OP: I'm wondering what to do for my fourth grader since we can't afford a reading curriculum. Could she just . . . read books?
Response: Of course! Your library is full of many great books for free, like Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, Stuart Little, Junie B. Jones . . .
SQOC: OK, sorry, while I agree wholeheartedly on your basic theory, I'm going to have to cite you for a Class B Felonious Confusion of Great Literature With Tripe.