Terrific Books for Third & Fourth Graders


  • Applegate, Katherine. The One and Only Ivan. 2012.

    Ivan the gorilla has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall. When he meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides he must find her a better life.

  • Bauer, Marion Dane. Little Dog, Lost. 2012.

    A boy, a dog and an old man are lonely before the boy plans a rally, the dog looks for a boy and all the townspeople run to the old man's aid when lightning strikes his home and something miraculous happens.

  • Bruel, Nick. Bad Kitty for President. 2012.

    Kitty decides to run for president of the Neighborhood Cat Association.

  • Cox, Judy. The Secret Chicken Society. 2012.

    When Daniel's third-grade class raises baby chicks for a class project, he takes the five chickens home for the summer and is surprised when one of them turns out to be a rooster.

  • Dadey, Debbie. The Trouble at Trident Academy. 2012.

    Mermaids Shelly and Echo are excited to begin third grade at the prestigious Trident Academy, but snooty Pearl, jokester Rocky, brilliant Kiki, grumpy Mr. Fangtooth and an argument over their first project challenge the best friends.

  • Davies, Nicola. Welcome to Silver Street Farm. 2012.

    Through a series of silly accidents, three friends end up taking care of farm animals in the city and decide to start their own farm!

  • Hest, Amy. Letters to Leo. 2012.

    In a series of letters to her new dog, fourth-grader Annie Rossi relates her daily exploits and remembers her mother.

  • Holub, Joan. Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom. 2012.

    When 10-year-old Zeus is kidnapped, he discovers he can defend himself with a magical thunderbolt.

  • McCall Smith, Alexander. The Great Cake Mystery. 2012.

    Before becoming the first female private investigator in Botswana, eight-year-old Precious Ramotswe tracks down a thief who has been stealing her classmates' snacks.

  • Messner, Kate. Marty McGuire Digs Worms! 2012.

    With help from her Grandma Barb, Marty builds a worm habitat in her school cafeteria as part of the Save the Earth Project.

  • Obed, Ellen Bryan. Twelve Kinds of Ice. 2012.

    From the first ice, a thin skin on a bucket of water, through thickly-iced fields, streams and gardens, a girl, her family and friends anticipate and enjoy a winter of skating, ending with an ice show complete with costumes, refreshments and clowns.

  • O'Connor, Jane. Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth. 2012.

    Nancy Clancy must find the culprit when a prized possession goes missing at school.

  • Regan, Dian Curtis. The Dragon Stone. 2012.

    Miggy, who lives with the rest of her clan near Rocky Creek in Triassic Forest, finds a rare dragon stone that must be kept a secret so it doesn't lose its magical powers.

  • Rocklin, Joanne. The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook. 2012.

    Convinced that their sick cat Zook can only get better at home with them, Oona and her brother, Fred, conspire to break him out of the vet's office. As they plan, Oona tells Fred about Zook's previous lives, ranging in style from fairy tale to grand epic to slice of life.

  • Scaletta, Kurtis. Jinxed! 2012.

    Chad is thrilled to be a batboy for the Pine City Porcupines, even though the team is not doing well, his fellow batboy is less than thrilled about the job and his favorite player seems to be jinxed.

  • Sheth, Kashmira. The No Dogs Allowed Rule. 2012.

    Third-grader Ishan Mehra wants his family to get a dog, but efforts to convince his parents often get him into trouble.

  • Tarshis, Lauren. I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906. 2012.

    Ten-year-old Leo loves being a newsboy in San Francisco, but early one spring morning his world is shaken — literally — and he finds himself stranded in the middle of the city as it crumbles and burns to the ground. Does Leo have what it takes to survive this devastating disaster?

  • Vande Velde, Vivian. 8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel ÷ 1 Dog = Chaos. 2012.

    A dog chases a squirrel into an elementary school one night, creating monumental chaos.

  • Viorst, Judith. Lulu Walks the Dog. 2012.

    Lulu needs help from a boy named Fleischman if she is to earn money walking her neighbors' dogs, and she finds out that if she wants her business venture to succeed, she has to be nice.

Graphic novels


  • Seeing Symmetry by Loreen Leedy. 2012. [J 516.1 LEE]

    This clear and concise book explains different types of symmetry. Learn how to spot them and make your own symmetrical masterpieces.

  • Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies. 2012. [J 811.54 DAV]

    An illustrated treasury of poems reflects childrens' experiences as they encounter nature for the first time.

  • Castle: How It Works by David Macaulay. 2012. [J 940.1 MAC]

    Follows the planning, construction and battle testing of a typical fortress with adjoining towns built by the English during the Middle Ages.

  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer. 2012. [JB Kamkwamba William]

    When a drought hits William's Malawi village and crops began to fail, he figured out how to use scraps to build a windmill that brought electricity and water to his village.

revised May 2013