Thursday, December 1, 2011

Need Book Recommendations!

I have made it my goal this year to read aloud a different book from each genre category. We read James and the Giant Peach for fantasy-my favorite book for fourth graders, by far.  We just finished reading Shiloh for realistic fiction, and now I would like to read a science fiction book.  Let me preface this by saying I am NOT a science fiction fan.  I recently learned to enjoy Sci-Fi after reading The Hunger Games trilogy and the book Divergent by Veronica Roth.  If you haven't read the latter, it is a must read!  It is the first book in a trilogy, but the other two books have not been released yet.  It is very much along the lines of The Hunger Games-set in future Chicago, where the city is divided into factions based upon their virtues-the honest, the selfless, the brave, the peaceful, and the intelligent.  Of course, there is an unexpected love story involved, which is probably why it drew me in!  Obviously, neither of these books are appropriate for my fourth graders as a read aloud.  This is where I need your help!  I need a good science fiction read aloud.  Preferably, something both genders will enjoy.  A Wrinkle in Time is out because I think it is above my students' heads, and I honestly do not enjoy the book.  

So...what good science fiction books do y'all got for me?


  1. What about the City of Ember? It is a long one but it's an interesting story and really is fine for both genders. I love that it takes a long time for the kids to figure out that the whole city is under ground (unless they have seen the movie - which is quite different from the book)

    This was the first that came to mind but if I think of another I'll drop another note.

  2. The Uglies! Here is the synopsis:
    Playing on every teen’s passionate desire to look as good as everybody else, Scott Westerfeld (Midnighters) projects a future world in which a compulsory operation at sixteen wipes out physical differences and makes everyone pretty by conforming to an ideal standard of beauty. The "New Pretties" are then free to play and party, while the younger "Uglies" look on enviously and spend the time before their own transformations in plotting mischievous tricks against their elders. Tally Youngblood is one of the most daring of the Uglies, and her imaginative tricks have gotten her in trouble with the menacing department of Special Circumstances. She has yearned to be pretty, but since her best friend Shay ran away to the rumored rebel settlement of recalcitrant Uglies called The Smoke, Tally has been troubled. The authorities give her an impossible choice: either she follows Shay’s cryptic directions to The Smoke with the purpose of betraying the rebels, or she will never be allowed to become pretty. Hoping to rescue Shay, Tally sets off on the dangerous journey as a spy. But after finally reaching The Smoke she has a change of heart when her new lover David reveals to her the sinister secret behind becoming pretty. The fast-moving story is enlivened by many action sequences in the style of videogames, using intriguing inventions like hoverboards that use the rider’s skateboard skills to skim through the air, and bungee jackets that make wild downward plunges survivable -- and fun. Behind all the commotion is the disturbing vision of our own society -- the Rusties -- visible only in rusting ruins after a virus destroyed all petroleum. Teens will be entranced, and the cliffhanger ending will leave them gasping for the sequel. (Ages 12 and up) --Patty Campbell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

    I have read the whole series, and I LOVED them!!

  3. The Shadow Children Series, starting with Among the Hidden, by Margaret Peterson Haddix is by far my favorite sci fi book!

  4. I can't help since I teach first grade and we read Junie B. all year long and I love her too much to read another book from a different genre so good for you!!!!
    BUT . . . I LOVED The Hunger Games and now I think I have to read Divergent! Thanks for the tip!
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  5. Coraline is a ton of fun. I like to read it around Halloween time and we turn off all the lights and read in the dark.

  6. I nominated you for the Sunshine Award. Go check out my post to learn more about it. Thank you for keeping up with such a great blog. ~Amanda @ The Teaching Thief
    Sunshine Awards

  7. I also love the Shadow Children series. Addictive to read! ~Amanda

  8. The hunger games. It's an amazing series!! I plan on reading it to my 4s. I want to be able to tie it with the movie that is coming out (class trip!!)

    I love your blog!! I'm new at blogging and am looking for tips on blogging.
    Any help would be great!!

  9. I also recommend City of Ember. It requires lots of inference--that's tough for 4th graders. I've read it the past couple of year, and my class always begs me to read the next book, because Ember's ending demands that you keep reading. I tell kids it would be great for them to start it on their own. I see copies of the next book floating around my room the rest of the school year!

    A weird fantasy book you might like to try is We Can't All Be Rattlesnakes by Patrick Jennings. The book is told from the perspective of a gopher snake who is captured by a human kid--lower life form than snakes! We just finished it, and the class really enjoyed it!

  10. The first Animorphs book by K.A. Applegate. There is lot you can do with it: inferenceing, reality/fantasy, sequencing, etc... and it is not very long, so you could go to the next genre very quickly. The kids love it, and it is a very long series so the book may get them really reading as it did with my 4s.

  11. Rachel, that's great that you've met your goal!
    I too an not a Sci-Fi fan but discovered I love Dystopian fiction (Hunger Games, Divergent, etc.) I haven't read City of Amber but my kids highly recommend it. I liked the Barcode Tatoo wich is much shorter and much easiey of a read (good for 4th) and is along the same lines.

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    A Teacher's Treasure

  12. A great science fiction series is the Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Another great realistic fiction book is Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper. It's about a girl with cerebral palsy who is brilliant but no one knows it because she can't talk or walk until one day she gets a communication device which allows her to join her peers in the classroom. AMAZING!

  13. I say "Among the Hidden", the first Shadow Children book in the series, by Margaret Haddix Petersen is great. I'm reading my fifth grade class "The Candy Shop War" and it's awesome. "Fablehaven" is also a great one.