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Recommended Reads for Year 4: New Additions for 2024

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Recommended Reads: New Additions for Year 4

If you’ve previously purchased our 50 Recommended Reads pack for Year 4, then this list is for you! Update your collection with this special list of books which have been newly added to our 50 Recommended Reads list for Year 4.

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New Additions to our Year 4 List

Jenny McLachlan
Chapter book

An absolutely first-class, laugh-out-loud, cartoon-filled adventure series for 7+ readers.

This book is part of the ‘Stink’ series and features the world’s funniest fairy. The story is packed full of comedy, wit and cartoons on every page!

Danny’s life hasn’t been the same since a real fairy flew out of a fairy door, attached herself to his hair and turned his life upside down. Now, school is chaotic, home is chaotic and life is chaotic!

So Stink tries as hard as she might to get things changed for both herself and Danny. But life, school & fairy adventures don’t always go to plan. Wanting to land himself the next role in the school play is Danny’s dream, but Stink has other ideas! What’s more, thanks to a misadventure in the science cupboard, a giant all-powerful wizard is released into the world.

Jenny has done it again – comedy claims the reader’s attention in this illustrated laugh-out-loud book and another KS2 favourite is born.

Guy Bass
 & Pete Williamson
Graphic Novel

Stitch Head is a loveable little character – almost human – who has been created, and then forgotten, by his master the mad Professor Erasmus Erasmus. When Stitch Head inadvertently saves the professor’s latest monstrous creation (who has one eye, two noses and three ears) and calms him down with an anti-werewolf potion, the monster immediately vows to be Stitch Head’s ‘bestest friend’.

Stitch Head, who has never had a friend before and lives to serve his crazy master, is at first overwhelmed with the idea of friendship but the pair work together to save the town of Grubbers Nubbin and its fearful residents including the spunky Arabella Guff, from the arrival of a mysterious travelling carnival as well as from the mad Professor’s creations. Stitch Head recounts to his new friend how he was made out of leftovers by the professor, many years ago, when he was just a boy. But those idyllic early years ended abruptly when Stitch Head, along with all the boy’s toys, was locked away and the boy was instructed to take over his father’s work. Stitch Head now lives in the shadows, helping the Professor from afar and ensuring that his creations don’t escape, ‘for what humans fear…they will destroy.’

This graphic edition of Guy Bass’s novel will be highly popular with KS2 children. Both the style and the storyline are likely to win over previously reluctant readers; Stich Head has just the right mix of strong storyline and action-packed illustrations. The text, although mainly delivered using speech bubbles, builds a fun, fast-paced coherent narrative and Pete Williamson’s rollicking illustrations lend emotion and detail to the characters in this, the first of six Stitch Head graphic novels.

Natalie Denny
 & Chante Timothy
Chapter book

When Keisha finds out that her Great Aunt Bea was an activist, she sets up The Bee Squad with best friends KD and Paisley with plans to stand up for others and fight against injustice. They find out that female rabbits are being sold in the local pet shop for less than the male rabbits and set out to right this wrong. However, their plans don’t always work in quite the right way.

The book is written in a way that would be easy for children aged 7-9 to read – the text is broken up with lists, email exchanges and illustrations that take away the pressure of pages full of text. A good early chapter book for those moving on from reading schemes.

The characters are a diverse mix and provide good representation for readers. The story has a noble message at its heart – anyone can stand up for what they believe in. However, the tactics that The Bee Squad employ are not always the most sensible and would provide a useful discussion point about the best way to have your views listened to in order to achieve your goals.

Tom Palmer

The Ultimate Football Heroes books score big with football-loving children in Key Stage 2.  With over 50 books in the collections, these biographies often tell the life story of a famous footballer, covering the journey from each player’s earliest childhood moments to their latest successes on the pitch and beyond.

Some of the books in the series bring together stories from different footballers or teams into one book. This new book by popular children’s author Tom Palmer brings together a hundred key moments from footballing history – from well known moments like the magic of Pele at the World Cup and the more recent Lionesses’ victories to more surprising moments like the significance of the first goal after the end of World War 1.

A winner for football fans!

Fiona Waters
 & Frann Preston-Gannon

This beautiful poetry anthology that includes a new nature poem for every day of the year is likely to become a primary classroom essential. The collection of 366 poems (to make sure leap years are covered too!) contains a really interesting mix of poems from well-known favourites from Christina Rossetti and Walter de la Mare to more modern offerings by Benjamin Zephaniah and Carol Ann Duffy, with each poem reflecting the seasonal changes associated with that day’s position in the year. The book is structured into monthly sections and the poems accompanied by beautiful illustrations that celebrate the beauty of the natural world and changing seasons.

Joe Todd Stanton
Graphic Novel

Perfect for those who adore adventures, history, mythology or a strong lead female character.

Luna grapples with strange forest creatures, exciting and dangerous challenges, along with a young Atzec girl called Atzi. Following their journey, in which Luna had ulterior motives, she learnt the important moral ‘there were more important things than just looking out for yourself’

This graphic novel style book follows in the format of the other Brownstone’s Mythical Collection and is accessible for even the most reluctant reader; each time the book is read, you can spot a new detail. It is a beautiful book to hold, with its detailed illustrations, it makes you want to dive straight in with the promise of treasure and adventure on the cover.

This book is great to share with primary year groups and recommended for any book corner.

Alex Evelyn
Chapter book

Fern has an unusual childhood living in the rainforest with her botanist parents. They spend their days exploring nature and gathering information about plants and their properties. However, Fern is no good at Latin, hates textbooks and just doesn’t seem to have what it takes to be a plant hunter. To gain a formal education, Fern is sent away from lily pads and humming birds to the city of London. Here she stays with her Uncle where she is bored, restless and pining to be back at one with nature. The only thing keeping her entertained is her unusual plant ‘Special’, which she found (or stole) on her plane to the UK.

Despite keeping it a secret, Fern believes she has the gift of communicating with plants and she begins to develop a special bond with Special, until she finds she is struggling to keep it alive. Despite their initial disagreements, Fern and her quirky neighbour, Woody, strive to find a way to care for Special. However, within the city, strange and dangerous plants are growing, causing chaos to the buildings around them. Where are they coming from and how will they stay safe?

This is an exciting mystery story, with elements of sci-fi, which would be perfect for any plant-loving 7-11 year old. The story covers themes of friendship, kindness and greed, as well as examples of empowering young women woven throughout. I would highly recommend this book due to its fast-paced and unique plot depicting good vs evil.

Marie Basting
Chapter book

With this brilliant mash-up of LARPing (Live Action Role Play) and ancient history, Marie Basting will have children giggling and learning Latin while they do it! Silvia lives with her Dad in a small cottage by Hadrian’s Wall, where he plans on realising his dream of creating a LARP of epic Roman proportions. The only problem is, as Silvia realises, no one is really going to turn up when he’s not done any advertising. However, when Silvia gets sucked back in time and finds out she is actually one of a large and infamous mythical family, it turns out all of Rome will be coming!

Full of Ancient Roman trivia and Latin asides (with a handy glossary to make sense of them at the end of the book), the story of how Silvia discovers her true demigoddess identity won’t fail to hook in enthusiasts of all things Roman. The plot is fast-paced and contains a particular blend of pre-teen contemporary lingo. For children already familiar with and enjoying a topic on Ancient Rome, it’s a fun read, and may well be a hit with reluctant readers.

If you are looking for a quirky, fun (and just a little bit silly!) addition to classroom shelves for a topic on Ancient Rome then look no further!

Carlie Sorosiak
Chapter book

Shadow Fox is a surreal and unusual tale from Carlie Sorosiak, who has become known for animal-themed middle-grade stories that explore deeper human themes like grief, mental health or loneliness.

Told through the eyes of a female fox, the story takes the reader on an adventure through place to a mysterious island. Unbeknownst to the fox, she possesses magical powers which the islanders hope to tap into. Set in the  Great Lakes in Minnesota and their islands, there is a strong sense of place in the detail within this story; the harshness of the environment is tangible.

Like the author’s previous stories, the magical animal character at the centre is the star of the show and in this story, the fox teams up with a young girl called Beatrice, whose nan has disappeared. I liked the quirky details of the fox’s personality; their love for their cuddly toy and their obsession with socks as well as the additional surreal details of the fox’s ability to conjure up miniature foxes, bean tins and other random objects.

The dream-like action and twists and turns make this story suitable for mature readers who can handle a more challenging narrative structure and are able to suspend their disbelief and run with the story. The fox embodies the magical power of the wilderness and the need to protect nature. The environmental messages behind the narrative aim to raise awareness regarding the fragility of natural resources.

Eve Ainsworth
 & Luna Valentine
Chapter book
A shy but talented footballer navigates challenging friendships and anxiety at school in this touching tale from acclaimed author Eve Ainsworth.Lily always feels a little bit left out. Shy and anxious, she finds school really hard, particularly as most of the other girls all seem so confident. Most of the time, Lily wishes that she could just disappear. But during a game of football in PE, Lily’s teacher spots her natural talent and invites Lily to join the local girls’ team, where she starts to make friends with some of the other players. Finally, she thinks she’s found a place where she fits in, but will a vicious argument with one of her teammates put all her progress in jeopardy?

Serena Patel
 & Louise Forshaw
Chapter book Dyslexia-friendly

Like the rest of the Barrington Stoke series, this short dyslexia-friendly chapter book is accessible but well-written and unpatronising, with black and white illustrations that work well with the lighthearted and relatable tone of the writing.

The story will feel relatable to children who sometimes feel anxiety about tests and is a reassuring read that may help children feel equipped to overcome some of their worries. Arun’s teacher sets a Maths test for the following week. Even though Arun doesn’t usually mind maths, he hates tests and especially the pressure of being under a timer. He tries different ways to get out of the test, from protesting (much to the displeasure of the headteacher) to pretending to be ill, but his teacher sees through Arun’s efforts and moves the test, telling him that turning up and starting the test is the hard part and the rest will be fine. With a little help from a friend who feels the same way, Arun shares his worries and finds the courage to take the test and tackle the challenge head-on

We recommended it as a read for pleasure for children in Year 4 and upwards who are developing reading stamina.

Brooke Barker

Have you ever wondered how to pet a yeti crab or whether dogs can tell if you’re smiling? This book answers these questions and so many more that inquisitive minds may be pondering.

‘How do meerkats order pizza? ’is a brilliant book full of funny and fascinating facts about different animals around the world and the scientists who study them. Presented in a fun mix of comic book style images, illustrations, colours and fact boxes, this is a perfect read for any animal fan or science enthusiast. This book provided many giggles and ‘did you know’ conversations after reading.

The colourful map in the opening pages acts as a contents page to help readers navigate their way through the text. With a diverse group of scientists and a multitude of animals covered, this book would complement learning in science lessons. Ideally suited for KS2 children to read independently, the bite-size chunks of text and high ratio of illustrated elements make it an easy read and will appeal to children who don’t enjoy the heavier blocks of text found in many non-fiction books for this age group.


Alex Bell
 & Tim McDonagh
Chapter book

The Glorious Race of Magical Beasts is an absolutely spellbinding read for anyone who loves adventure, magic and unlikely friendships.

The story begins with Eli, a book-loving introvert, who works at the Royal Library. As the story unveils, we learn that our hero, the unassuming underdog, has more to the eye than it seems.

There is not one page in this story that isn’t filled with the most spectacular imagination! For a start, you can’t help but fall in love with Eli’s sidekick, a moon turtle called Humphrey, who loves nothing more than a poem and an easy life. Needless to say, they embark on an adventure which couldn’t be further from the ordinary. Before they died, Eli’s parents were famous for entering and winning The Race of Magical Beasts, which is renowned for its danger and cunning contestants. After a recent discovery, Eli is left with no choice but to risk everything to enter the race himself and win the iconic prize. Will he be able to show people that a ‘bookish boy with a briefcase can achieve remarkable things’?

Bell’s imagination and incredible story-telling will leave any reader in awe. From fictional characters who have been transported from the pages of books to ships with pulsating tentacles, there is plenty to keep the reader turning pages. I loved every word on every single page, particularly the heart-warming friendships built throughout! This story is a triumph in every sense.

Ben Miller
Chapter book

This is a brilliant book by Ben Miller that will be loved by fans of his previous stories and is sure to get new readers hooked on his books too.

The story tells of siblings, Lana and Harrison (from The Day I Fell into a Fairytale), who go to visit their grandparents and are upset to find that their favourite play spot (an old, hollow tree) is under threat. When Lana speaks to developers and makes a deal she soon regrets, she cannot put it out of her mind. That night, a mysterious golden thread leads her back to the old, hollow tree and Lana and Harrison end up getting pulled (quite literally) into storybook land full of mystery and adventure. Lana finds herself with a very big problem – she needs to rescue her brother before it is too late, but he isn’t the only one who needs her help!

This story is best suited for Lower Key Stage Two children and would make the perfect bedtime story or an enjoyable class novel. At the end of the book, author Ben Miller spends time sharing some of the ideas behind his writing in ‘A Brief Note About Spiders’. When I read this aloud, this part sparked the interest of children in the class and they were fascinated to learn about the real-life animals that inspired the Golden Diving Bell Spiders.

Sarah Todd Taylor
Chapter book

Alice Eclair, Spy Extraordinaire will whisk you away on a fabulous adventure, full of daring action and delicious cakes! Baker by day, spy by night – Alice Eclair leads an exciting double life!

Alice Eclair, Spy Extraordinaire is a heroine for modern times and a brilliant role model for young girls. She is strong-willed, determined and resourceful. Yet, she is fallible at the same time. This is part of what makes her so endearing.

Alice is just finding her feet in the spy game and is working hard to gain the respect of her fellow spies and prove herself. And somehow, she does all of this without her mum finding out. Very clever indeed!

Sarah Todd Taylor is a splendid writer with a knack for creating stupendous characters that leave a strong impression on the reader. This is Alice’s second adventure as a spy and we can see how she has developed from the first book. All of the main characters are dynamic, each contributing in their own way to the story. This is an easy-to-read series laced with a good potential for collectability and a super introduction to the detective fiction genre, laced with excitement and enough clues to keep you guessing. I do hope that there will be many more adventures for Alice!

AF Harrold,Dom Conlon
 & Korky Paul

‘Welcome to Wild Town’ is a quirky and unusual poetry book. Each poem is linked by the idea of a ‘Wild Town’ where animals dominate. There are a variety of formats that support and add to the meanings the poet may have wanted to give and certainly, meanings the reader may choose to give. For example, ‘The Caughtoise’ – the poem about the snail who isn’t having much success at fishing, written in two word lines!

The use repetition and well-known proverbs are all useful starting points and provocations for any budding poet in the class. Some of the poems may catch you by surprise – poems that are steeped in emotion, sandwiched between funny and witty poems that fill the collection. The poem, ‘Wild Garlic’, particularly made me stop and contemplate the unique connection that can be made where there is a shared grief. In contrast, there are other poems that have a wicked sense of fun – the poem ‘To be King’, ending with the tiger becoming King by virtue of eating the other competitors for the job!

AF Harold and Dom Conlon are experts in the unusual with their clever and witty use of language which is sure to engage young readers. This is an interesting addition to any poetry anthology collection.

Mick Manning,Brita Granstroem

In ‘Women Who Led the Way’, you are invited into the world of some of the world’s most influential female adventurers. from Iceland to the South Pole, and from the depths of history to outer space, the women of this book have helped to shape the understanding of the universe we have today.

Each double-page spread invites the reader to engage with the explorer through a first-person narrative and, while written in a way which is accessible for younger readers, each is captivating and inspirational. The illustrations give the reader a sense of the intense focus within each of the women depicted, along with contextual clues about the time and place in which the women lived.

On each page is a short paragraph that challenges the reader to learn more about another woman who also led the way in their field or some additional insight into the challenges faced by these phenomenal women.

It is a superb book and would be a perfect addition to a class library, used as part of a topic on famous explorers or famous women in history.

Lorraine Gregory
 & Jo Lindley
Chapter book

Danny’s grandad has a curious knack for finding list things. Nothing too unusual perhaps, until Danny discovers that Grandad has a very important, top-secret job working in the Interdimensional Lost Property Office (IDLPO). When Grandad falls ill, Danny is given the task of looking after the IDLPO. Entering the Office via a locker, Danny and his side-kick Modge are transported to new worlds and thrown into adventures beyond their imagination.

This is a book full of gags and mildly disgusting humour which children will love. As the boys race through the universe in their quest to return a fascinating array of alien creatures, they realise that they have the enthusiasm, determination and desire to do their best but that they lack the necessary knowledge of the ‘technical bits’. The boys have to resort to asking Danny’s bookish cousin, Inaaya, to join the mission. The trio discover a secret plot designed to bring down the whole universe. Woven into the narrative are engaging characters – Mrs Arbuckle, the lost property office supervisor who also happens to be a purple squid, brother and sister Kaspar and Kaylar and the veterinarian, Dr Triffle Piffle- each with a vivid appearance and quirky cosmic character. The action in the book moves at a fast pace and although there is excitement and peril it is humorous and really engaging.

Lorraine Gregory never fails to please. Children who love narrative-driven action will enjoy this book and will be turning the pages to discover if Danny, Modge and Inaaya can successfully return the lost things to their rightful galactic homes. Readers will, I am sure, await the next book in the series.

Frank Cottrell Boyce
 & Steven Lenton
Chapter book

It’s show time! Meet Blackpool’s very own Nathan and Middy, together they are The Wonder Brothers! Of course they couldn’t perform their acts without a support team comprising of the steadfast Brodie and his giant white rabbit, Queenie (the real star of the show!). Together the children have spent summer holidays in Blackpool, perfecting the art of magic, but when a legendary magician comes to visit and makes Blackpool’s prominent landmark vanish, they go on a mission to get it back. The Blackpool Tower has disappeared, and when Middy is interviewed by the press she promises that they will return it.

Little did she know that they would end up in Las Vegas, building new tricks, performing street magic, befriending some nuns, eating burgers in an exclusive spa and winning 4.9m dollars! But along the way, the children are guided by a magical code of conduct, channelling their energy into positive outcomes and using their somewhat limited resources effectively. Eventually the police do catch up with them and Captain Jimenez provides part of the narration for the story, because quite frankly he does not believe a word of it.

This is Frank Cottrell-Boyce at his very best. Alongside the glorious illustrations by Steven Lenton, the magic and mystery falls off the pages. The story is fast paced and engaging, with a fantastic cast of characters who will leave even the most sceptical reader wondering just how the tricks are done. Great for Year 4 and up.

Adam Stower
Chapter book

Murray is a cat that loves his peace and quiet but sadly, living with a rather incompetent wizard means that his life is anything but. On occasion, a happy accidental spell provides something of value and for Murray this arrives in the form of a magic cat-flap and Bun, a bun turned bunny. What Bun lacks in vocabulary, he makes up for in enthusiasm, leading Murray on to adventure, whether he likes it or not.

Adam Stower is best known and loved for his illustrations (most notably for David Walliams), but a smidge of research reveals that he is also a prolific writer and, if this book is anything to go by, this latest series is set to put his writing on a par with his illustration.

The witty dialogue between our unlikely friends leads to a book that will appeal right from Year 2 to Year 6. In fact, my copy was in hot demand with my Year 6 class, accompanied by snorts of laughter and loud exclamations of “Bun!”. Granted it isn’t a text to challenge UKS2 (making it accessible to much younger age groups) but they loved the humour and for more reluctant readers, this could be just the sort of book that they will return to and enjoy time and again.

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