5th Grade Books

Your fifth grade students will travel from chocolate factories to Flint, Michigan, from Orion’s Belt to small-town blueberry fields, all while exploring their own inner selves and what makes them who they are.

A Handful of Stars
  • Lexile 690L
  • ATOS Level 4.4
  • Word Count 32823
  • Page Count 184

A Handful of Stars

This powerful middle-grade novel explores a friendship between a small-town girl and the daughter of migrant workers.

When Lily’s blind dog, Lucky, slips his collar and runs away across the wide-open blueberry barrens of eastern Maine, it’s Salma Santiago who manages to catch him. Salma, the daughter of migrant workers, is in the small town with her family for the blueberry-picking season.

After their initial chance meeting, Salma and Lily bond over painting bee boxes for Lily’s grandfather, and Salma’s friendship transforms Lily’s summer. But when Salma decides to run in the upcoming Blueberry Queen pageant, they’ll have to face some tough truths about friendship and belonging. Should an outsider like Salma really participate in the pageant — and possibly win?

Set amongst the blueberry barrens and by the sea, this is a gorgeous new novel by Newbery Honor author Cynthia Lord that tackles themes of prejudice and friendship, loss and love.

Henry Huggins
  • Lexile 740L
  • ATOS Level 4.7
  • Word Count 49965
  • Page Count 232

A Wrinkle in Time

“It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

“”Wild nights are my glory,”” the unearthly stranger told them. “”I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.””

A tesseract (in case the reader doesn’t know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Madeleine L’Engle’s unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.”

Charlotte's Web
  • Lexile 950L
  • ATOS Level 5.0
  • Word Count 52179
  • Page Count 243

Bud, Not Buddy

“The Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award-winning classic about a boy who decides to hit the road to find his father.

It’s 1936, in Flint, Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud’s got a few things going for him:

1. He has his own suitcase full of special things.
2. He’s the author of Bud Caldwell’s Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself.
3. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: flyers advertising Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression!!!!!!

Bud’s got an idea that those flyers will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road to find this mystery man, nothing can stop him—not hunger, not fear, not vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself.”

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Lexile 810L
  • ATOS Level 4.8
  • Word Count 30644
  • Page Count 155

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground
  • Lexile 710L
  • ATOS Level 4.4
  • Word Count 29441
  • Page Count 158

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground

“From beloved Newbery Honor winner and three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Rita Williams-Garcia comes a powerful and heartfelt novel about loss, family, and love.

Clayton feels most alive when he’s with his grandfather, Cool Papa Byrd, and the band of Bluesmen—he can’t wait to join them, just as soon as he has a blues song of his own. But then the unthinkable happens. Cool Papa Byrd dies, and Clayton’s mother forbids Clayton from playing the blues. And Clayton knows that’s no way to live.

Armed with his grandfather’s brown porkpie hat and his harmonica, he runs away from home in search of the Bluesmen, hoping he can join them on the road. But on the journey that takes him through the New York City subways and to Washington Square Park, Clayton learns some things that surprise him.”

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
  • Lexile 700L
  • ATOS Level 4.7
  • Word Count 30906
  • Page Count 182

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

In this winner of the Newbery Medal from E.L. Konigsburg, Claudia Kincaide knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away…so she decided not to run FROM somewhere, but TO somewhere. And so, after some careful planning, she and her younger brother, Jamie, escaped — right into a mystery that made headlines!

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
  • Lexile 730L
  • ATOS Level 4.6
  • Word Count 26776
  • Page Count 170

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

“A timeless classic about an immigrant girl inspired by the sport she loves to find her own home team—and to break down any barriers that stand in her way.

Shirley Temple Wong sails from China to America with a heart full of dreams. Her new home is Brooklyn, New York. America is indeed a land full of wonders, but Shirley doesn’t know any English, so it’s hard to make friends.

Then a miracle happens: baseball! It’s 1947, and Jackie Robinson, star of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is a superstar. Suddenly Shirley is playing stickball with her class and following Jackie as he leads the Brooklyn Dodgers to victory after victory.

With her hero smashing assumptions and records on the ball field, Shirley begins to feel that America is truly the land of opportunity—and perhaps has also become her real home.”

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
  • Lexile 790L
  • ATOS Level 5.1
  • Word Count 53752
  • Page Count 233

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

“Some extraordinary rats come to the aid of a mouse family in this Newbery Medal Award–winning classic by notable children’s author Robert C. O’Brien.

Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, is faced with a terrible problem. She must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma. And Mrs. Frisby in turn renders them a great service.”

Old Yeller
  • Lexile 910L
  • ATOS Level 5.0
  • Word Count 35968
  • Page Count 181

Old Yeller

“To read this eloquently simple story of a boy and his dog in the Texas hill country is an unforgettable and deeply moving experience.

When his father sets out on a cattle drive for the summer, fourteen-year-old Travis is left to take care of his family and their farm, and he faces new, unanticipated and often perilous responsibilities in the wilderness of early fronteir Texas. But Travis is not alone. He finds help and comfort in the courage and unwavering love of the stray animal who comes to be his most loyal and very best friend: the big yellow dog Travis calls “”Old Yeller.””

An enduring and award-winning American classic, Fred Gipson’s Old Yeller stands as one of the most beloved novels ever produced in this country, and one that will live in the hearts and minds of readers for generations to come.”

Stef Soto, Taco Queen
  • Lexile 780L
  • ATOS Level 4.8
  • Word Count 32422
  • Page Count 166

Stef Soto, Taco Queen

“A heartwarming and charming novel about family, friends, and finding your voice all wrapped up in a warm tortilla.

Estefania “”Stef”” Soto is itching to shake off the onion-and-cilantro embrace of Tia Perla, her family’s taco truck. She wants nothing more than for Papi to get a normal job and for Tia Perla to be a distant memory. Then maybe everyone at school will stop seeing her as the Taco Queen.

But when her family’s livelihood is threatened, and it looks like her wish will finally come true, Stef surprises everyone (including herself) by becoming the truck’s unlikely champion. In this fun and heartfelt novel, Stef will discover what matters most and ultimately embrace an identity that even includes old Tia Perla.”

The Cricket in Times Square
  • Lexile 780L
  • ATOS Level 4.9
  • Word Count 25278
  • Page Count 134

The Cricket in Times Square

“Tucker is a streetwise city mouse. He thought he’d seen it all. But he’s never met a cricket before, which really isn’t surprising, because, along with his friend Harry Cat, Tucker lives in the very heart of New York City―the Times Square subway station. Chester Cricket never intended to leave his Connecticut meadow. He’d be there still if he hadn’t followed the entrancing aroma of liverwurst right into someone’s picnic basket. Now, like any tourist in the city, he wants to look around. And he could not have found two better guides―and friends―than Tucker and Harry. The trio have many adventures―from taking in the sights and sounds of Broadway to escaping a smoky fire.

Chester makes a third friend, too. It is a boy, Mario, who rescues Chester from a dusty corner of the subway station and brings him to live in the safety of his parents’ newsstand. He hopes at first to keep Chester as a pet, but Mario soon understands that the cricket is more than that. Because Chester has a hidden talent and no one―not even Chester himself―realizes that the little country cricket may just be able to teach even the toughest New Yorkers a thing or two.”

The Great Brain
  • Lexile 840L
  • ATOS Level 5.2
  • Word Count 47205
  • Page Count 175

The Great Brain

The best con man in America is only ten years old. Tom, a.k.a., the Great Brain, is a silver-tongued genius with a knack for turning a profit. When the Jenkins boys get lost in Skeleton Cave, the Great Brain saves the day. Whether it’s saving the kids at school, or helping out Peg-leg Andy, or Basil, the new kid at school, the Great Brain always manages to come out on top-and line his pockets in the process.

The Indian in the Cupboard
  • Lexile 780L
  • ATOS Level 4.6
  • Word Count 44004
  • Page Count 227

The Indian in the Cupboard

“Full of magic and appealing characters, this classic novel takes readers on a remarkable adventure.

It’s Omri’s birthday, but all he gets from his best friend, Patrick, is a little plastic Indian toy. Trying to hide his disappointment, Omri puts the Indian in a metal cupboard and locks the door with a mysterious skeleton key that once belonged to his great-grandmother. Little does Omri know that by turning the key, he will transform his ordinary plastic Indian into a real live man from an altogether different time and place! Omri and the tiny warrior called Little Bear could hardly be more different, yet soon the two forge a very special friendship. Will Omri be able to keep Little Bear without anyone finding out and taking his precious Indian from him?”

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • Lexile 940L
  • ATOS Level 5.7
  • Word Count 36363
  • Page Count 206

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

“Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.

Open the door and enter a new world! The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe has been captivating readers of all ages with a magical land and unforgettable characters for over sixty years.”

The Mouse and the Motorcycle
  • Lexile 860L
  • ATOS Level 5.1
  • Word Count 22416
  • Page Count 184

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

“Tucker is a streetwise city mouse. He thought he’d seen it all. But he’s never met a cricket before, which really isn’t surprising, because, along with his friend Harry Cat, Tucker lives in the very heart of New York City―the Times Square subway station. Chester Cricket never intended to leave his Connecticut meadow. He’d be there still if he hadn’t followed the entrancing aroma of liverwurst right into someone’s picnic basket. Now, like any tourist in the city, he wants to look around. And he could not have found two better guides―and friends―than Tucker and Harry. The trio have many adventures―from taking in the sights and sounds of Broadway to escaping a smoky fire.

Chester makes a third friend, too. It is a boy, Mario, who rescues Chester from a dusty corner of the subway station and brings him to live in the safety of his parents’ newsstand. He hopes at first to keep Chester as a pet, but Mario soon understands that the cricket is more than that. Because Chester has a hidden talent and no one―not even Chester himself―realizes that the little country cricket may just be able to teach even the toughest New Yorkers a thing or two.”

The Sign of the Beaver
  • Lexile 770L
  • ATOS Level 4.9
  • Word Count 32818
  • Page Count 135

The Sign of the Beaver

“Although he faces responsibility bravely, thirteen-year-old Matt is more than a little apprehensive when his father leaves him alone to guard their new cabin in the wilderness. When a renegade white stranger steals his gun, Matt realizes he has no way to shoot game or to protect himself. When Matt meets Attean, a boy in the Beaver clan, he begins to better understand their way of life and their growing problem in adapting to the white man and the changing frontier.

Elizabeth George Speare’s Newbery Honor-winning survival story is filled with wonderful detail about living in the wilderness and the relationships that formed between settlers and natives in the 1700s.”

Tuck Everlasting
  • Lexile 770L
  • ATOS Level 5.0
  • Word Count 27848
  • Page Count 139

Tuck Everlasting

“What if you could live forever?

Is eternal life a blessing or a curse? That is what young Winnie Foster must decide when she discovers a spring on her family’s property whose waters grant immortality. Members of the Tuck family, having drunk from the spring, tell Winnie of their experiences watching life go by and never growing older.

But then Winnie must decide whether or not to keep the Tucks’ secret―and whether or not to join them on their never-ending journey.”

Where the Red Fern Grows
  • Lexile 700L
  • ATOS Level 4.9
  • Word Count 75528
  • Page Count 249

Where the Red Fern Grows

Billy has long dreamt of owning not one, but two, dogs. So when he’s finally able to save up enough money for two pups to call his own—Old Dan and Little Ann—he’s ecstatic. It doesn’t matter that times are tough; together they’ll roam the hills of the Ozarks.

Soon Billy and his hounds become the finest hunting team in the valley. Stories of their great achievements spread throughout the region, and the combination of Old Dan’s brawn, Little Ann’s brains, and Billy’s sheer will seems unbeatable. But tragedy awaits these determined hunters—now friends—and Billy learns that hope can grow out of despair, and that the seeds of the future can come from the scars of the past.”

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