3rd - 4th Grade

The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale

Princess Magnolia lives in a castle. She wears a lot of pink and has perfect hair.  While enjoying a cup of hot chocolate with busybody Duchess Wigtower, Princess Magnolia’s ring starts to vibrate. It’s a monster alarm that goes off when monsters are threatening the kingdom! Without revealing her secret identity, Magnolia turns into … the Princess in Black and escapes from the castle using her secret entrance. Magnolia discovers a big blue monster has entered the kingdom and threatens to eat goats and wreak havoc on the countryside.

Audrey (Cow) by Dan Bar-el

Just before Audrey’s mother was taken away on a truck to Abbott’s War, she told Audrey a story about another cow that escaped from a truck and lived in a forest. (Animals on the farm don’t know what Abbott’s War is; they just know it’s bad.)  Audrey tells this story to her farm animal friends and when news comes down that Audrey is to leave the farm, Audrey and Eddie (a sheepdog) hatch a plan.  On the day Audrey has to leave she escapes to the forest where a whole other set of problems (and friends) arise.

Mr. Max: The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt

Max is almost thirteen when his parents go to India to start a theatrical company.  The problem is, the ship they were supposed to sail on doesn’t exist.  Max needs a way to make a living after they disappear, so he starts a business solving problems and recovering items for clients. And he investigates what happened to his parents.  He uses a number of their theatrical costumes as he goes about this work around town, sometimes with comic effect.

My Explosive Diary by Emily Gale

Eliza Boom (inventor-in-training) wants to be just like her dad and become a spy-gadget inventor. She won’t become an inventor or a spy if she can’t get her father’s top-secret film back from the class bully, Zoe Wakefield. Unfortunately Zoe is using the film as a hair bow. Eliza and her two assistants Einstein (her dog) and new friend Amy need to get it back before enemy spies can get their hands on it.Can these three would-be 007s get the film, stop the spies, and get revenge on the class bully?

Life on Mars by Jennifer Brown

Arty’s goal is to find life on Mars. On the roof outside his bedroom, using a homemade signaling device, Arty directs messages toward Mars and waits for a response.  One night he sees a man come out of the house next door, carrying a black garbage bag into the woods. Arty and his friends Tripp and Priya decide his neighbor is a face-eating zombie and call him Mr. Death. Arty is upset to learn his family is moving far from the Midwest. Plans get mixed up while his parents are in Las Vegas, looking for a new house, and Arty must spend the night at Mr. Death’s house.

Shipwreck Island by S.A. Bodeen

Sarah Robinson’s dad has decided to marry a woman after only three dates. Now Sarah’s new stepmom is moving in with her two sons, Marco who’s also twelve and Nacho who is ten. Life is never going to be the same! Hoping to unite their new family, Sarah’s dad and stepmom decide to take them on a dream vacation to Fiji, where they’ll charter a boat and go sailing amongst the islands.

Nuts To You by Lynne Rae Perkins

This story started with the author sitting down with a peanut butter sandwich and a squirrel, Jed, itching to tell a tale. One day while minding his own business, Jed gets picked up by a hungry hawk. He tricks the hawk and is dropped to safety, but far away from his grove.  While Jed is a gray squirrel, these squirrels are red and speak with a Scottish brogue. In the meantime, Jed’s friends discover he’s alive and travel electric lines, buzzpaths in squirrel-talk, to find him.

Bird by Crystal Chan

Jewel never knew her brother John. Jewel’s grandfather nicknamed her brother Bird, and encouraged him to pretend he could fly. Bird jumped off a cliff and died the day Jewel was born. No one talks about Bird or how he died, and her grandfather doesn’t speak at all. One night Jewel climbs her favorite tree and discovers someone else is already there, and his name is John. The two become fast friends, sharing their hopes and dreams for the future. 

Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown

Roan is graduating from primary school, and waiting for his invitation to attend Pilot Academy Middle School.  He can’t wait to fly in space!  However, he’s rejected by Pilot Academy, but luckily gets a last minute invitation to go to Jedi School on the planet Coruscant.  He doesn’t know anything about Jedi’s or the Force, but it’s better than going to the Plant academy.

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