New Books for 4th Graders

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Grades 4+

Ivan (The Ape at Exit 8) is a downtrodden, has-been silverback gorilla living in a small, unkept domain within a shopping mall, occasionally accompanied by Bob, a stray dog who sneaks into Ivan's domain through a hole in the glass.

Stella, an aging elephant with a bad foot, dies from lack of treatment after Ruby, a baby elephant purchased from a defunct circus, arrives at the mall. The owner hopes Ruby will jumpstart visitor attendance again. Before Stella dies, she asks Ivan to promise that he will bring Ruby somewhere safe, knowing his devotion to protection of his friends is paramount.

Ivan's poetic narration is honest, painful, and heartbreaking; Applegate's insight into captive animal life is powerful. Don't miss this book, no matter how old you are.

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Giants Beware! by Jorge Aguirre

Grades 3-5

Claudette, a spunky medieval girl with her heart set on giant-slaying, encounters some difficulty doing so because she is a girl. Accompanied by her cowardly brother, Gaston, and Marie, Claudette's polar opposite, determined Claudette sets out to slay a giant. Giants beware? More like anyone-who-crosses-the-main-character-Claudette Beware!

An action-packed graphic novel for adventure-lovers, Giants Beware! introduces a powerful main character and expertly blends comedy with fantasy.

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Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems by Kristine O'Connell George

Reading Level: Grades 2-4

These poems are for every big sister who has had to deal with an little sister who drives them crazy!  Has your room been invaded?  Does she want to join you and your friends?  Do you parents always expect you to be the "role model?"  But do you really, really love each other-most of the time?  This is the book for you!

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