5th Grade Summer Reading List
Buyea, Rob Because of Mr. Terupt
It’s the start of fifth grade for seven kids at Snow Hill School. There’s . . . Jessica, the new girl, smart and perceptive, who’s having a hard time fitting in; Alexia, a bully, your friend one second, your enemy the next; Peter, class prankster and troublemaker; Luke, the brain; Danielle, who never stands up for herself; shy Anna, whose home situation makes her an outcast; and Jeffrey, who hates school.
Only Mr. Terupt, their new and energetic teacher, seems to know how to deal with them all. He makes the classroom a fun place, even if he doesn’t let them get away with much . . . until the snowy winter day when an accident changes everything—and everyone.
Please try to read as many of the following books as you can.
Bachman, Stefan The Peculiar
Don't get yourself noticed and you won't get yourself hanged.
In the faery slums of Bath, Bartholomew Kettle and his sister Hettie live by these words. Bartholomew and Hettie are changelings--Peculiars--and neither faeries nor humans want anything to do with them.
One day a mysterious lady in a plum-colored dress comes gliding down Old Crow Alley. Bartholomew watches her through his window. Who is she? What does she want? And when Bartholomew witnesses the lady whisking away, in a whirling ring of feathers, the boy who lives across the alley--Bartholomew forgets the rules and gets himself noticed.
First he's noticed by the lady in plum herself, then by something darkly magical and mysterious, by Jack Box and the Raggedy Man, by the powerful Mr. Lickerish . . . and by Arthur Jelliby, a young man trying to slip through the world unnoticed, too, and who, against all odds, offers Bartholomew friendship and a way to belong.
Part murder mystery, part gothic fantasy, part steampunk adventure, The Peculiar is Stefan Bachmann's riveting, inventive, and unforgettable debut novel.
Balliet, Blue Chasing Vermeer
A famous Vermeer painting has disappeared. Two classmates at the University School in Chicago join forces to retrieve the painting when they discover that they have both been finding random clues related to the painter, the painting, and the theft. Two additional detective stories in this series, The Wright 3 and The Calder Game, which also involve the work of famous artists, are equally intriguing. The Danger Box is the newest mystery from Ms. Balliet.
Barry, Dave and Ridley Pearson Peter and the Starcatchers
The pages fly by when reading this amusing, cliffhanging page-turner. The deftly plotted story does a good job of explaining how the Peter Pan of J.M. Barrie's classic tale came to be the perpetually young leader of a band of lost boys. Before Wendy and Capt. Hook, there was Molly, the mysterious headmaster's daughter, starstuff, and Black Stache. Any classic is a hard act to follow, but this quick-paced prequel is magical. Further adventures of Peter may be found in Peter and the Shadow Thieves and Peter and the Secret of Rundoon.
Broach, Elise Shakespeare's Secret
Teased at her new school, Hero Netherfield makes friends with an elderly neighbor, who seems to know quite a bit about a mystery connected to the Netherfields' new house. According to local rumor, a former owner may have hidden a priceless diamond, linked to the true identity of Shakespeare, somewhere in the house. Is this all much to do about nothing, or as Hero hopes, is she just the person to discover the truth?
Broach, Elise Masterpiece
Marvin is a beetle who lives with his loving family in the kitchen wall of the Pompaday's New York apartment. James Pompaday is a lonely step child whose mother and stepfather are too involved in their social and professional lives to give him much thought. On his eleventh birthday James receives a pen and ink set from his artist father, which Marvin can't resist using. The human family immediately decides that the result, an Albrecht Durer like drawing, must be by James. Seeking fame and celebrity, they unwittingly thrust James and Marvin, who have become friends, into a plot to steal priceless art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Cooper, Susan Over Sea, Under Stone
The days of King Arthur live once more when three children go on holiday by the sea to visit with their beloved Uncle Merry. It all begins when Simon, Jane, and Barney discover a map, an ancient manuscript really, in the attic of Grey House while Uncle Merry is mysteriously absent. Intrigued, they begin to investigate the document. As they do, forces of evil build around them. The children realize the seriousness of their quest when Barney goes missing. This is the first title in The Dark Is Rising series.
Curtis, Christopher Paul Mr. Chickee's Funny Money
Steven makes friends with a blind, elderly neighbor who is teased by other children in the neighborhood. Little does Steven expect that his kindness will be rewarded by a quadrillion dollar bill that Mr. Chickee gives to him. Could it possibly be real? The U.S. Government seems to think so.
DiCamillo, Kate The Magician’s Elephant
In the latest book from the author of The Tale of Despereaux, Kate DiCamillo takes the reader on a magical journey. Orphaned Peter knows that his sister is still alive. A mysterious fortune teller tells him that an elephant will lead him to her and sets Peter off on a journey to find his lost sister.
Forrester, Victoria The Girl Who Could Fly
When homeschooled farm girl Piper McCloud reveals her ability to fly, she is quickly taken to a secret government facility to be trained with other exceptional children, but she soon realizes that something is very wrong and begins working with brilliant and wealthy Conrad to escape.
"Piper decided to jump off the roof. It wasn't a rash decision on her part. This was her plan: Climb to the top of the roof, pick up speed by running from one end all the way to the other. Jump off. Finally, and most importantly, don't fall. She didn't make plans in the event she did fall, because if you jump off the roof of your house and land on your head, you really don't need any plans from that point on. Even Piper knew that. So that's what she did. She jumped clean off her roof. But before we get to what happens next, you'll probably need to know a thing or two about a thing or two..."
Fox, Helen Eager; Eager's Nephew
The Bell family robot, Grumps, is showing his age. His worn out timer causes little but annoying problems like making tomato soup for breakfast. A family friend gives them a new robot to try out. EGR3 is one of a kind and can actually think. Gavin takes to the perky little robot, but his sister Fleur would have preferred a BDC4 like the one her friend Marcia owns, despite sensing something very sinister about this line of robots from LifeCorps.
Gardner, Sally I, Coriander
Coriander, the daughter of a wealthy English merchant and a fairy mother, lives during dangerous times. The creativity and imagination her parents encourage are at odds with Oliver Cromwell's harsh rule. When her mother dies, and her father, before fleeing political enemies remarries a Puritan, a particularly harsh punishment sends Coriander to her mother's land. There she tries to acquire the powers that will make her home her own once more.
George, Jean My Side of the Mountain
Sam Gribley leaves his home in New York City and heads off to the Catskill Mountains. He intends to live off the land, his house is a hollowed out tree, and his companions are some wildlife he befriends. His story continues in On The Far Side of the Mountain and Frightful's Mountain.
Healy, Christopher The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom (The League of Princes #1)
Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You've never heard of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively, and yet, thanks to those lousy bards who wrote the tales, you likely know them only as Prince Charming. But all of this is about to change. Rejected by their princesses and cast out of their castles, Liam, Frederic, Duncan, and Gustav stumble upon an evil plot that could endanger each of their kingdoms. Now it's up to them to triumph over their various shortcomings, take on trolls, bandits, dragons, witches, and other assorted terrors, and become the heroes no one ever thought they could be.
Debut author Christopher Healy takes us on a journey with four imperfect princes and their four improbable princesses, all of whom are trying to become perfect heroes--a fast-paced, funny, and fresh introduction to a world where everything, even our classic fairy tales, is not at all what it seems.
Don’t miss The League of Princes #2: The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle.
Horvath, Polly Everything on a Waffle
An indescribably insane plot married to a winsome heroine and blessed with wacky characters, sprinkled throughout with honest-to-goodness recipes, all culminating in a heartwarming ending. What more can one ask for?
Ibbottson, Eva The Dragonfly Pool
Tally does not want to leave her father, a kindly physician, and her dear aunts for boarding school in the English countryside, but as the world prepares for World War II, it seems wise to send her out of London. A wonderfully progressive school is chosen and Tally is soon happily involved in creating a folk dancing performance for an international festival in Bergania. Once they arrive for the dance exhibition, Tally and her classmates become caught up in saving the crown prince of Bergania form the Nazis. The feel of this thrilling story is similar to The Sound of Music.
Kelly, Jacqueline The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
In this Newbery Honor winning debut novel we follow Calpurnia in the summer of 1899. Calpurnia and her six brothers live in a sleepy Texas town where girls are expected to learn to sew and cook but Calpurnia has other ideas. With the help of her cantankerous grandfather, Calpurnia starts to study the natural world and studying the smallest of living creatures opens up a wider world to a girl at the turn of the twentieth century.
Konigsburg, E.L. From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Feeling unappreciated by her parents Claudia disappears with her younger brother by camping out in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She never expects to become obsessed with a statue, consumed by a mystery, and returned home in the chauffeur-driven limousine of a mischievous recluse.
Lerangis, Peter The Colossus Rise (Seven Wonders #1)
Jack McKinley is an ordinary kid with an extraordinary problem. In a few months, he’s going to die.
Jack needs to find seven magic loculi that, when combined, have the power to cure him.
The loculi are the relics of a lost civilization and haven’t been seen in thousands of years.
Because they’re hidden in the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Lord, Cynthia Rules
Although she often feels crowded out by the needs of her autistic brother, Catherine shows uncommon sensitivity toward him. As she copes with the difficulties he presents, Catherine expands her own world in ways that she could never have predicted.
Malone, Marianne The Sixty-Eight Rooms
In the basement of the Art Institute of Chicago are the Thorne rooms. These perfect, miniature rooms, recreating centuries of European and American period decor were painstakingly constructed to the scale of 1 inch per foot. On a school field trip, Jack finds a tiny key that miniaturizes his best friend Ruthie if she holds it while standing near the exhibit. Is this an unspoken invitation to enter? Why?
Mass, Wendy 11 Birthdays
Amanda and Leo were born on the same day in the same hospital. Just like a page torn from a storybook, an ancient town resident encourages the parents to celebrate the children's birthdays together. The parents promise, never intending to comply, but somehow they end up celebrating birthday number one in the same place at the same time. And so the birthdays are celebrated together until a misunderstanding at birthday party number ten causes a rift. That's when things really become strange. As birthday party eleven approaches, Leo and Amanda find themselves trapped in a time loop.
O’Connor, Barbara The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester
Owen is not happy that his family has moved in with his grandfather and Viola, the know-it-all girl living next door, makes everything worse. Everything changes when he discovers a large box that fell off a passing train. In the box is a submarine and if Owen wants to figure out how to use the submarine he will be forced to work with Viola.
Patron, Susan The Higher Power of Lucky
It is hard to imagine having a life so filled with hilarious goings on in a town the size of Hard Pan, California with its population of 43 permanent residents, but ten year old Lucky has never known a boring day, and that is just the problem when she is faced with the possibility of having to leave. In Lucky Breaks, the just released sequel, Lucky's eleventh birthday brings the possibility of a new friendship and a fervent wish of intrepidness.
Philbrick, Rodman The Young Man and the Sea
Taking a page from Hemingway, this story stars twelve-year-old Skiff Beaman who is determined to turn his family's fortunes and ends up battling the sea. He raises his father's sunken fishing boat, fixes the planking, and searches for a way to earn enough to repair the engine. After a try at lobstering, he sets off in a ten-foot long dinghy with a small outboard motor to harpoon a tuna. The size of the task and the meagerness of the resources, sets the stage for a whale of a tale.
Reeve, Philip Larklight
This Jules Verne-like intergalactic thriller features the Mumby Family, who live in an orbiting mechanical wonder in an alternate universe, where Victorian Britain has colonized space. Attacked by an ancient tribe of evil white spiders, the children struggle to save their father, find their mother, protect the empire, and prevent the powerful mechanism hidden at the heart of their house from falling into the wrong hands. The series continues with Starcross and Mothstream.
Selznick, Brian The Invention of Hugo Cabret
This winner of the Caldecott medal is a profusely illustrated chapter book about clockworks. Hugo, who has learned all about clockworks from his father and uncle, becomes obsessed with an automaton his father discovers in his work at a museum. The plot is itself an intricately plotted mechanism as the boy struggles to uncover the automaton's secrets.
Stephens, John The Emerald Atlas
Kate, Michael, and Emma have been in one orphanage after another for the last ten years, passed along like lost baggage.
Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about.
Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey to dangerous and secret corners of the world...a journey of allies and enemies, of magic and mayhem. And—if an ancient prophesy is correct—what they do can change history, and it is up to them to set things right.
The Emerald Atlas brims with humor and action as it charts Kate, Michael, and Emma's extraordinary adventures through an unforgettable, enchanted world.
Don’t miss the exciting sequel, The Fire Chronicle.
Taylor, Theodore Ice Drift
While fishing on the ice two Inuit brothers are set adrift in the Greenland Sea when an iceberg crashes into the shoreline taking the ice they are on with it as it moves southward. Fortunately their sled is packed with emergency provisions and they manage to release the sled dogs to swim to shore and alert the village to their plight. With the lead dog they use all of their skills and wits to survive.
Wiles, Deborah The Aurora County All-Stars
Laugh out loud funny, and at times poignant, this story of a small town baseball team is a winner. The main character, House Jackson, the twelve year old pitcher, is the team's captain and equal to all the challenges he must suddenly face.
Wood, Maryrose The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Books 1 - 3: The Mysterious Howling; The Hidden Gallery; The Unseen Guest
Found running wild in the forest of Ashton Place, the Incorrigibles are no ordinary children: Alexander, age ten or thereabouts, keeps his siblings in line with gentle nips; Cassiopeia, perhaps four or five, has a bark that is (usually) worse than her bite; and Beowulf, age somewhere-in-the-middle, is alarmingly adept at chasing squirrels.
Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must help them overcome their canine tendencies.
Enjoy these three wonderful books as we follow the adventures of Miss Penelope Lumley and the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place.
Yelchin, Eugene Breaking Stalin’s Nose
Sasha Zaichik has known the laws of the Soviet Young Pioneers since the age of six: The Young Pioneer is devoted to Comrade Stalin, the Communist Party, and Communism. A Young Pioneer is a reliable comrade and always acts according to conscience. A Young Pioneer has a right to criticize shortcomings. But now that it is finally time to join the Young Pioneers, the day Sasha has awaited for so long, everything seems to go awry. He breaks a classmate's glasses with a snowball. He accidentally damages a bust of Stalin in the school hallway. And worst of all, his father, the best Communist he knows, was arrested just last night. This moving story of a ten-year-old boy's world shattering is masterful in its simplicity, powerful in its message, and heartbreaking in its plausibility.
Bolden, Tonya Maritcha
Maritcha's parents own a boarding house in the mid nineteenth century in lower Manhattan. Forced to leave during the New York City Draft riots, her middle class black family flees to Providence, Rhode Island where they are determined to rebuild their lives and become affluent once more. Maritcha is determined to continue her education, eventually becoming the first African-American to graduate from Providence High School.
Bonner, Hannan When Fish Got Feet, Sharks Got Teeth, and Bugs Began to Swarm
This inviting look at life on earth before the dinosaurs is presented cartoon style. Packed with information about the Silurian and Devonian Ages, the text includes charts, timelines, diagrams, and fanciful illustrations where occasional jokes are tucked away.
Collard, Sneed The Prairie Builders
European immigrants traveling west called it "The Great American Desert." The stretch of land from what is now Ohio to South Dakota, was anything but a desert. The twelve-foot tall grasses that covered the land were home to elk, deer, buffalo, birds, coyote, bears, and thousands of insects including hundreds of different kinds of butterflies. A bold experiment that draws on Native American techniques, is now attempting to return farmlands to their original state -- the tall grass prairie.
Davies, Nicola Extreme Animals: The Toughest Creatures on Earth
Using humor and engrossingly gross information this entertaining little book is packed full of facts about animals who have managed to adapt to the most severe conditions earth has to offer.
Delano, Marfe Ferguson Earth in the Hot Seat
Dan Fagre, a scientist with the US Geologic Survey, predicts that in 2030 Glacier National Park will be, for the first time in 7000 years, without its glacier. Reporting from the front lines of climate change as it is being experienced on planet earth, the author of this National Geographic publication explains the scientific findings behind the phenomena and the efforts to combat it.
Jackson, Donna M. Extreme Scientist
Flying into the eye of a hurricane, exploring the microbiology of earth's deepest caves, or spending your day in the canopy of the world's tallest trees are three scientific careers that take scientists into extreme situations. The three scientists profiled regularly risk severe conditions to collect scientific data that might make life better for all of us.
Kramer, Stephen Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a Scientist's Microscope
When Dennis Kunkel was ten years old he received a gift that changed his life. From the day he started figuring out how to use his first microscope he became a microscopist. He is now a scientist who studies small objects using microscopes so sophisticated and powerful that the photographs of what he sees seem taken out of science fiction rather than real life.
Marrin, Albert Saving the Buffalo
This tour de force history of the buffalo covers the central role buffalo played in the life of the Plains Indians, the importance of the buffalo in the ecology of the grasslands, the near extinction of the buffalo, and the efforts to return buffalo to the American West. The illustrations are particularly noteworthy.
Martin, Jacqueline B. The Lamp, the Ice, and the Boat Called Fish
In 1913 a group of Canadian scientists sailed north in the Arctic to study plant and animal life and the indigenous peoples. They invited an Inupiaq family, with children and a cat, to travel along, knowing that the family's survival skills would be critical to the success of the expedition. In August when the boat became mired in ice, every effort from that point on was focused on survival.
Montgomery, Sy The Snake Scientist; Search for the Golden Moon Bear
Would you volunteer to stuff handfuls of slithering snakes into pillowcases? Bob Mason, snake scientist, recruits people from all over, to do just that. Evolutionary scientist Gary Galbreath travels to Cambodia to find and research what might be a new species of bears with golden fur that has never been described in any scientific papers anywhere in the world.
Nelson, Kadir We are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball
Nelson writes and illustrates this spectacular book about the Negro Leagues. The paintings bring alive stars such as Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige. Nelson tells the story of the Negro Leagues from their start in the 1920s to their decline once Jackie Robinson breaks the color barrier. Readers will see the discrimination the players faced just to play a game that they loved. The text and beautiful illustrations bring to life a lost era.
Rosen, Michael J. The Cuckoo's Haiku
Lovely watercolor illustrations give this book the look of an artist's notebook. Each double page spread features a common American bird and contains an insight about that bird expressed in the form of haiku poetry.
Silvey, Anita The Plant Hunters: True Stories of Their Daring Adventures to the Far Corners of the Earth
Driven by an all-consuming passion, the plant hunters traveled around the world, facing challenges at every turn: tropical illnesses, extreme terrain, and dangerous animals. They battled piranhas, tigers, and vampire bats. Even the plants themselves could be lethal! But these intrepid eighteenth- and nineteenth-century explorers were determined to find and collect new and unusual specimens, no matter what the cost. Then they tried to transport the plants—and themselves—home alive. Creating an important legacy in science, medicine, and agriculture, the plant hunters still inspire the scientific and environmental work of contemporary plant enthusiasts.
Working from primary sources—journals, letters, and notes from the field—Anita Silvey introduces us to these daring adventurers and scientists. She takes readers into the heart of their expeditions to then-uncharted places such as the Amazon basin, China, and India. As she brings a colorful cast of characters to life, she shows what motivated these Indiana Jones–type heroes. In The Plant Hunters, science, history, and adventure have been interwoven to tell a largely forgotten—yet fascinating—story.
Siy, Alexandra Cars on Mars
Spirit and Opportunity, two NASA, solar-powered, golf cart sized rovers began exploring the surface of Mars of January 2004. The planning for their journey took ten years and the effort of 4000 people. The mission was to collect and send back information about the climate and geology of Mars that would help scientists determine if life ever existed there. This is the story of that fascinating quest.
Walker, Sally M. Secrets of a Civil War Submarine
P.T. Barnum, of circus fame, offered a $100,000 reward for the submarine's recovery, but for 131 years the H.L. Hunley lay buried beneath the ocean floor. Built to break the Union blockade, the ship mysteriously vanished. In 1995, divers found the submarine, sparking a ten-year archeological study to piece together the ship's story.
Hale, Nathan Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Big Bad Ironclad
Each of the books in Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales has elements of the strange but true and is presented in an engaging, funny format, highlighting the larger-than-life characters that pop up in real history. Big Bad Ironclad! covers the history of the amazing ironclad steam warships used in the Civil War.
From the ship’s inventor, who had a history of blowing things up and only 100 days to complete his project, to the mischievous William Cushing, who pranked his way through the whole war, this book is filled with surprisingly true facts and funny, brave characters that modern readers will easily relate to.
Phelan, Matt Around the World
A Scott O’Dell Award-winning graphic novelist follows three dauntless adventurers on a Jules Verne-inspired challenge: circling the world, solo!
As the nineteenth century wound down, a public inspired by the novel Around the World in Eighty Days clamored for intrepid adventure. The challenge of circumnavigating the globe as no one ever had before—a feat assuring fame if not fortune—attracted the fearless in droves. Three hardy spirits stayed the course: In 1884, former miner Thomas Stevens made the journey on a bicycle, the kind with a big front wheel. In 1889, pioneer reporter Nellie Bly embarked on a global race against time that assumed the heights of spectacle, ushering in the age of the American celebrity. And in 1895, retired sea captain Joshua Slocum quietly set sail on a thirty-six-foot sloop, braving pirates and treacherous seas to become the first person to sail around the world alone. With cinematic pacing and deft, expressive art, acclaimed graphic novelist Matt Phelan weaves a trio of epic journeys into a single bold tale of three visionaries who set their sights on nothing short of the world.
Janeczko, Paul B. A Poke in the I
This playful book of poetry will poke your creative spirit and your funny bone. Here the shape of a poem, the way it is illustrated, and its placement on the page are as important to its meaning as the words.
McKissack, Patricia Never Forgotten
This gorgeous picture book by Newbery Honor winner Patricia C. McKissack and two-time Caldecott Medal-winning husband-and-wife team Leo and Diane Dillon is sure to become a treasured keepsake for African American families. Set in West Africa, here is a lyrical story-in-verse about a young black boy who is kidnapped and sold into slavery, which will remind children that their slave ancestors should never be forgotten, and that family is more important than anything else.