Because reading is a life long skill, children are constantly growing in their reading development. Typically, a student will fluctuate a grade level below and a grade level above his current grade when choosing a book to read for pleasure. For this reason, I have included both 4th and 6th grade reading books as well.
4th grade level appropriate level books
REALISTIC Blume, Judy. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing - Peter finds his demanding two-year-old brother an ever-increasing problem.
Clements, Andrew. Lunch Money – Greg wants to sell his self-written comic books at school.
Creech, Sharon. Granny Torrelli Makes Soup - With the help of her wise old grandmother, Rosie works out some problems in her relationship with her best friend.
Davies, Jacqueline. The Lemonade War - Evan and his younger sister Jesse battle it out through lemonade stands, each trying to be the first to earn 100 dollars. One of a series.
Paulsen, Gary. Lawn Boy – Things get out of hand when a boy expands his lawn mowing business.
Weeks, Sarah. Oggie Cooder - Oggie, a 4th grade "cheese sculptor," is shunned by all the other kids because he's different, that is until he comes to the attention of a popular T.V. talent show that spotlights the weird.
Gantos, Jack. Jack Adrift: Fourth Grade Without a Clue - Ten-year-old Jack becomes confused by a crush on his teacher, contradictory advice from his parents, and a very strange neighbor. One of a series.
Look, Lenore. Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking, and Other Natural Disasters - Alvin Ho, an Asian-American, must face his biggest fear: The Great Outdoors. One of a series.
Lowry, Lois. The Willoughbys – The four Willoughby children try to become “deserving orphans” after their neglectful parents embark on an adventure.
Rockwell, Thomas. How To Eat Fried Worms - A boy sets out to eat fifteen worms in fifteen days in order to win a bet.
Sachar, Louis. Wayside School - Unusual things happen in Wayside School, which was built sideways with one classroom on each story. One of a series.
Smith, Robert K. Chocolate Fever - Henry breaks out in brown bumps from eating too much chocolate.
Trine, Greg. Melvin Beederman, Superhero – After graduating from the superhero academy, Melvin heads to Los Angeles and teams up with a school play actress. One of a series.
ANIMAL STORIES Avi. Poppy - Poppy the deer mouse urges her family to move next to a big field of corn, but Mr. Ocax, a terrifying owl, has other ideas. One of a series.
Beck, W.H. Malcolm at Midnight – A smaller than average rat at McKenna School must prove himself to join a secret society of classroom pets.
Cleary, Beverly. The Mouse and the Motorcycle - Ralph, an adventure-loving mouse, and his adventures on a toy motorcycle. One of a series.
Dahl, Roald. Fantastic Mr. Fox - Mr. Fox is surrounded--and he's going to have to come up with a truly fantastic plan to dig himself out of trouble this time!
Ibbotson, Eva. One Dog and His Boy –Hal, his dog Fleck, and friend Pippa journey with four rescued dogs to Scotland.
MYSTERY & ADVENTURE Gutman, Dan. Baseball Card Adventures (series) – When they touch a baseball card, boys are transported back in time to meet famous players.
Hale, Bruce. Chet Gecko (series) – Wise-cracking detective Chet Gecko and his partner Natalie Attired try to solve mysteries at their school.
Howe, James and Deborah. Bunnicula (series) - The madcap tales of the beloved vampire bunny, Bunnicula, and his animal pals.
LeFevers, R.L. Flight of the Phoenix - In 1928, orphan Nate joins a flight to Arabia to oversee the death and rebirth of the phoenix. One of a series.
NONFICTION & POETRY Claybourne, Anna. The Science of a Glass of Water (X530.4 Claybourne) – Learn what water is, how we use it, and why our world may be running dry.
Cusick, Dawn. Get the Scoop on Animal Poop: from Lions to Tapeworms, 251 Cool Facts about Scat, Frass, Dung & More! (X591.5 Cusick) – Discusses animal droppings and their uses, importance and meaning.
Peterson, Judy Monroe. Fossil Finders: Paleontologists (X567.9 Peterson) – Describes what a paleontologist does, and how to become one.
Sidman, Joyce. Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night. (X811 Sidman) – Poems celebrating the wonder and mystery of animals and plants at night.
Silverstein, Shel. Where the Sidewalk Ends (X811 Silverstein) - A boy who turns into a TV set is one of the characters in a collection of humorous poetry.
Singer, Marilyn. Mirror Mirror: a book of reversible verse (X811 Singer) – Poems which, when reversed, offer new perspectives on fairy tale characters.
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY Amato, Mary. The Word Eater - Lerner Chanse, a new student at Cleveland Park
Middle School, finds a worm that magically makes things disappear.
Asch,Frank. Star Jumper: Journal of a Cardboard Genius – To get far away from his evil little brother, Alex designs a spaceship.
Dahl, Roald. The BFG - Kidsnatched from her orphanage by a BFG (Big Friendly Giant), Sophie concocts a plan with him to save the world. Also Matilda and others by Dahl.
Eager, Edward. Half Magic (series) - Four good friends find a magic coin. Juster, Norton. The Phantom Tollbooth – Through the Phantom Tollbooth lies a
strange land and adventures for Milo in his quest for Rhyme and Reason.
Lubar, David. Punished! – Logan’s punishment for playing tag in the library is a spell that makes him speak in puns.
Ryan, Pam Munoz. Riding Freedom - Charlotte Parkhurst knows the world of the 1860s holds more opportunities for boys than girls, so she cuts off her hair, dons boys' clothing, and begins a new life as a boy.
Taylor, Mildred. The Friendship - Four children witness a confrontation between an elderly black man and a white storekeeper in rural Mississippi in the 1930s.
Wilder, Laura Ingalls. Little House on the Prairie (series) Join Laura and her family on their adventures on America’s frontier.
Yep, Laurence. When the Circus Came to Town - An Asian cook and a Chinese New Year celebration help a girl at a stage coach station to regain her confidence after smallpox scars her face.
5th grade level appropriate books
Science Fiction & Fantasy
Babbitt, Natalie. The Search for Delicious - The Prime Minister is compiling a dictionary and when no one can agree on the meaning of delicious, the King sends his messenger to poll the country.
Byng, Georgia. Molly Moon (series)- Molly Moon discovers a hidden talent for hypnotism and hypnotizes her way out of her dreary orphanage from one adventure to another.
Dyer, Heather. Ibby's Magic Weekend - While visiting her cousins, Ibby learns about the disappearance of her magician uncle and, with the help of an old box of magic tricks, tries to make him reappear.
Funke, Cornelia. Inkheart - One night, Meggie's father reads aloud from a book called "Inkheart," and an evil ruler escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room.
Hulme, John. The Glitch in Sleep – When Becker Drane is recruited by the Seems, a parallel universe that runs everything in the World, he must fix a glitch in the Department of Sleep that threatens everyone’s ability to ever sleep again.
Jacques, Brian. Redwall (series)- When the evil rat Cluny shatters the peaceful life of ancient Redwall Abbey, Matthias, a young mouse, sets out to find a legendary sword.
Williams, Maya. The Golden Hour - Rowan and sister Nina experience an unusual adventure through time when they come to stay with their two eccentric great-aunts in a small town on the Maine coast.
Mystery & Adventure
Abbott, Tony. The Postcard -Thirteen-year-old Jason finds an old postcard at his recently-deceased grandmother's house that leads him on an adventure from an old, unfinished detective story with his family's past.
Avi. The End of the Beginning - Avon the snail and Edward, a take-charge ant, set off together on a journey to an undetermined destination in search of unspecified adventures.
DiCamillo, Kate. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane - Edward Tulane, a cold-hearted proud toy rabbit, loves only himself until he is separated from the little girl who adores him.
Hunter, Erin. Into the Wild (Warriors Original Series) - Rusty, a house kitten, is apprenticed by the ThunderClan and must struggle to fit in when the group of feral cats is threatened by ShadowClan, the enemy.
Korman, Gordon. Swindle - After unscrupulous collector S. Wendell Palamino cons him out of a valuable baseball card, sixth-grader Griffin Bing puts together a band of misfits to steal the card back.
Birdsall, Jeanne. The Penderwicks - While vacationing with their father in the mountains, four sisters share adventures with a local boy.
Birney, Betty G. The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs - Eben McAllister searches his small town to see if he can find anything comparable to the real Seven Wonders of the World.
Clements, Andrew. A Week in the Woods - The fifth grade's annual camping trip in the woods tests Mark's survival skills and his ability to relate to a teacher who seems out to get him. Lin, Grace The Year of the Dog - Frustrated at her seeming lack of talent for anything, a young TaiwaneseAmerican girl sets out to apply the lessons of the Chinese Year of the Dog.
Lowry, Lois. Anastasia Krupnik (series) - Anastasia Krupnik is a young person on the brink of adolescence trying to make sense of her world and having fun doing so. See also, See You Around, Sam!
King-Smith, Dick. Lady Lollipop - A quick-witted swineherd and a pig named Lollipop are royally rewarded after they reform a spoiled princess.
Van Draanen, Wendelin. Secret Identity - Fifth-grader Nolan Byrd, tired of being called names by the class bully, has a secret identity—Shredderman!
Elliot, David. Evangeline Mudd (series) - Evangeline and Dr. Aphrodite Pikkaflee are called upon to rescue her scientist parents and save the jungle.
Gliori, Debi.Pure Dead… (series)– The Strega-Borgia family lives in a Scottish castle with unusual pets and visits from the Mafia and witches.
Gutman, Dan. My Weird School (series) - Really wacky school stories about reluctant learner A. J. and his friends!
Creech, Sharon. Love that Dog - A young student, who comes to love poetry through a personal understanding of what different famous poems mean to him, surprises himself by writing his own inspired poem.
Birney, Betty G. Humphrey (series) - When summer arrives, Humphrey, the pet hamster of Longfellow School's Room twenty-six, is surprised and pleased to learn that he will be going to Camp Happy
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Shiloh (series) - Marty finds a lost beagle and tries to hide it from the dog's real owner, a mean-spirited man.
Fleischman, Sid. Bandit’s Moon - Annyrose, left behind when her brother joins the Gold Rush, escapes and sets out on a grand adventure with a band of outlaws.
Naidoo, Beverley. Journey to Jo'burg: A South African Story - Separated from their mother by the difficult conditions for blacks in South Africa, Naledi and her younger brother travel over 300 kilometers to find her in Johannesburg.
Yep, Laurence. The Earth Dragon Awakes: The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 - Henry and Chin love to read about heroes in popular "penny dreadful" novels, until they both witness real courage in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
Christopher, Matt. Catch that Pass! - Everyone knows Jim will be the star linebacker on the team if he can only conquer his fear of being tackled, but it takes a boy in a wheelchair to teach him that kind of courage.
Lupica, Mike. Safe at Home – Nick’s foster parents know nothing about sports, and his new teammates feel he is too young to play varsity baseball; but Nick is out to prove that he belongs to this team.
Myers, Walter Dean. Me, Mop, and the Moondance Kid - T.J. and his younger brother Moondance help their friend Mop to become adopted while trying to wreak revenge on their baseball rivals.
Nonfiction & Biography
Prelutsky, Jack. Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem - Explains to kids about how to write poems about everyday subjects, such as experiences with family, friends, and pets.
Sierra, Judy. The Gruesome Guide to World Monsters - Provides illustrations and brief descriptions of monsters found in different parts of the world.
Rompella, Natalie. Famous Firsts: The Trendsetters, Groundbreakers & Risk-Takers Who Got America Moving - Profiles sport innovators who imagined such activities as snowboarding, BMX, water skiing, and cheerleading.
6th Grade level appropriate books
REALISTIC FICTION Alvarez, Julia How Tia Lola Came to Stay Ten-year-old Miguel is embarrassed by his colorful aunt, Tia Lola, from the Dominican Republic. After his parents’ divorce, he learns to love her.
Draper, Sharon Out of My Mind Eleven-year-old Melody has cerebral palsy and cannot speak. When she gets a talking device, students and teachers learn of her smarts and inner strength. Coretta Scott King award winning author
Gantos, Jack Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key To the constant disappointment of his mother and teachers, Joey has trouble paying attention and controlling his mood swings.
Hiaasen, Carl Hoot Roy, who is new to Florida, becomes involved in another boy’s attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site. Newbery Medal Honor Book.
Spinelli, Jerry Crash Seventh-grader John “Crash” Coogan has always been comfortable with his tough behavior, until a new friend and his grandfather’s stroke make him reconsider.
Telgemeier, Raina Smile As if sixth grade isn’t hard enough, Raina has to overcome braces, retainers, headgear, earthquakes, boy troubles and frenemies.
FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION Carman, Patrick The Dark Hills Divide When she finds the key to a secret passage leading out of the walled city of Bridewell, twelve-year-old Alexa explores the mysterious forests and mountains that lie beyond the wall.
Haddix, Margaret Peterson Running Out of Time When a diphtheria epidemic hits her 1840 village, thirteen-year-old Jessie discovers it is actually a 1996 tourist site under heartless scientists.
Ibbotson, Eva Which Witch? Deciding that he must sire a child to carry on his tradition, the Great Wizard Arriman announces a competition among the witches of Todcaster, one of whom will marry him.
Law, Ingrid Savvy Mississippi’s thirteenth birthday means she is about to receive her special powers, her “savvy,” which can be anything from creating electricity to making hurricanes. Will her savvy be able to save her dad’s life? Newbery Honor Book.
Oppel, Kenneth Airborn Matt, a young cabin boy aboard an airship, and Kate, a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone, team up to search for the existence of mysterious winged creatures.
Stead, Rebecca When You Reach Me Sixth-grader Miranda receives mysterious notes that predict future tragic events in her New York neighborhood.
Tolkien, J.R.R. The Hobbit Hobbit Bilbo Baggins faces adventures in a land inhabited by dwarves, elves, goblins, dragons, and humans.
Walden, Mark H.I.V.E.: The Higher Institute of Villainous Education Thirteen-year-old Otto is kidnapped and taken to a secret academy where all of the top young minds are being trained as the next generation of super-villains.
MYSTERY & ADVENTURE Dowd, Siobhan The London Eye Mystery After Ted and Kat’s cousin Salim vanishes from the London Eye Ferris wheel, the siblings investigate and solve the mystery of his disappearance.
Horowitz, Anthony Stormbreaker After the death of his uncle, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider continues his uncle’s dangerous work for Britain’s intelligence agency, MI-6.
Nelson, O.T. The Girl Who Owned a City When a plague sweeps over the Earth killing everyone except children under 12, ten-year-old Lisa organizes a group to build a new way of life.
Smith, Roland Peak Fourteen-year-old “Peak” Marcello is arrested for climbing a skyscraper. The judge orders Peak to live with his father, who wants him to be the youngest person to scale Mount Everest.
Van Draanen, Wendelin Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief Thirteen-year-old Sammy gets in trouble when she involves herself in the investigation of a robbery.
NONFICTION Fleischman, Sid Escape!: the Story of the Great Houdini An entertaining account of the magician and king of escape artists, Harry Houdini.
Scieszka, Jon Knucklehead In this comic-scrapbook biography, Jon recounts being one of six brothers, the class clown, and his childhood in the turbulent sixties.
Solo, Hope Hope Solo: Young Reader’s Edition Olympic gold medalist and women’s World Cup Soccer legendary goalkeeper Hope Solo describes her family challenges and her victories on and off the field.
HISTORICAL FICTION Choldenko, Gennifer Al Capone Does My Shirts A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935, dealing with life and his autistic sister. Newbery Honor and ALA Best Book.
Lai, Thanhha Inside Out and Back Again Ha’s beloved Vietnam is being attacked, forcing her to move to Alabama. Can Ha adjust to her new American life? National Book Award Winner.
Salisbury, Graham Under the Blood-Red Sun Nakaji’s life with his Japanese family in Hawaii changes drastically after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.