fifth grade

Sometimes we just want to read about what's familiar or what's possible. Here are some suggestions for books that feature a high level of realism. You won't find many dragons or wizards or outer space adventures here, but you will find stories about things that really could happen. Books are suggested for Fifth Grade, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

To some kids, school means homework, bus rides, or band practice. To others it means bullies, tough teachers, or pranking the substitute. In this collection, authors describe a standout story from their school days. 

Crush by Svetlana Chmakova

Jorge seems to have it all together. He's big enough that nobody really messes with him, but he's also a genuinely sweet guy with a solid, reliable group of friends. The only time he ever really feels off his game is when he crosses paths with a certain girl... But when the group dynamic among the boys starts to shift, will Jorge be able to balance what his friends expect of him versus what he actually wants?

 

Ready to hide under the covers to avoid the bumps and spooks outside your window? Here's a collection of spine-tingling stories. Books are suggested for Fifth Grade, but remember that each reader is different and might find something interesting at another level.

The dead boys by Royce Buckingham

Timid twelve-year-old Teddy Mathews and his mother move to a small, remote desert town in eastern Washington, where the tree next door, mutated by nuclear waste, eats children and the friends Teddy makes turn out to be dead.

Doll bones by Holly Black

Zach, Alice, and Poppy, friends from a Pennsylvania middle school who have long enjoyed acting out imaginary adventures with dolls and action figures, embark on a real-life quest to Ohio to bury a doll made from the ashes of a dead girl.

 

Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Explore these fascinating stories about real people. Books are suggested for Fifth Grade, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

Biographical sketches chronicle the contributions of enslaved and free blacks during the Revolutionary War, including Prince Hall, who organized the first branch of black Freemasons, and Richard Allen, who founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Who was at the forefront of women's right to vote? We know a few famous names, like Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, but what about so many others from diverse backgrounds--black, Asian, Latinx, Native American, and more--who helped lead the fight for suffrage? 

As the weather gets colder and activities move inside, you may find yourself with some extra time on your hands. Audiobooks listed below range from 21 minutes long to 9 hours long with the majority in the 4-5 hour range. These books can be enjoyed alone or together. We invite you to enjoy one of these fresh new audiobooks at home or while traveling this chilly season. 

Also available in: print

 

Put on your detective cap and get sleuthing with one of these mystery stories.  Books are suggested for Fifth Grade, but remember that each reader is different and might find something interesting at another level.

The case of the empty crates by Steven Brezenoff

A local politician and millionaire is donating the money for a new wing for the Capitol City Air and Space Museum, which will exhibit some of the earliest devices for astronomical observation; but Amal Farah, daughter of one of the Museum's scientists, discovers that the crates supposedly containing the telescopes are empty, and she and her friends set out to investigate.

Amateur ghost expert Eliza, thirteen, joins her botanist mother on a job in a very old flower shop, where each investigates some highly unusual things.

 

Interested in reading a story that takes place in a different time period? Try checking out one of these historic tales. Books are suggested for Fifth Grade, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

The boy who dared by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

In October, 1942, seventeen-year-old Helmuth Hübener, imprisoned for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets, recalls his past life and how he came to dedicate himself to bring the truth about Hitler and the war to the German people.

Bud, not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
Also available in: large print

Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father--the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.

 

Looking for a good read in a comic book format? Try checking out one of these daring graphic novels. Books are suggested for Fourth Grade, but remember that each reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

Gene understands stories - comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins. But Gene doesn't get sports. As a kid, his friends called him "Stick" and every basketball game he played ended in pain. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it's all anyone can talk about. The men's varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that's been decades in the making. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships. Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he's seen on a comic book page. He knows he has to follow this epic to its end. What he doesn't know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons's lives, but his own life as well.

Major Impossible by artist 1976- Nathan Hale

John Wesley Powell always had the spirit of adventure in him. As a young man, he traveled all over the United States exploring. When the Civil War began, Powell went to fight for the Union, and even after he lost most of his right arm, he continued to fight until the war was over. In 1869, he embarked with the Colorado River Exploring Expedition--ten men in four boats--to float through the Grand Canyon. Over the course of three months, the explorers lost their boats and supplies, nearly drowned, and were in peril on multiple occasions. Ten explorers went in, but only six came out. Powell would come to be known as one of the most epic explorers in history!

Looking for action, adventure, or survival? Try checking out one of these daring tales. Books are suggested for Fifth Grade, but remember that each Reader is different, and might find something interesting at another level.

Beryl : a Pig's Tale by Jane Simmons

Tired of being mistreated and cooped up, Beryl the piglet escapes her farm and meets a group of wild pigs, whose settlement splits up over the decision of whether to let her stay.  With her new "family," she sets out to find a new home.

The Contest by Gordon Korman

Four climbers, winners of an American Junior Alpine Association contest, vie to become the youngest person ever to reach the peak of Mount Everest.

 

Looking for something to read that will tickle your funny bone?  Try one of these humorous books.  Some titles will give you a chuckle, while others will make you burst out with laughter.  Books are suggested for Fifth Grade, but remember that each reader is different and might find something interesting at another level.

Why did the chicken cross the road? TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!! Jesse and his friends hatch a master plan... but can a gang of kids defeat an army of angry robot chickens?

Twelve-year-old Tom Elm, his raccoon friend Roderick, Percival, Abbey, and Barclay Bone, warrior-priest Randolf, and forest-woman Lorimar join in a quest to find the pieces of the Spark that can save Dreaming--and the Waking World--from a Darkness created by the Nacht.

 

The following titles may be enjoyed by Fifth Graders. All readers are at different levels and have different interests, so not all titles will appeal to, or be appropriate for, all readers. For additional recommendations ask at the Children's Reference Desk.

Fiction

Fiction books for Fifth Graders can be found in a variety of locations, including J FICTION and KIDS GRAPHIC NOVEL. Click on each title for location and availability.

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