4. Wonder by R. J. Palacio
The story of a young boy named Auggie who was born with a facial deformity, Wonder weaves together a story of how he sees the world and the world sees him as he transitions into public school.
The author's writing helps readers examine Auggie's experiences from several lenses, and there are so many great opportunities for discussion about respecting individual differences, kindness, and growing up.
Recently made into a movie, this book has truly become an instant classic that your 4th graders will love to read.
Buy the book: Wonder
Get the No Prep Novel Study: Wonder Novel Study
5. James & the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
No list of books would be complete without at least one novel by Dahl, and James & the Giant Peach is sure to please.
Centered around the adventures of James Henry Trotter, this spectacular fantasy novel takes place on (and inside of) a giant peach as it travels across the countryside and further!
With a host of supporting characters that are all insects with a variety of hilarious quirks, your students are sure to get a giggle from this silly story.
Buy the book: James & the Giant Peach
Get the No Prep Novel Study: James & the Giant Peach Novel Study
6. Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
This one is a slightly easier read than some of the others on this list, but when it comes to engaging readers it should be #1. Each chapter shares the story from inside the classroom on the 30th floor of Wayside School.
With a wacky host of characters and a school that was built sideways (with one class on each floor), your students are sure to get a giggle out of the zany things that go on here!
While it isn't the deepest plotline ever, it is a great opportunity to discuss character traits, make inferences, and so many other important reading comprehension skills.
Buy the book: Sideways Stories from Wayside School
Get the No Prep Novel Study: Sideways Stories from Wayside School Novel Study
7. Frindle by Andrew Clements
After a little too much time doing dictionary work, Nick Allen decides to take matters into his own hands and invent a new word. Of course, his teacher doesn't take too kindly to this act of rebellion, and students spend the book experiencing the tension that results from this conflict.
A great story that really helps students dive deep into conflict and the protagonist-antagonist relationship, Frindle is a realistic fiction novel you will love reading with your students.
Just be prepared. By the time your students finish the text, you might be hearing students using “frindle” in your room!
Buy the book: Frindle
Get the No Prep Novel Study: Frindle Novel Study