Summer Reading Suggestions for Students Entering Fifth Grade
RL=Reading Level. For example, 5.2 means the reading level of a student in fifth grade, second month.
By Mass, Wendy RL 4.1, 267p
After celebrating their first nine same-day birthdays together, Amanda and Leo, having fallen out on their tenth and not speaking to each other for the last year, prepare to celebrate their eleventh birthday separately but peculiar things begin to happen as the day of their birthday begins to repeat itself over and over again.
By Wilson, Nathan RL 4.2, 289p
Twelve-year-old Henry York and his cousin Henrietta embark on a series of adventures after he discovers one hundred hidden portals to other worlds in the bedroom wall of his aunt and uncle's house.
Abner & Me
By Gutman, Dan RL 4.2, 166p
With his ability to travel through time using baseball cards and photographs, thirteen-year-old Joe and his mother go back to 1863 to ask Abner Doubleday whether he invented baseball, but instead find themselves in the middle of the Battle of Gettysburg.
The Abracadabra Kid : A Writer's Life
By Fleischman, Sid RL 5.8, 198p
The autobiography of the Newbery award-winning children's author who set out from childhood to be a magician.
Amelia Lost : The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart
By Fleming, Candace RL 6.3, 118p
Traces the life of female aviator Amelia Earhart from her childhood to her final flight, discusses the extensive search for her and her missing plane, and includes photographs, maps, handwritten notes by Amelia, and sidebars.
Among the Hidden
By Haddix, Margaret Peterson RL 4.7, 153p
In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family's farm, until another "third" convinces him that the government is wrong.
Baseball Crazy : Ten Stories That Cover All the Bases
RL 4.9, 191p
A collection of ten short stories from popular, contemporary authors that celebrate the joys of America's favorite pastime and the wonder, frustration, and delight of its fans.
Best of the Best : A Baseball Great Novel
By Green, Tim RL 4.8, 262p
Determined to play in the Little League World Series, twelve-year-old Josh struggles to concentrate on his game and be the team's leader while also trying to cope with his parents' impending divorce.
The Best School Year Ever
By Robinson, Barbara RL 5.4, 155p
The six horrible Herdmans, the worst kids in the history of the world, cause mayhem throughout the school year.
By Ursu, Anne RL 5.2, 312p
Hazel and Jack are best friends until an accident with a magical mirror and a run-in with a villainous queen leaves Hazel on her own at the threshold of an enchanted wood with hope to save Jack's life.
By Macaulay, David RL 5.8, 192p
A companion book to the PBS television series about the creation of bridges, tunnels, skyscrapers, domes, and dams, focusing on the connections between the main planning and design problems that had to be solved and the solutions that were ultimately constructed.
Bunnicula : A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery
By Howe, Deborah RL 4.9, 98p
Though scoffed at by Harold the dog, Chester the cat tries to warn his human family that their foundling baby bunny must be a vampire.
By Lasky, Kathryn RL 4.8, 226p
Soren, a barn owl that is captured and taken to a special school for orphaned owls, is befriended By elf owl Gylfie and together the two set out to discover what is really going on at St. Aegolius Academy.
The Case of the Vanishing Golden Frogs : A Scientific Mystery
By Markle, Sandra RL 5.7, 48p
Follows a team of scientists as they try to save Panamanian golden frogs, which began to disappear fifteen years ago, and looks at the reasons behind their decline.
By White, E. B. RL 4.4, 184p
Wilbur, the pig, is desolate when he discovers that he is destined to be the farmer's Christmas dinner until his spider friend, Charlotte, decides to help him.
Dear Mr. Henshaw
By Cleary, Beverly RL 5, 133p
In his letters to his favorite author, ten-year-old Leigh reveals his problems in coping with his parents' divorce, being the new boy in school, and generally finding his own place in the world.
A Dog's Life : The Autobiography of a Stray
By Martin, Ann M. RL 4.9, 182p
Squirrel, a stray puppy, tells her life story, from her nurturing mother and brother to making her own way in the world, facing busy highways, changing seasons, and humans both gentle and brutal.
The Doll People
By Martin, Ann M. RL 4.6, 256p
A family of porcelain dolls that has lived in the same house for one hundred years is taken aback when a new family of plastic dolls arrives and doesn't follow The Doll Code of Honor.
By Van Cleve, Kathleen RL 4.1, 358p
When a drought threatens her family's magical rhubarb farm, eleven-year-old Polly tries to find a way to make it rain again.
The Fabled Fifth Graders of Aesop Elementary School
By Fleming, Candace RL 4.4, 170p
Throughout their fifth-grade year, a group of rambunctious students learns fable-like lessons from extraordinary activities, singing hamsters, and eccentric teachers, led by the inimitable Mr. Jupiter.
The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester
By O'Connor, Barbara RL 4.7, 168p
After Owen captures an enormous bullfrog, names it Tooley Graham, then has to release it, he and two friends try to use a small submarine that fell from a passing train to search for Tooley in the Carter, Georgia, pond it came from, while avoiding nosy neighbor Viola.
Fearless Fernie : Hanging Out With Fernie and Me
By Soto, Gary RL 6.3, 64p
An illustrated collection of poems about two best friends and the trials of the middle school years.
The Flint Heart : A Fairy Story
By Paterson, Katherine RL 6.4, 288p
A magical amulet, created by a Stone Age magic man for an ambitious individual wishing to take control of his tribe, brings power and despair to those who touch it, and when the amulet reemerges, Charles and his sister Unity must find a way to rescue the humans, fairies, and animals from the mysterious object.
By Green, Tim RL 4.8, 244p
Troy, a sixth-grader with an unusual gift for predicting football plays before they occur, attempts to use his ability to help his favorite team, the Atlanta Falcons, but he must first prove himself to the coach and players.
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
By Konigsburg, E. L RL 5.2, 162p
Two suburban children run away from their Connecticut home and go to New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, where their ingenuity enables them to live in luxury.
By Aguirre, Jorge RL 2.7, 202p
Claudette wants nothing more than to slay a giant but her little village is too safe and quiet.
Granny Torrelli Makes Soup
By Creech, Sharon RL 4.5, 141p
With the help of her wise old grandmother, twelve-year-old Rosie manages to work out some problems in her relationship with her best friend, Bailey, the boy next door.
The Great Fire
By Murphy, Jim RL 6.5, 144p
Photographs and text, along with personal accounts of actual survivors tell the story of the great fire of 1871 in Chicago.
Gregor the Overlander
By Collins, Suzanne RL 5, 311p
When eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister are pulled into a strange underground world, they trigger an epic battle involving humans, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy.
Guinea Pig Scientists : Bold Self-Experimenters in Science and Medicine
By Dendy, Leslie A. RL 6.3, 213p
Recounts the true stories of ten scientists and medical researchers that have endured extreme hardship and discomfort in order to test new discoveries and inventions in the fields of medicine and science.
The Higher Power of Lucky
By Patron, Susan. RL 5.8, 134p
Fearing that her legal guardian plans to abandon her to return to France, ten-year-old aspiring scientist Lucky Trimble determines to run away while also continuing to seek the Higher Power that will bring stability to her life.
By Sachar, Louis. RL 5.1, 233p
As further evidence of his family's bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.
The Homework Machine
By Gutman, Dan RL 4.8, 146p
Four fifth-grade students, a geek, a class clown, a teacher's pet, and a slacker as well as their teacher and mothers, each relate events surrounding a computer programmed to complete homework assignments.
How Angel Peterson Got His Name : And Other Outrageous Tales About Extreme Sports
By Paulsen, Gary RL 6.3, 111p
Author Gary Paulsen relates tales from his youth in a small town in northwestern Minnesota in the late 1940s and early 1950s, such as skiing behind a souped-up car and imitating daredevil Evel Knievel.
By Kirby, Matthew J. RL 4.7, 325p
Princess Solveig and her siblings are trapped in a hidden fortress tucked between towering mountains and a frozen fjord, along with her best friend and an army of restless soldiers, all awaiting news of the king's victory in battle, but as they wait for winter's end and the all-encompassing ice to break, acts of treachery make it clear that a traitor lurks in their midst.
The Indian in the Cupboard
By Banks, Lynne Reid RL 5, 181p
A nine-year-old boy receives a plastic Indian, a cupboard, and a little key for his birthday and finds himself involved in adventure when the Indian comes to life in the cupboard and befriends him.
Jake and Lily
By Spinelli, Jerry RL 3.9, 355p
Twins Jake and Lily have a very close relationship, but when they turn eleven, their parents give them separate bedrooms and Jake begins to spend time with a group of neighborhood boys. Lily is devastated as she struggles to make friends, and
Jake is faced with a bully.
By Fleischman, Sid. RL 5.8, 131p
Twelve-year-old Jake sets off on an adventure through the Old West, accompanied by Jim Ugly, his father's part-mongrel, part-wolf dog, in an attempt to find out what really happened to his missing father, Sam.
Justin Case : School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters
By Vail, Rachel RL 5.5, 245p
Justin is very nervous about starting third grade and must make the best of things when he does not get the teacher he wanted, his best friend is in another class, and his favorite stuffed animal disappears.
Knights of the Kitchen Table
By Scieszka, Jon RL 5.1, 55p
Joe, Fred, and Sam are sent back in time by a magic book, and find themselves face-to-face with giants, dragons, wizards, and the Knights of the Round Table.
By King-Smith, Dick RL 5.8, 120p
A quick-witted swineherd and a pig named Lollipop are royally rewarded after they reform a spoiled princess.
The Last Holiday Concert
By Clements, Andrew. RL 5.1, 166p
Life is usually easy for popular sixth grader Hart Evans, but when his music teacher puts him in charge of the holiday concert, Hart must use all of his leadership skills to unite the other students.
Last Shot : A Final Four Mystery
By Feinstein, John. RL 4.8, 251p
After winning a basketball reporting contest, eighth graders Stevie and Susan Carol are sent to cover the Final Four tournament, where they discover that a talented player is being blackmailed into throwing the final game.
The Legend of Diamond Lil: A J.J. Tully Mystery
By Cronin, Doreen. RL 5, 125p
JJ, the search and rescue dog, is ready for a bit of rest and relaxation after solving the mystery of the missing chicks, but there is a new dog next door who is stealing the attention of Moosh and her chicks and the threat of a roaming possum keeps JJ on the alert.
Liar, Liar : The Theory, Practice, and Destructive Properties of Deception
By Paulsen, Gary. RL 5.7, 120p
Fourteen-year-old Kevin is very good at lying and doing so makes life easier, but when he finds himself in big trouble with his friends, family, and teachers, he must find a way to end his lies forever.
Liesl & Po
By Oliver, Lauren. RL 6, 307p
After her father's death, Liesl is locked away in a tiny attic room by her stepmother, where she meets Po, a lonely ghost, and Will, an alchemist's apprentice who bungles an important delivery and enlists Liesl and Po's help in setting things right.
By Lasky, Kathryn. RL 5.7, 219p
Abandoned by his pack, a baby wolf with a mysterious mark on his deformed paw survives and embarks on a journey that will change the world of the wolves of the Beyond.
Love, RuBy Lavender
By Wiles, Deborah. RL 4.2, 212p
When her quirky grandmother goes to Hawaii for the summer, nine-year-old Ruby learns to survive on her own in Mississippi by writing letters, befriending chickens as well as the new girl in town, and finally coping with her grandfather's death.
Love that Dog
By Creech, Sharon. RL 4.1, 86p
A young student, who comes to love poetry through a personal understanding of what different famous poems mean to him, surprises himself by writing his own inspired poem.
By Sage, Angie. RL 6.1, 564p
Jenna learns that she is a princess found as a baby by the man she believed was her father and now she and Septimus, who was taken at birth by the midwife, are being threatened by the evil wizard, DomDaniel who intends to finish off the entire royal line.
By Spinelli, Jerry. RL 5, 184p
After his parents die, Jeffrey Lionel Magee's life becomes legendary, as he accomplishes athletic and other feats which awe his contemporaries.
By Dahl, Roald. RL 5.2, 240p
Matilda applies her untapped mental powers to rid the school of the evil, child-hating headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, and restore her nice teacher, Miss Honey, to financial security.
The Maze of Bones
By Riordan, Rick. RL 4.5, 220p
Amy and Dan, members of the powerful Cahill family, try to uncover the thirty-nine clues which will reveal the secrets of their lineage and find out what really happened to their parents.
By Gutman, Dan. RL 4.8, 293p
On a cross-country vacation with their parents, twins Coke and Pepsi, soon to be thirteen, fend off strange assassins as they try to come to terms with their being part of a top-secret government organization known as The Genius Files.
The Mouse and the Motorcycle
By Cleary, Beverly. RL 5.6, 158p
The adventures of a boy and a little mouse who wants to ride his toy motorcycle.
Mr. and Mrs. Bunny By Detectives Extraordinaire!
By Horvath, Polly. RL 5.9, 248p
Middle-schooler Madeline's hippy parents have been kidnapped from Hornby Island, Canada, by foxes and Madeline, upon discovering that she can understand animal languages, hires two rabbit detectives to find them.
Mr. Chickee's Funny Money
By Curtis, Christopher Paul. RL 5.4, 151p
Flint Future Detective Club members Steven Carter, his friend Russell, and Russell's dog Zoopy solve the mystery of a quadrillion-dollar bill with the image of James Brown on it.
Museum of Thieves
By Tanner, Lian. RL 4.6, 312p
Goldie, an impulsive and bold twelve-year-old, escapes the oppressive city of Jewel, where children are required to wear guardchains for their protection, and finds refuge in the extraordinary Museum of Dunt, an ever-shifting world where she discovers a useful talent for thievery and mysterious secrets that threaten her city and everyone she loves.
My Life as a Book
By Tashjian, Janet. RL 4.7, 211p
Dubbed a "reluctant reader" by his teacher, twelve-year-old Derek spends summer vacation learning important lessons even though he does not complete his summer reading list.
The Night Fairy
By Schlitz, Laura Amy. RL 4.7, 117p
When Flory the night fairy's wings are accidentally broken and she cannot fly, she has to learn to do everything differently.
Night of the Twisters
By Ruckman, Ivy. RL 4.8, 153p
A fictional account of the night freakish and devastating tornadoes hit Grand Island, Nebraska, as experienced by a twelve-year-old, his family, and friends.
No More Dead Dogs
By Korman, Gordon. RL 4.9, 180p
Eighth-grade football hero Wallace Wallace is sentenced to detention attending rehearsals of the school play where, in spite of himself, he becomes wrapped up in the production and begins to suggest changes that improve not only the play but his life as well.
Oh, Rats! : The Story of Rats and People
By Marrin, Albert RL 5.1, 48p
Describes rat behavior and survival skills and aspects of their relationship with humans, including disease, rats as food, rats as pests, and the training of rats as rescuers.
The Penderwicks : A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy
By Birdsall, Jeanne. RL 4.6, 262p
While vacationing with their widowed father in the Berkshire Mountains, four lovable sisters, ages four through twelve, share adventures with a local boy, much to the dismay of his snobbish mother.
The Pepins and Their Problems
By Horvath, Polly. RL 5.4, 179p
The author speaks directly to readers, asking them to send her mental messages on how to solve the Pepin family's many problems which include having a cow who creates lemonade rather than milk and learning to cope with a competitive neighbor.
Phineas L. MacGuire…Erupts!
By Dowell, Frances O'Roark. RL 5, 167p
Fourth-grade science whiz Phineas MacGuire is forced to team up with the new boy in class on a science fair project, but the boy's quirky personality causes Phineas to wonder if they have any chance of winning.
By Northrop, Michael. RL 4.5, 247p
Sixth-grader Jack Mogens loses his nerve after getting hit by a pitch, and has to dig deep.
Ramona the Pest
By Cleary, Beverly. RL 5.5, 211p
Ramona starts kindergarten where her good intentions and uncontrollable curiosity lead her to be labeled a pest.
Ranger's Apprentice (10 titles)
Book 1: The Ruins of Gorlan
By Flanagan, John RL 7.2, 249p
When fifteen-year-old Will is rejected by battleschool, he becomes the reluctant apprentice to the mysterious Ranger Halt, and winds up protecting the kingdom from danger.
Revenge of the Whale : The True Story of the Whaleship Essex
By Philbrick, Nat RL 6.1, 164p
Recounts the 1820 sinking of the whaleship "Essex" by an enraged sperm whale and how the crew of young men survived against impossible odds. Based on the author's adult book "In the Heart of the Sea."
By Ryan, Pam Munoz. RL 4.8, 138p
A fictionalized account of Charley (Charlotte) Parkhurst who ran away from an orphanage, posed as a boy, moved to California, and fooled everyone by her appearance.
Room One : A Mystery or Two
By Clements, Andrew. RL5.1, 162p
Ted Hammond, the only sixth grader in his small Nebraska town's one-room schoolhouse, searches for clues to the disappearance of a homeless family.
By McKay, Hilary. RL 6.5, 152p
After learning that she was adopted, thirteen-year-old Saffron's relationship with her eccentric, artistic family changes, until they help her go back to Italy where she was born to find a special momento of her past.
By Codell, Esme Raji. RL 4.6, 175p
Struggling with school and her feelings since her father left, Sahara gets a fresh start with a new and unique teacher who supports her writing talents and the individuality of each of her classmates.
Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief
By Van Draanen, Wendelin. RL 4.9, 163p
Thirteen-year-old Sammy's penchant for speaking her mind gets her in trouble when she involves herself in the investigation of a robbery at the "seedy" hotel across the street from the seniors' building where she is living with her grandmother.
Sarah, Plain and Tall
By MacLachlan, Patricia. RL 3.4, 58p
When their father invites a mail-order bride to come live with them in their prairie home, Caleb and Anna are captivated by their new mother and hope that she will stay.
By Haddix, Margaret Peterson. RL 4.5, 91p
When their parents begin saying the wrong thing every time six-year-old Sukey and her older brothers misbehave, the children discover that it is a plot and fight back with their own wrong phrases.
The Shakespeare Stealer
By Blackwood, Gary L. RL 5.5, 216p
A young orphan boy is ordered by his master to infiltrate Shakespeare's acting troupe in order to steal the script of "Hamlet," but he discovers instead the meaning of friendship and loyalty.
By Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. RL 5, 137p
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.
The Sinking of the Titanic, 1912
By Tarshis, Lauren. RL 3.9, 96p
Ten-year-old George Calder's life changes forever as he, his little sister, Phoebe, and their Aunt Daisy set out across the ocean on the "Titanic" in 1912.
[Set/Series] Sisters Grimm (10 titles)
Book 1;The Fairy-Tale Detectives
By Buckley, Michael. RL 5.2, 284p
Orphans Sabrina and Daphne Grimm are sent to live with an eccentric grandmother that they have always believed to be dead.
By Cleary, Beverly. RL 5.4, 156p
The happy home life of Socks, the cat, is disrupted by the addition of a new baby to the household.
Squirt! : The Most Interesting Book You'll Ever Read About Blood
By Romanek, Trudee RL 5.7, 40p
Provides information about the circulatory system, discussing what blood is made from, the role of the heart, how organs clean blood, and other related topics, and includes quick facts.
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
By Angleberger, Tom. RL 4.7, 141p
Sixth-grader Tommy and his friends describe their interactions with a paper finger puppet of Yoda, worn by their weird classmate Dwight, as they try to figure out whether or not the puppet can really predict the future. Includes instructions for making Origami Yoda.
Sweethearts of Rhythm : The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World
By Nelson, Marilyn RL 5.1
Colorful images and song lyrics tell the story of the Sweethearts of Rhythm, an all-girl swing band that performed across the country during World War II.
By Korman, Gordon. RL 4.9, 252p
After unscrupulous collector S. Wendell Palamino cons him out of a valuable baseball card, sixth-grader Griffin Bing puts together a band of misfits to break into Palomino's heavily guarded store and steal the card back, planning to use the money to finance his father's failing invention, the Smart Pick fruit picker.
A Tale Dark & Grimm
By Gidwitz, Adam. RL 4.6, 256p
Follows Hansel and Gretel as they walk out of their own story and into eight more tales, encountering such wicked creatures as witches, along with kindly strangers and other helpful folk. Based in part on the Grimms' fairytales.
The Teacher's Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts
By Peck, Richard. RL 5,190p
In rural Indiana in 1904, fifteen-year-old Russell's dreams of quitting school and joining a wheat threshing crew are disrupted when his older sister takes over the teaching at his one-room schoolhouse after mean old Myrt Arbuckle "hauls off and dies."
Titanic : Voices From the Disaster
By Hopkinson, Deborah. RL 7.6, 289p
Draws on stories from survivors and archival photographs to describe the history of the "Titanic" from its launch to its sinking.
By Horvath, Polly. RL 5.4, 140p
Eccentric Aunt Sally comes from Canada to babysit the Anderson children while their parents are on a trip to Paris, and each night, the bedtime story adds another piece to a very suspicious family history.
The View From Saturday
By Konigsburg, E. L. RL 4.8, 163p
Four students, with their own individual stories, develop a special bond and attract the attention of their teacher, a paraplegic, who chooses them to represent their sixth-grade class in the Academic Bowl competition.
Waiting for the Magic
By MacLachlan, Patricia. RL 3, 143p
In absence of their father, a brother and sister adopt four dogs and a cat in an attempt to save their family.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
By Lin, Grace. RL 5.5, 278p
Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, buys a magical goldfish, and then joins a dragon who cannot fly on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon in hopes of bringing life to Fruitless Mountain and freshness to Jade River.
The Whipping Boy
By Fleischman, Sid. RL 4.5, 90p
A bratty prince and his whipping boy have many adventures when they inadvertently trade places after becoming involved with dangerous outlaws.
By LaFaye, A. RL 5, 144p
After breaking his leg, eleven-year-old Nate feels useless because he cannot work on the family farm in nineteenth-century Nebraska, so when his father brings home an orphan boy to help with the chores, Nate feels even worse.
The Year of the Dog: A Novel
By Lin, Grace. RL 4.8, 134p
Frustrated at her seeming lack of talent for anything, a young Taiwanese American girl sets out to apply the lessons of the Chinese Year of the Dog, those of making best friends and finding oneself, to her own life.