Ashwicken C of E Primary School

Ashwicken CE Primary School Caring for Each Other
and Caring for Our World

Recommended Reading for Year 4

Dear Parents/Carers,

Reading is an important part of everyday life. The more our children read, the better readers they will be and the better writers they will become.

Read a selection of books from the recommended book list attached:

Parents and family members play an important role in building successful readers. Hearing your child read is vital to your child retaining and building on the skills he or she has learned in school. But most importantly, this is a time for children to engage their imaginations, find amusement in books, and to learn to love reading. We ask that your child read for at least 15 minutes a day. Books can be of any genre or on any subject that is of interest to your child.


Here are some quick tips to encourage your child’s love for reading.

  • READ! READ! READ! Make reading important. Be a role-model for reading. Let your child see you reading throughout the day and use daily routines as reading opportunities. Cooking, reading TV listings, looking for information on-line, reading directions, or following a map all provide authentic reading experiences.
  • Give your child the power of choice. Having reading materials available, such as: books, magazines, comics, etc… is key to helping children love to read, and the reading materials they choose themselves are best. Help your child find texts that appeal to his or her interests, yet are age appropriate and ‘just right’ in difficulty.
  • Find opportunities to read aloud to your child. Read your favourite childhood book aloud, read signs while driving in the car, read at stores, and read while you’re on holiday!
  • Take frequent trips to the library.
  • Read a great story over and over again to help your child with fluency and reading with expression.
  • Talk it up. Talking about books during and after reading helps improve comprehension. Encourage your child to share their ideas and opinions by asking open-ended questions. Talk about what you read to let them know that reading is an important part of your life. Tell them why you liked a book, what you learned from it, or how it helped you— soon they might start doing the same.

We hope you and your family will read many stories and reap all of the wonderful benefits that reading has to offer!

I look forward to hearing all about the exciting books you have read.

Happy reading!


The following information is provided on the BooksForTopics website where you will also find a variety of other booklists and links for purchasing book. 

BooksForTopics’ recommended reading list

What kind of books should Year 4 read?

In Year 4 at the ages of 8 and 9, many children have learned to read short chapter books by themselves and have gained enough experience with books to articulate preferences about styles, themes and formats. Chapter books with fantasy adventures like The Land of Roar and How to Train Your Dragon are perfect choices for keen readers in Year 4. Readers who are reluctant to get stuck into lengthy chunks of text usually find they enjoy books punctuated with illustrated elements, and series like Tom Gates and Rainbow Grey are ever-popular choices for Year 4 children too. Year 4 children should also be encouraged to read stories that help them better understand the lives of others, like The Boy at the Back of the Class or The Girl Who Stole an Elephant.

It’s best to give Year 4 children a wide choice of different styles of stories, as children at this age are still forming their identities as independent readers. Try to collect a good mix of animal tales, fantasy adventures, funny stories, comic-style books and illustrated chapter books, whichare popular at this age. You should also provide non-fiction texts covering topics of interest like science or history, like a deep dive into The Great Barrier Reef or the classic favourite A Street Through Time.

In addition to a wide choice of independent reads, stories being read aloud by adults continue to be an important – and much-enjoyed – aspect of the reading-for-pleasure journey at this age.

Which are the best books for reading for pleasure in Year 4?

The books on our Y4 booklist feature 50 recommended reads for pleasure in Year 4. Many of the books in the collection are well-known for getting children hooked on reading due to their humorous style and highly illustrated elements, like the comic-style Bunny Vs Monkey books or the pie-chart-filled Planet Stan. Other stories featured in the Y4 collection have been chosen especially for making children laugh out loud, like the gag-filled Mr Gum or Nadia Shireen’s darkly humoured Grimwood.

Many children at this age have developed the ability to make connections within a story and spot finer details in the text, and this enables them to enjoy a good mystery story. For a cracking mystery adventure, we recommend the Highland Falcon Thief, the Anisha: Accidental Detective series or, for an interactive, head-scratching mystery that puts the reader in control, try Solve Your Own Mystery: The Monster Maker.

Animal rescue stories also remain popular with Year 4, with Jess Butterworth’s exciting Himalayan adventure When the Mountains Roared or Elizabeth Laird’s poignant tale of the dangers of ocean pollution in Song of the Dolphin Boy being excellent choices. Dragons feature heavily in the Y4 collection too, and readers looking for fantasy adventures will be happy to let their imaginations feed on The Land of Roar, the spellbinding Starfell series or Cressida Cowell’s hugely popular How to Train Your Dragon books.

Not all of the stories on the list are longer reads. For readers looking for shorter texts, try Jennifer Gray’s short chapter book Magicat (specially formatted for reluctant and dyslexic readers), Catherine Johnson’s thought-provoking Race to the Frozen North or dip into the graphic novel style myth collection Greek Heroes. For picture books suitable for Year 4, we recommend I Talk Like a River, Colin Thompson’s playful How to Live Forever or the thought-provoking The Barnabus Project, which is stunningly illustrated by the Fan Brothers.

If you are looking for classic stories suitable for 8-9 year olds, you’ll find among the collection some favourites that have been entertaining children for generations, like The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe or Dick King Smith’s The Queen’s Nose. Poetry books that are proven hits with Year 4 are well represented in the collection too, and in particular, we love the alphabet of shape poems in Apes to Zebras, Josh Seigal’s humorous collection Welcome to my Crazy Life and the beautifully illustrated nature poems in The Lost Words.

What are the best non-fiction books for Year 4?

When choosing information books for Year 4, look for highly illustrated information texts well structured into chunks of text, on topics of popular interest. Books about science, history or geography are usually a hit with this age group, and there are some stunning large-format non-fiction books available to wow the crowd.

Try the large format illustrated map book The Big Book of the UK,  William Grill’s fascinating illustrated retelling of Shackleton’s Journey or the wonderfully interactive illumanatomy, which comes with a magic lens to help readers delve deeper into the different systems that make up the human body.