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Book club ideas for 4th grade girls - classic & new pairings


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Initial post: Jan 14, 2013 7:20:16 PM PST
I'm starting a new book club for 4th grade girls, and our first book is A Wrinkle in Time (classic) and 2d book is When You Reach Me (2009 Newberry medal book that has a heroine who constantly reads A Wrinkle In Time). I'm interested in other new books that would be a good pairing to classics I loved as girl (like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Secret Garden, Charlotte's Web' etc.). They don't have to be as explicit as referencing the classics - for example, I may match Charlotte's Web with The Adventures of Nanny Piggins, just because both are pig stories. Please share ideas of pairings, or just any books that would be good for 9-10 year old girls.
Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2013 7:39:23 PM PST
cathyr says:
I've been re-reading Roald Dahl with my girls and it really struck home their "modern day fairy tale/fable" aspects. I particularly noticed the "modern day fable" in The Magic Finger. It would be interesting to couple a reading of some of his novellas with (for example) Kipling's Just So Stories.

Similarly, an orchestral version of Dahl's "Little Red Riding Hood" happens to be coming to my home town; looking at versions of Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes and Roald Dahl's Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf: A Howling Hilarious Musical (A & C Black Musicals) with more classical variants.

Posted on Jan 14, 2013 10:40:10 PM PST
If you think the girls would like contemporary horse series I can recommend a couple.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 12:54:08 AM PST
bradsbar says:
An excellent book for girls 9-12 is Sister of A VIP
Sister of A VIP
Great story, easy to read, with lots of really good tips for adolescence and life in general :-)

Posted on Jan 16, 2013 10:00:37 AM PST
I would recommend Used Pie by Yoshi Minna. It is a short book with lots of illustrations. However it is very philosophical and thoughtful, excellent for discussion.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 3:25:49 PM PST
K. McNamara says:
I'm assuming if you're starting with A Wrinkle in Time that you have a bunch of great readers. I'm probably not going to be much use at pairing, but here are some of my favorites I would push at 4th grade girls:
Harriet the Spy (inspired my daughter to keep a journal) maybe with Marissa Moss's Amelia's Notebook or The Great Green Notebook of Katie Roberts or one of the Dear America journals?
Estes 100 Dresses (a classic about bullying) maybe pair with Haddix's The Girl with 500 Middle Names.
Sarah Prineas' The Magic Thief (okay, I just really enjoyed this one - it has simple substitution codes which can be solved for fun or ignored!)
Meg Cabot's Ally Finkle's Rules for Girls - Moving Day (I enjoyed this one too)
Kate Klise's Regarding the Fountain - a story told in letters
The Year of Miss Agnes - a story set in rural Alaska about a remarkable teacher

Posted on Jan 17, 2013 4:49:01 PM PST
Agnes says:
As far as pairings go, I'm drawing a blank, but I do have some recommendations that I personally love and highly recommend.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine - Both Ella Enchanted and The Frog Princess, take well-known fairy tales and give them some spins, the results of which are humorous and entertaining.
The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (A book about self-discovery and opening one's eyes to the world around) - I almost want to pair this one with The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, because both carry similar themes. I'm just not sure how well The Neverending Story would go over with 4th graders.

Holes by Louis Sachar (excellent and funny story with some plot connections I never saw coming; this one would be great paired up with the movie following this read)

A Murder for Her Majesty by Beth Hilgartner (interesting and atmospheric mystery)

I also strongly second recommendations for books by Roald Dahl. He had a really wicked sense of humor. I still love his books. And, I don't know if anyone's mentioned Sharon Creech, but she has so many wonderful books for young girls: The Wanderer, Walk Two Moons (Walk Two Moons might be more appropriate for slightly older readers - say 11-13), Ruby Holler, Chasing Redbird. I always found her books beautiful, insightful, and humorous.

Posted on Jan 17, 2013 7:41:43 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 19, 2013 9:07:51 PM PST
Wayward says:
I second Ella Enchanted, maybe paired with Robin McKinley's Beauty as a more classic fairy tale? Or pair the more classic fairy tale with Once Upon a Marigold.

My Side of the Mountain is one every 4th grader should read. My dd says pair it with Survivors. (I haven't read that one yet) Maybe with 13th Child, but that's an alternate history. Any current survival story would be good.

Ramona and Clementine, maybe? Very similar themes, but Ramona is classic and Clementine is contemporary.

I'll keep thinking. Bunnicula vs Despereaux doesn't sound right...but both are good!

ETA: You could pair Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe with Falling In; a book about a girl who falls through her school closet into a fairy tale world.

Posted on Jan 19, 2013 6:54:42 PM PST
lxm16 says:
Fun idea! I don't know whether I'm sticking closely enough to the 4th grade, but I'm going to try to pair a few books. "Alice in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll with "The View from Saturday", by E. L. Konigsburg, or alternately, "Gregor the Overlander". "A Little Princess" with the first Harry Potter, maybe. "The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" (also by E. L. Konigsburg), with "Shakespeare's Secret" by Elise Broach. "Little Women" with (a) "The Diamond in the Window" by Jane Langton or (b) "The Penderwicks".

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 20, 2013 1:21:04 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Jan 20, 2013 2:41:28 PM PST]

Posted on Feb 13, 2013 10:43:16 PM PST
Thanks for the great ideas! We love Roald Dahl and I was thinking Charlie and the chocolate factory and the more recent The Candymakers would work as a pair. I didn't know about Falling In - ill definitely check that out. Please keep the ideas coming!

Posted on Feb 14, 2013 8:24:36 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 14, 2013 8:25:27 PM PST
cathyr says:
Talking about Roald Dahl, found this article from the DailyMail .uk
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2275428/Children-prefer-Twilight-The-Twits-Roald-Dahl-falls-favour-novels-make-10-loved-books.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Apparently kids are only reading Roald Dahl because we are making them! *grin*

I'm not overly surprised in that children, just like adults, will choose what is being sold *now* - and the newest will be placed on the front of the shelves.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013 10:47:48 AM PST
Olga V. says:
Try a new YA book "Quests of Shadowind: Sky Shifter" (ISBN: 061543925X) by L.A. Miller.

GREAT read for teens!

The book received rave reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly.

Posted on Feb 20, 2013 11:43:00 PM PST
There are some wonderful books listed in this thread. :) How about Anne of Green Gables? I can't think of a pair for it off the top of my head, but it would go well with another friendship book.

A Little Princess and Heidi make a nice pair, as do I Capture the Castle and A Brief History of Montmaray. :) Hope that helps!

Posted on Mar 25, 2013 4:05:43 PM PDT
cathyr says:
How about pairing Frindle by Andrew Clements with either a Roald Dahl (I'd suggest The BFG) or a Dr Seuss (maybe The Lorax).

"Frindle" looks at words, their origins, and the idea of renaming objects, making them up, and so forth.

"The BFG" has an emphasis on *words* - spoonerisms, made up words, mixed up terms.

"The Lorax" (as well as the environmental theme) has Dr Seuss' typical lyricism and word creation including "Thneeds", a much needed object. (A simple book for the age range, but as you are doing couplings, sometimes a simple book provides a much needed break!).

Posted on Mar 26, 2013 5:37:27 AM PDT
How about Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren and The Misadventures of Maude March by Audrey Couloumbis?
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Discussion in:  Children's Books forum
Participants:  13
Total posts:  16
Initial post:  Jan 14, 2013
Latest post:  Mar 26, 2013

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