What 4th grader can’t enjoy a fun and captivating picture book? It doesn’t matter if your child is already a good reader or is still working on their skills. These are some of my favorite books for read-alouds, independent reading, and even making educational topics come to life. These are some of my favorite books.
Some of our favorite picture books for 4th graders are below.
Best Picture Books for 4th Graders
This Way, Charlie
Written by: Caron Levis
Illustrated by: Charles Santoso
At the Open Bud Ranch, Jack the goat likes to stay alone. One day, a horse named Charlie comes and joins the group. and walks right over him! At first, the goat is a little angry when he learns that Charlie is blind in one eye. People can’t see or move around the ranch because of this. Jack feels sorry for Charlie and has the courage to help him. He leads him to his favorite field, and they form a strong friendship.
Young children and grade schoolers can learn a lot from this tender and sweet story about how important it is to think about other people’s point of view and help people who are in need. It also shows them that friendship can happen in the most unlikely places.
By: Peter Van den Ende
This is a picture book that doesn’t have any text. It’s about a little paper boat’s journey across the ocean.
All alone, the little boat sails past reefs, between icebergs, through schools of fish, and into scary sea monsters. It also has to deal with a huge storm, which is very dangerous. While it is on a dangerous journey, the boat wonders about the beautiful fairytale world above and below it.
You and your 4th-grader will both love this inspirational story about how to grow, learn, and adapt to new situations, both good and bad.
Soldier for Equality: José de la Luz Sáenz and the Great War
Written by: Duncan Tonatiuh
José de la Luz Sáenz (Luz) was a Mexican American who thought it was important to fight for what was right. Luz was born in the U.S., but other Americans didn’t like him because of his background.
When World War I broke out, Luz enlisted and became an important member of the Intelligence Office in Europe, which was very important to the government. However, he kept getting a bad reaction. So when the war was over, he went back to Texas and formed the League of United Latin American Citizens with other Mexican American veterans who had also served in the war. Today, it’s the largest and oldest Latinx civil rights group in the world.
This book is based on Luz’s real wartime diary. It tells the story of a Mexican American war hero and his fight for equality.
Freedom in Congo Square
Written by: Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrated by: R. Gregory Christie
When this Caldecott Honor winner was written in 19th-century Louisiana, it told the story of enslaved people who found hope and joy even in the most oppressive situations. This story isn’t well known.
All week, they worked all day, except on Sundays, when they would go to church in the morning. At Congo Square, they could meet with other free Black people in the afternoon. It was a place where they could sing and dance and set up a market. They could also play music and forget about their problems for a little while.
As a 3rd-grade book, it has beautiful illustrations and simple rhymes that even those who read at this level can understand. This book is great for read-alouds with even young kids because it has a lot of lyrical language.
By: Grace Hansen
There is a national park in Arizona called the Grand Canyon that many of us have heard of and seen, but what is it called? The Grand Canyon is famous for its wide-open views of the canyon and the Colorado River. This easy-to-read book for kids shows the canyon in all its glory through breath-taking photography and simple text. It has a lot of fun activities for young readers, as well as a lot of interesting facts.
One of the best things about it is that it meets all of the Common Core Standards.
Gittel’s Journey: An Ellis Island Story
Written by: Lesléa Newman
Illustrated by: Amy June Bates
When a young girl and her mother try to move to the United States from Poland, a health inspector stops them because her mother has a possible eye infection. So young Gittel has to keep going on her own. As a gift, her mother gives her some paper with the address of her cousin in New York on it. Before she gets to Ellis Island, the ink has been smeared, so she can’t read it.
This heartbreaking and heartwarming piece of semi-autobiographical historical fiction is based on the true story of Lesléa Newman’s grandmother and her journey to Ellis Island. It is based on her story. It’s a heartfelt and inspiring way to show 4th and 5th graders what it’s like to be an immigrant in the United States.
The Bluest of Blues: Anna Atkins and the First Book of Photographs
By: Fiona Robinson
This beautiful book is a great way for kids who are 8 to 12 years old to learn more about botanist and photographer Anna Atkins.
Afterward, Atkins’ mother died when she was a little girl, so her father took her in and raised her. He wanted her to get a scientific education. Anna was fascinated by the plants around her and decided to become a botanist. She sketched and engraved her findings to show what she learned. She went on to write down all of the things she found and saw, and she was the first person to write a book about photography.
“The Bluest of Blues” connects women’s history, science, and art in a way that will make your young reader want to learn more and be more creative.
The Eye That Never Sleeps
By: Marissa Moss
Illustrated by: Jeremy Holmes
Allan Pinkerton was one of the best detectives in the United States. This is the first book for kids about him. He is best known for thwarting an assassination attempt on President Abraham Lincoln, but his real career began when he helped the Chicago Police Department catch a group of counterfeiters in the city. For example: He started the best detective agency in the country. He then solved more than 300 murders, and he found millions of dollars worth of stolen money that had been stolen.
It’s not just for kids in the fourth grade. It’s also for kids in the third and fifth grades.
Here are a few of our favorite books that aren’t on Epic. Many of them can be found on Amazon, too.
Secrets of a Civil War Submarine
By: Sally M. Walker
A submarine called the H.L. Hunley made history in 1864 when it was the first to sink a ship in a battle. But a few days later, the sub still hadn’t come back to the dock, and it was still there. For 130 years, it was not seen again. It was found off the coast of South Carolina. In this fascinating story, you’ll learn about the history and inner workings of this famous submarine, as well as the real-world efforts to get it back, excavate it, and keep it safe.
By: Aaron Becker
She uses a magic red marker to draw a door on the wall of her bedroom. This is a picture book with no words at all. In the next part, she goes through it and ends up in a world of wonder and adventure. With her magic marker, she makes a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet. Then, she goes on an amazing journey. In the end, only kindness and courage can free her.
By: Chris Van Allsburg
There is a game called Jumanji that Peter and Judy find under a tree. They aren’t too excited about the find, though. Like all the games they’ve already played. Then, they decide to pick up the game and try it. They didn’t know that they were about to embark on the strangest and most exciting adventure of their lives. When Peter and Judy’s quiet house turns into an exotic jungle full of otherworldly things, your child will love this story.
By: David Weisner
You can find bottles, lost toys, small objects, and more floating in the ocean. They all come ashore when they are washed up. Young boy: When I go to the beach, I find an underwater camera covered in barnacles. It has a lot of interesting things to show me. If you read on, you’ll get to learn a lot about the mysteries of the deep and why we find them fascinating and beautiful.