Summer Reading

for rising 4th graders

Dear Dalton Families,

Phew, another year done, and what a year it's been.

This summer reading list encompasses a wide variety of interests and reading levels. Over the break, as always, our top priority is to foster a love of reading in our students.

Have a wonderful summer of reading!

All the best,

Christine Nassar & Jordy Samuels

First Program Librarians

Chapter Books

"Yellow Stickers"

"Yellow Sticker" books, named for how we locate them in the library, are chapter books with plenty of pictures and larger fonts. These are ideal for students transitioning into the world of chapter books.

  • Mia Mayhem, by Kara West
  • Zoey and Sassafras, by Asia Citro
  • Princess Pulverizer, by Nancy E. Krulik
  • Isadora Moon, by Harriet Muncaster
  • Jada Jones, by Kelly Starling Lyons
  • Lola Levine is Not Mean, by Monica Brown
  • Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen, by Debbi Michiko Florence
  • Heidi Heckelbeck, by Wanda Coven
  • The Major Eights, by Melody Reed
  • My Weird School, by Dan Gutman
  • A to Z Mysteries, by Ron Roy
  • Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet, by Zanib Mian
  • Alien Next Door, by A. I. Newton
  • Geronimo Stilton (series), by Geronimo Stilton
  • Owl Diaries (series) & Unicorn Diaries (series), by Rebecca Elliott

Realistic Fiction

  • Ways to Make Sunshine, & Ways to Grow Love, by Renee Watson
  • Ban This Book, by Alan Gratz
  • The Penderwicks (series), by Jeanne Birdsall
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events (series), by Lemony Snicket
  • The List of Things That Will Not Change, by Rebecca Stead
  • Rain Reign, by Ann M. Martin
  • Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, by Dusti Bowling
  • The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street (series), by Karina Yan Glaser
  • The Terrible Two, by Mac Barnett and Jory John
  • The One and Only Ivan & The One and Only Bob, by Katherine Applegate
  • Crenshaw, by Katherine Applegate
  • Fudge series, by Judy Blume
  • Big & little questions (according to Wren Jo Byrd), by Julie Bowe
  • The Pants Project, by Cat Clarke
  • Lunch Money, by Andrew Clements
  • The Mouse And The Motorcycle (Series), by Beverly Cleary
  • Ramona Quimby (series), by Beverly Cleary
  • Love that Dog & Hate that Cat, by Sharon Creech
  • Stella Diaz has Something to Say & Stella Diaz Never Gives Up, by Angela Dominguez
  • From the Desk of Zoe Washington, by Janae Marks
  • Because of Winn Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo
  • Flora & Ulysses: The illuminated adventures, by Kate DiCamillo
  • Lemonade War (series), by Jacquline Davies
  • Fish in a Tree, by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
  • Flying Lessons & other stories, edited by Ellen Oh
  • From the mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Konigsburg
  • Hello, Universe, by Erin Entrada Kelly
  • Pacy Lin (series), by Grace Lin
  • The Doughnut Fix, by Jessie Janowitz
  • Wonder, by R.J. Palacio
  • Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick
  • Front Desk, by Kelly Yang

Fantasy & Sci-Fi

  • Unicorn Rescue Society, by Adam Gidwitz
  • Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, by Grace Lin (fantasy chapter book)
  • Upside Down Magic, by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, E. Lockhart
  • The Uncommoners, by Jennifer Bell
  • Pages & Co. (series), by Anna James
  • The Land of Stories (series), by Chris Colfer
  • The Wizard of Once (series), by Cressida Cowell
  • Keeper of the Lost Cities (series), by Shannon Messenger
  • Wings of Fire, by Tui T. Sutherland (chapter book series)
  • The Sister's Grimm, by Michael Buckley (fantasy chapter book series)
  • Aru Shah and the End of Time, by Roshani Chokshi (fantasy chapter book series)

  • King Flashypants, by Andy Riley

  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill

  • The Jumbies & The Jumbies Return, by Tracey Baptiste

  • A Tale Dark and Grimm, by Adam Gidwitz

  • Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine

  • Spirit Animals (series), by Brandon Mull and others

  • Bob, by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead

  • Whatever After (series), by Sarah Mlynowski

  • The Fourteenth Goldfish (series), by Jennifer L. Holm


  • Timmy Failure, by Stephan Pastis
  • Midnight at the Barclay Hotel, by Fleur Bradley
  • FunJungle (series), by Stuart Gibbs
  • Moon Base Alpha (series), by Stuart Gibbs
  • Sherlock Sam, by A.J. Lowe


  • Warriors (series), by Erin Hunter
  • 39 Clues (series), by Rick Riordan and others
  • The Candymakers, by Wendy Mass (chapter book series)
  • The Wild Robot, & The Wild Robot Escapes, by Peter Brown (chapter book)
  • Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library (series), by Chris Grabbenstein (chapter book series)
  • Mac B., Kid Spy (series), by Mac Barnett (chapter book series)
  • The Last Kids on Earth (series), by Max Brallier
  • Book of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau
  • Spy School (series), by Stuart Gibbs

Graphic Novels

  • The Bad Guys, by Aaron Blabey
  • Click (series), by Kayla Miller
  • Sister, Smile, Guts (series), by Raina Telgemeier
  • Dog Man (series), by Dav Pilkey
  • InvestiGators, by John Patrick Green
  • Max Meow, by John Gallagher
  • El Deafo, by Cece Bell
  • Roller Girl, by Victoria Jamieson
  • Donut Feed the Squirrels, by Mika Song
  • Shirley and Jamila Save Their Summer, by Gillian Goerz
  • Catstronauts, by Drew Brockington
  • Cardboard Kingdom & Cardboard Kingdom: Roar of the Beast , by Chad Sell
  • Magic Tree House Graphic Novel, by Mary Pope Osborne and adapted by Jenny Laird
  • Aster and the Mixed-Up Magic, by Thom Pico
  • Hildafolk, by Luke Pearson
  • Twins, by Varian Johnson
  • Zita the Spacegirl (series) & Mighty Jack (series), by Ben Hatke
  • Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales (series), by Nathan Hale
  • Science Comics (series), by Andy Hirsch and various authors


  • Keeping the City Going, by Brian Floca
  • Alphabreaths: The ABCs of Mindful Breathing, by Christopher Willard & Daniel Rechtschaffen
  • Plastic: past, present, and future, by Eun-ju Kim
  • What's inside a flower? : and other questions about science & nature, by Rachel Ignotofsky
  • It's a numbers game : sports (series), by James Buckley Jr.
  • Everything awesome about sharks and other underwater creatures!, by Mike Lowery
  • 30-minute edible science projects, by Anna Leigh
  • Migration : incredible animal journeys, by Mike Unwin; illustrated by Jenni Desmond
  • The complete baking book for young chefs, by America's Test Kitchen
  • The brain is kind of a big deal, by Nick Seluk
  • Stonewall : a building, an uprising, a revolution, by Rob Sanders ; illustrated by Jamey Christoph
  • It feels good to be yourself : a book about gender identity, by Theresa Thorn; illustrated by Noah Grigni
  • Honeybee, by Candace Fleming
  • America's national parks, by Alexa Ward; illustrated by Mike Lowery
  • I'm just no good at rhyming: and other nonsense for mischievous kids and immature grown-ups, by Chris Harris
  • Little Leaders : bold women in Black history & Little Legends: exceptional men in Black history, by Vashti Harrison
  • This is how we do it : one day in the lives of seven kids from around the world, by Matt Lamothe
  • Out of the box : 25 cardboard engineering projects for makers, by Jemma Westing
  • Who Was...? (biography series), by various authors
  • You Wouldn’t Want to Be... (Nonfiction History Series), by various authors

Additional Resources

Public Libraries

While our Dalton libraries are physically closed, public libraries are open and ready for summer reading! In addition to those reopening for in-person browsing and checkouts, many offer fantastic digital resources, including greater access to e-books and audiobooks. For information on virtual resources and programming, please visit:

You can also very easily add any libraries to which you belong on Sora (New York, Brooklyn, Queens Public Libraries, or any others) and search their collections in addition to Dalton offerings. Please note that the NYPL, Brooklyn, and Queens Public Libraries also include Young Adult selections when you connect to their collections on Sora.

Further Book Lists

For those seeking additional book lists, we recommend the following online resources:

Dog Man & Friends Summer Camp

This summer, Scholastic is offering a free, virtual Dog Man & Friends Summer Camp. "Starting June 21st, get ten weeks of FREE, fun downloadable activities for kids ages 6-12 featuring characters from Dav Pilkey’s books." For details, visit the Scholastic website.

Book Purchasing

For families buying books, please consider purchasing directly from local independent bookstores who could use the support. We also highly recommend Bookshop, an online book delivery service, designed to work with independent book stores rather than compete with them.
We encourage you to read books with your child that you both love and are able to read a little bit of each day.

Have a wonderful summer of reading!

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Chapter Books