Books for 5th Graders

The following titles are appropriate for those reading at a 5th Grade level. Click the titles to locate or reserve a book.

J Fiction Books

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
After strange events start to happen and a precious Vermeer painting disappears, two 11-year-olds combine their talents to solve an international art scandal.

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
While vacationing with their father in the Berkshire Mountains, four sisters share adventures with a local boy, much to the dismay of his snobbish mother. (Part of the Penderwicks series)

Airman by Eoin Colfer
Conor, who was imprisoned in the diamond mines when Bonvilain overthrew the monarchy, engineers an aerial escape that leads to a wild melee.

How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Adventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan by catching and training a dragon. (Part of the How To Train Your Dragon series)

The Watsons Go To Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
The ordinary routines of the Watsons, an African-American family living in Michigan, are drastically changed after they visit Grandma in Alabama during the summer of 1963.

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Considered by many to be mentally handicapped, a brilliant, fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
Twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs in order to be a messenger and run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions. (Part of the Books of Ember series)

The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich
Omakayas, a seven-year-old Native American girl of the Ojibwa tribe, lives through the joys of summer and the perils of winter on an island in Lake Superior in 1847. (Part of the Birchbark House series)

Football Genius by Tim Green
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. (Part of the Football Genius series)

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
Eleven-year-old Harriet keeps notes on her classmates and neighbors in a secret notebook, but when some of the students read the notebook, they seek revenge.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs books for a living, can “read” fictional characters to life after one of those characters abducts them both. (Part of the Inkheart series)

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos
To the constant disappointment of his mother and his teachers, Joey has trouble paying attention. When his prescription meds wear off, he starts getting wired! (Part of the Joey Pigza series)

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George
Orphaned after a fever epidemic, Creel befriends a dragon and unknowingly inherits an object that can either save or destroy her kingdom. (Part of the Dragon Slippers series)

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
A dark, humorous retelling of some of our favorite Grimm’s fairytales, starring Hansel and Gretel.

Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix
When Jonah and Chip find out that they were discovered on a plane that appeared out of nowhere, full of babies and no adults, they realize that they have uncovered a mystery involving time travel. (Part of the Missing series)

Penny From Heaven by Jennifer Holm
During the summer of 1953, 12-year-old Penny gains new insights into herself and her family while also learning a secret about her father’s death.

Redwall by Brian Jacques
When the peaceful life of Redwall Abbey is shattered by the arrival of an evil rat and his villains, a young mouse attempts to find a sword that will help them destroy the enemy. (Part of the Redwall series)

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
A journey through a land where Milo learns the importance of words and numbers provide a cure for his boredom.

Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones by Derek Landry
When 12-year-old Stephanie inherits her weird uncle’s estate, she must join forces with Skulduggery Pleasant, a skeleton image, to save the world from the Faceless Ones.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
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.

Rules by Cynthia Lord
Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, 12-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence, but her world is further complicated by a friendship with a young paraplegic.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities, must face his fears as he goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
After a plane crash, 13-year-old Brian spends 54 days in the wilderness, learning to survive with the aid of a hatchet given to him by his mother.

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
A young boy living in the Ozarks achieves his heart’s desire when he becomes the owner of two redbone hounds and teaches them to be champion hunters.

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex
When her mother is abducted by aliens, 11-year old Tip hops in the family car and heads south to find her and meets an alien mechanic who agrees to help her and save the planet from disaster.

Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt
As a 14-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends, an abusive father, and a lousy older brother, Doug Swieteck has no luck until he finds an ally in Lil Spicer.

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Having lost his mother and his hearing, Ben leaves his Minnesota home to seek the father he never knew in New York City, and meets Rose. Ben’s story is told in words; Rose’s in pictures.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
After passing a series of mind-bending tests, four children are selected for a mission that requires them to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened. (Part of the Mysterious Benedict Society series)

Countdown by Deborah Wiles
It’s 1962, and everyone is living in fear of nuclear war. 12-year-old Franny is just trying to live her life-dealing with her brother, fitting in with her family, and being a normal girl.

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
In 1968, Delphine and her sisters travel to California to visit their mother they hardly know, only to find out their mom is too busy and wants them to attend Black Panther summer camp.

J Award Books

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Michigan during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father. (Winner of the Newbery Medal)

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
An orphaned boy is raised by ghosts and other beings of the graveyard. (Winner of the Newbery Medal)

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Meg and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg’s father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government. (Winner of the Newbery Medal)

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
In 1943, during the German occupation of Denmark, 10-year-old Annemarie learns how to be brave and courageous when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis. (Winner of the Newbery Medal)

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the game show, “The $20,000 Pyramid,” Miranda tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes that seems to defy the laws of time and space. (Winner of the Newbery Medal)