Fifth Grade Reading List

Reading is a critical skill for success in school and in life. Let’s create an easy to learn environment with high quality children’s age appropriate books, and help our children build a good reading habit!

Reading Comprehension for Fifth Graders(Focus on Informational Materials)

Students read and understand grade-level-appropriate material. They describe and connect the essential ideas, arguments, and perspectives of the text by using their knowledge of text structure, organization, and purpose. The selections in Recommended Literature, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve illustrate the quality and complexity of the materials to be read by students. In addition, by grade eight, students read one million
words annually on their own, including a good representation of grade-level-appropriate
narrative and expository text (e.g., classic and contemporary literature, magazines,
newspapers, online information).

In grade five, students make progress toward this goal.

Structural Features of Informational Materials

1. Understand how text features (e.g., format, graphics, sequence, diagrams, illustrations, charts, maps) make information accessible and usable.
2. Analyze text that is organized in sequential or chronological order.

Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text

3. Discern main ideas and concepts presented in texts, identifying and assessing evidence that supports those ideas.
4. Draw inferences, conclusions, or generalizations about text and support them with textual evidence and prior knowledge.

Expository Critique

5. Distinguish facts, supported inferences, and opinions in text.

Books for Fifth Graders

Pirates of Crocodile Swamp

Brothers, Sandy and Jake, are kidnapped and driven to Florida by their abusive father who is fleeing the murder of their mother. Finding a chance to escape, they run away to Crocodile Swamp to become pirates and live off the land.


Marvin can draw intricate pictures. When the Metropolitan Museum of Art plans to recover a stolen drawing, Marvin enlists his friend James to help him catch the thief. By the way, Marvin is a beetle.

NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society

Jackson Jones goes from being Mr. Popular to new nerd the moment he gets braces with headgear that attracts anything magnetic. When the trophy case attaches to him, Jackson knows his life is going downhill fast.

Extra Credit

Never caring about her schoolwork finally catches up to Abby with the recommendation that she repeat a grade and delay going to junior high next year. Unbelievable! So to change that path it is not only going to take a lot of work, but also a special project.

Goodbye Time

Best friends Anna and Katie love acting, until Katie’s home life falls apart, shutting Anna out. Anna wishes for things to go back to normal.

My Name is Phillis Wheatley

Phillis is only seven when she is captured by slavers and taken to America. Her new owners teach her to read and write, amazing everyone with her talent for poetry. Becoming a published poet celebrated in Boston and England isn’t enough and the American Revolution has her yearning for her own freedom.

Bettina Valentino and the Picasso Club

“Mr. Popart” is the new 5th grade art teacher at Bayside Prep. He makes art cool for Bettina and her friends but not everyone likes him.

Magician’s Elephant

A fortuneteller’s mysterious answer to Peter’s question about whether his sister is still alive sets off a chain of adventures involving a magician, an elephant, a policeman, a blind dog and a hunchback sculptor.

In Memory of Gorfman T. Frog

It is not unusual to find a frog in a pond. It is unusual, however, for the frog to have five legs. How did that happen?

Year the Swallows Came Early

When Groovy Robinson’s father is sent to jail, everything in her life stops going exactly as she has planned, and her dreams of becoming a chef are dashed.

Cats of Roxville Station

There is a whole social network that cats must learn in order to survive in the wild. Ratchet learns this after being thrown from a bridge and left to drown.

Wild Girl

Lidie is a wild girl who rides horses and lives in Brazil. When she comes to New York to join her father and brother, she has a hard time adjusting to her new life at the stable, and so does a young filly named Wild Girl.

Baseball Great

Josh joins an elite kids’ baseball team coached by his dad’s boss, Rocky. Practices are brutal and the team hates him. Josh thinks Rocky is giving steroids to kids and wants to take him down, but what if his dad is guilty, too?

Stolen Children

Amy has no idea when she takes a simple babysitting job that it will turn into a kidnapping nightmare! She soon realizes that the kidnappers will return the young child when they get their ransom, but they have no intention of returning her.

11 Birthdays

Amanda’s eleventh birthday is terrible and she can’t wait for the day to be over. There’s just one problem. She keeps waking up in the same day! She’ll have to live the day over and over again until she gets it right.

Carolina Harmony

The year is 1964, when Carolina, forced to leave her beloved Auntie Shen’s home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, seeks refuge in the old mountain ways.
Tales of Terror from the Black Ship

One dark and stormy night, Ethan and his younger sister are taken ill and their father goes to town to get the doctor. A stranger comes knocking and the children let him in. While they wait for their father to return, the stranger regales them with deliciously scary tales of the sea.

Gully’s Travels

Gulliver, a Lhasa Apso, loves New York and his cultured life with Professor Rattigan. Every year he travels to Paris. Then one day he discovers something has happened to his master while he is left in Queens.

William S. and the Great Escape

Their older brothers flush Jancy’s guinea pig down the toilet. Using the running-away money that William has carefully saved, and taking their two youngest siblings with them, Jancy decides it is time to run away from their abusive family.

Wild Magic

Mari and her brother Jacob along with all of the children of Hamelin follow the Pied Piper into the mountain of wild magic where they will remain until the Beast is released from his spell.

Locked Garden

In the summer of 1900, Verna and Carlie move with their father to live on the grounds of a towering asylum so he can treat the mentally ill. Even under the watchful eye of their aunt, the girls find adventure, mystery, and a beautiful locked garden.

After we have done some research, we recommend the following books for fifth graders by Amazon’s review rankings.