Suggestions for Fifth Graders

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Fiction is shelved alphabetically by the author's last name.

FICTION

The Fast and The Furriest
by Andy Behrens
Kevin, 12-year-old couch potato, plans to spend summer doing nothing except hanging out with his dog (and fellow chip-hound) Cromwell. But Kevin’s dad has other ideas, which all involve sports! Urgh. 

Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism
by Georgia Byng
Molly Moon is no ordinary orphan. When she finds a mysterious old book on hypnotism, she discovers she can make people do whatever she wants! But a sinister stranger is watching her every move...

Gregor The Overlander
by Suzanne Collins
Gregor tumbles through a laundry room grate and into a dark Underland which is on the brink of war. But his arrival is no accident: prophecy foretells that he has an important role to play in the that world.

Into the Land of the Unicorns
by Bruce Coville
In the strange land of Luster, Cara meets many wonderful creatures, but the most magnificent is Lightfoot, a wild young unicorn. Together they must try to save all unicorns from a terrible threat.

Bud, Not Buddy
by Christopher Paul Curtis
‘Ideas, like seeds, start small and then woop, zoop, sloop, they get bigger than you ever thought they could.’ So, figures scrappy 10-year-old Bud, an orphan on the run in 1930s Michigan. And the idea growing in his head? He’s going to find his dad.

Matilda
by Roald Dahl
Matilda’s parents call her a nuisance. Now she has to deal with the terrifying Miss Trunchbull at school. But gentle Matilda discovers she has the power to fight to save herself. An exciting, hilarious novel!

The London Eye Mystery
by Siobhan Dowd
Ted and Kat watched their cousin Salim board the London Eye, but later everyone gets off except Salim. Where did he go? Into thin air? The police are useless, so it’s up to Ted and Kat to find him!

The Warm Place
by Nancy Farmer
When Ruva, a young giraffe, is captured and sent to a zoo in San Francisco, she calls upon two rats, a street-smart chameleon, a runaway boy, and all the magical powers of the animal world to return to "the warm place" that is home.

The Ruins of Gorlan
by John Flanagan
Will has always been scared of the Rangers, with their shadowy ways and powers, but when he is chosen to be their apprentice, everything changes.

Absolutely Almost
by Lisa Graff
Albie’s not the smartest kid. Or the best at sports. Or the most popular. He’s got a long list of stuff he’s NOT good at. It takes him longer than most people to figure stuff out, but with the help of a new friend he’s about to figure out what he IS good at.

Hoot
by Carl Hiaasen
Roy is the New Kid - again. No friends to eat lunch with. A bully pushing him around. Then suddenly he is up to his neck in an exciting ecological mystery involving tiny endangered owls. Quirky, funny story!

Everything on a Waffle
by Polly Horvath
Primrose is sure her parents did not perish at sea in a storm, but everyone else insists she is now an orphan. Her uncle reluctantly adopts her, but her true home is the local restaurant, where everything - including fun and good advice - is served on a waffle.

How to Catch a Bogle 
by Catherine Jinks
You have to be tough on the vile streets of Victorian England, and Birdie’s tougher than she looks. Helping Alfred the monster-hunter, she lures monsters out from hiding with sweet songs. It beats hunting for scraps in the river...but things are about to get worse.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
by Jacqueline Kelly
Growing up with six brothers in rural Texas in 1899, Calpurnia would rather explore the river and watch the animals than cook and sew.  Can she follow her scientific curiosity, or will her mother keep her firmly in the kitchen?

Swindle
by Gordon Korman
Griffin got conned out of his best baseball card by bad guy Swindle. Now Griffin and his gang of misfits aim to get it back. Many things stand in the way: a guard dog, hi-tech security, and - oh yes - the fact that no one in the gang can drive. Hijinks galore!

We Are Not Eaten by Yaks
by C. Alexander London
Oliver and Celia hate adventures. They’d rather watch TV! But their parents are explorers, and now their mom is missing, so they’ve been forced into action. It’s all about to get crazy in Tibet!

Number the Stars
by Lois Lowry
In 1943, during the German occupation of Denmark, ten-year-old Annemarie learns how to be brave and courageous when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis.   

The Light Princess
by George MacDonald
A classic fairy tale of princesses, witches, and the battle between good and evil.  Beautiful, evocative language and a moving ending. The author was a major influence on Tolkien and Lewis.

Holes
by Louis Sachar
Even if you saw the movie (which is a little different), this wonderful adventure is so clever, so gripping, and so satisfying, you just have to read the book as well!  Didn’t see the movie? You’re in for a treat!

Baseball in April and Other Stories
by Gary Soto
Soto draws on his own experience of growing up in California’s Central Valley in this collection of stories that reveal big themes in the small events of daily life. These smart, tough, vulnerable kids are Latino, but their dreams and desires belong to all of us.

When You Reach Me
by Rebecca Stead
By sixth grade, Miranda and her friend Sal know how to navigate their neighborhood: where to go, and who to avoid - like the crazy guy on the corner. But then things start to go terribly wrong. Sal shuts Miranda out of his life, and mysterious messages begin to arrive. Whoever is sending them knows things nobody should know. A remarkable novel with a puzzle at its heart.

NON-FICTION

Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World                    J919.8904 S524
by Jennifer Armstrong                                 
This extraordinary true story about a doomed 1914 expedition to Antarctica reads like an adventure novel. Explorer Ernest Shackleton’s men endured unbelievable hardship.  An exciting read. 

A Really Short History of Nearly Everything                        J500
by Bill Bryson                                                   
Did you know that every atom in your body has been part of millions of organisms on its way to being you? And that if you are an average-sized kid, you have enough potential energy inside you to explode with the force of several hydrogen bombs? This book will amaze you.

Shutting Out the Sky: Life in the Tenements of New York 1880-1924        J307.764
by Deborah Hopkinson                                             
Through the true stories of five immigrants, a lost world leaps to life: the world of New York City over 100 years ago. Fascinating details and amazing photos make these stories of struggle and triumph simply unforgettable.

Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary               J614.5112
by Gail Jarrow                                                
Back in the days when typhoid killed thousands of people every year, a cook named Mary Mallon had no idea that she was spreading the dreaded disease. Part detective story, part science thriller, this book is hard to put down!

Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting                                                      J940.421
by Jim Murphy
Europe had plunged into the awful nightmare of World War I. Soldiers were dying in the trenches for a cause no one understood. Then came the first Christmas of the war, and a miracle happened. A miracle that involved a game of football.

Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy US Marshall      J363.28209 R332
by Vaunda Nelson                                           
Born into slavery in 1838, Bass Reeves’ hard life left him with a strong sense of right and wrong, which people admired. Outlaws feared the sight of him, in his wide-brimmed black hat, and twin Colt pistols on his belt, but everyone else felt safer with him around.

Woodsong                              J796.5092 P332
by Gary Paulsen
In this book, a master of adventure stories describes some of the real adventures that he has survived: flying off the back of a dogsled and down a frozen waterfall, waiting for a giant bear to kill him with one slap of a claw. Read the vivid details of experiences that inspired his award-winning writing. 

Chasing Lincoln’s Killer               J973.7092 B725
by James L. Swanson
This fast-paced thriller about the twelve days after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln follows the wild pursuit of John Wilkes Booth through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia.

The Serpent Slayer and other Stories of Strong Women                 J398.2
by Katrin Tchana                                                        
Li Chi the serpent slayer, and an old woman sly enough to outsmart the devil: just two of the 18 heroines of these stories from around the world. They are strong and resourceful women, as brave and smart as any prince or knight!

Brown Girl Dreaming                         J811.54 W898
by Jacqueline Woodson                                   
What was it like to grow up as an African American girl in the South and New York in the 60s and 70s?  Woodson’s poems tell us the story. From Jim Crow to the Civil Rights movement, each poem is a glimpse into a child’s soul, seeking her place in the world. 

In 1943, during the German occupation of Demark, ten-year-old Annemarie learns how to be brave and courageous when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis.
In 1943, during the German occupation of Demark, ten-year-old Annemarie learns how to be brave and courageous when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis.
In 1943, during the German occupation of Demark, ten-year-old Annemarie learns how to be brave and courageous when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis.
In 1943, during the German occupation of Demark, ten-year-old Annemarie learns how to be brave and courageous when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis.