5th & 6th Grade Fiction Book Recommendations

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullay Hunt

Realistic Fiction

If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid.

When Ally starts at a new school, she is unable to hide her reading difficulties from her new teacher, Mr. Daniels. Mr. Daniels support helps Ally's confidence grow despite her dyslexia. 

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

Realistic Fiction

When 10-year-old Raymie Clarke's father leaves their family, Raymie comes up with a plan to make her dad want to come back home: she will enter and win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition. Raymie thinks that if her dad sees her picture in the paper that he surely will come home. As Raymie works toward winning the contest, an unlikely friendship forms among her and two of her competitors. 

Booked by Kwame Alexander

Sports

Booked, the follow-up to the Newbery Award-winning Crossed, is a sports novel written in verse. Booked follows eighth grader Nick Hall’s love of soccer, dealing will bullies, and daydreaming about the girl he likes.

Soar by Joan Bauer

Sports

Jeremiah loves baseball. However, because of his heart transplant, Jeremiah is not allowed to play. Not wanting to be far from his favorite sport, Jeremiah decides to coach!

How Lunchbox Jones Saved Me from Robots, Traitors, and Missy the Cruel Humor by Jennifer Brown

Humor

In this humorous book, seventh grader Luke Abbott attends Forest Shade Middle School, a school famous for losing. In fact, the only trophy that they have in their trophy case is for “World’s Best Secretary.” So when Life Skills teacher Mr. Terry starts a robotics club, and Luke’s father makes him join, Luke dreads being stuck with all of the “loser” kids in his school. However, an unlikely friendship forms between Luke and a boy named Tim, or “Lunchbox Jones.”

The Marvels by Brian Selznick

Historical Fiction/Mystery

This 665-page book may seem overwhelming long at first, but the first 400 pages are entirely pictures! This first half of the book begins in 1766 with the shipwreck and rescue of Billy Marvel and follows the Marvel family over five generations with their involvement in London theater. The second half of the book begins in 1990 with Joseph Jervis, who runs away from boarding school to find his uncle who lives in London in the Marvels’ old house. Strangest of all is that his uncle appears to be the caretaker for the ghosts of the Marvel family.

The Wolf's Boy by Susan Williams Beckhorn

Historical Fiction

Set during prehistoric times, The Wolf’s Boy follows the story of Kai, a twelve-year-old boy born with a clubfoot who was left in a wolf den as an infant because of his disability. One day, Kai’s mother discovers that her son is still alive, and she takes him back into the family. However, Kai is bullied by the other boys. One day, Kai finds a motherless wolf pup and decides to adopt him. A special friendship forms between Kai and his wolf, whom he calls Uff.

It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas

Historical Fiction

If you liked My Name is Malala, this book is for you! In this semi-autobiographical novel, middle schooler Cindy, whose real name is Zomorod Yousefzadeh, immigrated to California from Iran just prior to the Iran hostage crisis during the 1970s. Even though Cindy has worked hard to adapt to life in America, she must overcome prejudice about her national origin.

Under Their Skin by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Science Fiction

When their mom gets remarried, twelve-year-old twins Nick and Eryn are curious about their new step-siblings, but are told that in order to ease the transition that they will not meet their step-siblings. Like any twelve-year-olds, being told they can’t do something peaks their interest, and Nick and Eryn make it their mission to find out about their new step-siblings. However, as they work together on this mission, more and more things don’t add up. What they eventually discover is surprising and alarming, and it challenges their beliefs about the human race.

Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Neilsen

Fantasy

When Nic, an orphaned slave living in ancient Rome, finds a good-luck amulet belonging to Julius Caesar, he develops magical powers and becomes entangled as a pawn in the politics of the Roman Empire.

My Diary from the Edge of the World by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Fantasy

Imagine a world just like our world, but with a slight twist--there are dragons, ghosts, and other fantastical beings. This is the kind of world where twelve-year-old Gracie Lockwood lives. One day, a gray cloud appears over Gracie's house, indicating that someone living in it will soon die. The only way for Gracie's family to cheat death is to attempt to travel to a parallel universe. Adventure ensues.

The Nine Lives of Jacob Tibbs by Cylin Busby

Animals

This tale, which takes place in the 1800s, is told from the perspective of a cat named Jacob Tibbs. Jacob and his mother live aboard a ship and experience a number of adventures on the high seas, including a storm, mutiny, and life as a castaway on an island.

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