Kids: Grade 5 Reading List

The following titles, unless otherwise noted, can be found in the Children's Room in Junior Fiction shelved alphabetically by the author's last name.


Aaron, Chester. OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND. Teenage twins are pursued by the Russians who want to use their ESP powers.

Adler, Carole. THE SILVER COACH. Neither twelve-year-old Chris nor her 6-year-old sister look forward to spending the summer with their unknown grandmother in a remote woodland cabin, but the summer holds many surprises for them, not the least of which is a gradual acceptance of their parents' divorce.

Aiken, Joan. THE WOLVES OF WILLOUGHBY CHASE. A Victorian melodrama about Bonnie and her cousin who find themselves surrounded by villains.

Aleichem, Sholom. AROUND THE TABLE: FAMILY STORIES OF SHOLOM ALEICHEM Presents retellings of five Sholom Aleichem stories which depict families observing the rituals and traditions of Jewish holidays together

Arnosky, Jim. SECRETS OF A WILDLIFE WATCHER. (J596A) Explains the techniques used in finding wild animals such as owls, turtles, squirrels, foxes, beavers, and deer, and in getting close enough to study their behavior.

Arundel, Honor. THE AMAZING MR. PROTHERO. Urged on and supported by her talking dog, Julia discovers she isn't as shy as she used to be.

Bawden, Nina. CARRIE'S WAR. Carrie and her younger brother spend World War II as evacuees in a small Welsh village where Carrie, upset by a family feud, commits an act that haunts her for thirty years.

Beatty, John. WHO COMES TO KING'S MOUNTAIN? Living in the South Carolina hills in 1780, a young Scottish boy, whose own family is divided between Loyalist and rebel, must decide for himself which side he will follow.

Benshea, Noah. JACOB THE BAKER This wise little fable tells the story of a baker named Jacob, who scribbled his thoughts on bits of paper as he waited for his bread to rise, until one day, a small paper was baked into a loaf.

Biesterveld, Betty. SIX DAYS FROM SUNDAY. In his last "free" days before the frightening prospect of going away to school, a Navajo boy's adventure helps him appreciate the old ways of his ancestors and approach without fear the new ways of the modern world.

Blakeslee, Ann. AFTER THE FORTUNE COOKIES The summer Allison turns twelve brings many disturbing changes, as she fights to protect her beloved grandfather from the schemes of other family members and seeks the courage to stand up to the taunts of her spiteful cousin Carolina.

Boston, Lucy. THE CHILDREN OF GREEN KNOWE. Tolly goes to stay with his great-grandmother in an old house where delightful mysteries began to happen.

Brink, Carol. THE BAD TIMES OF IRMA BAUMLEIN. Irma's lie about having the biggest doll in the world leads her into deeper and deeper trouble.

Calhoun, Mary. THE HORSE COMES FIRST. Initially chagrined at the importance of horses in the lives of hisharness-racing relatives, Randy soon catches the "fever," too.

Cameron, Eleanor. COURT OF THE STONE CHILDREN. Aided by the journal of a young woman who lived in nineteenth-century France, Nina solves a murder mystery dormant since the time of Napoleon.

Cameron, Eleanor. THE PRIVATE WORLDS OF JULIA REDFERN. Julia's fifteenth year is filled with jealousy, forgiveness, first love, and artistic satisfaction, all against a background of loving support from her adored uncle, adopted grandmother, and other family members.

Carrick, Carol. THE ELEPHANT IN THE DARK Through training an elephant, the first ever seen in early 1800's Massachusetts, orphan Willbegins to feel important for the first time in his life.

Cleaver, Vera. HAZEL RYE. An eleven-year-old girl, with no appreciation for land and growing things, finds her values beginning to change when she agrees to let an impoverished family live in a small house she owns, in exchange for working in the surrounding orange grove.

Cobb, Vicki . THE SECRET LIFE OF SCHOOL SUPPLIES. (J670C) Discusses the scientific and technological principles involved in the manufacture of such school supplies as paper, ink, pencils, chalk, glue and erasers.

Conrad, Pam. STONEWORDS: A GHOST STORY Zoe discovers that her house is occupied by the ghost of an eleven-year-old girl, who carries her back to the day of her death in 1870 to try to alter that tragic event.

Cooper, Susan. THE GREY KING. In this fourth book of The Dark is Rising sequence, Will Stanton, visiting in Wales, is swept into a desperate quest to find the golden harp and to awaken the ancient Sleepers.

Corcoran, Barbara. A HORSE NAMED SKY Georgia's one goal, when she and her mother move to Montana to get away from her alcoholic father, is to own a horse, a dream that seems remote until her next door neighbor promises to sell her a wild mustang.

Corcoran, Barbara. I AM THE UNIVERSE. The serious, responsible girl of the family has to contend with a number of problems, both funny and not so funny, when her mother has to have an operation.

Curry, Jane. SHADOW DANCERS Wrongfully accused of stealing a valuable moonstone, Lek the conjuror determines to enter the dread Shadowland where the sun never shines and search for the long-sought Opal Mountains where he might find another stone with equally potent powers.

Derby, Pat. VISITING MISS PIERCE Fourteen-year-old Barry, visiting an eighty-three-year-old woman in a nursing home and encouraging her to delve into her distant past, finds the project affects him deeply in his situation as an adopted child.

Dygard, Thomas. RUNNING SCARED. A football coach whose job is on the line discovers a talented quarterback who is afraid to run.

Galbraith, Kathryn. COME SPRING. Reenie hopes that "come spring" her continually moving family will put down roots that will keep them in their new home.

Giblin, James. FROM HAND TO MOUTH, OR HOW WE INVENTED KNIVES, FORKS, SPOONS, AND CHOPSTICKS & THE TABLE MANNERS TO GO WITH THEM. (J394G) A history of the eating utensils and table manners of various cultures from the Stone Age to the present day.

Gilson, Jamie. DO BANANAS CHEW GUM? With help from his friends, Sam finally takes a test that reveals he has a learning disability.

Haas, Dorothy. THE SECRET LIFE OF DILLY MCBEAN. After being orphaned at an early age and spending years in boarding schools, Dilly begins a new life in a real house in a small town, developing secret magnetic powers under the tutelage of a kindly professor, until he is kidnapped by a madman who plans to control the world with a computer.

Hansen, Joyce. THE GIFT-GIVER The year she is in fifth grade, Doris meets a special friend in her Bronx neighborhood.

Holland, Isabelle. ALAN AND THE ANIMAL KINGDOM. When the aunt who is his guardian dies, an orphaned boy decides to tell no one and so make sure that his collection of pet animals won't be destroyed when he is sent to a new home.

Houston, Gloria. LITTLEJIM'S DREAM Inspired by the author's family's stories from Spruce Pine, North Carolina, this touching, coming-of-age tale, set in 1920 in Appalachia, is filled with the love of family and the joy of a young boy's self-discovery.

Jacques, Brian . REDWALL. When the peaceful life in and around ancient Redwall Abbey is shattered by the arrival of the evil rat Cluny and his villainous hordes, Matthias, a young mouse, determines to find the legendary sword of Martin the Warrior which, he is convinced, will help Redwall's inhabitants destroy the enemy.

Janeczko, Paul. LOADS OF CODES AND SECRET CIPHERS. (J001.54J)Discusses and provides practice in making and breaking codes and ciphers, as well as in building simple coding devices to transmit secret messages.

Kaye, Cathy. WORD WORKS. (J372.6K) Explores the way words are used in everyday life, in talking, writing, communicating, and thinking as well as in creating stories and poems, printing books, playing games, and programming computers.

Kipling, Rudyard. THE JUNGLE BOOK. A collection of tales including Mowgli, the fearless man-cub, brought up by wolves and taught the Law of the Jungle by old Baloo the wise brown bear and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, the valiant mongoose who saves a human family from the wicked cobras.

Konigsburg, E.L. THROWING SHADOWS Five short stories in which young people gain a sense of self.

Lauber, Patricia. SEEING EARTH FROM SPACE. (J525L) Text and photographs taken from space depict the nature, evolution, and future of Earth.

Little, Jean. HEY WORLD, HERE I AM. (J811.54 Little) A collection of poems and brief vignettes from the perspective of a girl named Kate Bloomfield, reflecting her views on friendship, school, family life and the world.

MacLachlan, Patricia. CASSIE BINEGAR. During the summer Cassie learns to accept change and to find her own space.

MacLachlan, Patricia . THE FACTS AND FICTIONS OF MINNA PRATT. An eleven-year-old cellist learns about life from her eccentric family, her first boyfriend, and Mozart.

McKay, Hilary. THE AMBER CAT While two friends convalesce from chicken pox, one boy's mother tells them of a summer, long ago, when she was eleven--just their age--offering a story about a girl named Harriet who would mysteriously come and go at the beach.

Mills, Claudia. THE ONE AND ONLY CYNTHIA JANE THORNTON. (JM) When her look-alike younger sister Lucy gets promoted to her fifth grade class, Cynthia feels that she must fight to retain her own individuality.

Mowry, Jess. GHOST TRAIN After a train nearly crashes through Remi's bedroom window on the first night in his new home, he discovers that it was a ghost train and finds himself involved in solving a murder mystery that happened during wartime, many years ago.

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds . THE BOYS START THE WAR. Disgusted that a family with three girls moves into the house across the river, nine-year-old Wally and his three brothers declare a practical joke war on the girls.

Orgel, Doris. THE DEVIL IN VIENNA A Jewish girl and the daughter of a Nazi have been best friends since they started school, but in 1938 the thirteen-year-olds find their close relationship difficult to maintain.

Pope, Joyce. DO ANIMALS DREAM? (J591P) The most often asked questions at the Natural History Museum in London are answered in this handsomely illustrated book.

Prelutsky, Jack. SOMETHING BIG HAS BEEN HERE. (J811.54P) An illustrated collection of humorous poems on a variety of subjects.

THE RANDOM HOUSE BOOK OF GHOST STORIES. A collection of seventeen ghost stories by authors including Eleanor Farjeon, Joan Aiken, Walter R. Brooks and Leon Garfield.

Ritter, Lawrence. THE STORY OF BASEBALL. (J796.357R) Traces the history of baseball, which was first played in a form resembling the modern game in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1846, and first played by professional players in 1869.

Rosenbloom, Joseph. DAFFY DEFINITIONS. (J793.73R) Silly definitions for words from aardvark to zookeeper.

Silman, Roberta. SOMEBODY ELSE'S CHILD As a result of his friendship with his school bus driver, Peter gains a greater understanding of what it means to be adopted.

Singer, Marilyn. TARANTULAS ON THE BRAIN. Lizzie's scheme for getting a pet tarantula backfires.

Steiner, Barbara. OLIVER DIBBS TO THE RESCUE. Beginning by painting his dog with tiger stripes, ten-year-old Ollie embarks on a series of sometimes-disastrous moneymaking ventures to raise funds on behalf of wildlife preservation.

Taylor, William. AGNES THE SHEEP. An eccentric old lady leaves her large and nasty sheep, Agnes, to Belinda and Joe, setting off a wild and woolly sheep chase.

Turner, Ann Warren. MISSISSIPPI MUD: THREE PRAIRIE JOURNALS As their family travels on a wagon train from Kentucky to Oregon, Amanda and her two brothers keep separate journals, and the journal entries show how they each see the same trip in a different way.

Van Leeuwen, Jean. DEAR MOM, YOU'RE RUINING MY LIFE. Samantha Slayton's eleventh year includes losing her last baby teeth, towering over every boy in dance class, and being mortified by everything her mother does.

Walsh, Jill Paton. A CHANCE CHILD Compelled to search for his half brother Creep who some people insist is nonexistent, Christopher locates Parliamentary Papers containing Nathaniel Creep's personal narrative of working conditions during the Industrial Revolution 100 years earlier.

Willis, Patricia. DANGER ALONG THE OHIO Lost in the Ohio River Valley in May 1793, twelve-year-old Clare and her two brothers struggle to survive in the wilderness and to avoid capture by the Shawnee Indians.

Yue, David. THE TIPI: A CENTER OF NATIVE AMERICAN LIFE. (J728Y) Discusses the Great Plains Indians, the land on which they lived, and the tipis they built.

Zhensun, Zheng. A YOUNG PAINTER: THE LIFE AND PAINTINGS OF WANG YANI - CHINA'S EXTRAORDINARY YOUNG ARTIST. (JBIO) Examines the life and works of the young Chinese girl who started painting animals at the age of three and in her teens became the youngest artist to have a one-person show at the Smithsonian Institution.