Suggested reading list for Year 4 pupils in KS2 age 8-9

Books for Year 4 – this list contains titles to appeal to children aged 8-9 in year 4 of primary school. Our year 4 book list consists of a range of titles to cover all ability ranges including the less able and the more able, including funny stories, adventures, mysteries, scary tales, stories to fire the imagination and narrative non-fiction. This list of reading suggestions is revised regularly and includes stories by Malorie Blackman, Cressida Cowell, Gillian Cross, Jenny McLachlan, and Roald Dahl.

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Books for Year 4 – our recommendations

The Land of Roar by Jenny McLachlan

When Arthur’s grandad disappears, Arthur searches the attic thinking it’s a trick. But soon he realises that he’s slipped through a folding bed and into the Land of Roar. This wonderfully imaginative and immersive fantasy story will draw in and grip 8-9-year-olds with a perfect blend of magic, mythical creatures, adventurous heroism and unbreakable friendships. A modern classic, this is an ideal class reading book for year 4 children.

The Land of Roar by Jenny McLachlan - a great class reader for 8 year olds

The Monster Spotter’s Handbook by Matt Cherry

When 11-year-old Edwin receives a strange handbook, he learns that he is the last and only person alive who can catch Monsters. And so begins a unique and illustrated commentary of his page-turning adventures. With the Bogsplotter, the frozen Yomp, an Oober Beast and mention of a snot-filled Platypus, children aged 8 upwards will not need to be persuaded to read this. Our prediction – The Monster Spotter’s Handbook will be a runaway hit in your school library and one which readers may well devour in one sitting.

The Monster Spotter's Handbook by Matt Cherry - a laugh out loud year 4 book

Edie and the Box of Flits by Kate Wilkinson

When Edie finds an unclaimed box at the Lost Property Office, she could never have anticipated what might be inside. Opening it, she discovers strange and wonderful creatures – the Flits – and they need Edie’s help, fast. This sparkling and heartwarming adventure story with a fast-paced plot will keep readers in year 4 gripped from beginning to end.

Edie and the Box of Flits by Kate Wilkinson - adventure story book for year four

Desirable by Frank Cottrell Boyce

This is a funny story about George, a boy who is somewhat unpopular at school. At first, when George receives an old bottle of aftershave from a relative for his birthday, he is disappointed. But then, is stunned to find that the contents of the bottle both changes his life and suddenly makes everyone like him. A clever modern fable for more worldly-wise children, this short chapter book will appeal to year four pupils who enjoy school-based stories.

Desirable by Frank Cottrell Boyce - a good year 4 book for reluctant readers

Varjak Paw by SF Said

When Varkjak Paw, an exotic blue cat, listens to his grandfather tell him the mysterious ways of secret ninja cats, he soon finds himself thrust into a world of strange events and dangerous adventures. A modern classic animal story, this is a great book for group reading in year 4.

Varjak Paw by SF Said. A great book for whole class reading with 8 year olds

My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons

A prize-winning story about Luke who goes off to the toilet only to return and find his brother has been turned into a superhero by a passing alien. A very funny page-turner which is ideal for year 4 pupils to read at home.

My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons - a funny book for eight year olds

There’s a Werewolf in My Tent by Pamela Butchart

When a group of friends decide to camp out they think it’s all going to be marshmallows and staying up late. But then the peculiar noises start, things go missing, a full moon comes out and there’s suddenly something very hairy in their midst. One of an extensive series of fast-paced and funny books, this is a great starting point to get your nine year old hooked on reading for pleasure.

There's a Werewolf in My Tent by Pamela Butchart - a high interest book for 8 year olds

The 13 Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths

A cartoon-illustrated story about the most amazing treehouse ever. Secret science labs, catapults, and a clever marshmallow machine are just some of the unexpected things found inside. Great for reluctant readers, many eight and nine-year-olds will read this comic style graphic novel in one sitting.

The 13 Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths - a great year 4 book for imaginative children

Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor by Jon Scieszka

A funny and clever story about Frank Einstein, who likes to take things apart and put them back together again in new and interesting ways. A great book for children interested in science, contraptions and making things. With detailed illustrations by Brian Biggs, this is the perfect year 4 text for children who are interested in STEM.

Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor by Jon Scieszka - a great STEM year 4 book

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

The spellbinding journey of Edward Tulane – a toy rabbit – who falls from a train and lives with tramps, a scarecrow and a dying child. A heart-warming, but sad, ending. With a wide-ranging appeal and relatable characters, this is a great reading option for year 4 classes.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo - a great year 4 book for class reading

Operation Gadgetman! by Malorie Blackman

Beans calls her dad ‘Gadgetman’ because of the amazing gadgets he invents – everything from exploding biscuits to Spy Kits. With crazy inventions, mysteries to solve and fast-paced action, this will be a popular addition to your year 4 book corner.

Operation Gadgetman! by Malorie Blackman - an ideal year 4 book to read to a whole class

The Children of Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston

Tolly comes to live with his great-grandmother at the old house of Green Knowe and makes friends with three children who lived there three hundred years ago… A gripping and atmospheric ghost story and one that’s spellbinding to read aloud to a class near Halloween, or to share and review in a year 4 book club.

The Children of Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston a classic year 4 book for classroom libraries

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

Follow the adventures of Hiccup and friends in Viking times, as they train dragons to be fantastical pets. With twists, great characters and lots of humour this is an imaginative and engrossing group reader for Year 4.

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell - a wonderful fantasy novel for 8 year olds

Lizzie Dripping by Helen Cresswell

Everyone in the small village where Lizzie lives considers her to be a daydreamer – so it’s no surprise that no one believes her when she says she’s seen a witch. Soon, however, they will change their minds. A powerful suspense story for year four pupils, this text is a useful impetus for atmospheric creative writing.

Lizzie Dripping by Helen Cresswell - a descriptive year 4 book

The Great Elephant Chase by Gillian Cross

When the elephant came to town, Tad and Cissie went to the show like everyone else. Little did they know it would change their lives forever. A perfect group reader book for year 4 pupils, especially those who enjoy animal and family stories.

The Great Elephant Chase by Gillian Cross - a more challenging year 4 book to read around the class

The Twits by Roald Dahl

Mr and Mrs Twit are the most unpleasant couple in the world. They like playing mean jokes and making their pet monkeys, the Muggle-Wumps, stand on their heads all day. But the Muggle-Wumps have had enough and now they want revenge… A page-turning and laugh out loud funny story that is ideal for less able readers in year 4.

The Twits by Roald Dahl - an less challenging and high interest book for year 4 pupils

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Charlie Bucket loves chocolate. And Mr Willy Wonka, the most amazing inventor in the world, is opening the gates of his amazing chocolate factory to five lucky children. It’s the prize of a lifetime and Charlie wants to win it. This classic story works well as a class novel, as a book to read and share at home, and also as a text to read chapter by chapter to a year four class at the end of the school day.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl - a classic children's book for 8 year olds

The Sheep-pig by Dick King-Smith

When Babe is won at a fair by Farmer Hogget, he is adopted by Fly, the kind-hearted sheepdog. Babe knows he can’t be a sheepdog but maybe he might become a Sheep-Pig. With friendship, empathy, classic storytelling and a great ending, this is a useful group reading option text for year 4 pupils.

The Sheep-pig by Dick King-Smith - a great animal book for year 4 classroom libraries

Toad Rage by Morris Gleitzman

Limpy’s family don’t think humans hate toads, but Limpy knows otherwise. He’s spotted the signs: the stares, the nasty comments and the way they squash toads with their cars… This anarchically funny story about non-conforming toads will appeal to children who have a dry sense of humour and enjoy reading about absurd and funny situations. A useful chapter book that will appear to able, but reluctant, readers in year four.

Toad Rage by Morris Gleitzman - a high interest year 4 book

The Last Castaways by Harry Horse

The adventures of Grandfather and his dog Roo on the good ship ‘Unsinkable’ include voyages to find the Door to the Sea, the entranceway to the Forgotten Sea, and the Great Cod Bank. The classic sea fairing tale of adventure is one that will keep 8-year-olds gripped all the way to the end.

The Last Castaways by Harry Horse - a classic adventure for 8 year olds

The Falcon’s Malteser by Anthony Horowitz

The first book in the Diamond Brothers series. When a lot of money is left in the hands of Tim Diamond, he suddenly has every criminal looking for him. This series is ideal to add to your collection of year four books.

The Falcon's Malteser by Anthony Horowitz - a gripping mystery year four book

The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo

A young boy runs away from a boarding school and he meets an old woman who tells him the story of Bertie and the butterfly lion. In Africa, Bertie rescued a white lion cub but was forced to leave it behind when he went to boarding school. The lion was sold to a circus but Bertie promised to find it one day. It’s engrossing reading for year 4 children.

The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo. An easier reader for year 4 pupils

The House That Sailed Away by Pat Hutchins

Grandma, Mother, Father, Morgan, the baby and Tailcat find themselves thrown into the strangest adventures when their house floats off down the street. A traditional and fulfilling storybook for year 4 pupils, and one that offers much in the way of imaginative ideas for individual writing.

The House That Sailed Away by Pat Hutchins - a classic storybook for 8 year olds

Fairy Tales by Terry Jones

Thirty new fairy tales with a modern twist by Monty Python member Terry Jones. With rich language, great illustrations and well-written endings, these are ideal short stories for group reading, literacy units on fairy tales and as texts for modelling. It’s also a useful and high-interest book for year 4 pupils to read around the class.

Fairy Tales by Terry Jones - a beautifully illustrated book for 8 year olds

The Hodgeheg by Dick King-Smith

Max the hedgehog lives with his family on the wrong side of the road from the Park. And it’s in the park that there’s a lily pond paradise with fabulous gourmet slugs that he salivates over just thinking about. A great animal story for eight-year-olds, this chapter book is crammed with humour, empathy, fast-paced action and relatable characters.

The Hodgeheg by Dick King-Smith - a great year 4 book about animals

The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy

Mildred Hubble is possibly the worst witch at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches. She can’t fly her broom, command her kitten, or make the right spells. This is a great series of fast-paced and funny books to get year four children hooked on reading for pleasure.

The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy - a classic novel for 8 year olds

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

When Wilbur the pig is in danger of being slaughtered and eaten by the farmer, Charlotte the spider writes messages about Wilbur to stun the farmer into letting him live. Perfect to read with less confident readers, this classic children’s literature novel is also a staple class text for Year 4.

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. Ideal for reluctant readers in year 4

The Way to Sattin Shore by Philippa Pearce

When her father’s name vanishes from a tombstone in the graveyard, Kate is thrown into a mystery. Is her father really dead? An atmospheric and moving short chapter book, this text will appeal to more advanced readers in year four.

The Way to Sattin Shore by Philippa Pearce - a classic group reader for year 4

The Firework Maker’s Daughter by Philip Pullman

A long time ago lived a firework-maker named Lalchand and his daughter, Lila. Lila knows almost everything about fireworks, but there’s one secret her father hasn’t yet told her. An ideal book for year 4 group reading and the perfect impetus for modelling the writing of story settings, descriptions and dialogue.

The Firework Maker's Daughter by Philip Pullman - an atmospheric and descriptive book for year 4

The Suitcase Kid by Jacqueline Wilson

Andrea West is living out of her suitcase because her parents have divorced and she really doesn’t want to move home. Dealing with complex issues including living with stepparents, parental break-ups and feeling unsettled, this is a powerful, yet humorous examination of family life. It’s also a great book to discuss and hot seat in year 4 book clubs.

The Suitcase Kid by Jacqueline Wilson - a though-provoking novel for 8 year olds

George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl

George’s Grandma is horrible and ugly with a small puckered up mouth that’s like a dog’s bottom. In this outrageously funny story packed with humourous situations and memorable characters, George decides to poison her. A great book to read aloud to or with year 4 children.

George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl - a classic funny story for eight year olds

Billionaire Boy by David Walliams

Joe has all the money and all the possessions anyone could ever want. There’s just one thing he doesn’t have – a friend. This fast-moving and funny story combines colourful descriptions and turns of phrase with memorable one-liners that children will love to store away and redeliver in the playground. Popular with year four pupils of all abilities, a copy of this in your classroom library will be off the shelf more often than on.

Billionaire Boy by David Walliams - a bestselling story for eight year olds

Cliffhanger by Jacqueline Wilson

When unsporty Tim goes on an adventure holiday, he tries canoeing and rock climbing and finds out that he is braver than he realised. Can he help his team become champions even though he hates sport and competition? Jam-packed with action, twists, turns and cliffhangers, this high interest illustrated short chapter book – which is part of a series – will appeal to reluctant readers. It’s also ideal for guided reading groups in year four.

Cliffhanger by Jacqueline Wilson a great group reading year 4 book

The Invisible Dog by Dick King-Smith

When her parents can’t afford a dog, Janie invents one – Henry, an invisible Great Dane. When, one day, the family gets a real dog, he’s just like the one she imagined. Is it just a coincidence, or does Janie’s mysterious neighbour with a black cat have something to do with it? This short chapter book is a cracking read, with great dialogue and relatable characters and it’s perfect for discussion in Year 4 book clubs and reading groups.

The Invisible Dog by Dick King-Smith - a marvellous animal story for year 4

The Battle of Bubble and Squeak by Philippa Pearce

When Sid’s mother discovers that he, Amy and Peggy have a pair of gerbils – Bubble and Squeak – she is not at all impressed and wants them gone. But Sid has other ideas and a war of words is on the horizon. Will Sid find a way to keep the new pets? A more challenging story that will present pupils with new words to read and look up, this is a high-quality text that lends itself to literacy teaching. In particular, the dialogue, description and characterisation are suitable for modelling, and there are lots of opportunities to develop pupils’ creative writing when using this children’s novel as part of a year 4 literacy unit.

The Battle of Bubble and Squeak by Philippa Pearce - a year 4 book with rich language

Give Peas A Chance by Morris Gleitzman

14 extremely funny short stories, including ‘Surprise your mum with a chainsaw’, ‘be a bigger star than Tom Cruise’, ‘rescue your family with a tomato’, ‘send your dad into a panic with a tractor’, and ‘upset your auntie with ten kilos of chocolate’. Perfect for group reading and an ideal addition to a classroom library of books for Year 4.

Give Peas A Chance by Morris Gleitzman - a highly humourous year 4 level book

The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips by Michael Morpurgo

Lizzy and her family have to move out of their home, and her beloved cat, Tips, goes missing. Lizzy explores the danger zone to try to find her. A compelling animal story that is ideal to share with siblings, or in mixed aged paired reading, this will be a popular book for year 4 readers.

The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips by Michael Morpurgo - a moving tale for eight year olds

Awful End by Philip Ardagh

Eddie’s parents fall horribly ill with a disease that leaves them yellow, smelly and wrinkled. He’s sent to live with his mad relatives at Awful End. Will he ever get there? A fun and lively book for Year 4 children.

Funny reading book for boys in year 4 - Awful End by Philip Ardagh

Wilf the Mighty Worrier Saves the World by Georgia Pritchett

Wilf worries about everything – plush toys, peanut butter, the man next door – but then he has to contend with Alan, the Evil Lunatic. Can Wilf save the day? A great book for less confident readers in Year 4.

Wilf the Mighty Worrier Saves the World by Georgia Pritchett. Ideal reading for struggling pupils in year four

The Yearling by Marjorie Rawlings

Living a bleak country life, young Jody adopts an abandoned fawn, which transforms his every moment – until the day comes when they must finally part. A classic story of loyalty and friendship, this is a book that will appeal to any children who love animals.

The Yearling by Marjorie Rawlings. A classic year 4 book


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Click for more children’s reading book recommendationsPicture books to read before you are 5 years oldReception books | Year 1 books | Year 2 books | Year 3 books | Year 4 books (this page) | Year 5 books | Year 6 books | Topic books, including history and geography stories | KS3 books


Why not have a look at our useful list of books to help instil diversity in your primary school?

For easier reads, try our Books for Year 3 reading list. For even more books for eight-year-olds, see this list.

For more advanced Year 4 reading books, have a look at our Books for Year 5 reading list.

Books for Year 4 - Lego sets from £5 - free delivery for orders over £50. Harry Potter, Star Wars and Batman.



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