Fifth Grade Reading List


  • Applegate, Katherine. The One and Only Ivan – Ivan is an easygoing gorilla living at Top Mall and Video Arcade.  He has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain.  He rarely misses his life in the jungle, until Ruby arrives.
  • Buckley, Michael. The Sisters Grimm (series) – Orphans Sabrina and Daphne Grimm are sent to live with an eccentric grandmother that they have always believed to be dead.
  • Colfer, Chris. Land of Stories (series– Alex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change.  When the twins’ grandmother gives them a treasured fairy-tale book, they have no idea they’re about to enter a land beyond all imagining: the Land of Stories, where fairy tales are real.
  • Curtis, Christopher Paul. The Mighty Miss Malone – Deza is the smartest in her class in Gary, Indiana. But, the Great Depression hit Gary hard, and jobs are difficult to come by. When her father leaves to find work, Deza, Mother, and her older brother Jimmie go in search of him.
  • Day, Christine. I Can Make This Promise – All her life, Edie has known that her mom was adopted. One day, she and her friends uncover a box in the attic that contains clues that might help her uncover her family secrets and find her own Native American identity.
  • DuPrau, Jeanne. The City of Ember (series) – The city of Ember was built underground as a last refuge for the human race. Now Lina must decipher a message to save the city.
  • Flanagan, John. The Ranger’s Apprentice (series) – When Will is rejected by battleschool, he becomes the reluctant apprentice to the mysterious Ranger Halt.
  • George, Jean Craighead. My Side of the Mountain – A boy relates his adventures and struggles for survival during the year he spends living alone in the Catskill Mountains.
  • Giff, Patricia Reilly. Eleven – When Sam—who can barely read—discovers an old newspaper clipping, it brings forth memories from his past.
  • Graff, Lisa. The Thing About Georgie – Georgie’s dwarfism causes problems, but he can always rely on his parents, his best friend, and classmate Jeanie the Meanie’s teasing—until a surprising announcement.
  • Harris, Neil Patrick. The Magic Misfits (Series) – Street magician Carter runs away and teams up with five other like-minded illusionists. Together, using teamwork and magic, they must save the town of Mineral Wells.
  • Kim, Jessica. Stand Up, Yumi Chung! – 11-year-old Yumi Chung wants to be a comedian. Instead of focusing on comedy, though, Yumi’s parents enroll her in test-prep to help qualify for a scholarship that would help her family in a time of hardship at their family-owned restaurant.
  • LaRocca, Rajani. Red, White, and Whole – Reha feels like she lives between two worlds – school, where she’s the only Indian American student, and home, with her family traditions and holidays. When Reha finds out her mother is sick, she must lean on love to help her through. This novel is written in verse.
  • Law, Ingrid. Savvy – Recounts the adventures of Mibs Beaumont, whose 13th birthday has revealed her “savvy” – a magical power unique to each member of her family.
  • Lowry, Lois. The Willoughbys – In this tongue-in-cheek take on classic themes in children’s literature, the four Willoughby children set about to become “deserving orphans.”
  • Muñoz Ryan, Pam. Esperanza Rising – Esperanza thought she’d always live on her family’s ranch in Mexico. However, a sudden tragedy forces her and her Mama to flee to California, where she isn’t ready for hard work and the financial struggles caused by the Great Depression. Esperanza must find a way to rise above!
  • Patterson, James and Alexander, Kwame. Becoming Muhammad Ali – Cassius Clay began training as an amateur boxer at age 12. Before long, he won his first Golden Gloves and began his transformation into the incredible Muhammad Ali. But, Cassius’ life wasn’t always easy – he struggled and overcame challenges on his discovery of boxing. This biographical novel is written in prose and verse.
  • Pérez, Celia C. The First Rule of Punk – Maria Luisa loves rock music, skateboarding, zines and Soyrizo. She doesn’t like cilantro, and she doesn’t like starting over at a new school, either. Maria Luisa, otherwise known as Malú, must figure out how to make Chicago her new home.
  • Raúf, Onjali Q. The Boy at the Back of the Class – Nine-year-old Ahmet, a Syrian refugee, fills the empty seat at the back of Mrs. Khan’s classroom. The whole class is curious about this new boy. After learning of his story, a group of classmates band together to reunite Ahmet with his loved ones.
  • Selznick, Brian. Wonderstruck – Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother’s room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.
  • Urban, Linda. A Crooked Kind of Perfect – Ten-year-old Zoe Elias, who longs to play the piano but must resign herself to learning the organ instead, finds that her musicianship has a positive impact on her family and friends.
  • Yep, Laurence and Ryder, Joanne. A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans – A story about dragons with a twist: Miss Drake (the dragon) has a new human pet.

Graphic Novels

  • Gownley, Jimmy. Amelia Rules (series) – Comic stories featuring Amelia and her fourth-grade friends, the Gathering of Awesome Super Pals, aka known as G.A.S.P.
  • Gaiman, Neil and Russell, P. Craig. Coraline – When Coraline steps through a door in her family’s new house, she finds another house strangely similar to her own (only better). But things are not as terrific as they seem.


  • Furstinger, Nancy. Paws of Courage: True Tales of Heroic Dogs that Protect and Serve – Whether helping police protect and serve or accompanying soldiers on missions abroad, dogs serve in the line of duty and under fire. The hero dogs featured in this collection are profiled with stunning photos and inspiring tales of bravery, friendship, heroism, and devotion.
  • McElderry Book of Greek Myths – Walk among the gods and goddesses, men and monsters, in this enchanting volume of classic Greek myths! Here are twelve of the most beloved legends of Greek mythology, from Pandora and her dreaded box to Icarus with his wings of wax, and, of course, greedy, gold-fingered King Midas.
  • Mallory, Kenneth. Diving to a Deep-Sea Volcano – The underwater mountains of the Atlantic ocean is where 95 percent of the volcanic activity on earth occurs.  It is also where the Scientist Rich Lutz has tracked the remarkable evolution of bizarre creatures that live there.
  • Montgomery, Heather L. Something Rotten: A Fresh Look at Roadkill – From biologists who use the corpses of Tasmanian devils to investigate cures for cancer, to a scientist who discovered a whole new species of bird from a single wing, to a boy rebuilding animal bodies from the bones up, to a restaurant that serves animal remnants, a wildlife researcher discovers that death isn’t the end for these creatures.
  • National Geographic. Weird But True Sports: 300 Wacky Facts About Awesome Athletics – Everything has its weird side-even sports! In this book, delve into wacky stats, facts, and stories in sports.
  • Tanaka, Shelley. Amelia Earhart: The Legend of the Lost Aviator – Ever since Amelia Earhart and her plane disappeared on July 2, 1937, people have wanted to know more about this remarkable woman. This book follows the charismatic aviator from her first sight of an airplane at the age of ten to the last radio transmission she made before she vanished.
  • Weatherford, Carole Boston. Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom – Through poetry, the author shares Henry Brown’s story from slavery to freedom.
  • Woodford, Chris. Cool Stuff Exploded – Images and fold-out pages reveal the components of a host of inventions, objects and gadgets and how they work.

*The above suggested texts cover a wide variety of topics and genres. Another good place to find quality text is at your local library so consider visiting often! As we know, student choice and interest drive a passion for the love of reading.