Books too Good to Miss

Suggested Fiction For Children in Grades 4-6

(compiled by Children's Services, Allentown Public Library September 2001)

Alvarez, Julia. How Tia Lola Came to Stay
After his parents' divorce, ten-year-old Miquel learns to love his colorful aunt, Tia Lola, when she comes to Vermont from the Dominican Republic to stay with his family.

Avi. Don't You Know There's a War On?
In wartime Brooklyn in 1943, eleven-year-old Howie Crispers mounts a campaign to save his favorite teacher from being fired.

Clements, Andrew. The School Story. 
The best-selling author of Frindle brings us another story of entrepreneurial kids. Twelve-year-old Natalie writes a novel and her friend Zoe helps her devise a scheme to get it accepted at the publishing house where Natalie's mother works as an editor.

Cousins, Steven. Frankenbug
Inspired by the movie Frankenstein, bug-lover Adam Cricklestein decides to create a monster bug that will protect him from the school bully, Jeb McCallister.

Coville, Bruce. The Monsters of Morley Manor.
Anthony and his younger sister discover that the monster figures that he got in an unusual box at an estate sale are alive. They have no way of knowing that the 'monsters' will lead them on fantastical adventures to other worlds in an effort to try to save the Earth.

Freeman, Martha. The Spy Wore Shades. 
Eleven-year-old Dougie teams up with Varloo, an emissary from a culture living in underground caves, to try to help her people.

Hoffman, Alice. Aquamarine
Hailey and Claire are spending their last summer together when they discover something at the bottom of the murky pool at the Capri Beach Club. In the depths is a mysterious and beautiful creature with a sharp tongue and a broken heart. The girls begin to find that Aquamarine is searching for the same things that they are.

Holt, Kimberly Wilson. Dancing in the Cadillac Light. 
In 1968, eleven-year-old Jaynell's life in the town of Moon, Texas is enlivened when her eccentric grandpap comes to live with the family.

Ibbotson, Eva. Dial-a-Ghost. 
A family of nice ghosts protects a British orphan from the diabolical plans of his evil guardians. Ibbotson's magic, humor, and fantasy will appeal to 'Harry Potter' fans. 

Jacques, Brian. Taggerung
Taggerung, a young otter kidnapped in his infancy and raised as a warrior-thief by a band of vermin, leaves the tribe and goes off to seek adventures of his own. (Redwall series}

Jennings, Richard W. The Great Whale of Kansas. 
As a young boy begins to dig a hole in his backyard, his shovel suddenly strikes something hard, and big…outlines of an ancient creature begin to emerge. What is It? And more importantly to some, whose is it?

Johnston, Tony. Any Small Goodness: A Novel of the Barrio. 
Eleven-year-old Arturo and his family and friends live in the barrio of East Los Angeles. They share all kinds of experiences as they learn about the "bueno" and the "malo" around them. Playing basketball, reclaiming their names, and championing their school librarian are ways that they participate in creating "bueno."

Klise, Kate. Trial by Journal. 
In this illustrated novel told through journal entries, news clippings, and letters, twelve-year-old Lily finds herself on the jury of a murder trail while conducting her own undercover investigation of the case.

Korman, Gordon. Book One: Shipwreck. 
A shipwreck strands six kids on a desert island. In Book Two: Survival, The kids must take from the island to survive. No one knows that they are lost, but are they really alone on the island? (Island series)

Lawrence, Iain. The Buccaneers. 
In the early nineteenth century, seventeen-year-old John Spencer sails from England in his schooner, the Dragon, to the Caribbean, where he and the crew encounter pirates, fierce storms, fever, and a strange man who some fear may be cursed.

Levy, Elizabeth. Night of the Living Gerbil. 
Sam and his brother, Robert, fear that their new neighbor is a zombie and plans to bring their dead pet gerbil back to life.

Myers, Walter Dean. The Journal of Biddy Owens: The Negro Leagues. 
Teenager Biddy Owens'1948 journal about working for the Birmingham Black Barons includes the games and the players, racism the team faces from New Orleans to Chicago, and his family's resistance to becoming a professional baseball player. (My Name is America series)

Napoli, Donna Jo. Three Days. 
When her father suddenly dies while on a business trip, leaving her alone on an Italian highway, eleven-year-old Jackie worries what will happen when she is picked up by two men with unknown motives.

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Boy's Return. 
In the sequel to A Traitor Among the Boys, the Benson boys return to Buckman for spring vacation and concoct a prank involving a non-existent ghost, continuing the practical joke war between the Hatford boys and the Malloy girls.

Nesbit, E. Wet Magic. 
On a holiday at the seashore, a group of children save a mermaid from captivity and, after an incredible magic-filled journey beneath the waves, they must race against time to avert a war and save their underwater friends.

Nixon, Joan Lowery. Maria's Story: 1773. 
In Williamsburg, Virginia, two years before the start of the American Revolution, nine-year-old Maria worries that her mother will lose her contract to publish official reports and announcements of the British government because she prints anti-British articles in their family-run newspaper. (Young Americans - Colonial Williamsburg series.)

Sleator, William. Marco's Millions. 
Twelve-year-old Marco's love for travel and for his younger sister, Lilly, who has psychic powers, leads him to journey to other universes, gaining the ability to go wherever he wishes without growing old.

Snyder, Zilpha Keatley. Spyhole Secrets. 
When Hallie and her mother move to a new town after her father's sudden death, Hallie begins to spy on a troubled family living in a nearby building and her involvement helps her begin to handle her feelings of anger and grief.

Stanley, Diane. The Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine. 
Noticing that a popular series of horror novels is having a bizarre effect on the behavior of its readers, Fanny and Beamer set out to find the mysterious author.

Venokur, Ross. The Autobiography of Meatball Finkelstein. 
Thirteen-year-old Meatball, an overweight vegetarian, discovers that eating meatballs gives him the magic power of being able to turn into anything he wants. He uses this ability to fight his principal's diabolical plot to eliminate fun from the planet.

Wilson, Jacqueline. The Story of Tracy Beaker. 
Ten-year-old Tracy, who lives in a children's home because her mother was forced to give her up, dreams of getting a good foster family where she can be happy until her mother comes back for her.

Wyeth, Sharon Dennis. Freedom's Wings: Corey's Diary Kentucky to Ohio, 1857. 
A nine-year old slave keeps a diary of his journey to freedom along the Underground Railroad in 1857.
(My America series.)

Yep, Laurence. Lady of Ch'iao Kuo: Warrior of the South. 
In 531 A.D., a fifteen-year-old princess of the Hsien tribe in southern China keeps a diary which describes her role as liaison between her own people and the local Chinese colonists, in times of both peace and war. (The Royal Diaries)

Zinnen, Linda. The Truth about Rats, Rules, & Seventh Grade. 
Eleven-year-old Larch has depended on her own rules to help her cope with the life she and her mother share in a trailer in a small Ohio town, but her rules do not help her deal with a rat-catching dog, her best friend's crush and the truth she learns about her father's death.
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