29 Books to Read for Fifth Graders: Seasonal Explorations in Literature

As the seasons change, so do the interests and adventures of fifth graders. It’s the perfect time for them to dive into a world of books that offer excitement, wisdom, and unforgettable tales. In this blog post, I’ll share a handpicked selection of books to read for fifth graders during each season of the year. These books will engage their imagination and nurture their reading skills. Let’s explore some fantastic reads for your fifth graders as they journey through the year.

Fun books to read for fifth graders in upper elementary

Winter: Cozy Up with Great Reads

These books to read for fifth graders are perfect for those months when you want to curl up by the fire. Of course, students can’t do that in the classroom, but put on a crackling fire video from YouTube and let them pretend!

  1. “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis
    • Step into the enchanting land of Narnia as four siblings embark on a magical adventure through a wardrobe in this classic tale of good versus evil.
  2. “Matilda” by Roald Dahl
    • Follow the story of a gifted, book-loving girl who discovers her unique abilities and the power of kindness.
  3. “Percy Jackson & the Olympians” series by Rick Riordan
    • Join Percy Jackson, a demigod, in a thrilling series that blends Greek mythology with modern-day adventures.
  4. “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio
    • Empathize with Auggie, a boy with facial differences, as he navigates the challenges of starting fifth grade in this heartwarming story.
  5. “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick
    • Dive into the world of a young orphan who lives inside a Parisian train station, uncovering secrets and embarking on a remarkable journey.
  6. “Harry Potter” series by J.K. Rowling
    • Get lost in the magical world of Hogwarts with Harry, Hermione, and Ron as they battle dark forces and learn the true power of friendship.
  7. “The Giver” by Lois Lowry
    • Follow Jonas as he discovers the dark secrets beneath the seemingly perfect society in this thought-provoking dystopian novel.
  8. “Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls
    • Experience the touching story of a boy and his two coonhound pups as they face challenges and grow together.

Spring: Blooming with Literary Delights

As the sun shines a bit more, students may enjoy reading outside. Invite them to grab a book and head outside to read. They can find a comfy spot under a tree or on a bench to read their favorite titles. Some of these books to read for fifth graders may become just that.

  1. “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett
    • Follow the journey of Mary Lennox as she discovers the magic of a hidden, neglected garden.
  2. “Tuck Everlasting” by Natalie Babbitt
    • Explore the concept of eternal life through the eyes of Winnie Foster, a young girl who meets the immortal Tuck family.
  3. “The Tale of Despereaux” by Kate DiCamillo
    • Embark on an epic adventure with Despereaux, a brave mouse who aspires to be a knight.
  4. “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” by Kate DiCamillo
    • Join Edward Tulane, a vain porcelain rabbit, on a journey of self-discovery and love.
  5. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl
    • Enter Willy Wonka’s extraordinary chocolate factory with Charlie Bucket, where dreams come true.
  6. “Pippi Longstocking” by Astrid Lindgren
    • Follow the unconventional and endlessly imaginative Pippi Longstocking on her quirky adventures.
  7. “The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate
    • Discover the touching story of a captive gorilla named Ivan who finds hope and friendship in an unexpected place.
  8. “Stuart Little” by E.B. White
    • Join Stuart, a mouse with a big heart, on his exciting journey to find his place in the world.

Summer: Dive into Adventure with Books to Read for Fifth Graders

If you’re like me, you love to read a book on the beach and enjoy the sunshine. Foster your students’ love for reading by giving them this fun list of books to read for fifth graders to choose from for the summer holiday.

  1. “The Percy Jackson & the Olympians” series by Rick Riordan
    • The epic adventures of Percy Jackson continue as he faces new challenges and monsters in this action-packed series.
  2. “Holes” by Louis Sachar
    • Follow Stanley Yelnats as he endures the hardships of Camp Green Lake and uncovers its mysterious past.
  3. “Island of the Blue Dolphins” by Scott O’Dell
    • Journey to the remote island of San Nicolas with Karana, a young girl who learns to survive on her own.
  4. “The Lemonade War” by Jacqueline Davies
    • Explore the world of sibling rivalry and entrepreneurship as Evan and Jessie compete in a lemonade war.
  5. “Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief” by Rick Riordan
    • Start the journey with Percy Jackson, a modern-day demigod, who discovers his true identity in this thrilling adventure.
  6. “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle
    • Join Meg Murry, her brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin as they travel through space and time to rescue their father.
  7. “Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library” by Chris Grabenstein
    • Solve puzzles and riddles to escape from the library of the eccentric Mr. Lemoncello in this fun and mysterious tale.
  8. “The Westing Game” by Ellen Raskin
    • Delve into a complex mystery as 16 heirs are challenged to solve the puzzle of millionaire Samuel W. Westing’s death.

Fall: A Harvest of Imagination

Once the leaves fall, certain books are more fun to read. You need books with a little more depth and mystery to them! These books to read for fifth graders are perfect as you head into spooky season.

  1. “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster
    • Join Milo on an extraordinary journey through the Kingdom of Wisdom as he learns the value of knowledge and curiosity.
  2. “James and the Giant Peach” by Roald Dahl
    • Set sail in a giant peach with James and his insect friends on a whimsical adventure.
  3. “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien
    • Embark on a grand quest with Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, as he faces dragons and other magical creatures.
  4. “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen
    • Witness the survival story of Brian Robeson, a boy stranded in the wilderness, as he learns to fend for himself.
  5. “The Spiderwick Chronicles” series by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
    • Explore the hidden world of magical creatures and adventure with the Grace siblings in this captivating series.

Why Having Fun Books to Read for Fifth Graders is Essential

Reading is a vital activity for upper elementary students, like fifth graders. It nurtures their cognitive, emotional, and social development. It enhances vocabulary, comprehension, and critical thinking skills. Reading also introduces them to diverse perspectives, cultures, and ideas, promoting empathy and understanding. Additionally, it sparks imagination and creativity while providing a gateway to lifelong learning.

Dr. Seuss aptly said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Reading empowers fifth graders to explore new worlds, foster a love for learning, and discover books’ endless possibilities.

Encourage your fifth grader to embark on a literary adventure through these seasonal book selections and watch their love for reading blossom throughout the year. These books to read for fifth graders are sure to keep their attention and have them asking for more. Happy reading!

If you enjoyed these books to read for fifth graders, you will also love these book roundups!

Enjoy these books to read for fifth graders, and check out the other posts listed above.

Fun books to read to fifth graders
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