Books Kids Love (Opt Out Book List)

Books Kids Love

 Books Kids Love was compiled with the help of parents, teachers, and children. It contains a mixture of high interest stories both from classic and contemporary literature and across many genres. The grade levels are listed from 3rd to 8th grade and are meant to be a guide to help target the reading and developmental levels of children appropriate for these age groups. This list is perfect for children to use to help them find a book to read while they are refusing the state tests. Moreover this list is intended to motivate children to read throughout the year and inspire a life long love of reading!

~Stacey Eno, Elementary school teacher and mother of 2 in middle school.


Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl. Fantastic Mr. Fox is on the run! The three meanest farmers around are out to get him. (3-4)

The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey. (series) Two fourth-grade boys who write comic books and love to pull pranks find themselves in big trouble. (3)

Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osbourne.(series) Jack and his little sister Annie discover a mysterious tree house packed with all sorts of books…and their lives are never the same! (3)

Out of my Mind by Sharon Draper. From an award-winning author comes Out of My Mind, the story of a brilliant girl who cannot speak or write. (3-4)

Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel. (series) From the creator of The New York Times bestseller Boing! comes the riotous story of a cat gone berserk– four times over an in alphabetical order each time. (3-4)

My Big Fat Zombie Goldfishby Mo O’Hara. (series) When Tom’s big brother decides to become an Evil Scientist, his first experiment involves dunking Frankie the goldfish into toxic green gunk. (3-4)

Super Sluggers by Kevin Markey. (series) They call me Walloper because I’m no ordinary hitter. (3-4)

Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner. An action-packed canine adventure story of a thrilling dogsled race has captivated readers for more than thirty years. (3-4)

Stick Dog by Tom Watson. Introducing everyone’s new best friend: Stick Dog! He’ll make you laugh . . . he’ll make you cry . . . but above all, he’ll make you hungry. (3-5)

The 39 Clues by Rick Riordan. (series) The Cahills are the most powerful family in the world, but the source of their power has been lost — scattered around the globe in the form of 39 Clues. The hunt for the Clues has begun and now is YOUR chance to shape history. (3-5)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. (series) Boys don’t keep diaries—or do they? Narrated by an unforgettable kid every family can relate to. (3-8)

Charlie Bumpers vs Teacher of the Year by Bill Harley. (series) Shortly before school starts, Charlie Bumpers learns that he will be in Mrs. Burke’s class. It doesn’t matter that she’s been named Teacher of the Year. He’s still afraid of her. (3-5)

Who was… Walt Disney? By Whitney Stewart and Nancy Harrison. (series) Walt Disney always loved to entertain people. Often it got him into trouble. (3-4)

Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies. (series) For a full hour, he poured lemonade. The world is a thirsty place, he thought as he nearly emptied his fourth pitcher of the day. And I am the Lemonade King. (3-4)

Sideways Stories by Wayside School by Louis Sachar. (series) There was a terrible mistake – Wayside School was built with one classroom on top of another, thirty stories high. Maybe that’s why all kinds of funny things happened at Wayside-especially on the thirteenth floor. (3-5)

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. (series) Harriet M. Welsch is a spy. In her notebook, she writes down everything she knows about everyone, even her classmates and her best friends. Then Harriet loses track of her notebook, and it ends up in the wrong hands. (3-5)

The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi. (series) It all started with a mysterious letter left at a tiny bookstore for authors Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. Its closing lines: “We just want people to know about this. The stuff that has happened to us could happen to anyone.” (3-5)

Meet the Boxcar Children by Getrude Chandler Warner. In this first book of the series, readers learn Gertrude Chandler Warner’s original story of the four orphaned children and their search for a new home. (3-4)

Charlotte’s Web by EB White. Newberry Award Winner. The tale of how a little girl named Fern, with the help of a friendly spider, saved her pig Wilbur from the usual fate of nice fat little pigs. (3-5)

Where the Sidewalk Ends: The Poems and Drawings of Shel Silverstein.

If you are a dreamer, come in,

If you are a dreamer,

A wisher, a liar,

A hope-er, a pray-er,

A magic bean buyer … (3-5)

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. (4-5)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling. (series) **** Harry receives a mysterious invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds friends and magic around every corner and a great destiny that’s been waiting for him… (4-6)

Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. Desperaux Tilling, a mouse in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and ultimately, into each other’s lives. (4-5)

Dear Dumb Diary by Jim Benton. (series) Read the hilarious, candid (and sometimes not-so-nice), diaries of Jamie Kelly. Now Jamie’s first four diaries are together in one side-splitting set! (4-6)

Dork Diaries Tales from a Not So Fabulous Life by Rachel Rennee Russell. (series) It’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid for girls in this hilarious novel! (4-8)

Blubber by Judy Blume. “Blubber is a good name for her,” the note from Wendy says about Linda. A classic novel about bullying from America’s No.1 children’s author. (4-5)

Loser by Jerry Spinelli. From renowned Newbery-winning author comes an incredible story about how not fitting in might just lead to an incredible life. (4-8)

Holes by Louis Sachar. “If you take a bad boy and make him dig a hole every day in the hot sun, it will turn him into a good boy.” is motto for Camp Greenlake. (4-5)

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis. (series) When Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy took their first steps into the world behind the magic wardrobe, little do they realize what adventures are about to unfold. (4-6)

Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer. Joined by ticking watchdog Tock and adult-size Humbug, Milo rescues the Princesses of Rhyme and Reason, and learns to enjoy life. (4-6)

Frindle by Andrew Clements. A quirky, imaginative tale about creative thought and the power of words that will have readers inventing their own words. (4-6)

Wonder by RJ Palacio. August Pullman wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things. He eats ice cream. He plays on his Xbox. He feels ordinary – inside. But Auggie is far from ordinary. (4-8)

Smile by Raina Telgemeier. Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. (4-6)

Drama by Raina Telgemeier . Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon Over Mississippi, she can’t really sing. (4-6)

Swindle by Gordon Korman. (series) After a mean collector named Swindle cons him out of his most valuable baseball card, Griffin Bing must put together a band of misfits to break into Swindle’s compound and recapture the card. (4-8)

Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder by Jo Nesbo. (series) When eleven-year-old Nilly moves to Norway, he meets Doctor Proctor, an eccentric professor who invents an industrial strength fart powder that can send people to outer space (4-5)

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger. (series) Meet Dwight, a sixth-grade oddball. He does one cool thing. He makes origami. One day he makes an origami finger puppet of Yoda. And that’s when things get mysterious. (4-5)

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. When James accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree, strange things start to happen. Roald Dahl’s first and most widely celebrated book for young people.(4-6)

The BFG by Roald Dahl. Sophie is captured by a Giant The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. (Grades 4-6)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. An entertaining classic about Charlie and 4 spoiled children as they explore a chocolate factory. (4-6)

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It’s now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. (4-6)

Matilda by Roald Dahl. Matilda is a super-nerd and the teacher’s pet, but has two of the most idiotic, self-centered parents who ever lived. (4-6)

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli. Jeffrey Lionel “Maniac” Magee might have lived a normal life if a freak accident hadn’t made him an orphan. After living with his unhappy and uptight aunt and uncle for eight years, he decides to run–and not just run away, but run. (4-8)

Boy by Roald Dahl. Roald Dahl recounts his days as a child growing up in England. Packed with funny, some painful, all interesting anecdotes about his childhood. (5-8)

Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Real last-century French pioneer filmmaker Georges Méliès collected mechanical robot-like automata, and, impoverished, worked at a toy booth in a Paris railway station. (5 -7)

Johnny Tremaine by Esther Forbes, Lynd Ward . Newbery award winning biography Johnny Tremain is a young apprentice silversmith, is caught up in the danger and excitement of 1775 Boston, just before the Revolutionary War. (5-8)

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko. (series) In Alcatraz there are a ton of murderers, rapists, hit men, con men, stickup men, embezzlers, connivers, burglars, and kidnappers. I came here because my mother said I had to. (5-8)

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson. (series) The greatest superpower of all isn’t to be part spider, part man, or to cast magic spells–the greatest power is the power to create. Daniel X has that power. (5-8)

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodsen. In vivid poems, Woodson shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. National Book Award winner. (5-8)

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. (series) Kyle Keeley is an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, is the genius behind the building of the new town library. (5-6)

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer(series) Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius—and, above all, a criminal mastermind. (5-8)

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit. Doomed to – or blessed with – eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less a blessing that it might seem. (5-6)

Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz. (Alex Rider Series) They told him his uncle died in an accident. He wasn’t wearing his seatbelt, they said. But when 14 year old Alex finds his uncle’s windshield riddled with bullet holes, he knows it was no accident. (5-8)

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan. (series) Humans and half-bloods agree-Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a series fit for heroes! (5-8)

Tangerine by Edward Bloor. Paul Fisher sees the world from behind glasses so thick he looks like a bug-eyed alien. But he’s not so blind that he can’t see there are some very unusual things about his family’s new home in Tangerine County, Florida. (5-8)

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. (series) “Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” At the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, the only rule is – there are no rules. (5-8)

The View From Saturday by EL Konigsberg. Mrs. Olinski, paralyzed in a car crash ten years ago, returns to teaching and chooses four unlikely sixth-grade Academic Bowl team, who become unlikelier champions, in more than the state competition. (5-8)

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbick. Two boys – a slow learner stuck in the body of a teenage giant and a tiny Einstein in leg braces – forge a unique friendship when they pair up to create one formidable human force. (5-8)

Westing Game by Ellen Raskin . A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will. (6-8)

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. (6+)

Divergent by Veronica Roth. (series) In Beatrice Prior’s world, society is divided into five factions. On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. Beatrice has to make a decision between staying with her family and being who she really is. She makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. (6-8)

Gone by Michael Grant .(series) In the blink of an eye, everyone disappears. Gone. (6-8)

The Giver by Lois Lowry. Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. (6-8)

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. (6-8)

The Cay by Theodore Taylor. Phillip is excited when the Germans invade the small island of Curaçao. War has always been a game to him, and he’s eager to glimpse it firsthand–until the freighter he and his mother are traveling to the United States on is torpedoed. (6-8)

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. It’s 1936, in Flint, Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud’s got a few things going for him: (6-8)

Things Not Seen by Andrew Cements. Bobby Phillips is an average fifteen-year-old boy. Until the morning he wakes up and can’t see himself in the mirror. Not blind, not dreaming. Bobby is just plain invisible… (7-8)

Maze Runner by James Dasher. (series) When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone. (7-8)

Life as we Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. (series) Miranda’s disbelief turns to fear in a split second when a meteor knocks the moon closer to the earth. How should her family prepare for the future when worldwide tsunamis wipe out the coasts, earthquakes rock the continents, and volcanic ash blocks out the sun? (7-8)

The Outsiders By SE Hinton. According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for “social”) has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, (7-8)

The Million Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica. (sports series)#1 New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica asks the question: If a million dollars was at stake, could you make the throw? (7-8)

Alice in Zombieland by Gina Showalter. (White Rabbit Chronicles series) Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone. (8+)

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still. (8+)

The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald. A portrait of the Jazz Age in all of its decadence and excess, The Great Gatsby captured the spirit of the author’s generation and earned itself a permanent place in American mythology. (8+)

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Posted in Grades 4-6, Reading Lists and tagged , , , .