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20 Popular Book Series 5th Graders Love

best new novels for 5th graders

There are two kinds of problems parents and teachers often have with kids being readers: they’re either not reading enough or at all OR they’re burning through books too fast to find options. Book series help with both of these issues. With reluctant readers, book series keep them in a familiar universe, making it easier to get into each next story, while with voracious readers, finding a series with at least five installments is a surefire way to keep them booked and busy for some time. Regardless of what camp you fall into, I’m sharing 20 excellent book series for 5th graders to enjoy. My list includes graphic novels, sports books, adventure stories, mystery, sci-fi, and feel-good stories.

a selection of book series for 5th graders

20 Best Book Series for 5th Graders

Here are 20 of the best book series for 5th graders:

Ghost (1) (Track)

Track Series

Published: August 30, 2016

4 books in series

The Track series is about four kids (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu) on the same track team dealing with issues in their personal lives and finding solace in running. It opens with Castle Crenshaw (aka Ghost), who has PTSD from a dad who tried to fire a gun at him as a child. When he meets Coach and the rest of the team, he can finally harness his talent as a sprinter and stop running away from his problems. I love how powerful these kids’ stories are and that they’re super short — this one is only 185 pages long.

City Spies (1)

Published: March 10, 2020

5 books in series

Twelve-year-old Sara Martinez is a hacker bouncing from foster home to foster home in Brooklyn, New York. After getting arrested for hacking into the NYC foster care system to expose her foster parents as criminals, she meets a man named Mother, who is not a lawyer but convinces her to take on her case. Mother somehow wins, and Sara gets released only to join a team of kid spies operating out of a base in Scotland. With spies, family drama, and high-action chases, this is an excellent start to an exciting mystery-adventure series that kids and adults can enjoy. Taking readers from New York to Scotland and Paris, this story makes for an engaging experience. These books are on the longer side and best for stronger readers — but anyone can enjoy them on audio.

Click (A Click Graphic Novel)

Published: January 8, 2019

6 books in series

This is one of my favorite low-stakes graphic novel series. I love that the books can be read in any order. It’s all about Olive and her friends, starting with her entry into the fifth grade. The illustrations are gorgeous and the series explores many themes, including theater life, friendships, and family relationships — there’s even a summer camp installment . Hand to kids looking for sweet graphic novels in the vein of The Babysitters Club graphic novels.

All Four Stars

All Four Stars

Published: July 10, 2014

3 books in series

Gladys Gatsby LOVES gourmet food, unlike her parents who believe in microwaveable food. So when she gets the chance to become a food critic, she is thrilled. There’s only one caveat: no one can find out. This gave me Ruth Reichl’s Garlic and Sapphires vibe, but for kids — and more delightful, complete with all the mouth-watering food descriptions. Hand to kids who love a foodie feel-good series.

Front Desk (Front Desk #1) (Scholastic Gold)

Published: May 29, 2018

Mia Tang is a ten-year-old Chinese immigrant who lives in a motel with her parents. They run the motel for its crooked owner, Mr Yao. Mia runs the front desk and enjoys it. This book deals with heavier topics like racism, class prejudice, the value of diligence, and the struggles of immigrants in a dignified way that kids can relate to. Overall, this is a compelling, refreshing book for everyone! This series is at book five now and going strong.

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street (The Vanderbeekers, 1)

The Vanderbeekers

Published: October 3, 2017

Meet the Vanderbeekers! They’re a biracial family living in Harlem, New York. With five kids, including a pair of twin girls, there are plenty of characters for each kid to identify with. This series is warm and cozy and each installment features the Vanderbeeker kids trying to accomplish a unique goal. The first book is all about getting their grumpy neighbor to warm up to them.

The Unforgettable Logan Foster #1

Unforgettable Logan Foster

Published: January 18, 2022

2 books in series

Logan is a foster kid at a boys’ foster home. He’s on the autism spectrum, has a photographic memory, and isn’t the best at picking up on social cues. But just when Logan is sure that he’ll never be adopted, a new couple Margie and Gil show up. After a rocky start, Logan is settling in with his new foster parents when he starts noticing some weird things. Gil never seems to eat and are Margie’s tears silver? He’s only processing the fact that his new parents might be superheroes when they get kidnapped by a supervillain, and it’s up to Logan to save them. This is a superb, fast-paced superhero fantasy about identity, self-worth, and finding community.

Spy School

Published: March 6, 2012

11 books in series

Ben Ripley’s life does a 180 when he gets an invitation to work for the CIA, only to find out that it was a case of mistaken identity because someone on the inside has a secret ploy against the agency. With a new crush roping him into an undercover mission to unravel the plot, Ben discovers that he’s actually not half-bad at being a spy. This isn’t my favorite spy series, but kids love it and can’t stop reading. Perfect for fans of spy and adventure books.

The Smartest Kid in the Universe, Book 1

The Smartest Kid in the Universe

Published: December 1, 2020

Twelve-year-old Jack is a no-stress student who doesn’t believe in working hard at school. He won’t even try hard to learn Spanish, his best friend’s first language. It doesn’t help that his school is about to be shut down. But when he eats a bunch of jellybeans created by a scientist and suddenly has a vast store of knowledge, he might be able to compete in a contest to put his school on the map and save it from demolition. What he doesn’t know is that there are more sinister forces working against the school. This is a relatable rib-tickling romp combining science, history, friendship, and suspense in an engaging way.

Curlfriends: New in Town (A Graphic Novel) (Curlfriends, 1)

Curlfriends

Published: October 10, 2023

1 book in series so far

Charlie is the new kid for the umpteenth time, but this time things will be different. Her dad is no longer in the military, and this is a more permanent home, so she feels more pressure to find and impress some new friends. When she meets a cool group of Black girls with varying interests, she decides to hide her “babyish” style and hobbies to befriend them. But she soon learns that with true friends, you can be your whole self. This is the cute first book in a new graphic novel series about Black hair, girlfriends, fashion, and adjusting to change.

The Misfits #1: A Royal Conundrum

Published: January 2, 2024

After a string of issues at school, Olive’s parents drop her off at a renovated castle that is now a reform school. There, Olive meets other misfits and quickly discovers that there’s more to the school than meets the eye: it’s actually a cover for a group of crime-fighting misfits! When Olive and her friends find out that the school is at risk of closing unless they can stop a major heist, the misfits must get to work. This is a fun first book in a new series by Lisa Yee with illustrations by Dan Santat. I’m looking forward to more books in the series.

The Stupendous Switcheroo: New Powers Every 24 Hours

The Stupendous Switcheroo

Published: September 12, 2023

What if you woke up to new powers every day? Such is the fate of our protagonist in this graphic novel-prose hybrid. Daily, he develops and loses everything from potent superpowers like telekinesis and super speed to cute but not-so-useful ones like bubbles and speaking cat. The city’s superhero even recruits him to help fight the villains popping up everywhere. The one thing he can’t seem to figure out, though, is where his scientist mom is. As each day passes, readers follow Switcheroo one step closer to the mystery of his mom’s whereabouts and why there are so many villains around suddenly. This is an appealing graphic-prose release about superheroes, finding an identity that fits, and seeing people beyond the surface. The second book in this series is out next year.

President of the Whole Fifth Grade (President Series, 1)

​​President of the Whole Fifth Grade (President Series, 1)

Published: October 5, 2010

Everyone knows that Briana Justice wants to be a famous baker, but when she finds out that her role model and alumnus of her school was president of the fifth grade, Briana is convinced that that’s the path for her too. Unfortunately, a devious new student also has her eyes on the presidential office. Will Briana be tempted to play dirty just to win or will she do the right thing? I love this series and the high drama and mystery of Briana’s road to presidency (or not?). It’s perfect for kids who love dramatic frenemy stories with substance.

Out of My Mind (The Out of My Mind Series)

Out of My Mind

Published: March 9, 2010

Melody has cerebral palsy so she can’t walk or talk, but no one knows that she has a photographic memory. Kids at her school underestimate her, but Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it – somehow. This one got a surprise sequel 10 years after its release and many kids lost their minds over it.

Sunny Side Up: A Graphic Novel (Sunny #1)

Sunny Side Up

Published: August 25, 2015

A trip to Florida to spend time with her grandfather at his senior’s community becomes life-changing for Sunny Lewin. This is another great graphic novel series that can be read out of order. Nearly all of the books are set in a different summer and follow Sunny’s adventures. I love how funny and thoughtful this series is and I think it’s a great pick for readers who enjoy historical fiction, graphic novels, and summery stories.

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus (Volume 1)

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

  Published: September 5, 2017

2 books in the series

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. And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she’ll have to answer the question over and over again. This is an inspiring, funny duology about a girl determined to blast any preconceived limits on her abilities. It also features a sweet friendship and is a great pick for kids who liked Wonder .

Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom

Published: September 27, 2016

Meet Abbie Wu. Abbie is in crisis—and not just because she’s starting middle school or because she’s stuck in a family that doesn’t quite get her or because everyone seems to have a Thing except her. Abbie Wu is always in crisis.From author and professional doodler Booki Vivat,  Frazzled  dives right into the mind of this hilariously neurotic middle school girl as she tries to figure out who she is and where she belongs. This is a quirky, funny illustrated novel perfect for fans of Dork Diaries .

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

Escape from Mr. Limoncello’s Library

Published: June 25, 2013

Kyle Keeley is the class clown and a huge fan of all games—board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the construction of the new town library. Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot as one of twelve kids invited for an overnight sleepover in the library, hosted by Mr. Lemoncello and riddled with lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors stay locked. Kyle and the other kids must solve every clue and figure out every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route!

Super Pancake: (A Graphic Novel)

Super Pancake

Published: February 14, 2023

Set in Breakfast Town, this story is about a young Pancake who develops superhero activities after she’s exposed to a special serum. Peggy Pancake is always late for the bus, constantly losing track of time, and nowhere near as perfect as her brother. But with superpowers, can she save her town from evil and finally impress her family? This was totally delightful, funny, and perfect for kids who like kooky stories with a relatable protagonist and a dash of superheroes — perfect for reluctant readers.

The Fifth Quarter

The Fifth Quarter

Published: May 25, 2021

Lori Block is dedicated to her fourth-grade basketball team, despite being relegated to an extra period before the   real game starts, known as the fifth quarter ,  where the not-so-good kids play and the points don’t count. That doesn’t matter to Lori though, because working on her skills gives her hints of self-confidence, which is a nice break from feeling awkward and out of place in her daily life. This is a fast-paced basketball series about perseverance, friendship, and love for the sport.

There they are: 20 of my favorite book series for 5th graders! Which of these have taken off in your class? What did I miss?

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Afoma Umesi is the founder and editor of Reading Middle Grade where she curates book lists and writes book reviews for kids of all ages. Her favorite genre to read is contemporary realistic fiction and she'll never say no to a graphic novel.

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best new novels for 5th graders

Fifth grade is a critical point in a student's academic career, as they read more complex texts and dive into advanced topics. A robust classroom library with a variety of books — from classic fiction reads  to comical graphic novels  — will provide students with the necessary support for reading success. Get started by refreshing your shelves with the must-have books in the list below!

For instance, historical fiction books are a great way to dive into a time period and learn social-emotional lessons from the characters’ journey.

Based on a true story, Riding Freedom is about Charlotte Parkhurst breaking societal norms in the mid-1800s by pursuing a career in horse riding. What’s more, she was the first woman to vote in the state of California! Young readers will expand upon their reading comprehension skills and feel inspired after reading this novel. 

For students who enjoy vivid imagery and humorous books, Smile is a hilarious and relatable story about Raina and her mishaps during middle school. From friend trouble to getting braces, Raina is overwhelmed with what life has thrown at her. Students will be eager to find out how she overcomes these relatable challenges!

Shop more fifth grade books and series to encourage readers below. You can find all books and activities at The Teacher Store .

best new novels for 5th graders

26 of the Best Books for 5th Graders

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P.N. Hinton

Born into a family of readers, P.N. gained a love reading as a sort of herd mentality. This love of reading has remained a life long passion, resulting in an English Degree from The University of Houston in Houston, Texas. She normally reads three to four books at any given time, in the futile Sisyphean hope of whittling down her ever growing to be read pile of no specific genre.

View All posts by P.N. Hinton

For me 5th grade is one of those precipice years, a time when books for 5th graders are so important. You’re about to move from elementary school to middle school. Sixth grade is arguably the first year where you are your own captain, as it’s up to you to get your assignments in on time, as your teachers won’t constantly remind you to turn in work, like they do in elementary school. You’re also thrown into a sea of like-minded peers who are swimming through the onslaught of being the small fish in a new pond of like-minded peers who are also dealing with the onslaught of new responsibilities and hormones.

It’s a lot.

My own experience was especially difficult due to going to a brand new school for my 5th grade year, which I do not recommend. As previously mentioned, though, books helped me through this as they have helped me through other difficult situations. There are books for 5th graders that can help your young ones enjoy their new position as the big people on campus, brief as though it may be. The ones that can help you prepare for the new world of middle school. Then there are books you just read to enjoy them. Below are a few books that may interest your own 5th grade book dragons.

As a quick side note, some of these books do have protagonists that are above 5th grade. My own tendency to read ‘above my grade level’ shone through in that regard. As I mentioned, I feel the 5th grade is a level that straddles a lot of lines. Some of the books for 5th graders mentioned here really highlight that. Ultimately, though, you know what reading material is best for the young book dragon in your life and can plan and gift accordingly.

General Fiction Books For 5th Graders

Nothing’s fair in fifth grade by barthe declements.

This book was first published 1981, although the more modern cover may lead you to think otherwise. However, it is still a relevant coming-of-age tale about Jenny and Elsie. Jenny has to learn a lesson about not judging by appearances alone. While many people compare this to Judy Blume’s Blubber , it stands out in that we get to know more about Elsie personally, which we didn’t get with Linda. There are other books in this series as well, but this one is a good choice for 5th graders as they prepare for the new world of middle school.

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President of the Whole Fifth Grade by Sherri Winston

Brianna has dreams of owning her own cupcake company. Her first step towards this is becoming her class president. When she is faced with competition for this role from her classmate Jasmine, she has to decide if she is going to win fairly or use underhanded tactics. This is a good moral lesson for all of us, regardless of age and shows that as determined as we may be, being a good person should overrule everything else.

Frindle by Andrew Clements

Nicholas Allen is a boy of many ideas that have gotten him a bit of hot water in the past. Fifth grade will be different though; until he decides to rename ‘pen’ to ‘frindle’. What started as an innocent decision eventually spreads through the school, the town, and eventually across the country. Can Nick stop it before it possibly spreads to the world?

Fantasy Books For 5th Graders

Tristan strong punches a hole in the sky by kwame mbalia.

Tristan is sent to his grandparents’ house in Alabama for the summer to process the loss of his best friend. He takes along his friend’s journal, full of the stories that he wrote. One night it gets stolen and in the tussle to get it back, he ends up punching a hole in the universe. It’s up to him, Black American folk heroes John Henry and Brer Rabbit, and trickster god Anansi to seal the chasm and save the world.

I’m putting this on the list because it sounds awesome. While technically the lead character is in 7th grade, if you have a 5th grader who reads above their level, they would enjoy this book.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

A mixture of fantasy and Chinese folklore, this book is about Minli who spends years listening to her father tell tales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man in the Moon. She in inspired to go on her own quest to find the latter, who knows the answer to everything, to help turn her family’s luck around.

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Fair warning that Artemis is a bit of an antihero, and even that description is generous in my opinion. I mean, the first book involves him kidnapping a fairy for ransom to help store his family’s fortune and triggering a cross-species war. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that the stories involving this criminal mastermind are extremely engaging, with their marriage of fantasy and technology. That is one of the many things that fascinated me since you typically only find books that lean hard one way or the other.

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Aru Shah is a girl who has a tendency to exaggerate her stories when speaking to her classmates. This trait leads her to light the Lamp of Bharata, which is said to be cursed, after three classmates call her bluff. Doing so releases an entity known as the Sleeper, who is duty-bound to awaken the God of Destruction. It’s up to Aru to save her classmates, her mother, and the world by finding the five reincarnations of the legendary Pandava brothers and trekking through the Kingdom of Death.

Mystery Books For 5th Graders

Escape from mr. lemoncello’s library by chris grabenstein.

Kyle loves games, but reading? Not so much. But when he finds out that world-famous game maker Luigi Lemoncello has designed the town’s new library? And that opening night is an invitation-only lock in? He’s determined to be there. Only to discover that getting out of the library is going to be tricky due to a puzzle hunt game that the designer has implemented that must be won before the kids can leave.

Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

Another mystery that involves puzzles and books, this stars Emily and her new friend James. After her move to San Francisco, home city of literary idol Garrison Griswold, Emily discovers that he has been attacked and left in a coma. This is all without anyone knowing about the epic new game he was supposed to launch. When an old book is discovered that the kids think is tied to his new game, they are on the case to find out what it is and who his attackers were.

The Name of This Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch

This book is about Cass and Max Ernes, who somehow end up with a mysterious box of vials known as the Symphony of Smells. This sends them on the trail of a magician who has disappeared into thin (and stinky) air and onto the path of an adventure. That’s about all the information I can give you since the plot, much like the title, is a secret.

Graphic Novels For 5th Graders

The baby-sitter’s club graphix by ann m. martin and raina telgemeier.

I love that revitalization this series got with the release of these graphic novels. That plus the upcoming Netflix series? My inner child is squeeing hardcore. The first in this series is of course Kristy’s Great Idea , wherein Kristy correctly thinks how easier it would be for parents to call one number for a choice of multiple babysitters. The rest, as they say, is history.

Big Nate in a Class By Himself by Lincoln Peirce

The first book in a long-running series about Nate, a boy who is just trying to survive his dad’s toxic oatmeal and the pitfalls of schools. By no means the teacher’s pet, Nate is learning how to dodge bullies, his teachers, and his arch-nemesis Gina all while staying his pretty awesome self.

The Misadventures of Max Crumbly: Locker hero by Rachel Renee Russell

This is one of the books where the main character is a bit above the 5th grade level. However, he is also facing the challenge of going into middle school for the first time, something I feel that a lot of 5th graders can sympathize with. It also doesn’t help that the school bully seems to have Max directly in his line of sight as his new victim. This spin-off from the Dork Diaries author is something I feel will speak to young readers who have middle school anxiety.

Horror Books For 5th Graders

The jumbies by tracey baptiste.

Corinne LaMer is fearless; She’s not even scared of the Jumbies that her parents tell tales about. Heck, she doesn’t even believe they exist! However, when one appears to follow her home one night and insinuates themself into her life, she begins to change her mind. Corinne and her friends have to reach deep inside themselves for courage, as well as magical ability they didn’t know they had, to save their island home from these tricksters.

Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn

This ghost story was one of my favorites growing up! Molly and her brother Michael are finding it difficult to adjust to their new stepfather and bratty stepsister Heather. When the family moves to an old church turned house in the country, it comes complete with a ghostly friend for Heather. However, Helen is not a friendly ghost. Molly and Michael wait in fear of what will happen if she actually comes for them.

The Dark-Thirty:Tales of the Supernatural by Patricia C. McKissack

This collection of original short stories is inspired by African American history and take place from the time of slavery through the civil rights movement. It isn’t to be missed as it will make a lasting impression on the reader. This is one that I read and I thoroughly enjoy and recommend for all readers, regardless of age.

Historical Fiction Books For 5th Graders

Bud, not buddy by christopher paul curtis.

After his mother’s death, 10-year-old Bud (not Buddy) sets off on a road trip to find his father. Nothing will stop him from this task. Set in 1936 Flint Michigan, this story will help open up discussion for a difficult time in our country’s history, and may help kids to realize how fortunate they may be in comparison to others.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

In 1943 Copenhagen, when Jewish people are being ‘relocated’, Ellen Rosen moves in with her friend Annemarie Johansen and pretends to be one of the family. Then Annemarie is tasked with a dangerous mission to help save her friend’s life. A staple of most elementary schools, this book will help to show the strength of friendship.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

This book is the first in the series about Cassie Logan and her family. The debut takes place in Mississippi during the Depression. Throughout it, Cassie learns the importance of her family owning their own land as well as struggles in the ugly face of racism, oppression, and social injustice. This one is a hard read so you may want to pre-read or buddy read. It will create an opportunity to answer any questions these complex topics. This is a book every person should read at least once in their life.

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

This book is set during the Great Depression and tells the story of Esperanza, who lives a life of privilege on a Mexican ranch. After an unexpected tragedy, she and her mother move to a California Mexican Labor camp. Suddenly, her existence is unwelcome. Then her mother gets sick and the rest of the labor camp goes on strike for better working conditions. Esperanza has to discover her inner strength for both her mother and herself.

Funny Books For 5th Graders

There’s a boys in the girls’ bathroom by louis sachar.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure which Sachar book was going to the win a place on the list. All of them remind me of childhood. However I’m going with this one because it actually takes place in 5th grade. And I think kids will identify with Bradley, no matter what their personal circumstances are. Fifth grade can be a tough year. Especially if you’re the oldest in your class like Bradley is. And when it seems that everyone, except for the new school counselor, has given up on you. This book helps to show that believing in yourself, while difficult sometimes, is a great way to approach life.

11 Birthdays: A Wish Novel By Wendy Mass

Amanda was so excited for her 11th birthday, believing that the year was going to be so different from 10. Then she and her best friend Leo have a falling out. For the first time ever, they don’t celebrate their birthdays together. When she goes to sleep that night she’s happy that the day is over, only to wake up to her 11th birthday again! How long will this cycle go on and what is Amanda going to learn from it?

The Top Ten Ways to Ruin the First Day of School by Ken Derby

Anthony Madison, or Tony Baloney if you prefer, loves The Late Show with David Letterman . So much so that he will stop at nothing to get there. Putting his own spin on the Top Ten list, Tony goes all out with his antics in his desire to get to New York City. This book was originally titled The Top Ten Ways to Ruin the First Day of Fifth Grade.

Classic Books For 5th Graders

The westing game by ellen raskin.

A group of 16 people are gathered at the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will. What follows is a puzzle hunt for his fortune in one final game from the eccentric millionaire. This one has been delighting readers for years and will no doubt continue to do so in the future.

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

Claudia and her brother Jamie decide to run away, and they have a very specific place in mind: the Metropolitan Museum in New York. They just happen to run away in the middle of the biggest mystery to make the headlines. This is a book most of us remember reading in 5th grade. I’m all for keeping the tradition alive.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson

I know. I know . This book is heartbreaking. However, there is a reason that it has stood the test of time since it was first published in 1977. It was also given new life with the big screen adaptation in 2007. This book deals with a very hard topic in a very good way that kids can understand. It’s one of the staples of childhood literature and will continue to be.

I hope that this helped you to think of some books for the 5th graders in your life. Once they progress past these books, check out our recommendations for the best middle grade graphic novels or fantastic middle grade books by black authors .

best new novels for 5th graders

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Best Books for Fifth Graders

By fifth grade, kids are more curious about the world around them and starting to wonder about their place in it. Our list offers captivating, tween-friendly stories from a variety of perspectives. You'll find historical fiction, realistic contemporary stories, exciting fantasies, middle school tales, and memoirs in verse. There is so much to choose from for kids age 10 to 11. Dive into these picks for older elementary school kids, and also explore our Best Book Series for Tweens . And when they're ready, check out the Best Books for Sixth Graders .

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Amber & Clay

Lyrical, epic tale of ancient Greece is emotionally intense.

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As Brave As You

Poignant summer adventure brims with family love and hope.

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Best Nerds Forever

Ghostly mystery has humor, sadness, and surprising depth.

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Better Nate Than Ever

Terrific tale of misfit taking bold step to remake his life.

Booked Poster Image

Soccer player faces divorce, bullies in fast-paced novel.

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Brown Girl Dreaming

Captivating poems depict coming-of-age in tumultuous 1960s.

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The Chance to Fly

Uplifting musical theater-themed story has charming lead.

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Counting by 7s

Striking tale of quirky girl connecting after parental loss.

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Echo Mountain

Girl finds her strengths in rich, poignant Depression tale.

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Esperanza Rising

Historical fiction at its best in story of '30s farmworkers.

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The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Newbery Honor book about a smart Southern tomboy in 1899.

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The False Prince: The Ascendance Trilogy, Book 1

Page-turning adventure of false identity and intrigue.

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Fish in a Tree

Big-hearted book about overcoming dyslexia inspires.

Ghost: Track, Book 1 Poster Image

Ghost: Track, Book 1

Poignant, smart look at track star running from his past.

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Girl Giant and the Monkey King

Middle school girl uses trickster god's help in fun fantasy.

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Gold Rush Girl

Great characters, perilous adventures in historical tale.

Holes Poster Image

Exciting mystery is often intense but occasionally funny.

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World Poster Image

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World

Inspiring memoir of teen Nobel laureate shot by Taliban.

I Funny: A Middle School Story Poster Image

I Funny: A Middle School Story

Middle school humor mixes with moving disability subplot.

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Inside Out and Back Again

Inspiring verse story of immigrant's new life in the U.S.

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  • Best Books for Sixth Graders
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Differentiated Teaching

Differentiated Teaching

The 20 Best Books for 5th Graders

Looking for the best books for your 5th graders? From read-aloud to novel studies to independent reading, there are so many different options that it can leave you wondering, what books should a 5th grader read? Even if you're familiar with the typical 5th grader's reading level, it can be challenging to find quality novels that engage your students while supporting critical thinking about the text. That's why I've compiled this list of some of my favorite chapter books for 5th graders to help you begin to build a collection of great reads for your learners! Keep reading to check it out!

Best Books for 5th Graders

What you'll find on this page:

20 Amazing 5th Grade Books You Need to Get Now

Whether you grab a single copy for your classroom library or read aloud or buy a whole class set for a large group novel study, these 20 novels are fantastic for fifth grade students.

For each chapter book for 5th graders I am sharing below, I've included a short plot summary to help you determine whether it fits your classroom well. I also shared links to the trifold novel study pack to help save you prep time and ensure you cover those essential comprehension standards.

I've included various 5th grade books to help you meet the needs and interests of your below, on-level, and above-level readers. I know your fifth graders will love these great stories, and you'll be ready to rock your year with a great 5th grade book list! 

1. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

I purposefully put this title first out of all the 5th grade books on this list because it is truly an AMAZING story. The kind that you just can't put down, and it is truly deserving of the awards it has received.

Embarking on a cross-country journey with her eccentric grandparents, 13-year-old Sal recounts the tale of her friend Phoebe's missing mother, all while grappling with the mystery of her own mother's disappearance. The winding roads are not just physical paths but are symbolic of Sal's journey of acceptance, understanding, and healing. Through Creech's poetic prose, this story beautifully illustrates the complexities of love, loss, and the bridges between generations.

Reading Level:

  • Lexile: 770L
  • Guided Reading: W

2. Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Emotions surge and hope remains unwavering in this captivating story. Every page immerses readers in the resilience and determination of a young boy named Bud.

During the harsh realities of the Great Depression, 10-year-old Bud Caldwell sets off on a journey after being orphaned. Carrying only a suitcase filled with mementos of his mother, he's on a quest to find his long-lost father, whom he believes is a famous jazz musician. Bud encounters a tapestry of characters along the way, each shaping his journey unexpectedly. This tale paints a vivid picture of Bud's adventures and showcases the power of tenacity, belief, and the human spirit.

  • Lexile: 950L
  • Guided Reading: U

Get the No Prep Novel Study: Bud, Not Buddy Novel Study

3. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=0547577095&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=thethiwhe 20 books for 5th graders, 5th grade books, chapter books for 5th graders

Set in World War II, this historical fiction novel by Lois Lowry follows the story of a ten-year-old girl named Annemarie as her family attempts to help save their Jewish friends from the Nazis.

When her best friend is left to live with her and must pretend to be Annemarie's dead sister, they face the most dangerous challenge of their lives.

As a companion to your social studies standards, this story brings the challenges and hardships children and families faced during the Nazi regime to life while giving students relatable characters and high-level vocabulary exposure.

If you are looking for an amazing historical fiction novel, you won't find any more engaging and thought-provoking than this one! It is a definite must-read.

  • Lexile: 670L

Get the No Prep Novel Study:  Number the Stars Novel Study

4. Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Another novel focused on kindness and being your true self, Fish in a Tree is the story of a girl named Ally who has mastered the art of hiding her inability to read…that is, until her new teacher, Mr. Daniels, figures it out and helps Ally see that she doesn't need to be ashamed of having dyslexia.

It is a great novel for talking about learning differences and individual talents. With likable characters and situations that could be happening in your own school or classroom, Fish in a Tree is sure to be a winner with your fifth graders.

  • Lexile: 550L
  • Guided Reading: X

Get the No Prep Novel Study:  Fish in a Tree Novel Study

5. Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

Freak the Mighty

When two boys who might otherwise be considered misfits team up, they become unstoppable.

The topics built into the plotline of this story include physical disabilities and learning disabilities, making it a great chapter book for 5th graders to start discussions about inclusion and kindness toward others.

A great book about the development of a friendship against the odds, there is lots of action and adventure in this great novel, but there is also some sadness at the end…so be prepared.

  • Lexile: 930L

Get the No Prep Novel Study:  Freak the Mighty Novel Study

6. Old Yeller by Fred Gipson

Old Yeller

Old Yeller is a classic novel set in the post-Civil War era. It is so popular that you probably already know the gist of the plot, but in case you don't, here are the (general) details.

After unsuccessfully trying to drive away the old golden retriever he found, Arliss ends up being saved by him. Despite the dog's naughty antics, this act of heroism endears him to the family and forms a bond between dog and owner. This act of heroism won't be Old Yeller's last.

With highs and lows throughout, this touching story is one that has held up over time. Strong writing and excellent characters make it a perfect novel study for your 5th grade class.

  • Lexile: 910L
  • Guided Reading: V

Get the No Prep Novel Study:  Old Yeller Novel Study

7. Rules by Cynthia Lord

Rules

Another Newbery winner, this realistic fiction book is a great read and includes a cast of characters that could be the kid in the next seat over. The story focuses on Catherine, a twelve-year-old struggling with her brother's autism and her desire to have a “normal life.” As the story unfolds, Catherine realizes that normal isn't always what you think it is.

A great story for analyzing change across time, this story will connect with students on a number of levels and spark great discussions in your 5th grade classroom.

  • Guided Reading: R

Get the No Prep Novel Study:  Rules Novel Study

8. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Where the Red Fern Grows

Get your tissues ready because you're likely to cry reading this one. (No, seriously, be sure the tissue boxes aren't empty if you assign it to students.)

A great book for those animal lovers in your classroom, this novel is the story of Billy and his two hunting companions. A classic story full of adventure, emotion, and heartbreak, this book is a must-read for every student.

While tears will likely be shed, there will also be great discussions that help build students' skills in literature analysis, including characters and their relationships, how the setting impacts the plot, and more.

  • Lexile: 700L

Get the No Prep Novel Study:  Where the Red Fern Grows Novel Study

9. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Tuck Everlasting

Would you want to live forever?

This book makes students think about whether this is such a good thing as they read about the Tuck family as they explain their life challenges to a ten-year-old girl named Winnie Foster after she discovers their secret. However, when a stranger follows Winnie to locate the mystical spring that brings eternal life, they must face the challenges that arise.

This is such a great novel for discussion. With lots of amazing characterization and a plotline that pulls young readers in, your students will have so much fun discussing this story and deciding whether they want to live forever.

Learn more about the skills you can teach in a Tuck Everlasting Novel Study.

10. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

Maniac Magee

For starters, Jerry Spinelli writes some great books for 5th graders…so it was tough to decide which to include in this list. However, Maniac Magee rose to the top because it digs deep into a number of themes that are engaging and important to talk about with students.

After becoming an orphan, Jeffery Magee becomes a local legend due to his athletic ability and fearless nature. Despite this he still faces numerous conflicts (both internal and external) within the small town of Two Mills. From bullies to racism, this story covers many deep topics that are just as top of mind today as they were in the story.

Full of rich detail and opportunities to think beyond the text, this is a great choice for your fifth grade readers.

  • Lexile: 820L

Get the No Prep Novel Study:  Maniac Magee Novel Study

11. The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

The Sign of the Beaver

This is the story of an unlikely friendship and coming of age.

While his father is away, Matt must learn to coexist with nature in order to survive. With the help of the Beaver clan, he begins to adapt to his new life on the frontier, but he also realizes the challenges the tribe is facing from the new settlers and the changing environment they bring.

A Newbery winner, this book is engaging and captures the reader's imagination with lots of great vivid details. Students can really imagine themselves in Matt's shoes as he learns to survive.

  • Lexile: N/A
  • Guided Reading: T

Get the No Prep Novel Study:  The Sign of the Beaver Novel Study

12. Holes by Louis Sachar

Holes

If you haven't read much Louis Sachar, prepare to laugh! He truly writes some funny children's books.

This particular story has won numerous awards and is the tale of Stanley, a boy who is sent to a juvenile correction facility called Camp Green Lake.

Full of irony (the camp is in the middle of the desert) and some interesting characters, this story captures readers early on and takes them on a wild ride as Stanley begins to wonder if the holes they are being forced to dig to “build character” are really a hunt for something else.

  • Lexile: 660L

Learn more about the No Prep Novel Study:  Holes Novel Study

13. The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver

Another great science fiction story (and Newbery Medal winner), this is the story of Jonas.

While it seems his life is perfect, this all changes when he is given the job of Receiver of Memory. Soon he discovers that his colorless world is not the calm, peaceful place that he grew up knowing. Instead, he must consider whether this existence is really what is best for society and face the challenging decisions that lie ahead.

There are three companion books that go along with this great novel, and I guarantee your students will be hooked once they've read this story. With great plot twists and unexpected events, the discussions you can have about The Giver are truly limitless.

  • Lexile: 760L
  • Guided Reading: Y

Get the No Prep Novel Study:  The Giver Novel Study

14. Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Esperanza Rising

Tragedy transforms Esperanza's life from one of great riches to one of hard labor in this historical fiction novel.

A young girl faced with the death of her father ends up having to overcome great challenges as she learns to survive without all the things she had become accustomed to (including incredibly low paying migrant work).

A great novel with a multicultural lens, Esperanza Rising is beautifully told with many great opportunities to explore sensory details and other aspects of writer's craft.

  • Lexile: 750L

Learn more about the No Prep Novel Study:  Esperanza Rising Novel Study

15. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Bridge to Terabithia

A story of friendship and loss, this amazing novel is the story of a fifth grader (Jesse) who becomes friends with a girl from school after she beats him in a race.

Despite having very different life experiences, the pair is soon inseparable, and through the friendship, Jesse learns to be brave and manage his emotions.

The title comes from the kingdom they create for themselves in the woods, which they name Terabithia.

  • Lexile: 810L

Get the No Prep Novel Study:  Bridge to Terabithia Novel Study

16. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein

One of the most fun on my list of books for fifth graders, this story follows a group of children who win an essay contest held by the nation's most famous game maker. As winners, the group gets the chance to be the first to see their town's new state-of-the-art library and the ability to compete in a contest for even bigger and better prizes.

Unlike the rest of the winners, Kyle Keeley, a fun-loving kid with a competitive streak, gets in on a last-minute entry. Lucky for him, he's Lemoncello's biggest fan and the ultimate gamer.

EscapefromMr.Lemoncello sLibrary RebeccaD 1478 books for 5th graders, 5th grade books, chapter books for 5th graders

The best part about this book is students get to play along with the characters as they try to solve the puzzles that will win Mr. Lemoncello's contest and let them escape from the library.

Full of drama, excitement, and adventure, this story is great for even reluctant readers.

  • Lexile: 720L

Get the No Prep Novel Study:  Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library Novel Study

17. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Hearts resonate deeply with this poignant story by Katherine Applegate. As you flip through the pages, you'll find yourself looking at the world through the eyes of a unique gorilla named Ivan.

Living in a cage at a shopping mall, Ivan has accepted his lot in life with humans watching his every move. However, his perspective shifts when he befriends a baby elephant named Ruby, realizing they both deserve better. This tale traces Ivan's heartwarming journey, his use of art to communicate, and his determined hope to create a better future for Ruby and himself.

  • Lexile: 570L
  • Guided Reading: S

Get the No Prep Novel Study

18. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Hatchet

After surviving a plane crash in the rugged wilderness of Canada, Brian is in the fight of his life. This story is the ultimate in survival fiction as students follow Brian’s transformation from a scared, unsure boy to a strong, independent survivor. From making

From creating a fire to gathering food, Brian makes a lot of mistakes in his quest to survive, and Paulsen’s writing captures the imagination of readers, pulling them into Brian’s journey.

Reading Level: 

  • Below-level
  • Lexile: 1020L

Learn more about the novel study: Hatchet Novel Study

19. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=0689710682&Format= SL160 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=thethiwhe 20 books for 5th graders, 5th grade books, chapter books for 5th graders

A fantasy tale about a widowed mouse and her small children. In this story Mrs. Frisby is faced with a move…or certain death.

With a young son suffering from pneumonia and numerous other challenges, Mrs. Frisby lucks out when she encounters the rats of NIMH. These (as luck would have it) highly intelligent problem-solvers develop a brilliant answer to Mrs. Frisby's unfortunate situation.

A great read with lots of high-quality vocabulary!

  • Lexile: 790L

Get the No Prep Novel Study:  Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of NIMH Novel Study

20. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief

Looking for some great fantasy books for 5th graders? Check out the Percy Jackson series.

This fantasy based on Greek mythology is a great novel that follows the story of Percy Jackson as he learns he is not just a typical 12-year-old boy. After discovering he is a demigod, Percy winds up on a quest to find Zeus' stolen lightning bolts.

Great for students who love the Harry Potter series, this book is just the first in a whole series.

With lots of action, excitement, and relatable characters, your students will be begging to read the rest of the series after they finish this one.

Learn more about the Novel Study:  The Lightning Thief Novel Study

Now that you've got a 5th grade reading list…

While you're here, grab my free novel study planning roadmap to get step-by-step support to plan a high-quality literature unit for your fifth-grade students, whether you're in the classroom or homeschooling. Whether planning your first novel study or looking for new ideas, you'll love this great tool.

Have enough chapter books for 5th graders?

Need more great books to add to your classroom or home library? If you've got a broad range of reading levels or are trying to diversify your classroom library, here are some of my favorite books for other reading levels.

If you've already filled your book list for 5th grade, don't worry! I've got you covered. Check out the links below to access more great novels for other grade levels.

Books for 6th Graders

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best new novels for 5th graders

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40 Page-Turning 5th Grade Books Kids Love To Read

Must-reads for your tweens.

5th Grade Books

Have a group of reluctant readers? Not sure which fifth grade books to recommend? Fifth graders can be tricky to please as they’re slowly moving away from their elementary school selves and beginning to see the world in a more mature way. They’re capable of understanding and questioning texts differently than in the past. We’ve compiled a list of books that will keep your fifth grade readers engaged and chatting with one another about the lessons, questions, predictions, and thoughts they have while they read. Check out this list of favorite fifth grade books to start creating a room full of great readers!

(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)

1. Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Book cover of Smile as an example of 5th grade books

When Raina trips and falls and injures her two front teeth, she’s forced to have surgery and wear braces, making sixth grade even wilder than it already was. This graphic novel, based on Telgemeier’s life, has everything from boy problems to a major earthquake.

Buy it: Smile at Amazon

2. Holes by Louis Sachar

Book cover of Holes

Moving and funny with an edge, Louis Sachar’s Newbery Medal–winning novel Holes revolves around Stanley Yelnats (his surname is Stanley spelled backwards), who has been sent to Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention center, to dig holes. Soon after picking up the shovel, Stanley begins to suspect that they are doing more than just moving dirt.

Buy it: Holes at Amazon

3. Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Book cover of Esperanza Rising, as an example of 5th grade books

This is historical fiction at its finest. It’s the story of Esperanza, a wealthy girl living in Mexico, who must go with her family to the United States during the Great Depression. Esperanza’s life gets turned upside down, but she pushes through and learns that pleasant surprises can result from change.

Buy it: Esperanza Rising at Amazon

4. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Book cover of Wonder as an example of 5th grade books

The hero of Wonde r is Auggie Pullman, who has an extremely rare medical facial deformity. After having undergone many facial surgeries, Auggie has been homeschooled by his mother, but soon he will be attending mainstream school for the first time. This lovely story of acceptance will have every preteen rooting for Auggie the “wonder.”

Buy it: Wonder at Amazon

5. Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

Book cover of Freak the Mighty as an example of 5th grade books

”I never had a brain until Freak came along and let me borrow his for a while.” Freak the Mighty is the tale of the unlikely friendship between Max, a strong boy with a learning disability, and Freak, a brilliant, small boy with a heart condition. Together, they are Freak the Mighty: nine feet tall and ready to conquer the world!

Buy it: Freak the Mighty at Amazon

6. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Book cover of Out of My Mind as an example of 5th grade books

Words always swirl around in Melody’s head. But due to her cerebral palsy, they remain stuck in her brain. Out of My Mind is the powerful story of an intelligent young girl with a photographic memory who cannot communicate her thoughts. No one believes Melody is capable of learning, but she eventually finds her voice.

Buy it: Out of My Mind at Amazon

7. Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

Book cover of Al Capone Does My Shirts

Moose Flanagan isn’t growing up where most kids grow up. He is a resident of The Rock, also known as Alcatraz, the infamous prison where his father works as an electrician. In an effort to help his sister Natalie, who has autism, Moose gets help from an unlikely—and notorious—new friend.

Buy it: Al Capone Does My Shirts at Amazon

8. I Am Malala (Young Reader’s Edition) by Malala Yousafzai

Book cover of I Am Malala

Want to add memoirs to your collection of fifth grade books? The inspiring story of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani teen who was shot by the Taliban and subsequently became an international symbol of peaceful protest, is a must. Every preteen should hear the wisdom in the words “When you’ve nearly lost your life, a funny face in the mirror is simply proof that you are still here on this earth.”

Buy it: I Am Malala at Amazon

9. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

Book cover of Maniac Magee

Jerry Spinelli’s classic Maniac Magee follows an orphan boy looking for a home in a fictional town in Pennsylvania. For his feats of athleticism and fearlessness and his ignorance to the racial boundaries around him, Jeffrey “Maniac” Magee becomes something of a local legend. This timeless book is essential reading for learning about social identity and finding your place in the world. If your students haven’t yet read this classic, it’s time to add it to your collection of fifth grade books.

Buy it: Maniac Magee at Amazon

10. Baseball in April and Other Stories by Gary Soto

Book cove of Baseball in April and Other Stories

Gary Soto uses experiences from his own life as a Mexican American growing up in California as the inspiration for 11 stellar short stories, each describing small moments that showcase bigger themes. Crooked teeth, girls with ponytails, embarrassing relatives, and karate class all are wonderful fabric for Soto to weave the beautiful tapestry that is young Gary’s world.

Buy it: Baseball in April and Other Stories at Amazon

11. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Book cover of The Secret Garden

Fifth graders will enjoy  Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic children’s novel  The Secret Garden . Mary Lennox is a spoiled orphan sent to live with her uncle at his mansion full of secrets. Generations young and old love this book, which showcases the true meaning of the word family .

Buy it: The Secret Garden at Amazon

12. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Book cover of Bridge to Terabithia

Looking for more classic fifth grade books for students to read? In this story, Jess meets the smart and talented Leslie after she beats him in a race at school. Leslie transforms his world, teaching him how to have courage in the face of adversity. They create a kingdom for themselves called Terabithia, an imaginary refuge where their adventures take place. In the end, Jess has to overcome heartbreaking tragedy in order to stay strong.

Buy it: Bridge to Terabithia at Amazon

13. The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

Book cover of The City of Ember

The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the lamps that light the city are beginning to die out. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she’s sure it holds a secret that will save the city. This classic dystopian tale will light up your heart.

Buy it: The City of Ember at Amazon

14. The Giver by Lois Lowry

Book cover of The Giver

Lois Lowry’s classic The Giver begins as a utopian tale but is later revealed to be a dystopian story in every sense of the word. Jonas lives in a world where society has eliminated memories, pain, and emotional depth. When he becomes a Receiver of Memory, he struggles with new emotions he’s never before felt. And as you read, so will you!

Buy it: The Giver at Amazon

15. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Book cover of Number the Stars

Lois Lowry does it again! Be prepared to answer lots of questions while reading this classic must-read about Annemarie, a young girl who helps keep her Jewish friends safe during the Holocaust. The details are so precise, you will feel as if you are right in the middle of the story.

Buy it: Number the Stars at Amazon

16. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Book cover of Hatchet

This adventure tale is another classic for your list of fifth grade books. It’s also a great example of huge character growth. Brian must try to survive the wilderness after a plane crash, but he has only the clothes on his back, a windbreaker, and the titular hatchet. Brian learns how to fish, how to build a fire, and most importantly, patience.

Buy it: Hatchet at Amazon

17. The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis

Book cover of The Watsons Go To Birmingham

History unfolds in this book set during the Civil Rights Movement when the Watsons, a family from Flint, Michigan, take a road trip to Alabama. Chock-full of family dynamics, adolescent angst, and humor, this book will encourage much discussion about what Birmingham was like in 1963.

Buy it: The Watsons Go to Birmingham at Amazon

18. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Book cover of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

This classic diary documents the life of Anne Frank while she was in hiding with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The diary has since been published in over 60 languages. It’s a gripping and heartbreaking tale for kids and adults to read and discuss together.

Buy it: Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl at Amazon

19. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Book cover of Where the Red Fern Grows

Here’s another title that tops lists of classic fifth grade books. This story is an exciting tale of love and adventure that your fifth grader will never forget. Ten-year-old Billy raises hunting dogs in the Ozark Mountains. Throughout the story, young Billy encounters his share of heartbreak.

Buy it: Where the Red Fern Grows at Amazon

20. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Book cover of Walk Two Moons

Two heartwarming, compelling stories are woven together in this delightful tale. As 13-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle takes a cross-country trip with her grandparents, a story of love, loss, and the depth and complexity of human emotion is revealed.

Buy it: Walk Two Moons at Amazon

21. Restart by Gordon Korman

Book cover of Restart

Restart is the story of a boy whose messy past gets a second chance in middle school. After falling off a roof and losing his memory, Chase must live life again and relearn who he was before the accident. But does he want to return to that boy? Not only does he ask who he was , now the question is who he wants to be.

Buy it: Restart at Amazon

22. Wish by Barbara O’Connor

Book cover of Wish

If you’re looking for fifth grade books for animal lovers, check out this title. Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese spends her time making lists of her wishes. Not sure if they will ever come true, Charlie meets Wishbone, a stray dog who captures her heart. Charlie surprises herself in learning that sometimes the things we wish for may not be the things we actually need.

Buy it: Wish at Amazon

23. Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Book cover of Fish in a Tree as an example of 5th grade books

Ally is able to fool everyone in each of her new schools into thinking she can read. But her newest teacher, Mr. Daniels, sees right through her. Mr. Daniels helps Ally realize that being dyslexic is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally sees the world in a whole new way.

Buy it: Fish in a Tree at Amazon

24. Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate

Book cover of Home of the Brave, as an example of 5th grade books

This is a story about courage and challenges as Kek comes from Africa to the United States, where he has very little family. America is a strange place to him as he sees and learns about things like snow for the first time. Slowly, Kek builds new friendships and learns to love his new country as he toughs out the Minnesota winter.

Buy it: Home of the Brave at Amazon

25. The Journey That Saved Curious George by Louise Borden

Book cover of The Journey that Saved Curious George, as an example of 5th grade books

Fifth grade students might be too old to read Curious George picture books, but this nonfiction book about its authors is perfect for an older audience. In 1940, Hans and Margret Rey fled their Paris home as the German army advanced during World War II. This began their journey to safety all while carrying children’s book manuscripts among their few possessions. Read and learn about this amazing story that brought the beloved Curious George to the world, with original photos!

Buy it: The Journey That Saved Curious George at Amazon

26. Rules by Cynthia Lord

Book cover of Rules, as an example of 5th grade books

Twelve year-old Catherine just wants a normal life. Growing up in a home with a severely autistic brother makes things really difficult. Catherine is determined to teach her brother David the “rules of life” to prevent his embarrassing behaviors in public and make her life more “normal.” Everything changes during the summer when Catherine meets some new friends, and now she must ask herself: What is normal ?

Buy it: Rules at Amazon

27. Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea

Book cover of Because of Mr. Terupt, as an example of 5th grade books

One fifth grade class is about to embark on a year like no other as their teacher, Mr. Terupt, changes the way they view school. While Mr. Terupt helps each student achieve their fifth grade goals, the students learn it’s Mr. Terupt who needs their help the most. This book is the first of a three-book series your students will not want to put down!

Buy it: Because of Mr. Terupt at Amazon

28. Mixed Up by Gordon Korman

Book cover of Mixed Up, as an example of 5th Grade Books

NY Times bestselling author Gordon Korman has done it again! Just released in 2023, Korman tells the story of two boys who are having strange flashbacks of memories that don’t seem to belong to them. At the same time, their own memories seem to be vanishing! What could possibly be happening?

Buy it: Mixed Up at Amazon

29. Posted by John David Anderson

Book Cover of Posted, as an example of 5th Grade Books.

Fifth grade is a year of growth for students. Many kids start to deal with social issues in the classroom, at recess, and on social media. This story addresses the realities most of these kids face: bullying, broken friendships, and failures of communication between kids.

Buy it: Posted at Amazon

30. Eleven by Tom Rogers

Book Cover of Eleven, as an example of 5th Grade Books.

If you are looking to learn and read about the lessons of 9/11 with your students, you must check this out. Alex Douglas’ birthday is September 11. Little does he know that turning 11 on this day will be such a big deal. Never would he have imagined so much could happen on one day. Read how Alex Douglas, the boy who always wanted to be a hero, learns an unexpected lesson.

Buy it: Eleven at Amazon

31. Odder by Katherine Applegate

Book Cover of Odder, as an example of 5th Grade Books.

Looking for new Katherine Applegate titles (The One and Only Ivan , Crenshaw ) to add to your collection of fifth grade books? Released in 2022, this book quickly became a NY Times bestseller. This is the story of a fearless sea otter who spends her days twirling and spinning underwater off the coast of central California. When she suddenly comes to face to face with a great white shark, she must challenge everything she believes about herself and the humans trying to save her. Inspired by the true story of a Monterey Bay Aquarium program that pairs orphaned otter pups with surrogate mothers.

Buy it: Odder at Amazon

32. The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

Book Cover of The Fourteenth Goldfish, as an example of 5th Grade Books.

Looking for something a bit more science- or STEM-related? Ellie is an 11-year-old who doesn’t like change. She misses her best friend, fifth grade, and even her last goldfish. One day, an odd boy shows up who reminds her of her grandpa Melvin, a quirky scientist. This book delves into the wonder of science and explores questions about life and death, family and friendship, and possibility.

Buy it: The Fourteenth Goldfish at Amazon

33. Best Nerds Forever by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

Book Cover of Best Nerds Forever, as an example of 5th Grade Books.

One minute Finn is biking home from school and the next minute he is run off the road by a maniac in a big van. Now, Finn is a ghost and is enjoying doing lots of fun things that only ghosts can do. But he still has lots of questions: Who wanted him dead? Can he stop it from happening to others?

Buy it: Best Nerds Forever at Amazon

34. Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Book Cover of Shouting at the Rain, as an example of 5th Grade Books.

This is a beautiful story of learning to love the family you have. Delsie lives with her grandmother and lately wishes she could have a “regular family.” After her old friend abandons her, Delsie befriends Ronan, who has endured trouble of his own. This book is a story of their adventures, where they learn what it means to be broken versus whole, abandoned versus loved, and much more.

Buy it: Shouting at the Rain at Amazon

35. The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore

Book Cover of The Stars Beneath Our Feet, as an example of 5th Grade Books

Lolly Rachpaul and his mom are still mourning the death of his older brother in a gang-related shooting just a few months earlier. Then, Lolly’s mother’s girlfriend brings him a gift that will change everything—bags and bags of LEGO bricks. When he is pressured to join a “crew” as his brother did, Lolly is faced with deciding what will be his safest choice. He falls back on his new gift to help him find an escape from the world he lives in.

Buy it: The Stars Beneath Our Feet at Amazon

36. The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry

Book Cover of The Worst Class Trip Ever, as an example of 5th Grade Books.

This is a hilarious adventure told in the voice of eighth grader Wyatt Palmer as he and his friends find themselves in huge trouble on their class trip to Washington, D.C. Not just trouble with their teachers, but from some mysterious men they meet on their flight. Hop on board as they try to stay out of danger and, oh … save the president of the United States!

Buy it: The Worst Class Trip Ever at Amazon

37. Linked by Gordon Korman

Book Cover of Linked, as an example of 5th Grade Books.

Link, Michael, and Dana live in a quiet town. One day, a swastika is found on the school property. Nobody can believe it. How could such a symbol of hate end up in their middle school? There are many suspects, and everyone is pointing fingers at everyone else. The students struggle to figure out a way to bring people together as opposed to dividing them even further.

Buy it: Linked at Amazon

38. Accidental Archaeologists: True Stories of Unexpected Discoveries by Sarah Albee

Book Cover of Accidental Archeologists, as an example of 5th grade books.

Science plus real-life mystery! Learn about incredible accidental finds that changed history. This book will take you on an adventure to find the most surprising discoveries made by ordinary people. You’ll find kings buried under parking lots, ancient skeletons, and a boy who found a bunch of old scrolls while searching for his lost goats!

Buy it: Accidental Archaeologists at Amazon

39. Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women by Catherine Thimmesh

Book Cover of Girls Think of Everything, as an example of 5th Grade Books.

You wouldn’t believe how many everyday items and foods were invented by women! What inspired them? How did they turn their ideas into reality? This book will take you through women inventors young and old with the most gorgeous illustrations! This nonfiction title geared toward girls is a perfect addition to your collection of fifth grade books.

Buy it: Girls Think of Everything at Amazon

40. When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller

Book cover of When You Trap a Tiger, as an example of 5th grade books.

A magical tiger arrives in Lily’s life—straight from the Korean folktales Lily’s heard over and over. She begins to unravel a secret family history and learns her grandmother’s health depends on a deal she must make with the tigers of the past. But deals with tigers are never what they seem! With the help of her sister, Lily must find a way to stand up to the tiger with courage.

Buy it: When You Trap a Tiger at Amazon

Love these fifth grade books? Check out our list of realistic fiction books that kids will love!

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25 Best Books for 5th Graders: Making Reading Fun for Kids

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Best Books for 5th Graders: General Fiction

Best non-fiction books for 5th graders, top rated books for 5th graders on adventure, best fantasy books for 5th graders, best historical fiction books for 5th graders.

Fifth grade is a vital milestone in a child’s life. They are still in elementary school but mentally prepared for middle school. Thus, it is the perfect time to introduce your kids to some advanced reading. All you need is good reading books for 5th graders , and you can enhance your child’s literary horizon. 

However, check your 5th grader’s reading level and areas of interest; this can help you select the books for them. Usually, 5th graders have advanced reading levels unless they struggle to read due to problems like dyslexia, autism, etc.

In this article, we’ve picked the best 25 books for fifth graders across various niches like fiction, non-fiction, mystery, etc. So, let’s look at some good books to read for 5th graders that your kids will love.

Here are some more online reading games to educate and engage your kids!

25 Books for 5th Graders to Learn and Take Inspiration From

Based on the general reading level, here are some popular books for 5th graders: 

1. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Subject: Prejudice, Self-acceptance, Friendship, Bullying

Amazon Ratings: 4.6/5

Price: $9.67

Cover of wonder

R.J. Palacio wrote a beautiful piece of children’s literature based on a real-life incident. The book is inspired by an incident when the writer’s son started to cry after seeing a girl with a facial deformity. Palacio attempted to remove his son from the situation so the girl and her family wouldn’t feel hurt, but it worsened the situation. Later, taking inspiration from Natalie Merchant’s song, she penned this book for 5th graders to teach them a valuable lesson on friendship, acceptance, and bullying. 

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2. New Kid by Jerry Craft

Subject: Racism

Amazon Ratings: 4.7/5

Price: $8.64

Cover of New Kid

This is a graphic novel that will help your fifth-grader understand how racism still exists in our modern society. The story revolves around a seventh-grade student, Jordan, who experiences a culture shock after enrolling in a private school. This book talks about a critical issue – how American Africans still struggle to fit into society. It also talks about a child’s experience in a new academic environment.

3. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Subject: Disability, Acceptance

Price: $7.49

Cover of out of my mind

This is an excellent book to read for 5th graders because it talks about acceptance and celebrating disability. The book is narrated by Melody, who has cerebral palsy. She is a smart girl, but her inability to express her thoughts physically and verbally makes her an odd one out in the crowd. However, when she enters the fifth grade, she gets a machine to communicate with others. That’s when people realized how intelligent she was.

4. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery 

Subject: Resourcefulness, Determination, and Presence of Mind

Price: $5.99

Cover of Anne of Greene gables

You can encourage your fifth grader to read this book to enhance their knowledge about the 19th century. This is the story of Anne, a 14-year-old orphan. She is mistakenly adopted by two siblings who want to adopt a boy to help them around their farm. It is a beautiful tale of how she wins everyone’s hearts with her dramatic and intelligent character. She is a determined person who is ready to take on any challenge. Your child will learn a lot from her adventurous story.

5. Nothing’s Fair in Fifth Grade by Barthe Declemente 

Subject: Judging, Bullying, Physical Appearance 

Price: $7.99

Cover of Nothing's Fair in Fifth Grade

Do you want to teach your fifth graders never to judge someone based on their physical appearance? If so, Nothing’s Fair in Fifth Grade is the perfect tool. It is the story of two fifth-graders, Jane and Elise. Elise is a plump girl. Therefore, Jane assumed she had stolen book club money to buy lunch. The story teaches how bullying can impact someone, why children shouldn’t do it, and how those who face or witness it should stand up against bullies. 

6. Accidental Archeologists: True Stories of Unexpected DIscoveries by Sarah Albee 

Subject: Archaeological Stories

Amazon Ratings: 4.5/5

Price: $9.79

Cover of Accidental Archeologists True Stories of Unexpected DIscoveries

If you’re looking for fun books for 5th graders, this is a great find with amazing graphics and gripping adventures. The book will hook children with its simple writing and fantastic science-meets-reality stories from the first page. In addition, children can learn about various historical discoveries from this book, like the discovery of The Rosetta Stone, a fought-over golden Buddha statue, a 5300-year-old mummy, and many more.

7. Do You Know Where the Animals Live? by Peter Wohlleben 

Subject: Animal Science 

Price: $15.59

Cover of Do You Know Where the Animals Live

New York Times bestselling author, Peter Wohlleben, has created a fantastic visual book for young children to learn about animals. Your child will learn about different animals and their habitats in a question-answer style. The book contains questions like – Are worms afraid of the rain? Do fish use farts to communicate? Two pages are dedicated to interesting information and colorful illustrations to answer every question.

8. The Dictionary of Difficult Words by Jane Solomon 

Subject: Improving Vocabulary 

Amazon Ratings: 4.9/5

Price: $16.69

Cover of The Dictionary of Difficult Words

This is a popular book for 5th graders to improve their English vocabulary. You will find some unique and modern English words in this book with clear illustrations. Children will become wordsmiths with over 400 unique word collections like bubble shoot, a moonbow, haberdashery, ichthyologist, Luddite, etc. 

9. What Breathes Through Its Butt? Mind-Blowing Science Questions Answered by Dr. Emily Grossman 

Subject: Science 

Price: $15.39

Cover of What Breathes Through Its Butt Mind Blowing Science Questions Answered

This is an interactive and fun book for 5th graders or even younger children. It contains everyday science questions such as; why is your elbow called your funny bone? How could you escape the grip of a crocodile’s jaw? Which animal can breathe through its butt? This book’s handwriting, cool emojis, and graphics are engaging and will appeal to kids. 

10. Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women by Catherine Thimmesh 

Subject: Biography 

Price: $9.99

Cover of Girls Think of Everything Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women

An award-winning author and illustrator collaborate to create this graphical biographic book. It is a fictional narration of real stories, including suspense and thriller. Catherine Thimmesh has successfully made boring and mundane biographies into exciting and innovative stories. Most biographies are of women who have discovered something remarkable in their lives.

11. Trapped in a Video Game by Dustin Brady 

Subject: Virtual Action

Price: $4.99

Cover of trapped in a video game

This is a fun and adventure-loaded book for your enthusiastic fifth grader. The book’s storyline revolves around a 12-year-old boy who likes to play video games with his friend. As they were about to complete a high level in the game, they suddenly found themselves inside it. The book is about how these two friends enter a video game and find their way out.

12. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen 

Subject: Self-Dependence, Confidence, Problem-Solving

Price: $6.10

Cover of Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

This book has a strong message of self-dependence. It is the story of a young boy, Brian Roberson, who travels from New York to Canada to visit his grandfather. However, his plane crashes midway, and he finds himself on the banks of a wild lake in Canada. The story follows the adventurous journey of Brian and how he learned to hunt, start a fire, and survive in the wild. All with the one tool Brian has with him – a hatchet. 

13. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George 

Subject: Solitude, Survival, Balance 

Amazon Ratings: 4.8/5

Price: $7.59

Cover of My Side of the Mountain

This is an illustrated novel based on 12-year-old Sam Gribley. He doesn’t like living in his crowded family apartment. So, he moves to his grandfather’s abandoned farmhouse in the Catskill Mountains. Sam must rely on his survival skills to reach the farmhouse and hunt animals for food. Throughout the story, Sam encounters several challenges. In the end, he decides to balance solitude and his family. 

14. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster 

Subject: Time Management, Boredom 

Amazon Ratings: 4.8/5 

Price: $7.78

Cover Of The Phantom Tollbooth

This is the story of a boy named Milo, who has a room full of toys and books but is still bored. Then, one day, he sees a magical tollbooth appear in his room out of the blue. Out of boredom, Milo drives through the tollbooth in his toy car and lands in the Kingdom of Wisdom. He travels through the kingdom and rescues two beautiful princesses, Rhyme and Reason. 

He also goes to the Island of Conclusions, which you can reach by jumping. He soon learns life is anything but boring. It is an enjoyable read for 5th graders centered around the love for learning. 

15. Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss 

Subject: Friendship, Family, Forgiveness 

Price: $8.99

Cover of book scavenger

New York Times bestseller author, Jennifer Chambliss, has written this book starring Emily and her friend James. After moving to San Francisco, home of her literary idol Garrison Griswold, she discovers that he has been attacked and left in a coma. So, she starts an adventure with her friend to find out who has attacked Griswold. It is an action and suspense-filled book to capture students’ interests. 

16. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 

Subject: Responsibility 

Price: $6.81

Cover of the little prince

This fantasy story begins when a pilot crashes in the Sahara desert. While fixing his plane, the pilot meets a young and curious boy. The young boy tells the pilot he is a prince who has embarked on an adventure to seek knowledge to understand his planet better. The book is philosophical from a child’s perspective and can help to develop your child’s interest in literature. 

17. The Hobbit by J.R.R. 

Subject: Take Risk, Come out of Comfort Zone

Price: $11.91

Cover of the hobbit

This classic book follows Bilbo Baggins, a quiet and respectful hobbit. He goes on an adventure to get a treasure guarded by the dragon Smaug. The kids will enjoy Bilbo’s journey, different characters, and the exciting adventures in the story. 

18. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin 

Subject: Gratitude 

Price: $13.78

Cover of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

The book revolves around a 10-year-old spirited girl, Minli. She is adventurous and loves her family, who struggle to make ends meet. One day, she sets out on a quest to bring good fortune to her family and the village. Along the way, she makes new friends – a dragon, a poor boy, and a prince. The tale of how they find the fortune will engage and entertain your kids and give them a valuable lesson on kindness. 

19. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle 

Subject: Love, Self-value

Amazon Ratings: 4.4/5

Price: $8.49

Cover of a wrinkle in time

This is a fantasy story of Meg, whose father has been missing for two days. One night, Meg and her brother meet Mrs. Whatsit, their eccentric neighbor. She learns about The Tesseract, the power to transport to the universe by folding time and space. Meg embarks on a magical journey to find her father along with her brother and classmate. It is a wonderful book about love, individuality, and imagination. 

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

Subject: Unitedness 

Cover of chronicles of Narnia the lion the witch and the wardrobe

This story revolves around four siblings – Peter, Lucy, Susan, and Edmund. They enter the enchanted land of Narnia from an old wardrobe. Once there, they realize that all of this was destined, and they must now unite with Aslan to defeat an evil queen – the White Witch.

21. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell 

Subject: Redemption, Belongingness 

Price: $6.78

Cover of the island of the blue dolphins

This is a children’s novel about a girl named Karana. She is on a journey of self-discovery as she is stranded alone on the island her tribe used to live on for years. She finds solace among the island’s animals and learns how to survive and care for the world. This is a good book for 5th graders to teach them the importance of hanging out with the people who support you and allow you to grow as a person. 

22. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry 

Subject: Difficulties of Growing Up 

Cover of Number the Stars

The story revolves around Annemarie, who is 10 years old and lives in Copenhagen with her family in 1943. During World War 2, she risks her life to help her Jewish friend escape the Nazis. This book teaches 5th graders about World War II events in a simple story form. 

23. Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan 

Subject: Love, Struggles, Sacrifice 

Price: $5.34

Cover of Esperanza Rising

This is a fictional book for young adults following Esperanza. She is the daughter of a wealthy landowner in Mexico. However, her family meets with a tragedy, and they fly to the United States during the great depression and adjust to their new life as farm workers. The story helps children understand how wealth is never more important than family and friends. 

24. The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis 

Subject: Friendship, Adolescence, Family 

Amazon Ratings: 4.7/5 

Cover of the Watsons go to Birmingham

This book focuses on the turbulent times during the civil rights movement. It is the story of a 10-year-old African-American boy living with his parents, brother, and sister in Michigan. When his brother gets into trouble, his parents send them to live with their grandparents in Alabama. The book talks about frightening events, strong language, and racism. Thus, it is best to read it with your child. 

25. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly 

Subject: Female Empowerment 

The evolution of Calpurnia tate

The story is about Callie, who has just turned twelve. She struggles to meet her mother’s and society’s expectations for women in 1899. One day, she borrows her grandfather’s copy of The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. This sparked her interest in Darwin’s theory of evolution and new inventions. So she spent her days cooking and sewing while learning evolution in her free time.

Pick a Book and Get Started!

There you have it; 25 really good books for 5th graders covering different genres. Now, based on your child’s interest and reading level, pick the best ones to improve their vocabulary, and knowledge and develop a reading habit .

Explore more online educational resources for kids that will help with their learning experience and make them smarter.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the best genres for 5th graders to read.

Fifth graders are advanced readers capable of understanding complex texts. Thus, parents and teachers should try introducing different genres like fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction, science fiction, poetry, and more.

What are the benefits of reading for 5th Graders?

Reading is vital for children of all ages. However, fifth-grade students need to read more often because:

  • It helps improve their creativity and imagination .
  • Develops their vocabulary.
  • Boosts memory.
  • Enhances concentration and attention span.
  • Improves writing skills.
  • Reduces stress and relaxes their mind.

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40 New and Noteworthy Narrative Nonfiction Books For 5th Grade

  • March 13, 2022

Looking for the best narrative nonfiction books for 5th grade kids? These narrative nonfiction picture books for 5th grade students will be engaging for your students! Books with lesson plans and activities linked. Picture books about various topics such as historical figures, historical events and more for your fifth graders. Your students will delight in these classic and brand new books!

You can also check out other narrative non-fiction books for other grades in addition to my favorite narrative nonfiction books for 5th grade here.

If you’re a member of the  Picture Book Brain Trust Community , you already have access to EVERY lesson plan and activity for these books! Just click on the Lesson Plans button in the menu!

Emmanuel’s dream by laurie ann thompson.

Emmanuel's Dream

Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah’s inspiring true story—which was turned into a film,  Emmanuel’s Gift,  narrated by Oprah Winfrey—is nothing short of remarkable.

Born in Ghana, West Africa , with one deformed leg, he was dismissed by most people—but not by his mother, who taught him to reach for his dreams. As a boy, Emmanuel hopped to school more than two miles each way, learned to play soccer, left home at age thirteen to provide for his family, and, eventually, became a cyclist. He rode an astonishing four hundred miles across Ghana in 2001, spreading his powerful message: disability is not inability . Today, Emmanuel continues to work on behalf of the disabled.

Without Separation by Larry Dane Brimner

Without Separation by Larry Dane

Roberto Alvarez’s world changed the day he could no longer attend Lemon Grove Grammar School in the small, rural community where he lived near San Diego, California. He and the other Mexican American students were told they had to go to a new, separate school—one where they would not hold back the other students. But Roberto and the other students and their families believed the new school’s real purpose was to segregate, to separate. They didn’t think that was right, or just, or legal. One of my new favorite diverse picture books that looks at how another group of families fought to end segregation of schools.

Looking for the best narrative nonfiction books for 5th grade kids? These narrative nonfiction picture books for 5th grade students will be engaging for your students! Books with lesson plans and activities linked. Picture books about various topics such as historical figures, historical events and more for your fifth graders. Your students will delight in these classic and brand new books!

The People’s Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought For Justice With Art by Cynthia Levinson

Peoples Painter Bookpicturebookbrain

“The first thing I can remember,” Ben said, “I drew.” As an observant child growing up in Lithuania, Ben Shahn yearns to draw everything he sees—and, after seeing his father banished by the Czar for demanding workers’ rights, he develops a keen sense of justice, too. So when Ben and the rest of his family make their way to America, Ben brings both his sharp artistic eye and his desire to fight for what’s right. As he grows, he speaks for justice through his art—by disarming classmates who bully him because he’s Jewish, by defying his teachers’ insistence that he paint beautiful landscapes rather than true stories, by urging the US government to pass Depression-era laws to help people find food and jobs. In this moving and timely portrait, award-winning author Cynthia Levinson and illustrator Evan Turk honor an artist, immigrant, and activist whose work still resonates today: a true painter for the people.

Get the lesson plan and activities for The People’s Painter HERE

Nicky and Vera by Peter Sis

Nicky and Vera

In December 1938, a young Englishman canceled a ski vacation and went instead to Prague to help the hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Nazis who were crowded into the city. Setting up a makeshift headquarters in his hotel room, Nicholas Winton took names and photographs from parents desperate to get their children out of danger. He raised money, found foster families in England, arranged travel and visas, and, when necessary, bribed officials and forged documents. In the frantic spring and summer of 1939, as the Nazi shadow fell over Europe, he organized the transportation of almost 700 children to safety.

Then, when the war began and no more children could be rescued, he put away his records and told no one. It was only fifty years later that a chance discovery and a famous television appearance brought Winton’s actions to light.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Nicky and Vera HERE

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein

How does a story begin? Sometimes it begins with a dream, and a dreamer. Mary is one such dreamer. On a stormy summer evening, with five young people gathered around a fire, one of the friends, Lord Byron, suggests a contest to see who can create the best ghost story. Mary Shelley has a waking dream about a monster come to life. A year and a half later, Mary Shelley’s terrifying tale, Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus, is published — a novel that goes on to become the most enduring monster story ever and one of the most popular legends of all time. In creating this story, she also created the science fiction genre earning her much celebrity, making this one of my favorite children’s books about women in sports and entertainment .

The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver by Gene Barretta

The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver

When George Washington Carver was just a young child, he had a secret: a garden of his own.

Here, he rolled dirt between his fingers to check if plants needed more rain or sun. He protected roots through harsh winters, so plants could be reborn in the spring. He trimmed flowers, spread soil, studied life cycles. And it was in this very place that George’s love of nature sprouted into something so much more—his future.

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver HERE

Manfish: A Story of Jacques Costeau by Jennifer Berne

Manfish

Before Jacques Cousteau became an internationally known oceanographer and champion of the seas, he was a curious little boy. In this lovely biography, poetic text and gorgeous paintings combine to create a portrait of Jacques Cousteau that is as magical as it is inspiring. An excellent book for studying the ocean through the eyes of one of its most well-known explorers.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Manfish: A Story of Jacques Costeau HERE

Chester Nez And The Unbreakable Code by Joseph Bruchac

Chester Nez and the Unbreakable Code

As a young Navajo boy, Chester Nez had to leave the reservation and attend boarding school, where he was taught that his native language and culture were useless. But Chester refused to give up his heritage. Years later, during World War II, Chester―and other Navajo men like him―was recruited by the US Marines to use the Navajo language to create an unbreakable military code. Suddenly the language he had been told to forget was needed to fight a war . This powerful picture book biography contains backmatter including a timeline and a portion of the Navajo code, and also depicts the life of an original Navajo code talker while capturing the importance of Native American heritage .

Get the lesson plan and activities for Chester Nez And The Unbreakable Code HERE

Above the Rim by Jen Bryant

Above the Rim

Hall-of-famer Elgin Baylor was one of basketball’s all-time-greatest players—an innovative athlete, team player, and quiet force for change. One of the first professional African-American players , he inspired others on and off the court. But when traveling for away games, many hotels and restaurants turned Elgin away because he was black. One night, Elgin had enough and staged a one-man protest that captured the attention of the press, the public, and the NBA.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Above the Rim HERE

Six Dots by Jen Bryant

Six Dots

Louis Braille was just five years old when he lost his sight. He was a clever boy, determined to live like everyone else, and what he wanted more than anything was to be able to read. Even at the school for the blind in Paris, there were no books for him. And so he invented his own alphabet—a whole new system for writing that could be read by touch. A system so ingenious that it is still used by the blind community today. An excellent book for studying people with disabilities .

Get the lesson plan and activities for Six Dots HERE

Planting Stories: The Life Of Librarian And Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Denise

Planting Stories

An inspiring picture book biography of Latin American storyteller, puppeteer, and New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian , who championed bilingual literature.

When she came to America in 1921, Pura Belpré carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular retellings into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and storytellers continue to share her tales and celebrate Pura’s legacy.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Planting Stor ies: The Life Of Librarian And Storyteller Pura Belpré HERE

Energy Island by Allan Drummond

Energy Island

At a time when most countries are producing ever-increasing amounts of CO2, the rather ordinary citizens of Samsø have accomplished something extraordinary―in just ten years they have reduced their carbon emissions by 140% and become almost completely energy independent. A narrative tale and a science book in one, this inspiring true story proves that with a little hard work and a big idea, anyone can make a huge step toward energy conservation.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Energy Island HERE

The Man Who Walked Between The Towers by Mordicai Gerstein

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

The story of a daring tightrope walk between skyscrapers. In 1974, French aerialist Philippe Petit threw a tightrope between the two towers of the World Trade Center and spent an hour walking, dancing, and performing high-wire tricks a quarter mile in the sky. This picture book captures the poetry and magic of the event with a poetry of its own: lyrical words and lovely paintings that present the detail, daring, and–in two dramatic foldout spreads– the vertiginous drama of Petit’s feat.

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Man Who Walked Between the Towers HERE

The Boy Who Grew a Forest by Sophia Gholz

The Boy Who Grew a Forest

As a boy, Jadav Payeng was distressed by the destruction deforestation and erosion was causing on his island home in India’s Brahmaputra River. So he began planting trees. What began as a small thicket of bamboo, grew over the years into 1,300 acre forest filled with native plants and animals. The Boy Who Grew a Forest tells the inspiring true story of Payeng–and reminds us all of the difference a single person with a big idea can make. Sometimes to solve a problem, it takes a little bit of effort over a long period of time. A great book for Earth Day or Arbor Day .

Rosa by Nikki Giovanni

Rosa

Fifty years after her refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus, Mrs. Rosa Parks is still one of the most important figures in the American civil rights movement. This tribute to Mrs. Parks is a celebration of her courageous action and the events that followed.

Ada’s Violin by Susan Hood

Ada's Violin

Ada Ríos grew up in Cateura, a small town in Paraguay built on a landfill. She dreamed of playing the violin, but with little money for anything but the bare essentials, it was never an option…until a music teacher named Favio Chávez arrived. He wanted to give the children of Cateura something special, so he made them instruments out of materials found in the trash. It was a crazy idea, but one that would leave Ada—and her town—forever changed. Now, the Recycled Orchestra plays venues around the world, spreading their message of hope and innovation.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Ada’s Violin HERE

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The inspiring story of how William Kamkwamba used discarded and recycled materials to save his home and his village in Africa by building a windmill.

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind HERE

For the Right to Learn by Rebecca Langston-George

For the Right to Learn

She grew up in a world where women were supposed to be quiet. But Malala Yousafzai refused to be silent. Discover Malala’s story through this powerful narrative telling, and come to see how one brave girl named Malala changed the world.

The Cat Man of Aleppo by Irene Latham

The Cat Man of Aleppo

Alaa loves Aleppo, but when war comes his neighbors flee to safety, leaving their many pets behind. Alaa decides to stay–he can make a difference by driving an ambulance, carrying the sick and wounded to safety. One day he hears hungry cats calling out to him on his way home. They are lonely and scared, just like him. He feeds and pets them to let them know they are loved. The next day, more cats come, and then even more! There are too many for Alaa to take care of on his own. Alaa has a big heart, but he will need help from others if he wants to keep all of his new friends safe.

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Cat Man of Aleppo HERE

I Dissent by Debbie Levy

I Dissent

Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Snowflake Bentley

Wilson Bentley was always fascinated by snow. In childhood and adulthood, he saw each tiny crystal of a snowflake as a little miracle and wanted to understand them. His parents supported his curiosity and saved until they could give him his own camera and microscope. At the time, his enthusiasm was misunderstood. But with patience and determination, Wilson catalogued hundreds of snowflake photographs, gave slideshows of his findings and, when he was 66, published a book of his photos. His work became the basis for all we know about beautiful, unique snowflakes today. A really interesting biography picture book for the winter months !

Get the lesson plan and activities for Snowflake Bentley HERE

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures by Julia Finley Mosca

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures

When young Temple Grandin was diagnosed with autism, no one expected her to talk, let alone become one of the most powerful voices in modern science. Yet, the determined visual thinker did just that. Her unique mind allowed her to connect with animals in a special way, helping her invent groundbreaking improvements for farms around the globe!

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Girl Who Thought in Pictures HERE

Hello I’m Johnny Cash by G. Neri

Hello, I'm Johnny Cash

There’s never been anyone like music legend Johnny Cash. His deep voice is instantly recognizable, and his heartfelt songs resonate with listeners of all ages and backgrounds. G. Neri captures Johnny’s story in beautiful free verse, portraying an ordinary boy with an extraordinary talent who grew up in extreme poverty, faced incredible challenges, and ultimately found his calling by always being true to the gift of his voice. A. G. Ford’s luscious paintings of the dramatic southern landscape of Johnny Cash’s childhood illuminate this portrait of a legend, taking us from his humble beginnings to his enormous success on the world stage.

Marti’s Song For Freedom by Emma Otheguy

Marti's Song For Freedom

A bilingual biography of José Martí, who dedicated his life to the promotion of liberty, the abolishment of slavery, political independence for Cuba, and intellectual freedom. Written in verse with excerpts from Martí’s seminal work,  Versos sencillos. Oftentimes, poetry gets overlooked in ELA instruction, so this book is definitely a must add to your collection of narrative nonfiction books for 5th grade.

Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco

Pink and Say

When Sheldon Russell Curtis told this story to his daughter, Rosa, she kept every word in her heart and was to retell it many times. I will tell it in Sheldon’s own words as nearly as I can.

He was wounded in a fierce battle and left for dead in a pasture somewhere in Georgia when Pinkus found him. Pinkus’ skin was the color of polished mahogany, and he was flying Union colors like the wounded boy, and he picked him up out of the field and brought him to where the black soldier’s mother, Moe Moe Bay, lived. She had soft, gentle hands and cared for him and her Pink.

But the two boys were putting her in danger, two Union soldiers in Confederate territory! They had to get back to their outfits. Scared and uncertain, the boys were faced with a hard decision, and then marauding Confederate troops rode in. This book is actually a true story, not historical fiction but narrative nonfiction. A truly touching story.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Pink and Say HERE

The Girl Who Ran by Frances Poletti

The Girl Who Ran

When Bobbi Gibb saw the Boston Marathon her mind was set-she had to be a part of it. But when the time came to apply for the marathon, she was refused entry. They told her girls don’t run, girls can’t run. That didn’t stop Bobbi. This picture book tells the true story of how she broke the rules in 1966 and how, one step at a time, her grit and determination changed the world. A really heroic part of women’s history .

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Girl Who Ran HERE

Rags: Hero Dog Of World War I by Margot Theis Raven

Rags Hero Dog of WWI

During World War I, while stationed overseas in France with the United States Army, Private James Donovan literally stumbles upon a small dog cowering on the streets of Paris. Named Rags for his disheveled appearance, the little stray quickly finds a home with Donovan and a place in his heart. Although the Army did not have an official canine division, Rags accompanies Donovan to the battlefield, making himself a useful companion delivering messages and providing a much-appreciated morale boost to the soldiers. News about Rags spreads and soon the little dog’s battlefield exploits become the stuff of legend. But during a fierce battle near the end of the war, both Rags and Donovan are wounded. Severely injured, Donovan is sent back to the United States. And the little dog with the big heart refuses to leave his best friend’s side.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Rags: Hero Dog Of World War I HERE

Storm Run by Libby Riddles

Storm Run

In 1985, Libby Riddles made history by becoming the first woman to win the 1,100-mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race . This brand-new edition of Riddles’s timeless adventure story is complete with updated narrative details, sidebars on all aspects of the race, photographs, and all-new illustrations by beloved illustrator Shannon Cartwright. An inspiration to children and adults everywhere, this is a compelling first-hand account of the arctic storms, freezing temperatures, loyal sled dogs, and utter determination that defined Riddles’s Iditarod victory.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Storm Run HERE

Margaret and the Moon by Dean Robbins

Margaret and the Moon

Margaret Hamilton loved numbers as a young girl. She knew how many miles it was to the moon (and how many back). She loved studying algebra and geometry and calculus and using math to solve problems in the outside world. Soon math led her to MIT and then to helping NASA put a man on the moon! She handwrote code that would allow the spacecraft’s computer to solve any problems it might encounter. Apollo 8, Apollo 9, Apollo 10 and Apollo 11. Without her code, none of those missions could have been completed. An excellent book about women in STEM !

Get the lesson plan and activities for Margaret and the Moon HERE

Leave It to Abigail by Barb Rosenstock

Leave it to Abigail

Everyone knew Abigail was different.

Instead of keeping quiet, she blurted out questions. Rather than settling down with a wealthy minister, she married a poor country lawyer named John Adams. Instead of running from the Revolutionary War, she managed a farm and fed hungry soldiers. Not to leave the governing to men, she insisted they “Remember the Ladies.” Instead of fearing Europe’s kings and queens, she boldly crossed the sea to represent her new country. And when John become President of the United States, Abigail became First Lady, and a powerful advisor. With the lack of narrative nonfiction books for 5th grade about the Founding Fathers (and their wives!), this book is perfect!

Get the lesson plan and activities for Leave It to Abigail HERE

Mario and the Hole in the Sky by Elizabeth Rusch

Mario and the Hole in the Sky

The true story of how a scientist saved the planet from environmental disaster.

Mexican American Mario Molina is a modern-day hero who helped solve the ozone crisis of the 1980s. Growing up in Mexico City, Mario was a curious boy who studied hidden worlds through a microscope. As a young man in California, he discovered that CFCs, used in millions of refrigerators and spray cans, were tearing a hole in the earth’s protective ozone layer. Mario knew the world had to be warned–and quickly. Today Mario is a Nobel laureate and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His inspiring story gives hope in the fight against global warming.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Mario and the Hole in the Sky HERE

Radiant Child by Javaka Steptoe

Radiant Child

Jean-Michel Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocketed to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art world had ever seen. But before that, he was a little boy who saw art everywhere: in poetry books and museums, in games and in the words that we speak, and in the pulsing energy of New York City. Now, award-winning illustrator Javaka Steptoe’s vivid text and bold artwork echoing Basquiat’s own introduce young readers to the powerful message that art doesn’t always have to be neat or clean–and definitely not inside the lines–to be beautiful. This is the most memorable narrative nonfiction books for 5th grade, especially if you’re studying art and artists .

Danza!: Amalia Hernández And Mexico’s Folkloric Ballet by Duncan Tonatiuh

Danza!

As a child, Amalia Hernández saw a pair of dancers in the town square. The way they stomped and swayed to the rhythm of the beat inspired her. She knew one day she would become a dancer. Amalia studied ballet and modern dance under the direction of skilled teachers who had performed in world-renowned dance companies. But she never forgot the folk dance she had seen years earlier. She began traveling through the Mexican countryside, witnessing the dances of many regions, and she used her knowledge of ballet and modern dance to adapt the traditional dances to the stage. She founded her own dance company, a group that became known as el Ballet Folklórico de México. A great book for Hispanic Heritage Month !

The Poppy Lady by Barbara Walsh

The Poppy Lady

When American soldiers entered World War I, Moina Belle Michael, a schoolteacher from Georgia, knew she had to act. Some of the soldiers were her students and friends. Almost single-handedly, Moina worked to establish the red poppy as the symbol to honor and remember soldiers. And she devoted the rest of her life to making sure the symbol would last forever, most notably on Memorial Day . Thanks to her hard work, that symbol remains strong today.

Get the lesson plan and activities for The Poppy Lady HERE

Lillian’s Right to Vote by Jonah Winter

Lillian's Right to Vote

An elderly African American woman, en route to vote , remembers her family’s tumultuous voting history in this picture book publishing in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

As Lillian, a one-hundred-year-old African American woman, makes a “long haul up a steep hill” to her polling place, she sees more than trees and sky—she sees her family’s history. She sees the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment and her great-grandfather voting for the first time. She sees her parents trying to register to vote. And she sees herself marching in a protest from Selma to Montgomery. Veteran bestselling picture-book author Jonah Winter and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner Shane W. Evans vividly recall America’s battle for civil rights in this lyrical, poignant account of one woman’s fierce determination to make it up the hill and make her voice heard. With the focus on an array of time periods in American history, this book is definitely one of my favorite narrative nonfiction books for 5th grade.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Lillian’s Right to Vote HERE

Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows In The Bronx by Jonah Winter

Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows In The Bronx

Before Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor took her seat in our nation’s highest court, she was just a little girl in the South Bronx. Justice Sotomayor didn’t have a lot growing up, but she had what she needed — her mother’s love, a will to learn, and her own determination. With bravery she became the person she wanted to be, and with hard work she succeeded. With little sunlight and only a modest plot from which to grow, Justice Sotomayor  bloomed  for the whole world to see. This is one of my favorite bilingual children’s books as well if you teach in a bilingual classroom.

Paper Son by Julie Leung

Paper Son

Before he became an artist named Tyrus Wong, he was a boy named Wong Geng Yeo. He traveled across a vast ocean from China to America with only a suitcase and a few papers. Not papers for drawing–which he loved to do–but immigration papers to start a new life. Once in America, Tyrus seized every opportunity to make art, eventually enrolling at an art institute in Los Angeles. Working as a janitor at night, his mop twirled like a paintbrush in his hands. Eventually, he was given the opportunity of a lifetime–and using sparse brushstrokes and soft watercolors, Tyrus created the iconic backgrounds of Bambi. One of my favorite narrative nonfiction books for 5th grade about a lesser known Asian American .

Get the lesson plan and activities for Paper Son HERE

Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos by Stephanie Roth Sisson

Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos

When Carl Sagan was a young boy he went to the 1939 World’s Fair and his life was changed forever. From that day on he never stopped marveling at the universe and seeking to understand it better.  Star Stuff  follows Carl from his days star gazing from the bedroom window of his Brooklyn apartment, through his love of speculative science fiction novels, to his work as an internationally renowned scientist who worked on the Voyager missions exploring the farthest reaches of space .

Get the lesson plan and activities for Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos HERE

Unspeakable by Carole Boston Weatherford

Unspeakable

Celebrated author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Floyd Cooper provide a powerful look at the Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation’s history. The book traces the history of African Americans in Tulsa’s Greenwood district and chronicles the devastation that occurred in 1921 when a white mob attacked the Black community.

News of what happened was largely suppressed, and no official investigation occurred for seventy-five years. This narrative non-fiction book sensitively introduces young readers to this tragedy and concludes with a call for a better future.

Get the lesson plan and activities for Unspeakable HERE

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag

In this deeply moving and empowering true story, young readers will trace the life of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and its role in today’s world. Award-winning author Rob Sanders’s stirring text, and acclaimed illustrator Steven Salerno’s evocative images, combine to tell this remarkable – and undertold – story. A story of love, hope, equality, and pride. The way that it teaches about the history of such a well-known symbol makes it one of the best LGBTQ children’s books .

Conclusion: Best Narrative Nonfiction Books for 5th Grade

What are some of your favorite narrative nonfiction books for 5th grade? Are there any must read narrative nonfiction books for 5th grade that I left out? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll add it!

Remember: You can get a free lesson and activities for one of my favorite narrative nonfiction books for 5th grade, Emmanuel’s Dream, here:

Looking for the best narrative nonfiction books for 5th grade kids? These narrative nonfiction picture books for 5th grade students will be engaging for your students! Books with lesson plans and activities linked. Picture books about various topics such as historical figures, historical events and more for your fifth graders. Your students will delight in these classic and brand new books!

Narrative Non-Fiction Books

Here are some of my favorite narrative non-fiction books for kids. If you’re looking for more ideas for specific grade levels I have great narrative nonfiction book lists for each grade level. Check them out here:

Best Narrative Nonfiction Books

15 Narrative Nonfiction Books for Kindergarten

21 Narrative Nonfiction Books for 1st Grade

29 Narrative Nonfiction Books for 2nd Grade

37 Narrative Nonfiction Books For 3rd Grade

42 Narrative Nonfiction Books for 4th Grade

Other Great 5th Grade Read Aloud Stories

Looking for other great 5th grade read alouds? Here are a few more to explore:

30 Best 5th Grade Read Alouds

9 New Back to School Books for 5th Grade

27 Black History Month 5th Grade Books

32 Picture Books for 5th Graders

Summer Reading List for 5th Grade

Books for 5th Grade Reading

Realistic Fiction Books For 5th Graders

20 Earth Day Projects For 5th Graders

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Home » Blog Posts » Book Ideas » The 10 Best Novel Studies for 4th & 5th Graders

The 10 Best Novel Studies for 4th & 5th Graders

Reading novels is a wonderful way to build a love for reading! Here you will find the 10 best novel studies for 4th and 5th graders. These 4th and 5th-grade chapter books keep students engaged because they are interesting and fun to read.

You will also find a FREE printable list of each chapter book with their reading level, Lexile level, and other good-to-know information at the end of the post.

best new novels for 5th graders

*This post contains affiliate links to Amazon for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, which do not cost any extra for you. Please see the  full disclosure here. *

This post is one part of a series on helpful content geared toward literacy instruction in upper elementary classrooms. Here are the other posts to checkout once you’ve read all of this post:

  • Why You Need to Have Literacy Centers in Your Upper Elementary Classroom
  • 4th Grade Literacy Centers
  • Teaching Strategies for Reading Comprehension in Upper Elementary Classrooms
  • Ideas to Help Older Students Who Struggle with Spelling*
  • Read Alouds for Upper Elementary Students*
  • How to Use Choice Boards to Run Literacy Centers*
  • 8 Clever Ways to Get Students Writing More*

Posts with * beside their titles have free downloads available!

Why I Recommend Novel Studies for 4th & 5th Graders

I looked across my classroom and couldn’t believe my eyes.

Other than the sound of one selected student reading out loud, you could’ve heard a pin drop.

Every single one of my 4th-graders were glued to their books. Some of them were crying. A few of them had red faces or dropped jaws.

We were engaged in our novel study–a chapter book by Christopher Paul Curtis–titled Bud, Not Buddy. We were only a few chapters in as students listened to the part where Buddy, an orphaned 10-year-old black boy, was being abused by his foster parents.

books for kids

I use a special bell in my class to get my students’ attention and signal that reading time is over. My hand reluctantly rang the bell and all across the room I heard:

“Noooooo, please let’s have more time!”

“Ms. Marshall, is this book based on a true story? Is there a movie to go with it?”

“Can I take this copy home to read for my reading homework tonight?”

As the loud groans and constant question filled the air, I knew we had ourselves a new favorite chapter book!

This is why I recommend these novel studies for 4th and 5th graders: they keep students engaged and in love with reading !

What Are The Best Chapter Books for 4th and 5th Graders?

When selecting novel studies for 4th and 5th-grade students, I consider the following criteria:

  • Word or Chapter Count (to decide how long it may take us to complete the novel)
  • Reading and Lexile Level
  • Whether it’s an Accelerated Reader book or not (our school is an AR school and I heavily push it in my class)
  • Gender/ Race /Life-Situation of the main character (I want books that appeal to all my students)

Once I check out these factors, then I read it myself before introducing it to my students.

Each of the 10 books in this list has gone through this process, and have been read several times with my students.

These 10 novel studies for 4th and 5th-graders also have some of the highest ratings on goodreads.com, Amazon book reviews, and other sites. Many of them have even won numerous awards in children’s literature.

Now that you know my process for chapter book selection, let’s dive right into this juicy book list!

First Best Novel Study: Holes by Louis Sachar

best new novels for 5th graders

I was honestly nervous about introducing this book to my students at first. I knew it would make a great novel study for teaching theme and sequence. But I didn’t know if my students would be able to understand some of the experiences of the main character Stanley Yelnats.

Boy was I wrong!

My students ADORE this book–every single year. Plus, it has been made into a movie. My kids really enjoy comparing and contrasting the novel and the movie once we finish both.

The movie for Holes is FREE for Prime members. You can get 30 Days FREE with my code HERE .  #AmazonAd

Second Best Novel Study: From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

best new novels for 5th graders

This chapter books starts off a little slow (as far as “kid” action is concerned). Once you get a few chapters in, the plot hooks you into the mystery.

If you have students who love solving riddles or reading mystery chapter books, they will love this novel study.

Each year that I’ve read it with my students, I catch a new clue or detail that I didn’t see before. It’s great for teaching plot!

Third Best Novel Study: Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

best new novels for 5th graders

I could write an entire blog post on nothing but Christopher Paul Curtis books! Especially Bud, Not Buddy!

Every year that I introduced this chapter book as a part of our class novel studies, my students display emotions all across the board.

When students’ emotions are activated by what they’re reading, then you know that they are truly engaging with and understanding the text.

I love using this chapter book to teach characterization because the characters in this book are so real and multi-faceted. It is hands-down one of the best novel studies for 4th and 5th-grade students of all reading levels!

Related Posts for Reading Instruction:

  • Teaching Strategies for Reading Comprehension for Upper Elementary Students
  • Literacy Centers for 4th Grade
  • The Best Read-Alouds for Upper Elementary Classrooms
  • Using Life Lesson’s to Teach Children’s Literature

Fourth Novel Study: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

best new novels for 5th graders

This book was recommended by one of my students after she purchased it from our school book fair.

This novel study is wonderful for teaching empathy and kindness in the classroom. I even incorporated it into our Golden Rule classroom practice. 

I also love how the main character is a 5th-grade boy who experiences struggles with fitting in. This is great for helping students feel a sense of connection to the novel.

Being able to relate what they are reading to real-life helps students stay engaged with reading longer texts.

You Might Want to Check Out: How to Help Your Boys Fall in Love with Reading

Fifth Novel Study: Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

best new novels for 5th graders

Having a dog as the main character makes teaching personification and other figurative language elements a breeze!

My students (and I) absolutely love this novel. The reading level is 3.9 (as you will see in the FREE printable below),  so I often use this as our introductory novel study at the beginning of the school year.

Which works great because I need to teach them the procedures for our novel studies, and they need to ease back into reading deeply after being out all summer.

The first-person narrative of the book makes both of those goals super easy.

Sixth Novel Study: My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

best new novels for 5th graders

This classic chapter book provides rich details and descriptions that are great for teaching imagery.

Students enjoy visualizing the main character’s adventures through the wilderness.

One of my favorite things about this chapter book for 4th and 5th graders is that the main character keeps a journal of his adventures.

So I encourage my students to keep a journal while we read the novel. They are more motivated to write about their daily and weekly lives to compare with the journal entries of the character.

Anything I can do to combine reading and writing practice is a bonus in my book!

Seventh Novel Study: The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

best new novels for 5th graders

I told you that I love this author right?

All of my students who read Bud, Not Buddy as a 4th-grader can’t wait to read this chapter book as a 5th-grader.

The historical fiction setting gives vivid details about life during the 60’s for African-Americans, from the perspective of a 10-year-old boy.

This author has an amazing way of detailing uncomfortable topics in a kid-friendly way that’s accurate, but also full of humor. My students always give rave reviews about this book.

Eight Novel Study: One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

best new novels for 5th graders

Ivan, a silverback gorilla, steals your heart as the narrator and main character of this amazing read-aloud for 4th and 5th-graders.

He is caged, and his experiences help you see life from an animal’s perspective in a whole new way.

Be sure to check out these reviews on this book from other readers.

Amazon Kindle Unlimited--The Butterfly Teacher

Related Posts and Resources on Reading:

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  • Read-Aloud with Rigor Book Series 
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Ninth Novel Study: Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

best new novels for 5th graders

Initially, when my students looked at the cover, they whined about reading it. They assumed that it would be “boring” based on the cover illustration.

But this novel is far from boring.

It is one of the best books for novel studies with 4th and 5th graders because it teaches so many essential lessons. I especially like to emphasize having a growth-mindset through the main character of this book.

Esperanza is a wealthy Hispanic girl whose life is turned upside down due to tragedy in her family; her father is unexpectedly murdered. She and her mother are forced to flee their country and become migrant workers in California.

I use this novel study with current events to help students better understand immigration issues in our country.

Plus, building a culturally responsive classroom ranks HIGH on my list as a teacher! One of the ways to do that is by showcasing diversity through book selections.

This novel helps to achieve that goal!

Tenth Novel Study: Mr. Popper’s Penguins by  Florence Atwater and Richard Atwater

best new novels for 5th graders

Besides the very funny book-based movie starring Jim Carrey, Mr. Popper’s Penguins is hilarious!

I definitely think it is the most fun book for a novel study.

Even though it is far from being realistic fiction, my older kiddos enjoyed the over-the-top scenes of Mr. Popper taking care of his penguins.

Before teaching 4th grade, I taught 2nd grade for four years and I read Mr. Popper’s Penguins with my 2nd graders.

Here’s why I recommend it in this list of novel studies for 4th and 5th graders:

  • My 2nd graders could NOT read this book independently. The word selection and meaning were too complex.
  • 4th and 5th graders CAN read and understand the content of this book independently.
  • This novel has many high-frequency words and vocabulary words that are recommended for older students.

Bonus Book– Thomas Wildus and The Book of Sorrows by J.M. Bergen

best new novels for 5th graders

This book is a new edition to my list of novel studies for 4th and 5th graders, because I just recently read it at home with my son who is now in 5th grade.

Even though it’s new for us, I highly recommend it as a novel study in the classroom.

My son Caleb could not put it down! He actually finished it in four days. We both enjoyed the deep plot twists and unexpected surprises throughout the story.

My only caution is that it contains content about magic . If your school doesn’t allow books like Harry Potter, then this book probably wouldn’t qualify either. You can check it out here to see for yourself.

Reading and Lexile Levels of 4th & 5th-Grade Chapter Books

For many teachers, novels must be chosen based on their Lexile and reading level. So I created a chart that lists all the information for each chapter book featured in this post.

You can access that free list by entering your email below. Please be aware that many school servers automatically block outside senders. You may have a better chance of grabbing this guide with a personal email address.

The Butterfly Teacher

22 Responses

With remote learning being the optimal choice I am trying to set up a homeschool curriculum to make sure my child will not miss out on what they would normally get in the classroom. I am not sure how the material will be presented 2020 – 2021 but if it is anything like last year I will be responsible for teaching and the teachers will provide sheets and websites. When doing a novel study do the students read on their own and come prepared to discuss it in class or is it done as a read aloud?

Any feedback is GREATLY appreciated!!!

Erika, Novel studies can be done both ways depending on your kids’ reading level. If your child is motivated to do the reading own his/her own, then you will focus on reading comprehension and activities around what has been read. If this approach doesn’t work for your kid, then set up times to read aloud together. While you read together, pause and ask questions to gauge his/her understanding. Then at the end of your read aloud time together, give him/her an activity related to that chapter OR give a quiz to see what they learned from that reading. Hope this makes sense! Thanks for all you do to help your kids with reading at home. 🙂

I appreciate your list and would love to look at your additional information on each novel. Thank you for sharing!

I was to order the novel for my 10yr old son how can I order please n from where

Hi Daisy, You can order any of these novels using the Amazon links I provided in the post. These are affiliate links that pay a small commission to this site, but they do not cost you anything. I also emailed you more info about books for your son. Enjoy 🙂

Thank you for your novel study suggestions would love to see yourchart that lists all the information about each chapter book.

Thank you in advance

Sure Cara, When you enter your email, you should receive the book list. If you have trouble with it, email me directly: [email protected] Thanks!

Hello, lots of great information. Do you use a basal reading program along with your novel studies?

Hi Cheryl, I used both. Our school requires the basal reading program. I use it to teach specific reading skills.

Then we extend the practice of those reading skills with our class novel studies. -Tanya

Not a bad list- but I’m very shocked by Mr. Popper’s Penguins being on the list. I read that aloud to my 2nd grade class – who followed the story with ease. I would see Mr. Popper’s Penguins as a 2nd/3rd grade novel- not 4th/5th – especially as far as content goes.

Hi Elissa, I also read Mr. Popper’s once when I taught 2nd grade, but–just like you–I also had to read it out loud to them; they were not able to read it on their own fluently with solid comprehension. This novel is great as independent reading with older students, so that they can complete it without the teacher reading it to them. 🙂

Tanya- I teach 3rd, 4th , and 5th grade ELA at a French immersion school. I have a wonderful job and I love the kids. I have a dilemma this year and would love your feedback. I need to teach a whole group novel to guide them through the novel study process and help set up the rest of the year, but then I would like to transition into self selected novel groups. I have some amazing readers as well as some lower readers. I love teaching in small groups and using literacy centers.

My question for you is if you have taught both whole group and small group…and how did you set up your novel selection for the kids if you taught in small groups (all different novels).

Thanks so much! Erin

Erin, I did one novel as a whole class assignment each grading period. But I also had each student complete a self-selected novel study each month with my monthly book reports. Each student had to choose books from a certain genre each month, but they could pick any book within that genre. Then they would complete a different book report project for their book each month. I hope this gives you some ideas of how I did whole class and self-selected novels. Thanks for your question! 🙂

Thanks for the novel study ideas and information on each book.

THANK YOU! I currently teach 4th grade and would love to implement novel studies with my students. I bought a resource for James and the Giant Peach, but couldn’t afford a class set and no one in my school had copies 🙁 I plan on buying a few copies of books each month. I thought about Donor’s Choose as well. Again, thank you for the recommendations and synopsises!

Angela, James and the Giant Peach is a great book choice! I hate it that you couldn’t find a class set. I will do more research on how teachers can get class sets of books for great prices! 🙂 Thanks Angela

Thank you Tanya for this detailed list of grade appropriate novels! I’ve also used Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH with success. Happy reading!

Cathy, This sounds like a really interesting book! I will check it out. Thanks for suggesting it. 🙂

What a great reading list! Thanks for sharing. I especially love that you included a synopsis and why the book is appropriate for 4th/5th grade. Very valuable. I was thinking of reading Fish in a Tree as a novel study. Have you read it?

Becky, Yay! I am so happy this reading list with the synopsis is helpful for you. If you didn’t get a chance to grab the free list with more info on each book, be sure to sign up for that freebie. I haven’t read Fish in a Tree, but I will certainly check it out! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

This has been very helpful as it is my first year teaching 5th grade reading. Thank you!

Maria! Congrats on your first year teaching 5th! I’m glad this list has been helpful for you. Thanks for sharing.

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best new novels for 5th graders

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10 Best Books for 5th Grade Boys

This post may contain affiliate links.

It’s always hard to pick the best books for any age, but I want to share the top ten middle grade books for 5th grade boys that I recommend when they need something to read.

Because the most important thing is getting kids to read– so, we need to offer the best books to our 5th grade boys; books that look and sound interesting…and that actually are excellent. This is the key!

Of course, there are so many more good books for 5th grade boys. Visit all my reviews for 5th graders and keep your readers reading!

Books for 5th Grade Boys

Best Books for 5th Grade Boys

100 Best Books for 6th Graders (Age 11 – 12) NEW KID

New Kid  by Jerry Craft REALISTIC This middle grade graphic novel for 5th grade boys is the  Newbery award winning book for 2020 !  Jordan’s parents make him go to a private school across town where he’s one of the only kids of color.  Besides having the tricky business of navigating friendships, he now must deal with the two separate worlds of his neighborhood and his school along with racism and balancing academics with his artwork. This story feels truthful, relatable, and important for 5th graders.

best new novels for 5th graders

City Spies  by James Ponti ADVENTURE When Sara, a foster kid and hacker, gets in trouble again, her new so-called lawyer recruits her to be an MI6 spy.  Sara joins a team of other kids, trains quickly, and is immediately sent undercover to break open a big case in Paris. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I predict you’ll  love every second of this action-packed  story! It’s filled with great characters and an interesting twisty plot. 5th grade boys won’t be able to put this  series  down.

best new novels for 5th graders

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life  by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts, illustrated by Laura Park FUNNY (series) Rafe’s goal in  middle school  is to break every single rule. You can imagine how his plan will go, right?  A funny middle grade book filled with cartoon-like illustrations, this story will crack your 5th graders up.   BOX SET HERE .

best new novels for 5th graders

Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret  by Trudi Trueit ADVENTURE (series) This is National Geographic’s first fictional book series with full-color illustrations that hits the spot with an exciting mix of science, technology, adventure, and mystery. Newly accepted into the prestigious Explorer Academy for science and exploration, Cruz realizes that someone is trying to kill him; someone who doesn’t want him finding out about his mother’s mysterious research and untimely death.  You’ll love the cool tech, amazing friendships, plot twists, and the intriguing premise.

best new novels for 5th graders

Refugee  by Alan Gratz HISTORICAL FICTION This book is a tween  must-read middle grade book about what refugees experience.  Follow three distinct stories about being  displaced from your country, on the run, and in danger.  First is a young Jewish boy who escapes from Nazi Germany on a ship to Cuba. Next is a Cuban girl in the 1990s who flees in a homemade raft to the United States. Finally, is a story about a Syrian boy whose home is bombed in a country at war. Gatz skillfully connects all three stories with a satisfying, realistic conclusion.

best new novels for 5th graders

The Graveyard Book  by  Neil Gaiman MIDDLE GRADE FANTASY Bod lives in the graveyard with an assortment of ghosts and other cemetery creatures who raise him  after Bod’s parents are killed when Bod was a baby. Bod’s guardian Silas cares for him, feeds him, and teaches him about the human world. Despite the scary-sounding title, the scariest part is in the first chapter when Bod’s parents get murdered and I suspect most 5th graders can handle or skip over that part.

best new novels for 5th graders

The Adventurers Guild  by Zach Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos FANTASY Get ready for your new favorite fantasy adventure series. Zed and Brock don’t want to be chosen for the Adventurers Guild. Nobody does.  Unlike the mages or merchants guild, the adventurers must leave the safety of their walled city to fight the monsters who live on the outside.  Unfortunately, Zed and Brock are picked as Adventurers. And before they can finish training, Zed, Brock, and others are sent outside the city on a fact-finding mission that uncovers treachery, fiendish beasts, and Zed’s untapped magic. Imaginative world-building, intriguing plot twists, and complex characters kept me enthralled from page one!

best new novels for 5th graders

Crabgrass Comic Adventures  by Tauhid Bondia  FUNNY   / GRAPHIC NOVEL You will LOVE the  friendship adventures of Kevin and Miles.  These stories in graphic novel format are fun, hilarious, relatable, and entertaining.

best new novels for 5th graders

Isaiah Dunn is My Hero  by Kelly J. Baptist REALISTIC  After Isaiah’s dad dies, his mother stops working and starts drinking too much. The family of three now lives in a smokey motel where Isaiah watches his 4-year-old sister when his mom is passed out. Isaiah finds strength and inspiration in his father’s journaled stories about Isaiah Dunn Superhero and eventually, he begins to write poems again in his own journal.  With themes of grief, family, poverty, poetry, the power of writing, and friendship — this is a beautiful middle grade book.

best new novels for 5th graders

The Unforgettable Logan Foster  by Shawn Peters ADVENTURE Logan is a neurodivergent, orphan main character who is fostered out of the orphanage by a friendly new couple, Gil and Margie. Then, Logan and his neighbor, a super cool older girl named Elena, discover that his foster parents are actually superheroes who get double-crossed and captured by an evil villain.  In an exciting, fast-paced adventure, Logan and Elena use their wits and strength to save his foster parents and other supes from the villains and the traitor.

books for 5th grade boys

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Bo oks for 5th Grade Girls

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Melissa Taylor, MA, is the creator of Imagination Soup. She's a mother, former teacher & literacy trainer, and freelance education writer. She writes Imagination Soup and freelances for publications online and in print, including Penguin Random House's Brightly website, USA Today Health, Adobe Education, Colorado Parent, and Parenting. She is passionate about matching kids with books that they'll love.

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Imagination Soup

12 Best Books for 5th Grade Girls

W hat are good middle grade books for 5th grade girls that they’ll love reading? And that will keep them immersed in excellent stories with rich language, relatable themes and topics, and expand their worlds?

These are some of my favorite book choices for 5th graders — that I’ve read and shared with my students and children and that kids agree are un-put-down-able.

Give your 5th-grade girls choices of which book to start with — that builds motivation. How can they choose a book? Let them read my reviews and see if the book sounds interesting. If they’re still wondering, they can read the reviews online (Amazon or Goodreads) and see what other people love about these books.

But there are so many more good books for 5th grade girls. Visit all my reviews for 5th graders and keep your kids or students reading!

Best Books for 5th Grade Girls

Out of My Mind  by Sharon Draper

This is one of the best, life-changing middle grade books you’ll ever read. Narrated by Melody, we learn what it’s like for her, a girl with cerebral palsy who can’t speak or take care of herself. No one except her parents thinks that she’s smart. Then, one day, she gets a chance to prove how smart she is. Heartbreaking. Real. Inspiring. Beautifully written.

From the Desk of  Zoe  Washington  by Janae Marks

On her 12th birthday, Zoe, a girl who loves to bake, discovers a letter to her from her incarcerated biological father, Marcus. She decides to write him back, even daring to ask him about the murder he’s in jail for — did he really do it? Marcus writes to Zoe that he’s innocent and he can prove it, which sets Zoe on a quest to find out the truth for herself, even if her mom and stepdad forbid it. She enlists the help of her Grandma and her best friend, Trevor.  You won’t be able to put down this winsome story with a heroine you can’t help but adore; a story that illuminates social justice with themes of family, friendship, and love.

Amari and the Night Brothers  by B.B. Alston

Fantastic fantasy world-building, excellent writing, a  strong female  heroine of color, and a surprise plot twist ending are just a few of the reasons you’ll love this book.  On top of that, you’ll find an exciting action-packed, suspenseful story about Amari whose brother vanishes mysteriously. He sends her a message that she’s a magician and should attend a special school. There, she discovers she’s a magician with outlawed dark magic but she’s determined to stay in the school and find her brother.

Snow & Rose  by Emily Winfield Martin

Snow and Rose are two sisters who with their mother live in the woods after their father disappeared in those same woods.  The girls befriend both a young boy from a mushrooming family and a large bear. But danger arrives with the Huntsman and a sinister Little Man who seeks to enchant them or kill them. Surprisingly,  this is a MARVELOUS Grimm story with a happy ending!

City Spies  by James Ponti

When Sara, a foster kid and hacker, gets in trouble again, her new so-called lawyer recruits her to be an MI6 spy.  Sara joins a team of other kids, trains quickly, and is immediately sent undercover to break open a big case in Paris. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I predict you’ll  love every second of this action-packed  story! It’s filled with great characters and an interesting twisty plot. You won’t be able to put this  series  down.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon  by Kelly Barnhill

Wonderfully crafted and imagined, this  2017 Newbery winner  is a  fairy tale about a good witch who rescues the town’s many abandoned (sacrificed) babies, one of whom she adopts and names Luna.  It’s also the story of the baby’s magical, bereaved mother, a wicked witch who feeds off sorrow, a woodcarver who wants justice, and most of all, a girl named Luna who grows up to be amazing.

Dust  by Dusti Bowling

REALISTIC / FOOD ALLERGIES

Avalyn, a spelling bee fanatic, lives in dry Arizona, which is supposed to be better for her asthma–until  Adam moves to town, bringing pain and throat-clogging, asthma-attack-inducing dust storms.  She wonders if her superpower is sensing energy– like Adam’s negative energy. As she investigates and observes Adam, she and her friends continue to be relentlessly bullied at school. She also struggles with the challenges that come with food and environmental allergies. This story deftly addresses abuse, bullying, asthma, and allergies. The author’s note in the back gives readers advice on what to do if they suspect abuse.

Daughter of the Deep  by Rick Riordan

SCI-FI ADVENTURE

Action, intrigue, plot twists, and super-cool technology!  Ana is the only surviving relative of Captain Nemo. When her school is attacked, she and her crew need to find the Nautilus and the school’s secret base while trying to evade their enemies. You won’t be able to put this book down– run out to get it as soon as possible — it’s a page-turning adventure that will appeal to all boys and girls.

Awkward  by Svetlana Chmakova

REALISTIC / GRAPHIC NOVEL (series)

My daughter found this book SO RELATABLE — just like she struggles with confidence and speaking up, so does the main character, Peppi.  This well-done graphic novel tackles the issues of friendships and confidence , among other things. We highly recommend this book for 5th grade girls.

5 Worlds: The Sand Warrior  by Mark Siegel, Alexis Siegel, Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, and Boya Sun 

SCI-FI  /  GRAPHIC NOVEL

Gorgeous artwork sets the tone for an otherworldly story of five worlds that are falling into chaos.  When one world attacks another, Oona Lee, a sand dancer, rescues two boys and they journey on a mission to light the unlit Beacons in order to save the worlds. But they face a dark force and a devastating betrayal. I think this is a perfect science fiction adventure for 5th grade girls.

Front Desk  by Kelly Yang

REALISTIC /  IMMIGRATION

Mia and her parents have struggled ever since moving to America from China. When her parents take a new live-in job at a motel, they end up working around the clock for very little pay. Mia helps out by working at the front desk. She befriends the weekly tenants and uses her English skills to write letters advocating for other people in tough spots. This book is more than a memorable coming-of-age immigrant story,  it’s also about tolerance and diversity .  You’ll love this story— the writing, the characters, and the plot.

Measuring Up  by Lily LaMotte, illustrated by Ann Xu

REALISTIC /  COOKING

A beautiful story of food, a close-knit, multigenerational family, finding your place in a new culture and country, and staying proud of your heritage… Cici moves to the U.S. from Tawain and wants her A’má to come, too. She hopes to win the grand prize in a cooking contest and use the money to buy her A’má a plane ticket. Cici wants to cook American food like her cooking contest partner…She learns from  Julia Child  but in the end, Cici returns to her Tawainese roots to win the contest.

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Books for 5th Grade Boys

Books for 6th Grade Girls

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The post 12 Best Books for 5th Grade Girls appeared first on Imagination Soup .

What are good middle grade books for 5th grade girls that they'll love reading? And that will keep them immersed in excellent stories with rich language, relatable themes and topics, and expand their worlds?

best new novels for 5th graders

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20 must-have graphic novels to engage readers in grades 3-6.

Graphic novels have become increasingly popular among young readers for good reason. These visually engaging books capture students’ attention, increase reading comprehension and can be a more approachable read for striving readers, English language learners or those with learning difficulties. Advanced readers also benefit from reading graphic novels, as they learn how to interpret various images and words to construct a complex story.  

The expertly selected graphic novels below showcase how this medium is not only entertaining and exciting for young readers but also delivers important themes, topics and ideas in an engaging way that aids comprehension and retention skills. 

best new novels for 5th graders

1.  CatStronauts  by Drew Brockington 

best new novels for 5th graders

Interest level: 1-4 

When the world is in danger, only the best space cats on earth can save us all. Meet fearless commander, Major Meowser, brave-but-hungry pilot, Waffles, genius technician and inventor, Blanket, and quick-thinking science officer, Pom Pom, on their most dangerous and important missions in the galaxy. This series breathes life into a world populated entirely by cats, brimming with jokes, charm, science and enough big boxes and tuna sandwiches for everyone! 

2.  Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke 

best new novels for 5th graders

Interest level: 3-7 

It would have been a normal, boring summer had Jack not sold his mother’s car for a box of mysterious seeds.  Mighty Jack  takes Jack and the Beanstalk’s folk-tale charm and adds a dash of modern fantasy. Follow Jack, his sister Maddy and the spunky neighbor Lilly, as they wrangle with the magical garden behind Jack’s house and travel to the dangerous world beyond the vines and stalks. 

3.  The Dragon Slayer: Folktales from Latin America by Jaime Hernandez 

best new novels for 5th graders

Interest level: 3-8 

How would a kitchen maid fare against a seven-headed dragon? What happens when a woman marries a mouse? And what can a young man learn from a thousand leaf cutter ants? Learn the answer to all these questions and more as these timeless tales are transformed into bold, stunning and utterly contemporary comics. This book brings the sights and stories of Latin America to a new generation of graphic novel fans around the world. 

4.  The Bad Guys   by Aaron Blabey 

best new novels for 5th graders

Interest level: 2-5 

They sound like bad guys; they look like bad guys and they even smell like bad guys. But Mr. Wolf, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Snake, and Mr. Shark are about to change all of that, whether you like it or not! This hilarious series delivers all the naughty and silly laughs readers could want. 

5.  Karen’s Witch by Ann M. Martin 

best new novels for 5th graders

A fresh and fun graphic novel series spin-off of The Baby-sitters Club, featuring Kristy’s little stepsister. Karen Brewer lives next door to Mrs. Porter, who wears long black robes and has wild gray hair. Karen isn’t supposed to spy on her neighbor, but she’s determined to prove that Mrs. Porter is a witch. Mrs. Porter is getting ready to have a special meeting at her house, and Karen is sure the meeting is for witches. Are they going to cast a spell on Karen? Or will she be brave enough to send them away once and for all?  

best new novels for 5th graders

6.  Dog Man  by Dav Pilkey 

best new novels for 5th graders

Interest level: 2-6 

Dog Man is the crime-biting canine who is part dog, part man and all hero. Perfect for reluctant and voracious readers alike, this series follows the adventures of Dog Man as he claws after crooks and rolls over robbers! He has a nose for justice, but will his canine ways get him in trouble? Dav Pilkey’s wildly popular Dog Man series appeals to readers of all ages and explores universally positive themes, including empathy, kindness, persistence and the importance of being true to oneself. 

7.  Super Potato  by Artur Laperla 

best new novels for 5th graders

Interest level: 2-5

Spanish cartoonist Artur Laperla presents the adventures of a costumed crime-fighter who turns into a potato and becomes a bigger hero than ever. He faces off against sinister scientists, slugs from space, giant chickens and more in a series of graphic novels perfect for reluctant readers. 

8.  Lowriders in Space  by Cathy Camper 

best new novels for 5th graders

Lupe Impala, El Chavo Flapjack and Elirio Malaria love working with cars. You name it, they can fix it. But the team’s favorite cars of all are lowriders. The stars align when a contest for the best car around offers a prize of a trunkful of cash, just what the team needs to open their own shop! Features striking, unparalleled art from debut illustrator Raúl the Third, and the story is sketched with Spanish, inked with science facts and colored with true friendship. With a glossary at the back to provide definitions for Spanish and science terms, this delightful book will educate and entertain in equal measure. 

9.  Cici a Fairy’s Tale: Believe Your Eyes by Cori Doerrfeld 

best new novels for 5th graders

A lot is changing for Cici. Her parents are separating, her wacky abuela is moving in, and on her tenth birthday, she wakes up with fairy wings! Cici’s new magical powers let her see people as they truly are. But what she learns about her friends and family isn’t always easy to accept. She has only one day to decide whether to keep her wings. When Cici wishes life could just be normal again, will she choose to believe in the power of fairies? 

10.  Real Friends by Shannon Hale 

best new novels for 5th graders

Interest level: 3-6 

Shannon and Adrienne have been best friends ever since they were little. But one day, Adrienne starts hanging out with Jen, the most popular girl in class and the leader of a circle of friends called The Group. Everyone in The Group wants to be Jen’s #1, and some girls would do anything to stay on top, even if it means bullying others. Newbery Honor author Shannon Hale and New York Times bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham join forces in this graphic memoir about how hard it is to find your real friends, and why it’s worth the journey.  

best new novels for 5th graders

11.  Raina Telgemeier Graphic Memoirs by Raina Telgemeier  

best new novels for 5th graders

Raina Telgemeier uses her signature humor and charm in both present-day narrative and perfectly placed flashbacks to tell the story of her relationship with her family and relatable tales from her childhood. Each novel features themes of family, friendship and the highs and lows of growing up. 

12.  El Deafo  by Cece Bell 

best new novels for 5th graders

Interest level: 5-8 

Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful – and very awkward – hearing aid.  

13.  Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani 

best new novels for 5th graders

Interest level: 4-7 

Priyanka Das has unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? Who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But to Pri’s mom, the topic of India is permanently closed. That is, until Pri finds a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and colorful than any guidebook or Bollywood film. But is this the real India? To learn the truth, Pri must travel farther than she’s ever dared and find the family she never knew. 

14.  When Stars Are Scattered  by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed 

best new novels for 5th graders

Omar Mohamed was only four years old when he fled to a Kenyan refugee camp from war-torn Somalia with only his little brother in tow. Accompanied by Victoria Jamieson’s brilliant graphic artwork,  When Stars Are Scattered  is a remarkable true account of Omar’s childhood growing up in the camp, raising his little brother and dreaming of a better life for them both. A heartbreaking, hopeful, eye-opening must-read for all ages. 

15.  The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell 

best new novels for 5th graders

Welcome to a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary boxes into colorful costumes and their ordinary block into a cardboard kingdom. This is the summer when 16 kids meet knights and rogues, robots and monsters – and their own inner demons – on one last quest before school starts again. In the Cardboard Kingdom, you can be anything you want to be. Imagine that! Cardboard Kingdom is a collaboration project of Chad Sell and 10 authors, including Vid Alliger, Manuel Betancourt, Michael Cole, David DeMeo, Jay Fuller, Cloud Jacobs, Barbara Perez Marquez, Kris Moore, Molly Muldoon and Katie Schenkel.  

best new novels for 5th graders

16.  New Kid by Jerry Craft  

best new novels for 5th graders

New Kid is a timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real. Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds and not really fitting into either one.  

17.   Black Heroes of the Wild West by James Otis Smith 

best new novels for 5th graders

This graphic novel celebrates the extraordinary true tales of three Black heroes who took control of their destinies and stood up for their communities in the Old West. Born into slavery in Tennessee, Mary Fields became famous as “Stagecoach Mary,” a cigar-chomping, card playing coach driver who never missed a delivery. Bass Reeves, the first Black Deputy U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi, was one of the wiliest lawmen in the territories, bringing thousands of outlaws to justice with his smarts. Bob Lemmons lived to be 99 years old and was so good with horses that the wild mustangs on the plains of Texas took him for one of their own.   

18.  Stargazing by Jen Wang 

best new novels for 5th graders

Moon is everything Christine isn’t. She’s confident, impulsive, artistic and although they both grew up in the same Chinese American suburb, Moon is somehow unlike anyone Christine has ever known. But after Moon moves in next door, these unlikely friends are soon best friends. Moon even tells Christine her deepest secret: that she has visions, sometimes, of celestial beings who speak to her from the stars. Moon’s visions have an all-too-earthly root, however, and soon Christine’s best friend is in the hospital fighting for her life. A heartwarming middle-grade graphic novel that paints a deeply personal yet wholly relatable friendship story that’s at turns joyful, heart-wrenching and full of hope. 

19.  The Crossover (Graphic Novel) by Kwame Alexander 

best new novels for 5th graders

Interest level: 5-7 

Kwame Alexander’s New York Times bestseller and Newbery Medal–winning  The Crossover  is now a graphic novel!   Thanks to their dad, he and his twin brother, Jordan, are kings on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood – he’s got mad beats, too, which help him find his rhythm when it’s all on the line. See the Bell family in a whole new light through Dawud Anyabwile’s dynamic illustrations as the brothers’ winning season unfolds, and the world as they know it begins to change. 

20.  Click by Kayla Miller 

best new novels for 5th graders

Olive “clicks” with everyone in the fifth grade – until one day she doesn’t. When a school variety show leaves Olive stranded without an act to join, she begins to panic, wondering why all her friends have already formed their own groups without her. With the performance drawing closer by the minute, will Olive be able to find her own place in the show before the curtain comes up? A heartfelt and insightful story about navigating friendships, leaning on family and learning to take the stage in the most important role of all. 

What are some of your student’s favorite graphic novels? Share in the comments below!  

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Graphic Novels For 5th Graders

33 Outstanding Graphic Novels For 5th Graders (Age 10)

Graphic novels are a fantastic medium for engaging young readers and fostering their love for storytelling. Graphic novels have become increasingly popular among 5th graders, who are around the age of 10.

In this post, we will explore 33 Outstanding Graphic Novels For 5th Graders (Age 10).

The graphic novels mentioned in this post are based on comprehensive research and reviews and are considered some of the best graphic novels for 5th graders.

Are You In a Hurry?

If you’re in a hurry, your search is over! We have selected three highly recommended novels.

The Amber Anthem

The brightest night, then everything went wrong, table of contents, overview of the 33 outstanding graphic novels for 5th graders (age 10).

Let’s dive right in…

Note : You can purchase these books by clicking on the title link. Please note that the links to purchase these books are affiliate links from Amazon.

The Stone Heart

“The Stone Heart” by Faith Erin Hicks tells the story of Kaidu and Rat, who survives an assassination attempt and find themselves in a city filled with destruction. The people in the city are fighting. Kaidu must find a way to prevent a war and protect his friends. Join them on this exciting adventure of friendship and challenges.

Surprisingly Sarah

School Life

In “Surprisingly Sarah” by Terri Libenson, Sarah and Leo have been best friends. They share everything, until Sarah develops feelings for Ben, who happens to be Leo’s friend. Now, Sarah is faced with a tough decision. It will test the strength of her friendship with Leo. Join Sarah as she navigates middle school challenges.

In “Crunch” by Kayla Miller, Olive is a girl who loves trying new things and staying busy. With her busy schedule, Olive faces the challenge of finding time for everything, including herself. Join Olive on her journey of self-discovery and finding a healthy balance.

Don’t forget to check out Click Boxed Set.

Timepocalypse

In “Timepocalypse” by Paul Tobin, the beloved characters from the popular game Plants vs. Zombies are back for more adventures. Dave teams up with Patrice and Nate to defend against Zomboss’s latest global attack. Join them in this adventure filled with time-traveling and laughter.

Karen’s Birthday

In “Karen’s Birthday” by Ann M. Martin, it’s Karen’s special day, and she’s excited about the presents and parties that await her. She’s looking forward to celebrating with her family together. Join Karen as she hopes for her birthday wish to come true.

Be sure to check out Baby-sitters Collection.

Claudia and Mean Janine

Sibling Connections

In “Claudia and Mean Janine” by Ann M. Martin, Claudia and her sister Janine couldn’t be more different. Claudia is more focused on her art than her schoolwork, while Janine is the perfect student. Claudia often feels outranked by her sister’s achievements. However, when a sudden event affects their family, the sisters must set aside their differences and come together.

Third Time’s a Charm

In “Third Time’s a Charm” by Kristen Gudsnuk, Dany and Madison discover they’re in a strange reality where they think they’re twins. Their parents’ lives have changed, so they begin to investigate. Join Dany and Madison on their exciting adventure as they try to make things right again.

Absolutely Nat

In “Absolutely Nat” by Maria Scrivan, Natalie’s summer camp experience turns out worse. Instead of being with her best friends, she’s stuck with a boy and an irritating girl named Millie. Join Natalie on her journey of self-discovery in this delightful story.

Sunny Makes a Splash

In “Sunny Makes a Splash” by Jennifer L. Holm, it’s summer and Sunny is feeling bored and looking for something exciting to do. Luckily, she finds it at the community pool, where she becomes a pro at serving snacks and ice cream. Join Sunny on her summer adventure filled with fun and independence.

Friends Forever

In “Friends Forever” by Shannon Hale, Shannon is facing a complex life. As her classmates start dating, Shannon feels left out and struggles to find happiness. Dealing with depression, Shannon Hale delivers a heartfelt message to young readers everywhere in the form of this novel.

S’More Magic

In “S’More Magic” by Sophie Escabasse, Effie is not excited about spending her summer at an old camp and left the camp alone. Join Eiffie in this adventure filled with magic.

The Last Council

In “The Last Council” by Kazu Kibuishi, Emily and her friends seek assistance in a town where the streets are empty, and the people live in fear. Emily is taken to the Academy to compete. However, as the competition progresses and secrets uncover, Emily discovers a truth that changes her life.

Don’t forget to check out Amulet Box Set.

The Rise of Herk

In “The Rise of Herk” by Doug TenNapel, the lovable Nnewt, Herk, embarks on a new adventure. However, when the Lizzarks attack on the city with a monster, Herk must get the help of the megasloth to save Amphibopolis.

In “The Amber Anthem” by Mark Siegel, Oona Lee arrives on Salassandra with a mission to get the beacon and continue her journey to save the Five Worlds from danger. However, the beacon is trapped in amber. To succeed, Oona and her friends must find the Amber Anthem.

Fallen Empires

In “Fallen Empires” by Mike Maihack, Cleopatra and her friends work together to find the spy who is causing trouble at the school. Along the way, they learn more about Octavian, Cleo’s former best friend who turned into a mean leader and they both have a big battle. Join Cleo on this exciting journey filled with friendship and a fight for freedom.

In “Sorceline” by Sylvia Douyé, Sorceline is a talented student of the school of cryptozoology. But she struggles to understand her fellows and often clashes with her classmates. When one of her rivals goes missing, Sorceline must put aside her anger and start the journey to find her.

Self-Discovery And Suspense

In “Coraline” by Neil Gaiman, a curious young girl named Coraline discovers a door that leads to an alternate version of her own house, A different mother and father live there, and they want Coraline to stay with them. Determined to escape their clutches and return to her ordinary life, Coraline must gather her bravery to face a dangerous situation.

PopularMMOs Presents Enter the Mine

In “PopularMMOs Presents Enter the Mine,” the duo Pat and Jen begin on another thrilling adventure. Mysterious holes start appearing, and their friends begin to disappear. Now, they must rescue their friends, discover the mastermind behind this devilish plan, and find a way back home.

In “The Brightest Night” by Tui T. Sutherland, Sunny takes her role in the Dragonet Prophecy. With her fellow dragonets, she’s determined to bring an end to the war in Pyrrhia. As she embarks on a journey, Sunny discovers secrets and faces dangers. Join Sunny and her friends in this installment of the Wings of Fire series as they face their ultimate challenge.

In “Then Everything Went Wrong” by Judd Winick, join D.J. and Hilo on an action-packed adventure to Hilo’s home planet. As they find the truth about Hilo’s past, everything Hilo believed is turned upside down. Now, Hilo and his friends must face together the mystery.

Don’t forget to explore Hilo: The Great Big Box Set.

In “Spy Camp” by Stuart Gibbs, Ben Ripley, a school student training to be a spy, is looking forward to a fun summer. However, his plans take a turn when SPYDER, an enemy spy organization, enters the spy camp where he is attending training. Now, Ben must use his skills to find the enemy within the camp.

Big Nate: Mr. Popularity 

In “Big Nate: Mr. Popularity” by Lincoln Peirce, Nate has set his eyes on becoming Mr. Popularity. Determined to win the election, he faces the challenge of competing against more famous kids. With the help of his friend Francis, Nate believes he has a shot at success. Join Nate on his entertaining campaign as he navigates the ups and downs of middle school politics.

I Survived the Shark Attacks

Historical Fiction

“I Survived the Shark Attacks” by Lauren Tarshis. Set during the shark attacks of 1916, the story follows Chet Roscow as he faces a terrifying shark while spending his summer in a New Jersey town. This graphic novel brings the brutal true events to life, providing an engaging reading experience for fans who enjoy historical stories.

Lightfall: Shadow of the Bird

In “Lightfall: Shadow of the Bird” by Tim Probert, Bea and Cad continue their perilous journey to stop the mythical bird. Together they face a bad threat to their planet. As they search for a solution, Bea and Cad must face difficult choices and find the truth.

The Aquanaut

“The Aquanaut” by Dan Santat. After her father’s disappearance, Sophia discovers a hidden world when a visitor, the “aquanaut,” enters the marine park. With the help of a group of sea creatures, Sophia begins on a mission to save marine life and find the truth within Aqualand.

Garlic and the Vampire

In “Garlic and the Vampire” by Bree Paulsen, Garlic, a vegetable, always feels like she’s making mistakes. With her loyal friend Carrot, Garlic finds comfort in her garden. However, when the villagers locate a vampire in a castle, they turn to Garlic to face him. Garlic must gather the courage to face the mysterious vampire and prove herself.

The Tea Dragon Society

“The Tea Dragon Society” by K. O’Neill, tells the story of Greta, who stumbles upon a lost tea dragon. Through her friendship with the tea shop owners and their community, Greta discovers the art of tea dragon care-taking and how it brings joy to their lives. Join Greta on a magical journey as she becomes immersed in the world of tea dragons.

Determination

In “Enemies” by Svetlana Chmakova, Felicity is determined to achieve something powerful. Her sister, Letty, teases her about not finishing things, but Felicity enjoys her busy life with friends and games. So she enters a contest to prove herself to Letty. Join Felicity on her journey of self-discovery and friendship.

In “Sheets” by Brenna Thummler, Marjorie is a regular girl who feels invisible as she helps run her family’s business. Wendell, a young ghost, causes trouble in the laundromat where Marjorie works. As they both meet, Marjorie must deal with courage with the ghost and face her fears.

Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld

In “Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld” by Shannon Hale, Amaya, a princess of House Amethyst, finds herself grounded to Earth after a magical prank. Three years later, Amaya has adjusted to ordinary life, unaware of her true magical destiny. But when a prince from Gemworld brings her back, she must navigate her newfound powers. Join Amaya on this thrilling adventure as she discovers her true identity as Princess.

In “Anti/Hero” by Kate Karyus Quinn, two girls find themselves in an intense situation when a mission goes wrong and they switch bodies. As they navigate each other’s lives, they discover the true meaning of friendship. This captivating story explores the themes of empathy and friendship.

Rapunzel’s Revenge

In “Rapunzel’s Revenge” by Dean Hale, Rapunzel takes matters into her own hands as she escapes her tower and begins a journey of discovery and revenge. Teaming up with Jack, they embark on daring adventures across the western landscape to rescue her mother and bring justice.

Remarkably Ruby

In “Remarkably Ruby” by Terri Libenson, Ruby and Mia may seem like complete opposites in middle school. Ruby is a bit awkward, while Mia is more popular, seeking to become class president. They used to be friends but now feel like they have nothing in common. However, as their stories unfold, they discover that they may have more in common than they realize. This heartwarming tale explores friendship and finding connections in middle school challenges.

Be sure to check out Emmie & Friends Box Set.

We hope that our list of graphic  novels  for  5th graders  has given you some great options to choose from and you and your  10 year old  will have fun exploring these exciting  graphic  novels  together.

The  graphic  novels  recommended in this list have been thoroughly researched and reviewed, and are considered some of the best  graphic  novels  for  5th graders. While I may not have personally  read  all of these  novels , they have been highly recommended by other readers.

We would love to hear from you about which  graphic  novel  your  10 year old enjoyed the most, or if there is a favorite  book  that we missed. Please leave your comments and feedback below.

Best wishes and happy  reading  to you and your family!

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My name is Abdul, a passionate reader and lover of fiction books. With a deep love for books and years of experience in reading and reviewing fiction books, I am dedicated to sharing my passion for reading with others.

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The New York Times Best Sellers - February 25, 2024

Authoritatively ranked lists of books sold in the united states, sorted by format and genre..

This copy is for your personal, noncommercial use only.

  • Combined Print & E-Book Fiction

THE WOMEN by Kristin Hannah

New this week

by Kristin Hannah

In 1965, a nursing student follows her brother to serve during the Vietnam War and returns to a divided America.

  • Apple Books
  • Barnes and Noble
  • Books-A-Million

THE TEACHER by Frieda McFadden

THE TEACHER

by Frieda McFadden

A math teacher at Caseham High suspects there is more going on behind a scandal involving a teacher and a student.

HOUSE OF FLAME AND SHADOW by Sarah J. Maas

2 weeks on the list

HOUSE OF FLAME AND SHADOW

by Sarah J. Maas

The third book in the Crescent City series. Bryce wants to return home while Hunt is trapped in Asteri's dungeons.

BRIDE by Ali Hazelwood

by Ali Hazelwood

Issues of trust arise when an alliance is made between a Vampyre named Misery Lark and a Were named Lowe Moreland.

FOURTH WING by Rebecca Yarros

41 weeks on the list

FOURTH WING

by Rebecca Yarros

Violet Sorrengail is urged by the commanding general, who also is her mother, to become a candidate for the elite dragon riders.

  • Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON by David Grann

115 weeks on the list

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

by David Grann

The story of a murder spree in 1920s Oklahoma that targeted Osage Indians, whose lands contained oil.

THE BODY KEEPS THE SCORE by Bessel van der Kolk

180 weeks on the list

THE BODY KEEPS THE SCORE

by Bessel van der Kolk

How trauma affects the body and mind, and innovative treatments for recovery.

THE WAGER by David Grann

42 weeks on the list

The survivors of a shipwrecked British vessel on a secret mission during an imperial war with Spain have different accounts of events.

THE BOYS IN THE BOAT by Daniel James Brown

131 weeks on the list

THE BOYS IN THE BOAT

by Daniel James Brown

The story of the American rowers who pursued gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games; the basis of the film.

MEDGAR & MYRLIE by Joy-Ann Reid

MEDGAR & MYRLIE

by Joy-Ann Reid

The MSNBC host details how the wife of the civil rights leader Medgar Evers carried forward their legacy after his assassination in 1963.

  • Hardcover Fiction

40 weeks on the list

IRON FLAME by Rebecca Yarros

14 weeks on the list

The second book in the Empyrean series. Violet Sorrengail’s next round of training might require her to betray the man she loves.

THE HEAVEN & EARTH GROCERY STORE by James McBride

25 weeks on the list

THE HEAVEN & EARTH GROCERY STORE

by James McBride

Secrets held by the residents of a dilapidated neighborhood come to life when a skeleton is found at the bottom of a well.

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  • Hardcover Nonfiction

OUTLIVE by Peter Attia with Bill Gifford

46 weeks on the list

by Peter Attia with Bill Gifford

A look at recent scientific research on aging and longevity.

OATH AND HONOR by Liz Cheney

10 weeks on the list

OATH AND HONOR

by Liz Cheney

The former congresswoman from Wyoming recounts how she helped lead the Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6. Attack on the United States Capitol.

THE WOMAN IN ME by Britney Spears

16 weeks on the list

THE WOMAN IN ME

by Britney Spears

The Grammy Award-winning pop star details her personal and professional experiences, including the years she spent under a conservatorship overseen by her father.

  • Paperback Trade Fiction

THE HOUSEMAID by Freida McFadden

THE HOUSEMAID

by Freida McFadden

Troubles surface when a woman looking to make a fresh start takes a job in the home of the Winchesters.

ICEBREAKER by Hannah Grace

52 weeks on the list

by Hannah Grace

Anastasia might need the help of the captain of a college hockey team to get on the Olympic figure skating team.

TWISTED LOVE by Ana Huang

35 weeks on the list

TWISTED LOVE

by Ana Huang

The first book in the Twisted series. Secrets emerge when Ava explores things with her brother’s best friend.

  • Paperback Nonfiction

277 weeks on the list

154 weeks on the list

The story of a murder spree in 1920s Oklahoma that targeted Osage Indians, whose lands contained oil. The fledgling F.B.I. intervened, ineffectively.

153 weeks on the list

CASTE by Isabel Wilkerson

by Isabel Wilkerson

The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist examines aspects of caste systems across civilizations and reveals a rigid hierarchy in America today.

EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT LOVE by Dolly Alderton

34 weeks on the list

EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT LOVE

by Dolly Alderton

The British journalist shares stories and observations; the basis of the TV series.

  • Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous

ATOMIC HABITS by James Clear

220 weeks on the list

ATOMIC HABITS

by James Clear

THE CREATIVE ACT by Rick Rubin with Neil Strauss

56 weeks on the list

THE CREATIVE ACT

by Rick Rubin with Neil Strauss

HOW TO KNOW A PERSON by David Brooks

HOW TO KNOW A PERSON

by David Brooks

DEAR BLACK GIRLS by A'ja Wilson

DEAR BLACK GIRLS

by A'ja Wilson

THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A F*CK by Mark Manson

320 weeks on the list

THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A F*CK

by Mark Manson

  • Children’s Middle Grade Hardcover

HEROES by Alan Gratz

by Alan Gratz

The friends Frank and Stanley give a vivid account of the Pearl Harbor attack.

WONKA by Sibéal Pounder

8 weeks on the list

by Sibéal Pounder

The movie novelization and prequel to "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," written by Roald Dahl.

WONDER by R.J. Palacio

430 weeks on the list

by R.J. Palacio

A boy with a facial deformity starts school.

REFUGEE by Alan Gratz

249 weeks on the list

Three children in three different conflicts look for safe haven.

THE SUN AND THE STAR by Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro

THE SUN AND THE STAR

by Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro

The demigods Will and Nico embark on a dangerous journey to the Underworld to rescue an old friend.

  • Children’s Picture Books

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S VALENTINE by Alice Schertle. Illustrated by Jill McElmurry

27 weeks on the list

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S VALENTINE

by Alice Schertle. Illustrated by Jill McElmurry

Little Blue Truck delivers Valentine's Day cards to all his farm animal friends.

LOVE FROM THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR by Eric Carle

55 weeks on the list

LOVE FROM THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR

by Eric Carle

A ravenous insect returns with its appetite intact.

LOVE FROM BLUEY by Suzy Brumm

7 weeks on the list

LOVE FROM BLUEY

by Suzy Brumm

The love between parents and their children.

HOW TO CATCH A LOVEOSAURUS by Alice Walstead. Illustrated by Andy Elkerton

12 weeks on the list

HOW TO CATCH A LOVEOSAURUS

by Alice Walstead. Illustrated by Andy Elkerton

The Catch Club Kids attempt to catch a dinosaur that wants to spread love and kindness.

LOVE FROM THE CRAYONS by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers

24 weeks on the list

LOVE FROM THE CRAYONS

by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers

The Crayons show the colors of love.

  • Children’s Series

PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS by Rick Riordan

711 weeks on the list

PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS

by Rick Riordan

A boy battles mythological monsters.

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney

778 weeks on the list

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID

written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney

The travails and challenges of adolescence.

HARRY POTTER by J.K. Rowling

777 weeks on the list

HARRY POTTER

by J.K. Rowling

A wizard hones his conjuring skills in the service of fighting evil.

THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins

314 weeks on the list

THE HUNGER GAMES

by Suzanne Collins

In a dystopia, a girl fights for survival on live TV.

A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER by Holly Jackson

124 weeks on the list

A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

by Holly Jackson

Pippa Fitz-Amobi solves murderous crimes.

  • Young Adult Hardcover

DIVINE RIVALS by Rebecca Ross

DIVINE RIVALS

by Rebecca Ross

Two young rival journalists find love through a magical connection.

RUTHLESS VOWS by Rebecca Ross

RUTHLESS VOWS

In the sequel to "Divine Rivals," Roman and Iris will risk their hearts and futures to change the tides of the war.

POWERLESS by Lauren Roberts

by Lauren Roberts

Forbidden love is in the air when Paedyn, an Ordinary, and Kai, an Elite, become romantically involved.

MURTAGH by Christopher Paolini

by Christopher Paolini

Murtagh and his dragon, Thorn, must find and outwit a mysterious witch.

NIGHTBANE by Alex Aster

by Alex Aster

In this sequel to "Lightlark," Isla must chose between her two powerful lovers.

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  1. 50+ Books for a 5th Grader who Loves to Read

    best new novels for 5th graders

  2. 20 Best Books for 5th Graders to Read in 2021

    best new novels for 5th graders

  3. Best Books For 5Th Graders On Epic / Best ar books for 6th graders

    best new novels for 5th graders

  4. Favorite books for 5th graders

    best new novels for 5th graders

  5. Top Books For 5th Graders

    best new novels for 5th graders

  6. The Ultimate List of Books for 5th Graders

    best new novels for 5th graders

VIDEO

  1. Must Have Books for 5th Graders

  2. Books for 5th Graders (Kid Favorites)

  3. Books My Fifth Graders Are Reading Spring 2021

  4. HUGE MIDDLE GRADE BOOK HAUL

  5. My 5th Graders Book List || Excellent books for 5th grade!

  6. New Year, New Books!

COMMENTS

  1. 20 Great Book Series for 5th Graders to Read (and Love)

    Here are 20 of the best book series for 5th graders: Track Series By Jason Reynolds Published: August 30, 2016 4 books in series The Track series is about four kids (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu) on the same track team dealing with issues in their personal lives and finding solace in running.

  2. 25+ Books to Get Fifth Graders Reading

    BETA 25+ Books to Get Fifth Graders Reading Build your classroom library with engaging books and help your students develop a love for reading. By Scholastic Editors February 5, 2024 Grade 5 Fifth grade is a critical point in a student's academic career, as they read more complex texts and dive into advanced topics.

  3. 26 of the Best Books for 5th Graders

    Frindle by Andrew Clements Nicholas Allen is a boy of many ideas that have gotten him a bit of hot water in the past. Fifth grade will be different though; until he decides to rename 'pen' to 'frindle'. What started as an innocent decision eventually spreads through the school, the town, and eventually across the country.

  4. Best Books for Fifth Graders

    Amber & Clay age 10+ Lyrical, epic tale of ancient Greece is emotionally intense. By: Laura Amy Schlitz (2021) See full review BOOK As Brave As You age 10+ Poignant summer adventure brims with family love and hope. By: Jason Reynolds (2016) See full review BOOK Best Nerds Forever age 10+ Ghostly mystery has humor, sadness, and surprising depth.

  5. Best Books for Fifth Grade Readers (431 books)

    Best Books for Fifth Grade Readers (431 books) Discover new books on Goodreads Meet your next favorite book Join Goodreads Listopia Best Books for Fifth Grade Readers Add a title that you think all fifth graders should read. flag All Votes Add Books To This List ← Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next →

  6. 20 Best Books for 5th Graders to Read

    6. Old Yeller by Fred Gipson 7. Rules by Cynthia Lord 8. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls 9. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt 10. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli 11. The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare 12. Holes by Louis Sachar 13. The Giver by Lois Lowry 14. Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan 15.

  7. 40 Page-Turning 5th Grade Books Kids Love To Read

    1. Smile by Raina Telgemeier When Raina trips and falls and injures her two front teeth, she's forced to have surgery and wear braces, making sixth grade even wilder than it already was. This graphic novel, based on Telgemeier's life, has everything from boy problems to a major earthquake. Buy it: Smile at Amazon 2. Holes by Louis Sachar

  8. 25 Best Books for 5th Graders

    1. Wonder by R.J. Palacio Subject: Prejudice, Self-acceptance, Friendship, Bullying Amazon Ratings: 4.6/5 Price: $9.67 R.J. Palacio wrote a beautiful piece of children's literature based on a real-life incident. The book is inspired by an incident when the writer's son started to cry after seeing a girl with a facial deformity.

  9. 2023 5th Grade Books

    Showing 1-39 of 39. Looking for True (Paperback) by. Tricia Springstubb (Goodreads Author) (shelved 1 time as 2023-5th-grade) avg rating 4.23 — 79 ratings — published 2022. Want to Read. Rate this book. 1 of 5 stars 2 of 5 stars 3 of 5 stars 4 of 5 stars 5 of 5 stars.

  10. Best Books for 5th Grade

    Award-winning stories, comics and graphic novels, STEAM books, and more, Scholastic Book Clubs offers the best children's books for fifth grade reading.

  11. 16 Fantastic Chapter Books for Fifth Graders

    by Lisa Fipps. This novel in verse is about Ellie, an 11-year-old girl who struggles with self-acceptance after years of fat-shaming. The criticism comes from everywhere: kids at school, her mom, and even strangers. As a result, she tries to fly under the radar and avoids attracting unwanted attention.

  12. 40 New and Noteworthy Narrative Nonfiction Books For 5th Grade

    These narrative nonfiction picture books for 5th grade students will be engaging for your students! Books with lesson plans and activities linked. Picture books about various topics such as historical figures, historical events and more for your fifth graders. Your students will delight in these classic and brand new books!

  13. 11 Best Chapter Books for 5th Graders to Read

    Here is our full list of the 11 best chapter books for 5th graders: The Giver by Louis Lowry. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Hatchet by Gary Paulson. Holes by Louis Sachar. Old Yeller by Fred Gibson. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls.

  14. 60 Best 5th Grade Books in a Series (for 10 Year Olds)

    Story by Imagination Soup • 3mo. If you're looking for good 5th grade books in a series, these top middle grade book series for 10- to 11-year-olds are great choices for every interest.

  15. The 10 Best Novel Studies for 4th & 5th Graders

    Bonus Book- Thomas Wildus and The Book of Sorrows by J.M. Bergen. This book is a new edition to my list of novel studies for 4th and 5th graders, because I just recently read it at home with my son who is now in 5th grade. Even though it's new for us, I highly recommend it as a novel study in the classroom.

  16. 10 Best Books for 5th Grade Boys

    You can imagine how his plan will go, right? A funny middle grade book filled with cartoon-like illustrations, this story will crack your 5th graders up. BOX SET HERE. BUY on Amazon BUY ON BOOKSHOP Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret by Trudi Trueit ADVENTURE (series)

  17. 12 Best Books for 5th Grade Girls

    This well-done graphic novel tackles the issues of friendships and confidence, among other things. We highly recommend this book for 5th grade girls. BUY on AmazonBUY ON BOOKSHOP. 5 Worlds: The ...

  18. 20 Must-Have Graphic Novels to Engage Readers in Grades 3-6

    See the Bell family in a whole new light through Dawud Anyabwile's dynamic illustrations as the brothers' winning season unfolds, and the world as they know it begins to change. 20. Click by Kayla Miller . Interest level: 3-7 . Olive "clicks" with everyone in the fifth grade - until one day she doesn't.

  19. 9 New Books We Recommend This Week

    9 New Books We Recommend This Week. Suggested reading from critics and editors at The New York Times. Feb. 15, 2024. It's too early to know the full story behind the mass shooting at yesterday ...

  20. 33 Outstanding Graphic Novels For 5th Graders (Age 10)

    Table of Contents. Overview Of The 33 Outstanding Graphic Novels For 5th Graders (Age 10) The Stone Heart. Surprisingly Sarah. Crunch. Timepocalypse. Karen's Birthday. Claudia and Mean Janine. Third Time's a Charm.

  21. The 10 Best Fantasy Books for 5th Graders

    In "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," children can learn about the power of forgiveness and redemption. In "A Wrinkle in Time," they can contemplate the nature of time, space, and love. In conclusion, fantasy books are an excellent choice for 5th graders because they encourage imagination, develop reading skills and vocabulary ...

  22. Best Sellers

    The New York Times Best Sellers are up-to-date and authoritative lists of the most popular books in the United States, based on sales in the past week, including fiction, non-fiction, paperbacks ...

  23. 5th Grade Graphic Novels Books

    Showing 1-50 of 94. Field Trip: A Graphic Novel (Mr. Wolf's Class #4) (4) by. Aron Nels Steinke. (shelved 1 time as 5th-grade-graphic-novels) avg rating 4.25 — 432 ratings — published 2020. Want to Read. Rate this book. 1 of 5 stars 2 of 5 stars 3 of 5 stars 4 of 5 stars 5 of 5 stars.