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Fifth Graders’ Book Recommendations


The Genius Files by Dan Gutman
Has anyone ever told you that you are a certified genius? That is what a secret organization tried to tell brother and sister, Coke and Pepsi. Unfortunately they did not get the letter, which also shared that they are in the secret organization. When many people start attacking Coke and Pepsi, they have no clue what is going on. By the time they figure out what is happening, the attacks are becoming more plentiful. Will Coke and Pepsi figure out who is behind all this? Or will one of the attacks succeed first?


The Future of US by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Teen Emma Jones has just received her first computer. When her best friend, Josh, introduces her to Facebook, she discovers that she already has a profile, except it’s projecting her life 15 years into the future.  The Emma Jones in the profile is already married and has graduated from college. Can the real Emma and Josh figure out what’s going on?


The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann
In the world of Quill, 13-year-old children are separated into the “wanted” and “unwanted.” Alex is an unwanted and his twin Aaron is a wanted. This first novel of the series leads both brothers to develop their talents to establish their leadership skills. There are seven books in this series so far.


I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Martin Ganda
This book tells the true story of an exchange between an American girl and a boy in Zimbabwe. Their letter-writing lasted six years and did truly change their lives.


The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson
Marinka has been living her life wanting to be normal just like all the other kids.She longs for a real friend not just a house with chicken legs to play tag with. Marinka lives with her grandmother, a Yaga, who guides the dead to the afterlife.  She is training to be a Yaga like her grandmother, but one day Marinka has a chance to make a friend. She breaks the rules and makes a friend but the consequences are severe.


The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler by John Hendrix
This graphic retelling of Bonhoeffer’s heroic and outspoken work against Hitler is a beautiful and inspiring story of courage and commitment to truth and goodness. Bonhoeffer tries to come up with a plan to kill Hitler. Will his plan succeed, or will he die if he tries and fails?

Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag
In this graphic novel the girls in the family are witches, and the boys are shapeshifters, but Aster knows he can save his friends and family by becoming a witch.


The Marvels by Brian Selznick
The Marvels is about a boy who runs away from boarding school to his Uncle’s house in London. Joseph expects a humble abode, but what he finds is not at all what he expected. His uncle has recreated, or preserved, a house from the eighteenth century. But there is something amiss in the house; strange noises. Joseph’s uncle is fixated on having places for where everything goes, and having a daily routine for the house. Joseph starts investigating, and finds himself unraveling a story of a young boy named Billy Marvel, but not everything is as it seems.


Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
If fairies existed, how hard do you think it would be to catch one? In Artemis Fowl, Artemis, a teenage genius inventor, wants to finds his long lost dad. He needs money to do it, but the Fowl fortune is quickly disappearing, so he devises a plan to kidnap a fairy and ransom it for gold. Artemis soon realizes that he has bitten off more than he can chew.


The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
There is an ad in the newspaper saying that there is a test for especially clever children. The test has four stages, and only four kids pass the test. There are two boys and two girls. One boy has amazing memory and is super smart, and can recount anything by just looking at it once. The other boy is also smart and becomes the leader of the group because of his calmness and good ideas. One of the girls is super athletic and is fearless. The other is super stubborn and extremely small and so far she has contributed nothing, but there is a reason for this. They all have one thing in common; they are all parentless. They are asked by the mysterious Mr. Benedict to complete a mission that only they can complete. Will they succeed or will all be lost, including their memory?

Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Mia’s parents thought that when they fled to the United States from China their lives would improve, but they were wrong. For the first summer they lived in their car and looked for jobs. When they finally got jobs they got paid very little, and things weren’t working out so they got fired. Then, things start looking up when Mia’s parents both get motel manager jobs, but their boss is tricky, and they don’t end up getting paid what they thought they would. Mia doesn’t like being the poor kid at school that can’t even afford jeans, but she starts to make friends. When there’s a writing contest to win a motel Mia thinks she could win and enters. Will she succeed and end up getting a motel or keep the reputation of the “poor Chinese girl.”


Gone by Michael Grant
Teachers, police, mothers, and fathers—they all disappear in a flash of light. Teenagers are now in charge, especially Sam, a 14 year old who always has a gut feeling to act. A few years ago when he was on a school bus he saved many children’s lives when a bus driver had a heart attack. Now Sam is the leader, and there is real danger lurking. Hunger rules, and war is imminent.


Shug by Jenny Han
We all go through that teenage stage where crushes, friends, and frenemies get in the way of everything. Annemarie Wilcox is your average 12 year old, complaining about her looks, friends, and other pre-teen issues. But when she finally realizes she has a crush on her long-time best friend Mark, she can’t find a way to not be awkward around him.

Halfway Normal by Barbara Dee
Norah Levy has just completed two years of chemotherapy and is ready to go back to the “real world.” Norah has always been very intelligent, mostly in math and science. When she’s told she has to do a math and science class with eighth graders, she knows it’s going to be a mess. She doesn’t want to be treated like “cancer girl,” but like everyone else.


Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Illustrations tell well over half the story of two children who lived 50 years apart, both on a quest to find the answer to mysteries.

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