Chapter Books: Discussion Group Suggestions

Books Read by the Belmont Public Library's 4-6 grade Book Club

Aiken, Joan. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase J FIC AIK and J PB A
Left in the care of a cruel caretaker when their parents take off on a sea voyage, two sisters can hardly believe what is happening to their once happy home. The servants are dismissed, the furniture is sold, and they are sent to a prison-like orphan school. Will they be able to escape? 

Bellairs, John. The Letter, the Witch and the Ring J FIC BEL
A young girl takes a trip with a friend of the family only to get involved with a mysterious letter, a magic ring, and a powerful witch. 

Balliett, Blue. Chasing Vermeer J FIC BAL
When seemingly unrelated and strange events start to happen and a precious Vermeer painting disappears, eleven-year-olds Petra and Calder combine their talents to solve an international art scandal.

Babbitt,  Natalie. Eyes of the Amaryllis J FIC BAB and J PB B
When eleven-year-old Jenny goes to stay with her widowed grandmother who lives by the seaside, she learns a great deal about the nature of love and the ways of the sea.

Collins, Suzanne. Gregor the Overlander J FIC COL and J PB C
When Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland, where spiders, rats and cockroaches coexist uneasily with humans. This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor's arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland's uncertain future.

Cooper, Susan. The Boggart J FIC COO and J PB C
After visiting the castle in Scotland which her family has inherited and returning home to Canada , Emily finds that she has accidentally brought back with her a boggart, an invisible and mischievous spirit with a fondness for practical jokes.

Creech, Sharon. Walk Two Moons J FIC CRE and J PB C
After her mother leaves home suddenly, thirteen-year-old Sal and her grandparents take a car trip retracing her mother's route. Along the way, Sal recounts the story of her friend Phoebe, whose mother also left.

DiCamillo, Kate. Tiger Rising J FIC DIC and J PB D
Rob, who passes the time in his rural Florida community by wood carving, is drawn by his spunky but angry friend Sistine into a plan to free a caged tiger.

Enright, Elizabeth. Gone Away Lake J FIC ENR and J PB E
Portia and her cousin discover adventure in a hidden colony of forgotten summer houses on the shores of a swampy lake.

Enright, Elizabeth. The Saturdays J FIC ENR and J PB E
The four Melendys decide to pool their resources so that each can do a special thing on the Saturday that is his turn to receive the combined allowances. 

Enright, Elizabeth . Half Magic J FIC ENR and J PB E
Faced with a dull summer in the city, Jane, Mark, Katharine, and Martha suddenly find themselves involved in a series of extraordinary adventures after Jane discovers an ordinary-looking coin that seems to grant wishes.

Funke, Cornelia. The Thief Lord J FIC FUN and J PB F
Two brothers, having run away from the aunt who plans to adopt the younger one, are sought by a detective hired by their aunt, but they have found shelter with--and protection from-- Venice 's "Thief Lord."

Funke, Cornelia. Dragon Rider J FIC FUN
After learning that humans are headed toward his hidden home, a silver dragon is joined by a brownie and an orphan boy in a quest to find the valley known as the Rim of Heaven, encountering friendly and unfriendly creatures along the way, and struggling to evade the relentless pursuit of an old enemy.

Giff, Patricia Reilly. Lily's Crossing J FIC GIF and J PB G
During a summer spent at Rockaway Beach in 1944, Lily's friendship with a young Hungarian refugee causes her to see the war and her own world differently.

Ibbotson, Eva. The Haunting of Granite Falls J FIC IBB
When twelve-year-old Alex's Scottish castle of Carra is sold, dismantled, and moved to Texas , the ghosts that raised him from a child have difficulty relocating.

Ibbotson, Eva. The Secret of Platform 13 J FIC IBB and J PB I
Odge Gribble, joins an old wizard, a gentle fey, and a giant ogre on a journey from their magical island kingdom to London through a tunnel which opens every nine years for nine days, to rescue the young prince who had been stolen as an infant.

Nimmo, Jenny. Midnight for Charlie Bone J FIC NIM
Charlie Bone's life with his widowed mother and two grandmothers undergoes a dramatic change when he discovers that he can hear people in photographs talking.

Park, Linda Sue. A Single Shard J FIC PAR and J PB P
Tree-ear, a thirteen-year-old orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge in a potters' village, and longs to learn how to throw the delicate celadon ceramics himself.

Pierce, A. Phillipa. Tom's Midnight Garden J FIC PIE and J PB P
Tom's brother has measles, so Tom is shipped off to stay with his aunt and uncle in their boring apartment. Tom counts the days till he can return home. Then one night the landlady's antique grandfather clock strikes thirteen times leading Tom to a wonderful discovery marking the beginning of a secret that's almost too amazing to be true.

Raskin, Ellen. The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon , I Mean Noel J PB R
The disappearance of her husband is only the first of the mysteries Mrs. Carillon must solve.

Raskin, Ellen. The Westing Game J FIC RAS and J PB R
The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance. 

Reiche, Dietlof. I, Freddy: Book One in the Golden Hamster Saga J FIC REI
Freddy, a remarkably intelligent golden hamster, learns how to read and how to write on a computer and escapes captivity to become an independent and civilized creature.

Ryan, Pam Munoz. Riding Freedom J FIC RYA
A fictionalized account of Charley (Charlotte) Parkhurst who ran away from an orphanage, posed as a boy, moved to California , and fooled everyone by her appearance.

Spinnelli, Jerry. Maniac Magee J FIC SPI and J PB S
After his parents die, Jeffrey's life becomes legendary, as he accomplishes athletic and other feats which awe his peers.

Tolan, Stephanie. Surviving the Applewhites J FIC TOL
Jake, a budding juvenile delinquent, is sent for home schooling to the arty and eccentric Applewhite family's Creative Academy , where he discovers talents and interests he never knew he had.

Winthrop, Elizabeth. Castle in the Attic J FIC WIN and J PB W
A gift of a toy castle and silver knight, introduces William to an adventure involving magic and a personal quest.

Woodruff, Elvira. The Ravenmaster's Secret J FIC WOO
The young son of the Ravenmaster at the Tower of London befriends a Jacobite rebel being held prisoner there.

Williams, Maiya. The Golden Hour J FIC WIL
Thirteen-year-old Rowan and his eleven-year-old sister Nina, still bereft by the death of their mother the year before, experience an unusual adventure through time when they come to stay with their two eccentric great-aunts in a small town on the Maine coast.


Additional Suggestions   

Babbitt, Natalie. The Search for Delicious J FIC BAB and J PB B
The Prime Minister is compiling a dictionary and when no one at court can agree on the meaning of delicious, the King sends his twelve-year-old messenger to poll the country.

Babbitt, Natalie. Tuck Everlasting J FIC BAB and J PB B
The Tuck family is confronted with an agonizing situation when they discover that a ten-year-old girl and a malicious stranger now share their secret about a spring whose water prevents one from ever growing old.

Blackwell, Gary . Shakespeare Stealer J FIC BLA and J PB B
A young orphan boy is ordered by his master to infiltrate Shakespeare's acting troupe in order to steal the script of "Hamlet," but he discovers instead the meaning of friendship and loyalty.

Clements,Andrew. Frindle J FIC CLE and J PB C
When he decides to turn his fifth grade teacher's love of the dictionary around on her, clever Nick Allen invents a new word and begins a chain of events that quickly moves beyond his control.

Clements,Andrew. School Story J FIC CLE
After twelve-year-old Natalie writes a wonderful novel, her friend Zoe helps her devise a scheme to get it accepted at the publishing house where Natalie's mother works as an editor.

Curtis, Christopher Paul. Bud Not Buddy J FIC CUR and J PB C
Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint , Michigan , during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father--the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids .

Dahl,Roald. The Witches J FIC DAH and J PB D
A young boy and his Norwegian grandmother, who is an expert on witches, together foil a witches' plot to destroy the world's children by turning them into mice.

Edwards, Julie Andrews. Last of the Really Great Wangdoodles J FIC EDW and J PB E
With help from an eccentric professor in giving their imaginations special intensive training, three children succeed in locating the last of the great Whangdoodles and granting his heart's desire.

Ibbotson, Eva. The Great Ghost Rescue J FIC IBB and J PB I
A young English boy decides to establish a sanctuary for an assortment of ghosts when the homes they have haunted are replaced by highways and other modern "improvements."

Konigsburg, E.L. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler J FIC KON and J PB K
Having run away with her younger brother to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, twelve-year-old Claudia strives to keep things in order in their new home and to become a changed person and a heroine to herself.

Norton, Mary. The Borrowers J FIC NOR and J PB N
Miniature people who live in an old country house by borrowing things from the humans are forced to emigrate from their home under the clock.

O'Brien, Robert. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH J FIC OBR and J PB O
Having no one to help her with her problems, a widowed mouse visits the rats whose former imprisonment in a laboratory made them wise and long lived.

Rodgers, Mary. Bedknobs and Broomsticks J FIC ROD and J PB R
With the powers they acquire from a spinster who is studying to be a witch, three English children have a series of exciting and perilous adventures traveling on a flying bed that takes them to a London police station, a tropical island, and back in time to the seventeenth century.

Suggestions for Mother/Daughter Book Groups:

(See book: The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Shireen Dodson J PARENT'S CORNER 372.41 DOD)

DiCamillo, Kate. Because of Winn-Dixie J FIC DIC and J PB D
Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni describes her first summer in the town of Naomi , Florida , and all the good things that happen to her because of her big ugly dog Winn-Dixie.

Henkes, Kevin. Olive's Ocean J FIC HEN
On a summer visit to her grandmother's cottage by the ocean, twelve-year-old Martha gains perspective on the death of a classmate, on her relationship with her grandmother, on her feelings for an older boy, and on her plans to be a writer.

Holm, Jennifer. Boston Jane: An Adventure J FIC HOL and J PB H
Schooled in the lessons of etiquette for young ladies of 1854, Miss Jane Peck finds little use for manners during her long sea voyage to the Pacific Northwest and while living among the traders and Chinook Indians of Washington Territory.

Martin, Ann. A Corner of the Universe J FIC MAR
The summer that Hattie turns twelve, she meets the childlike uncle she never knew and becomes friends with a girl who works at the carnival that comes to Hattie's small town.

Osborne, Mary Pope. Adaline Falling Star J FIC OSB
Feeling abandoned by her deceased mother and her explorer father, Adaline Falling Star runs away from the prejudiced cousins with whom she is staying and comes close to death in the wilderness, with only a mongrel dog for company.

Pullman, Phillip. Firework Maker's Daughter J FIC PUL
In a country far to the east, Chulak and his talking white elephant Hamlet help Lila seek the Royal Sulphur from the sacred volcano so that she can become a master maker of fireworks like her father.

Ryan, Pam Munoz. Esperanza Rising J FIC RYA and J PB R
Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of California , where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers.

Vogel, Heather Frederick. Voyage of Patience Goodspeed J FIC VOG
Following their mother's death in Nantucket , Captain Goodspeed brings Patience and her younger brother aboard his whaling ship, where a new crew member incites a mutiny and Patience puts her mathematical ability to good use.


Suggestions for Father/Son Book Groups

Choldenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Does My Shirts J FIC CHO
A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards' families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister.

Elliott, David. The Transmogrificiation of Roscoe Wizzle J FIC ELL
After eating constantly at the fast food restaurant, ten-year-old Roscoe finds himself turning into a giant bug.

Gantos, Jack. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key J FIC GAN
To the constant disappointment of his mother and his teachers, Joey has trouble paying attention or controlling his mood swings when his prescription medications wear off and he starts getting worked up and acting wired.

Hiaasen, Carl. Hoot J FIC HIA
Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy's attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.

Jennings, Richard. Great Whale of Kansas J FIC JEN
While digging a hole in his back yard, an eleven-year-old Kansas boy finds the fossilized remains of a gigantic prehistoric animal, a discovery that brings both fame and controversy.

Lawrence, Iain. The Wreckers J FIC LAW
Shipwrecked after a vicious storm, fourteen-year-old John Spencer attempts to save his father and himself while also dealing with an evil secret about the English coastal town where they are stranded.

Morpurgo, Michael. Kensuke's Kingdom J FIC MOR
Michael is swept off his yacht ending up on a desert island, where he tries to survive until he finds he is not alone.

Sachar, Louis. Holes J FIC SAC and J PB S
As evidence of his family's bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.

Spinelli, Jerry. Wringer J PB S
As Palmer comes of age, he must either accept the violence of being a wringer at his town's annual Pigeon Day or find the courage to oppose it.

Spinelli, Jerry. Loser J FIC SPI
Even though his classmates from first grade on have considered him strange and a loser, Daniel Zinkoff's optimism and exuberance and the support of his loving family do not allow him to feel that way about himself.