New Books for 5th Graders
Ivan (The Ape at Exit 8) is a downtrodden, has-been silverback gorilla living in a small, unkept domain within a shopping mall, occasionally accompanied by Bob, a stray dog who sneaks into Ivan's domain through a hole in the glass.
Stella, an aging elephant with a bad foot, dies from lack of treatment after Ruby, a baby elephant purchased from a defunct circus, arrives at the mall. The owner hopes Ruby will jumpstart visitor attendance again. Before Stella dies, she asks Ivan to promise that he will bring Ruby somewhere safe, knowing his devotion to protection of his friends is paramount.
Ivan's poetic narration is honest, painful, and heartbreaking; Applegate's insight into captive animal life is powerful. Don't miss this book, no matter how old you are.
Claudette, a spunky medieval girl with her heart set on giant-slaying, encounters some difficulty doing so because she is a girl. Accompanied by her cowardly brother, Gaston, and Marie, Claudette's polar opposite, determined Claudette sets out to slay a giant. Giants beware? More like anyone-who-crosses-the-main-character-Claudette Beware!
An action-packed graphic novel for adventure-lovers, Giants Beware! introduces a powerful main character and expertly blends comedy with fantasy.
If you thought Justin had a worrisome and difficult third-grade year, just wait until you read about his summer at Camp GoldenBrook.
After third-grade, Justin is determined to stop worrying so much - until he finds out he's going to a camp that is probably going to kill him - if his flip-flops don't do the job first.
Fans of Alvin Ho or the Wimpy Kid series will love Justin's humorous attempts at bravery, and find Justin to be a welcome friend.
Reading Level: 5-8
Imagine that you are trapped way down in the earth in stifling heat with little light, air, food or water. Imagine that for the first 17 days you don't even know if anyone is searching for you. These are the personal stories of the trapped miners, their loved ones, and their rescuers. Throughout the books are photos of the families, the rescue equipment, and amazing pictures of the men while they are trapped deep within the earth.
Another book about the miners is
Reading Level: Grades 3-6
Lenny is pitchforked into a death defying race to save the world when best friend Casper purchases the Heidelberg Handlebar Number Seven mustache.
Books by Tom Angleberger
Other crazy adventures include:
Whales on Stilts by M.T. Anderson
We Are Not Eaten by Yaks by C. Alexander London and
The Brain Finds a Leg by Martin Chatteton
Reading Level: Grades 4-6
Hilary McKay scores again in this prequel to the Casson Family series. Before her struggles with A level exams and her adventures with "Michael Darling" the beleaguered driving instructor, Caddy Casson was a 12-year-old girl facing the loss and challenges of changing friendships.
Books by Hilary McKay
If you enjoy Caddy and her eccentric family try:
Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie Tolan
Ordinary Jack by Helen Cresswell and
The Heroic Life of Al Capsella by Judith Clarke
Reading Level: Grades 2 - 5
After he was seriously injured in a fall from a high wire, Luciano Anastasini needed to come up with a new circus act for himself. That is when five, unwanted "problem" dogs on death row in the pound (and later five more) came along and together they found what their purpose in life was meant to be.
Reading Level: Grades 5 - 8
For as long as anyone alive can remember Eastam and Westam have been at war; battling for control of The Center. Life is dreary in Waterford City. Everything revolves around the war effort. The best and brightest children are sent to military school at the age of eight. Everyone else's work somehow connects to the war too whether it is making weapons, delivering weapons, or recycling scrapped weapons. But when local war hero Gideon returns to town he and his former neighbor, Tessa, will accidentally discover the truth about the never-ending war.
Reading Level: Grades 3-5
If you found a hole out in the grass while exploring, and inside the hole was a meteoroid, and poking out of the meteoroid was a button, you'd probably push it, wouldn't you? (I would. Zita did.)
You'd probably freak out when your best friend Joseph got sucked into into this weird vortex thing after you pushed the botton... and then when you pushed the button again, YOU got sucked in, plopping out onto an alien planet. (I would. Zita kind of did.)
Zita's best friend Joseph has been kidnapped by a cult of aliens who believe the world is about to end... and the button that brought both her and Joseph to this alien world is crushed accidentally by a huge alien named Strong-Strong.
So now Zita's totally stuck on an alien planet that apparently is about to come to an end, her best friend has been kidnapped, AND she has no way to get home.