New Books for 4th Graders

The Great Race: An Indonesian Trickster Tale by Nathan Kumar Scott

Reading Level: Grades k - 4

Kanchil the mouse deer knows he is the fastest animal in the jungle so when he challenges everyone to a race he is stunned to have his challenge taken up by Pelan the snail and even more shocked when he loses. How could that be?

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Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan's Rescue from War by Marsha Forechuk Skrypuch

Reading Level:  Grades  3-6

This is the true story of Tuyet,  an eight -year- old orphan who didn't remember her life before the Saigon orphanage.  There were the scars that she thought might have been from the war that still raged on, but she couldn't remember  When Saigon fell, she was one of 57 babies and children evacuated to Canada during "Operation Babylift." 

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Books by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

Novels about war orphans:

Betti on the Highwire by Lisa Railsback

Dogtag Summer by Elizabeth Partridge

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Grades 4+

Ivan (The Ape at Exit 8) is a downtrodden, has-been silverback gorilla living in a small, unkept domain within a shopping mall, occasionally accompanied by Bob, a stray dog who sneaks into Ivan's domain through a hole in the glass.

Stella, an aging elephant with a bad foot, dies from lack of treatment after Ruby, a baby elephant purchased from a defunct circus, arrives at the mall. The owner hopes Ruby will jumpstart visitor attendance again. Before Stella dies, she asks Ivan to promise that he will bring Ruby somewhere safe, knowing his devotion to protection of his friends is paramount.

Ivan's poetic narration is honest, painful, and heartbreaking; Applegate's insight into captive animal life is powerful. Don't miss this book, no matter how old you are.

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