New Books for 5th Graders

Benjamin Franklinstein Lives! Wherein is Contained an Accounting of the Preparation, Suspension, and Eventual Reawakening of the Subject in Modern Day, and His Quest to Discover the Great Emergency by Matthew McElligott

Reading Level:  Grades 3 - 6

You've heard of Benjamin Franklin. You know, the guy from like, the 1700s, you know, famous for being in the thunderstorm with the kite and the key, discovering electricity? Yeah, him. That guy. He's been dead for what, like three hundred years? Think again.

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Victor Godwin is smarter than most people he knows. Definitely smarter than the weatherman, who's predicted sunny days when Victor knows mathematically that there's a 92% chance of rain. A million times smarter than his best friend Scott Weaver, who made a super-charged potato battery by putting batteries inside of a raw potato and painting it exciting colors. (In case you are wondering, the potato explodes in the middle of class.) Then a thunderstorm that seems only to affect Victor's house changes everything. Soon a strange man who looks and dresses like Benjamin Franklin moves into Victor's house as a tenant. He says he's an actor, but he paid his entire first year's rent in heavy gold coins, marked 1783. What kind of actor never takes off his costume, and pays for things in eighteenth-century doubloons? Frank Benjamin, downstairs tenant at the Godwin's house, that's who. Then Victor discovers what's really going on...

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Other books like this one:
No Girls Allowed (Dogs Okay) by Trudi Trueit
The Zombie Chasers by John Kloepfer
Whales on Stilts by M.T. Anderson
Zombiekins by Kevin Bolger

The Memory Bank by Carolyn Coman

Reading Level: Grades 3-5

"Forget Her!"

When little Honey Scroggins laughs after her parents tell her not to, they dump her by the side of the road and drive away. Despite all Hopes pleadings, her parents never go back for Honey. As she grows sadder and sadder, Hope spends all her time sleeping, dreaming of her lost little sister. When Hope's constant dreaming causes an imbalance due to insufficient memory deposits, she is summoned to the Memory Bank where she becomes embroiled in a war between those who want to remember and those who want to forget.

If you enjoyed this illustrated novel you will also enjoy:
The Invention of Hugo Cabret: a Novel in Words and Pictures by Brian Selznick

For an tongue-in-cheek take on an abandoned child read:
By the Side of the Road by Jules Feiffer

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Other books by Carolyn Coman

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham

Reading Level:  Grades 4 and up

Our story begins in 1775. Nat Bowditch, a small boy for his age, loves arithmetic more than anything because the answers always come out the same. His eldest brother has just signed on with a ship leaving for the open ocean and Nat’s father, deciding that his son needs to begin a trade, has pulled Nat out of school.

Nat is apprenticed to a ship chandlery as their bookkeeper for nine years, squashing all dreams he had of studying at Harvard University. But, Nat remembers his brother’s parting words to him – boys don’t blubber - and keeps his head held high. Nat grows up quickly; his raw determination to learn coupled with the difficulties of Revolutionary life made him seem mature far beyond his young years.

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch is an ultimate nautical adventure story, sharing the tale of a young boy, who never thought his dreams could ever be reached, becoming a widely educated man – despite never continuing school past the age of ten. Written in 1956 by Jean Lee Latham, Carry On, Mr. Bowditch is a must-read for all adventurous young boys.

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