Great Books for Fifth and Sixth Grade

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GREAT BOOKS FOR 5th AND 6th GRADE 

 

Chapter Books

Folk & Fairy Tales

Non-Fiction

Poetry

 

 

Chapter Books

 

 

 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott          502 pages

Chronicles the humorous and sentimental four March sisters as they grow into young ladies in nineteenth-century New England.   Check our catalogue 

 

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander           217 pages

Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper to a famous oracular sow, sets out on a hazardous mission to save the land of Prydain from the evil forces of the Horned King.   Check our catalogue

 

Skellig by David Almond            182 pages

Unhappy about his baby sister's illness and the chaos of moving into a dilapidated old house, Michael retreats to the garage and finds a mysterious stranger who is something like a bird and something like an angel.   Check our catalogue

 

Whales on Stilts by M.T. Anderson           188 pages

Can Lily, with her two best friends, Katie and Jasper, foil a plan to conquer the world by mind-controlled whales on stilts with laser beam eyes?   Check our catalogue

 

Crispin: the Cross of Lead by Avi         262 pages

Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in fourteenth-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret.   Check our catalogue 

 

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt             139 pages

The Tuck family is confronted with an agonizing situation when they discover that a ten-year-old girl and a malicious stranger now share their secret about a spring whose water prevents one from ever growing any older.   Check our catalogue

 

Are you there God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume       149 pages

Faced with the difficulties of growing up and choosing a religion, a twelve-year-old girl talks over her problems with her own private God.   Check our catalogue

 

The Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston           157 pages

Tolly comes to live with his great-grandmother at the ancient house of Green Knowe and becomes friends with three children who lived there in the seventeenth century.   Check our catalogue 

 

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall              262 pages

While vacationing with their widowed father, four young sisters share adventures with a young boy, much to the dismay of his snobbish mother.   Check our catalogue

 

Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink             270 pages

Growing up in frontier Wisconsin, red-headed tomboy Caddie prevents a massacre and survives a prairie fire.   Check our catalogue

 

Bingo Brown and the Language of Love by Betsy Byars          132 pages

As twelve-year-old Bingo Brown strives for the triumphs of today and steels himself against the tribulations of tomorrow, he discovers that he will have to undergo a few more trials and triumphs before growing up.   Check our catalogue

 

Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary            133 pages

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.   Check our catalogue

 

The Jacket by Andrew Clements               89 pages

An incident at school forces sixth grader Phil Morelli, a white boy, to become aware of racial discrimination and segregation, and to seriously consider if he himself is prejudiced.   Check our catalogue

 

My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier         216 pages

Recounts the tragedy that strikes the Meeker family during the Revolution when one son joins the rebel forces while the rest of the family tries to stay neutral in a Tory town.   Check our catalogue

 

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper        216 pages

On his eleventh birthday Will Stanton discovers that he is the last of the Old Ones, destined to seek the six magical Signs that will enable the Old Ones to triumph over the evil forces of the Dark.   Check our catalogue

 

Bloomability by Sharon Creech          273 pages

When her aunt and uncle take her from New Mexico to Lugano, Switzerland, to attend an international school, thirteen-year-old Dinnie discovers an expanding world and her place within it.  Check our catalogue

 

The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis          210 pages

The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African- American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963.

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Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman         169 pages

The thirteen-year-old daughter of an English country knight keeps a journal in which she records the events of her life, particularly her longing for adventures beyond the usual role of women and her efforts to avoid being married off.      Check our catalogue

 

The Witches by Roald Dahl         201 pages

A young boy and his Norwegian grandmother, who is an expert on witches, together foil a witches' plot to destroy the world's children by turning them into mice.  Check our catalogue

 

P.S. Longer Letter Later by Paula Danziger           234 pages

Twelve-year-old best friends Elizabeth and Tara-Starr continue their friendship through letter-writing after Tara-Starr's family moves to another state.       Check our catalogue

 

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau            270 pages

The City of Ember is dying. Twelve-year-old Lina and her friend Doon trade jobs on Assignment Day and work together to try to save their beloved but decaying city.   Check our catalogue

 

Half Magic by Edward Eager            217 pages

Faced with a dull summer in the city, Jane, Mark, Katharine, and Martha suddenly find themselves involved in a series of extraordinary adventures after Jane discovers an ordinary-looking coin that seems to grant wishes.

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The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright                175 pages

Four New York City siblings decide to pool their resources so that each can do a special thing on the Saturday that is his turn to receive the combined allowance. Check our catalogue 

 

The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich               244 pages

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. Check our catalogue

 

The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald           175 pages

The exploits of the Great Brain of Adenville, Utah are described by his younger brother, frequently the victim of the Great Brain's schemes for gaining prestige or money.      Check our catalogue 

 

Bandit's Moon by Sid Fleischman                136 pages

Annyrose relates her adventures with Joaquín Murieta and his band of outlaws in the California gold-mining region during the mid-1800s.

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Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher                219 pages

When Marjan, a thirteen-year-old crippled girl, joins the Sultan's harem in ancient Persia, she gathers for Shahrazad the stories which will save the queen's life.    Check our catalogue

 

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke                534 pages

Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can "read" fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service.        Check our catalogue

 

Coraline by Neil Gaiman              162 pages

Bored in her new house, Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is disturbingly different. She must save herself, her parents, and the souls of three children from a terrifying entity.                  Check our catalogue

 

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos             153 pages

To the constant disappointment of his mother and his teachers, Joey has trouble paying attention or controlling his mood swings when his prescription meds wear off and he starts getting worked up and acting wired.      Check our catalogue

 

Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff            166 pages

A troublesome twelve-year-old orphan, staying with an elderly artist who needs her, remembers the only other time she was happy in a foster home.        Check our catalogue

 

No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman           180 pages

Why does the dog in every classic dog story have to die at the end? Wallace Wallace, forced to attend rehearsals of the school play, finds hilarious ways to improve the script.                     Check our catalogue

 

The Million-Dollar Shot by Dan Gutman             114 pages

Eleven-year-old Eddie gets a chance to win a million dollars by sinking a foul shot at the National Basketball Association finals.              Check our catalogue

 

Turnabout by Margaret Haddix                 223 pages

It isn't natural for you to be younger than your great-grandchildren. We messed around with nature, and we shouldn't have. Melly and Anny Beth both lived normal lives throughout the 20th century. But in 2000, when they are old and ready to die, they are selected to participate in Project Turnabout and are given an injection to make them grow younger...”                  Check our catalogue

 

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale               314 pages

While attending a strict academy for potential princesses with the other girls from her mountain village, fourteen-year-old Miri discovers unexpected talents and connections to her homeland.               Check our catalogue

 

Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes               217 pages

Over a summer vacation by the ocean, twelve-year-old Martha begins to understand her grandmother, her connection to a classmate who has died, and herself.                Check our catalogue

 

The Music of Dolphins by Karen Hesse             181 pages

After rescuing an adolescent girl from the sea, researchers learn she has been raised by dolphins and attempt to rehabilitate her to the human world.

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The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn by Dorothy & Thomas Hoobler           214 pages

While attempting to solve the mystery of a stolen jewel, Seikei, a merchant's son who longs to be a samurai, joins a troupe of Kabuki actors in eighteenth-century Japan. Check our catalogue

 

Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz              192 pages

After the death of the uncle who had been his guardian, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider is coerced to continue his uncle's dangerous work for Britain's intelligence agency, MI6.         Check our catalogue

 

Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath              149 pages

Eleven-year-old Primrose living in a small fishing village in British Columbia recounts her experiences and all that she learns about human nature and the unpredictability of life in the months after her parents are lost at sea.

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Island of the Aunts by Eva Ibbotson                      281 pages

As they get older, several sisters decide that they must kidnap children and bring them to their secluded island home to help with the work of caring for an assortment of unusual sea creatures.        Check our catalogue

 

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg            162 pages

Claudia and her little brother, Jamie, run away from home to go live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.     Check our catalogue

 

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle          203 pages

Meg Murry 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. Check our catalogue

 

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine              232 pages

In this novel based on the story of Cinderella, Ella struggles against the childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her.     Check our catalogue 

 

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis            183 pages

Four English schoolchildren find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magic land of Narnia and assist Aslan, the golden lion, to triumph over the White Witch, who has cursed the land with eternal winter.    Check our catalogue 

 

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord          169 pages

In 1947, a Chinese child comes to Brooklyn where she becomes Americanized at school, in her apartment building, and by her love for baseball.    Check our catalogue 

 

The Giver by Lois Lowry                  180 pages

Twelve-year-old Jonas becomes the Receiver of Memories and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.       

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 The Doll People by Ann M. Martin                256 pages

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.                   

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 Indigo's Star by Hilary McKay           265 pages

Spurred on by his youngest sister, Rose, twelve-year-old Indigo sticks up for himself and an American boy who has replaced him as the primary target of the school bullies.               Check our catalogue  

 

The Agony of Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor         131 pages

Eleven-year-old motherless Alice decides she needs a gorgeous role model, but when placed in homely Mrs.Plotkin’s class, she learns that it is what is inside of people that counts.              Check our catalogue  

 

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O'Brien        233 pages

Having no one to help her with her problems, a widowed mouse visits the rats whose former imprisonment in a laboratory made them wise and long lived.     Check our catalogue  

 

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell        184 pages

Left alone on a beautiful but isolated island off the coast of California, a young Indian girl spends eighteen years, not only merely surviving through her enormous courage and self-reliance, but also finding a measure of happiness in her solitary life.                Check our catalogue  

 

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park          152 pages

Tree-ear, a thirteen-year-old orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge in a potters' village, and longs to learn how to throw the delicate celadon ceramics himself.                   Check our catalogue  

 

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson            128 pages

The life of a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia expands when he becomes friends with a newcomer who subsequently meets an untimely death trying to reach their hideaway, Terabithia, during a storm.           Check our catalogue  

 

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen               195 pages

On his way to visit his father in the Canadian mountains, Brian Robeson is the only survivor when the single-engine plane crashes.His body battered, his clothes in shreds, Brian must now stay alive in the boundless Canadian wilderness.    Check our catalogue 

 

A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck              148 pages

Bodies in the parlor, tricking the sheriff … vacations are never dull with this Grandma!                     Check our catalogue  

 

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin         185 pages

The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance.                     Check our catalogue  

 

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls            212 pages

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.         Check our catalogue  

 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling           309 pages

Orphaned Harry escapes his dreadful relatives when he is invited to attend Hogwarts Academy and learn how to use his wizard’s powers.       Check our catalogue

 

Holes by Louis Sachar            233 pages

Overweight and unpopular Stanley is sent to a nightmarish correctional camp in Texas where he makes his first true friend, discovers buried treasure, and gains a new sense of himself.                 Check our catalogue  

 

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket               162 pages

After the sudden death of their parents, the three Baudelaire children must depend on each other and their wits when it turns out that the distant relative who is appointed their guardian is determined to use any means necessary to get their fortune.                       Check our catalogue  

 

The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder                  203 pages

Life is never quite the same again for eleven-year-old David after the arrival of his new stepsister, a student of the occult.             Check our catalogue  

 

Loser by Jerry Spinelli                   218 pages

Even though his classmates from first grade on have considered him strange and a loser, Daniel Zinkoff's optimism and exuberance and the support of his loving family do not allow him to feel that way about himself.    Check our catalogue  

 

All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor              188 pages

The adventures of five sisters growing up in a Jewish family in New York in the early twentieth century.           Check our catalogue  

 

Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry by Mildred Taylor              276 pages

A black family living in the South during the 1930's are faced with prejudice and discrimination which their children don't understand.      Check our catalogue 

 

Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie Tolan            216 pages

Jake, a budding juvenile delinquent, is sent for home schooling to the arty and eccentric Applewhite family's Creative Academy, where he discovers talents and interests he never knew he had.              Check our catalogue  

 

Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by Wendelin Van Draanen         168 pages

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.                     Check our catalogue  

 

Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt               312 pages

Abandoned by their mother, Dicey, with her sister and two brothers, must make a long journey on foot to their grandmother's home.       Check our catalogue  

 

Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan              216 pages

When thirteen-year-old Koly enters into an ill-fated arranged marriage, she must either suffer a destiny dictated by India's tradition or find the courage to oppose it.   Check our catalogue  

 Folk & Fairy Tales

 

Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges          32 pages

Retells the segment from Spenser's The Faerie Queene, in which George, the Red Cross Knight, slays the dreadful dragon that has been terrorizing the countryside for years and brings peace and joy to the land.     Check our catalogue  

 

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz              111 pages

Traditional and modern-day tales and "jump" stories of ghosts, witches, vampires, haunts, superstitions, monsters and horrible scary things.    Check our catalogue  

 

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka          52 pages

Young subversives everywhere will love these ten fractured fairy tales.

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Non-Fiction

 

Babymouse:  Our Hero! by Jennifer Holm           91 pages

An imaginative young mouse is terrified to face her enemy in dodgeball, but with help from friends and family, she proves herself a hero.     Check our catalogue  

Poetry

 

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein                166 pages

A boy who turns into a TV set and a girl who eats a whale are only two of the characters in a collection of humorous poetry illustrated with the author's own drawings.               Check our catalogue  

 

A Poke in the I by Paul B. Janeczko                 35 pages     

Thirty concrete poems of all shapes and sizes are carefully laid on large white spreads, extended by Raschka's quirky watercolor and paper-collage illustrations.  Check our catalogue  

 

Last updated 8/27/12

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