Ani did a few book recommendations several years ago back when she was in second grade and then never wanted to do it again.
Then, unexpectedly, a few months ago she said “I want to start sharing the books I’m loving again.” And so here we are!
Ani is currently in fourth grade and a strong reader (thank you, Savvy Reading!) and these are five books she’s been very into lately.
ani approved: Five books to add to a 4th grade reading list
Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
Ani has been reading this series non-stop for the last month. There are 9 books in the series and she’s plowing her way through them (including convincing all her classmates to read them too!). Sophie has always felt a little out of place and for good reason – she can read minds! She’s kept this gift a secret until she meets Fitz who shares her gift and takes her to a world entirely different from everything she’s ever known.
What Ani has to say: Keeper of the Lost Cities is one of the best books that I’ve ever read. Most of the long chapter books I start reading are really hard to pick up once I put them down, but I thought about Keeper of the Lost Cities all the time, even if I wasn’t reading it. It’s full of action, keeps you on your toes, and makes sure you can’t put it down till the very last word.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
I read the first four Harry Potter books to the girls, and then Ani listened to all of them again on Audible on her own last year. She loved them (including coming into my office sobbing at the end of the fifth book) and then enjoyed watching the movies with us, which naturally led to the time-honored tradition of being outraged at everything they changed in the movie versions.
What Ani has to say: I was nine when I read this series, and I was just old enough that it all made sense, but all the magic was still super fun and exciting to read about. I watched the movies after finishing the series and I was super glad that I had read the books beforehand.
Unsolved Case Files by Tom Sullivan
I wasn’t sure if Ani would like this book but then she LOVED this true story of an unsolved mystery where D.B Cooper boards a plane, demands $20,000 in cash and then parachutes out with it. Fifty years later, the money and Cooper have never been found. It’s in a semi-graphic novel format which made it an easy sell for her and she immediately asked me to get the next two books in the series from the library.
What Ani has to say: I don’t usually read non-fiction, but Unsolved Case Files is a really great read for elementary schoolers. It has just the right balance of illustrations and text, where it keeps you engaged but you learn about the specific event. I also read the other two books in this series and they were just as good!
Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
My girls are LONG TIME fans of the Wayside School series – the stories all take place at Wayside School where the school was accidentally built 30 stories tall with one classroom per floor instead of one story with 30 side-by-side classrooms. And the wackiness only grows from there, especially on the thirtieth floor. I have to admit that, even as a child, I found the stories a little oddball for my taste, but my girls all love them and my sisters loved them when they were children too.
What Ani has to say: Louis Sachar specializes in writing books that are delightfully strange and funny. Sideways Stories from Wayside School is no exception, it is absolutely ridiculous and just the right length for light reading. I’ve listened to this series so many time!
The Candy Shop Wars by Brandon Mull
Who could dislike a book with kids using magical candy to fight evil magicians? Not Ani! She loved these books and has read the first two in the trilogy and is excited for the last one to come out. When Nate moves, he joins a club with three other kids from the neighborhood, The Blue Falcons. But when a new candy shop opens in their town, the Blue Falcons start doing errands for the owner, who gives them magical candy as a reward!
What Ani has to say: The Candy Shop Wars have so much action and magic that you hardly notice the length or advanced vocabulary. They’re so fun to read because they keep you engaged the whole time and have amazing description so you feel like you’re in another world. I listened to the second book on Audible and I can’t wait for the 3rd (and final) book in the trilogy to come out!