Grade 4 Houghton Mifflin Reading


Theme 2: American Stories

The books listed below may be available through publishers, distributors such as bookstores or online retailers, or library systems.

Recommended Leveled Books for Independent Reading

Below Level

When I First Came to This Land retold by Harriet Ziefert
Putnam 1998 (28p)
This old song tells of a pioneer who buys a farm.

My New York by Kathy Jakobsen
Little 1993 (32p)
A young girl writes of the things she loves about New York.
Social Studies

The Library by Sarah Stewart
Farrar 1995 (32p) also paper
Elizabeth Brown loved nothing so much as reading.

This Land Is Your Land by Woody Guthrie
Little 1998 (32p)
Guthrie's ballad from the 1940s has become a classic folksong.

The Ballot Box Battle by Emily Arnold McCully
Knopf 1996 (32p) also paper
Young Cordelia learns about women's suffrage.
Social Studies

* Barn by Debby Atwell
Houghton 1996 (32p)
For two centuries, a barn watches history unfold.

Uncle Sam and Old Glory by Delno West
Atheneum 2000 (40p)
Symbols such as Uncle Sam and the Statue of Liberty are explained.
Social Studies

Home by Thomas Locker
Harcourt 1998 (32p)
Eloise Greenfield, Pat Mora, and others write about America.

The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller
Holt 1999 (34p)
When the states get bored, they decide to change places.

Celebrate the 50 States by Loreen Leedy
Holiday 1999 (32p)
Facts and statistics on the fifty states.
Social Studies

Honoring Our Ancestors edited by Harriet Rohmer
Children's 1999 (32p)
Fourteen American artists tell stories that honor their ancestors.

On Level

Duke Ellington by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Hyperion 1998 (32p) paper
The life of musician-composer Edward Kennedy Ellington.

* I'm New Here by Bud Howlett
Houghton 1993 (32p)
A girl from El Salvador recounts her first days of school in America.

She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head! by Kathryn Lasky
Hyperion 1995 (40p) also paper
Two Boston ladies are outraged by hat fashions featuring feathers and even dead birds.
Social Studies

The Patchwork Quilt by Valerie Flournoy
Dial 1985 (32p) paper
Tanya and her grandmother make a family quilt.

* Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Houghton 1998 (32p)
Artist and scientist Wilson Bentley spent all his life studying his favorite subject: snow.

When Willard Met Babe Ruth by Donald Hall
Harcourt 1996 (48p)
Willard and his father pull Babe Ruth's car out of a ditch and meet their hero again years later.

The Real McCoy by Wendy Towle
Scholastic 1995 (32p) paper
Elijah McCoy produced more than fifty inventions and is said to be the source of the expression “the real McCoy.”

I Was Dreaming to Come to America by Veronica Lawlor
Viking 1995 (40p) also paper
Immigrants, including many children, tell of their arrival at Ellis Island between 1897 and 1925.
Social Studies

* Anna All Year Round by Mary Downing Hahn
Clarion 1999 (144p)
Anna is growing up in Baltimore just before World War I.

Homesteading: Settling America's Heartland by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
Walker 1998 (32p)
Pioneers headed west and faced many hardships as they settled what we now call “America's Heartland.”
Social Studies

Above Level

Frontier Merchants by Jerry Stanley
Crown 1998 (101p)
Lionel and Barron Jacobs founded Arizona's first bank.
Social Studies

Growing Up in Coal Country by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Houghton 1996 (112p)
Life in the Pennsylvania coal mines at the turn of the century was very difficult.
Social Studies

Brooklyn Doesn't Rhyme by Joan Blos
Atheneum 1994 (86p)
Rosey Sachs writes a school report about her Polish immigrant family in Brooklyn.

Recommended Books for Teacher Read Aloud

Appalachia: The Voices of Sleeping Birds by Cynthia Rylant
Harcourt 1998 (32p) paper
Rylant offers a warm and affectionate look at Appalachia.
Social Studies

Pilgrim Voices: Our First Year in the New World by Connie and Peter Roop
Walker 1995 (48p) also paper
Excerpts from William Bradford's journals detail the Pilgrims' first fifteen months in America.
Social Studies

Children of the Midnight Sun by Tricia Brown
Alaska Northwest 1998 (48p)
Children of the Tlingit, Yup'ik, Aleut, and Athabascan tell of their daily lives.

* = Included in Houghton Mifflin Classroom Bookshelf, Level 4