Summer Reading, Incoming 4th Grade
Summer reading should be fun. These reading lists have been prepared by the librarians of the Santa Monica Public Library in collaboration with the Elementary Library Coordinators and Librarians of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. The lists provide a selection of good books that kids enjoy. Reading levels are suggestions only, as every student learns to read at his or her own speed.
You can help by reading with your child and encouraging his or her own interests. Reading takes lots of practice and encouragement. Set aside 15 to 30 minutes every day for your child to read with you. Have fun with the books and help instill the joy of reading in your child. Some titles are also available as audiobooks so families can enjoy a good book together.
For extra summer fun, visit your local public library for reading programs, many of which offer activities and prizes. Have a wonderful summer vacation and read, read, read!
The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Appleate
When Ivan, a gorilla, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.
Poppy (series), by Avi
Poppy mouse urges her family to move, but a terrifying owl has other ideas.
Malcolm at Midnight, by W.H. Beck
A rat must prove himself to join a secret society of classroom pets.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle (series), by Beverly Cleary
Ralph, an adventure-loving mouse, finds a toy motorcycle.
Fantastic Mr. Fox, by Roald Dahl
Mr. Fox must concoct a truly fantastic plan to get out of trouble.
Ghost Hawk, by Susan Cooper
A ghost story adventure, set in colonial Massachusetts, about the lives of two boys: one Native American, one colonial New Englander.
Riding Freedom, by Pam Munoz Ryan
Charlotte knows that the 1860s holds more opportunities for boys than girls, so she cuts off her hair, dons boys' clothing, and begins a new life as a boy.
Little House on the Prairie (series), by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Join Laura and her family on their adventures on America’s frontier.
When the Circus Came to Town, by Laurence Yep
An Asian cook and a Chinese New Year celebration help a girl at a stage coach station to regain her confidence after smallpox scars her face.
The 13-Story Treehouse, by Andy Griffiths
Andy and Terry live in a 13-story treehouse. What could go wrong?
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, & Other Natural Disasters (series), by Lenore Look
Alvin Ho must face his biggest fear: The Great Outdoors.
The Willoughbys, by Lois Lowry
The four Willoughby children try to become “deserving orphans” after their neglectful parents embark on an adventure.
How To Eat Fried Worms, by Thomas Rockwell
A boy sets out to eat fifteen worms in fifteen days in order to win a bet.
Wayside School (series), by Louis Sachar
Unusual things happen in Wayside School, which was built sideways.
Chocolate Fever, by Robert K. Smith
Henry breaks out in brown bumps from eating too much chocolate.
Mystery & Adventure Stories
The Curious Cat Spy Club (series), by Linda J. Singleton
Classmates Kelsey, Becca, and Leo have nothing in common--until they rescue three kittens and form a secret club to help animals.
Chet Gecko (series), by Bruce Hale
Wise-cracking detective Chet Gecko and his partner Natalie Attired try to solve mysteries at their school.
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, by Judy Blume
Nothing Peter finds his two-year-old brother an ever-increasing problem.
Lunch Money, by Andrew Clements
Greg wants to sell his self-written comic books at school.
Granny Torrelli Makes Soup, by Sharon Creech
Rosie’s wise grandmother helps work out problems with her best friend.
The Lemonade War (series) , by Jacqeline Davies
Evan competes against his sister to earn $100 selling lemonade.
Lawn Boy, by Gary Paulsen
Things get out of hand when a boy expands his lawn mowing business.
Science Fiction & Fantasy
Star Jumper: Journal of a Cardboard Genius, by Frank Asch
To get far away from his evil little brother, Alex designs a spaceship.
The BFG, by Roald Dahl
Sophie creates a plan with a BFG (Big Friendly Giant) to save the world.
Half Magic (series), by Edward Eager
Four good friends find a magic coin.
Igraine the Brave, by Cornelia Funke
The daughter of two magicians, Igraine wants nothing more than to be a knight, so when their castle is attacked she demonstrates her bravery.
The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster
Milo uses the Phantom Tollbooth in his quest for Rhyme and Reason.
Punished! by David Lubar
A spell is cast on Logan that makes him speak in puns.
Non-fiction & Poetry
The Science of a Glass of Water
Learn what water is, how we use it, and why our world may be running dry.
Fossil Finders: Paleontologists
Describes what a paleontologist does, and how to become one.
Get the Scoop on Animal Poop: from Lions to Tapeworms, 251 Cool Facts about Scat, Frass, Dung & More!
Discusses animal droppings and their uses, importance and meaning.
Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night
Poems celebrating the wonder and mystery of animals and plants at night. X811 SINGER Mirror Mirror: a book of reversible verse Poems which, when reversed, offer new perspectives on fairy tale characters.