Sarah is having an up and down summer -- typical is her trying to change her orange sneakers to baby blues and they come out puce! A perfect name for the new color. Charlie, a mentally retarded 10-year-old, gets lost looking for the swans and Sarah finds she has an unexpected ally in her search for him in the local woods.
Leigh Botts has been Boyd Henshaw's Number One fan ever since his second grade teacher read aloud Ways to Amuse a Dog. Now in the sixth grade, Leigh lives with his mother and is "the new kid" in school. Troubled by the absence of his father, a cross-country trucker, and angry because a mysterious lunchbag thief steals all the "good stuff" from his lunch, Leigh feels his only friend is Mr. Fridley, the school custodian. Then Leigh's teacher assigns a project that requires writing letters asking questions of authors. Naturally Leigh chooses to write to Mr. Henshaw, whose surprising answer changes Leigh's life.Told through a series of letters to Leigh's favorite author, and later through Leigh's diary, this is a wise and funny book about finding one's own place in the world.
When is a Bic ball point pen no longer a pen? Nick Allen uses this ordinary school tool to get under the skin of his fifth-grade teacher after she requires him to complete a report on the origin of words. Summary: Nick Allen is a smart aleck who loves to outwit his teachers. That is until he goes head to head with Mrs. Granger over the new word for pen, “frindle”. Soon the whole school is involved in this war of wits and words that ends in ways unexpected by everyone.
Salamanca Tree Hiddle is a 13-year-old girl traveling by car with her grandparents from Ohio to Idaho. Along the way, she tells them the story of her friend Phoebe and her family problems. We also find out more and more about Salamanca and her troubles. Salamanca’s mother left her and her father one morning and has not returned. The trip she is taking with her grandparents is to go see her mother. She has this idea that if they can make it to Idaho by her mother’s birthday, she will be able to bring her home again.
The Watsons are not an ordinary family in Flint, MI. On a very cold winter morning, Byron manages to freeze his lips to the side-view mirror of the family car. Mrs. Watson is from Alabama and fears her children will freeze in the cold, so she bundles them in so many layers of sweaters and coats they can hardly move—but it’s great protection when you’re pelted with snowballs. No wonder people think the family is strange. But there’s one way they’re not strange at all. When gang influences that threaten to turn him from good kid to bad kid, the Watson’s decide to drive 1,000 miles to Birmingham to take him to Grandma Sands, who will be able to set Byron straight. If that doesn’t happen over the summer, Byron would stay in Birmingham. In preparation for a trip, Mr. Watson had a TrueTone AB-700 Ultra-Glide installed in his car, the Brown Bomber. The Ultra-Glide played something you’ve probably never seen—45 rpm records. The day he brought it home, the weird Watsons spent two hours out front of the house in the Brown Bomber testing out the Ultra-Glide. What the Watson’s don’t anticipate is the racial hatred in Birmingham. Hatred strong enough for white men to blow up a black church. Both funny and sad, The Watsons go to Birmingham—1963 takes you back to a time when the color of your skin determined what kind of world you lived in.
All I had wanted to do was purchase a box of macaroni & cheese, some white rice and two tomatoes. But then, I heard the store manager yelling, "Who let that dog in? Who let that dirty dog in?" I couldn't see anything but rolling vegetables and Winn-Dixie employees waving their arms, until a big, ugly dog skidded to a stop right in front of me and smiled. What was a lonely 15 year old to do? I told the store manager he was my dog and that his name was Winn-Dixie. So I don't think very fast .. so what if the store's name is Winn-Dixie. Anyway, I yelled "Here, boy! Here, Winn-Dixie!" And what was a stray dog to do? He obediently came to me and smiled so hard that he sneezed. It was love at first sight. Now, I, India Opal Baloni, of Naomi Florida need to convince my preacher Dad that we need a dog. After all, my Mom isn't around, and I need company. And we all know a dog can change your life, can't it? Read BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE, by Kate DiCamillo.
Claudia is bored with her life. Her parents don't understand her and her friends are boring. She decides to run away for a short time -- just long enough for everyone to really miss her. She doesn't want to be uncomfortable during her time away from home so she decides to take up residence in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She also needs money so she decides to ask her brother to run away with her because he always has money. What Claudia doesn't count on is being involved in an art mystery at the museum. She is determined to discover the sculptor of a magnificent statue. She learns that the former owner is Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and sets off to solve the mystery.
Jeffrey Lionel Magee's parents died when he was young, and one day he decides he can no longer stand to live with his aunt and uncle and runs away. He keeps running, performing amazing sports feats along the way that earn him the legendary name "Maniac." When runs into Amanda Beale and is taken into the Beale home and treated as one of the family. For a while, all is well; Jeffrey has a loving family and a real address. The problem, however, is that Jeffrey is white, and he has been taken in by a black family in a town that is very racially divided. While most people don't mind his being with the Beales, a few begin to cause trouble, so Jeffrey leaves. He lives for a while in a baseball equipment room with an old man, and then with a dysfunctional white family, but he only really feels at home with the Beales. Jeffrey takes all of his surroundings in stride and believes wholeheartedly that people are people regardless of the shade of their skin. Eventually, he becomes friends with the black boy who caused the trouble with the Beales and brings about the most change in racial attitudes that the town has seen in a long time.
Ever since Sahara's parents got divorced, she just hasn't been able to concentrate on her schoolwork. The school counselor decides she has special needs, and has her meet in the hallway with the other special needs child, Darrell. Every child in the school passes through that hallway, and soon Sahara has her nickname, Sahara Special. One day Darrell gets frustrated, throws everything off the desk and swears which has her mother in the Principal's office the next day demanding Sahara be returned to the regular fifth grade class. The Principal explains that if Sahara returns to the regular class, she will most probably fail and have to repeat fifth grade. And she does. Everything seems miserable until, on her first day of fifth grade for the second time the children find out that the regular fifth grade teacher has moved over the summer and in her place the children get the miraculous Miss Poitier. Miss Pointy, as the children call her, refuses to let anyone fail, and tries different methods like journaling to reach some of the more difficult children. With Miss Pointy's help, Sahara learns that she is indeed special, and the special can be wonderful.
Ida B's first days at school were not what she expected. In fact, she was miserable. When her mother spends the day in school with her, she agrees that it is not where Ida B belongs. So, for the next few years, Ida B is home schooled. She loves spending her free time outdoors talking to the trees and the brook. And she loves spending time with her parents. But then the unthinkable happens. Her mother is diagnosed with cancer. Now her mother is too tired to teach her and her father is too busy taking care of the farm and his family. So Ida B has to go back to public school. Will fourth grade be as bad as she believes? Can Ida B adjust to all the changes happening in her life?
As Naomi Leon Outlaw's great-grandmother would say, the good and bad of any situation are sometimes the same. It doesn't seem that way to Naomi. She and her brother have become accustomed to living with their great grandmother. Their mother left years ago and Owen barely remembers her. Naomi sometimes dreams of her mother coming back but she isn't prepared for what happens when she does! Unannounced, she just shows up after seven years. Naomi is thrilled at first but then she notices how her mother is treating Owen. Owen can't help it if he is a FLK -- funny looking kid. He has some problems that will take some operations to correct but that will have to wait til he's full grown. When Naomi finds out that her mother plans to take Naomi with her but leave Owen, she and Gram have to take drastic action.
My name is Hollis Woods. I’m twelve and I’m a mountain of trouble. My name is a real place, a place they found me when I was a baby. An hour old, no blanket, with a scrap of paper that said, “Call her Hollis Woods” I’ve been in foster care all my life. Being moved from one family to the next. I run away sometimes. I don’t go to school. Kids don’t want to play with me. Don’t feel sorry for me because I am tough! I’m also an artist. I’ve been happy with the families I’ve been placed with twice. In my story, The pictures of Hollis Woods I tell all about the time I lived with the Regans and with Josie Cahill. The Regans, Izzy, her husband, Old Man, and their son, Steven, wanted to adopt me, make me part of the family, the daughter Izzy never had. I ran away after Steven was critically injured in an automobile wreck that was my fault. Josie, the retired art teacher, nurtured my love of art but was very forgetful. She was in the beginning stages of dementia and I soon became the caregiver for her. To read how my life turns out please read my story, The Pictures of Hollis Woods.
Phillip Malloy is an average student that wants to run track. Margaret Narwin is a veteran teacher that tries to instill of love of learning in her students. The two collide when Phillip’s grades in Mrs. Narwin’s class are not sufficient to keep him on the track team. Phillip attempts to be removed from her classroom and homeroom in hopes of finding a more lenient teacher. When this fails, he hums the National Anthem and gets sent to the office for not standing at “respectful, silent attention”. The events that follow are detailed in letter, memo and diary form. Mrs. Narwin’s stellar teaching record is under attack and Phillip is questioning his own actions amid a storm of controversy. Did Phillip do the right thing? Did Mrs. Narwin do the right thing? Does anyone even know what the right thing is? Read Nothing but the Truth and decide for yourself…
sightseeing detour in an old Cessna 185 floatplane goes dangerously awry, leaving two teen-aged boys and an elderly man to fend for themselves in the remote wilderness of Canada's Northwest Territories. This is the land where the "hammer" comes down, a term that refers to the cold and darkness of the brutal winter. This severe setting is the backdrop for a clash of cultures and generations, as three individuals compete for control over the group and their destinies. Will Hobbs first got the idea for writing Far North while standing on the cliffs of Virginia Falls, a waterfall twice the size of Niagara Falls in this remote region of Canada. He also read other people's first-hand accounts of surviving "extreme winter conditions, open water, and collapsing ice bridges." The author's knowledge and research is skillfully translated into this authentic and riveting survival story. For fans of this genre, it just doesn't get much better.
Realistic fiction for Fourth Graders
Realistic Fiction is exactly what it sounds
like: books that seem like they could be
true (realistic) but are not true (fiction).
Realistic books have plots, characters,
and settings that might be found in real
• Plot – what happens in a story
• Characters – who it happens to
• Setting – where and when it happens
fiction consists of stories
that tell about situations occurring
in the real world.
There can be no magic or fantasy
involved in the plot, although there
may be very unusual events or