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Books for Reluctant Readers, Part III: Fifth Grade

Welcome to a new series on finding books for reluctant readers! This four-part series will be divided by grade level, from kindergarten through sixth grades. For books for K-2, click here. For books for grades 3-4, click hereby Elizabeth Cossick, M.Ed.

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Fifth grade is the grade when I discovered my first true literary love: The Babysitter’s Club. For the next three years, this series would provide my staple reading material; I seldom went anywhere without a copy in hand! The list of books below will hopefully provide the same love-at-first-read experience for a fifth-grader in your life. (Tip: This might be a good list to share with parents or send home for recommended summer reading, as well.)

Favorite Titles:

Jack Black and the Ship of Thieves by Carol Hughes

Perloo the Bold by Avi

Wild Man Island by Will Hobbs

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

Mr. Tucket by Gary Paulson

The Janitor’s Boy by Andrew Clements

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Martin the Warrior by Brian Jacques

Flight of the Eagles by Gilbert Morris

Door to the Dragon’s Throat by Frank Peretti

Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech

School Story by Andrew Clements

Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

Will You Sign Here, John Hancock? By Jean Fritz

The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars Blue

Willow by Doris Gates

Jason’s Gold by Will Hobbs

Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry

Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech

Dear Levi: Letters from the Overland Trail by Elvira Woodruff

Call Me Francis Tuckett by Gary Paulsen

A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer

Because of Winn Dixie by Katie DiCamillo


The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

Trailblazer fictionalized biography series by Dave and Neta Jackson

The Seven Sleepers series by Gilbert Morris

Dear America and My Name Is America series by various authors

Star Wars and The New Jedi Order young adult fantasy series by Paul Davids and various authors

Any children’s books by:

• Katherine Paterson

• C.S. Lewis

• Gilbert Morris

Coming next in the series~ Part IV: Sixth Grade Book Picks

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Filed under Academic Success, comprehension, Reading, reading aloud, reluctant readers, Summer Learning