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View all Recommendations by Grades > Recommendations for Grade 5 book lists; This list was last updated on 4/27/2021
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The House of Dies Drear

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The House of Dies Drear
The house held secrets, Thomas knew, even before he first saw it looming gray and massive on its ledge of rock. It had a century-old legend -- two fugitive slaves had been killed by bounty hunters after leaving its passageways, and Dies Drear himself, the abolitionist who had made the house into a station on the Underground Railroad, had been murdered there. The ghosts of the three were said to walk its rooms....

Among the Impostors

release date: Jan 01, 2008
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Among the Impostors
OUT OF HIDING. INTO DANGER.
Luke Garner is an illegal third child. All his life has been spent in hiding. Now, for the first time, Luke is living among others. He has assumed a deceased boy's identity and is attending Hendricks School for Boys, a windowless building with cruel classmates and oblivious teachers. Luke knows he has to blend in, but he lives in constant fear that his behavior will betray him.
Then one day Luke discovers a door to the outside. He knows that beyond the walls of Hendricks lie the secrets he is desperate to uncover. What he doesn't know is whom he can trust -- and where the answers to his questions may lead him...

Heart to heart

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Heart to heart
What do we feel when we look at a great work of art/ What does a poet feel/ Heart to Heart offers an original way to approach poetry and art—with new works by distinguished American poets, specially commissioned for this book by editor Jan Greenberg. Prompted by paintings, sculpture, prints, and photographs by American artists working in the 20th century, these poems lend a new meaning to “art appreciation” and make each page of Heart to Heart an exciting discovery.

Join such poets as Jane Yolen, Nancy Willard, X. J. Kennedy, Naomi Shihab Nye, David Mura, and Angela Johnson as they reveal a personal, heartfelt response to works by Thomas Hart Benton, Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Grandma Moses, Faith Ringgold, Man Ray, Georgia O'Keeffe, and many others. Whether the poems are playful, challenging, tender, mocking, humorous, sad, or sensual, each work of art, seen through the eyes of a poet, allows readers to look at the world with new insight.

Charles A. Lindbergh

release date: Oct 20, 1997
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Charles A. Lindbergh
Pilot Charles A. Lindbergh was one of the first Americans to be lionized by the news media. When LIndbergh made his nonstop transatlantic flight in 1927, radio and sound movies were just beginning to be popular, enabling people to learn of events almost as soon as they happened. Overnight, the 25-year-old Lindbergh, a man of modest means and education, was catapulted into the public limelight. He became the American hero whom everyone adored and thought could do no wrong. Lindbergh's popularity lasted little more than a decade. His ties to Nazi Germany and his outspoken isolationist views prior to World War II cost him the respect of many close friend and relatives, and of the general public as well. The story of Lindbergh's rise to fame and abrupt descent into disgrace is told here with frankness and understanding. The meticulously researched text and generous selection of archival photographs present a lively and rounded portrait of a man who earned his place in aviation history despite his faults.

Julie's Wolf Pack

release date: Jan 01, 1997
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Julie's Wolf Pack
From the author of the Newbery Medal–winning Julie of the Wolves and its sequel, Julie, comes a third exciting adventure about the wolf pack that saved the life of a young girl when she was lost on the tundra. Julie has returned to her family, but her wolf pack has a story all its own. Fearless but inexperienced Kapu is now the new leader of the pack. He must protect his wolves from the threats of famine and disease and, at the same time, defend himself from bitter rivals, both inside and outside the pack, who are waiting for their chance to overthrow him. The strength of Kapu's leadership will determine not just the well-being of the pack but its very survival.

Jean Craighead George's research and first-hand observation form this engrossing, epic tale that's sure to draw readers into the fascinating world of wolves.

Joey Pigza Loses Control

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Joey Pigza Loses Control

The sequel to Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, a National Book Award Finalist.

When Joey Pigza meets his dad for the first time in years, he meets a grown-up version of his old out-of-control self. Carter Pigza is as wired as Joey used to be -- before his stint in special ed, and before he got his new meds.

Joey's mom reluctantly agrees that he can stay with his dad for a summer visit, which sends Joey racing with sky-high hopes that he and Carter can finally get to know each other. But as the weeks whirl by, Carter has bigger plans in mind. He decides that just as he has pulled himself up by his own bootstraps, Joey can do the same and become as normal as any kid, without the help of a doctor's prescription. Carter believes Joey can do it and Joey wants to believe him more than anything in the world.

Here is the continuation of the acclaimed Joey Pigza story, affirming not only that Joey Pigza is a true original but that it runs in the family.

Joey Pigza Loses Control is a 2000 New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year and a 2001 Newbery Honor Book.

Coraline

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Coraline

"Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house. . . ."

When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous.

But there's another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

Celebrating ten years of Neil Gaiman's first modern classic for young readers, this edition is enriched with a brand-new foreword from the author, a reader's guide, and more.

In the Days of the Vaqueros

release date: Oct 15, 2001
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In the Days of the Vaqueros
In this rousing account of the first true cowboys, Newbery Medalist Russell Freedman brings to life the days when the vaqueros rounded up cattle, brought down steers, and tamed wild broncos. In the service of wealthy Spanish conquistadors in the sixteenth century, Mexican ranch hands began herd- ing cattle, often riding barefoot. They soon developed and perfected the skills for this dangerous work and became expert horsemen. Hundred of years later the vaqueros shared their expertise with the inexperienced cowboys of the American West, who adopted their techniques and their distinctive clothing, tools, and even lingo. Yet today it is the cowboy whom we remember, while the vaquero has all but disappeared from history.
The vaqueros are at last given their due in this dramatic narrative, lushly illustrated with beautiful period paintings and drawings.

Dovey Coe

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Dovey Coe
My name is Dovey Coe and I reckon it don't matter if you like me or not. I'm here to lay the record straight, to let you know them folks saying I done a terrible thing are liars. I aim to prove it, too. I hated Parnell Caraway as much as the next person, but I didn't kill him.

Dovey Coe says what's on her mind, so it's no secret that she can't stand Parnell Caraway. Parnell may be the son of the richest man in town, but he's mean and snobby, and Dovey can't stand the fact that he's courting her sister, Caroline, or the way he treats her brother, Amos, as if he were stupid just because he can't hear.
So when Parnell turns up dead, and Dovey's in the room where his body is discovered, she soon finds herself on trial for murder. Can the outspoken Dovey sit still and trust a city slicker lawyer who's still wet behind the ears to get her out of the biggest mess of her life?

Return to the Painted Cave

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Return to the Painted Cave
Two summers have passed since Graybeard's death, and young Tao the Cave Painter carries the legacy of his friend and teacher well--when he brings bison and horses to life on the hard, stone wall of the Sacred Caverns, elders look at him with respect. They know his paintings will bring good luck to their hunt.

On his journey to the Mountain People, Tao discovers a clan held prisoner by their fear of a mad shaman, Zugor; who threatens them with curses and spells. Even worse, Zugor keeps a blind girl captive in a cave, claiming they are possessed by evil spirits. Tai knows he must help.

Together with the brave blind girl, Deha, and Ram, his loyal wolf-dog, Tao follows an old map drawn by Graybeard and travels down the Great Waters, where he seeks medicines to heal the children. The dangerous voyage grows more unpredictable at every step, but there is no turning back.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963

release date: Dec 12, 2000
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The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963
A wonderful middle-grade novel narrated by Kenny, 9, about his middle-class black family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan. When Kenny's 13-year-old brother, Byron, gets to be too much trouble, they head South to Birmingham to visit Grandma, the one person who can shape him up. And they happen to be in Birmingham when Grandma's church is blown up.

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

release date: Mar 01, 2002
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The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The Colossus of Rhodes. The Great Pyra-mid at Giza. For centuries these names have inspired wonder and mystery. They are but three of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Most of these masterpieces of human achievement have long since crumbled into dust. But their legacy survives, and these triumphs of human vision, architecture, and creativity have become the stuff of legends.
In the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Lynn Curlee ponders the questions that have fascinated researchers and archaeologists for decades: What purpose did these structures have for the societies that built them? How did they achieve the means necessary to construct such intricate and innovative temples and statues? Mr. Curlee investigates and illustrates how these Seven Wonders must have appeared at their peak.
With extraordinary paintings and a moving narrative, Mr. Curlee tells the story of some of man¹s greatest feats and explores the timeless desire of cultures to leave a permanent mark on the Earth.

A Face First

release date: Feb 24, 2003
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A Face First
After a catastrophic automobile accident, twelve-year-old Kelley wakes up to find her face and body severely burned. To recover, she must suffer through skin-graft operations, painful dressings, and hand exercises that seem akin to torture. Worst of all, she must wear a plastic mask so that her facial skin won't grow back puffy and hard. How will she ever face the world again?

The Mystery of the Black Moriah

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The Mystery of the Black Moriah
Bean & Ab's latest adventures take them from 18th-century pirate ships to 21st-century minisubmarines. A fast-paced plot, and many twists & turns.

The Seeing Stone

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The Seeing Stone
Once and future. Twice and past. A remarkable Arthurian saga begins . . . in a fantastic mass market edition with high crossover appeal.

The year is 1199 and on the borders of England and Wales young Arthur de Caldicot waits impatiently to grow up and become a knight. One day his father's friend Merlin gives Arthur a shining black stone - a seeing stone - that shows him visions of his namesake, King Arthur. At first, there seems to be no connection between Arthurs past and present. Manor life for Arthur de Calidicot is a complex struggle of terrible secrets and haunting jealousies. Nothing like the red and white dragons, or the sword in the stone. And yet . . . there is something binding the two Arthurs together.

King of Shadows

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King of Shadows
Only in the world of the theater can Nat Field find an escape from the tragedies that have shadowed his young life. So he is thrilled when he is chosen to join an American drama troupe traveling to London to perform A Midsummer Night's Dream in a new replica of the famous Globe theater.
Shortly after arriving in England, Nat goes to bed ill and awakens transported back in time four hundred years -- to another London, and another production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Amid the bustle and excitement of an Elizabethan theatrical production, Nat finds the warm, nurturing father figure missing from his life -- in none other than William Shakespeare himself. Does Nat have to remain trapped in the past forever, or give up the friendship he's so longed for in his own time?

What Jamie Saw

release date: Mar 30, 2012
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What Jamie Saw
Reveals the impact of witnessing violence even as it affirms the luminous power of love. Jamie's mother is there to catch the baby —this time. She does what she must to keep her family out of harm's way, but still the shock waves of Van's act reverberate through their lives. What Jamie Saw is a moving, visceral dramatization of violence in the home, told not from the point of view of a victim, but as witnessed by a nine-year-old boy. The impact of observed violence perpetrated against loved ones is profound and destructive, and altogether too common. Drawing on his mother's desperate strength, his own determination, and help from an unexpected friend, Jamie confronts his fear and anxiety — learning, adapting, and triumphing. HONORS Emphasis on Reading (Children's Choice) Award —State of Alabama Newbery Medal Honor Book National Book Award Finalist ALA Notable Children's Books Editors' Choice —Booklist Blue Ribbon Book —BCCB "A Few Good Books" —Book Links Children's Books of Distinction —Hungry Mind Review Children's Books —100 titles for Reading and Sharing —New York Public Library

Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian

release date: Jul 10, 2012
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Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian

Seemingly nothing in this world daunts the young criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl. In the fairy world, however, there is a small thing that has gotten under his skin on more than one occasion: Opal Koboi. In The Last Guardian, the evil pixie is wreaking havoc yet again. This time his arch rival has reanimated dead fairy warriors who were buried in the grounds of Fowl Manor. Their spirits have possessed Artemis's little brothers, making his siblings even more annoying than usual. The warriors don't seem to realize that the battle they were fighting when they died is long over. Artemis has until sunrise to get the spirits to vacate his brothers and go back into the earth where they belong. Can he count on a certain LEPrecon fairy to join him in what could well be his last stand?

New York Times best-selling author and comic genius Eoin Colfer will leave Artemis Fowl fans gasping up to the very end of this thrilling finale to the blockbuster series.

Firegold

release date: Mar 24, 2003
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Firegold
Thirteen-year-old Jonathon, feared and hated by the brown-eyed Valley people because of his blue eyes, tries to find answers to his true identity in the Red Mountains, home of the Dalriada, a mountain people with magnificent horses, mystical powers, and blue eyes like his.

Crispin: The Cross of Lead

by: Avi
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Crispin: The Cross of Lead
H "Avi's plot is engineered for maximum thrills, with twists, turns, and treachery aplenty. . . . A page-turner to delight Avi's fans, it will leave readers hoping for a sequel."-Publishers Weekly (starred review) H " . . . [T]he book is a page-turner from beginning to end . . . [A] meticulously crafted story, full of adventure, mystery, and action." -School Library Journal (starred review) "Historical fiction at its finest."-VOYA

Fever 1793

release date: Jan 01, 2001
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Fever 1793
An epidemic of fever sweeps through the streets of 1793 Philadelphia in this novel from Laurie Halse Anderson where "the plot rages like the epidemic itself" (The New York Times Book Review).

During the summer of 1793, Mattie Cook lives above the family coffee shop with her widowed mother and grandfather. Mattie spends her days avoiding chores and making plans to turn the family business into the finest Philadelphia has ever seen. But then the fever breaks out.

Disease sweeps the streets, destroying everything in its path and turning Mattie's world upside down. At her feverish mother's insistence, Mattie flees the city with her grandfather. But she soon discovers that the sickness is everywhere, and Mattie must learn quickly how to survive in a city turned frantic with disease.

Little Women

release date: Apr 24, 2012
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Little Women
A beautiful Penguin Threads edition of Alcott's beloved novel, with an introduction by Jane Smiley

Little Women is recognized as one of the best-loved classic children's stories, transcending the boundaries of time and age, making it as popular with adults as it is with young readers. The beloved story of the March girls is a classic American feminist novel, reflecting the tension between cultural obligation and artistic and personal freedom. But which of the four March sisters to love best? For every reader must have their favorite. Independent, tomboyish Jo; delicate, loving Beth; pretty, kind Meg; or precocious and beautiful Amy, the baby of the family? The charming story of these four "little women" and their wise and patient mother Marmee enduring hardships and enjoying adventures in Civil War New England was an instant success when first published in 1868 and has been adored for generations.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Gracie's Girl

release date: Apr 01, 2002
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Gracie's Girl
YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT -- OR WHO -- WILL TOUCH YOUR HEART.
Now that Bess Cunningham is in middle school, she's determined to get noticed. With her new glasses, her wild thrift-store clothes, and her job as stage manager for the school play, she's sure her days of being invisible are over.
Being forced to volunteer with her parents at the local soup kitchen doesn't exactly fit into Bess's popularity plans, especially since she finds the place so creepy. But when she meets Gracie Jarvis Battle, an elderly homeless woman, Bess can't help but feel compassion for her. Bess grows more involved with trying to feed and shelter the older woman, but as the weather turns colder and Gracie grows thinner, Bess begins to wonder -- will her help be enough?

Langston Hughes

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Langston Hughes

One of the greatest American poets of the twentieth century, Langston Hughes influenced many writers -- including Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker. In this moving and richly detailed portrait, she celebrates the life of the man who fell in love with books at a young age and grew up to write about Black people as he saw them: happy, mad, sad, and beautiful. Illustrated with stunning paintings by Catherine Deeter, this book will introduce a whole new generation to the life and works of an extraordinary man.

Becoming Joe DiMaggio

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Becoming Joe DiMaggio
"With ineffable tenderness and absolute clarity, Testa tells a tale in blank verse. . . . Powerfully moving as it braids together baseball, family, and the Italian-American experience." —BOOKLIST (starred review)

It's 1936, and the Yankees have just hired a star center fielder whose name sounds like music. What could be a better time for Papa-Angelo's grandson to be born? Christened after the legendary ballplayer, young Joseph Paul learns much at his Italian grandfather's knee — about holding your breath in front of the radio during a 3-2 count with the bases loaded and having the audacity to dream big dreams. "Each poem is a perfect, gripping chapter," says KIRKUS RIVIEWS in a starred review of this novel in verse, which honors the timeless bond between a grandson and his immigrant grandfather — and the process of finding one's own place in a brave new world.

Rowan Hood: Outlaw Girl of Sherwood Forest

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Rowan Hood: Outlaw Girl of Sherwood Forest
Rosemary has nowhere to go when her beloved mother dies. She has never met her father-the outlaw Robin Hood-and she's grown up among the woodland creatures her mother loved. So she decides to change her name to Rowan, disguise herself as a boy, and undertake a perilous journey through Sherwood Forest, in search of Robin Hood. But how will she find him? And will he offer her a home?

"This tale is a charmer, filled with exciting action, plenty of humor, engaging characters, and a nice fantasy twist." (Booklist, starred review)

"Rowan Hood reads like the first in a series, and teens are sure to hope that it will be just that, leading to many more." (VOYA)

Songs And Stories Of Civil War

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Close Encounters

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Close Encounters
Describes what scientists have been able to deduce about the nature of our solar system and the universe based on data collected by the Hubble telescope.

The Kidnappers

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The Kidnappers
"I didn't like Willie Groves, but I didn't hate him enough to want someone to kidnap him."
Famous last words. Joey Bishop soon finds himself face-to-face with the kidnappers himself (as well as his archenemy) in this fast-paced, urban story that will leave you panting for your next breath.

Magic Steps

release date: Jan 01, 2005
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Magic Steps
Part of the 8-book Tamora Pierce reissue for Fall 2006, this title in the Circle Opens quartet features spellbinding new cover art. Concides with the release of WILL OF THE EMPRESS in trade pb.

Lady Sandrilene fa Toren knows all about unusual magic--she herself spins and weaves it like thread. But when she witnesses a boy dancing a spell, even she is confounded. To her dismay she gets news of a mysterious murderer stalking a clan of local merchants. The killer employs the strangest magic of all: the ability to reduce essence to nothingness. As the murders mount and the killer grows bolder, Sandry's teaching takes on a grave purpose. It becomes clear to everyone that the killings can only be stopped by the combined magic of two people: the young teacher and her even younger student.
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