By Carson Ellis. Illus. by the author.
As a tiny plant springs from the ground, curious bugs watch it grow and marvel in their own buggy language. Whimsically detailed paintings showcase their activities and the subtly passing seasons. (Caldecott Honor Book) Picture book.

Fabulous Frogs. By Martin Jenkins. Illus. by Tim Hopgood.
Frogs of all sizes and colors, bearing a variety of unique characteristics, hop through this beautiful nonfiction picture book. Non-fiction picture book.

Frank and Lucky Get Schooled. By Lynne Rae Perkins.
A boy and his dog learn about each other, go to school to learn more, then explore the world around them as they study science, geography and even foreign languages together. Picture book.

Giant Squid. By Candace Fleming. Illus. by Eric Rohmann.
Plunging into the “depths of the sunless sea,” readers are wrapped in the tentacles of Fleming’s text and Rohmann’s illustrations, gaining an appreciation for the ever-elusive giant squid. (Sibert Honor Book) Non-fiction picture book.

Go, Otto, Go! By David Milgrim. Illus. by the author.
Extremely simple text and humorous, energetic illustrations bring to life, with surprising emotional complexity, this tale of Otto the robot who is building a spaceship to take him home. (Geisel Honor Book) Easy Reader.

Good Night Owl. By Greg Pizzoli. Illus. by the author.
When an unfamiliar noise prevents Owl from falling asleep, his desperate efforts to find its source escalate to comedic effect. (Geisel Honor Book)

The Great Pet Escape. By Victoria Jamieson. Illus. by the author.
The class pets at Daisy P. Flugelhorn Elementary are on the loose! Second-grade classroom hamster GW has had enough and sets out to free his two best friends. Graphic Novel.

Horrible Bear! By Ame Dyckman. Illus. by Zachariah OHora.
When a kite goes astray, an accident and misunderstanding bring together two unlikely friends in a story about the power of forgiveness. Picture book.

The Journey. By Francesca Sanna. Illus. by the author.
In the face of war and the loss of her husband, a mother and her children leave everything behind to make a dangerous journey to find safety in a new land. Picture book.
  
Leave Me Alone! By Vera Brosgol. Illus. by the author.
In her endeavor to make sweaters for 30 curious grandchildren, a harried grandmother embarks on a quest for peace and quiet. (Caldecott Honor Book) Picture book.

The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors. By Drew Daywalt. Pictures by Adam Rex.
You've played the game. Now read the legend of how it all began… Picture book.

The Night Gardener. By Terry Fan. Illus. by Eric Fan.
A dreary town comes to life through the efforts of a mysterious nocturnal gardener, whose fantastic topiaries amaze and empower a young boy. Picture book.

Nobody Likes a Goblin. By Ben Hatke.
It's up to Goblin to save the day. But first he's going to have to leave the dungeon and find out how the rest of the world feels about goblins. Picture book.

Old Dog Baby Baby. By Julie Fogliano. Illus. by Chris Raschka.
Simple text and watercolor illustrations capture the sweet relationship between a crawling baby and a lovable old dog as they play together on the kitchen floor. Picture book.
  
Otters Love to Play. By Jonathan London, Illus. by Meilo So.
Head to the river, where a frolicsome bunch of otters plays all year round in a nonfiction story sprinkled with facts and loaded with fun. Non-fiction picture book.

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. By Javaka Steptoe. Illus. by the author.
The short yet brilliant life story of Jean-Michel Basquiat and his determination to become an artist are revealed through poetic language and illustrations dramatically influenced by Basquiat's own style. (Caldecott Medal Book) Non-fiction picture book.

School’s First Day of School. By Adam Rex. Illus. by Christian Robinson.
In this charming account of first-day jitters, a brand new school building is the one wracked with nerves as the school year begins. Picture book.

Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World about Kindness. By Donna Janell Bowman. Illus. by Daniel Minter.
Born a slave, William “Doc” Key, became a self-taught veterinarian. With much kindness, he raised a remarkable horse, named Jim Key, which he taught to answer questions, spell, and write. Non-fiction picture book.

Some Writer! The Story of E. B. White. By Melissa Sweet. Illus. by the author.
This enticing biography of beloved children’s book author E. B. White seamlessly incorporates photographs, personal letters, pages from his books, and collage illustrations with engaging text. Non-fiction picture book.

They All Saw a Cat. By Brendan Wenzel. Illus. by the author.
Readers observe a cat from a variety of perspectives as he sees and is seen by a cast of characters. (Caldecott Honor Book) Picture book.

Thunder Boy Jr. By Sherman Alexie. Illus. by Yuyi Morales.
Named after his father, Thunder Boy Jr. seeks a new name that’s all his own and celebrates something cool that he has done. Picture book.
  
A Voyage in the Clouds : The (Mostly) True Story of the First International Flight by Balloon in 1785. By Matthew Olshan, Illus. by Sophie Blackall.
Dr. John Jeffries and his pilot, Jean-Pierre Blanchard, each want to be the first man to fly from one country to another, across the English Channel. There's only one problem: they can't stand each other! Inspired by the true story of the first international flight. Non-fiction picture book.

We Found a Hat. By Jon Klassen. Illus. by the author.
Two turtles unexpectedly explore the depths of their friendship and loyalty when they come across a good-looking hat without an owner. Picture book.

Weekends with Max and His Dad. By Linda Urban. Illus. by Katie Kath.
On weekends, third-grader Max visits his dad's new apartment and begins to adjust to his parents' divorce. Realistic fiction.

When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons. Illus. By Julie Morstad.
A book of poetry moving through the seasons. Poetry.

Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln? By Kate DiCamillo. Illus. by Chris Van Dusen.
Baby Lincoln goes on a “necessary journey,” taking the opportunity to explore, grow, and find herself. In the end she realizes that there is no place like home. Fiction.


Upper Melrose

Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay. By Susan Hood. Illus. by Sally Wern Comport. 
From the mountains of trash that envelop the town of Cateura, Paraguay, comes the true story of a girl, her music teacher, and an orchestra that turns trash into musical instruments. Non-fiction. (RICBA Nominee)

As Brave As You. By Jason Reynolds.
As their parents try to repair their marriage, brothers Ernie and Genie uncover family history and the extent of their own bravery, while spending an eye-opening summer with their grandparents in Virginia. Realistic fiction.

Backyard Witch: Sadie’s Story. By Christine Heppermann & Ron Koertge. Illus. by Deborah Marcero.
Sadie is bored and lonely while her best friends go on vacation without her. When a funny witch moves into the backyard playhouse, Sadie discovers a bird-filled adventure. Fantasy. (RICBA Nominee)

The Best Man. By Richard Peck.
Four men in Archer’s family become his heroes in this story of small-town life, family, and marriage. Realistic fiction.

Brave Like My Brother. By Marc Tyler Nobleman.
Join Charlie and his brother Joe as they exchange letters during WWII. Charlie needs to confront bullies without the physical help of his deployed, hero brother. Can he do this on his own? Historical fiction. (RICBA Nominee)

Cinnamon Moon. By Tess Hilmo.
Orphan and homeless siblings of the Peshtigo fire in 1871, Allis and Quinn are taken to live in a Chicago boarding house where they befriend orphan Nettie. Together they plan to escape the miserable conditions when Nettie is kidnapped. Historical fiction. (RICBA Nominee)

The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo. By Drew Weing.
After moving with his parents to Echo City to remodel an old hotel, Charles starts to feel like he is being watched by something strange. In comes the young Margo Maloo, monster mediator, to solve the case. Graphic Novel/Fantasy. (RICBA Nominee)

Dory Fantasmagory. By Abby Hanlon.. 
Dory’s best friend Rosabelle can read big chapter books. Feeling left out, Dory decides she will learn to read, no matter what it takes. Realistic fiction.

Fortune Falls. By Jenny Goebel.
Life in Fortune Falls, a magical town where superstitions are real, is not easy if you, like Sadie Bleeker, are an Unlucky. How will Sadie change her luck? Fantasy. (RICBA Nominee)

FRAMED! A T.O.A.S.T. Mystery. By James Ponti.
Meet Florian, the only kid on the FBI’s speed dial and criminals' most wanted lists all because of his Theory of All Small Things (T.O.A.S.T.). Can Florian decipher the clues and finish his
homework in time to help the FBI solve the case? Mystery. (RICBA Nominee)

Full of Beans. By Jennifer L. Holm.
Bean and his gang of friends find the resources to survive the Great Depression’s hardships in their hometown of Key West, Florida. Historical fiction.

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark. By Debbie Levy. Illus. by Elizabeth Baddeley.
Get to know celebrated Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—in the first picture book about her life—as she proves that disagreeing does not make you disagreeable! Non-fiction picture book. (RICBA Nominee)

Juana & Lucas. By Juana Medina. Illus. by the author.
Juana, a spirited young girl in Bogotá, Colombia, shares her frustrations and successes in learning English. (Belpré Author Medal Book) Realistic fiction.

The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. By Laura Shovan.
Emerson Elementary is going to be torn down and Ms. Hill’s students have something to say about it. Follow the fate of the school as each student records their year for a time capsule class project. Realistic fiction. (RICBA Nominee)

A Long Pitch Home. By Natalie Dias Lorenzi.
Bilal is surrounded with newness when he arrives in the U.S. from Pakistan with his Mom and sister. There is so much to learn! But harder still is getting through each day missing his father who stayed behind and waiting for him to join them. Realistic fiction. (RICBA Nominee)

Mo’ne Davis, Remember My Name: My Story From First Pitch to Game Changer. By Mo’ne Davis with Hilary Beard.
Mo'ne's story is one of determination, hard work, and an incredible fastball. She also plays basketball and soccer! Mo’ne learned to play baseball with the boys and rose to national stardom before the beginning of 8th grade. Non-fiction/Biography. (RICBA Nominee)

Ms. Bixby’s Last Day. By John David Anderson.
Ms. Bixby is the sort of teacher that makes going to school worthwhile. When she is diagnosed with cancer, three boys decide to make sure her last day is perfect. Realistic fiction.

Ollie’s Odyssey. By William Joyce.
Ollie is Billy’s favorite toy. Zozo has never been anybody's favorite toy. When their paths cross, Ollie risks losing Billy forever. Can Ollie escape Zozo and his gang of “Creeps”? Fantasy. (RICBA Nominee)

Pax. By Sara Pennypacker. Illus. by Jon Klassen.
Readers join a stirring search for peace in this poignant tale of loss and reconciliation, told in the alternating views of a fox and his boy.  Realistic fiction.

A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day. By Andrea Davis Pinkney. Illus. by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson.
This homage to Ezra Jack Keats takes the form of a biographical poem, telling of his creation of Peter, the young, black protagonist of The Snowy Day, and Keats’ impact on children's literature. Poetry.

The Poet’s Dog. By Patricia MacLachlan.
A poignant story about two children, a poet, and a dog and how they help one another survive loss and recapture love. Realistic fiction.

The Prize Winners of Piedmont Place. By Bill Doyle. 
Cal can’t wait for his family to win the Great Grab Contest! The prize? Twenty minutes to grab anything in the Wish Shoppe! He knows his family will leave the competition in the dust, but first he has to convince them to compete! Humorous fiction. (RICBA Nominee)

Secrets of the Seven: The Eureka Key. By Sarah L. Thomson.
Sam (a puzzle master) and Martina (a history whiz) become involved in a dangerous quest to find seven keys left behind by Benjamin Franklin and a secret society, which, when gathered together, unlock a powerful weapon. Help solve the puzzle and save the nation! Adventure. (RICBA Nominee)

Steamboat School. By Deborah Hopkinson. Illus. by Ron Husband.
When James’ school is closed by a law forbidding the education of African Americans, he helps create a clever alternative. Historical fiction.

Towers Falling. By Jewell Parker Rhodes.
Deja doesn’t know what happened to the Twin Towers or what it means to her own family. Join her and her new friends on a journey to understand her home and community. Realistic fiction. (RICBA Nominee)

The War That Saved My Life. By Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.
A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother. Historical fiction.

Weekends with Max and His Dad. By Linda Urban. Illus. by Katie Kath.
With newly divorced parents, Max spends his weekends with his dad in an almost empty apartment. Can new furniture, pancakes, and spy missions make this place feel like home? Realistic fiction. (RICBA Nominee)

Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems. By Bob Raczka.
Who says words need to be concrete? This clever collection shapes poems in surprising and meaningful ways and challenges students to look at words and poetry in a whole new way. Poetry. (RICBA Nominee)

When Mischief Came to Town. By Katrina Nannestad.
Recently orphaned, Inge Maria goes to live with her grandmother. Through her wild and spirited ways, Inge soon endears herself to the villagers, bringing joy to all. Historical fiction.

When the Sea Turned to Silver. By Grace Lin. Illus. by the author.
Chinese folklore intertwines with Pinmei and Yishan’s perilous journey to save Pinmei's storyteller grandmother from the clutches of the evil Tiger Emperor. Fantasy.

Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions. By Chris Barton. Illus. by Don Tate.
Ever wonder how great toys are made? Sometimes by accident! Learn how NASA engineer Lonnie Johnson’s tinkering made a splash in the history of toys but not until years of hard work, vision, and perseverance. Non-fiction picture book. (RICBA Nominee)

Wild Robot. By Peter Brown.
When robot Roz wakes up for the first time alone on an island, she must adjust her programming to help her live among wild animals and other threats. But can technology and nature survive together? Fantasy. (RICBA Nominee)

Wish. By Barbara O’Connor.
Charlie has been making the same wish every day. Now her wish will never come true when she is sent to live with family she barely knows. Will a stray dog and a neighbor boy get Charlie to change her mind about what she wants – and needs? Realistic fiction. (RICBA Nominee)

The Wolf’s Boy. By Susan Williams Beckhorn.
Two outcasts, a boy and a wolf, band together to survive the harsh, Ice-age winter. Historical fiction.

The Worst Class Trip Ever. By Dave Barry.

When Wyatt Palmer’s class goes on a school trip to Washington, D.C., he finds himself in deep trouble before the plane even lands. Humorous fiction.

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