Fifth Grade Summer Reading List (page 3)

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based on 42 ratings
May 16, 2011
Updated on Mar 31, 2014

Our 2009 Fifth Grade Summer Reading Picks

The Mousehunter by Alex Milway. Mice may not be too popular in our world, but in Emiline's world, people don't run from them screaming: they collect them! Mousehunters roam to the far reaches of the earth, seeking out the most unique breeds - from the fearsome Sharpclaw to the rope weaving Rigger mouse. Twelve-year-old Emiline dreams of becoming a famous mousehunter, and one day, fate intervenes when she's given the chance to join the crew of Captain Devlin Drewshank and hunt down the infamous pirate Mousebeard. What follows is a high sea adventure full of mythical sea creatures, double-crossing pirates, mysterious islands, and of course, incredibly interesting mice. (Little Brown Young Readers, 2009, $15.99) 

Ranger's Apprentice Book One: The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan. Choosing Day is the most important day in the life of a castle ward-- the day when Baron Arald gives each of the ward orphans the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to apply to be apprenticed to a master craftsperson. When Will gets chosen to become a Ranger, he's horrified. Mysterious, magical, and somewhat scary, Rangers (particularly his new master, Halt) have always made him nervous. But there's a lot more to being a Ranger than stalking around in the shadows, and soon Will learns that the kingdom's safety rests in their hands. Your child will thrill to the unfolding of this heart-poundingly great adventure. And the best news? There are half a dozen sensational followups in the series, once she's gobbled this one up. Book 6: The Siege of the Macindaw, a race of a read, full of humor, friendship, and nail-biting tension, will be released this August. We dare even the most reluctant fifth grade reader to resist this series! (Puffin, 2006, $7.99)

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly. It's the summer of 1899, and 11-year-old Calpurnia Tate does not want to be knitting, cooking, and preparing to be a respectable lady. She'd much rather be a naturalist, exploring the streams and fields of her Texas home with her eccentric grandfather. The only girl in a family of six brothers, Calpurnia has her work cut out for her, as she must contend with piano lessons, a bevy of brothers wooing her best friend, and the societal norms that dictate what girls can and can't do, all the while trying to get a new species recognized by the National Geographic Society. This delightful and rich debut novel blends historical fiction with a curious, clear-eyed, and extremely funny female protagonist. A straight up great read. (Henry Holt and Co., 2009, $16.99) 

Toby Alone by Timothee de Fombelle. Toby is only one and a half millimeters tall, but he has some big problems. Toby's father, a famous scientist, has discovered an inconvenient truth about the oak tree they inhabit--the tree's lifegiving sap is running out due in part to over-development. Now Toby is on the run from the builders who control things, with a mission to save his parent's lives and that of the tree itself. For kids just wanting to enjoy a swashbuckling, albeit dark, adventure--it's all in there, just add imagination. For kids ready and willing for allegory--this tale presents a thoughtful look at the exploitation of natural resources. Originally published in France in 2006 and already translated into 22 languages, this is one huge adventure. (Candlewick Press, 2008, $11.42)

39 Clues: Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson. Siblings Dan and Amy Cahill are on a mission to find clues to unlock the secret of their family's incredible history, and make them the most powerful people in the world. The only catch? They're competing with a very large, and very dangerous, extended family. In this fourth installment of the acclaimed 39 Clues series, Dan and Amy, betrayed by their cousins and abandoned by their uncle, jet off to Egypt on the trail of another clue. On arriving, they get a message from their dead grandmother. Should they trust the message, or disregard it? Like previous books in the series, this one features a healthy portion of history, and a fascinating multimedia component that includes collectible cards and an online world where your child can get in on the clue chasing. (Scholastic, 2009, $7.79) 

The Black Book of Secrets by F.E. Higgins. Ludlow Fitch escapes his rotten life in the big city, by flinging himself onto the back of a carriage heading for the remote countryside. He arrives in the village of Pagus Parvus, and gets hired as the assistant to a mysterious pawnbroker-- a man who pays people for their deepest darkest secrets. Ludlow's job is to write the villagers' secrets down in an ancient leatherbound book. But when the town's richest man decides the pawnbroker must be stopped, both Ludlow and his mentor are in grave danger. Fifth graders will love this suspenseful tale, but parents, breathe easy-- while it's full of danger and anticipation, its bark is worse than its bite. There's nothing here to give your child nightmares...just enough danger to keep him under the covers with a flashlight, turning pages like mad! (Feiwel and Friends, 2007, $14.95) 

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