What Should I Read Aloud To My Fifth Graders?

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I’m excited to be moving from third grade to fifth grade. Whenever I think about the move, the first things I think about is reading aloud to them. I think that the books that fourth, fifth, and sixth-grade teachers read aloud to their students have the potential to be some of the most memorable books of a student’s childhood.

My summer is going to be filled with catching up on books to book talk and read aloud to my students. I’d love to know what books you think make great fifth-grade read alouds. Just leave a comment below, and I’ll add your recommendations to my ever growing to-read pile.

Thanks for your help!

I talk a little bit about the move to fifth in the video below.

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58 thoughts on “What Should I Read Aloud To My Fifth Graders?

  1. This year, my students enjoyed Pax and The Scourge. Masterminds and The Honest Truth are popular in Lit Circles. Last year, The False Prince and Fuzzy Mud were well loved and in Lit Circles it was A Night Divided, The Blackthorn Key, and The Nest. I have also liked Wonder, The Ruins of Gorlan, Airborn, and A Long Walk to Water.

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  2. Some favorites:
    Maniac Magee
    The Watsons Go To Birmingham
    Holes (most love even though they’ve seen the movie!)
    The Tale of Despereaux
    A Tale Dark and Grimm
    Walk Two Moons

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  3. My 5ths love Home of the Brave. Also Fish In a Tree and Hatchet. We also love Steve Sheinkin’s King George: What Was His Problem and Two Misrerable Presidents for Rev. and Civil War in social studies. We’ve done Harry Potter (which might inspire the majority of your class to continue reading the entire series) and The False Prince for fantasy. BOY picture books include The Invisible Boy, anything by Peter Reynolds, Jackie Woodson, and Kathryn Otoshi, and so many more that I can’t think of before coffee. Shoot me an email if you want to talk more: I am more than happy to help a fellow fifthie!

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  4. It’s a hidden treasure and “old,” however for 18 years it has never failed to be an all time favorite: The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles – by Julie Andrews. I have created a set of voices that I use for all the fantastic characters. It starts a little slow, but it takes off and never stops. Words of the Wiser galore and some many important life lessons. Welcome to Fifth Grade!

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  5. Masterminds series by Gordon Korman
    The Missing series by Margaret Peterson Haddix
    Genius Files series by Dan Gutman
    The Losers Club (forthcoming book) by Andrew Clements

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      1. It’s a great one! What I liked about it is that it is full of book recommendations throughout the book and, at the end, it has a list of all the books the kids in the Losers Club read. A book that recommends other books is a winner for me!

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  6. Colby, your kids are just SO precious–and getting so BIG!!! 🙂 How cool is it about your student and the whole 5th-grade thing 😀 I have to tell you, one of the books that always comes to mind is ONE FOR THE MURPHYS. It’s SUCH a powerful, beautifully written book. Maybe that can be one of your books. Depends on what you’re shooting for. Whatever you choose, it’ll be great because YOU are sure to “make that happen” 😀

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  7. Wonder, Esperanza Rising, One and Only Ivan, City of Ember, Gregor the Overlander, maybe Applegate’s new book The Wishtree (I’m in love with that book)

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  8. Oooh! Wonder, Fish in a Tree, Out of My Mind, Three times Lucky, The Honest Truth, Snicker of Magic, (actually all of Dan & Natalie’s books) Tristan adds, The False Prince, and Noah is finishing 5th right now and says the Fighting Ground by Avi.

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  9. Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin, The Power of Un by Nancy Etchemendy, The Chasing Vermeer Trilogy by Blue Balliett, The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry, The Genius Files Series by Dan Gutman, A Whole Nother Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup.

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  10. Wonder, Out of My Mind, any of Dan Gemeinhart’s books (Some Kind of Courage is a great intro to historical fiction), Holes, There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom, Because of Mr. Terupt, and the list goes on!!

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  11. Jennifer Murdley’s Toad by Bruce Coville
    Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris
    Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wreder
    Rain Reign by Ann Martin
    Flying Solo by Ralph Fletcher
    The students always love these books. Every year I read Jennifer Murdley’s Toad. The others I have read some years and not others. Good luck in fifth grade.

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  12. The evolution of Calpurnia Tate (life sci); Space Case (earth sci and mystery); Zane and the hurricane (weather sci); Maniac Magee; Rules by Lord; the view from Saturday; the westing game.

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  13. I have read Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix to fifth graders for fourteen years and have yet to find anything they like better. Many go on to read the entire series on their own. Make sure you read it advance, not everyone will feel comfortable with the violence.

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  14. Another vote for WONDER which speaks so strongly to that age. BTW, how wonderful that you’re challenging yourself with this new and exciting change!
    I would also recommend “MOST DANGEROUS” because of its relevance to everything that’s going on in our country. Regardless of one’s political beliefs, it shows what happens when power goes unchecked and how a few good people can change history.
    Of course if they’re into Escape The Room Games, I can think of a book… 🙂
    Most importantly, I do hope Margie will be making an appearance to help read!

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  15. Congratulations on your move! I’m sure it will be full of challenges, but I know you’ll make it a joyful one. One of my favorite books from the past few years is Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan. I just read her newest book, Short, and liked it very much as well. I wrote a post about other new favorites that might be helpful. I especially liked Nest and The Thing about Leftovers. http://redcanoereader.com/5-memorable-middle-grade-chapter-books-not-be-missed/ Again, congratulations! – Susan

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  16. I always read “Fever 1793″ (Laurie Halse Anderson) to my 5th graders. (historical fiction is my FAVE!) When we get through that, I like to end the year with The Whipping Boy” (Sid Fleischman) because as Sid said “History is alive with lunacies and injustices”!

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  17. Wonder
    Where the Red Fern Grows
    The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
    The Bat Poet
    The War that Saved My Life
    Anything by Kwame Alexander

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  18. Long Walk to Water – sit in two different spots for the two perspectives.
    Home of the Brave
    Touching Spirit Bear
    For fun and voices…Elvis and the Underdogs
    The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary- great for character study. I created a slideshow with the character pictures and shared through google classroom. The kids added character traits along the way. Will share if you’d like.

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  19. Colby – this has been so fun to read, and all such great suggestions! One more to add, an oldie but goodie (and a Newbery Winner) – When You Reach Me. Such a multi-layered story.
    Enjoy!!

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  20. Bigger than a Breadbox by Snyder will leave them wanting to read more each day. I’ll second Out of My Mind and Because of Mr. Terupt. Happy Reading!

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  21. Wonder, Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff, False Prince, One for the Murphys, All the Answers by Kate Messner, Hold Fast by Blue Balliett, Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins, Among the Hidden by Haddix, anything by Stuart Gibbs or Gordon Korman.

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