Sunday, 16 May 2021

Student Approved Read Alouds for 3rd & 4th Grade

Are you looking for new read aloud novels for your Grade 3 or 4 classroom?

Whether it is on Instagram, Facebook, or in the school, I am always hearing the question "What book should I read to my class next?" I decided I would let you know which novels my 3rd and 4th grade students love to listen to.
3rd and 4th grade read aloud recommendations Terri's Teaching Treasures

I read to my class EVERY DAY while they are eating their recess snack and sometimes while they are finishing up an art project.

I enjoy finding books that can transport my students to a new world and that allows them to fall in love with new characters. Over the years, I have read many books to my classes and the ones I am going to share with you are ones that are always a big hit with my students.

Just a note before I get into my list. The links below are Amazon affiliate links. This does not change the price for you, it just gives me a few cents in commission. Please do not feel pressured to click on my affiliate links. I am totally fine if you write down the titles and look for the books where ever you shop. Links to Amazon Canada will be at the bottom of the post.

OK, let's get started. The list is not in any particular order but the first two books are by far the most loved ones in my classroom. 

Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer

This is a fabulous book that is the first book in Colfer's series. Twins, Alex and Conner fall into The Land of Stories book and go on many great adventures to get the items to the wishing spell. The wishing spell is the only thing to get them back home to their mom and grandmother. On their adventures, Alex and Conner meet many Fairy Tale characters that we are all familiar with.

Just a heads up. A main story line is that the children's father has passed away and the family is dealing with his loss. This may be triggering for some of your students. 
 
Wild Robot Series by Peter Brown

Who doesn't love robots, especially one who is stranded on an island and is trying to make friends with the animals? Technology and wilderness collide in this heartwarming tale. This is a very engaging story that is all about not judging something by what it looks like. It has a great message of kindness and your students will be begging you to read the sequel the moment you end the first book. 

Catching Spring by Sylvia Olsen

If you live in British Columbia this book is a great way to help your students connect with a boy names Bobby, who lives on the Tsartlip First Nations reserve on Vancouver Island. Bobby wants to enter a fishing derby so that he can win a new bike. He has to get a job to earn the entry fee. Sylvia Olsen does a fabulous job at describing what Bobby's life is like and how hard work can pay off. Every time I read this book, my class is eager to learn how to play marbles just like Bobby. 

Murder, Me, and Moses by Ann Walsh

Another fantastic book that is great for integrating with your social studies about a gold rush. This book is set in Barkerville, B.C. at the time of the Cariboo Gold Rush and will have your students sitting on the edge of their seats. There are many opportunities to make predictions about who murdered the local barber's friend. A young boy, Ted and Moses (the barber) are the main characters who have to escape many close calls. This is an adventure packed story that even your most reluctant student will be drawn into before you are done reading the first chapter. 
This is a light-hearted story of Lily Quench the dragon slayer. She is called upon by her family to slay a dragon that is threatening her families kingdom. She soon finds herself befriending the dragon while continuing her adventure. This is an adorable story of bravery, friendship, and girl empowerment. It is a great starter book for introducing your students to the Lily Quench series. 

Abel's Island by William Steig

This is my personal favorite. William Steig won a Newbery Honor Award with this book so that is proof that it is a wonderful book :) A storm has stranded Abel ( a mouse) on his own island and this causes strife for him because he is forced to cope without his familiar, secure life he is use to. Steig wrote a book that is great for reinforcing the benefits of having a growth mindset. Abel provides your students with many, MANY examples of someone persevering by having a growth mindset. Abel has to find a way to cross a river, forge for food, build a shelter, and learn how to live in a new world.
I love to read this humorous book at the beginning of the year. Another story about not judging a book by it's cover. Bradley Chalkers is a 5th grade boy who causes all sorts of trouble. He gets in fights, he tells a lot of lies, and he is labeled as having serious behavior issues. Bradley reluctantly meets the school counselor who sees him as a sensitive, caring person. Bradley learns to love himself and others start changing their perspective of him. Louis Sachar does a wonderful job at giving us the opportunity to talk about perceptions and personal growth and all in a humorous way. 

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Your students will love the story of a sassy little girl who discovers that she has the power to move objects. She uses these powers to help her deal with her kid-hating parents and mean school headmistress. Everyone quickly finds themselves cheering for Matilda as she encounters many comical interactions throughout the story. If you are looking for a book that will make your students chuckle, this is the one. 

The BFG by Roald Dahl

Another Dahl masterpiece! Sophie, an orphan, goes on an adventure to stop all the bad giants. Along the way she befriends the BFG (Big Friendly Giant) who helps her get to Giant Country and Queen Victoria. This novel has a theme of bravery as both Sophie and the BFG have to learn how to be brave to make changes in their lives. 

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

The ultimate fantasy series that will have your students begging you to read more than one book in the series. The main character, Harry Potter, is summoned to attend a famous school of wizardry, Hogwarts. Harry meets Ron and Hermione who help him realize that he is not only a wizard but that he is a famous one. 

Poppy by Avi

Adorable Poppy, a field mouse, has been told about the dangers of Mr. Ocax, a great-horned owl, her whole life. When she decides to go dancing in the moonlight with her boyfriend, Ragweed, her life changes forever. Ragweed is taken by Mr. Ocax and Poppy must find her inner bravery to try and save him. Along the way she find a porcupine friend who helps her. She is a real heroine who outwits the owl to save her boyfriend and also move her family to a better location with more food. 

After I have read this book to my class, they have been keen to read the other books in the Tales of Dimwood Forest series. 

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

A truly unforgettable story of a silverback gorilla, Ivan, who is living in a mall zoo. This story is told in first person perspective, through Ivan's point of view. He fills his time watching t.v., painting pictures, and talking to his friends, Stella and Bob. A new baby elephant, Ruby, comes to the zoo and Ivan starts thinking of his home in the jungle and the life the animals are living in while at the zoo. Friendship is the main theme in this heartwarming novel. When I read this book to my class, I am always blown away by the empathy they show towards the characters in the story.

There is now a sequel to this book called The One and Only Bob. I have not read it yet but I have heard great things about it. 

A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold

Bixby Alexander Tam (Bat) is surprised when his mom, a veternarian, brings home a baby skunk that she is taking care of. He instantly falls in love with the skunk and tries to convince his mom that they should keep the skunk. He has one month to show his mom that the baby skunk makes a perfect pet. Readers begin to relate to Bat as he struggles with peer friendships and the realities having his parents divorce. Bat has autism and even though this is not the main focus of the story it does lead to some great discussion with your students about acceptance and how it is important to look at situations through someone else's point of view. I love how this book normalizes autism and diverse needs of other people. 


This is a book to read for pure silliness and fun. There is no important theme or lesson to be learned but is purely for enjoyment. The Tardy Boys (3 brothers) find out that their parents have been kidnapped by space aliens and on the same day they discover that there is a new cat living in their house. Trying to feed the kitty is very expensive because it is undernourished and eats A LOT. The boys decide to enter the kitty into a contest to win cat food for a year. Soon enough, the boys and their friends discover that cats have been sent from space to earth to control the humans and take over earth. Many humorous events take place while the boys are trying to defeat the space cats and get their parents back. 

If you have a lot of boys in your class, this is a must read. They are quickly drawn to the gross hairballs Skinny Kitty coughs up, the incredibly stinky feet of the Tardy boy's classmate, and the mind control of the space cats. 

Night of the Twisters by Ivy Ruckman

Dan and his friend, Arthur are watching Dan's baby brother when they hear tornado warning sirens. They don't think much about it because the sirens are a normal part of their life in Nebraska. To their surprise they have much less time then they thought to make it to the basement with Dan's baby brother. The tornado hits their town and Dan's house. When the tornado stops, the real adventures begin as they have to make their way out of the house and onto the streets to seek help. This book is a fictionalized retelling of the Grand Island, Nebraska tornados of June 1980. It will have your students on the edge of their seat and is a fantastic book to work into a unit on extreme weather.

Amazon Canada affiliate links:
Wild Robot Series by Peter Brown
Catching Spring by Sylvia Olsen
Abel's Island by William Steig
Matilda by Roald Dahl
The BFG by Roald Dahl
Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Poppy by Avi
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold
Night of the Twisters by Ivy Ruckman

FREE Book Review Graphic Organizer

As a thank you for reading this far :) I want to give you a book review graphic organizer that your students can use with any book.
Book reviews are a great way to see what students think of each book you have read and are how I gather most of my data on which books they like the best.

Just click on the photo or right here, to get your free copy.

I would love to hear about any other books your students have enjoyed or what you think of any of these books. To share your book choices with other educators, just leave a comment below. 





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Cheers,





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