More Great Read-Alouds for Your 3rd and 4th Graders

These books are sure to make your kids laugh and think and respond.

Once Upon a Royal Superbaby.  Kevin O’Malley.  Walker & Company, 2010.
Follow-up to Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude,  the girl and boy have another writing assignment, this time about a king and queen.  This is just as fun an entertaining as the first.  A good way to talk about the writing process, collaboration.
Read-aloud 1st-5th grade
A Dog’s Way Home. Bobbie Pyron.  Katherine Tegen Books, 2011.
Abby has a deep connection with her Shetland sheepdog, Tam.  An accident on the way home from an agility contest lands mom and Tam in the hospital and Tam injured and stranded.  Short chapters alternate between Abby and Tam’s point of view.  Abby’s dreams convince her Tam is still alive.  Most of the novel is the obstacles they face in their quest to become reunited.  Inspiring!
Read-aloud 3rd-6th grade

The Eraserheads.  Kate Banks.  Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2010.
Three eraserheads live with a boy in the land of pencils, paper, rulers, letters, numbers and drawings.  They become trapped in one of his drawings and use their skills to escape. “Hooray for mistakes,” the owl says, as the crocodile agrees that without them, “There’d be nothing to learn.”  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-4th grade

I Didn’t Do It.  Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest.  HarperCollins, 2010.
Delightful poems about three puppies and their discoveries and antics.  Beautifully written and illustrated.  Shows a real understanding of life from a puppy’s point of view.
Read-aloud K-5th grade

Kubla Khan: The Emperor of Everything.  Kathleen Krull.  Viking, 2010.
The grandson of Genghis Khan became the first emperor of China’s Yuan Dynasty, which became the city of Bejing.  During his reign, he stressed knowledge, the arts and quality of life.  The European age of exploration was sparked, according to Krull, by his meeting with Marco Polo.  Beautifully illustrated by Robert Byrd.  Could be read-aloud in 2 or 3 sessions.
4th-6th Grade

Mirror Mirror : A Book of reversible Verse.  Marilyn Singer.  Dutton , 2010.
A brilliant collection of fairy tale style poems that can be read two ways-both up and down which gives a different perspective or meaning.  Vibrant artwork is a perfect compliment.  The last page encourages readers to write their own reverso poem.
Read-aloud 3rd-6th grade

Miss Little’s Gift. Douglas Wood.  Candlewick Press, 2009.
An autobiographical picture book depicting the author’s many struggles in 2nd grade, the biggest being his struggle with reading and ADHD.  Miss Little did not give up on him.  Today he is a very successful author of children’s books.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-5th grade

The Odious Ogre.  Norton Juster.  Michael Di Capua Books Scholastic, 2010.
You’ve heard the phrase, “kill ‘em with kindness.”  That is what happens to the most odious of ogres when he meets a young girl.  The Ogre acquired a rich vocabulary when he “inadvertently swallowed a large dictionary while consuming the head librarian
in one of the nearby towns.”  Invulnerable, impregnable, insuperable, indefatigable, insurmountable are some of the words he uses to describe himself.
Read-aloud 2nd-4th grade

Orangutan Tongs : Poems to Tangle Your Tongue.  Jon Agee.  Hyperion, 2009.
The illustrations enhance this celebration of wordplay.  Great word-smithing.
Read-aloud 2nd-5th grade

Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow.  Robert D. San Souci.  Orchard Books, 2010.
A simple retelling of the traditional English Ballad in which Robin Hood outwits the Sheriff of Nottingham to win the golden arrow.  Fabulous paintings by E.B. Lewis.
Read-aloud 2nd-4th grade

Smells Like Dog.  Suzanne Selfors.  Little, Brown, 2010.
Twelve year old Homer Winslow Pudding inherits a basset hound, with a special coin hidden in the collar, from his treasure hunting Uncle Drake who was killed by a man-eating tortoise.  Dog and Homer leave the family goat farm on a quest to find out the real cause of his uncle’s death.  Full of quirky humor and eccentric characters.  Begins with the author’s “no dead dogs” guarantee.
Read-aloud 3rd-5th grade

The Wonder of Charlie Anne.  Kimberly Newton Fusco.  Knopf, 2010.
This is one of my favorite books from 2010.  It takes place on a Massachusetts farm in the 1930’s.  Charlie Anne and her family face daily hardships with poverty and the loses of their mother.  Times become so hard that the father and oldest son must go north to try and earn money.  In comes the too stern cousin Mirabel who makes life even more difficult.  To cope, Charlie Anne communicates mentally with her mother and her beloved cows.  Things change when an African American child moves in across the road.  Everyone grows in this novel which gives a strong sense of place and time and the author has given us characters to really care about. Themes of loss, hardship, racism, friendship, education, finding strength to face your fears.
Read-aloud 3rd-6th grade

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