Grade 5 & 6 Summer Reading List

I've encouraged all the students to get their very own public library card this summer so they can discover some new books in addition to reading the ones on their bookshelves at home. A public library card is free for children (at Calgary Public Library it is free, Okotoks charges $15/year which is still an awesome deal!), and gives you access to all of the amazing books at the library branches, as well as thousands of books and resources on the e-library, which can be accessed wherever you are travelling in the world this summer. The library also runs the TD Summer Reading Club which is a lot of fun.

Here are some of the books I think kids will enjoy if they just graduated from Grade 5 or 6. I hope they serve as a jumping off point to find even more awesome reading material at the library this summer. If your child wants to submit a little book review for any of the books they really love, I would be happy to post them on the blog. Email me :)


Doll Bones - Black, Holly - A doll that may be haunted leads three friends on a thrilling adventure in this delightfully creepy novel from the New York Times bestselling cocreator of the Spiderwick Chronicles.
Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends forever. And for almost as long, they’ve been playing one continuous, ever-changing game of pirates and thieves, mermaids and warriors. Ruling over all is the Great Queen, a bone-china doll cursing those who displease her. But they are in middle school now. Zach’s father pushes him to give up make-believe, and Zach quits the game. Their friendship might be over, until Poppy declares she’s been having dreams about the Queen—and the ghost of a girl who will not rest until the bone-china doll is buried in her empty grave.Zach and Alice and Poppy set off on one last adventure to lay the Queen’s ghost to rest. But nothing goes according to plan, and as their adventure turns into an epic journey, creepy things begin to happen. Is the doll just a doll or something more sinister? And if there really is a ghost, will it let them go now that it has them in its clutches?

Zebra Forest - Gewirtz, Adina Rishe - When eleven-year-old Annie first started lying to her social worker, she had been taught by an expert: Gran. "If you're going to do something, make sure you do it with excellence," Gran would say. That was when Gran was feeling talkative, and not brooding for days in her room -- as she did after telling Annie and her little brother, Rew, the one thing they knew about their father: that he was killed in a fight with an angry man who was sent away. Annie and Rew spend their days under the birches and oaks of the Zebra Forest, telling stories about their father the pirate, or pilot, or secret agent. But then something shocking happens to unravel all their stories: a rattling at the back door, an escapee from the prison holding them hostage in their own home, four lives that will never be the same.

Airborn - Oppel, Kenneth Matt Cruse is the 15-year-old cabin boy aboard the Aurora, the 900-foot luxury airship he has called home for the past two years. While crossing the Pacificus, Matt fearlessly rescues the unconscious pilot of a crippled hot air balloon. Before he dies, the balloonist tells him about the fantastic, impossible creatures he has seen flying through the clouds. Matt dismisses the story as the ravings of a dying man, but when Kate de Vries arrives on the Aurora a year later, determined to prove the story is true, Matt finds himself caught up in her quest. Then one night, over the middle of the ocean, deadly air pirates board the Aurora. Far from any hope of rescue, Kate and Matt are flung into adventures beyond all imagining. . .

Guys Write for Guys Read - Edited by Jon Scieszka - Funny Business, Thriller and the Sports Pages - each volume features great short stories that boys are sure to love by today's most talented authors.

Counting by 7's - Goldberg Sloan, Holly- In the tradition of Out of My MindWonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family. 

Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life... until now.

Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read

Fallout - Strasser, Todd - In the summer of 1962, the possibility of nuclear war is all anyone talks about. But Scott’s dad is the only one in the neighborhood who actually prepares for the worst. As the neighbors scoff, he builds a bomb shelter to hold his family and stocks it with just enough supplies to keep the four of them alive for two critical weeks. In the middle of the night in late October, when the unthinkable happens, those same neighbors force their way into the shelter before Scott’s dad can shut the door. With not enough room, not enough food, and not enough air, life inside the shelter is filthy, physically draining, and emotionally fraught. But even worse is the question of what will -- and won’t -- remain when the door is opened again. Internationally best-selling author Todd Strasser has written his most impressive and personal novel to date, ruthlessly yet sensitively exploring the terrifying what-ifs of one of the most explosive moments in human history.

Emma-Jean Lazarus fell out of a Tree - Tarshis, Lauren - Emma-Jean Lazarus is a lovable oddball who thinks she can use logic to solve the messy everyday problems of her seventh-grade peers. It's easy: she just follows the example of her late father, a brilliant mathematician. Of course, the more Emma-Jean gets involved, the messier her own life gets. Suddenly she's no longer the person standing on the outside of all social interactions. But perhaps that's a good thing?

Middle School: the Worst Years of my Life - Patterson, James - Rafe Khatchadorian has enough problems at home without throwing his first year of middle school into the mix. Luckily, he's got an ace plan for the best year ever, if only he can pull it off: With his best friend Leonardo the Silent awarding him points, Rafe tries to break every rule in his school's oppressive Code of Conduct. Chewing gum in class-5,000 points! Running in the hallway-10,000 points! Pulling the fire alarm-50,000 points! But when Rafe's game starts to catch up with him, he'll have to decide if winning is all that matters, or if he's finally ready to face the rules, bullies, and truths he's been avoiding.

Blockbuster author James Patterson delivers a genuinely hilarious-and surprisingly poignant-story of a wildly imaginative, one-of-kind kid that you won't soon forget.

Eggs - Spinelli, Jerry - Nine-year-old David has recently lost his mother to a freak accident, his salesman father is constantly on the road, and he is letting his anger out on his grandmother. Sarcastic and bossy 13-year-old Primrose lives with her childlike, fortuneteller mother, and a framed picture is the only evidence of the father she never knew. Despite their differences, David and Primrose forge a tight yet tumultuous friendship, eventually helping each other deal with what is missing in their lives. This powerful, quirky novel about two very complicated, damaged children has much to say about friendship, loss, and recovery

Prisoner 88 - Pileggi, Leah - Bricks on the floor, three stone walls, and that too-tight-wove metal door. A cage. I stood up and walked the length of my cage. Six not-angry steps long and then 'bout four wide.

What if you were ten years old and thrown into prison with hardened criminals? That's just what happens to Jake Oliver Evans. Inspired by a true account of a prisoner in the Idaho Territorial Penitentiary in 1885, Jake's story is as affecting as it is shocking.

Convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years, Jake is taken under the wing of a young guard and the kindly warden, as well as a few fellow prisoners. He is taught to read and given a job tending hogs at a nearby farm. In prison, Jake finds a home he has never had in a place most people are desperate to leave. But when he has to make a choice about right and wrong during an explosive escape attempt, Jake jeopardizes his friendships and his security.

When you Reach Me - Stead, Rebecca - Four mysterious letters change Miranda’s world forever.

By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it’s safe to go, like the local grocery store, and they know whom to avoid, like the crazy guy on the corner.

But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda’s mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then Miranda finds a mysterious note scrawled on a tiny slip of paper: 

I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own.
I must ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter.
The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows all about her, including things that have not even happened yet. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she’s too late
Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer - John Grisham - A perfect murder
A faceless witness
A lone courtroom champion knows the whole truth . . . and he’s only thirteen years old
Meet Theodore Boone
 In the small city of Strattenburg, there are many lawyers, and though he’s only thirteen years old, Theo Boone thinks he’s one of them. Theo knows every judge, policeman, court clerk—and a lot about the law. He dreams of being a great trial lawyer, of a life in the courtroom.

But Theo finds himself in court much sooner than expected. Because he knows so much—maybe too much—he is suddenly dragged into the middle of a sensational murder trial. A cold-blooded killer is about to go free, and only Theo knows the truth.

The stakes are high, but Theo won’t stop until justice is served.

Brimming with the intrigue and suspense that made John Grisham a #1 international bestseller and the undisputed master of the legal thriller,Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer will keep readers guessing and pages turning.

Popular Series in our Library:
Skulduggery Pleasant - Landy, Derek
Fablehaven - Mull, Brandon
The Lightning Thief - Riordan, Rick
The Mysterious Benedict Society - Stewart, Trenton Lee
A Series of Unfortunate Events - Snicket, Lemony
Alex Rider (Stormbreaker) - Horowitz, Anthony - After the death of the uncle who had been his guardian, fourteen year old Alex Rider is forced to continue his uncle's dangerous work for Britain's intelligence agency, M16.
City of Ember  - DuPrau, Jeanne
The Maze Runner - Dashner, James
The Name of this book is Secret - Bosch, Pseudonymous - Cassandra and Max find a missing magician's notebook and start to investigate the fire which burnt down his house and his mysterious symphony of smells. Book six comes out for this series in September so the summer is a great time to catch up!
The Groovy Greeks (Horrible Histories) - Deary, Terry
Alchemyst - Scott, Michael
Silverwing - Oppel, Kenneth
Everest - Korman, Gordon

Graphic Novels
Bone - Smith, Jeff
Tintin - Herge
The Odyssey - Hinds, Gareth
The Arrival - Tan, Shaun
Amulet - Kibuishi, Kazu
Percy Jackson Graphic Novel - Riordan, Rick

Anne of Green Gables - Montgomery, LM
The Secret Garden - Burnett, Frances Hodgson
The Hobbit - Tolkien, JR
Where the Red Fern Grows: The story of two dogs and a boy - Rawls, Wilson
The Phantom Tollbooth - Juster, Norton
Island of the Blue Dolphins - O'Dell, Scott

1 comment:

  1. Book recommendation:
    The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp
    Kathi Appelt
    5 stars
    Kathi Appelt is also the author of The Underneath, which I enjoyed reading for a G4RP project last year. This book is one of my new favourites! If you have read the books Flush or Hoot by Carl Hiassen, this book would be great for you. It is about two racoons, Bingo and J'miah, who have just been recruited to be the new Scouts of the Sugar Man Swamp. They have a huge commitment to make everyday, whether it is gathering food or helping the swamp animals. One day, when the Scouts are relaxing in their home, a 1949 DeSoto, they hear a huge rumble from the distance. Right away they knew what it was: the wild boars. The evil wild boars who loved to destroy and make fun of everything and everything. Worry rushes over the swamp and it's animals.

    Meanwhile, Chap Brayburn's grandfather had just past away, and now it was up to Chap and his mom to keep the family's business running: Paradise Pies Cafe. But since the little cafe was in the middle of the swamp, business was slow. Sonny Boy Beacoup, the owner of the swamp had just recently met a world famous wrestler, Jaegar Stitch, who wants to turn the swamp into a World-Wide-Gator Wrestling-Arena theme park, Chap and his mother must have a boat load of cash by the end of the week, or else their cafe will be underneath the middle of the parking lot for the park.

    It's up to the Scouts to save the animals from the boars, and it's up to Chap to save the Sugar Man Swamp from Jaegar and Sonny Boy. Can they do it in time?

    Keep on reading, everyone,
    see you in the fall
    Kelia S.