4th grade is the year when kids are moving out of elementary books (K-3) and into middle grade books (5-8). Some kids need more time to acclimate to the lengthy, descriptive, middle grade books. These series are sweetly entertaining, with characters in grades 6-8, but with reading levels for grades 3-4. Definite winners for fun plots and relatable characters.
The Sisters Club by Megan McDonald (3 books)
Three books are not enough for this well-written series about three sisters who form their own club to air their grievances. Theatre, cooking, and boys are three big themes. Though they have typical sister arguments, they always work it out in the end.
I [Heart] Band by Michelle Schusterman (4 books)
Holly plays French horn and is devoted to her band class, but things don’t always go her way. There’s chair competitions, boy rivalry, fundraising, friendship squabbles, and of course, band competitions.
The Cupcake Diaries by Coco Simon (32 books)
Katie discovers the joys of baking and forms the Cupcake Club with three friends. All the books focus on the ups and downs of being in middle school. Friends. Enemies. Boys. Talents. Fashion. Etc. But the girls do have a talent for creating unique, tasty cupcakes.
The Startup Squad by Brian Weisfeld (new series)
Resa, Didi, Harriet, and Amelia are grouped together for the class competition to see who can make the most money selling lemonade. Resa has a hard time listening to other ideas. She thinks she has all the answers, but disaster upon disaster continues to occur, and they are losing big-time. More books to come.
Academy of Dance by Margaret Gurevich (4 books)
The girls at Ms. Marianne’s Academy of Dance experience the struggles of making friends on the team, getting along, jealousy, internal competition and team competitions.
The Baby-sitters Club by Ann M. Martin (131 books)
With the popularity of Reina Telgemeier’s graphic novels, the original stories on which they are based have made a come-back. This is the original series that started it all. Four friends experience the ups and downs of middle school while working together to create a babysitting business.
Whatever After by Sarah Mlynowski (14 books)
Abby and Jonah are lucky enough to have a magic mirror in their basement that happens to be a portal into fairytales. In each book they find themselves in a different fairytale trying to keep the characters out of trouble.
Goddess Girls by Joan Holub (24 books)
All the young goddesses experience typical middle school challenges at Mt. Olympus Academy. Friends, enemies, frenemies, competitions, sports, activities and of course fighting for the attentions of the boy gods. Each book focuses on a different goddess.
43 Old Cemetery Road by Kate Klise (7 books)
Ignatius Grumply is the author of the Ghost Tamer series. It’s been 20 years since his last book and he’s finally decided to give it another go. He contacts realtor Anita Sales to find him a quiet summer rental. He decides on an old, dilapidated mansion in Ghastly, Illinois only to find it occupied by a boy and a ghost. Told in the form of letters and notes.