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A Fantastic Booklist Full of Variety for Your Fifth Grader

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Looking for a great list of books for your tween? That was my goal while selecting books for my 5th and 6th-grade book club.

One of my favorite successful endeavors this past school year (2015-2016) was the creation of two book clubs for my daughters. The older girls book club was designed for 7th and 8th graders while the younger girls book club was created for 5th and 6th graders.

Both of our book clubs were a huge hit and we had a great year reading these memorable stories.

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A Booklist for 5th and 6th Grade

Without further ado, here are the fantastic titles we used for our 5th and 6th book club.

How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

Our first book was a ton of fun because the host mom did a great job. She creatively came up with some fun crafts and foods for these girls based on a book that was tailored more toward a group of boys.

While I am glad we read it, most of the girls didn’t enjoy the book. They found it gross.

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo

The unlikely friendship of a superhero squirrel and the self-proclaimed cynic, Flora, make for a fantastic journey. This delightful tale is full of memorable lines and delightful characters.  All of my children, ages 6, 8 and 11, enjoyed this story.

Our book club included nutty-themed snacks and superhero crafts, including a superhero-themed T-shirt created by each girl.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

While this book is quite a time commitment to read, it is well worth it. We used the audio version for the sake of my voice and enjoyed the narration quite a bit.

While dozens of kids answer an ad in the newspaper seeking gifted children, only a few are chosen to be part of the Mysterious Benedict Society. Their admittance to the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened takes them on a fantastic series of adventures as they go undercover to save the world!

—> Mysterious Benedict Society Book Club Celebration <—

Poppy by Avi

Hands down, this was my family’s favorite book this year. Not only was our book club celebration an amazing experience, but we fell in love with the characters in this book. In fact, after reading this title, we returned to the prequel, Ragweed, and then finished the rest of the books in the series.

When I say that we loved this book. I mean that we loved this book. In fact, our family Christmas ornament was an owl this year, representing Mr. Ocax, a character in Poppy.

—> Our Poppy Book Club Celebration <—

Love that Dog by Sharon Creech

This creative tale is written as a series of poetry journal entries. Jack, the main character and author of the journal is a student who is studying poetry and poets at school. He experiments with his own poetic voice and finds it as the journal entries progress.

This book was a perfect jumping point to play with poetry in our own homeschool this year.

—> Our Love That Dog Book Club Celebration <—

Courage Has no Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickels: America’s First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone.

This was an incredible non-fiction story of America’s First Black Paratroopers. Told in a conversational story style, Tanya Lee Stone includes narratives, facts and quotes to communicate this important piece of American History.

We took the opportunity to dive deeply into this topic and looked at the segregation of America during this time period.  As part of our month, we enjoyed the “Remember the Titans” movie and the sounds of Motown!

Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

This is a delightful coming-of-age story as Elizabeth grows into herself while becoming known as Betsy. This tale is filled with deeper themes of love, friendship, and parenting. As a homeschooling mom, I was delighted with the commentary found on education within the pages of this tale.

Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata

While we all enjoyed this difficult story, my boys especially were drawn to it. This wasn’t an easy read because the realities of war are descriptive, but it was an important story and one we all enjoyed.

I learned quite a bit about the way dogs were trained during the war. It was an informational book based on true events during the Vietnam War. Pictures and more historical details are included in the book.

Note: There is some language in this book, used by the soldiers, and while appropriate to the setting, it is important to note for parents.

Love, Ruby Lavendar by Deborah Wiles

Ruby Lavender and her grandmother, Miss Eula are as close as can be so when Miss Eula announces a trip to Hawaii to visit another grandbaby, Ruby is just certain she will not survive.

Not only does she survive, but she also makes a new friend, confronts some deep realities about her grandfather’s death, and keeps in touch with Miss Eula through letter writing. We all laughed at the memorable events in this book and talked through some of the deeper messages.

We had a fantastic year of challenging and fun literature.


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