Read aloud list for Grade 5 and 6

View all Best Recommendations for Kids book lists; This list was last updated on 6/13/2013
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A great Read aloud list for Grade 5 and 6. This list is created by Read Aloud America.

For more book recommendations, please check out New York Times® Best Sellers, Children's Book Recommendations or the complete list of Featured Book Lists and Award Winners

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1 - 27 of 27 results
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The Book Thief
The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.
release date: Jan 01, 2011
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Bad Island
Something on this island is up to no good . . .

When Reese is forced to go on a boating trip with his family, the last thing he expects is to be shipwrecked on an island-especially one teeming with weird plants and animals. But what starts out as simply a bad vacation turns into a terrible one, as the castaways must find a way to escape while dodging the island's dangerous inhabitants. With few resources and a mysterious entity on the hunt, each secret unlocked could save them . . . or spell their doom. One thing Reese knows for sure: This is one Bad Island.
release date: Jan 01, 2000
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Smile
Raina Telgemeier's #1 New York Times bestselling, Eisner Award-winning graphic memoir based on her childhood!

Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there's still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly.
 
release date: Mar 01, 2011
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Lost and Found
A collection of three jaw-dropping stories: THE RED TREE, THE LOST THING, and THE RABBITS, by New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Shaun Tan

A girl finds a bright spot in a dark world. A boy leads a strange, lost creature home. And a group of peaceful creatures loses their home to cruel invaders. Three stories, written and illustrated by Shaun Tan, about how we lose and find what matters most to us.

Never widely available in the U.S., these tales are presented in their entirety with new artwork and author's notes.
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The Art of Racing in the Rain

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope--a captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it.

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Okay for Now
As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him. So begins a coming-of-age masterwork full of equal parts comedy and tragedy from Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt. As Doug struggles to be more than the “skinny thug” that his teachers and the police think him to be, he finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer—a fiery young lady who “smelled like daisies would smell if they were growing in a big field under a clearing sky after a rain.” In Lil, Doug finds the strength to endure an abusive father, the suspicions of a whole town, and the return of his oldest brother, forever scarred, from Vietnam. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon's birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage. In this stunning novel, Schmidt expertly weaves multiple themes of loss and recovery in a story teeming with distinctive, unusual characters and invaluable lessons about love, creativity, and survival.

release date: Jun 02, 2009
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Dork Diaries
Meet Nikki Maxwell! She's starting eighth grade at a new school—and her very first diary packed with hilarious stories and art in Book One of the #1 New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries series!

Nikki confesses all in her first diary ever: her epic battle with her mom for an iPhone, meeting her new soon-to-be BFFs Chloe and Zoey, falling for adorably sweet crush Brandon, dealing with her zany little sister Brianna's antics—and the immediate clashes with mean girl Mackenzie, who becomes Nikki's rival in a schoolwide art competition.

More than 13 million books in print worldwide!
release date: Mar 18, 2008
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Silent Music

WHEN BOMBS BEGIN TO FALL, Ali drowns out the sould of war with a pen.

Like other children living in Baghdad, Ali loves soccer, music and dancing, but most of all, he loves the ancient art of calligraphy. When bombs begin to fall on his city, Ali turns to his pen, writing sweeping and gliding words to the silent music that drowns out the war all around him. Gorgeously illustrated with collage, pencil and charcoal drawings and, of course, exquisite calligraphy, this timely and yet universal story celebrates art and history but also offers young children a way to understand all they see and hear on the news.

Silent Music is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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The Red Pyramid
Since their mother's death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe -- a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.
release date: Oct 02, 2012
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The Mark of Athena (Heroes of Olympus)
In The Son of Neptune, Percy, Hazel, and Frank met in Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of Camp Halfblood, and traveled to the land beyond the gods to complete a dangerous quest. The third book in the Heroes of Olympus series will unite them with Jason, Piper, and Leo. But they number only six--who will complete the Prophecy of Seven?

The Greek and Roman demigods will have to cooperate in order to defeat the giants released by the Earth Mother, Gaea. Then they will have to sail together to the ancient land to find the Doors of Death. What exactly are the Doors of Death? Much of the prophecy remains a mystery. . . .
With old friends and new friends joining forces, a marvelous ship, fearsome foes, and an exotic setting, The Mark of Athena promises to be another unforgettable adventure by master storyteller Rick Riordan.
release date: Jun 26, 2012
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Zebrafish
Making the world a better place totally rocks! Meet Zebrafish, a garage band with a lofty goal.

Zebrafish is not exactly your typical garage band—especially because only one member can play an instrument! But that doesn't mean that Vita, Tanya, Walt, Plinko, and Jay aren't dreaming big…or at least stumbling towards a modest success. With a little creativity and out-the-box thinking (and some high-level computer tinkering) this garage band is going virtual—and they're learning that schoolyard fame is a great way to bring in awareness (and donations) for an important cause.
     This fully illustrated, highly visual novel is a multimedia project complete with webisodes and online components like games and websites. It's being supported and publicized by Children's Hospital of Boston and shows kids that they can make a positive impact on their world by finding a cause they believe in and giving charity work their own personal spin.
release date: Feb 01, 2012
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Heart of a Samurai
In 1841 a Japanese fishing vessel sinks. Its crew is forced to swim to a small, unknown island, where they are rescued by a passing American ship. Japan's borders remain closed to all Western nations, so the crew sets off to America, learning English on the way.
Manjiro, a 14-year-old boy, is curious and eager to learn everything he can about this new culture. Eventually the captain adopts Manjiro and takes him to his home in New England. The boy lives there for some time and then heads to San Francisco to pan for gold. After many years, he makes it back to Japan, only to be imprisoned as an outsider. With his hard-won knowledge of the West, Manjiro is in a unique position to persuade the emperor to ease open the boundaries around Japan; he may even achieve his unlikely dream of becoming a samurai.

Heart of a Samurai is a 2011 Newbery Honor Book.


Accolades and Praise for Heart of a Samurai
2011 Newbery Honor Book
New York Times
Bestseller
NPR Backseat Book Club pick

"A terrifc biographical novel by Margi Preus." -Wall Street Journal


*STARRED REVIEW*
"It's a classic fish-out-of-water story (although this fish goes into the water repeatedly), and it's precisely this classic structure that gives the novel the sturdy bones of a timeless tale. Backeted by gritty seafaring episodes—salty and bloody enough to assure us that Preus has done her research—the book's heart is its middle section, in which Manjiro, allegedly the first Japanese to set foot in America, deals with the prejudice and promise of a new world. By Japanese tradition, Manjiro was destined to be no more than a humble fisherman, but when his 10-year saga ends, he has become so much more."
--Booklist, starred review

*STARRED REVIEW*
"Illustrated with Manjiro's own pencil drawings in addition to other archival material and original art from Tamaki, this is a captivating fictionalized (although notably faithful) retelling of the boy's adventures. Capturing his wonder, remarkable willingness to learn, the prejudice he encountered and the way he eventually influenced officials in Japan to open the country, this highly entertaining page-turner."
--Kirkus Reviews, starred review

*STARRED REVIEW*
"Stunning debut novel. Preus places readers in the young man's shoes, whether he is on a ship or in a Japanese prison. Her deftness in writing is evident in two poignant scenes, one in which Manjiro realizes the similarities between the Japanese and the Americans and the other when he reunites with his Japanese family."
--School Library Journal, starred review

*STARRED REVIEW*
"Preus mixes fact with fiction in a tale that is at once adventurous, heartwarming, sprawling, and nerve-racking in its depictions of early anti-Asian sentiment. She succeeds in making readers feel every bit as “other” as Manjiro, while showing America at its best and worst through his eyes."
--Publishers Weekly, starred review

"First-time novelist Preus turns the true story of Manjiro into an action-packed boy's adventure tale."
--Horn Book
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Big Nate: In a Class by Himself Special Edition

This awesome special edition of Big Nate: In a Class by Himself includes an extra 16 pages full of winter fun, with laugh-out-loud holiday comix, mix 'n' match gift grabs, and Nate-orious wish lists!

Big Nate fans won't want to miss getting their hands on the first Big Nate novel, now jam-packed with extra activities and comics! It's the same great story, now even better!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney says, "Big Nate is funny, big time!"

release date: Jan 01, 2009
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Thirteen
Winnie Perry is a teenager—at last! And it's a really big deal. A ginormous deal, that, wouldn't you know it, brings ginormous problems along with it. Winnie's bff #1 is growing up too slowly, while her bff #2 is growing up too fast, leaving Winnie stuck in the middle. Winnie's boyfriend, Lars, is fabulous—except when he's not. And as for Winnie's family, well, big changes are in the air! Beloved author Lauren Myracle returns with first kisses and near misses for everyone's favorite birthday girl.
release date: Jun 07, 2011
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Escape by Night

Ten-year-old Tommy and his sister Annie are intrigued by the new soldiers arriving in their Georgia town. Since the Civil War started, wounded men waiting to be treated at the local church-turned-hospital have been coming in by droves. When Tommy sees a soldier drop his notebook, he sends his dog, Samson, to fetch it. Tommy soon meets the soldier and is faced with the hardest decision he's ever had to make: whether or not he should help a Yankee escape to freedom.


Filled with intriguing suspense and tackling difficult questions about slavery, this story, told in accessible short chapters, will appeal to history buffs as well as those who appreciate a faithful dog.

release date: Oct 25, 2011
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Elephant in the Garden

Lizzie and Karl's mother is a zoo keeper; the family has become attached to an orphaned elephant named Marlene, who will be destroyed as a precautionary measure so she and the other animals don't run wild should the zoo be hit by bombs. The family persuades the zoo director to let Marlene stay in their garden instead. When the city is bombed, the family flees with thousands of others, but how can they walk the same route when they have an elephant in tow, and keep themselves safe? Along the way, they meet Peter, a Canadian navigator who risks his own capture to save the family.

As Michael Morpurgo writes in an author's note, An Elephant in the Garden is inspired by historical truths, and by his admiration for elephants, "the noblest and wisest and most sensitive of all creatures." Here is a story that brings together an unlikely group of survivors whose faith in kindness and love proves the best weapon of all.

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The Underdogs
New York Times bestseller Mike Lupica tackles football!

Will Tyler may not be the biggest running back around, but no one can touch him when it comes to hitting the hole and finding the end zone. And no one can match his love of the game. When Will has a football in his hand, life can't touch him--his dad isn't so defeated, his town isn't so poor, and everyone has something to cheer for. All of which does him no good if the football season is canceled. With no funding for things like uniforms and a well-maintained playing field, with every other family moving to find jobs, there just isn't enough money or players for a season. It's up to Will to rally the town and give everyone a reason to believe . . .
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The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place
I Prefer Not To....

That's Margaret Rose Kane's response to every activity she's asked to participate in at the summer camp to which she's been exiled while her parents are in Peru. So Margaret Rose is delighted when her beloved uncles rescue her from Camp Talequa, with its uptight camp director and cruel cabinmates, and bring her to stay with them at their wonderful house at 19 Schuyler Place.

But Margaret Rose soon discovers that something is terribly wrong at 19 Schuyler Place. People in their newly gentrified neighborhood want to get rid of the three magnificent towers the uncles have spent forty-five years lovingly constructing of scrap metal and shards of glass and porcelain. Margaret Rose is outraged, and determined to strike a blow for art, for history, and for individuality...and no one is more surprised than Margaret Rose at the allies she finds for her mission.
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Chomp
Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he's grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, and snappers in his backyard. The critters, he can handle. His father is the unpredictable one. 

When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called Expedition Survival!, Wahoo figures he'll have to do a bit of wrangling himself—to keep his dad from killing Derek Badger, the show's inept and egotistical star, before the shoot is over. But the job keeps getting more complicated. Derek Badger foolishly believes his own PR and insists on using wild animals for his stunts. And Wahoo's acquired a shadow named Tuna—a girl who's sporting a shiner courtesy of her father and needs a place to hide out. 

They've only been on location in the Everglades for a day before Derek gets bitten by a bat and goes missing in a storm. Search parties head out and promptly get lost themselves. And then Tuna's dad shows up with a gun . . .

It's anyone's guess who will actually survive Expedition Survival. . . .
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Theodore Boone: The Activist
#1 New York Times bestseller John Grisham's next Theo Boone novel, now in paperback!

When we last saw Theo Boone, he ensured that justice was served by uncovering evidence that kept a guilty man off of the streets. Hot off this high-profile murder trial, thirteen-year-old Theo is still dispensing legal advice to friends and teachers. But just when it seems as if his life has calmed down and gone back to the status quo, a new legal mystery comes to town, and this time it's personal.
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Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer
Theodore Boone is back! And he's ready for his next big case

Big trouble is brewing for Theodore Boone. While all of Streenburg anxiously awaits the new trial of infamous murder suspect Pete Duffy, problems arise for their own kid lawyer. There's been a robbery and Theo is the accused. His reputation is on the line, and with the evidence building against him--and dangerous threats looming--Theo will do whatever it takes to prove his innocence--even if it means breaking a few rules. Filled with the intrigue and page-turning suspense that made John Grisham a #1 international bestseller and the undisputed master of the legal thriller, Theodore Boone's adventures will keep readers enthralled until the very last page.
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Theodore Boone
Theodore Boone is back, and he's facing his most dangerous case yet. As Strattenburg sits divided over a hot political and environmental issue, Theo finds himself in the middle of the battle. When he uncovers corruption beneath the surface, Theo will confront bigger risks than ever to himself and those he loves. But even face-to-face with danger, Theodore Boone will do whatever it takes to stand up for what's right.
 
release date: May 01, 2010
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Theodore Boone
In the small city of Strattenburg, there are many lawyers, and though he's only thirteen years old, Theo Boone thinks he's one of them. Theo knows every judge, policeman, court clerk—and a lot about the law. He dreams of being a great trial lawyer, of a life in the courtroom.

But Theo finds himself in court much sooner than expected. Because he knows so much—maybe too much—he is suddenly dragged into the middle of a sensational murder trial. A cold-blooded killer is about to go free, and only Theo knows the truth.

The stakes are high, but Theo won't stop until justice is served.
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The Chase
Charlie and his lion friends have made it safely to Venice, but it turns out that their journey has only just begun. King Boris's palace was meant to be a haven, but it's starting to feel more like a prison. When word arrives from the cat grapevine that his parents are not being held in Italy after all, Charlie knows he must take fast action. Luckily a new ally has come on the scene-and just in the knick of time: Rafi is in hot pursuit.

This second book in the Lionboy trilogy is even more action-packed than the first, offering clever escapes, shipwreck, a prehistoric beast named Primo who will prove himself a great hero, and surprises that will shock and delight. It's an exhilarating, suspenseful whirlwind of a story, and readers will be clamoring for more.

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Troublemaker
Once a troublemaker, always a troublemaker? A reputation proves challenging to change in this “rock-solid school story” (Publishers Weekly) from Andrew Clements.

Clayton Hensley is accustomed to trouble: There's a folder of incident reports in Principal Kelling's office that's as thick as a phonebook and growing daily. Most recently, Clay's art teacher told the class to spend the period drawing anything they wanted, and Clay decided to be extra “creative” by drawing a spot-on portrait of Principal Kelling…as a donkey.

It's a pretty funny joke, but Clay is coming to realize that the biggest joke of all may be on him. When his big brother, Mitchell, gets in some serious trouble, Clay decides to change his own mischief-making ways…but he can't seem to shake his reputation as a troublemaker.

From the master of the school story comes a book about the fine line between good-humored mischief and dangerous behavior—and how everyday choices can close or open doors.
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Where Do You Stay?
Jerome is staying with his Aunt Geneva and her family, now that his mother has passed away. Aunt Geneva does her best to make Jerome feel welcome, but it just doesn't feel like home. He misses his mother, he misses his piano, and his cousins make it clear they're not happy about the new living arrangements. Then Jerome meets Mr. Willie, who lives in a ramshackle carriage house nearby. Mr. Willie isn't like other people in Jerome's life: he doesn't ask a lot of questions; he just listens. He played the piano as a boy, just like Jerome. Maybe Jerome can find a home again with Mr. Willie. But when the carriage house is slated for demolition, Mr. Willie disappears. Jerome wonders where his friend will stay, and whether he will ever find a place to call home in this Society of School Librarians International Honor Book.
release date: Jan 01, 2010
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Chains
If an entire nation could seek its freedom, why not a girl?

As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight...for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.

From acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson comes this compelling, impeccably researched novel that shows the lengths we can go to cast off our chains, both physical and spiritual.
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