They have all seen the movie most likely, but the book is so much better! "Holes" by Louis Sacher. My students could not wait until the read aloud at the end of every day.
Typically, I read aloud books that they could comprehend when they listened, but were too advanced for them to read on their own.
Another good one is "Looser" by Jerry Spinelli.
You may want to meet up with the classroom teacher that you'll be working with...you don't want to use a book that is a core curriculum book in another grade (oops, I did that once!)
You really can't go wrong by selecting award winners...http://www.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/lists.ht...
Also, there is nothing wrong with using some picture books either. Many picture books look simple because, well, they have pictures! But if you actually look at the word choices and the underlying meaning, plot, characters, and so on, you will see that they are actually more advanced than you thought.
Try a comparison of "Three Little Pigs" and the "True story of the Three Little Pigs" http://www.amazon.com/true-story-three-l...
...or what about reading aloud the Hans Christian Andersen stories (I still love those) http://www.amazon.com/complete-christian...
All of your students will be familiar with the Disney versions of fair tales, but are they familiar with the versions written by "The Brothers Grimm" (read them first, some can be a bit over the top) http://www.amazon.com/complete-brothers-...
More than anything...make it fun and expose them to books they would not otherwise read.
watership down by richard adams
pride and prejudice
romeo and juiliet
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Huckle Berry Finn by Mark Twain
Hope this helps. :-)
Taste of Blackberries
Summer of the Swans
Dear Mr. Henshaw
My stepmother is a 4th grade teacher, and she has the most amazing collection of books - my 9yo loves going to "grandma's library"! She uses a lot of books by Jane Yolen and Eve Bunting, as well as some authors local to her area. My son loves her historical books, things like "Encounter" (Columbus' landing on Hispaniola as seen through the eyes of a native boy), "Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot" (about the Berlin airdrops after WWII), "Baseball Saved Us" (about US soldiers introducing baseball to a Japanese internment camp during WWII), and "Orphan Train" (the orphan trains as seen through the eyes of an orphan boy sent to the midwest).
Other books that I really recommend include anything by EB White, the original "Peter Pan" by JM Barrie (not the Disney drivel), and "Pedro's Journal" (the journey of Columbus through his cabin boy's journal). These are all books that my 9yo has enjoyed over the past year.
When I was a 4th grader my teacher read us Holes by Lois Sacher and Frindle by Andrew Clements. All Of Andrew Clements' books would work well.
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