Master 4th Grade Reading list

*This post contains Amazon Affiliated links in order to earn a commission*

By the end of 4th grade your child should be fully understanding grammar, sentence structure and how to investigate in English, History and Science. Your child should also be reading at a S/T level. A 4th grader should be writing with no help and be revising their work with your help. We have added a printable here, as well as on out Printable and Freebies page and you will have full access in our Facebook group.

Non Fiction

The Balloon Boy of San Francisco by Dorothy Kupcha Leland

In 1853, San Francisco newsboy Ready Gates lives up to his nickname. He’s ready for anything–whether it’s shouting the latest headlines from a street corner, sneaking onto a river boat to avoid paying the fare, or tracking down a missing gold miner. But when he crosses the bay to watch a balloon ascension, his adventures suddenly take an unexpected turn. Based on a true story, this book paints a colorful picture of daily life in San Francisco five years after the discovery of gold in California. It’s drawn from newspapers, letters, diaries and many historical documents. – Amazon

The Story of Inventions by Anna Claybourne

Toasters, toilets and televisions, computers, cars and chocolate bars, flying machines and even your jeans. All these everyday things and many more are only here because someone bothered to invent them. This book reveals the real-life stories and bright sparks behind dozens of brilliant inventions. – Goodreads

The Story of Exploration by Anna Claybourne

Entertaining guides that invite young readers to discover fascinating facts about science and delve into incredible tales of intrepid explorers who helped shape modern history. – Amazon

Historical Fiction

Castle Diary by Richard Platt

What was it really like to live in a castle? Step back to the Middle Ages with CASTLE DIARY: THE JOURNAL OF TOBIAS BURGESS. Eleven-year-old Toby’s vivid diary entries offer an insider’s view of day-to-day castle life, including tips on etiquette (where do you spit at a feast?) and exciting descriptions of hunting, jousting, and harvesting. Complete with glossary, index, and detailed endnotes, this is a rich look at medieval life that informs as much as it entertains. – Amazon

Pirate Diary by Richard Platt

Curious about life on a pirate ship? Check out PIRATE DIARY: THE JOURNAL OF JAKE CARPENTER, an account of adventure on the high seas as told by a feisty nine-year-old carpenter’s apprentice, circa 1716. Historically accurate illustrations of ship and crew, a map of Jake’s travels, and a detailed glossary and index vividly reveal the fascinating – and harsh – life of a pirate in the eighteenth century. Ships ahoy! – Amazon

Amos Fortune, Free Man by Elizabeth Yates

The Newbery Award winner, based on a true story! 

Captured by slave traders when only 15, At-mun never forgot his roots as a prince. Nor did he ever lose his princely dignity and the courage to hold his head high. Sold at auction in America and haunted by the memory of his young sister left behind in Africa, At-mun, now Amos, began his long march to freedom. He dreamed of being free and of buying the freedom of his closest friends. 

By the time he was 60 years old, Amos Fortune began to see those dreams come true. “It does a man no good to be free until he learns how to live,” he often said, and he left a legacy of freedom for himself and others that has immortalized his touching story for us all. Recommended for Grades 3 and up. – Amazon

The Wheel on the School by Meindert De Jong

Why do the storks no longer come to the little Dutch fishing village of Shora to nest? It was Lina, one of the six schoolchildren who first asked the question, and she set the others to wondering. And sometimes when you begin to wonder, you begin to make things happen. So the children set out to bring the storks back to Shora. The force of their vision put the whole village to work until at last the dream began to come true. – Amazon

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan

Esperanza thought she’d always live a privileged life on her family’s ranch in Mexico. She’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home filled with servants, and Mama, Papa, and Abuelita to care for her. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California and settle in a Mexican farm labor camp. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard work, financial struggles brought on by the Great Depression, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When Mama gets sick and a strike for better working conditions threatens to uproot their new life, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances-because Mama’s life, and her own, depend on it. – Amazon

Lewis and Clark and Me by Laurie Meyers

In 1803, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set off on a journey to explore the vast territory of the United States west of the Mississippi River. Accompanying Lewis and Clark and their team of explorers through this uncharted wilderness was Lewis’ dog Seaman.

Lewis and Clark and Me is Seaman’s story. From his first meeting with Lewis, to being mistaken for a bear by Indians who had never seen such a large dog, to his encounters with wild animals both familiar and unfamiliar, Seaman’s tales are filled with the joys of companionship and the tingling excitement of adventure. 

Seaman’s stories are based information provided in the explorers’ journals. The book include many of these direct quotes from the original text as well as a detailed map showing the highlights of this amazing expedition. – Amazon

Turn Homeward, Hannalee by Patricia Beatty

Cannons blazing, homes burning, soldiers fighting and dying—against this Civil War backdrop, two thousand Georgia textile workers are shipped north by the Union Army against their will to work in Yankee mills. Twelve-year-old Hannalee Reed is one of these mill hands, and this is the story of her fulfilling a promise to make her way home again to Georgia and the family she was forced to leave behind.
This powerful novel, based on historical events, is alive with the places and personalities, the sights, sounds, and issues of that era; and it reveals a scarcely known side of our most significant American conflict.
Turn Homeward, Hannalee graphically captures the horror of warfare; the lasting changes war makes in the lives of all those caught up in it; and the differing ways in which people fight to survive. Hannalee is a quick-witted, plucky heroine, who is sure to join the ranks of Patricia Beatty’s most memorable characters; and the sweep, drama, and emotional impact of her story is one readers will long remember. – Amazon

Tree of Freedom by Rebecca Caudill

When thirteen-year-old Stephanie Venable moves with her family from North Carolina to a four-hundred-acre homestead in Kentucky, she knows they’re in for a great adventure. The family sells whatever belongings they can’t fit in their covered wagon, and begin the long journey west. But Stephanie has brought something special with her, an apple seed from their tree back home, just as her grandmother did when she moved from France to America.

In Kentucky, the Venables must fell trees, build a cabin, and prepare the land for crops. Being a pioneer is a lot of work, but it’s also very exciting: Stephanie and her family must grow, catch, or hunt everything they need to eat and survive. With the Revolutionary War also moving west, the family faces threats from British sympathizers and American rebels. Will freedom take root in America, like Stephanie’s young apple tree, or will the Venable family succumb to the hardships of frontier life? – Amazon

The Mystery of the Roman Ransom by Henry Winterfield

In these two delightful history-mysteries, seven boys in Ancient Rome solve strange crimes . . . thanks to some help from their cranky teacher, a little bit of logic, and a lot of amusing misadventure.

It seems the boys can get nothing right: Their teacher’s fiftieth birthday is long past (they should have done their math homework); the servant they bought as a present for his birthday isn’t just your run-of-the-mill Gaul slave but a courier running for his life; and, to top it all off, the message he’s carrying requests the assassination of a Roman senator—the father of one of the boys.

Detectives in Togas by Henry Winterfield (this is a series)

In these two delightful history-mysteries, seven boys in Ancient Rome solve strange crimes . . . thanks to some help from their cranky teacher, a little bit of logic, and a lot of amusing misadventure.

Yes, Rufus wrote CAIUS IS A DUMBBELL on his tablet at school, but no, he did not break into the schoolroom, did not tie up his teacher, and certainly did not paint his slur about Caius on the Temple of Minerva (even if it is in Rufus’s own handwriting). Rufus is doomed unless his six classmates can find out who is really responsible. Every hour seems to bring a new, confusing clue . . . until the boys finally stumble upon someone who is not what he appears to be.

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

Far off the coast of California looms a harsh rock known as the island of San Nicholas. Dolphins flash in the blue waters around it, sea otter play in the vast kep beds, and sea elephants loll on the stony beaches.

Here, in the early 1800s, according to history, an Indian girl spent eighteen years alone, and this beautifully written novel is her story. It is a romantic adventure filled with drama and heartache, for not only was mere subsistence on so desolate a spot a near miracle, but Karana had to contend with the ferocious pack of wild dogs that had killed her younger brother, constantly guard against the Aleutian sea otter hunters, and maintain a precarious food supply.

More than this, it is an adventure of the spirit that will haunt the reader long after the book has been put down. Karana’s quiet courage, her Indian self-reliance and acceptance of fate, transform what to many would have been a devastating ordeal into an uplifting experience. From loneliness and terror come strength and serenity in this Newbery Medal-winning classic.

The Houdini Box by Brian Selznick

Victor is forever trying to escape from locked trunks, walk through walls, and perform any number of Houdini’s astonishing magic tricks…without success. Then — amazingly — he actually meets his idol, and begs Houdini to explain himself. A mysterious locked box is the magician’s only answer, and Victor is left to wonder: Does the box contain the secrets to the most famous magic tricks ever performed? – Amazon

Realistic Fiction

Ginger Pye by Estes

This book is about a puppy named Ginger. Jerry Pye, a resident in Cranbury, Connecticut in 1919, bought a puppy he wanted from Ms. Speedy for a hard-earned dollar he made while dusting the pews in the church for Sam Doody. Jerry was pleased with the puppy and headed home. On the way home, Jerry and his sister Rachel heard footsteps behind them. When they turned back, they did not see anything. Jerry decided that if anyone was following them, then that follower was after his dog. After a few days, Jerry remembered that he hadn’t given his puppy a name! He asked his mother and his mother said Ginger because he is the color of ginger and has a gingery temperament. So they called him Ginger or Ginger Pye. Ginger was a smart dog. He even located the school that Jerry goes to. Almost all his neighbors and friends knew Ginger.

Ginger Pye went missing on Thanksgiving Day. Jerry and his sister Rachel searched for the puppy all around Cranbury but could not find him. They discover Ginger tied up in a shed, and uncover the identity of the thief: Wally Bullwinkle. The book closes with Ginger home safe to a happy family. – Wikipedia

Pinky Pye by Estes (this is a series)

“A captivating story, told with loving tenderness, whimsical humor, suspense, it has all the special magic that is Eleanor Estes’ trademark. . . . Don’t miss it.” —Chicago Tribune

Meet Pinky, a furious black kitten who adopts the Pye family.
The Pyes have some of the smartest pets around—there’s Ginger the intellectual dog, and Gracie the clever old cat—but Pinky is more than smart enough to earn a place in the Pye’s hearts. She can box with Ginger, play games with Mr. Pye, and—Rachel and Jerry can hardly believe their eyes—even type out her life story!

The Toothpaste Millionaire by Jean Merrill

Sixth-grader Rufus Mayflower doesn’t set out to become a millionaire. He just wants to save on toothpaste. Betting he can make a gallon of his own for the same price as one tube from the store, Rufus develops a step-by-step production plan with help from his good friend Kate MacKinstrey. By the time he reaches the eighth grade, Rufus makes more than a gallon — he makes a million! This fun, breezy story set in 1960s Cleveland, Ohio contains many real-life mathematical problems which the characters must solve to succeed in their budding business. Includes black-and-white illustrations by Jan Palmer. – Amazon

Onion John by Joseph Quincy Krumgold

The story of a friendship between a 12-year-old boy and an immigrant handyman, almost wrecked by the good intentions of the townspeople. – Amazon

Frindle by Andrew Clements

He really just likes to liven things up at school — and he’s always had plenty of great ideas. When Nick learns some interesting information about how words are created, suddenly he’s got the inspiration for his best plan ever…the frindle. Who says a pen has to be called a pen? Why not call it a frindle? Things begin innocently enough as Nick gets his friends to use the new word. Then other people in town start saying frindle. Soon the school is in an uproar, and Nick has become a local hero. His teacher wants Nick to put an end to all this nonsense, but the funny thing is frindle doesn’t belong to Nick anymore. The new word is spreading across the country, and there’s nothing Nick can do to stop it. – Amazon

Rascal by Sterling North

Nothing’s surprising in the North household, not even Sterling’s new pet raccoon. Rascal is only a baby when Sterling brings him home, but soon the two are best friends, doing everything together–until the spring day when everything suddenly changes.

Rascal is a heartwarming boyhood memoir that continues to find its way into the hearts of readers fifty years later. This special anniversary edition includes the book’s classic illustrations restored to their original splendor, as well as a letter from the author’s daughter, and material from the illustrator’s personal collection. – Amazon

Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard

From the moment Danny sees the beautiful Irish setter, he knows Red is the dog for him. Fast and smart, strong and noble, Red is the only dog Danny wants by his side. Soon, neither boy nor dog can stand to be apart. Together Danny and Red face many dangers in the harsh Wintapi wilderness that they call home. But the greatest test of their courage and friendship will come from an enemy more cunning than any they’ve known before—a bear who is the undisputed king of the wilderness, a savage killer called Old Majesty. – Amazon

Wild Trek by Jim Kjelgaard

A trapper and his dog travel into the Caribou Mountains to rescue a naturalist and a pilot whose plane has been downed in the rugged wilderness of northern Canada. – Amazon

Old Yeller by Fred Gipson

When a novel like Huckleberry Finn or The Yearling comes along, it defies customary adjectives because of the intensity of the response it evokes in the reader. Such a tale is Old Yeller; to listen to this eloquently simply story of a boy and his dog in the Texas hill country is an unforgivable and deeply moving experience. – Amazon

Adventure

*please preview these books; there is some language and drug/alcohol use*

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt

Meet Bingo and J’miah, raccoon brothers on a mission to save Sugar Man Swamp in this tale from Newbery Honoree Kathi Appelt. 

Raccoon brothers Bingo and J’miah are the newest recruits of the Official Sugar Man Swamp Scouts. The opportunity to serve the Sugar Man – the massive creature who delights in delicious sugar cane and magnanimously rules over the swamp – is an honor, and also a big responsibility, since the rest of the swamp critters rely heavily on the intel of these hardworking Scouts. 

12-year-old Chap Brayburn is not a member of any such organization. But he loves the swamp something fierce, and he’ll do anything to help protect it. 

And help is surely needed, because world-class alligator wrestler Jaeger Stitch wants to turn Sugar Man swamp into an Alligator World Wrestling Arena and Theme Park, and the troubles don’t end there. There is also a gang of wild feral hogs on the march, headed straight toward them all. – Amazon

King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry

He was named “Sham” for the sun, this golden red stallion born in the Sultan of Morocco’s stone stables. Upon his heel was a small white spot, the symbol of speed. But on his chest was the symbol of misfortune. Although he was as swift as the desert winds, Sham’s proud pedigree would be scorned all his life by cruel masters and owners.

This is the classic story of Sham and his friend, the stable boy Agba. Their adventures take them from the sands of the Sahara to the royal courts of France and, finally, to the green pastures and stately homes of England. For Sham was the renowned “Godolphin Arabian” whose blood flows through the veins of almost every superior Thoroughbred. Sham’s speed – like his story – has become legendary. – Amazon

Brighty of the Grand Canyon by Marguerite Henry

Brighty, a shaggy young burro, lives wild and free in the Grand Canyon of Arizona. He roams the steep cliffs with the squirrels and rabbits. But his favorite friend is Old Timer, the prospector who shares hot biscuits and calls him Bright Angel. One day Old Timer doesn’t answer Brighty’s loud “Eeeee-aw!” Instead, the friendly animal encounters a ruthless claim jumper. Will Brighty be able to bring the killer to justice and make the wilderness safe again? 

Marguerite Henry, author of the Newbery Award-winning classic Misty of Chincoteague, based this delightful story on the adventures of a real-life Grand Canyon burro. Brighty touched the hearts of all who knew him -even President Teddy Roosevelt. John McDonough’s animated performance brings out the burro’s joyous free spirit and courageous determination. – Amazon

The Highly Trained Dogs of Professor Petit by Carol Ryrie Brinks (this is a series)

There is so much work for a boy to do in the serious town of Puddling Center that eleven-year-old Willie can’t even go to school. So when Willie meets Professor Petit and his five “Highly Trained Dogs”—each with its own special talent—he’s delighted. Maybe their traveling show will shake things up! But then Petit’s rival, Hulk Hoskins, rolls into town with a circus tiger, and the professor and one of his dogs end up in big trouble. Now it’s up to Willie and his new canine friends to save the day and put on a show this town will never forget!

Back in print for the first time in decades, this 1953 novel by Newbery winner Carol Ryrie Brink will have kids rooting for cheerful Willie, honest Professor Petit, and the amazing Highly Trained Dogs.

Tikta-’Liktak by James Archibald Houston

“A young hunter is trapped on an ice floe and marooned on a barren island. . . . The Eskimo survives freezing weather, an attack by a polar bear, and the long journey that brings him safely home. . . . The author’s distinctive drawings help make this a memorable book.”–The New York Times Book Review

Lassie Come Home by Eric Knight

Filled with danger and adventure, this is the classic story of the love and loyalty shared by a boy and his dog. – Amazon

Black Stallion by Walter Farley (this is a series)

First published in 1941, Walter Farley’s best-selling novel for young readers is the triumphant tale of a boy and a wild horse. From Alec Ramsay and the Black’s first meeting on an ill-fated ship to their adventures on a desert island and their eventual rescue, this beloved story will hold the rapt attention of readers new and old. – Amazon

Gentle Ben by Walt Morey

The Alaskan wilderness is a lonely place for Mark Andersen, especially after the death of his brother. But Mark finds a friend named Ben, who happens to be an Alaskan brown bear. Ben and Mark form a special bond, but the townspeople are determined to destroy it. It is only through the strength of an enduring friendship that Ben—and Mark—have a chance of being saved. -Amazon

Gone Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright

Enjoy the adventures of eleven year-old Portia, who together with her younger brother, Foster, spend a summer with their cousin, Julian, engaged in more than the usual summer pastimes of sun, fun, and games. The three intrepid children soon discover a fascinating abandoned summer resort, consisting of deserted crumbling Victorian summer homes surrounding a vanished lake, which is now a swamp. But, best of all, they discover and befriend an elderly eccentric brother and sister who tell them the story of Gone-Away Lake.- Amazon

TinTin Graphic Novels

For the first time, you can own all 23 stories in The Adventures of Tintin series in this fantastic boxed set. This is the perfect present for Tintin fans of all ages. – Amazon

Biography

Journey to the Bottomless Pit by Elizabeth Mitchell

If you toured Mammoth Cave in Kentucky in the year 1838, you would have been led by candlelight through dark, winding tunnels to the edge of a terrifying bottomless pit. Your guide would have been seventeen-year-old Stephen Bishop, an African American slave who became known around the world for his knowledge of Mammoth Cave. 

Bishop needed bravery, intelligence, and curiosity to explore the vast cavern. Using only a lantern, rope, and other basic caving equipment, he found a way to cross the bottomless pit and discover many more miles of incredible grottoes and tunnels. For the rest of his life he guided visitors through the cave, showing them how to stoop, bend, and crawl through passageways that were sometimes far from the traditional tour route.

Based on the narratives of those who toured the cave with him, Journey to the Bottomless Pit is the first book for young readers ever written about Stephen Bishop. – Amazon

Trailblazer Books by Dave Jackson (this is a series)

It is sometime during the 1880s, and Jack and Amy have come to London searching for their uncle. On their own without money, food, or shelter, they have nowhere else to turn. But what is the chance of finding him when they don’t even know where he lives?

For the two youngsters, attempting to live on the streets is frightening, dangerous, and an opportunity for the worst elements of the city to take advantage of them. London society has become uncaring, even cruel, to the needy. Where can they find safety?

When those strange Salvation Army people approach them on the street, should Jack and Amy run away? Can the General and Catherine Booth be trusted?

What hope do Jack and Amy have when ruthless men come after them?

An adventure story, ideal for readers 8-12 years of age. – Amazon

Fantasy

The Phantom Toll Booth by Norton Juster

With almost 4 million copies sold over 50 years after its original publication, generations of readers have now journeyed with Milo to the Lands Beyond in this beloved classic that Philip Pullman says “comes up bright and new every time I read it . . . it will continue to charm and delight for a very long time yet. And teach us some wisdom, too.” Enriched by Jules Feiffer’s splendid illustrations, the wit, wisdom, and wordplay of Norton Juster’s offbeat fantasy are as beguiling as ever.

For Milo, everything’s a bore. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through only because he’s got nothing better to do. But on the other side, things seem different. Milo visits the Island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping), learns about time from a ticking watchdog named Tock, and even embarks on a quest to rescue Rhyme and Reason. – Amazon

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell (this is a series)

How to Train Your Dragon chronicles the adventures and misadventures of reluctant Viking hero Hiccup and his dragon, Toothless. Join them on all twelve of their exciting stories. 

This beautiful box set showcases the series’ stunning new look and makes the perfect gift for any How to Train Your Dragon fan! – Amazon

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There’s no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again.

Crenshaw is a cat. He’s large, he’s outspoken, and he’s imaginary. He has come back into Jackson’s life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?

Beloved author Katherine Applegate proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary. – Amazon

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O’Brien

This delightfully imaginative tale is always a popular favorite among children. Mrs. Frisby, a field mouse who lives in a garden, must move her family before the farmer begins plowing. Will the rats of NIMH – a group of highly intelligent laboratory rats – help her find a solution to her dilemma? – Amazon

Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley

Do you believe in magic?
Micah Tuttle does.

Even though his awful Great-Aunt Gertrudis doesn’t approve, Micah believes in the stories his dying Grandpa Ephraim tells him of the magical Circus Mirandus: the invisible tiger guarding the gates, the beautiful flying birdwoman, and the magician more powerful than any other—the Man Who Bends Light. Finally, Grandpa Ephraim offers proof. The Circus is real. And the Lightbender owes Ephraim a miracle. With his friend Jenny Mendoza in tow, Micah sets out to find the Circus and the man he believes will save his grandfather.

The only problem is, the Lightbender doesn’t want to keep his promise. And now it’s up to Micah to get the miracle he came for. – Amazon

The Story of the Treasure Seekers by E. Nesbit

From the author of The Railway Children and Five Children and It comes this tale of six siblings and their adventures in Victorian London. The Bastable children are deeply saddened by the death of their mother, and to make things worse, they’re impoverished when their father’s business fails. Determined to restore both the family’s fortune and its good name, the young Bastables embark on a variety of hilarious get-rich-quick schemes.
Each chapter details a new adventure, from digging for treasure and becoming detectives and highway robbers, to writing a newspaper and selling wine. The children accost a nobleman on Blackheath and are mistaken for blackmailers, pay a visit to a moneylender, encounter a royal princess in Greenwich Park, and earnestly pursue other comic ventures. Their courage and determination provide a heartwarming complement to the droll narrative, and their hopes, disappointments, and triumphs remain as real and moving today as they were a century ago. – Amazon

The Magic City by E. Nesbit

After Philip’s older sister and sole family member Helen marries, he goes off to live with his new step sister Lucy. He has trouble adjusting at first, thrown into a world different from his previous life and abandoned by his sister while she is on her honeymoon. To entertain himself he builds a giant model city from things around the house: game pieces, books, blocks, bowls, etc. Then through some magic he finds himself inside the city, and it is alive with the people he has populated it with.
Edith Nesbit (1858-1924) was the author of world famous books for children – the tales of fantastical adventures, journeys back in time and travel to magical worlds. – Amazon

The book of Dragons by E. Nesbit

According to her biographer Julia Briggs, Nesbit was “the first modern writer for children”: “(Nesbit) helped to reverse the great tradition of children’s literature inaugurated by Lewis Carroll, George MacDonald and Kenneth Grahame, in turning away from their secondary worlds to the tough truths to be won from encounters with things-as-they-are, previously the province of adult novels.” Briggs also credits Nesbit with having invented the children’s adventure story. Noël Coward was a great admirer of hers and, in a letter to an early biographer Noel Streatfeild, wrote “she had an economy of phrase, and an unparalleled talent for evoking hot summer days in the English countryside.” – Amazon

TAL, His Marvelous Adventures with Noom-Zor-Noom by Paul Fenimore Cooper

The story of Tal, a little orphan boy, and the adventures that befell him on the amazing journey to the land of Troom. His companions were the wise old man Noom-Zor-Noom and the talking donkey Millitinkle. – Amazon

Classics

A Wonder Book for Boys and Girls by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The author has long been of opinion that many of the classical myths were capable of being rendered into very capital reading for children. In the little volume here offered to the public, he has worked up half a dozen of them, with this end in view. A great freedom of treatment was necessary to his plan; but it will be observed by every one who attempts to render these legends malleable in his intellectual furnace, that they are marvellously independent of all temporary modes and circumstances. They remain essentially the same, after changes that would affect the identity of almost anything else.

He does not, therefore, plead guilty to a sacrilege, in having sometimes shaped anew, as his fancy dictated, the forms that have been hallowed by an antiquity of two or three thousand years. No epoch of time can claim a copyright in these immortal fables. They seem never to have been made; and certainly, so long as man exists, they can never perish; but, by their indestructibility itself, they are legitimate subjects for every age to clothe with its own garniture of manners and sentiment, and to imbue with its own morality. In the present version they may have lost much of their classical aspect (or, at all events, the author has not been careful to preserve it), and have perhaps assumed a Gothic or romantic guise.

In performing this pleasant task,—for it has been really a task fit for hot weather, and one of the most agreeable, of a literary kind, which he ever undertook,—the author has not always thought it necessary to write downward, in order to meet the comprehension of children. He has generally suffered the theme to soar, whenever such was its tendency, and when he himself was buoyant enough to follow without an effort. Children possess an unestimated sensibility to whatever is deep or high, in imagination or feeling, so long as it is simple likewise. It is only the artificial and the complex that bewilder them. – Amazon

The Children’s Homer by Padraic Colum

Travel back to a mythical time when Achilles, aided by the gods, waged war against the Trojans. And join Odysseus on his journey through murky waters, facing obstacles like the terrifying Scylla and whirring Charybdis, the beautiful enchantress Circe, and the land of the raging Cyclôpes. Using narrative threads from The Iliad and The Odyssey, Padraic Colum weaves a stunning adventure with all the drama and power that Homer intended. – Amazon

Favorite Sherlock Holmes Detective Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle

Throughout the annals of literature there is one detective who reigns supreme — Mr. Sherlock Holmes of 221B Baker Street, London. From that celebrated address, Holmes and his friend Dr. Watson set out to solve the most difficult cases and bring to justice the master criminals of Victorian England.
Now readers can enjoy the crime-solving exploits of the storied duo in this selection of favorite adventures. “The Adventure of the Dancing Men” concerns the appearance of mysterious stick-figure drawings, which prove disastrous to a country squire and his bride; “The Red-Headed League” pits Holmes against a clever bank robber, while “A Scandal in Bohemia” finds the detective locked in cerebral combat with Irene Adler, the only female who ever outwitted him (and the only one to steal his heart). In “The Final Problem” Holmes confronts the evil Professor Moriarty, “the Napoleon of Crime,” atop the Reichenbach Falls. Also included here are four other classic tales: “Silver Blaze,” “The Adventure of the Speckled Band,” “The Engineer’s Thumb,” and “The Crooked Man.”
A great way to introduce younger readers to the world’s best-known fictional detective, this affordable collection will entertain mystery lovers of all ages. – Amazon

Humor

The Mad Scientists’ Club by Bertrand R. Brinley (this is a series)

The six members of the Mad Scientists’ Club experiment with new projects which include investigating a strange sea monster and the theft of a valuable dinosaur egg. – Amazon

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones

Twelve-year-old Sophie Brown feels like a fish out of water when she and her parents move from Los Angeles to the farm they’ve inherited from a great-uncle. But farm life gets more interesting when a cranky chicken appears and Sophie discovers the hen can move objects with the power of her little chicken brain: jam jars, the latch to her henhouse, the entire henhouse…. 

And then more of her great-uncle’s unusual chickens come home to roost. Determined, resourceful Sophie learns to care for her flock, earning money for chicken feed, collecting eggs. But when a respected local farmer tries to steal them, Sophie must find a way to keep them (and their superpowers) safe. 

Told in letters to Sophie’s abuela, quizzes, a chicken-care correspondence course, to-do -Amazon

Henry Reed, Inc. by Keith Robertson (this is a series)

Henry Reed has arrived in Grover’s Corner–and the town will never be the same. While spending the summer with his aunt and uncle, Henry comes up with a sure-fire money-making project: Henry Reed, Inc., Research. Henry’s neighbor, Midge Glass, has an even more sure-fire hit: Reed and Glass, Inc. Now with Henry’s ingenious mind and Midge’s practical reasoning, Reed and Class Inc. turns into a huge success–while creating more bewildering and outrageous schemes than the townfold could have imagined. – Amazon

Mystery

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere; she wants to run tosomewhere – to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and preferably elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing that her younger brother, Jamie, has money and thus can help her with the serious cash flow problem, she invites him along. 

Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at an auction for a bargain price of $250. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Or is it? Claudia is determined to find out.

This quest leads Claudia to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue, and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself. – Amazon

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life and his most precious secret are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery. – Amazon

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother’s room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories–Ben’s told in words, Rose’s in pictures–weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful–with over 460 pages of original artwork–Wonderstruckis a stunning achievement from a gifted artist and visionary. – Amazon

Nooks and Crannies by Jessica Lawson

Sweet, shy Tabitha Crum, the neglected only child of two parents straight out of a Roald Dahl book, doesn’t have a friend in the world – except for her pet mouse, Pemberley, whom she loves dearly. But on the day she receives one of six invitations to the country estate of wealthy Countess Camilla DeMoss, her life changes forever. Upon the children’s arrival at the sprawling, possibly haunted mansion, it turns out the countess has a very big secret – one that will change their lives forever. Then the children begin disappearing one by one. So Tabitha takes a cue from her favorite detective novels and, with Pemberley by her side, attempts to solve the case and rescue the other children…who just might be her first real friends. – Amazon

Nature Stories

The Stories Mother Nature Told Her Children by Jane Andrews

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. – Amazon

Secrets of the Woods by William J. Long

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. – Amazon

A Little Brother to the Bear by William J. Long

Mooweesuk the Coon is called the bear’s little brother by both Indians and naturalists, because of the many ways in which he resembles the “big prowler in the black coat.” An absorbing chapter on the coon’s secret habits begins this volume, followed by stories about the woodcock, the wildcat, the toad, and many other animals. Two chapters remarkable for their keen insight into the hidden life of animals close this volume,─one on Animal Surgery, describing some of the ways in which wild animals treat their wounds; the other on Hunting without a Gun, showing the joy of following even the large and dangerous animals with the desire only to be near and understand them.- Amazon