Fantastic Books for Fifth & Sixth Graders


  • Baskin, Nora Raleigh. Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story. 2016.

    The lives of four children in different parts of the country intersect and are affected by the events of September 11, 2001.

  • Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker. The War that Saved My Life. 2015.

    Ten-year-old Ada lives in one room, confined by an abusive mother ashamed of Ada's twisted foot. When London children are evacuated to the countryside during WWII, she escapes with her brother.

  • Hirsch, Alex. Gravity Falls: Journal 3. 2016.

    The secrets, monsters and mysteries of Gravity Falls are revealed, with updated entries from Dipper and Mabel on their summer adventures.

  • Gemeinhart, Dan. Some Kind of Courage. 2016.

    In 1890 Washington, the only family Joseph Johnson has left is his half-wild Indian pony. When Sarah is sold by a man with no right to do so, Joseph sets out to get her back - and he plans to let nothing stop him in his quest.

  • Legrand, Claire. Some Kind of Happiness. 2016.

    Finley Hart is sent to her grandparents' house for the summer, but her anxiety and overwhelmingly sad days continue. Escaping into her writings, which mysteriously become real, she realizes she must save this magical world in order to save herself.

  • Lord, Cynthia. A Handful of Stars. 2015.

    Twelve-year-old Lily befriends Salma, an Hispanic girl whose family is in Maine for blueberry picking season, but as a local pageant approaches, the girls are confronted with the hard truths of prejudice and migrant life.

  • Peck, Richard. The Best Man. 2016. [also available on audio]

    Archer Magill's life is filled with change and startling revelations, especially when the sixth grader is asked to serve as best man for two of his role models. (Read a staff review of this title!)

  • Reynolds, Jason. As Brave As You. 2016. [also available on audio]

    When Genie and his older brother spend a summer in the country with their grandparents, he learns a secret about his grandfather and what it means to be brave.

  • Reynolds, Jason. Ghost. 2016. [also available on audio]

    Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down. (Read a staff review of this title!)

  • Riordin, Rick. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 2: The Hammer of Thor. 2016. [also available on audio]

    When the God of Thunder's hammer goes missing, Magnus Chase and his friends must retrieve it before an onslaught of giants attacks the mortal world.

  • Riordin, Rick. Trials of Apollo, Book 1: The Hidden Oracle. 2016. [also available on audio]

    After angering his father, the Greek god Apollo is cast down from Olympus and turned into a regular teenage boy. Powerless to stop the monsters, gods and mortals on his trail, he must turn to the demi-gods from Camp Half Blood for help.

  • Stewart, Trenton Lee. The Secret Keepers. 2016. [also available on audio]

    When 12-year-old Reuben finds a magical watch that makes its wearer invisible, he's propelled on the adventure of a lifetime.

  • Weeks, Sarah and Gita Varadarajan. Save Me a Seat. 2016. [also available on audio]

    Two boys - one white, one Indian-American - gain strength from each other as they struggle to navigate middle school, family relationships and friendships. (Read a staff review of this title!)

Graphic Novels

  • Grunberg, Greg. Dream Jumper Book 1: Nightmare Escape. 2016.

    Suffering from nightmares that challenge his ability to jump into other people's dreams, Ben, and a mysterious rabbit companion, struggles to protect his friends from a dream-monster that would prevent them from waking.

  • Hatke, Ben. Mighty Jack: Book One. 2016.

    This Jack in the Beanstalk retelling features a boy from a single-parent home who, at the urging of an autistic sibling, trades in the family car for a box of magic beans, sparking an adventure involving onion babies, biting cabbages and a fiery dragon.

  • Telgemeier, Raina. Ghosts. 2016.

    Catrina and her family have moved to the northern California coast for the sake of her little sister, Maya, who has cystic fibrosis. Cat is even less happy about the move when told her new town is inhabited by ghosts; Maya, however, sets her heart on meeting one.


  • Marcus, Leonard S. Comics Confidential. 2016. [J 741.51 COM]

    Prominent cartoonists discuss their creative processes and the experiences and influences that led to their success. Each interview is followed by an original graphic short on the common theme of "the city."

  • Sweet, Melissa. Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White. 2016. [JB WHITE E B]

    Exquisite artwork blends with personal letters, photos and family mementos to explore the life of the Charlotte's Web author.

revised December 2016