My 5th grade nephew goes to a great school in Brooklyn, NY. He called Tony and I last night (Hi Nicholas!), because he is raising money for a school camping trip via a class-wide “Read-a-Thon.” I love-love-love Read-a-Thons and any other “a-thon” that gets kids excited about reading enough to call their aunt and uncle in Rhode Island.
Nicholas is a fine reader and loves fiction like Lemony Snicket’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events” and the like – great books! However, I promised I would send him a reading list with some of my favorite 5th grade books too. So, here ya go, sweet boy!
Dear Nicholas (aka Primo),
Here is a list of some of my favorite books for you!
The Music of Dolphins by Karen Hesse
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
The Cay by Theodore Taylor
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Holes by Louis Sachar
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Old Yeller by Fred Gipson *
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse *
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt *
Moo by Sharon Creech (also read Walk Two Moons)
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson *
Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo (also read the Tale of Despereaux)
The Spy School (series) by Stuart Gibbs (several titles)
The Land of Stories (series) by Chris Colfer
I also think that 5th-6th grade are the perfect years to make sure you read all the Children’s Classics that are beautifully written and should not be missed. When your cousins were in these grades, I went through my list of youth classics (*we read them together) because at some point a pre-teen is “too grown up” to read certain books, and I don’t blame them. The titles alone are a little baby-ish. But I urge you to secretly read them at night, under your covers with a flashlight even. No-one has to know. They are magical, gorgeous and well-written stories.
Just don’t go through life without having read:
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Classic Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Anderson
and the most important series of all… before you are too old, make absolutely sure you have read every single Roald Dahl children’s book, and there are many.
There are SO SO many great books out there. I love that you are a reader, as a love of reading will serve you well your whole life. Share this list with your friends if you want, but most of all, Happy Reading Primo!
xo Love, Aunt Lynne
* Some titles include traumatic accidents that are important to the story. Remember all of these are works of fiction, but are also about life, which can sometimes be hard. Be sure to ask your mom and dad if you have any questions. I cried during each of the books with a (*).