Home > Uncategorized > 2012 Grade 3 & 4 Summer Reading List

2012 Grade 3 & 4 Summer Reading List

This list was compiled by Linda Williams for the Connecticut State Department of Education. Many of the titles selected are loosely connected to Connecticut’s statewide summer reading theme, NIGHT. Most listed titles have been selected as exemplary books by at least one of the following: American Library Association (ALA) the International Reading Association (IRA), the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the National Science Teachers Assocation (NSTA) or the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY). (Download a .pdf of the list).


The Moon Over Star by Diana Hutts Aston
On her family’s farm in the town of Star, eight-year-old Mae eagerly follows the progress of the 1969 Apollo 11 flight and moon landing and dreams that she might one day be an astronaut, too.

Fanny’s Dream by Caralyn Buehner
Fanny Agnes is a sturdy farm girl who dreams of marrying a prince, but when her fairy godmother doesn’t show up, she decides on a local farmer instead.

Grace for President by Kelly S. DiPuccio
When Grace discovers that there has never been a female U.S. president, she decides to run for school president.

Under the Quilt of Night by Deborah Hopkinson
A young girl flees from the farm where she has been worked as a slave and uses the Underground Railroad to escape to freedom in the north.

I Dream of Trains by Angela Johnson
The son of a sharecropper dreams of leaving Mississippi on a train with the legendary engineer Casey Jones.

Night Boat to Freedom by Margot Theis
At the request of his fellow slave Granny Judith, Christmas John risks his life to take runaways across a river from Kentucky to Ohio. Based on slave narratives recorded in the 1930s.


The Boy Who Climbed into the Moon by David Almond
Helped by a very long ladder, some unusual acquaintances, two rather worried parents, and a great deal of community spirit, a young English boy makes an astonishing discovery when he embarks on a mission to prove that the moon is nothing but a big hole in the sky.

Little Rat Makes Music by Monika Bang-Campbell
Little Rat loves the violin but hates to practice, until her teacher suggests she perform a duet with one of the advanced students at the holiday concert.

Bandit’s Moon by Sid Fleischman
Twelve-year-old Annyrose, left behind when her brother joins the Gold Rush, escapes the unscrupulous woman she is staying with and sets out on a grand adventure with the notorious bandit Joaquin Murieta and his band of outlaws.

The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz
When Flory the night fairy’s wings are accidentally broken and she cannot fly, she has to learn to do everything differently.

Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon
Danny Dragonbreath and his friend Wendell get an up-close underwater tour of the Sargasso Sea from Danny’s sea-serpent cousin, encountering giant squid and mako sharks–and learn about standing up to bullies in the process.

Young Fredle by Cynthia Voigt
Fredle, a young mouse cast out of his home, faces dangers and predators outside, makes some important discoveries and allies, and learns the meaning of freedom as he struggles to return home.


Joey Fly, Private Eye in Creepy Crawly Crime by Aaron Reynolds
A graphic novel featuring Joey Fly, crime fighter, as he sets out to solve the mystery of a stolen diamond pencil box owned by a beautiful butterfly customer.
Edgar Allan Poe Honor


Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman
A collection of poems that celebrate the wonder, mystery, and danger of the night and describes the many things that hide in the dark.


Dream Something Big by Dianna Hutts Aston
In Watts, California, over a period of many years, a man known to all as Uncle Sam spends his free time collecting broken bits of pottery, glass, and other scraps and turning them into a work of art.

A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston
An informative, yet beautiful, introduction to seeds.

Vote! by Eileen Christelow
sing a campaign for mayor as an example, shows the steps involved in an election, from the candidate’s speeches and rallies, to the voting booth where every vote counts, to the announcement of the winner.

A Black Hole is Not a Hole by Carolyn DeCristofano
An examination of black holes that discusses what they are, what causes them, how they are discovered, and more.
Three Starred Reviews

Jazz on a Saturday Night by Leo & Diane Dillon
Learn about this popular music form and hear each instrument play on a specially produced CD.

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca
Here is the story of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon — a story of leaving and returning during the summer of 1969, and a story of home, seen whole, from far away by steady astronauts in their great machines.

Older Than the Stars by Karen C. Fox
Introduces the big bang theory, describing how the universe began and how elementary particles combined to form our solar system and eventually Earth’s simplest organisms, which in turn evolved to becomes complex forms of life and human beings.

The Wolves Are Back by Jean Craighead George
For over a century, wolves were persecuted in the United States and nearly became extinct. Gradually reintroduced, they are thriving again in the West, much to the benefit of the ecosystem.

If You Decide to Go to the Moon by Faith McNulty
Describes what a trip to the moon is like for a would-be astronaut.

Saltypie by Tim Tingle
Stories of the author’s Choctaw Indian family, centering particularly on his blind grandmother.


Midnight Forests by Gary Hines
Gifford Pinchot is regarded as the father of the conservation movement. Pinchot and President Teddy Roosevelt set aside large areas and designated them public lands; these are today’s National Forests.

Shooting for the Moon by Stephen Krensky
A picture-book biography of Annie Oakley that is based on her own writings and illustrations.

Dreamer from the Village by Michelle Markel
Chronicles the life of Marc Chagall, a celebrated twentieth-century artist who was born in Russia.

Henry Aaron’s Dream by Matt Tavares
A picture book biography of African-American baseball player Hank Aaron.

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