Our Favorite 5th Grade Books

Happy Thursday, friends! Today marks the last week of our Reading in the Wild summer book study. If you are just joining us and missed the other chapters, click below to join in!

This week we are zooming-in on Miller's final chapter - Chapter 5: Wild Reader's Show Preference  Our hosts are Sabrina at Burke's Special Kids and Courtney at Ramona Recommends at, so make sure to stop by and say, 'Hi!'
In Chapter 5 Miller talks about the different reading preferences students may have. Today I wanted to share with you the reading preferences of my students last year. If you're looking for place your first Scholastic Order of the year (they open back up tomorrow - wooohoo!), you should definitely consider picking some of these books up. They come highly recommended by 90 Kentucky 5th graders. :)

After reading Wonder as our class read-aloud, we spent a lot of time reading and talking about bullying. Many times we discussed it in reference to our class motto - "Words Have Power". These were some of our favorite books about bullying. The best powerful? Definitely, Wonder. For a graphic novel approach to friendship/bullying, check out Tommysaurus Rex!

Probably our most-read books were war books. 5th graders, boys and girls, love war...absolutely love it. If I place a war book in front of one of my boys, they'll either (1) fight over it (2) read in 2-3 days and ask for another one. Don't believe be? We have three entire book bins about war, and they stay empty most of the time. 

At the beginning of the year, my graphic novel collection was nonexistent, as in I did not own 1 graphic novel. From making inferences, identifying text features, noting the development of characters, and identifying theme within a text - graphic novels are a great way for students to integrate skills that you've previously taught or are currently learning about. Additionally, graphic novels aren't overwhelming for students, especially students who battle with reading. In the words of one of my sweet and lows, "Well, they're the best kind of book, Ms. W. More pictures and fewer words." While I would not choose to read a graphic novel, for many of my students, I could 'hook' them with a particular genre or practice a skill they were struggling with using these visual texts. In the Spring, we had a Donors Choose project funded that added all of these books in our classroom library! My kids were SO excited to be spoiled by so many generous strangers. :)
My lowest 5th grade friends really enjoyed the Sports Illustrated graphic novels I picked up. They were written on a 2nd-3rd grade level, but were action-packed. Plus, the outside covers of the novels looked very cool (i.e. they were okay to carry around), and a student could easily finish them in a day or two. Although my kids did LOVE these, within 2-3 readers, many of the pages fell out. :( So, great books, but poor quality...so purchase at your own risk.
Well, friends, this week is packed with trainings and room prep, so this week's post was short-and-sweet. So, please tell me, what do you students love reading?  I would love to know what books you can never keep on the shelf! If you're a blogger, I'd love for you to link up your posts/ideas. If you're not a blogger, that's great, too! You can read/follow and comment. We want to hear your advice, thoughts, and ideas for the classroom, too. The more teachers we have joining, the more amazing our classrooms will be this fall! Thank y'all for a wonderful six weeks. You rock!


  1. LOVE this post...thank you so much. I am always looking for great books to put on my shelves. I have only read The Book Whisperer and realize that I REALLY need to focus on building my classroom library, so all of these suggestions are so very AWESOME!!! Thanks a million! and good luck getting ready for those little ones...hope you enjoy them as much as you enjoyed your 5th graders : )

  2. Hi Catherine. I just purchased Reading in the Wild at my schools book fair because I remember seeing your online book club this past summer. I'm excited to use the book club as a guide to read the book and collect some great ideas. I can't wait to see what I can do to help improve my fifth graders opinions on reading.


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