Fifth Grade Summer Reading
Summer reading is a great way to get your child interested in books, on his or her own terms. For the best books for fifth grade summer reading, we turned to the nation’s finest independent bookstores to get their favorites, from classics to new releases, swashbuckling adventures to the just plain fun, silly or sweet. Here are their recommendations for a summertime full of fantastic books:
The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler by E. L. Konigsburg
Banished from camp, Margaret is free to spend the summer with her eccentric Hungarian great-uncles in their unique house, complete with three unconventional clock towers. To them, the towers are a symbol of beauty, but not everyone feels that same way. Can Margaret pull off her plan to save the towers? Recommended by Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO. Where to buy.
The Time Travelers (Book 1 of the Gideon Trilogy) by Linda Buckley-Archer
When two 21st century kids fall through the sky into 18th century London, and the mysterious Tar Man takes off with their time travel device, they must ally with a thief to stave off disaster. Recommended by Powell’s Books, Portland, OR. Where to buy.
The Secret Book Club (Main Street Series) by Ann M. Martin
Flora and Ruby’s second summer living with their grandmother in Camden Falls brings anonymous gifts of books to them as well as their friend Olivia and Nikki. Recommended by Prairie Lights Books, Iowa City, IA. Where to buy.
A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban
I can't imagine the year without this delightful and wholesome story of little girl who fantasizes about being a child prodigy pianist. What ensues is a story you're not likely to forget and a book you'll want to share with every dreamer you know. Recommended by 57th Street Books, Chicago, IL. Where to buy.
Rinkitink in Oz by L. Frank Baum
Prince Inga, King Rinkitink, and Bilbil the talking goat travel underground where they must overcome the cruel Nome King, save the captives, and of course, travel to Oz. Recommended by Linden Tree Children’s Recordings and Books, Los Altos, CA. Where to buy.
The House of Power (Atherton) by Patrick Carman
In a unique world this science fiction adventure tells of a young boy who has to overcome adversity to save his people, both friend and foe, from destruction. Recommended by Kepler’s Bookstore, Menlo Park, CA. Where to buy.
Want to see more from Education.com’s book list? Here’s a collection of our favorite books for fifth grade:
King Matt the First by Janusz Korczak (Algonquin Books, 2004)
A boy king attempts to run a country of children. Whether Matt is attempting a new reform involving the distribution of chocolate to all of his citizens, running to do battle on a war-torn front under a false name while a lifelike doll reigns in his stead, arranging for his population to attend summer camp or on a diplomatic mission to the land of the cannibals, every chapter ends with a cliffhanger. In my opinion, one of the best children’s books of all time.
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (Scholastic Inc, 2002)
A larger-than-life hero confronts racism while living on the street. This story of a boy’s quest for family without a color line has amazing heart.
A Drowned Maiden's Hair by Laura Amy Schlitz (Candlewick, 2006)
Living as the daughter in a family of spinster spiritualists, Maud Flynn is being preened to play the part of a ghost child scheduled to appear in staged seances in order to bilk a bereaved millionairess of her money. Detailed, descriptive writing delivers the reader to this weird world; we can practically smell the antiquity of the room, see the dust mites floating in the light from the ragged damask curtains that shroud a place out of time, and feel the stormy turmoil of Maud's own awakening as a moral person.
Best Shorts: Favorite Short Stories for Sharing by Avi and Carolyn Shute (Houghton Mifflin, 2006)
The collection is just brilliant, pulse-perfect and page-turning. It includes Louis Untemeyer's "Dog of Pompeii" about a pet who gives his all to save a blind boy during a volcanic eruption, "Rogue Wave" by Theodore Taylor which will leave readers as breathless as if they were watching any movie on the big screen, ghostly stories, classic stories, multicultural stories... It's one of those rare books that makes anyone who reads it a better person, and anyone who reads it aloud a better teacher.
The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois (Puffin Books, 2001)
Professor William Waterman Sherman plans to spend his retirement crossing the Pacific in his hot-air balloon, but instead comes down on a volcanic island inhabited by inventors and gourmets. A truly imaginative story that will have children’s senses of possibility flying high.
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
Miri may live within the walls of a kingdom, but she's anything but royal. One day, news arrives of a prophesy stating the kingdom's new princess will come from her tiny village. All eligible girls are forced to leave for a new academy, to prepare for the prince's arrival. Full of rich details and strong female characters, this is the story of girls fighting to figure out who they are, in the face of incredible adversity. It also highlights the importance of something most kids of this age take for granted: the right to a decent education and the power of literacy.
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
In this children's classic, 12-year-old Claudia Kincaid decides to teach her parents a lesson by running away from home. After researching the matter thoroughly, she settles on the Metropolitan Museum of Art as the perfect hideaway, and drags her little brother Jamie along for the ride. What follows is an absorbing tale of their life within museum walls, as they blend in with tour groups by day, fish coins out of the fountain for lunch money, and sleep on Marie Antoinette's four-poster bed by night. This smart and unique story has endured for a reason: its blend of adventure, mystery, antiquity, and kid-power make it a must for every young reader's shelf.
Dinotopia: A Land Apart From Time by James Gurney
Have your or your ever visited Dinotopia? If you had, you would remember. This beautifully imagined island world, in which humans and dinosaurs live together side by side, has been the stuff of reader's dreams ever since the first book, Dinotopia: A Land Apart From Time, was published in 1992. Written and illustrated in stunning oil paint by James Gurney, the series has inspired a huge following of fans, children and adults alike.
When the Shadbush Blooms by Carla Messinger with Susan Katz, illustrated by David Kanietakeron Fadden T
his unique book shows the side by side lives of two American Indian girls, one living 400 years ago, one living in contemporary times.
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