This 5th grade reading list gives you Kalaidos' favorite dozen picks for quality classic literature for fifth grade students.
PLUS, see the bottom of this page for more book lists.
By Doris GatesIt's the Great Depression and Janey's family has been moved again. This time they find an abandoned shack where they hope they can stay. Threatened with eviction, Janey's one treasured possession might save their home: the blue willow plate her mother gave her before she died. A chance meeting leads to a happy ending.
By Armstrong PerryMafatu has been ridiculed by the other boys and a disappointment to his father because of his fear of water. Heading out to sea, he faces his fears as well as the dangers of the ocean and the threats on an island.
By Felix SaltenForget the Disney movie with Thumper. This book bears no resemblance to that film. Instead, Bambi is a thoughful book about nature and the cycle of life. The growing fawn must conquer his fear of Man. He learns that even the dreaded Man is not all powerful. Because of its serious tone, it is included in the fifth grade reading list rather than the younger grades which may be more attracted to the movie. This book holds the students attention and deepens their respect for nature.
By James DoughertyAn accurate history of the Pilgrims starting with their flight to Holland and their decision to move to the unknown land of America. It tells of their journey across the Atlantic on the Mayflower and the settlement of Plymouth Plantation as well as their relationship with the Native Americans. The book closes with a glimpse at the colony twenty years after its famous landing on the shores of the New World.
By Margery Williams BiancoThis Newbery Honor book tells the story of two teenagers who have to provide for their family during a long and difficult winter. Separated from their parents, coping with the scarcity of the Depression, and the cold of a long winter, the only thing they don't run out of is resourcefulness and snow.
By Virginia SorensenMarly's father has returned home from the war, but he is very somber and they do not have the happy family they all hoped for. The family makes a trip to Maple Hill where their great-grandmother used to live. With the coming of spring, the miracles on the farm bring new hope to everyone.
By Virginia HamiltonIn spite of his father's attachment to the mountain where his grandmother fled to escape from slavery, M.C. dreams of leaving. Two outsiders arrive on the mountain who might make it happen.
By Walter FarleyAlex is shipwrecked on a deserted island with only one other survivor: a beautiful but wild stallion. Taming the horse might be his only chance for survival. One of the most famous horse stories ever published, the Black Stallion is the first in a series of 21 books about the Black Stallion and his descendants.
By Claire Huchet BishopTwenty children at a rural Catholic school in occupied France agree to host ten Jewish children who are hiding from the Nazis. They soon learn that there is more at stake then simply sharing their rations, but they must use their withs to save their new friends when officers arrive at the school. A true story from the holocaust era, it shows how many were involved in rescuing neighbors and strangers.
by Robert O'BrienA captivating tale about Mrs. Frisby, a plain, common, ordinary field mouse who must move her family before the tractor tears up the field. The widowed Mrs. Frisby finds out that her late husband was not such an ordinary mouse as she thought, but was well known to the local rats AND to a national organization who is looking for them.
By Jean FritzThis biography of Benedict Arnold shows the fascinating details of the man whose name is equated with betrayal. The author describes both good and bad qualities of this intriguing figure from the American Revolutionary War.
by Andrew LangJoin King Arthur as he pulls the sword from the stone, commisions the knights of the Round Table, and leads the quest for the Holy Grail. A reprint of the 1905 version, this is more readable than many of the older Arthurian tales.
by Philip SmithThis childrens' version is more appropriate than the original tales for younger readers and includes six of the most famous stories from the ancient collection. Tales include Aladdin, Ali Baba, Sinbad the Sailor, and three others.
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