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smily

looking for happy literature

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I am looking for suggestions for either a literature program or a book list for 5th grade reading/literature. 

Honestly, I have grown weary of the emotional weight of many options. I need a break from tragedy! This is definitely more for me than my student. It seems like everything starts like a Disney movie: get the parents outta the story line! Or some missionaries end up in a pool of blood. Or we fixate on the darkest regimes in history. Any suggestions? No murders or threats of murders, please. 

Thanks in advance!

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The Ordinary Princess by M M Kaye is a favorite of all my kids. 

I like using the Memoria Press book lists. Mosdos Press?

I agree with you wholeheartedly! What’s with all the depressing stuff for kids?

 

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The Reluctant Dragon, by Graham, is hilarious,  and the language used is so rich! It's sort of sweet,  too.

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My son really enjoys Mosdos Press. We use the workbook and select questions from the text. We never do everything from every lesson. 

If you get Coral, I have the hardcover book with the stories/poems, and the teacher guide available. Just PM me if you are interested in any of it. 

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READ ALOUD IDEAS
- Anne of Green Gables (Montgomery) -- there is a death, but the rest of the book is "humorous misadventures"
- Five Children and It; The Phoenix and the Carpet (Nesbit) 
- Just So Stories (Kipling)
- Farmer Giles of Ham -- OR -- The Father Christmas Letters (Tokien)
- The Reluctant Dragon (Graham)
- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Carroll)

READERS -- possibly with GUIDES
- My Side of the Mountain (George) -- Garlic Press guide
- Phantom Tollbooth (Juster) -- male protagonist -- free Homeschool share lapbook/guide
- The Twenty-One Balloons (DuBois) -- male protagonist-- free The Literature Place guide

READERS

animals / animals & people
- The Incredible Journey (Burnford)
- The Black Stallion (Farley) 
- Kildee House (Montgomery)
- Rascal (North) 

fantasy or talking animals
- One Hundred and One Dalmatians (Smith) -- animal protagonists
- Rabbit Hill (Lawson)
- Trumpet of the Swan (White)

- The Rescuers (Sharp)
- Half Magic; Magic by the Lake; Knight's Castle (Eager) 

fairytale feel
- The Ordinary Princess (Kaye) 
- Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (Li)
- The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (Aiken) 

humorous/tall tale
- By the Great Horn Spoon! (Fleischman)

- Wayside School (Sachar)

realistic / historical setting
- The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (Kelly)
- Caddie Woodlawn (Brink)
- The Great Wheel (Lawson)

realistic / modern setting
- Understood Betsy (Fisher)
- In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson (Lord) 
- The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Robinson)
- Because of Winn Dixie (DiCamillo) 
- The School Story (Clements)  -- and others by this author
- Family Under the Bridge (Carlson) 
- From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Franweiler (Konigsburg)
- Might Miss Malone (Curtis)

realistic / lighter or "misadventures"
- Two Are Better Than One (Brink)
- Baby Island (Brink)
- Year of the Dog (Lin)
- The Vanderbeekers of 141th Street (Yan Glaser)
- The Penderwicks series (Birdsall)
- Nim's Island (Orr)

real people / fictionalized biography -- not "light/humorous", but inspiring and exciting
- Naya Nuki: The Blackfoot Girl Who Ran (Thomasa)
- Behind Rebel Lines (Reit)

Edited by Lori D.
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Here are some funny books we enjoyed as read-alouds, but I think most could be read independently by a fifth grader-- 

By The Great Horn Spoon

A Long Way From Chicago

Summer of the Monkeys (I did cry at the end in a good way but we laughed out loud through a lot of it)

The Phantom Tollbooth 

The Trumpet of the Swan

Detectives in Togas (this is a mystery but it is quite comical)

The Best (Worst) Christmas Pageant Ever 

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Swallows and Amazons! I read the first one to my crew last year, littles and highschoolers. It's mostly just the kids, but only because it's summer vacation. Nothing bad happened to the parents. 

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Homer Price by Robert McCloskey.  It's very funny.  

It's even Classical.  I mean, with a main character named Homer, and uncles named Ulysses and Telemachus who are always exclaiming, "By Zeus!", how much more high-brow can you get?  😉     

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Scanning my shelves for ideas, I realize I haven't read many of the books my kids have. I cannot guarantee they meet your criteria. Some of the best books my kids read in 5th grade definitely don't - Where the Red Fern Grows, for example.

My Side of the Mountain. I read the Penderwicks aloud to the kids. The mother has died, but the book is fun. I also immediately thought of Anne of Green Gables, but she is an orphan. Dd10 will be in 5th next year. She'll read The Secret Garden, but, again, orphan. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe? Maybe Red Sails to Capri? The Moffits? My kids love The Hobbit, but that may not be what you are looking for?

I haven't read Wonder, but my older kids have liked it. Others I haven't read: A Wrinkle in Time, The City of Ember, Fablehaven, The Goose Girl, The Neverending Story, Swallows and Amazons, and The Phantom Tollbooth.

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I second all of the following...

The Ordinary Princess by M M Kaye
The Borrowers
Anne of Green Gables
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Franweiler
My Side of the Mountain (and sequels)


And I also suggest these, even though they are more modern , they are fun, and sometimes fun is what you need...

Origami Yoda Series(fun, hilarious, and actually kinda deep for a kid book without being a downer)
IFunny Series (has some serious sides, but mostly a lot of humor)

Wonder definately deals with some dark stuff, but also deals with it with humor, and has a happy ending, and is uplifting.

Edited by goldenecho

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