October 27, 2020 | melissa c
The following fiction and non-fiction titles may be enjoyed by fifth graders. Please remember, readers have different interests and read at different levels so not all of these titles will appeal to, or be appropriate for, every fifth grader.
For more specific recommendations, we encourage you to chat with the librarian at the Children's Desk about your child's reading interests or use our May We Suggest form.
When a book of unexplainable occurrences brings Petra and Calder together, strange things start to happen: seemingly unrelated events connect; an eccentric old woman seeks their company; an invaluable Vermeer painting disappears. Before they know it, the two find themselves at the center of an international art scandal, where no one is above suspicion.
In this Newbery Medal-winning novel, Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place: he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs and ghostly teachings of his guardians, such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead?
Middle-schooler Stanley Yelnats is only the latest in a long line of Yelnats to encounter bad luck, but Stanley's serving of the family curse is a doozie. Wrongfully convicted of stealing a baseball star's sneakers, Stanley is sentenced to six months in a juvenile-detention center, Camp Green Lake. "There is no lake at Camp Green Lake," where Stanley and his fellow campers must dig one five-by-five hole in the dry lake bed every day, ostensibly building character but actually aiding the warden in her search for buried treasure.
Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them. Her life takes an unexpected turn when she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined. It's hard to solve a mystery, help a friend, and face your worst fears. But Aven's about to discover she can do it all ... even without arms.
Far off the coast of California looms a harsh rock known as the island of San Nicholas. Dolphins flash in the blue waters around it, sea otter play in the vast kep beds, and sea elephants loll on the stony beaches. Here, in the early 1800s, according to history, an Indian girl spent eighteen years alone. Not only was mere subsistence on so desolate a spot a near miracle, but Karana had to contend with the ferocious pack of wild dogs that had killed her younger brother, constantly guard against the Aleutian sea otter hunters, and maintain a precarious food supply.
A biracial Indian/Caucasian girl is nervous to begin middle school, especially since her mother is now the breadwinner of the family, her best friend may no longer be a bestie, and the appearance of the seventeen hairs over her lip that form a very unwanted mustache.
Justin doesn't know anything these days. Like how to walk down the halls without getting stared at. Or what to say to Jenni. Or how Phuc is already a physics genius in seventh grade. Or why Benny H. wanders around Wicapi talking to old ghosts. He doesn't know why his mom suddenly loves church or if his older brother, Murphy, will ever play baseball again. Or if the North Stars have a shot at the playoffs. Justin doesn't know how people can act like everything's fine when it's so obviously not. And most of all, he doesn't know what really happened the night his dad died on the train tracks.
Jude never thought she'd be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives. At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. Movies haven't quite prepared her for starting school in the US--and her new label of "Middle Eastern," an identity she's never known before. But this life also brings unexpected surprises--there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is.
When the peaceful life of Redwall Abbey is shattered by the arrival of the evil rat Cluny and his hordes, Matthias, a young mouse, vows to find the legendary sword which will help Redwall's inhabitants destroy the enemy. Click here to find more books in the Redwall series.
Ellie's a girl who tells it like it is. That surprises some people, who see a kid in a wheelchair and think she's going to be all sunshine and cuddles. The thing is, Ellie has big dreams. But when Ellie and her mom move so they can help take care of her ailing grandpa, Ellie has to start all over again in a new town at a new school. Except she's not just the new kid--she's the new kid in the wheelchair who lives in the trailer park on the wrong side of town. It all feels like one challenge too many, until Ellie starts to make her first-ever friends.
When Sal Vidon meets Gabi Real for the first time, it isn't under the best of circumstances. Sal is in the principal's office for the third time in three days, and it's still the first week of school. Gabi, student council president and editor of the school paper, is there to support her friend Yasmany, who just picked a fight with Sal. She is determined to prove that somehow, Sal planted a raw chicken in Yasmany's locker, even though nobody saw him do it and the bloody poultry has since mysteriously disappeared. Sal prides himself on being an excellent magician, but for this sleight of hand, he relied on a talent no one would guess . . . except maybe Gabi, whose sharp eyes never miss a trick. Click here for the sequel.
Two young foxes struggle to survive predators, the elements, and their families. In a frame, seven fox kits are eager to hear some scary stories. For "a story so frightening it will put the white in your tail," their mother sends them to "the old storyteller," an elderly fox in a cavern, who proceeds to spin a tale of vulpine horror.
Chess has always been the protector over his younger siblings, Emma loves math, and Finn does what Finn does best--acting silly and being adored. They've been a happy family, just the three of them and their mom. But everything changes when reports of three kidnapped children reach the Greystone kids, and they're shocked by the startling similarities between themselves and these complete strangers. The other kids share their same first and middle names. They're the same ages. They even have identical birthdays. Who, exactly, are these strangers? Click here for the next book in the Greystone Secrets series.
Bryan knows what's tight for him--reading comics, drawing superheroes, and hanging out with no drama. But drama is every day where he's from, and that gets him tight, wound up. And now Bryan's friend Mike pressures him with ideas of fun that are crazy risky. At first, it's a rush following Mike, hopping turnstiles, subway surfing, and getting into all kinds of trouble. But Bryan never really feels right acting so wrong, and drama really isn't him. So which way will he go, especially when his dad tells him it's better to be hard and feared than liked?
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child's soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson's eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child.
When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba's tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season's crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family's life forever: he could build a windmill.
Only 150 years ago, most animals in America were subject to horrific treatment. They needed a champion to protect them from abject cruelty, and that person was Henry Bergh. After witnessing the beating of a horse in the streets of New York and attending a bullfight in Spain, Bergh found his calling. He became an enforcer of animal rights and founded the ASPCA, as well as created many animal cruelty laws.
A whimsical depiction of a true moment in history describes how the innovative American Founding Father used the scientific method to figure out the practices of a famous Parisian magician. A rip-roaring, lavishly illustrated peek into a fascinating moment in history shows the development and practice of the scientific method--and reveals the amazing power of the human mind.
"I regret that I have but one life to give for my country." These are the famous last words of Nathan Hale, a spy for the American rebels in the Revolutionary War. But who was this Nathan Hale? And how did the rebels defeat an army that was bigger, better, stronger, and more heavily armed than they were? One Dead Spy has answers to these questions, as well as stories of ingenuity, close calls with danger, and acts of heroism in the American War of Independence. Click here for more books in Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales series.
An action-packed account of the three greatest primatologists of the last century: Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas. These three ground-breaking researchers were all students of the great Louis Leakey, and each made profound contributions to primatology--and to our own understanding of ourselves. Primates is an accessible, entertaining, and informative look at the field of primatology and at the lives of three of the most remarkable women scientists of the twentieth century.
What's in a name? This lively, illustrated celebration is jam-packed with creatures notable for their bizarre, baffling, and just-plain-funny names. Some are obvious, if still weird--guess what the Fried Egg Jellyfish looks like. Along the way you'll learn all about these curiously named animals' just-as-curious habits, appearances, and abilities.
What can I do to help save endangered animals? How can I eat healthy? Why do I need to cover my mouth when I cough? What do I do if I'm being bullied? With information on problems both large and small, Start Now! breaks down the concepts of health, hunger, climate change, endangered species and bullying, so that readers can understand the world around them, and make a difference in their own lives, as well as in their communities and the world at large. With comic drawings to illustrate, photographs of real live kids who are making a difference today, and lists of ways to get involved, this book is the perfect introduction to young activists who want to make the world a better place.
The Thrifty Guide to Ancient Rome contains information vital to the sensible time traveler - where can I find a decent hotel room in ancient Rome for under five sesterces a day? Is horse parking included? What do I do if I'm attacked by barbarians? What are my legal options if I'm fed to the lions at the Colosseum? All this is answered and more. Click here for the Thrifty Guide to the American Revolution.
Did you know that there is a fungus that can control the mind of an ant and make it do its bidding? Would you believe there is such a thing as a corpse flower--a ten-foot-tall plant with a blossom that smells like a zombie? How about a species of octopus that doesn't live in water but rather lurks in trees in the Pacific Northwest? Every story in this book is strange and astounding. But not all of them are real. Just like the old game in this book's title, two out of every three stories are completely true and one is an outright lie. Can you guess which? It's not going to be easy.
Sit back and hold on tight, because Olenka is going to amaze you with superpowers such as double invisibility and shape-shifting, and the super secret Lair of the Abyss (that means a top-secret deep-sea hideout). In fact, Olenka's life is so impossibly extraordinary, it has baffled the smartest scientists in the world for thousands of years. "Impossible!" you say. I say, "you don't know eels." But you will. Includes a ruler printed along the edge of the book's back cover to aid the observations of young field scientists everywhere! Click here to find more books in the Superpower Field Guide series.
A richly illustrated book, We Are Artists celebrates the life and work of fifteen female artists from around the globe and the distinctive mark they made on art. Presented as a collection of exciting biographical stories, each section reveals how the artist's unique approach and perspective provided art and society with a new way of seeing things. We Are Artists places the spotlight on women painters, sculptors, printmakers, illustrators, designers, and craftswomen who created monumental artwork, often against daunting odds.
History is full of liars. Not just little-white-telling liars, but big-honkin', whopper-telling liars--people who can convince us that even the most improbable, outrageous, nonsensical stories are true. Whoppers tells the story of history's greatest liars and the lies they told, providing a mix of narrative profiles of super-famous liars, lies, and/or hoaxes, as well as more obscure episodes. Famous liars include people you might have learned about in school, like P. T. Barnum, who basically made a living lying to people for money; liars you might never have heard of before, like Victor Lustig, who managed to "sell" the Eiffel Tower twice in the 1920s; and hoaxes like the Loch Ness Monster Photo Hoax.