Leon and the Spitting Image, by Allen Kurzweil is exactly the kind of book that I would have picked up as a fourth grader. Not only is there a creepy witchy type boot on the cover, but the title is clever and the premise is great.
Leon goes to what can only be assumed as a Manhattan independent school, The Classical School. The motto of the school is "nimble fingers make for nimble minds" ... read in experiential learning. The problem is Leon is somewhat of a klutz. He lives with his mom in a one star hotel...she is the night manager. So, not only is his life a bit different from the rest, but the Ice Queen (ancient ice maker)keeps him up at night. Top all of this off with his finding of his confidential reports the day before his first day of fourth grade.
"Leon continues to be hampered by a troubling lack of fine motor skills."
Now, his fourth grade teacher, Miss Hagmeyer, is for some reason obsessed with sewing. Not only for herself, but for her students as well. How will a fine motor skills challenged fourth grader get through a year when almost all of his assignments are sewing related?
With the help of his 2 best friends...PW and Lily-Matisse.
A very fun romp for the 3rd-5th grade set. Plus the bonus of this turning into a series, with the next book taking place during Leon's fifth grade year.