New Books for 5th Graders
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.
Reading Level: Grades 5-7
The Dark Lord, Master of the Legions of Dread, Sorcerer Supreme and Lord of the Darklands is confused. One moment he was leading his legions against the White Wizard Hasdruban the Pure and the next he is falling out of his world into a strange land where he is trapped in the body of a puny human.
The stunned Dark Lord can barely talk or move, he is whisked away in a strange screaming conveyance to a steel citadel where he is questioned by humans who, mistaking his clear answer that his name is “Dark Lord," dub him Dirk Lloyd and send him to a foster home.
Christopher Purejoie is perfectly happy as an only child. He certainly never asked for a foster brother….especially not a crazy one. Chris does have to admit that Dirk is funny, like when Dirk marches into 7th grade English and announces to Mrs. Batelakes, “I am the Great Lord Dirk, you may call me master!”
So who is Dirk Lloyd? A delusional child who needs intensive psychiatric treatment? A smart-mouthed trouble maker who needs to be straightened out by Principal Grousammer? A funny kid who disrupts classes every day? Or an exiled villian desperate to return to his powers?
Books by Jamie Thomson
For more reading on the dark side try:
The Cloak Society by Jeremy Kraatz
The Vindico by Wesley King and
Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks
Reading Level: Grades 5 - 8
Driving at break-neck speed past a Cook County Forest Preserve after midnight, late for curfew again, Mike nearly hits a girl who is standing in the middle of the road. His decision to give the hapless hitchhiker a ride home turns into a night spent sitting in a graveyard listening to the ghosts of Chicago area teenagers as tell him the stories of their lives, and deaths.
Reading Level: Grades 5 - 8
After Tomas' house burns down, his family moves back to Slovakia where they had lived until Tomas was five and where he had nearly died. Soon after his arrival in his mother's home town he begins to have strange encounters with Slovakian legendary characters. Everyone, from Death herself to a crazy water vampire, known as a vodnik, seems to remember him and want something from him.
Reading Level: Grades 3-6
This is the true story of Tuyet, an eight -year- old orphan who didn't remember her life before the Saigon orphanage. There were the scars that she thought might have been from the war that still raged on, but she couldn't remember When Saigon fell, she was one of 57 babies and children evacuated to Canada during "Operation Babylift."
Novels about war orphans:
Betti on the Highwire by Lisa Railsback
Dogtag Summer by Elizabeth Partridge
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