We Remember Fourth Grade!

We Love Reading!

In class this morning, we traveled back in time a few years to revisit our fourth grade reading list. We talked about how much we enjoyed (or didn’t) reading back when we were fourth grade, and we talked about books that we might recommend to a fourth grader who doesn’t necessarily enjoy reading as much as we do now (right?!)

Our discussion was based on a blog post I read over the weekend titled Warning! Don’t Let This Be You! I think most teachers, myself included, have a hard time understanding why some people hate to read. Maybe students like yourselves who are closer in age to Mrs. Kolbert’s fourth graders can help us figure this out. Were you a reluctant reader? Do you have a sibling who is or was a reluctant reader? How did you or your sibling learn to enjoy reading?

Let’s start with these two questions:

  • What would you say to someone who says they hate to read?
  • What books would you recommend to a fourth grader? Explain why. Is there a book you would especially recommend to someone who doesn’t like to read?

Please respond to these questions in the form of a comment to this post. Let’s start talking about books!

Photo Books from the Past by Lin Pernille


Filed under Books

27 responses to “We Remember Fourth Grade!

  1. Alexa

    Reading is very educational. It’s almost like T.V. in your head! Once you start, you can’t stop! You just want more and more and more! Of course, this is all after you have found the perfect book. This can be challenging, but no matter what it is the the first step in a delightful reading experience. The first step is to determine what kind of book, or sometimes more importantly what kind of writing, you like to read, what gets you hooked. Personally, I like to read books that are written in first person. This means that instead of using words like she or he, the author uses words like I or me. It is kind of like a diary or personal journal. It is more than just being able to see everything, as you do when you read books that are written in third person. You can put yourself in the character’s place, see what they see, hear what they hear, everything just as they did. You also have to determine what kind, or genre, you will like to read. There are so many to choose from: fiction, historical fiction, sci-fi (science fiction), drama, non-fiction, fantasy, plays or even poetry. Personally, I would rather read a historical fiction in first person with some kind of modern-day twist than anything else, but that’s just me. You might rather read a sci-fi novel in third person. You need to find what’s best for you and then I promise you will love to read. What I would recommend, instead of buying a million books and only liking one, is to find excerpts online of each genre, and find out what makes you want to read more! Another thing that helps me want to read is finding a book you can easily relate to. If you are going on a trip to New York City, maybe you want to find a book that takes place there. If you enjoy cooking, find a book about a boy or girl your age that shares the interest. Something else that might help you: find a great series. If it is written the way you like and is the genre you like, you have the perfect mix of ingredients to a delightful reading experience.

    I would recommend the following books for a fourth grader:
    -The Misadventures of Maude March by Audrey Couloumbis
    -Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr
    -Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
    -Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
    -The Elevator Family by Douglas Evans

  2. I would say that reading is television or video games in your mind and you can feel that you are actually there.

    The books I would recommend to a fourth grader are The Percy Jackson series, Harry Potter, The Westing Game, Loop Holes, and The Million Dollar Strike.

  3. Emily

    Well, I would first ask what type of book genre that they have been reading and I would recommend a book from past experience for them to read that wasn’t that type of genre, to see if they like this type.
    some recommmended books I have read are:
    -The Percy Jackson series
    -Chronicles of Prydain
    -Where the Red Fern Grows
    -Chronicles of Narnia
    -Harry Potter series
    -Marley and Me-the kid version
    -Escape from Alcatraz

  4. Jack M.

    I enjoy reading because it is almost lik watching a movie in your head. There are scenes, characters events, and problems just like in your favorite movie. One way to find the perfect book is to try and figure out what type of genre you enjoy whether it be in movies or in other books that you have read. Try and find a book similar to the movie or book that you have liked in the past. Remember you can’t hate reading, you probably just haven’t found the right book yet.

    Some books that I would recommended would be:
    – Harry Potter
    -Dizzy (didn’t read personally myself but heard it was a great book for girls)
    – Chicken Boy
    -Percy Jackson and the Olympians

  5. Dominic D

    Reading gets your mind working and it makes your imagination go wild. Reading books also makes you smarter.

    Books that I recommend:
    The Chronicals of Narnia (series)
    Percy Jackson and the Olympians (series)
    The Other Side of the Mountain
    Harry Potter (series)
    Where the Red Fern Grows
    Calvin and Hobbes

  6. Arnold Lualhati

    1.) What I would say is that I respect their opinion you hate reading, I even used to hate reading. You don’t know what your missing. I would recommend a couple of things, begining with getting a simple chapter book. Next, ask for opinions on what books to read from friends that are appropriate for starters. Last but not least, once you get the book, find a character you can relate to. I like reading now, and I used to be like you. You can be like me and get smart.

    2.) Books I would recommend are:
    a.) Bridge to Terrbithia
    b.) The Secret Garden
    c.) Esparanza Rising
    d.) Phenias L. MacGuire Errupts!!!
    e. Where The Red Fern Grows
    f.) (Obvious) Harry Potter Series
    g.) Marked

  7. Kate M.

    I’d tell a person that claims they hate to read that reading is like television. No, I wouldn’t say that; I’d say reading is better…

    When reading, the words paint a picture in your mind. Your mind’s eye sees what you imagine, whereas your eyes see what’s on the screen when you watch television. Face it, you don’t use your imagination when you watch TV. Actually, your brain goes into its passive state and your eyes have a glazed look, as if you are not doing anything. As if your mind isn’t working. That’s because your mind isn’t working when you watch television. Read this passage from Inkheart by Cornelia Funke:

    “In books hatred is often described as hot, but at Capricorn’s festivities Meggie discovered it was cold – an ice cold hand that stops the heart and presses it like a clenched fist against the ribs. Hatred made her freeze, in spite of the mild air wafting around her, telling her that the word is a good, safe place. She knew it was not – as the bloody cloth on which the smiling Capricorn had laid his ringed hand showed all too clearly…”

    Think of what you saw; what your mind painted for you to see. Did you like it? Did it seem as if you were there, in the passage? Now, think of what you would see if this description was on the television. You definitely would not see what your mind painted. It would be totally different. It would be what a director saw when reading that passage. It would not be as grand as your image was, would it?

    Books are better, as I just proved to you. You should read. Right now. Pick up a book. Oh, you can’t decide? Think of television show you like. Think of its genre, or its category. Find a book that falls into that genre. Open it, and read.
    Still cannot decide? Here are some books – and their genres – that I certainly enjoyed:

    Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli – Historical Fiction
    They call him Stopthief. Gypsy. Jew. He steals food for himself and the other orphans in the city of Warsaw. He wants to be a Jackboot, a Nazi. But that was before he knew…

    Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer – Science Fiction Fantasy
    Artemis Fowl is a genius. A genius at the age of twelve. He believes in fairies, in centaurs, in elves. He has a reason to as well. He finds fairy and steals its most valuable possesion. It’s called the Book…

  8. I would tell them that reading is only fun if you make it fun. You have to imagine the story being told inside of your head so that you can get a visual picture of what is happening in the book. Another important thing to make reading more enjoyable is to actually read a good book. You should pick a bool that interests you and is written well. This is what I would tell someone if they didn’t like to read.

    The books that I would recommend to a fourth grader is the Pendragon Series. Once you start the first page you’ll have to finish the rest of the books. D.J. MacHale is an exceptional writer who creates a great story line and plot that makes the books so interesting. The books aren’t too hard to read but might challenge the readers at some points.

  9. Amanda

    If someone hates to read, that’s not good. You always have to read. When you get to high school, you have to read textbooks, you have to read books for English class, YOU HAVE TO READ!!!! The teachers don’t care if you like it or not. In fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade, you have to read for Literature. So, you should start to read now and make the best of it, because if you don’t like it when you get older, things go from bad to worse.

    Some books I recommend:

    -The Wolf Dog- Walt Morey

    -Harry Potter- J.K. Rowling

    -Warriors- Erin Hunter

    -The Puppy Patrol- Jenny Dale

    -Inkheart- Cornelia Funke

    -The Thief Lord- Cornelia Funke

    -The Indian in the Cupboard- Lynn Reid Banks

  10. Luke

    I would guess that someone didn’t like reading because of one or two books that they have read before that just didn’t interest them. So, my suggestion would be to think about what interests them. If they like history, action, or mysteries. Whatever they are interested in, there is almost always a genre and many good books to match it.

    I would recommend these books: Holes by Louis Sachar. Stanley was an average kid, plagued by the curse of his dirty-rotten-pig stealing-great-great grandfather. One day, he “steals” a pair of shoes, and is sent to Camp Green Lake …..
    The Pendragon Series- Bobby Pendragon was good at sports, had a great family, and had tons of friends. One day, that all goes away, and his Uncle Press takes him on an adventure that will change his life forever.

  11. Matthew

    What would I say to someone who hated to read? First of all, “hate” is a strong word. You can’t really hate reading. You probably just read a few too many bad and boring books. I’m with you on that. But that doesn’t mean you can’t give up on it. There are thousands possibly millions of books out there and you are stopping cause of a couple bad books. Look, nobody’s perfect and neither are their opinions and writing. If you don’t like a book, all you have to do is go find another one. If you like movies, generally, there’s a book that goes with it. Speaking of movies, its true that reading is like watching a movie in you mind. You can imagine what the characters look like and the locations and EVERYTHING! It’s all up to you. All it takes is a topic that interests you and one good book and you’ll love reading forever it’s true. One thing I recommend(mainly for your teacher) is to create literature circles or mini book clubs. All you do is get a bunch of books, pick one and read it. Then, in class you discuss the book and what you read. Sometimes it’s a lot easier to understand a book if you have people to discuss it with. Anyways, here are a few books and series I recommend and or I’ve heard there good for you:

    -Harry Potter series(amazing)
    -Pendragon series(even more amazing)
    -Percy Jackson and the Olympians series
    -Gregor the Overlander series
    -I, Freddy series
    -Danny the Champion of the World(and other Roald Dahl books)
    -My Side of the Mountain

  12. Sean

    I would tell someone who hates to read that there is a book out there that they will like. it is probably more of a genre of books but once they find it, they will be hooked on reading for ever.

    I would recommend White Fang, Tom Sawyer/Hucklberry Fin, and the Pendragon series(BEST SERIES EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).

  13. These are such great suggestions. I will be sure to tell my students to check out your recommendations. Thank you for helping my students become better readers.

  14. Elysse M.

    This is what I would say to someone who says that they don’t like to read: “Reading is so fun because it’s almost like watching a movie! There are charcters, settings, and a plot. Instead of showing you the story, the author describes it to you through their writing and you can picture it any way you want to! It’s also fun to imagine yourself in the book and actually going through the story with the characters. Reading also makes you smarter and it expands your vocabulary. This is why I love reading so much!”

    I would recommend the book The Westing Game because it’s very exciting and you have to think with the characters to solve the puzzling mystery. I actually recieved this book for Christmas when I was in fourth grade!

  15. Melissa

    I love to read because I can imagine myself in the characters’ shoes and sometimes even relate to them. To me, when I open a book, I can go anywhere possible. When you are reading a book, you can picture the scenes in the story in your head, which feels like you are really there! The hard part is just finding the right book. There are many out there, and some may appear to be “boring”, but there are also many books that are really exciting. Some people love reading books about mysteries, while others enjoy fantasy or ones where the characters are similar to them. Each book is different, and every page you open brings new adventures.
    I’d recommend the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, which is filled with mysteries and surprises, and really teaches you about Greek mythology. One of my favorite authors when I was in 4th grade was Andrew Clements, because his books made me laugh and were very interesting and imaginative.

  16. Colleen

    I have always loved reading, so I can not really relate very well to someone who doesn’t. I find it as an escape from my own world, when it seems a little to harsh to bear. But, I am pretty empathetic, so I could find a way to help.

    The first thing I would do is ask why they don’t like reading. Obviously my answer would be different with each, depending on what they say, but I would probably end up saying to give it another chance. To focus on something you absolutely love, and read about it. For example, if you like sports, than you can read about it, and pretend you are the main character. I would say to read something you can relate to, so that you don’t get as bored.

    1) Number the Stars. When I was in 4th grade I was really interested in the Holocaust. This explains the topic well without going over a 10 year old’s head.

    2) Harry Potter. This has always been my favorite book series. It is exciting but easy enought to follow.

    3)Percy Jackson and the Olympians. I really like these books, too. They are also exciting yet easy to understand.

    4)Anything by Andrew Clements. He writes intelligent plot lines, in a good way for that age group to understand.

    5)Dear Dumb Diary. This is not a guy book. I loved it in 4th grade, but it is not very good for reading comprehension, and it would not be challenging.

    6)The Doll People. This is a well written book with a good plot line. It is good for girls in 4th or 5th grade.

  17. Carrie

    Try reading something simple like the back of the book first. See if it’s your type of book. If it’s not, don’t read it. You can chose what you can read, but that doesn’t mean that you have to hate it. Ask yourself ‘Why do you hate reading?’ If you say that it’s boring or too confusing, chose a book that you can understand. Start with books that relate to you, maybe you moved away, read about a family that moved away from their town. I say start with a book in a series so then if you really like the book you’re reading, you’ll want to keep reading the books in the series and keep reading more books that relate to the books that you love.

    ~All of the Andrew Clements books, Mostly about school stories but still very fun to read
    ~Rules, I liked this book, it can be confusing at some points, but I think you can get the hang of it.
    ~Harry Potter Series, I haven’t read them but I’ve heard that they are AMAZING
    ~Percy Jackson Series, In my opinion one of the best series around, very entertaining, about gods and goddesses, heros, monsters, and titans
    ~The Doll People, and The Meanest Doll in the world. these are books that I’ve read over and over again. they are very good book for 5th and 4th graders.
    ~Every Soul a Star, very interesting and entertaining, I just read it but I think it’s a good book for 4th graders.

  18. Sam C

    Reading is television for the mind. When you read you can imagine yourself as the character. You can fly or fight the enemy. You can be anything, or anybody, you want too. I enjoy using my imagination.

    Fourth grade reading recommendations:

    1. Star Wars series
    2. Horrible Harry
    3. The Good Dog
    4. The Guardians of Ga’Hoole
    5. Call of the Wild
    6. National Geographic magazines

  19. Nick Warriner

    If you say you don’t like reading, It actually means you do, but have not found your book yet.

    Books I would recomend are
    Chronicles of Narnia
    Spiderwick Chronicles
    Harry Potter
    Tales of a fourth grade nothing

  20. Nick M.

    Well, first of all I would just stare at them, and possibly give them the eye. Then I would tell them that they just don’t like reading because they have the mindset and attitude that reading is terrible. So all they have to do is find a book that has what they have interests in and that will change their mindset. This could mean getting to know the student better if needed. I would also tell them that reading is a load of fun. It’s so fun because it’s almost like dreaming awake. When you dream you don’t choose what you dream about, as with a book. And in dreams you make the impossible possible. You may even fly to a new planet. All you need is a little imagination. As I always say, “Imagination is the fuel to success.”

    Chronicles of Narnia
    Harry Potter
    Hunger Games
    Artemis Fowl
    Pendragon Series
    Ranger’s Apprentice Series

  21. I can understand not liking reading because I haven’t always loved it. All you have to do is find a subject that you like, and then it’s better than TV! Just think about what kinds of movies and TV shows that you watch, and there is going to be a similar book out there for you. Or, it’s also good to look at what books are popular with kids like you, and what sorts of things you would want to read a story about. Don’t be reluctant to try new things either, because chances are if a book or series is hugely popular with kids your age, you’ll like it too!

    Books I Recommend:

    The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: The whole Greek mythology thing was a turnoff to me at first, but when I tried the books, I couldn’t stop reading them! I was actually sad when I finished.

    Harry Potter series: These are really good! They’re action packed, funny, and they keep you on your toes!

    Rules: When I read this, I didn’t know a lot about disabilaties, so it was very interesting to hear about an autistic boy from his sister’s perspective.

  22. madeleine

    If you don’t like reading, try putting yourself in the book and be one of the characters. You can also try making yourself be a new character, and add yourself in, doing what you want to improve the book, making a story out of a story.

    Some good books are:

    Harry Potter
    Gregor the Overlander
    The Percy Jackson Series
    books by Andrew Clements (Frindle)
    books by Roald Dahl (the BFG)

  23. Sierra Stratton

    What I would say to someone who says they hate to read would be that there are different choices and genres if reading.

    Some reccomendations I would have are:
    •Esparanza Rising
    •The Percy Jackson Series
    •The Harry Potter Series

  24. It’s so important to draw attention to reading, and attract reluctant readers to it,especially boys. In fact, I’ve recently completed a feature magazine article on this subject that came out in October, “Help for Struggling, Reluctant Readers.”

    I grew up as a reluctant reader, in spite of the fact that my father published over 70 books. Now I write action-adventures & mysteries, especially for tween boys, that avid boy readers and girls enjoy just as much.

    My blog, Books for Boys http://booksandboys.blogspot.com is dedicated to drawing attention to the importance of reading. And I have a new book, Lost Island Smugglers, coming out in June.

    Keep up your good work.

    Max Elliot Anderson

  25. Brian

    I would say it’s like a movie in your head. You get to experience what the character is experiencing and put yourself in the story. I would also read them a action packed passage from a book and a few other types of passages to see what spikes their interest. Finally I would suggest a list of books which is below.

    Pendragon series

    A Boy no More series

    Pearl Harbor

    Far North


    Flags of our Fathers Hatchet series

    Call of the Wild

    All of these books are action packed for the most part and boys would especially like them. If you are interested in the wild, wilderness, survival, Ww2, Pearl Harbor, fantasy or fiction they are all in the books above.

  26. Devin

    Books are a way to give your mind a vacation. It may seem boring with all the words but once you start reading its like going on the wildest adventures that you can imagine. You would open that book and the exciting twist of events fill your head. I would reccommend books that relate to things the kids like. anything their interested in.

  27. lexy

    When I was in 4th grade I didn’t like reading. In mt opinion reading isn’t the most amazing thing ever, but i do enjoy it. To me reading is just, honestly, and excuse to digg into the historical/fictional lives of the characters. Kids your age still roam around the idea of fantasy and the unthinkable. Some books can do that.They bring the impossible to the possible in your mind. Honestly, I think it’s a sometimes exciting experience to read a book you like…so why don’t you try it?

    -call of the wild
    -hunger games

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