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Grade 5 Reading List




Appelt, Kathi. The Underneath. Atheneum, 2008. An old hound that has been

chained up at his hateful owner's run-down shack, and two kittens born

underneath the house, endure separation, danger, and many other tribulations

in their quest to be reunited and free. Newbery Honor 2009. National Book

Award Finalist 2008


Bolden, Tonya. George Washington Carver. Abrams Books, 2008. Born a slave

during the Civil War and raised by his mother’s owners, George Washington

Carver, also known as the “Peanut Man,” became an important African

American conservationist, scientist, researcher, and teacher.


Breathed, Berkeley. Flawed Dogs: The Novel: The Shocking Raid on Westminster.

Philomel, 2009. After being framed by a jealous poodle, a dachshund is left for

dead, but comes back with a group of mutts from the National Last Ditch Dog

Depository to disrupt the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club dog show and

exact revenge on Cassius the poodle.


Broach, Elise. Masterpiece. Holt/Christy Ottaviano, 2008. Marvin, a beetle, and his

family live in the home of eleven-year-old James and his family. When James’

birthday party fails miserably, Marvin surprises James with an elaborately

intricate pen and ink drawing Marvin has created. Trouble begins when the

drawing is mistaken for James’ work, which sets off action that leads to a fastpaced

mystery featuring an unlikely friendship, the discovery of art forgery, and



Choldenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Shines My Shoes. Dial Books, 2009. Moose

Flanagan, who lives on Alcatraz along with his family and the families of the

other prison guards, is frightened when he discovers that noted gangster Al

Capone, a prisoner there, wants a favor in return for the help that he secretly

gave Moose. Sequel


Colfer, Eoin. The Atlantis Complex. Disney-Hyperion, 2010. When an army of fairy

space probes programmed to destroy Atlantis return to Earth, Artemis Fowl

attempts to stop the destruction of the city while dealing with his delusional

and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Series


Creech, Sharon. Heartbeat. Joanna Cotler, 2004. Twelve-year-old Annie ponders

the many rhythms of life the year that her mother becomes pregnant, her

grandfather begins faltering, and her best friend (and running partner) becomes



Delano, Marfe Ferguson. Helen’s Eyes: A Photobiography of Annie Sullivan, Helen

Keller's Teacher. National Geographic, 2008. Annie Sullivan grew up in

extreme poverty with her own eye problems. Her first and only job was teaching

Helen Keller how to “see” despite the fact that she was blind, deaf, and mute.



DiCamillo, Kate. The Magician’s Elephant. Candlewick, 2009. Orphan Peter

Augustus Duchene sees a fortune teller that leads him on an adventurous

journey involving an elephant and a magician in order to find his long lost

younger sister Adele.

DiTerlizzi, Tony. The Search For WondLa. Simon & Schuster, 2010. Living in

isolation with a robot on what appears to be an alien world populated with

bizarre life forms, a twelve-year-old human girl called Eva Nine sets out on a

journey to find others like her. Features “augmented reality” pages in which

readers can access additional information online about Eva Nine’s world.


Dixon, Dougal. The Future Is Wild. Firefly Books, 2003. This companion book to

the Animal Planet series uses a variety of scientific principles to imagine how

life on planet Earth may evolve over the next 200 million years.


Feldman, Jody. The Gollywhopper Games. Greenwillow, 2008. When the Golly Toy

& Game Company announces the Gollywhopper Games, Gil Goodson wants to

be the lucky winner; this could be the perfect opportunity for his family to move

away from Orchard Heights. Can he solve the puzzles and complete the stunts?

This may remind you of a modern day Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!


Flanagan, John. Halt’s Peril. Philomel, 2010. Tennyson, the false prophet of the

Outsider cult, has escaped and Halt is determined to stop him before he crosses

the border into Araluen, but Genovesan assassins put Will and Halt's

extraordinary archery skills to the test. Series


Florian, Douglas. Omnibeasts. Harcourt, 2004. In this treasure chest of wit and

charm, the author weaves information into each poem, combining fun and fact.

This collection of poems and art is selected from the author's whimsical, punfilled

previous books.


Forester, Victoria. The Girl Who Could Fly. Feiwel and Friends, 2008. “Piper

decided to jump off the roof. It wasn’t a rash decision on her part.” And so we

meet a strong-willed, generous girl with extraordinary talents.


Golding, Julia. Secret of the Sirens. Marshall Cavendish, 2006. Upon moving to

her aunt's seaside home in the British Isles, Connie becomes part of a secret

society that shelters mythical creatures and must use her ability to

communicate with these beings to protect them from evil and the incursions of

humans. Series


Gutman, Dan. Satch and Me: A Baseball Card Adventure. HarperCollins, 2006.

With his ability to travel through time using vintage baseball cards, Joe takes

Flip with him to find out whether Satchel Paige really was the fastest pitcher

ever. Series


Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Just Ella. Simon & Schuster, 1999. Fifteen-year-old

Ella finds that accepting Prince Charming’s proposal ensnares her in such a

suffocating tangle of palace rules and royal etiquette that she plots her escape.




Hale, Shannon. Rapunzel’s Revenge. Bloomsbury, 2008. In this graphic novel,

Rapunzel, having grown up in a lovely castle with the woman she thought was

her mother, is placed in a very tall hollow tree as punishment after her curiosity

prompts her to climb the castle wall and look at the ruin of the world beyond

her home. She is able to escape and, with the help of Jack, embarks on a plan

to free the land and find her true mother.


Halls, Kelly Milner. Tales of the Cryptids. Darby Creek, 2006. Be the judge: are the

many mysterious and legendary animals, including Bigfoot and assorted sea

serpents, real based on the descriptions, photographs and drawings?


Holm, Jennifer L. Turtle in Paradise. Random House, 2010. A girl named Turtle

moves to the Florida Keys, where she meets her extended family and makes

new friends.


Karr, Kathleen. Exiled: Memoirs of a Camel. Marshall Cavendish, 2004. This first

person narrative is told from a camel's viewpoint. He tells how he was sent from

Egypt to serve in the United States Camel Corps and of his life on the Mojave

Desert before and during the Civil War.


Kerley, Barbara. Walt Whitman: Words for America. Scholastic, 2004. A

biography of the American poet whose compassion led him to nurse soldiers

during the Civil War, to give voice to the nation’s grief after Lincoln’s

assassination, and to capture the true American spirit in verse.


Klise, Kate. Dying to Meet You. Harcourt, 2009. A cranky, burned-out children’s

mystery writer moves into a dilapidated, old Victorian house, searching for

peace and quiet to help him get over writer’s block; unbeknownst to him, the

house is already occupied by a boy, his cat, and the ghost of the house’s

original owner. Series


Lasky, Kathryn. The Man Who Made Time Travel. Farrar, Straus and Giroux,

2003. The need for sailors to be able to determine their position at sea led to

the efforts of John Harrison, an eighteenth-century man who spent his life

refining instruments to enable them to do this.


Leal, Ann. Also Known as Harper. Holt, 2009. Harper Lee Morgan’s family is

struggling, but she holds close to her passion for writing poetry and this

provides her with an opportunity to express her feelings, even as she must skip

school to take care of her younger brother Hemingway.


Lin, Grace. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Little, Brown, 2009. A magical

story of a young girl who wishes for fortune and happiness for her village and

leaves her family to find the mysterious Old Man of the Moon. Newbery Honor



Lowry, Lois. The Willoughbys. Houghton Mifflin, 2008. The four Willoughby

children devise a plan to become orphans, unaware that their despicable

parents are trying to lose them. The humorous glossary and annotated reading

list of classic children’s literature are not to be missed.


Lutes, Jason. Houdini: The Handcuff King. Hyperion, 2007. In bold graphics,

author and artist formulate a living picture of this amazing escape artist and

show how time and morals shaped him and his art.


Malone, Marianne. The Sixty-Eight Rooms. Random House, 2010. An adventure

about the Thorne Rooms, sixty-eight miniature rooms made by Mrs. James

Ward Thorne in the 1930s, and a magic key that allows a person to shrink

down small enough to explore the rooms' secrets.


Marino, Nan. Neil Armstrong is My Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty

Told Me. Roaring Brook, 2009. Set in 1969, Tammy has a difficult summer

when her best friend suddenly moves away and a new, know-it-all boy moves

into the neighborhood.


Mass, Wendy. 11 Birthdays. Scholastic, 2009. Best friends since their mothers met

at the hospital when they were born, Amanda and Leo always celebrate their

birthdays together. However, now that they are turning 11, they are no longer

speaking to each other and everything is not as normal as it may appear. This

is one birthday that does not seem to end!


Montgomery, Sy. Quest for the Tree Kangaroo. Houghton Mifflin, 2006. Wonderful

color photographs and an excellent text provide details of the search for the tree

kangaroo in Papua New Guinea’s cloud forest.


Morpurgo, Michael. Beowulf. Candlewick, 2006. An illustrated retelling of the oldest

English epic, Beowulf, in which a Norse hero saves Denmark’s royal house from

monsters, and then his own house from dragons.


Napoli, Donna Jo. The King of Mulberry Street. Wendy Lamb, 2005. When nineyear-

old Beniamino, a Jewish boy from Naples, is smuggled onto a ship, he

assumes his mother is also on the ship. When he ends up alone in New York,

he has to deal with his fear and sadness on the one hand and figure out how to

get food and shelter on the other as he makes his way in the New World.


Nelson, Peter & Rohitash Rao. Herbert’s Wormhole. Harper, 2009. While Alex is

getting to know his inventive neighbor Herbert they unexpectedly travel to the

twenty-second century through a space-time wormhole where they encounter

aliens, jet packs, and their future selves.


O’Connor, George. Zeus: King of the Gods. First Second, 2010. An illustrated

retelling of the Greek myth that details the story of Zeus, describing his

boyhood through his reign as the ruler of the Olympian Pantheon. Series


Peck, Richard. On the Wings of Heroes. Dial Books, 2007. Set in the time period of

World War II, Davy Bowman has two heroes: his dad who fought in World War I

and his brother who is currently in the Air Force.


Philbrick, Rodman. The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg. Blue Sky Press,

2009. Homer P. Figg escapes from his wretched foster home in Pine Swamp,

Maine, and sets out to find his beloved older brother, Harold, who has been

illegally sold into the Union Army. Newbery Honor, 2010

Riordan, Rick. The Lost Hero. Disney-Hyperion, 2010. Jason, Piper, and Leo, three

students from a school for "bad kids," find themselves at Camp Half-Blood,

where they learn that they are demigods and begin a quest to free Hera, who

has been imprisoned by Mother Earth herself. Series

Rutkoski, Marie. The Cabinet of Wonders. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008.

Twelve-year-old Petra, accompanied by her magical tin spider, goes to Prague

hoping to retrieve the enchanted eyes the Prince of Bohemia took from her

father, and is aided in her quest by a Roma boy and his sister. Series


Springer, Nancy. The Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery.

Philomel, 2006. Enola Holmes, much younger sister of detective Sherlock

Holmes, escapes to London in disguise to find her missing mother. Along the

way, she uses her considerable deductive skills to determine the whereabouts of

a young Viscount. Series


St. John, Lauren. The White Giraffe. Dial Books, 2006. After losing her parents in

a tragic fire, eleven-year-old Martine must live with a grandmother she has

never met on a wildlife preserve in Africa, where she learns about a mystical

white giraffe.


Stead, Rebecca. When You Reach Me. Wendy Lamb, 2009. As her mother prepares

to be a contestant on the 1980’s television game show “The $20,000 Pyramid,” a

twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious

notes received from an anonymous source that seem to defy laws of time and

space. Newbery Award, 2010


Stewart, Trenton Lee. The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey.

Little, Brown, 2008. Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance, all graduates of the

Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened and members of the Benedict

Society, embark on a scavenger hunt that turns into a desperate search for the

missing Mr. Benedict. Series


Stone, Jeff. Eagle. Random House, 2008. After attacking and killing his former

grandmaster, sixteen-year-old Ying realizes he has been betrayed in addition to

being wanted for treason, and consequently is forced to turn to Hok, his old

temple sister, for help. Series


Townley, Roderick. The Great Good Thing. Atheneum, 2001. Nothing ever changes

inside the storybook kingdom inhabited by twelve-year-old Princess Sylvie, her

parents, and many other characters until Sylvie discovers that by allying herself

with the Reader she can experience new adventure beyond the confines of the

book. Series


Walker, Alice. Langston Hughes: American Poet. HarperCollins, 2002. An

illustrated biography of the Harlem poet whose works gave voice to the joy and

pain of the black experience in America.






Weston, Robert Paul. Zorgamazoo. Razorbill, 2008. Imaginative and adventurous

Katrina eludes her maniacal guardian to help Morty, a member of a vanishing

breed of zorgles, with his quest to uncover the fate of the fabled zorgles of

Zorgamazoo as well as of other creatures that seem to have disappeared from

the Earth.


Wiles, Deborah. Each Little Bird that Sings. Harcourt, 2005. Comfort Snowberger

is well acquainted with death since her family runs the funeral parlor in their

small southern town; but even so, the ten-year-old is unprepared for the series

of heart-wrenching events triggered by the sudden death of her beloved great

uncle Edisto.


The East Penn School District is an equal opportunity education institution and will not discriminate in its educational programs, activities or employment practices on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, ancestry, disability, union membership or other legally protected classification. Announcement of the policy is in accordance with state and federal laws, including Title VI, Title IX, Section 504 and Americans with Disabilities Act. Copyright 2009 East Penn School District.
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Last modified: 2015-07-22 11:36:48 PM (EDT)