Summer Reading List for 4th-6th Graders

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Summer Reading Lists for 4th-6th Graders

Books help kids become who they’re going to be. But when we’re competing with the digital world for a child’s attention, we’re going to need some good titles to pique their interest. Here is a list of classics that have been raising smart kids for decades.

Entering 4th & 5th Grade

Sounder , Armstrong, William

True Confessions of Charlotte,  Doyle Avi

The Indian in the Cupboard, Lynne Reid Banks

Turn Homeward, Hannalee, Beatty, Patricia

The Shakespeare Stealer, Blackwood, Gary

Caddie Woodlawn, Brink, Carol

A Little Princess, Burnett, Frances H

The Incredible Journey, Burnford, Sheila

The Summer of the Swans, Byars, Betsy

The Family Under the Bridge, Carlson, Natalie

Dear Mr. Henshaw,  Cleary, Beverly

Leif the Lucky,  D’Aulaire, Ingrid

The House of Sixty Fathers, DeJong, Meindert

Because of Winn Dixie,  DiCamillo, Kate

The Tale of Despereaux,  DiCamillo, Kate

Hardy Boys series,   Dixon, Franklin

The Twenty One Balloons,  du Bois, William Pene

Thimble Summer,  Enright, Elizabeth

Inkheart,  Funke, Cornellia

The Thief Lord,  Funke, Cornellia

The Snow Goose, Gallico, Paul

Blue Willow, Gates, Doris

My Side of the Mountain,  George, Jean C.

Old Yeller, Gipson, Fred

The Reluctant Dragon, Grahame, Kenneth

The Wind in the Willows,  Grahame, Kenneth

The Winter of Red Snow: Abigail Stewart, Gregory, Kristina

Soul Surfer, Hamilton, Bethany

Two Mighty Rivers: Sons of Pocahontas, Hanes, Mari

King of the Wind: The Story of the Godolphon Arabian, Henry, Marguerite

The Fourteenth Goldfish,  Holm, Jennifer L.

Book of the King series, Jenkins, Jerry

Red Rock Mystery series, Jenkins, Jerry

Raiders From the Sea,  Johnson, Lois

Nancy Drew series, Keene, Carolyn

Big Red,  Kjelgaard, Jim

Lassie Come Home,  Knight, Eric

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

Left Behind series, LaHaye & Jenkins

Ben and Me: Ben Franklin & His Good Mouse,     Amos Lawson, Robert

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, Lathan, Jean

A Wrinkle in Time, L’Engle, Madeline

Prairie School,  Lenski, Lois

Strawberry Girl, Lenski, Lois

Ella Enchanted, Levine, Gail Carson

Fairest, Levine, Gail Carson

Chronicles of Narnia series,  Lewis, C. S.

Gifted Hands, Kid’s Edition,  Ben Carson Lewis, Greg & Deborah

Snow Treasure,  McSwigan, Marie

Gentle Ben,  Morey, Walt

Shiloh,  Naylor, Phyllis

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, O’Brien, Robert

Tom’s Midnight Garden,  Pearce, Phillipa

The Copper Kids Adventure, Peretti, Frank

Pollyanna, Porter, Eleanor

Rats, Bulls & Flying Machines:..the Renaissance, Prum, Deborah

Summer of the Monkeys, Rawls, Wilson

Trouble at Silver Pines Inn, Repp, Gloria

Henry Reed, Inc., Robertson, Keith

The Little Prince,  Saint-Exupery, Antoine de

The Cricket in Times Square, Selden, George

The Good Master, Seredy, Kate

The White Stag, Seredy, Kate

Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei, Sis, Peter

The Sign of the Beaver, Speare, Elizabeth

Heidi, Spyri, Johanna

The Mysterious Benedict Society,  Stewart, Trenton Lee

All-of-a-Kind-Family,  Taylor, Sydney

Many Moons,  Thurber, James

Banner in the Sky, Ullman, James

Thunderstorm in Church, Vernon, Louise

The Trumpet of the Swan, White, E. B.

Stuart Little,  White, E. B.

Little House on the Prairie series (unabridged), Wilder, Laura Ingalls

Leepike Ridge,  Wilson, N.D.


Entering 6th Grade

 Fever, 1793,  Anderson, Laurie

Crispin: The Cross of Lead, Avi

Twenty and Ten Bishop, Claire Huchet

Katie Watson and the Painter’s Plot, Blume, Mez (Mary Elizabeth)

The Martian Chronicles, Bradbury, Ray

The Secret Garden, Burnett, Francis

Max and Liz series, Cote, Jenny

Door in the Wall, De Angeli, Marguerite

The Wheel on the School, De Jong, Meindert

Candy Bombers,  Elmer, Robert

Hitty: Her First Hundred Years,  Field, Rachel

Calico Bush,  Field, Rachel

Understood Betsy, Fisher, Dorothy Canfield

Johnny Tremain,  Forbes, Esther

Dragon Slippers,  George, J.D.

Adam of the Road, Gray, Elizabeth

A Father’s Promise, Hess, Donna Lynn

A Murder for Her Majesty, Hilgartner, Beth

Alex Rider series,  Horowitz, Anthony

Marlfox or Redwall series, Jacques, Brian

The Phantom Tollbooth,  Juster, Norton

The Second Mrs. Giaconda, Konigsburg, E. L.

The Tales of Uncle Remus, Lester, Julius

A Snicker of Magic, Lloyd, Natalie

The Princess and Curdie, MacDonald, George

Rascal North, Sterling

The Black Pearl, O’Dell, Scott

Streams to the Rivers, Rivers to the Sea, O’Dell, Scott

Island of the Blue Dolphins, O’Dell, Scott

My Friend Flicka,  O’Hara, Mary

Bridge to Terabithia, Paterson, Katherine

The Light in the Forest, Richter, Conrad

The Bark of Bog Owl, Rogers, Jonathan

Esperanza Rising, Ryan, Pam Munoz

Holes, Sachar, Louis

Invention of Hugo Cabret,  Selznick, Brian

Miracles on Maple Hill, Sorensen, Virginia

The Bronze Bow, Speare, Elizabeth

Calico Captive, Speare, Elizabeth

Maniac Magee, Spinelli, Jerry

Freedom Train, Sterling, Dorothy

The Mysterious Benedict Society series,  Stewart, Trenton Lee

Wings of Fire series,  Sutherland, Tui T

Joni: An Unforgettable Story,  Tada, Joni Eareckson

Amos Fortune, Free Man, Yates, Elizabeth

Loot: How to Steal a Fortune, Watson, Jude


To learn how to teach language arts in a simple way, breaking writing and reading skills into four easy parts, sign up for my free e-course at

We’re stronger together, 



Written by Cathy Canen

Cathy Canen

Cathy was a home school curriculum consultant for 30 years. She’s listened to thousands of parents and kids talk about the issues most important to them, so now she writes to address the topics they discussed the most often. She has taught in their home school (K-12), in a traditional classroom, and currently tutors kids in first grade through college. She is a certified Sign Language Interpreter and has taught kids with various developmental challenges including Aspergers, autism, deaf students, and blind students. She also developed a language program for deafblind students at Georgia School for the Blind. She leads a community Bible study, works with hospice patients, and blogs at the, where she writes about health and nutrition. You can contact her at her main site,, where she coordinates her writing and tutoring services.

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