Upper Elementary to Middle School Books

Theme: Four Seasons

Little Men - (ISBN: 978-1611042573)

by Louisa May Alcott

A less-read companion to the classic <i>Little Women</i>, this book tells the story of several boys who reside at Plumfield, the school where Jo, the heroine of Little Women, is now headmistress. Although it spans several seasons, its emphasis on the garden, harvest, and a special Thanksgiving make it a great book to read in the fall.

Runaway Ralph - (ISBN: 978-0380709533)

by Beverly Cleary

Ralph the mouse zooms to summer camp on his own, feeling independent and daring. Ralph had not realized camp meant discipline, cats, and brats! How does Ralph’s camp experience and his looking forward to home compare to your camp time? Talk about all different kinds of camps you and your family have tried.

The Lemonade Wars - (ISBN: 978-0547237657)

by Jacqueline Davies

When fourth grader Evan finds out his younger sister will share his classroom for the next school year, they become pitted against one another. As part of their rivalry, they start competing lemonade stands to earn the most money. To learn about “business” from the point of view of a preteen, try this entertaining and popular book. What seasonal “business” have you tried? Why did it work (or not)? Is there another you could try?

The Long Winter - (ISBN: 978-0060581855)

by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The long cold winter is the focus of this book, including the astonishing blizzard, food shortages, and the bravery of the Wilder brothers in bringing provisions to everyone. Even if you have already read this book, enjoy it together with your family on long dark winter nights or as a refreshing contrast to summer’s heat. Have you ever survived a weather emergency? What was it like?

The Missing Manatee - (ISBN: 978-0374400200)

by Cynthia DeFelice

A young boy’s spring vacation from school turns into a hunt for a killer when he finds a manatee shot dead in the Florida waters. In ever tightening circles, he hones his focus to find the murderer after the animal’s body disappears. If you enjoy mysteries in a family setting, you will love this action-packed book!

Deep and Dark and Dangerous - (ISBN: 978-0547076454)

by Mary Downing

Gentle Ben - (ISBN: 978-0142405512)

by Walt Morey

Lawn Boy - (ISBN: 978-0385746861)

by Gary Paulsen

Spells and Sleeping Bags - (ISBN: 9780385733885)

by Sarah Mlynowski

Summer on Wheels - (ISBN: 978-0439211277)

by Gary Soto

Welcome Home or Someplace Like It - (ISBN: 978-0805070835)

by Charlotte Agell

Activities for this Theme

Organize a cookie exchange for your winter vacation with your friends and relatives.


Make a family book of the seasons by collecting pictures of the activities you do throughout a year. Make a section of photos for each season and add captions.


Create your own lemonade stand in front of your house or in the lobby of your apartment.


Have fun trying to cook saltwater taffy together with an adult


Try your hand at some camp crafts