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Books categorized as '4th Grade'

Brown Girl Dreaming

brown girl dreaming coverBrown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Recommended for: Grades 4 and up

Brown Girl Dreaming is an autobiography about Woodson’s life growing up and into an award-winning author. The book is comprised of many short poems, each with lots of detail that made me feel like I was with her. Woodson’s mom is constantly searching for a place that feels like “home” and abruptly moves the family from South Carolina to New York City when Woodson is young. Woodson tells us many stories of her friends, family, hair, and food throughout her childhood. And, since she grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, Woodson’s family introduces her to the Civil Rights Movement. The back of the book includes pictures of Woodson’s extended family members, who are key characters in her memories. Through all her stories, Woodson shows us how she learned to read, “listen”, and write. If you love poetry or coming of age stories, this book is for you. The poems flow so well into one another; it was hard for me to put it down.

Reviewed by: Ms. Harwood

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Girl Who Drank the Moon

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Recommended for: Grades 4 – 8

The People of the Protectorate live a secure life, but they pay a price. Every year the youngest baby must be left in the woods, where the people believe an evil witch kills the child. In reality Xan, a kind witch, finds and takes the babies to be adopted in another village. One year she takes the child and mistakenly feeds her moonlight instead of starlight.  Xan raises the child, Luna, with no knowledge of the magic she will possess. Barnhill weaves together the lives of many characters including a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, a wise swamp monster, a madwoman, deadly birds, a shy yet brave young man and a woman with a tiger’s heart.  We find out how Xan and Luna, are connected with these others in this magical story of misused power, family and love.
2017 Newbery Award Winner

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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The Bolds

The Bolds The Bolds by Julian Clary
Recommended for: Grades 3-6

An English couple are careless and get eaten by a crocodile while visiting Africa! Two clever hyenas dress in their discarded clothing, take their passports and return to the London suburbs to carry on living as “humans.” A spying, grouchy next door neighbor and an old hyena who needs to be rescued from a safari park lead to hilarious adventures. This book is full of jokes and antics that will leave you belly laughing and completely surprised at the end. A sequel is due out April 1, 2017….April Fools? No really. This is a great book for those who like the highly illustrated format of The Wimpy Kid, Judy Moody, Bad Kitty, Galactic Hot Dogs, and others.

Reviewed by Mrs. Baumgartner

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The Witch’s Boy

the witch's boy coverThe Witch’s Boy  by Kelly Bramhill
Recommended for: grades 4 – 6

In his village, Ned’s mother is known as Sister Witch. She has been the guardian on an ancient, unruly magic which somehow attaches itself to Ned.
In another kingdom lives Aine, daughter of the Bandit King. Aine loves her father, but he has changed since her mother died. Now he leaves Aine alone while he builds a following of fellow bandits and plans to gain Sister Witch’s powerful magic.
Distrusting each other when they meet, Ned & Aine learn they need each other to survive their quest to cross the enchanted forest between their two kingdoms. They encounter good and evil on their journey and are torn between their budding friendship and loyalty to family. Will their kindness and courage be enough to resolve all the obstacles they face on their quest? Can Ned keep control over the magic he possesses? Can Aine trust Ned’s goodness to overcome the forces against them?
Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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Kinda Like Brothers

kinda like brothers coverKinda Like Brothers by Coe Booth
Recommended for: Grades 4-6

11 year old Jarrett is not having a great summer so far. He has to attend summer school, his best friend is away, and he can’t get the nerve to talk to his crush, Caprice. His mom takes in foster children, and Jarrett always has to struggle to get her full attention. Jarrett’s summer gets even worse when his mom takes in Treasure, a developmentally delayed toddler, and her 12 year old brother Kevon.  Jarrett and Kevon are forced to be together, but neither boy takes the time to really get to know the other.  As the summer continues, and Jarrett’s jealousy and anger grow, both boys make decisions that lead to bad outcomes. I really liked reading about Jarrett’s family and friends, and watching him change and mature over the course of the summer.  He was a realistic character who made mistakes, like all people do, but he learned from them, too.  I recommend this book to anyone who likes stories about family, friendship, and growing up.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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The Wild Robot

wild robot coverThe Wild Robot by Peter Brown
Recommended for: Grades 3-6

A robot named Roz washes ashore on an island when her shipping container gets tossed overboard in a storm at sea.  She studies her environment and learns from the animals how to communicate and survive in the wilderness.  She adopts a baby goose and eventually makes friends with the other animals of the island.  But one day, other robots come looking for her, and it is up to Roz and her island friends to decide her fate.  Can technology ever truly mesh with nature?  This story was exciting, interesting, unique, and touching.  It features some illustrations by the author, as well.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Quinny and Hopper

Quinny and Hopper coverQuinny and Hopper by Adriana Brad Schanen
Recommended for: Grades 3 – 5

Quinny Bumble is very talkative, loud and friendly. She just moved from New York City to the country and is missing her many friends. Hopper is smart, quiet, cautious and has no friends. Can these two be friends? Other colorful characters include two younger sisters, two bullyish twin brothers and a lonesome, stylish, black and white striped chicken that won’t be caught.
Quinny and Hopper begin a friendship, but can it survive the start of school and Hopper’s fear of being rejected? This is a fun and amusing story of two unlikely friends.

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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Loot

Loot coverLoot by Jude Watson
Recommended for: Grades 4 – 7

March watches his father Alfie McQuinn, a famous jewel thief, fall to his death during the theft of a special moonstone. Now alone in the world, March knows he must quickly move on. Following his father’s last words, March learns that he has a twin sister.  Together they decide to go after the rest of the “cursed” moonstones and eventually learn why Alfie didn’t want them to find each other until after their 13th birthday.
Loot is a fast-paced adventure, as March, Jules and their new friends Izzy and Darius race to steal back the other six moonstones, while trying to avoid capture and death.

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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Save Me a Seat

save me a seat coverSave Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan
Recommended for: Grades 3-6

5th graders Joe and Ravi may seem very different, but they have a few things in common. Ravi just arrived from India, and is adjusting to life in the United States. Joe is adjusting to the challenges of staying under the radar while his mom is the new cafeteria aide. Both boys are quickly judged by their peers, misunderstood, and tormented by the same bully, Dillon Samreen. Told in alternating chapters from Joe’s and Ravi’s point of view, this story takes place over one week of school. If you like the Mr. Terupt books by Bob Buyea or the Wonder books by R.J. Palacio, give Save Me a Seat a try.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Fish in a Tree

Fish in a Tree cover Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Recommended for Grades: 4-7

Ally is both ashamed and embarrassed that she cannot read.  She doesn’t want anyone to know that the letters on the page wiggle and jump around and don’t mean anything to her.  Great in art and good in math, Ally is frequently sent to the office because she refuses to write her assignments.  The “popular in-group” in her class are very mean to her and her two friends, who also have unusual strengths.  A new teacher comes to the school and has an unusual way of handling this class of “Fantasticos” as he calls them!  The reader will ache and cheer for the typical characters in this book as they all learn to grow and understand.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Baumgartner

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