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Grades 3-4 Reading List



Aldrin, Buzz. Look to the Stars. Putnam’s, 2009. Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin

traces the history of air and space exploration from Isaac Newton to the

International Space Station and Mars using personal insights and

conversational text.


Anderson, Matthew T. Handel, Who Knew What He Liked. Candlewick, 2001. A

man who would later compose some of the world's most beautiful music is

shown as a stubborn little boy with a mind of his own.


Barton, Chris. The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer's

Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors. Charlesbridge, 2009. Brothers Bob

and Joe Switzer had different interests and ambitions but worked together on

the dazzling creation of fluorescent colors.


Beard, Darleen Bailey. Annie Glover is Not a Tree Lover. Farrar, Straus and

Giroux, 2009. Fourth grader Annie is torn between supporting her “tree

hugging” grandmother who is trying to save a historic tree and her desire for

the new community swimming pool which would mean cutting down the tree.


Becker, Bonny. The Magical Ms. Plum. Alfred A. Knopf, 2009. Each of the students

in Ms. Plum’s third grade classroom receives a visit from a magical creature

that comes out of her supply closet just for them.


Bidner, Jenni. Is My Dog a Wolf?: How Your Pet Compares to its Wild Cousin.

Lark, 2006. Examines the differences and similarities between dogs and wolves

with descriptions of how both have descended from the ancient wolf and how

they have evolved into two diverse species.


Bishop, Nic. Forest Explorer: A Life-Size Field Guide. Scholastic, 2004. Enjoy up

close views of the wildlife in a deciduous forest through breathtakingly beautiful

photography and informative text.


Brown, Don. A Wizard From the Start: The Incredible Boyhood and Amazing

Inventions of Thomas Edison. Houghton Mifflin, 2010. This picture book

shows that young Thomas Edison was a hard worker who was curious about

everything, read a lot of books, studied diligently for years, and was passionate

about inventing.


Bruel, Nick. Happy Birthday Bad Kitty. Roaring Brook, 2009. Bad Kitty's birthday

party seems to be going well until her presents begin to disappear. Is one of the

guests stealing them? Series


Buckley, Carol. Tarra and Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best

Friends. Putnam’s, 2009. This book shares the true story of an elephant

named Tarra who befriends a dog, Bella, at an elephant sanctuary.




Cheshire, Simon. The Curse of the Ancient Mask: And Other Case Files. Roaring

Brook, 2009. Become a detective and see if you can solve each mystery from

the clues Saxby gives as he works three cases in this fast-paced chapter book.



Cleary, Beverly. Ribsy. First published 1964. When Ribsy gets lost from his family at

the shopping center, he begins a series of humorous escapades and wanderings

in his quest to find his family. Series


Clements, Andrew. No Talking. Simon & Schuster, 2007. The noisy fifth grade

class of Laketon Elementary becomes suspiciously quiet when the boys

challenge the girls to a “no talking” contest.


Coombs, Kate. The Secret-Keeper. Atheneum, 2006. Kalli is entrusted with

everyone’s secrets until the potter’s son reveals the best secret of all.


Corey, Shana. Mermaid Queen: The Spectacular True Story of Annette

Kellerman, Who Swam Her Way to Fame, Fortune, & Swimsuit History!

Scholastic, 2009. This brightly illustrated picture book biography of Annette

Kellerman details how she overcame physical difficulties to become a world

famous swimmer, water ballerina, and swimsuit innovator.


Coville, Bruce. The Monster's Ring. Harcourt, 2002. Russell Crannaker's magic ring

enables him to turn into a monster on Halloween and ward off the class bully

once and for all. Series


Cowley, Joy. Snake and Lizard. Kane/Miller, 2008. Snake and Lizard's friendship

grows as they learn more about each other in this humorous chapter book of

likable desert characters.


Creech, Sharon. Hate That Cat. Joanna Cotler, 2008. Jack is studying poetry

again in school, and he continues to write poems reflecting his understanding

of famous works and how they relate to his life.


Crisp, Marty. Titanicat. Sleeping Bear Press, 2008. Every ship had a cat, and in

this historical fiction picture book, the story of the Titanic's cat is told; but just

where is the cat's luck during the Titanic's doomed voyage?


Dahl, Roald. Matilda. Viking, 1988. Matilda applies her mental powers to rid the

school of the evil headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, and restore Miss Honey, her

nice teacher, to financial security.


Davies, Nicola. Extreme Animals: The Toughest Creatures on Earth. Candlewick,

2006. This amazing natural history book reveals how animals adapt to and

survive the harshest of conditions that would kill any human.


Demi. Marco Polo. Marshall Cavendish, 2008. Travel with the legendary explorer,

Marco Polo, through colorful, exotic lands, experiencing the dangers and

adapting to strange cultures over his 24-year, 3,000-mile journey through the

Far East.


Dennis, Brian. Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle. Little,

Brown, 2009. Heartwarming true tale of a United States Marine and his canine

friend as they met and bonded in Iraq, and how Nubs came to America.



Eilenberg, Max. Beauty and the Beast. Candlewick, 2006. This beautifully

illustrated version of the classic tale includes such interesting family members

as Beauty’s two spoiled sisters and her proud, adoring father.


Franco, Betsy. A Curious Collection of Cats: Concrete Poems. Tricycle Press,

2009. Full of humor and colorful illustrations, this book of concrete poems

about cats is a delight.


Franco, Betsy. Messing Around on the Monkey Bars: And Other School Poems for

Two Voices. Candlewick, 2009. Find a partner and enjoy reading poems

about life at school from this entertaining collection of poetry for two voices.


French, Jackie. How to Scratch a Wombat: Where to Find It ... What to Feed It ...

Why It Sleeps All Day. Clarion, 2009. This book tells you all you need to

know about caring for and living with wombats -- how to scratch their backs,

how to sing to them, and how to keep the "hairy brown rocks with legs" from

breaking your door down -- based on the author's thirty years of experience in

her Australian home.


Friedman, Laurie. Red, White & True Blue Mallory. Carolrhoda Books, 2009. On a

class trip to Washington, D.C., Mallory keeps a journal in which she writes

about sites she visits, her bothersome loose tooth, the lack of attention from her

best friend, Mary Ann, and getting lost in a museum. Series


Gardiner, John Reynolds. Stone Fox. First published 1980. Willy hopes to win the

purse in a dog sled race in order to pay the back taxes on his grandfather's



Gibbons, Gail. Hurricanes! Holiday House, 2009. Informative text and drawings

present an overview of how hurricanes are formed, their categories, the

destruction they can cause, and how they are forecasted and tracked.


Giovanni, Nikki. The Grasshopper's Song: An Aesop's Fable Revisited.

Candlewick, 2008. It is the alleged "frivolous" grasshopper's day in court as he

tries to prove his case against the industrious ants who did not share their food

with him through the long, cold winter.


Goldstone, Bruce. Great Estimations. Holt, 2006. This book will show you how to

train your eyes and your mind to make really great estimations using

photographs and easy-to-follow text.


Greene, Stephanie. Happy Birthday, Sophie Hartley. Clarion, 2010. Sophie, who

is looking forward to her tenth birthday, has many ups and downs growing up

in a family with five kids.



Grindley, Sally. Dear Max. McElderry Books, 2006. Written in letter format between

a nine-year-old boy and a published author, this book deals sensitively with

loss within a family, disease, and bullying.


Gutman, Dan. Nightmare at the Book Fair. Simon and Schuster, 2008. Fifthgrader

Trip Dinkleman, who does not like to read very much, is hit on the head

by a bookfair case and becomes a character in a series of different books

including a horror story, an adventure, and a fantasy.


Hamilton, Virginia. The Girl Who Spun Gold. Blue Sky Press, 2000. This

beautifully illustrated folktale is a West Indian variant of the Rumpelstiltskin



Hansen, Rosanna. Caring for Cheetahs: My African Adventure. Boyds Mills, 2007.

Pounce into this colorful photo-essay about protecting endangered cheetahs at

a nature reserve owned by the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, Africa.


Harley, Avis. African Acrostics: A Word in Edgeways. Candlewick, 2009.

Entertaining acrostic poems about African animals provide readers information

both about the animals as well as the various forms of acrostic poems.


Harper, Charise Mericle. Just Grace Walks the Dog. Houghton Mifflin, 2008. Grace

hopes to prove to her parents that she can be dependable and responsible

enough to have a real dog, not just the cardboard dog she has been pulling

around. Series


Helman, Andrea. Hide and Seek: Nature's Best Vanishing Acts. Walker, 2008.

This beautifully photographed book takes the reader to ecosystems around the

world to show how animals camouflage themselves for protection in each

unique habitat.


Hicks, Betty. Track Attack. Roaring Brook, 2009. Superfast Jazz, a budding track

star, is embarrassed by her overly enthusiastic father and his meddling at her

track meets and practices.


Holt, Kimberly Willis. Piper Reed Gets a Job. Holt, 2009. Piper starts a partyplanning

business in order to earn enough money to buy a clubhouse for their

Gypsy Club members, but she discovers the job is not nearly as easy as she

had thought. Series


Hopkins, Jackie Mims. The Gold Miner’s Daughter: A Melodramatic Fairytale.

Peachtree, 2006. In trying to pay her debt to mean ole Mr. Bigglebottom, Gracie

Pearl meets many fairytale characters along the way who have had their own

problems with the money hungry banker in this entertaining, melodramatic



Hopkins, Jackie Mims. Joe Bright and the Seven Genre Dudes. Upstart Books,

2010. Stella, the master storyteller of a storybook kingdom, is threatened by

Joe Bright's ability to tell stories and sends him deep into the dark forest, where

Joe meets the Seven Genre Dudes, brothers who care for various types of books

at the local library.


Hopkinson, Deborah. Keep On!: The Story of Matthew Henson, Co-Discoverer of

the North Pole. Peachtree, 2009. Well-researched text and striking drawings

portray the courage and determination of explorer Matthew Henson as he

traveled with Admiral Peary to the North Pole in 1909.


Hunt, Elizabeth Singer. The Escape of the Deadly Dinosaur: USA. Weinstein,

2007. Nine-year-old Jack Stalwart works for the GPF, the Global Protection

Force, and travels to New York City in search of a genetically mutated flesheating

dinosaur. Series


Jenkins, Emily. Toy Dance Party: Being the Further Adventures of a Bossyboots

Stingray, a Courageous Buffalo, and a Hopeful Round Someone Called

Plastic. Schwartz & Wade, 2008. Buffalo, Stingray, and Plastic are worried

when the Girl starts spending time with Barbie dolls and at sleepovers.

Throughout their adventures in the house, they will learn if they can keep the

Girl's love. Series


Jenkins, Steve. Never Smile at a Monkey: And 17 Other Important Things to

Remember. Houghton Mifflin, 2009. Incredible cut paper illustrations

highlight eighteen creatures whose weapons of teeth, claws, spines, and venom

make them dangerous to humans, while the captivating text explains what you

should never do if you encounter one of these animals.


Judge, Lita. One Thousand Tracings: Healing the Wounds of World War II.

Hyperion, 2007. The author relates the story of her grandparents’ efforts after

World War II to send packages of food, clothing, and shoes to their friends in

Germany and others in Europe who suffered from the after-effects of the war.


Klimo, Kate. The Dragon in the Driveway. Random House, 2009. Cousins, Jesse

and Daisy, along with their pet dragon, continue their battle against the evil

scientist who has plans to destroy the forest in order to find the magical golden

pickax that is buried there. Series


Klise, Kate. Stand Straight, Ella Kate: The True Story of a Real Giant. Dial

Books, 2010. The life of Ella Kate Ewing, an eight foot tall giant born in 1872,

is presented in this illustrated fictionalized biography.


Krosoczka, Jarrett. Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute. Alfred A. Knopf, 2009.

In this graphic novel, the Lunch Lady and her sidekick, Betty, secretly fight

forces of evil when they uncover a plot hatched by a villainous teacher to

overrun the school with cyborg substitutes. Series


Krull, Kathleen. The Boy Who Invented TV: The Story of Philo Farnsworth. Alfred

A. Knopf, 2009. As a young boy in the early 1900's, Philo Farnsworth's

curiosity about how things work eventually led him to develop the idea of how

television could work.






La Fevers, R. L. Flight of the Phoenix. Houghton Mifflin, 2009. Ten-year-old Nate

is sent to live with a family cousin, the world's last beastologist, after his

parents are declared lost at sea, but danger mounts when he is brought on an

expedition to the Arabian desert, gets lost, and must protect a newly hatched

phoenix egg and rescue his guardian. Series


Lane, Kathleen. Nana Cracks the Case! Chronicle Books, 2009. Not your ordinary

grandma, Nana is aided by her grandchildren Eufala and Bog in nabbing a

candy thief for the Crispy County Police Department.


Larsen, C. S. Crust & Spray: Gross Stuff in Your Eyes, Ears, Nose and Throat.

Millbrook, 2010. Prepare to be both grossed out and educated by the wacky

descriptions and graphic close up pictures of the fluids and ooze generated by

the human body.


Lin, Grace. The Year of the Dog: A Novel. Little, Brown, 2006. Frustrated at her

seeming lack of talent for anything, a young Taiwanese-American girl sets out

to apply the lessons of the Chinese Year of the Dog to her own life. Series


Low, Alice. The Fastest Game on Two Feet and Other Poems About How Sports

Began. Holiday House, 2009. This book contains funny poems about various

sports as well as a brief paragraph about the sport’s origin.


Lowry, Lois. The Birthday Ball. Houghton Mifflin, 2010. Princess Patricia Priscilla

is not looking forward to her birthday when she has to choose a suitor, so she

switches places with her chambermaid so she can attend school with the



Lubar, David. Punished! Darby Creek, 2006. Because he was playing tag in the

reference section of the library, Logan is punished by Professor Wordsworth,

who puts a spell on him that is broken only by finding anagrams, palindromes,

and oxymorons.


MacDonald, Alan. Trolls United. Bloomsbury, 2007. In this silly story about an

endearing troll family, Ulrik has to deal with his father coming to school,

worrying about making the soccer team, and hoping for a new pair of soccer

cleats. Series


MacDonald, Betty. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. First published 1947. Loved by children and

their parents, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle always knows just the right way to solve any

problem. Series


MacLachlan, Patricia. Sarah, Plain and Tall. First published 1985. This sweet

prairie tale of a family's experiences with Sarah, a mail-order bride from Maine,

begins with children Anna and Caleb worried that their new mother might not

like being away from the sea. Series


Markle, Sandra. Animal Heroes: True Rescue Stories. Millbrook, 2009. Nine

riveting tales share examples of animals saving humans, along with photos and

extra information and insights into animal behavior.


McCully, Emily Arnold. Wonder Horse: The True Story of the World's Smartest

Horse. Holt, 2010. Bill “Doc” Key, who was a former slave, trains his horse,

Jim Key, to recognize letters and numbers and perform around the country,

ultimately teaching others to treat animals humanely.


Mitchelhill, Barbara. The Graffiti Mystery. Stone Arch Books, 2009. Getting in a

few scrapes himself, Supersleuth Damian uses his smarts to solve the mystery

of who has been painting graffiti on the walls of the boys’ bathroom and the

principal’s car. Series


Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Shiloh. Atheneum, 1991. Marty must make some painful

decisions about returning a dog to his abusive owner. Newbery Honor Book

1992. Series


Nivola, Claire A. Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008. This beautifully illustrated biography tells

how Wangari Maathai encouraged the people of Kenya to plant trees in an effort

to restore their depleted land.


Nolan, Lucy. Bad to the Bone. Marshall Cavendish, 2008. Neighboring dogs, Down

Girl and Sit, are discovering that their owners are very hard to train. Series


O'Malley, Kevin. Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude. Walker, 2005. Cooperatively

writing a fairytale for school, a girl imagines a beautiful princess whose beloved

ponies are being stolen by a giant, and a boy conjures up the muscular biker

who will guard the last pony in exchange for gold.


Otfinoski, Steven. All in the Family: A Look-It-Up Guide to the In-Laws, Outlaws,

and Offspring of Mythology. Franklin Watts, 2009. Greek mythology hall of

famers meet the modern age in a new series that brings the superstars of Greek

mythology to life. Series


Pennypacker, Sara. Clementine’s Letter. Hyperion, 2008. After learning that her

favorite teacher will be leaving for a trip to Egypt and will be absent for the

remainder of the year, Clementine devises a plan to get rid of the substitute and

get Mr. D'Matz to stay. Series


Petersen, P. J. Wild River. Delacorte, 2009. When their kayak hits a log and his

older brother is seriously hurt, Ryan must overcome his fears and go for help.


Polacco, Patricia. The Keeping Quilt. First published 1988. Follow the author's

family's quilt through several generations, from its creation by the first

generation immigrant family all the way to the present generation.


Rappaport, Doreen. Eleanor, Quiet No More: The Life of Eleanor Roosevelt.

Disney-Hyperion, 2009. Well-researched and powerfully presented, this

biography of Eleanor Roosevelt chronicles her life from a quiet, reserved child to

an outspoken champion for the rights of all individuals.




Root, Phyllis. Paula Bunyan. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009. Paula Bunyan is a

rough, tough lady with a singing voice that cracks windows, a live bear for a

foot warmer, and a heart for the environment in this fun folk tale set in the

North Woods.


Rosenthal, Amy Krouse. The Wonder Book. Harper, 2010. Silly poems, puns, and

jokes are illustrated with happy line drawings in this humorous book full of

word play.


Ryder, Joanne. Panda Kindergarten. Collins, 2009. Simple text and enticing color

photographs follow sixteen giant panda cubs as they eat, play, and nap during

the day at the Wolong Nature Preserve in China.


Scieszka, Jon. Spaceheadz. Simon & Schuster, 2010. Michael moves to a new

school and learns that some of his friends are really aliens who have come to

Earth in order to convince millions of kids to be Space Heads. Series


Scott, Elaine. When is a Planet Not a Planet?: The Story of Pluto. Clarion, 2007.

This book takes the downgrading of Pluto from planet to dwarf planet as a

teachable moment for discussing questions such as how the number of planets

has changed through the centuries, what can be called a planet, and how

scientists come to conclusions—and occasionally change their minds.


Service, Pamela F. Alien Expedition. Carolrhoda Books, 2009. Alien agent Zack is

on a mission to help rescue alien dinosaurs from another planet who have been

taken hostage in Mongolia by the Kiapa Kapa Syndicate. Series


Shefelman, Janice. I, Vivaldi. Eerdmans Books, 2008. This picture book biography

describes how Vivaldi grew to be a famous musician, despite his mother's vow

for him to become a priest.


Sidman, Joyce. Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems. Houghton

Mifflin, 2005. Poems about pond life throughout the year and factual

annotations are contained in this beautifully illustrated book.


Sidman, Joyce. Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature's Survivors. Houghton Mifflin,

2010. In fourteen poems, this picture book blends poetry, science, and art in

celebrating the earth’s most resilient and long-lived species.


Simon, Seymour. Horses. HarperCollins, 2006. Horse lovers will enjoy this book of

photographs and accompanying text which provides interesting information

about horses.


Sylver, Adrienne. Hot Diggity Dog: The History of the Hot Dog. Dutton, 2010. The

history of the hot dog and how it came to America is discussed in this eyecatching

picture book.


Tavares, Matt. Henry Aaron's Dream. Candlewick, 2010. In this beautiful picture

book biography of Henry “Hank” Aaron, Henry overcomes many obstacles to

realize his childhood dream of becoming a major league baseball player.


Taylor, Sarah Stewart. Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean. Disney-Hyperion,

2010. In graphic novel format, Amelia Earhart’s life is described with a focus

on the successful Atlantic crossing in 1928.


Tolan, Stephanie S. Wishworks, Inc. Arthur A. Levine, 2009. Third-grader Max

copes with his parents' divorce by retreating into an imaginary world complete

with an imaginary dog to protect him from the bullies at school until he realizes

that one must be careful what one wishes for even at his imaginary Wishworks,



Trine, Greg. The Curse of the Bologna Sandwich. Holt, 2006. After graduating from

the Superhero Academy, Melvin Beederman heads for Los Angeles where he

unexpectedly teams up with Candace Brinkwater, school play actress, to nab

the evil McNasty Brothers. Series


Tunnell, Michael O. Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift's Chocolate

Pilot. Charlesbridge, 2010. This is the story of pilot Gail Halvorsen who, after

meeting some of the children living in post World War II West Berlin, started

dropping candy from his plane when he flew over.


Vail, Rachel. Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters. Feiwel and

Friends, 2010. Written in diary form, Justin writes honestly about his worries

and observations of life in the 3rd grade.


Wallace, Rich. The Ball Hogs. Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. In this beginning chapter

book, Mark and Ben, both highly competitive, refuse to pass the soccer ball, but

eventually realize that their best chance of winning is working together. Series

The East Penn School District is an equal opportunity education institution and will not discriminate in its educational programs, activities or employment practices on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, ancestry, disability, union membership or other legally protected classification. Announcement of the policy is in accordance with state and federal laws, including Title VI, Title IX, Section 504 and Americans with Disabilities Act. Copyright 2009 East Penn School District.
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Last modified: 2015-07-22 11:36:48 PM (EDT)