New Books for 5th Graders
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.
Reading Level: Grade 4-6
An unwanted orphan girl...an unhappy man...a forbidding estate...a secret...a neglected garden. Is this a description of Burnett's Sercet Garden? No, but it is a literary reflection of that beloved classic.
More books by Ellen Potter
Other tales of orphan girls include:
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Maggie & Oliver, or, A Bone of One's Own by Valerie Hobbs
Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver and
Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan
Reading Level: Grades 4 - 6
Rebecca's life is turned upside down when her mother, without warning, takes Rebecca and her little brother away from their father and home and moves them in with their grandmother. Upset when she learns that this is not a short trip, but a permanent relocation Rebecca goes to the attic to sulk and finds a magic bread box. If she wishes for something that is real AND which will fit inside the bread box, the box will give it to her. But magic, no matter how harmless it seems at the time, always comes with a price.
Reading Level: Grades 3 - 6
When Lily's mother realizes that the mothers in novels for children her daughter's age all die horrible deaths she becomes obsessed with avoiding that fate, especially since Lily has now been a main character in four Pals in Peril novels. Unfortunately in her desperate attempt to avoid anything that might endager her life, she throws herself quite literally right into the arms of zombies, ghosts and vampires. Can the Pals rescue her before it is too late and she becomes just another fictional mother statistic?
Reading Level: Grades 3-6
Henrietta Hornbuckle is a clown in Filbert's Traveling Clown Circus, and has been her whole life. Used to the travelling life, loving to watch the world pass her by as she tumbles and exaggerates movements and brings cheer and laughter to each town the circus visits. To Henrietta, circus life is a fluid, dynamic constant in her life. Then suddenly everything changes - Henrietta learns that the circus is in danger of closing, financial problems having finally become insurmountable. Furthermore, her mother, Hortense, wants to reconnect with her estranged sister Carlotta - a woman with an enormous house (the first Henrietta had ever entered) and a butler - a lavish, expansive lifestyle absurdly foreign to the young clown. Then the unthinkable happens, and Henrietta's jolly life is thrust away from everything she loves.
Reading Level: Grades 2-8 (and even adults on a silly day)
They're soft. They're cute. They're fluffy. They'll rip you face off!! They are killer koalas from outer space. And they are only one of the hilarious hazards you'll encounter in this book full of terrible jokes, blood-sucking grannies and poo...lots and lots and lots of poo.
If totally gross, stupid (and funny) books are for you, try: