New Books for 5th Graders

Graveyard Shift by Chris Westwood

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.

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Lincoln's Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin

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.

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The Dogs of Winter by Bobbie Pyron

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.

 

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