Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Books I Love to Read with 5th Graders (Round 2)

Yesterday I posted 4 books that I love to read with my students ("Sideways Stories of Wayside School," "Wait Till Helen Comes," "Hatchet," and "The City of Ember").  This really is the best part of my day, each and every day!  We were lucky enough to get to build our master schedules for the fall on the last day of school, so I definitely made sure to carve in some time for our daily read aloud.  Last year, we rarely had time because of a brand new reading program, and I feel really bad for that group of kids.  They only got through a couple books last year!  the year before that, we read at least 10!  Anyways, here's a few more books my kids love.

I said in the previous post that my favorite juvenile fiction book was "The City of Ember."  That may be a lie, because I love this one, too.  We'll call it a tie.  "Running Out of Time" by Margaret Peterson Haddix is an amazing story!  I use it to work on our prediction skills, which it is perfect for.  However, I've never had a student predict the big surprise in this story.  I love seeing their reactions as they find out the truth about Jessie Keyser and her town of Clifton, Indiana.  We have to pause many times in this story, as the ripple of chatter about the book goes through the room.  It's a thrilling adventure, and it constantly keeps you guessing!

Another book I read with my students is "Among the Hidden," also by Margaret Peterson Haddix.  She's probably my favorite juvenile fiction author. I love the Missing series she has written! This book I'll read only with certain groups.  Last year's group was pretty immature, and overall, a young class, so we didn't read it.  It's a bit heavy in certain points, but the story and characters quickly capture you.  This story's about Luke, who's the third child in his family.  It's bad news for him, because third children are illegal.  Luke must hide in his family's home/yard every day.  He can't be seen by anyone, or he could be killed.  It's a great read, but, like I said, parts of it can be heavy for 5th graders.

"Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume was one of my favorite books from childhood.  My mom would read this books, and the others about Fudge, to my brother and I, and we would laugh, and laugh.  Probably not great for bedtime stories...My sister gave the Fudge books to my eight year old niece for Christmas, and she's just recently started reading them.  When I was out in Wichita for her softball game, I asked her about them.  She giggled as she told about her favorite parts.  Melted my heart! Anyways, this story is the first in the series about Peter and his little brother Fudge.  I love this one because of all the trouble little Fudgie gets in.  Trying to fly, sticking stickers all over the place, and, most tragically, eating a baby turtle. My big, cool 5th graders are always a little reluctant to read this one because it mentions 4th grade in the title, but they quickly get hooked by all of Fudgies antics!

I was first introduced to "Chasing Vermeer" by Blue Balliett on a car ride.  Whenever we travel, we take a stack of audio books with us.  This year, on a trip to Disney World with my mom and sister, we listened to "Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library," "Unwind," "The Giver," and "A Tale Dark and Grimm." Great books, with Lemoncello definitely being my favorite of the group, though "Unwind" was a fantastic dystopian teen novel which I loved (not sure if "love" is the right word for a story about unwinding children...").  But, back to "Chasing Vermeer..."  This story is a great interactive mystery.  I say interactive, because there are clues in the pictures, and Calder and Petra use pentominos to help them figure things out.  Make sure you have a set of pentominos on hand, because your students will want to work with them, too!


  1. Great recommendations! I love all of these books. Have you read The Missing series by Margaret Peterson Haddix? It's another favorite of mine, along with Wonder, One for the Murphys, Out of My Mind, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library........there are so many good books for 5th graders!!!!

    Melissa O'Bryan
    Wild About Fifth

    1. I love the Missing series! I can't wait to read the last two books! I've read Wonder, and I liked it, but I wasn't blown away by it. I'd like to read it with my kids, though. I think they need to experience it. I listened to Lemoncello's Library on the way to Disney World this summer and didn't want it to end! I loved it! I loved all of the book references and the puzzles the kids had to figure out. I've never read One for the Murphys or Out of My Mind. I had a student do a book project on Out of My Mind a couple years ago, but I've never read it myself.

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