Category 4 books

(See yesterday’s post if you have no idea what a Category 4 book is.)

I’m sure I’ll think of others, but these leap to mind:

Holes Louis Sachar
The Dark is Rising Susan Cooper
Dubliners, Ulysses James Joyce
1st Harry Potter J.K. Rowling
The Time Travelers Wife Audrey Niffenegger
American Gods Neil Gaiman (all his stuff, really)
all of Elizabeth George’s mysteries
most of P.D. James’ mysteries

What are your Category 4s?

(BTW, Dad’s poetry reading was wonderful!)

78 Replies to “Category 4 books”

  1. Off the top of my head

    Life is Funny E.R. Frank
    Pretty much anything by Jacqueline Woodson
    Goodnight, Mr. Tom Can’t recall the author
    Any poetry collection by Naomi Shihab Nye
    My Antonia Willa Cather

  2. category 4 books

    I agree about the Time Traveler’s Wife– it’s a wonderful book.
    Twilight by Stephenie Meyers
    The Stand by Stephen King
    The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
    The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank
    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
    A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
    On the Road by Jack Kerouac
    Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson πŸ™‚

    susan from Spartanburg, SC

  3. Category 4 Books

    Not to be a suck up or anything, but you KNOW I felt that way about SPEAK. I also agree about HOLES by Sachar. I’ll also add CHINESE HANDCUFFS by Chris Crutcher, FREAK THE MIGHTY by Rodman Philbrick and A SINGLE SHARD by Linda Sue Park.

    We’re very lucky to have Linda keynoting at our NE SCBWI Conference in Nashua, NH next month. I can’t wait. And next we’ll have to work on getting you up to New England conference or retreat!


  4. “You Don’t Know Me” by David Klass
    “The Dirty Cowboy” by Amy Timberlake (it’s a PB)
    “An Acceptable Time” and “A Ring of Endless Light” by Madeleine L’Engle
    “The Solitaire Mystery” by Jostein Gaarder

    I’m sure there’s more. You already took some of mine. πŸ™‚

  5. Re: Category 4 Books

    Crutcher! How could I have forgotten Crutcher’s books! Def. a Cat 4!! AND Linda Sue’s!

    She is an amazing speaker, by the way. You guys are in for a real treat. (I’ll be emailing you later today.)

  6. So many cat 4s, it’s a hurricane!

    Alas, Babylon — Pat Frank
    1984 — George Orwell
    Life of Pi, Self — Yann Martel
    anything Barbara Kingsolver or Virginia Woolf
    And the Band Played On
    Rebecca — Daphne DuMaurier
    Walk Two Moons — Sharon Creech

  7. A handful, off the top of my head:

    Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
    A Summer to Die, Lois Lowry
    Prep, Curtis Sittenfeld
    The Great Mortality, John Kelly
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling
    The Blue Castle, L.M. Montgomery
    Our Lady of the Lost and Found, Diane Schoemperlen
    Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott

    And I’m totally with you on The Time Traveler’s Wife. It fascinated me in a way I hadn’t experienced in a long time.

  8. The ones I can think of off the top of my head…

    Empress of the World by Sara Ryan
    Wicked by Gregory Maguire
    Lamb by Christopher Moore
    Peeps by Scott Westerfeld (most of his books rank at Cat. 4 or really close for me)
    Running Out Of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix
    And I think Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys might be added to the list soon (I’m reading it for a class and really enjoying it so far.)

  9. Category 4 YAs: Catherine Called, Birdy
    Enchantress From the Stars
    Looking for Alibrandi
    The Moorchild
    The Golden Compass

  10. All of Chris Crutcher’s book’s-expecially Staying Fat for Sarah Brynes
    Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings- Megan McCafferty
    The Truth about Forever-Sarah Dessen
    All the Harry Potters-J.K Rowling
    And the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series-Ann Brashares
    My Sister’s Keeper- Jodi Picoult

    I’m sure there are a couple more but thats all I can think of for now.

  11. “The Secret Life of Bees”- Sue Monk Kidd
    “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”- Stephen Chobosky
    “The Time Travelers Wife”- Audrey Niffenneger
    “Mister Posterior and the Genius Child”- Emily Jenkins

  12. I feel like I have an inordinate number of Cat. 4’s… Perhaps I’m being too kind, but I think these are all legit.

    THE HIGH KING, Lloyd Alexander
    SKELLIG, David Almond
    THE NAMING and THE RIDDLE, Alison Croggon
    THE MERRYBEGOT, Julie Hearn
    ALICE, I THINK, Susan Juby
    THE SERPENT GIFT, Lene Kaaberbol
    THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, C.S. Lewis (I almost didn’t put this one on. I wept like a baby through large chunks of this and it really affected me but I don’t whether it was the Christian story behind the allegorical structure getting to me, or Lewis’ story…)
    LIFE OF PI, Yann Martel
    BEAUTY, Robin McKinley
    ABHORSEN, Garth Nix
    AIRBORN and SKYBREAKER, Kenneth Oppel
    MORTAL ENGINES, Philip Reeve
    All the Harry Potter books, which would almost have to be a Cat. 5 for me, if such a thing can exist.
    AN EARTHLY KNIGHT, Janet McNaughton

    And, of course, SPEAK.

  13. cat. 4

    The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
    Sabriel by Garth Nix
    Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes
    The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
    The Awakening by Kate Chopin
    Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
    Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
    Coraline by Neil Gaiman
    The Giver by Lois Lowry
    Speak AND Catalyst
    The Ancient One by T.A. Barron (This book was my first Category 4 book-I was 9 and I stayed up into the wee hours of the night to finish it. I had never experienced anything like it before.)

  14. oh, so many . . . a few quick ones, looking at my bookshelf . . .
    SPEAK (of course)

    oh, and now the next shelf . . . I better stop.

  15. Sticking to YA, (and bearing in mind that I lean toward dark adventure), what first comes to mind is:

    Lord of the Nutcracker Men and B for Buster by Iain Lawrence
    Dust and Tribes by Arthur Slade
    Shade’s Children by Garth Nix
    anything by Kenneth Oppel

  16. The Giver – Lois Lowry
    The Perks Of Being A Wallflower – Stephen Chobosky
    Friday – Issac Asimov
    I know I’m missing a few, but until I can get home and scan my bookshelf I can’t do much.

  17. The Time Travelers Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
    The Giver – Lois Lowry
    The Outsiders – SE Hinton
    The Pact, My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
    Speak, Cataylst – Laurie Halse Anderson
    This Lullaby – Sarah Dessen

    The Harry Potter books
    The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books

  18. The Golden Compass
    The Subtle Knife
    The Amber Spyglass all by Philip Pullman. If you enjoyed these, you should really check out his other books, especially the Sally Lockhart trilogy:
    The Ruby in the Smoke
    The Shadow in the North
    The Tiger in the Well

    Other books that come to mind:
    A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle
    1984 by George Orwell
    East of Eden by John Steinbeck
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
    Wouldn’t It Be Nice by Brian Wilson

  19. All day I’ve been trying to figure out why Golden Compass isn’t a Cat 4 for me. I LOVED that book…. but something is holding me back. I think I need to re-read it.

  20. Catagory 4

    Off the top of my head…

    Looking for Alaska – John Green
    Sometimes a Great Notion – Ken Kesey
    Sophie’s Choice – William Styron
    Catalyst – duh
    Sloppy Firsts – Megan McCafferty
    Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
    Tender is the Night – Fitzgerald

    And many more!

  21. Cathcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
    A Separate Peace by John Knowles
    Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
    Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
    The Best Awful by Carrie Fisher
    The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
    Learning to Swim by Ann Turner
    Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel
    Innocence by Jane Mendelsohn
    Winter Garden by Pablo Neruda

    You should really check out Postcards from the Edge & The Best Awful by Carrie Fisher, the woman is hilarious, I laugh outloud whenever I read her.

  22. My category 4’s…
    “Speak” by…some woman….I don’t remember….name rhymes with glory…I dunno.
    “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” by J.K Rowling
    “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
    “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare
    “Hiroshima” by John Hersey
    “A Separate Peace” by John Knowles

  23. Could be because you’re comparing it to the Amber Spyglass, which is so good (ah! those last 40 pages!) it makes the first two pale by comparison.

  24. Speak πŸ™‚
    White Oleander by Janet Fitch
    Holes by Louis Sachar

    And that’s all. It means something super special to me to have a category 4 book.

  25. Of all time: “The Truth About Forever” by Sarah Dessen, “Body Bags” by Christopher Golden, “Prowlers” by Christopher Golden, “The Boys are Back in Town” by Christopher Golden, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll, “The NeverEnding Story” by Michael Ende, “Sophie’s World” by Jostein Gaarder, “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster, “Innocence” by Jane Mendelsohn, “The Westing Game” by Ellen Raskin

    Series: Body of Evidence (ten) by Christopher Golden, Anne of Green Gables (eight) by L.M. Montgomery

    Of those recently read: “A Certain Slant of Light” by Laura Whitcomb, “May Bird and the Ever After” by Jodi Lynn Anderson, “The Penderwicks” by Jeanne Birdsall

  26. Blue Castle!!
    Bird by Bird!!

    *adds to the love*

    The first (not previously named)book that pops to mind for me is The Secret History by Donna Tartt. It is one that just stuck with me and I have recommended to many people. Maybe it’s because I read it senior year of college.

  27. Fours

    This is the ultimate question…like the question I’d want to discuss with you-know-who at the pearly gates if infinite time was available.

    Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmund Rostand
    I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott
    The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
    Nine Horses by Billy Collins
    The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
    Speak (hmmm…the name of the author eludes me ;))
    Staying Fat for Sarah Burnes by Chris Crutcher
    The Kite Runner by Kahled Hosseini

    Some recent YA’s in the four:

    Girls for Breakfast by David Yoo
    A Room on Lorelei Street by Mary Pearson
    Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going
    The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan
    How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

    Thanks for such a great question! I love reading the fours of others…great way to learn about books, too. Got to get my hands on The Time Traveler’s Wife.

  28. My Cat 4s

    Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
    Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
    Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner
    Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller
    all of Amy Tan’s books
    Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
    All of Barbara Kingsolver’s books

  29. Ms. Laurie I am shocked that you have failed to mention that it’s women’s history month. In order to get everyone in the spirit here is a poem I had previously written.


    I lie on the floor frozen with fear when down my face trickles a single tear.

    I hear footsteps coming and my feet stay put although my brain tells me start running!.

    They say it’s time for you to put on your act oh those who believe it the brains they must lack!

    Oh how much longer must I go on with this charade?

    Oh how I long for someone to see pass the masquerade !

    When it’s all over I’m dragged back to my cell.

    Help me! help me! My broken spirit yells.

    As the injustice of it all comes over me like a wave

    I struggle for it is equality I crave

    By Jessica Hernandez

    A poem in the prospective of a prisoner of the woman’s rights movement.

    There’s a prompt you haven’t done you should ask for people to write poetry about women’s history month/women in history I bet it would be great!
    oh my categorie 4’s include a wrinkle in time Speak Harry potter Anne Frank, Matilda, A child called it, Jeremy thatcher dragon hatcher, The secret garden and the theif lord,Chasing redbird and Bloomability and last but not least and not really last the one the only Catalyst

  30. Oh. Honestly, i own all of her books. But these are the two that rise to the top in my mind. Not that i don’t like the rest, because i really do. πŸ™‚

  31. To Kill A Mockingbird
    Forgive me if this sounds tacky, but Speak, Fever, Prom, and Catalyst
    All of the Harry Potter books
    All of Nicholas Sparks’ books
    Boy Proof –
    Scribbler of Dreams and A Room on Lorelei Street –

    All of Sarah Dessen’s books – especially The Truth About Forever
    Megan McCafferty’s books

    I know there are many, MANY more, but I’m in a hurry.

    Have a good week!

  32. hmm a 4….

    Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings- Megan McCafferty
    All Sarah Dessen books
    All the Harry Potters-J.K Rowling
    catcher in the rye – j.d. salinger
    keeping you a secret – julie ann peters
    empress of the world – sara ryan
    speak – you
    revolution on canvas – poetry by bands (popular && underground)
    Rx – tacey lynn
    i’m thinking there’s more but smallville is distracting me right now….

  33. My catagory 4’s are
    Speak by you.
    Pure by Rebecca Ray.
    The Lake Of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman.
    Secret Smile by Nicci French.
    All of Laurell K. Hamiltons books.
    Innocents by Cathy Coote.
    The Onion Girl by Charles De Lint.
    Tithe by Holly Black.
    and last but not least The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold…

    I actually have more but yeah I really do not want to dig through my books right now ^.^

  34. My Category 4 books!

    The Giver- Lois Lowry
    Bridge to Terabithia- Katherine Patterson
    Holes-Louis Sachar
    Where the Red Fern Grows- Wilson Rawls
    Fahrenheit 451- Ray Bradbury
    Cut- Patricia McCormick
    Freaky Green Eyes- Joyce Carol Oates
    Big Mouth, Ugly Girl- Joyce Carol Oates
    Silent to the Bone- E.L. Konigsburg
    ALL the Harry Potter books- J.K. Rowling
    The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series- Anne Brashares
    Everything by Darren Shan

  35. Hmm, there’s a few off the top of my mind.

    The Notebook, Nicholas Sparks
    Lucky, Alice Sebold
    Cut, Patricia McCormick
    Second Star to the Right, Deborah Hautzig
    A Child Called It, dave Pelzer
    The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
    (And of course, Speak.)

  36. The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
    How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
    The Giver by Lois Lowry
    The Handmaid’s Tale and Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood
    Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
    Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
    Lessons in Taxidermy by Bee Lavender, an amazing memoir of in-your-face courage, intelligence and strength growing up with an odd form of cancer in a working-class family and beating the odds to become a kick-ass teen mom. No one tells it quite like Bee–not a drop of self pity but plenty of insight.

  37. I will look it up! Thank god for!!! I have to say though that I so didnt expect it to be that kind of book. I just thought it was one of those crazy teenage ones but instead it was about vampires and freaky people who drink tampon tea.

  38. Hard Love by ? (I love it so much that right after reading it I forced a friend of mine to borrow and read it. I haven’t gotten it back)
    The Circle of Magic series especially Shatterglass by Tamora Pierce
    Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
    The Harry Potter series minus the Half-Blood Prince by J.K.Rowling
    The New Rules of High School by Blake Nelson

    And probably like three others I can’t remember

  39. Hiroshima HURT me! Like my teacher read it outloud b/c she did it ever year around fcat or sats or something and I was about falling out of my seat in pain. I’m way too empathetic.

  40. Alone at Ninety Foot, Katherine Holubitsky
    Icebound, Jerri Nielson
    The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd
    Life is Funny, E.R. Frank
    Someone Like You, Sarah Dessen

    I *know* there are some big one’s I’m forgetting … but it’s a start!

  41. Angela’s Ashes (or anything by Frank McCourt)
    Running with Scissors, by Augusten Burroughs (who is my new author-crush)
    The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath
    Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (those who love Perks should read this one), by Jonathan Safran Foer. Already, this is my book of the year.

    Back to my study now πŸ™

  42. Oh, okay. πŸ™‚ Just wondering.

    A Wrinkle in Time was amazing when I read it in the 4th grade for the first time, and now, after 7 years, I still find it super.

  43. I didn’t quite like the Sally Lockhart books, the morality read all wrong for me. I read the second only to see if it was any better than the first, and I read the first because I hadn’t yet read anything by Pullman.


  44. Re: Fours

    I loved THE JOY LUCK CLUB and have been so disapointed that her other books, while often having nice sentences or scenes, or so disjointed and badly constructed.

  45. Nancy Willard’s TELLING TIME and Ursula Le Guin’s DANCING AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, both collections of personal essays on writing, reading, feminism, etc. and both really really good.

    I CAPTURE THE CASTLE by Dodie Smith (just lovely)

    CHASING VERMEER by Blue Balliet (intricate YA “thriller” of sorts about art, math, learning, etc. Lots of fun, not at all preachy, and very complex. I love that it respects the readers intelligence with all the puzzles.)

    THE THIEF by Megan Whalen Turner (brilliant YA fantasy with all sorts of unexpected twists–don’t read the back cover copy for the two sequels since they contain spoilers for the first volume)

    Connie Willis’ BELLWETHER (romantic comedy about chaos theory), PASSAGE and TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG

    Patrice Kindl’s OWL IN LOVE

  46. Hi Laurie! My name is Rosie and I’m a big fan of your writing. Last year you came to my school to give a talk during Library Week and I was really impressed. I didn’t know you had an lj until just now, though.

    Let’s see my Category 4’s (too many to count! I read way to much than is probably healthy)

    Anything by Sarah Dessen, whom I love.
    Pride and Prejudice (and all Jane Austen)
    Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
    To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
    the Harry Potter books
    and about ten million others

  47. Catergory 4s

    -All of your books. I’m not being a suck-up, just honest!
    -Dreamland by the same author who wrote The Truth About Forever
    -The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
    -Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Allcott
    -Prep by Curtis Sittenfield
    -The Boyfriend List
    -The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books by Ann Brashares
    -The Year of Secret Assignments
    -Heart’s Delight by some Swedish guy
    -To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    -Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

    I also loved the series High Hurdles when I was like ten! lol

  48. An Eclectic Assortment – But hey that’s what moves me

    The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
    Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
    All the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling
    The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
    Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
    The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles
    Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
    The Giver by Lois Lowry
    Dracula by Bram Stoker

  49. I’m a lurker mostly, but I just had to participate in this one πŸ™‚

    Speak by er, you (I actually had the pleasure of meeting you very briefly at my school once and you were nice enough to sign my book for me, thank you!)
    The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
    The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Anne Brashares
    All Harry Potter
    All of Nicholas Sparks’ books (except for The Notebook)
    Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
    She Said Yes by Misty Bernall
    Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

  50. I guess I’ll bump it up on my “to read” list, then. Not that the order means anything when the list is 78 pages long. :p Oh! And I’ve got your book in my hands (well, in my office at work) now. I will read it before I have to renew it.

  51. Others have mentioned some of mine, but the ones I can think of off-hand are Double Helix by Nancy Werlin, House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer, City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau, Mortal Engines (actually that whole trilogy) by Philip Reeve, Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card, and just about anything by Terry Pratchett (especially Reaper Man and Mort) or Neil Gaiman. I also loved Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks.

    Oh! and the most recent one is Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar. I made about five coworkers promise me that they would read it after my boss’s boss got through with it.

  52. “I will read it before I have to renew it.”

    I’m honoured! Particularly if I’ve got bumped to the top of a 78 page waiting list. πŸ˜‰

  53. Books

    I love books by Lene Kaaberbol
    also David Clement-Davis
    JK Rowling
    Sharron Creech

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