I have come to fall in love with teaching in Catholic schools. What are YOU in love with?...

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything." - Pedro Arrupe

4th Grade Read Alouds

As a self-contained classroom teacher, one of my favorite daily activities with the students is read aloud. Over the past four years, I have read many chapter (and picture) books to my students - some repeated year after year and others specific to each class.

To the best of my memory, here's a list of books I've used (not necessarily as read alouds but as mentor texts and/or in literature circles) and heartily (depending on classroom/student dynamics & personalities) recommend*:

*Note - This list is subject to updates as more books are read and enjoyed.

(Alphabetically Sorted) Novel Read Alouds:

The 39 Clues series (multiple authors, including Rick Riordan)
Al Capone Does My Shirts (Gennifer Choldenko)
Bridge to Terabithia (Katherine Paterson)
Bud, Not Buddy (Christopher Paul Curtis)
The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School & The Fabled Fifth Graders of Aesop Elementary School (Candace Fleming)
George's Marvelous Medicine (Roald Dahl)
Holes (Louis Sachar)
James and the Giant Peach (Roald Dahl)
Kindred Souls (Patricia MacLachlan)
The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles (Julie Andrews)
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe from Narnia series (C.S. Lewis)
Love That Dog (Sharon Creech)
Maniac Magee (Jerry Spinelli)
Matilda (Roald Dahl)
Sideways Stories from Wayside School (Louis Sachar)
The Tale of Despereaux (Kate DiCamillo)
Tuck Everlasting (Natalie Babbitt)
Turtle in Paradise (Jennifer L Holmes)
Wonder (R.J. Palacio)
Zorgamazoo (Robert Paul Weston) - it's told completely in "Dr. Seuss-like" rhyme (great for Poetry Month!)

If you're interested in learning more about one (or more) of these books, you can check out summaries, recommendations, etc. on goodreads.com or barnesandnoble.com.

Happy Reading!

with Christopher Paul Curtis (author of Bud, Not Buddy & other titles)
with Sharon Creech (author of Walk Two Moons, Love That Dog, and more)


  1. We just finished James and the Giant Peach and are now working our way through Sideways Stories from Wayside school, great minds think alike! They loved James and the Giant Peach (even the kid who has the movie and hates it) and they are thoroughly enjoying Wayside School. Next up is Mr. Popper's Penguins.

  2. Hi Mr. Liedl - enjoying the ACE love - thanks!

    I completely agree about James and the Giant Peach - did it for a lit circle back in ACE and the kiddos really enjoyed it. (The movie is pretty terrible, but that's just my opinion.) If you're interested, I can share with you the performance assessment I came up with at the end that went along with analyzing characters - the kids ATE IT UP!