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Take aim at the "Summer Slide" and get your students excited about reading with these titles picked specifically for kids at the fourth grade reading level.

Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls (The Baby-Sitters Club Series #2)
by Ann M. Martin

Claudia decides to investigate when she and the other members of the Baby-Sitters Club receive mysterious phone calls while out on assignments. Also recommended: Baby-Sitters Club: Little Sister Series and the Baby-Sitters Club Series


The Cricket in Times Square
by George Selden, Garth Williams (illus.)

Business has not been good at the Bellini's newspaper stand in the Times Square subway station. Tucker the mouse, who lives in a drainpipe near the newsstand, wishes he could help. One night, Mario Bellini hears a beautiful sound -- it is Chester, a cricket from Connecticut who has been accidentally brought to New York City and plays music with his wings. After Mario convinces his parents to let him keep Chester, Tucker, his friend Harry the cat, and the cricket come up with a plan to help the Bellinis keep their newsstand: Chester can give concerts!

Earthquake Terror
by Peg Kehret

When an earthquake hits the isolated island in northern California where his family has been camping, 12-year-old Jonathan Palmer must find a way to keep himself, his partially paralyzed younger sister, and their dog alive until help arrives.

by Judy Blume

Peter Hatcher's summer is not looking good. First of all, Peter's brother, Fudge -- the five-year-old human hurricane -- has a plan: to marry Peter's sworn enemy, Sheila Tubman. Disgusting! Could anything be worse? Yes. Peter's parents have decided to rent a summer house next door to the Tubmans. Which means Peter will be stuck with Fudge and Sheila the Cootie Queen for three whole weeks! Will Peter be able to survive the summer? It may not be the vacation of Peter's dreams, but as millions of Judy Blume fans know, it won't be dull. When Fudge is around, anything can happen ... and does! Also recommended: Superfudge and Otherwise Known As Sheila the Great.

The Indian in the Cupboard
by Lynne Reid Banks, Brock Cole (illus.)

The first book in this bestselling series begins with young Omri receiving an old family wooden medicine cupboard as a birthday gift. Given to him by his mother in order to house his plastic toy soldiers, the cupboard has a magical power: It can bring Omri's toys to life. When his toy Indian comes alive and befriends him, Omri finds himself involved in all kinds of adventure and excitement.

Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang
by Mordecai Richler, Fritz Wegner (illus.)

Jacob Two-Two says everything twice. But the grocer thinks Jacob's being rude when he asks for something twice, and before he knows it, Jacob has been arrested and whisked away to Slimer's Isle. How Jacob outsmarts the jailer and saves the children of Slimer's Isle makes for outrageously funny reading.

The Mouse and the Motorcycle
by Beverly Cleary, Louis Darling (illus.)

Ralph the mouse is terrified. All he had wanted to do was ride the little motorcycle someone had left on the table. Instead, both Ralph and the motorcycle have taken a terrible fall -- right into the bottom of the wastepaper basket. He is trapped, left to wait for whatever fate has in store for him. But it turns out to be Ralph's lucky day. Along comes Keith, the owner of the toy motorcycle, who is staying with his family in the hotel room where Ralph lives. Not only does Keith save Ralph's life, but he teaches him how to ride the bike. And when everyone is asleep, he turns Ralph loose in the hotel halls to enjoy the biking adventure of his life. But adventures can be both fun and trouble...as Ralph and Keith soon find out! Also recommended: Ralph S. Mouse and Runaway Ralph.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
by Robert C. O'Brien, Zena Bernstein (illus.)

Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, is faced with a terrible problem. She must move her family to their summer quarters immediately or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma. And Mrs. Frisby in turn renders them a great service.

My Side of the Mountain
by Jean Craighead George

Tired of big-city life, Sam Gribley runs away to the Catskill Mountains to forge a life of his own. In this Newbery Honor book, Sam relates his adventures during the year he spends alone, including his struggle for survival, his dependence on nature, his animal friends, and his ultimate realization that he needs human companionship. Also recommended: On the Far Side of the Mountain.

My Teacher Is an Alien
by Bruce Coville, Mike Wimmer (illus.)

Susan can tell that her new substitute teacher is really weird. She doesn't know how weird until she catches him peeling off his face -- and realizes Mr. Smith is really an alien! Now it's up to Susan and her friends to get rid of the extraterrestrial visitor.

Native American Doctor, The Story of Susan LaFlesche Picotte
by Jeri Ferris

This is the inspiring biography of the young Omaha Indian woman who became the first Native American woman to graduate from medical school.

Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade
by Barthe DeClements

Jenny knows one thing for sure -- Elsie Edwards is a fat thief who steals people's lunch money to buy candy. So when the book club money disappears, why is the whole class punished? Nothing's fair! But soon Jenny realizes some things aren't fair for Elsie, either. Elsie is on a strict diet, but when she starts losing weight, her mother won't buy her new clothes. Instead, she plans to send Elsie to boarding school. Suddenly everyone wants to help Elsie. Nothing's fair in fifth grade -- but sometimes things get better!

The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog
by John R. Erickson, Gerald L. Holmes (illus.)

While investigating a vicious murder on his ranch, Hank finds himself the No. 1 suspect. Resigning in a fit of despair, he heads for the hills to become an outlaw -- where a band of ruthless coyotes is happy to teach him the trade. Or are they? They seem to be on his side...until they unveil their plan for a raid on Hank's ranch! Hank knows he can't beat them. Will he be forced to join them?

Owls in the Family
by Farley Mowat, Robert Frankenberg (illus.)

Owls Wol and Weeps turn a household upside down, outwit a dog with the dignity of Mutt, and shake up a neighborhood.

Search for the Shadowman
by Joan Lowery Nixon

Twelve-year-old Andy Bonner isn't thrilled with his teacher's assignment to explore family history. When he starts asking questions about his ancestors, he is startled to discover a black sheep in the family tree. No one wants to reveal what happened in his family's past. But Andy is determined to break the silence. Casting his net widely, from the Internet to the local cemetery, Andy helps everyone realize it's never too late to seek justice.

A Share of Freedom
by June Rae Wood

Freedom Jo is a smart-mouthed 13-year-old with an alcoholic mother, a little brother, Jackie, whom she adores -- and no idea who her father is. Afraid of being separated from Jackie after a binge lands their mother in an alcoholism-treatment program, Freedom runs away with him, hoping to hide out until their mother comes home. Her plan precipitates a chain of events that leads to the discovery of her father's identity.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School
by Louis Sachar, Julie Brinckloe (illus.)

There'd been a terrible mistake. Wayside School was supposed to be built with 30 classrooms all next to each other in a row. Instead, they built the classrooms one on top of the other ... 30 stories tall! (The builder said he was very sorry.) That may be why all kinds of funny things happen at Wayside School -- especially on the 30th floor. You'll meet Mrs. Gorf, the meanest teacher of all; terrible Todd, who always gets sent home early; and John, who can only read upside down -- along with all the other kids in the crazy mixed-up school that came out sideways. But you'll never guess the truth about Sammy, the new kid ... or what's in store for Wayside School on Halloween!

Stuart Little
by E. B. White

Stuart Little is a mouse in the family of the Frederick C. Littles and is a pleasantly debonair little character, with a shy, engaging manner and a somewhat philosophical turn of mind. He is a great help around the house, and everybody except Snowbell the cat likes him a great deal. In spite of his small size, Stuart gets around a good bit in the world, riding a Fifth Avenue bus with some aplomb, racing (and winning in) a sailboat in Central Park, teaching school for a day, and so on. His size -- just over two inches -- does give him some trouble now and then, like the time he was rolled up in the window shade, or when he got dumped into a garbage scow. But on the whole his life is a happy one. His great adventure comes when, at the age of seven, he sets out in the world to seek his dearest friend, Margalo, a beautiful little bird. Stuart Little, small in size only, has the adventurousness, the great purpose, and the indomitable spirit of a heroic figure, and his story, funny and tender and exciting by turns, will be read, re-read, and loved by young and old.

Time for Andrew, A Ghost Story
by Mary Downing Hahn

When he goes to spend the summer with his great-aunt in the family's old house, 11-year-old Drew is drawn 80 years into the past to trade places with his great-great-uncle, who is dying of diphtheria.



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