Recommended Books for Year 4: Aged 8-9 Reading List


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Recommended Books for Year 4: Aged 8-9 Reading List

If you want your young one to develop advanced literacy skills like making inferences, drawing conclusions, and critically evaluating the information presented, reading is a great way to get started.

Reading is a fundamental skill that plays a crucial role in the cognitive development of 8 to 9-year-olds. As children transition from the early stages of literacy to more advanced reading comprehension, exposure to a variety of books can stimulate their creativity and broaden the horizons of their young minds.

For example, fiction books, such as adventure stories and fantasy novels, spark their imagination and transport them to enchanting worlds, fostering creativity and problem-solving abilities. As children immerse themselves in narratives, they learn to empathize with characters, visualize settings, and explore different perspectives.

Non-fiction, on the other hand, provides valuable insights into the real world, covering topics from history and science to biographies and current events. This leads to an understanding of different perspectives and cultures, generating compassion and cultural awareness.

So to help your young ones get started, here are some books for year 4 that we recommend.

Classic Literature Books for Year 4

Here are three classic literature books your 8-9 year olds are sure to love:

1. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Venture down the rabbit hole with Alice and explore the whimsical and nonsensical world of Wonderland. This timeless classic is filled with quirky characters, riddles, and wordplay that are bound to elicit some chuckles.

2. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Embark on charming adventures with anthropomorphic animals like Mole, Rat, Toad, and Badger as they navigate the English countryside, learning about friendship, bravery, and the wonders of nature.

3. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Meet the spirited and imaginative Anne Shirley as she navigates life in the picturesque town of Avonlea. Follow Anne's misadventures, friendships, and coming-of-age journey in this beloved classic.

These classic literature books offer rich storytelling, memorable characters, and valuable life lessons that have stood the test of time and are sure to resonate with young readers.

Adventure and Mystery Books for Year 4

Here are three adventure and mystery books for 8-9 year olds that will keep them glued to the pages:

1. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Follow the adventures of the Alden siblings as they solve mysteries and uncover secrets while living in a boxcar. This beloved series combines elements of sleuthing, teamwork, and resourcefulness.

2. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

Join four gifted children on a mission to save the world from a sinister plot orchestrated by the mysterious Mr. Curtain. This thrilling and engaging series combines puzzles, espionage, and friendship in a high-stakes adventure.

3. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein

Enter the eccentric world of Mr. Lemoncello's high-tech library where a group of children must solve puzzles and riddles to escape. This quirky and fast-paced story is filled with bookish clues, teamwork, and the thrill of a literary escape room.

These adventure and mystery books combine exciting plots, intriguing puzzles, and engaging characters that will keep your kids on the edge of their seats and inspire a love for reading and sleuthing.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Books for Year 4

Here are three science fiction and fantasy books for 8-9 year olds that will transport them to literary wonderlands:

1. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis 

Step through the wardrobe with siblings Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy into the magical land of Narnia, where they embark on a thrilling adventure to defeat the White Witch and restore peace to the realm. This classic tale is filled with talking animals, mythical creatures, and themes of courage and sacrifice.

2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Join Harry Potter, a young wizard, as he discovers his magical heritage, attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and faces the dark wizard Voldemort. This beloved series introduces readers to a world of spells, potions, and fantastical creatures.

3. The Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne

Travel through time with siblings Jack and Annie as they explore different historical eras through the magical tree house. In this first book of the series, they encounter dinosaurs and face thrilling adventures in the prehistoric past.

These science fiction and fantasy books bring captivating, magical worlds to life, and can spark young readers’ creativity, curiosity, and sense of wonder.

Historical Fiction Books for Year 4

Here are three historical fiction books suitable for 8-9 year olds, along with brief descriptions of each:

1. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Set in Denmark during World War II, this novel follows the story of ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen as she helps her Jewish friend Ellen escape the Nazis and their persecution. Through courage and sacrifice, Annemarie learns the importance of standing up against injustice.

2. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Join the Ingalls family as they settle in the Wisconsin wilderness in the 1870s. Through the eyes of young Laura Ingalls, readers experience the challenges and joys of pioneer life, from hunting and farming to celebrating holidays and facing hardships.

3. The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich

Journey into the world of Ojibwe culture through the eyes of seven-year-old Omakayas, a Native American girl living on the shores of Lake Superior in the mid-19th century. This beautifully written novel explores themes of family, tradition, and resilience against the backdrop of changing times.

These historical fiction books offer young readers rich narratives, engaging characters, and immersive settings that bring different time periods and cultures to life, generating empathy, understanding, and appreciation for history.

Nonfiction Books for Year 4

Here are three nonfiction books suitable for 8-9 year olds that they won’t be able to help falling in love with:

  1. Who Was Albert Einstein? by Jess Brallier - Discover the life and achievements of the famous physicist Albert Einstein in this engaging biography. From his groundbreaking theories of relativity to his enduring impact on science, readers learn about Einstein's genius and his contributions to our understanding of the universe.

  2. National Geographic Kids Almanac 2021 by National Geographic Kids - Packed with fun facts, amazing photos, and fascinating information, this almanac offers young readers a wealth of knowledge about animals, nature, geography, history, and more. With colorful illustrations and interactive features, this book is a great resource for curious minds.

1. The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles

Follow the inspiring true story of Ruby Bridges, a six-year-old African American girl who helped desegregate schools in New Orleans in the 1960s. Through her courage and perseverance, Ruby became a symbol of the civil rights movement and a beacon of hope for equality.

2. Ada's Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay by Susan Hood

Explore the incredible true story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay, a group of children who create beautiful music using instruments made from recycled materials. Through their creativity and determination, these young musicians inspire readers to see the beauty in sustainability and the power of music.

3. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

Journey to Malawi with young inventor William Kamkwamba as he uses his ingenuity to build a windmill and bring electricity to his village during a time of drought and hardship. This inspiring memoir showcases the potential of innovation, perseverance, and the impact of one person's determination.

With engaging narratives, informative content, and inspiring messages, these books will ignite curiosity, critical thinking, and a deeper understanding of the world in young readers.

Poetry Books for Year 4

Here are three poetry books suitable for 8-9 year olds that will inspire them to start rhyming everything they write:

1. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Journey into the whimsical world of Shel Silverstein's beloved poetry collection, where you'll encounter silly characters, imaginative scenarios, and clever wordplay. From Sick to Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out, these poems will delight young readers with their humor and creativity.

2. A Pizza the Size of the Sun by Jack Prelutsky

Prepare for a deliciously fun adventure through Jack Prelutsky's playful and imaginative poems. From wacky inventions to silly animals and fantastical scenarios, this collection offers a feast of humor, creativity, and pure poetic joy for young readers to savor.

3. Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman

Experience the magic of poetry in stereo with this unique collection of poems meant to be read aloud by two voices. Through the voices of insects such as crickets, fireflies, and honeybees, readers will hear the music and harmony of nature in a delightful and interactive way.

Through the power of language, rhythm, and imagery, these collections invite children to discover the beauty and joy of poetry while fostering their creativity, empathy, and love of language.

Illustrated Books and Graphic Novels for Year 4

Here are three illustrated books and graphic novels suitable for 8-9 year olds, which they will want to read over and over again:

1. Dog Man series by Dav Pilkey

Join the adventures of Dog Man, a half-dog, half-human hero who fights crime and saves the day with his loyal friends. Filled with humor, action, and heartwarming moments, this graphic novel series combines engaging storytelling with colorful illustrations.

2. Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi

Embark on a thrilling journey with Emily and her brother Navin as they discover a magical amulet that leads them to a hidden world filled with strange creatures and ancient mysteries. With breathtaking artwork and a gripping storyline, this graphic novel series blends fantasy, adventure, and friendship.

3. El Deafo by Cece Bell

Step into the shoes of Cece Bell, a young girl with hearing loss who navigates the challenges of school, friendship, and self-acceptance with the help of her powerful hearing aid, which gives her superhuman abilities. Through a blend of illustrations and text, this graphic novel offers a heartfelt and empowering story of resilience and identity.

These illustrated books and graphic novels offer young readers a visual feast of engaging stories, dynamic characters, and vibrant artwork that bring the narratives to life. 


From classic tales of adventure and fantasy to thought-provoking stories that explore the complexities of the human experience, this list provides a well-rounded educational and entertainment experience.

By embracing this curated selection of books for year 4, you can set your young one on a path of literary exploration and joy. If your child is younger or older, you can find book recommendations for them in our primary school reading list

If you’re looking for a more structured approach to helping your child improve their reading comprehension and vocabulary, we invite you to check out the FunFox Readers Club

Packed with a mix of educational games and hands-on activities, it is a one-of-a-kind online reading program that can help your child build foundational skills to succeed at school and beyond.

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