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Suggested Realistic Fiction for 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.

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni describes her first summer in the town of Naomi, Florida, and all the good things that happen to her because of her big ugly dog Winn-Dixie. This Newbery Honor Winner was also made into a movie in 2005.

Everything on a waffle by Polly Horvath
Also available in: e-book

Eleven-year-old Primrose, living in a small fishing village in British Columbia, recounts her experiences and all that she learns about human nature and the unpredictability of life in the months after her parents are lost at sea.

Also available in: audiobook | e-audiobook

When suburban siblings Claudia and Jamie Kincaid run away from home, they settle into hiding out at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue.  The museum purchased it at an auction for a bargain price of $250, but it could be the work of the Renaissance master Michelangelo, and worth millions. Is it? Or isn't it? Claudia is determined to find out.

Hope is a ferris wheel by Robin Herrera

After moving from Oregon to a trailer park in California, ten-year-old Star participates in a poetry club, where she learns some important lessons about herself and her own hopes and dreams for the future.

To the constant disappointment of his mother and his teachers, Joey has trouble paying attention or controlling his mood swings when his prescription meds wear off and he starts getting worked up and acting wired.

Lunch money by Andrew Clements
Also available in: audiobook | e-audiobook

Twelve-year-old Greg, who has always been good at moneymaking projects, is surprised to find himself teaming up with his lifelong rival, Maura, to create a series of comic books to sell at school.

The misfits by James Howe
Also available in: e-audiobook

Four students who do not fit in at their small-town middle school decide to create a third party for the student council elections to represent all students who have ever been called names.

Roller girl by Victoria Jamieson

In this graphic novel adventure, a girl discovers roller derby right as she and her best friend are growing apart. Fans of Raina Telgemeier's style will enjoy this book.  If you're looking for more in this vein, check Thorndyke's blog post.

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Also available in: audiobook | e-audiobook

When he finds a lost beagle in the hills behind his West Virginia home, Marty tries to hide it from his family and the dog's real owner, a mean-spirited man known to shoot deer out of season and to mistreat his dogs. Read the book, then try the film adaptation.

Three bird summer by Sara St. Antoine

Anticipating a quiet summer at his grandmother's lake cabin when his family makes different plans, Adam befriends girl-next-door Alice, who proves to have a sense of humor and adventure when she accompanies him on a treasure hunt.