Children who have been reading independently for a few years can find a huge variety of subject matter in fifth grade chapter books. Kids who are in fifth grade may have just started changing classes and may even have lockers at school. This is a big transition year for many children. It's also a great time for them to choose which books they most like to read. Fortunately, for avid readers and struggling readers alike, there are chapter books to satisfy every taste.
Choosing Books for Fifth Graders
Parents may wonder how to choose chapter books for their children. One smart tactic is to let kids buy books from their school's book clubs (the school will probably send home an order form once or twice a month) or an annual book fair, offered by such companies as Scholastic. A big advantage to buying from the school is that you'll usually find books at a discount. In addition, books are normally arranged by age or reading level. Simply look for books designated for fifth graders or ages 9 to 12.
You'll find books on all kinds of topics. Some are perfect for girls or boys, while others are good reading for either gender. Award-winning books like Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell and fun reads like Sir Cumference and the First Round Table: A Math Adventure by Cindy Neuschwander are just two selections kids in the fifth grade may enjoy.
Children this age like reading about kids their own age or slightly older. Books about ten and eleven year-olds are very popular for this age group, whether the setting is the present, the future or sometime in the past. Kids of any era feel they can relate on some level to kids their age.
A Selection of Fifth Grade Chapter Books
The Great Schools site offers a well-organized layout of books for children ages preschool to high school. Some fifth grade chapter books that your fifth grader might love to read include:
- No Talking by Andrew Clements pits the fifth grade girls against the boys in a no talking contest.
- The Report Card is another winner by Andrew Clements, which tells the story of brainy Nora Rowley who wants nothing more than to be seen as normal (instead of a genius) by everyone else.
- A classic story, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, can be enjoyed by sci-fi and fantasy loving readers. Themes like good vs. evil, family, bravery and love are prevalent throughout the book. As with many beloved classics, these themes are timeless and as relevant today as they have always been.
- Birdbrain Amos, Mr. Fun by Michael Delaney relates the story of a hippopotamus who takes his tick bird on vacation, but has to compete with a friend no one can see.
- Baseball in April and Other Stories by Gary Soto is a collection of short stories set in a Hispanic community. Children can learn about other cultures by reading books about them.
- The Giant Rat of Sumatra:Or Pirates Galore by Sid Fleischman will enthrall kids who love swashbuckling pirate tales.
- Children who like thrillers may enjoy Kit's Wilderness by David Almond, a tale about a boy named Kit, a game called Death and a haunted town.
- Hatchet by Gary Paulsen is a book about 13 year-old Brian who has to survive almost two months in the Canadian wilderness on his own after a plane crash.
- The Lady Grace Mysteries are a collection perfect for readers who love mystery and historical fiction set in the Elizabethan era.
Keep in mind that some fifth graders read on a higher level, while others are right at or below fifth grade level. These books will normally be suitable for most readers in this age group.
Books for all Readers
Whether you have an avid reader who speeds through books at lightning speed, or you have a reader who struggles, look for books for your fifth grader that interest him or her. With the huge variety of stories available, there's something to please everyone, in school and out.