Books for 5th Graders

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Books for 5th Graders

Modifié : Juin 4, 2007, 11:05am

My mom is teaching 5th grade for the first time next year - she's taught 1st grade for the past 10 years - and she's looking for suggestions for books for 5th graders. I told her I would ask on LT, since the people here are so good at giving suggestions.

If you have any suggestions, PLEASE include a summary, since she doesn't have time to read all the books this summer.

Thank you!!

Edit: She's mostly looking for books for the kids to read by themselves, I think.

Juin 4, 2007, 8:39am

A long way from Chicago by Richard Peck, which is told from the brother's point of view and starts off with a boffo story: "Shotgun Cheatham's Last Night Above Ground," a great read-aloud. Each story is a different summerthat a brother and sister spend with Grandma Dowdle in the sticks. Grandma is a gun-totin', beer-brewin', soap-makin', just short of a straight-razor-totin' granny. Laconic of speech and seemingly emotionless, Grandma is really a softy inside with her own personal sense of justice. Peck followed this up with the Newbery winner, A year down yonder, told from the sister's point of view as she spends a school year at her grandmother's, if only to write about some great old-timey Halloween pranks. Fair weather (not by Joe Matt, sigh) is another of his books that gives kids a taste of what the Olden Days was like, as a family goes from the farm to the aunt's house in Chicago in time for the World's Columbian Exposition. Even Chicago itself is an eye-opener for the kids, who have known nothing but the farm. They are "chaparoned" by their crusty grandfather with whom they by turns upset their aunt's (and his daughter's) quiet existence. Chicago and the Fair are fraught with sinfulness, such as the dance of Little Egypt, actresses, the unwashed public ... and more terrors too horrible to mention in polite society! Makes a nice contrast to today, where everyone bandies the "f" word. And there's the obligatory little boy who must put frogs where they are least expected. Peck continues to milk this old-timey theme with The teacher's funeral. The teacher in a one-room school house dies and before one boy's dreams of the end of schoolin' come true, his older sister (immune to his tricks) takes up the job. This book is of interest to me because my dad (born about the time this book takes place) had to convince his parents to let him go to high school, which his older brother had not been allowed to do. His parents considered sixth grade to be schoolin' enough! What was not to like about high school? They had sports, girls, indoor plumbing! One time when he misbehaved (involving drinking, I believe, although he claims to not remember) his pa told him, "One more time like that ... and I'll take you right out of school!"
There are some really good audiobook versions of some of these as well. Haven't heard The teacher's funeral yet, though.

Juin 6, 2007, 7:01am

Thank you for these suggestions, marfita, I'll pass them along.

Juin 6, 2007, 4:23pm

Hi bluesalamanders,

This link is to a page showing a list of books for summer reading recommended by 62 5th graders:

Juin 6, 2007, 9:00pm

shelagh -

Fantastic! Thank you!

Déc 2, 2007, 4:25pm

The Artemis Fowl series; also several of Cornelia Funke's books, such as Inkheart, Inkspell, The Thief Lord, and Dragon Rider.

Déc 6, 2007, 8:40pm

my 5th grader and I just read, and really enjoyed, Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick and he's getting into the Golden Compass series too

Fév 10, 2008, 1:59am

I love Artemis Fowl! I recommend choosing books that have boy appeal. Girls will read just about anything, generally. Boys at this age get harder to please. Also consider Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. Purchase Jim Trelease's The Read-aloud Handbook to get an annotated catalog of good reads for every age.

Fév 10, 2008, 12:23pm

a couple I've read lately and really liked are Call It Courage and Onion John... I wrote some quick synopsis (sp?) on my

TeacherDad blog...

Fév 29, 2008, 10:15pm

The Dimwood Forest Series by Avi is wonderful...titles include Poppy, Ragweed, Ereth's Birthday, Poppy and Rye, and Poppy's Return.

Mar 5, 2008, 10:05pm

I would check the Newbery Award lists or the local school library association awards (in Missouri it's called the Mark Twain Award, in Texas the Bluebonnet Award, etc.._

Mar 5, 2008, 10:05pm

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Mar 5, 2008, 10:54pm

My 5th grader just read Chasing Vermeer all in one day, and really, really liked it -- "a really cool mystery" he says...

Mar 8, 2008, 12:41pm

I just read a book by Avi called Romeo and Juliet together (and alive) at Last which I thought was very funny. I laughed so hard I cried. I think 5th graders would love the story as well.

Juin 20, 2008, 9:29am

I'd like to suggest my new book "Sydney Wakefield: Into the Faraway" which has a big 4th and 5th grade following at my son's elementary school.

Also -- The Fablehaven series and Leven Thumps series are wonderful too. And the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief) are hugely popular with the kids.

Modifié : Juin 20, 2008, 5:46pm

TeacherDad: probably synopses. synopsi?

ETA a hearty second to Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.

Juin 20, 2008, 6:00pm

I second Cornelia Funke. I love her. Also, the Septimus Heap series is fantastic. Along the same lines as Harry Potter, only lighter and very funny.

Juin 21, 2008, 12:52am

My son has been reading the Riordan books, The Anybodies/Nobodies, and really likes The Alchemyst -- which led him to look up several characters in the British Isles mythology books...

Juil 31, 2008, 8:25pm

The Children of the Red King by Jenny Nimmo
It reminds be of Harry Potter but the last ones arent really that mature but it`s a really great series.

I secound the Septimus Heap books also.

The Pure Dead series is in the same sort of magic vein and its exellent and good for people who are reluctant to read. Its also pretty funny.

Sep 30, 2008, 9:38pm

I recommend Sahara Special by Esme Raji Codell.
It's about a girl needing to repeat the Fifth grade. I read this with my daughter going into fifth grade herself, and we both enjoyed it. There are some big differences btwn Sahara's home life or classroom and my daughter's, but she could appreciate what was happening with the characters all the same. Kids can relate to having to write in journals and getting cool stickers...

Sep 30, 2008, 9:43pm

I meant to add just above that my daughter and I read Sahara Special separately. Yes, a fifth grader could read this on their own. It doesn't have magic or anything mythical in it, just kids being kids, which is hard to find these days that will keep their attention!

Mar 15, 2009, 3:21pm

I read all of the Newbery books. They are really good. Especially good are Holes, Maniac Magee, and A Wrinkle in Time. I am currently reading the Doctor Doolittle books and they are really enjoyable.
Steve K

Mar 26, 2009, 10:56pm

How to Steal a Dog is an excellent and thought-provoking book. A girl (5th or 6th grade I believe) is homeless and living in a car w/her mom & little brother. She sees a sign for a reward for a lost dog, and comes up w/a plan to steal a dog and claim the reward. I read it aloud to my 4th graders last year, and they were really intrigued.

Elijah of Buxton takes place in Canada, pre US Civil War. Elijah is the first free child born in the village in habited by escaped slaves.

Misadventures of Maud March; orphan girls mistakenly get taken for criminals and go on the run; I think it takes place in late 19th century Missouri.

Mar 27, 2009, 2:17am

My fifth grader has read and enjoyed the following this year:

The Indian In the Cupboard (and its sequels) by Lynne Reid Banks
Alcatraz Versus The Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
The Number Devil: a Mathematical Adventure by Hans Magnus Enzensberger (this one is best for kids who are not put off by math)
The Name of This Book Is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (this might be better as a general recommendation for slightly older kids, but my son loved it)
My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier (about the American revolution)
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

Avr 6, 2009, 1:10pm

As a former school librarian, I would suggest the first Molly Moon book.
My wiki site:

Mai 3, 2009, 12:13pm

My son (in 4th grade but usually reading above his grade level) just read and loved China Mieville's Un Lun Dun. He also blazed through the Redwall series, by Brian Jacques (and reread a few), loved Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson books (number 4 is due out v. soon), and is just starting on the Narnia books, by C. S. Lewis. I would add anything by Louis Sachar, Jerry Spinelli, Jon Scieszka, or E. L. Konigsburg. (Scieszka's Time Warp Trio series is great for this age, and his new memoir is funny too, and if the kids somehow missed his picture books--anything Scieszka and Lane Smith collaborated on--they'd probably enjoy them too.) Oh, and graphic novels, esp. Amulet, by Kazu Kibuishi, and the Bone series, by Jeff Smith.

Juin 6, 2009, 12:42pm

Oct 9, 2009, 10:35pm

I teach sixth grade and my students love these books:
The City of Ember
Maniac Magee (and almost anything by Jerry Spinelli)
The Egypt Game
Rescue Josh McGuire

Fév 13, 2010, 4:10pm

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Try Notch Ear's Sacrifice, a true-to-life tale about red fox brothers, their struggle to survive, and how their brotherly love is strained when they both fall for the same vixen. But the real test comes when MOONLIGHT is expecting kits and NOTCH EAR cannot find food for his mate. While making his way to a human neighborhood where he can scavenge food, he is struck by a car. Will he survive to help raise his kits? Can they survive without him? In the tradition of Jack London's White Fang, this book presents life as the foxes experience it.

I teach children ages 9-12. They loved this story when I read it aloud. I confess, however, they were biased: Their teacher wrote the novel. Go to to find out where you can get the book.

Juin 12, 2012, 11:41pm

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Juin 27, 2012, 12:05pm

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Juil 2, 2012, 12:25am

The Westing Game
Island of the Blue Dolphins
The Hobbit

And I second the suggestion for Newbery's!

Déc 31, 2012, 12:20pm

I was wondering if anybody had any suggestions of books about or in the time of the war between the states. Preferably with the main characters on the southern side, that is appropriate for 5th graders.

Déc 31, 2012, 12:42pm

Here is a few books that i believe 5th grader would really enjoy!

Classic Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, 1-56

American Girl ( Felicity, Kirsten, Kaya, Josefina,) ............ ect ................

Dear America Series.

American Girl - Very funny Elizabeth.

The Laura Ingalls wilder books.

The Rose Years.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond.....( There isn't any Witches in this book)

Teddy's Button.

The Hardy Boys 1-58.

Little Women.

An Old-Fashioned Girl.

The Bobbsey Twins : preferably older versions.

The Strawberry Girl.

Island of the Blue Dolphins.

Zia : The Sequel to ''Island of the Blue Dolphins.''

The Building on the Rock Series.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.

The Mandie series

Hope you enjoy!!!!

Fév 2, 2013, 1:24pm

>34 Ncwillow: Some old school books there dixie! I have some students that have (unfortunately?) learned to read the publication dates and are quite prejudiced against anything written at a time when I could have read it as a child... kids these days! ; )

Fév 2, 2013, 3:14pm

Thats too bad TeacherDad. I homeschool my kids and force them to read the classics. I'm such a meanie. Actually the only book my son wouldnt finish was Harry Potter. I am amazed at the selection of books that my friends' children read in schools. I wish they would read more classics. I'm just a nerd when it comes to classics I guess.

Oh, and the Trixie Belden series is always fun!

Mar 2, 2013, 8:44pm

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I am brand new here, but I have a fiction book that her. 5th graders may enjoy. It is called Let's Meet the Gickens. It is about 12 inch tall people that have been living in the woods in dead oak trees. The main character-Mac-accidentally let's himself be seen by the "big people" that own the property. This is a wholesome story about how two different groups of people learn to trust each other and you will learn how their lives become intertwined. This is going to be a series and the sequel is going to be out this spring (I hope). As a side note-the Gicken language is English only backwards, so it makes kids stop and think when they are trying to read it. There are also some very subtle life lessons such as learning to trust others.

Mar 6, 2013, 9:36am

Oh and check out the Carole Marsh mystery series. They are alot of fun. The main characters are the grandparents who take their grandkids with them and they end up involved in a mystery. We love the stories because the author takes them to knew places and they learn about those areas and the author uses real kids as friends for the grandkids (who are her own grandkids in real life).

Mar 6, 2013, 8:22pm

>37 Authorlinda.ande7714: Bad enough, authorlinda, trying to pimp your book here, but so poorly written as well? Sheesh...

Mai 23, 11:04pm

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Add four of my own books available free on Kindle:
The Scalliwatty
Freddie the Clever Fox
The Longest Story
The Six Blind Men and Lazy Soule

Each of the books have been translated into at least 10 languages and narrated in at least 2