With such an ocean of children’s books available, it can be hard to know where to start when you are looking for the perfect class read-aloud or bedtime story. Some books are particularly well suited to being read out loud – from laugh-a-minute funny favourites to edge-of-your-seat adventures. Our team of experts has picked out a list of favourite read-alouds for Year 3 and Year 4 (ages 7-9), grouped into categories to help you to narrow your search.
Books that are set in fantasy worlds make great choices for read-alouds at this age, allowing listeners to get truly caught up in wonderfully imaginative worlds without the added task of concentrating on reading the words for themselves. For exciting adventure stories, try Cressida Cowell’s popular s How to Train Your Dragon series, or Kieran Larwood’s award-winning fantasy adventure The Legend of Podkin One Ear, which features an adventurous band of rabbit warriors (try to imagine The Hobbit with bunnies…). Stories with a good sprinkling of magic are always a winning choice for keeping listeners engaged in a story, and for this reason we love the spellbinding Starfell series or Dick King Smith’s much-loved story of being granted magical wishes, The Queen’s Nose.
If you’re looking for something that is a bit more thought-provoking or good for a discussion starter, try the Onjali Rauf’s refugee-themed story The Boy at the Back of The Class or Elizabeth Laird’s moving tale The Song of the Dolphin Boy, which explores themes of plastic pollution and the power of friendship. Animal stories are very popular with children aged 7-9 too, and great choices for this would the Himalayan-set animal rescue story When the Mountains Roared or SF Said’s cat’s-eye-view surival adventure, Varjak Paw.
If you’re looking for stories to make children laugh, try Charlie Changes Into a Chicken by Sam Copeland for plenty of giggles, or the hilariously mishap-filled sleuth story Anisha and the Accidental Detectives. Or if the best classic stories suitable for Year 3 and Year 4 is what you’re trying to find, we recommend the beautiful and moving farmyard story Charlotte’s Web or Ted Hughes’ mysterious and mighty The Iron Man, which has remained a popular hit with children of this age group for decades.
If you are looking for something to match a particular theme or topic, browse through our topic booklists. For other Year 3 and Year 4 book recommendations, be sure to check out our Reading for Pleasure booklists.