This list of the best chapter books for boys ages six to ten is important because let's face it: boys and girls don't always enjoy the same kinds of books. Boys are notorious for being reluctant readers, especially when they're younger. If you have one that enjoys reading, then yay you (and him)! But typically boys -- when they do get into reading -- like funny stories, adventure stories, fantasy, sci-fi, and a good dose of graphic novels. And that's what I've included on this list -- minus the fantasy.
Finding chapter books for fourth graders is fun, because at this stage, most nine-year-olds are strong enough readers. A few of them still like to see some pictures in their chapter books, but others can handle reading up to 200 pages of fiction (or more). Whatever your fourth-grader's reading level, I'm pretty sure you'll find a couple or more books for them among these 33 chapter books for fourth-graders. I've separated those that feature illustrations from the chapter books that do not. The non-illustrated chapter books I've chosen are technically "middle-grade books" for ages 8-12. But these picks are well suited for younger readers because they feature younger protagonists, fewer pages of text, less intense subject matter, and a "young" voice.
Twig and Turtle are two sisters whose parents have just moved into a tiny house! The family has done some major downsizing -- the kids even had to choose just five toys they could keep, and now they have to clean up after playing with their toys. Both girls are also adjusting to a new neighborhood and new school. Turtle, the younger girl, seems to be adjusting well at school, making friends and having a good time. But for the older girl, Twig, things are a bit harder. She's self-conscious about having few clothes in rotation and being new in general. Twig is also missing their Great Dane, Bo, whom they had to leave at their Grandma's because of the tiny house. Twig decides that the she will convince her mother to let Bo move in with them again.
Finding chapter books for second graders can be tough, because these kids are often new to reading and we don't want to discourage them with bulky chapter books. Ideally, these kids would be seven-year-olds. The selections for this age (unless you have a faster reader) tend to be heavily illustrated, featuring text in much larger fonts and simple story lines. If you're an adult reader, you could get through these books in under an hour or much less. Series are also a hit for this age group.
Although I have zero professional dance experience, I love middle-grade books about dance! Sadly, though, new middle-grade books about dance are far and few in between. However, in this list of best middle-grade books about dance, I hunted down a few other excellent recommendations. Not all the books here are about ballet -- some feature hip-hop, square dancing, and even one about a Mexican dance. The books all feature dancing as a central theme, and protagonists who either love dancing or at least come to appreciate it by the end.
I've read and am reading or plan to read most of the titles on this list of 2020 middle-grade books. Several are also sophomore novels by authors whose debuts I loved. I hope you'll pre-order some of these or at least keep an eye out for them in your library! If you want to add more 2020 middle-grade books to your TBR, check out my first list of 2020 anticipated releases featuring 52 books!
In Ways to Make Sunshine, Ryan Hart and her family are moving to a new (old) house because her dad lost his post office job and his new job doesn't pay as much. Ryan is unhappy about the change for many reasons. She liked their old house, and even though she has her own room in this new house, this house is a smaller bungalow, which means there will be no stairs to play on. She also fears that it will be too small to entertain guests, because Ryan loves to create new recipes -- and cook them!
Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business is the first book in the Mindy Kim series. Mindy and her father have recently moved from the city to a suburb in Florida where she is the only Asian girl in her school. On top of that, Mindy's mom died shortly before their move and her dad is adjusting to being a single parent. Like any normal child, Mindy wants to be liked at her new school. She's fortunate to meet a new friend on her first day, even though the kids complain about the way her Korean lunch smells.