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Need an awesome book for 4th/5th graders


Kanin
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I need an awesome book to read aloud to my remote 4th and 5th graders. Ideally something with excitement, adventure, and humor. So far we've read a couple books, most recently The Whipping Boy and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I love both these books, but they received a "meh!" rating from my 10 year olds. 

It's a bit of a tough crowd because they're remote and kinda over Zoom school. I'd like something to help them look forward to coming to class each day. Nothing sad or scary.

 

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1 hour ago, madteaparty said:

Mine just read Holes by herself and loved it. The Willoghbys (can’t spell) was a hit too. 

These would be my two top picks as well.  Holes has some sadness in it, but it is so, so, so good.  I would rate it as one of the most satisfying books I've read in my life.  And the Willoughbys is hilarious, especially for children who are slightly familiar with children's classics, though that's not truly necessary.    

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Just off the top of my head - and sticking only to books that have actually been published within spitting distance of your students' lifetimes:

The Great Greene Heist

Pickle: The (Formerly) Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe

Pie in the Sky by Remi Lai (heavily illustrated)

Save Me a Seat

Misadventures of the Family Fletcher

Stand Up, Yumi Chung

The First Rule of Punk

Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh

Mango Delight (this is on my tbr)

Ghost Squad

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Restart- my 4th graders always love it and it’s a modern book with great conversation starters but not heavy. I promise they will like it. 

anything else Gordon Korman, really. 

Rump is pretty funny too.

those Humphrey books are painful to read aloud

My lower group I read the Fudge series to this year.  outdated but still funny.

 

Edited by Hilltopmom
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3 hours ago, Mothersweets said:

Oh, I absolutely loved Frindle. I remember reading it when my son was in third grade. I think I liked it much more than he did.

What's wrong with kids today? LOL.

Bill

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When I saw the thread title the book By The Great Horned Spoon leaped into my head. I think I read it in 4th grade. But that was more than 50 years ago, so it is hard to know if my critical evaluation would hold up, but I liked it.

Funny. Adventure. An ocean voyage on the way to the CA gold rush if I really correctly.

Bill

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You don't want sad so this recommendation will do you no good, but I was a "reader" at this age. I plowed through book after book. Always won the annual library summer reading contest by a country mile. Mom would take us to the library at least every two weeks and I'd max out my card and hers. Mostly light fare, like Henry Huggins, Encyclopedia Brown, and that sort of stuff.

Then one time I checked out a book called Tornado Jones. A boy and his dog, living on a farm getting up to adventures. Seemed up my alley. But then the idyllic pastoralism was suddenly threatened by a big electrification project (I'm not sure if it was the TVA, but like that). And a newly constructed dam was going to flood the family farm. Everything would be lost. I was gutted. Cried and cried. 

That book forever changed my future reading habits. I didn't really know that books could evoke such strong emotional responses. Up to that point I was a dumb boy who liked funny dumb boy books: Henry Reed, Inc. or Danny Dunn. That sort of thing.

After reading Tornado Jones I forever left the children's section behind and started peppering librariarians for recommendations for "adult books." Ones that were moving and powerful and could rip your guts out.

Never looked back.

So cross Tornado Jones off your list. LOL.

Bill

Edited by Spy Car
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Wait, there’s life outside of the Wings of Fire series?  My 4th grader has been in a rut, re-reading them all endlessly.  I don’t think those are the books you are looking for, though. 🤣

My avid reader has read a lot of the above (before being sucked into the Wings of Fire quagmire, which is like entering a maze from which your kid might never escape).  I’m taking notes on the others. Love this thread. Thanks to OP for starting it!

4the grader here recently read The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, and enjoyed that one.  

 

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We read so much at that age:  

Chronicles of Narnia

Wrinkle in Time series

all the Andrew Clements books

Phantom Tollbooth

Warriors series

Redwall series

Wings of Fire series

Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher

Dragon in a Sock Drawer series

Dragon of the Lost Sea series by Laurence Yep

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Rules

Touch Blue

A Mango Shaped Space

Out of My Mind

Mockingbird

Counting By 7's

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl

Penderwicks series

Ginger Pye/ Pinky Pye

Moffatts series

Saturdays series

anything by Kate DiCamillo

Holes

My Side of the Mountain and all the sequels

Al Capone Does My Shirts and sequels

Number the Stars

The Giver and sequels

The War That Saved My Life/ The War I Finally Won

The Green Glass Sea

The Great Turkey Walk

The Whipping Boy

By the Great Horned Spoon

Bunnicula series

Not Just Anybody Family

anything by Roald Dahl

Little House on the Prairie books

Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper

Cricket in Times Square and sequels

Sideways Stories from Wayside School series

How to Eat Fried Worms

Snow Treasure

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series

Owls in the Family

Top Secret

Cockroach Cooties

Yang the Youngest and His Horrible Ear

A Tarantula in My Purse

Gooney Bird Green series

Half Magic

all the Oz books

Mr. Popper's Penguins

Homer Price

The Year of Miss Agnes

all the Boxcar Children books

Eragon series

Breaking Stalin's Nose

Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler

anything by E. Nesbit

Sisters 8 books

Golden Compass series

all the Gordon Korman books, but the old ones were our favorites (Bruno and Boots and the like)

Fish in a Tree

Because of Mr. Terupt

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

Mysterious Benedict Society

Graveyard Book and Unfortunately the Milk and Coraline by Neil Gaimen

Hatchet and sequels

Cheaper By the Dozen

My kids loved Series of Unfortunate Events, but I hated them.

Ender's Game series and Ender's Shadow series

Discworld novels

Harbor Me

The Watsons Go to Birmingham

Wonder

Walk Two Moons

City of Ember

books by Sara Weeks

The Princess in Black

 

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Wow! You guys are amazing! I'm going to have to save this list for future classes, too. With all these books, I may have to insist on Zoom read-alouds until they graduate from middle school! Thanks a million!!!

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11 hours ago, Spryte said:

Wait, there’s life outside of the Wings of Fire series?  My 4th grader has been in a rut, re-reading them all endlessly.  I don’t think those are the books you are looking for, though. 🤣

My avid reader has read a lot of the above (before being sucked into the Wings of Fire quagmire, which is like entering a maze from which your kid might never escape).  I’m taking notes on the others. Love this thread. Thanks to OP for starting it!

4the grader here recently read The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, and enjoyed that one.  

 

I cannot totally dislike the Wings of Fire series. My daughter is a 4th grader that has been asking for those books for the last year or so.  It started with the graphic novels -- but it also spurred her jump to the chapter books. (When she couldn't get the graphic novels fast enough) And she branched out from the chapter books to read OTHER chapter books. She's reading the Ranger's Apprentice series right now but she's also gone through the WIngfeather Saga this year and a bunch of others.  Even as recently as last summer she was resisting reading books that did not have a lot of pictures (Like every page) but she's past that hurdle and enjoying books she can't read in a couple of sittings and I really appreciate that.

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25 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

I cannot totally dislike the Wings of Fire series. My daughter is a 4th grader that has been asking for those books for the last year or so.  It started with the graphic novels -- but it also spurred her jump to the chapter books. (When she couldn't get the graphic novels fast enough) And she branched out from the chapter books to read OTHER chapter books. She's reading the Ranger's Apprentice series right now but she's also gone through the WIngfeather Saga this year and a bunch of others.  Even as recently as last summer she was resisting reading books that did not have a lot of pictures (Like every page) but she's past that hurdle and enjoying books she can't read in a couple of sittings and I really appreciate that.

Oh, goodness, no, I don’t dislike them at all either. My 4th grader loves them all and is on her third read through the whole series.  Or fourth?  I don’t know.  Those books are like her best friends.  She reads them at night, before bed, for fun.  During the day she reads new books, but Wings of Fire are something special.  The newest will be in her Easter basket.  Amazon has some cute throws, too, if you search for WOF merchandise.  😊

You reminded me, we were meaning to try Ranger’s Apprentice series!  Fingers crossed that one is beloved, too.

In 4th grade, I read and re-read and re-read the entire Silver Brumby series, but sadly, I think most are out of print.

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1 hour ago, Spryte said:

Oh, goodness, no, I don’t dislike them at all either. My 4th grader loves them all and is on her third read through the whole series.  Or fourth?  I don’t know.  Those books are like her best friends.  She reads them at night, before bed, for fun.  During the day she reads new books, but Wings of Fire are something special.  The newest will be in her Easter basket.  Amazon has some cute throws, too, if you search for WOF merchandise.  😊

You reminded me, we were meaning to try Ranger’s Apprentice series!  Fingers crossed that one is beloved, too.

In 4th grade, I read and re-read and re-read the entire Silver Brumby series, but sadly, I think most are out of print.

I've never heard of SIlver Brumby

But I do remember series I read growing up (Though sadly I mostly can't place them at a particular age.)  We watched Wizard of Oz this weekend and I remember searching the library system for Wizard of Oz books, putting them on hold. etc.

All-of-a-Kind Family series by Sydney Taylor

Shoes books by Noel Streatfeild

Encyclopedia Brown

the Little Brain series by John Fitzgerald

The Half Magic series

Betsy-Tacy books

(Was Black STallion a series? I remember a series about a horse)

(may be middle school)
Trixie Belden

Cherry Ames

Bobbsey Twins

 

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