New Books for 5th Graders
Reading Level: Grades 4 - 8
England has always had ghosts, but ever since The Problem began hauntings have become more frequent and much more dangerous, with ghosts being able to kill people with a touch. Most people are born with the ability to sense ghosts, but they lose this skill when they reach adulthood so now children are employed to watch for and hunt ghosts under the supervision of an adult leader.Thirteen-year-old Lucy, who can hear ghosts, joins the rogue pair of ghost hunters known as Lockwood & Co. which has no adult in charge. Needless to say, nobody is terribly surprised when she and Lockwood accidentally burn down a house on one of her first missions. This new supernatural adventure series by the author of the the Bartemaeus books will leave the reader hoping book two comes out soon.
Reading Level: Ages 8 - 12
Dad has been left in charge of the house in Mom's absence and there is no milk for his children's cereal. Not much of a plot unless the author is Neil Gaiman. In the ultimate "the dog ate my homework" story, Dad explains why it took so long to get the milk. The story involves alien aduction, pirates, a dinosaur professor in a hot-air balloon, "wumpires," the space-time continuum- oh, you get the idea. Illustrator Skottie Young 's illustrations manage to match the zaniness of the plot. I'd write more, but I think Bigfoot needs help finding a book and there's the spell cast on the Youth Services Department and . . .
Jamie Grimm, soon to be the world's greatest stand-up (actually sit-down-in-wheelchair) comedian, lives with his aunt, uncle, and cousin - an extremely boring version of the Durlseys. He has an uncanny ability to make anyone (other than the aforementioned boring Durlsey-esque relatives) laugh. Jamie Grimm just funny!
When Uncle Frankie (not the boring one) suggests to Jamie that he compete in The Planet's Funniest Kid Comic contest, he knows he's got to try. His only problem is stage fright!
I Funny is a fabulously funny story about being brave enough to stand up for your own talents, even if you can't actually stand up. Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans are sure to love Jamie Grimm.
Reading Level: Grades 4 - 6
Ben Harvester meets a strange old man in a graveyard one day, and again at his aunt's funeral in another town, and again on the street by his house, where the man performs a very strange quick change act. Then, on his first day in his new school he sees two burned children holding the hand of a burned man at the back of the classroom and he hears scratching from an empty classroom and finds the words, "Welcome to Pandemonium, Ben." written on the blackboard. And things only get odder from there as he is drawn into the world of ghosts, demons and lost souls.
Reading Level: Grades 4 - 9
Why would anyone want to steal the body of President Abraham Lincoln? The answer involves counterfeiters and the newly fledged Secret Service. Written like a heist caper, Lincoln's Grave Robbers details a little known part of history that really didn't have much impact, but it's sure fun to read about.
Reading Level: Grades 5 - 8
Truth can be much stranger than fiction and fiction based on truth can make a great story. Inspired by the life of Ivan Mishukov, Ivan Andreovich is a five-year-old boy who was orphaned in post-Soviet Russia, left on the streets to fend for himself, and adopted by a pack of wild dogs.
Life for street children is a battle to survive. Hunger, cold, roving gangs of both adults and older children make survival tenuous. Ivan finds his place with a family of dogs. Ivan and the dogs share what food they have and provide warmth and protection for each other. But more than that, the dogs love Ivan as he loves them. Ivan becomes more and more like his dog family. While humans can be uncaring or cruel, it is the dogs who show the most "humanity."
Ultimately, Ivan Andreovich , like the real Ivan, is rescued.
Reading Level: Grades 4-6
Starting a new school is never easy. It is even harder when you have to remember your new alias and make sure you never even hint at the fact that your parents are supervillians intent on destroying the world.
Books by Lee Bacon
Other villianous tales include:
Artemis Fowl by Eon Colfer
Reading Level: Grades 3-5
"Once upon a time my life was normal. Then the mirror in our basement ate us."
When a magic mirror transports 10-year-old Abby and her little brother Jonah to the forest next to the cottage of the seven dwarves, they stop Snow White from eating the poisoned apple. Now Snow White has two problems: 1) The evil queen keeps trying to kill her and 2) Since she didn't eat the apple, the prince didn't kiss her so she has lost her chance to live happily ever after.
It is up to Abby and Jonah to help the clueless Snow White stay alive AND get her happliy ever after. Then they can try to get back home.
Books by Sarah Mlynowski
For more fractured fairytales try:
The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker
Into the Woods by Lyn Gardner and
Little Wolf's Book of Badness by Ian Whybrow
Reading Level: Grades 1 and up. Not recommended for gerbilsssss or thosssssse ssssenssssitive to sssssslithererssssss.
Nic Bishop, one of the most terrifying authors in children's literature today, has done it again with his new book, Snakes. Prepare for sleepless, terrified nights after these horrific photographs of larger-than-life serpents (really, Nic? Did they have to be larger? Actual size is horrifying enough!). We gerbils hear a lot of kids talk about how scary R.L. Stine's books are (they are located right next to our cage) but clearly these kids have never read anything by Nic Bishop. He's the scariest there is!
Reading Level: Grades 5 and up
Bomb reads like an edge-of -your- seat spy novel, but it's all true. It tells of the Herculean effort behind building the bomb, the desperate arms race with Germany that will decide WWII, the heroic efforts of Norwegein resistance fighters, and the spies determined to steal the plans for the Soviet Union. The story of the scientific genius behind the bomb, the politics, the military heroics, and the espionage make this a thrilling read where truth is far more exciting than fiction.
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