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Books categorized as '5th Grade'

The Screaming Staircase

the screaming staircase coverThe Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
Recommended for: Grades 5 – 7

Since the Problem, ghostly hauntings are a nightly phenomenon in and around London. There are nightly curfews, homes are well stocked with well-known ghost deterrents, and psychic detection agencies are hired to deal with the hauntings. Soon after Anthony Lockwood, young owner of Lockwood & Co. hires a new operative to assist him and his partner, George, they have a disastrous setback. In order to avoid ruin and regain their reputation, Lockwood & Co. is forced to take on London’s most well-known haunted house. Other agencies have already tried and failed at this job. Will the psychic talents of the three investigators be enough to keep them alive through the night?
Book 1 of Lockwood & Co. Series

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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Brown Girl Dreaming

brown girl dreaming coverBrown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Recommended for: Grades 4 and up

Brown Girl Dreaming is an autobiography about Woodson’s life growing up and into an award-winning author. The book is comprised of many short poems, each with lots of detail that made me feel like I was with her. Woodson’s mom is constantly searching for a place that feels like “home” and abruptly moves the family from South Carolina to New York City when Woodson is young. Woodson tells us many stories of her friends, family, hair, and food throughout her childhood. And, since she grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, Woodson’s family introduces her to the Civil Rights Movement. The back of the book includes pictures of Woodson’s extended family members, who are key characters in her memories. Through all her stories, Woodson shows us how she learned to read, “listen”, and write. If you love poetry or coming of age stories, this book is for you. The poems flow so well into one another; it was hard for me to put it down.

Reviewed by: Ms. Harwood

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Fish GIrl

fish girl vocerFish Girl by Donna Jo Napoli and David Wiesner
Recommended for: Grades 5 – 7

Fish Girl, a mermaid, is the main attraction in a unique aquarium run by Neptune, God of the seas. Or is something else going on? Neptune requires Fish Girl to give only occasional glimpses of herself to the public, to keep them coming back for more. One day a girl stays behind and sees Fish Girl. They become friends, even though Fish Girl cannot speak. Fish Girl becomes curious about what is really going on around her and then determined to change her life with help from the ocean and her dearest friend, octopus.
Wiesner’s gorgeous artwork will draw you in to Fish Girl’s watery world.

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog

inquisitors tale coverThe Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz
Recommended for: Grades 5 and up

“1242. On a dark night, travelers from across France cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children. Their adventures take them on a chase through France: they are taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon. On the run to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious and holy texts from being burned, their quest drives them forward to a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel, where all will come to question if these children can perform the miracles of saints.” (Amazon.com) This book is so many things: funny, gross, gory, complex, informative, emotional, historical AND relevant to our times. It is truly an epic adventure.
2017 Newbery Honor Book

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Girl Who Drank the Moon

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Recommended for: Grades 4 – 8

The People of the Protectorate live a secure life, but they pay a price. Every year the youngest baby must be left in the woods, where the people believe an evil witch kills the child. In reality Xan, a kind witch, finds and takes the babies to be adopted in another village. One year she takes the child and mistakenly feeds her moonlight instead of starlight.  Xan raises the child, Luna, with no knowledge of the magic she will possess. Barnhill weaves together the lives of many characters including a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, a wise swamp monster, a madwoman, deadly birds, a shy yet brave young man and a woman with a tiger’s heart.  We find out how Xan and Luna, are connected with these others in this magical story of misused power, family and love.
2017 Newbery Award Winner

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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The Bolds

The Bolds The Bolds by Julian Clary
Recommended for: Grades 3-6

An English couple are careless and get eaten by a crocodile while visiting Africa! Two clever hyenas dress in their discarded clothing, take their passports and return to the London suburbs to carry on living as “humans.” A spying, grouchy next door neighbor and an old hyena who needs to be rescued from a safari park lead to hilarious adventures. This book is full of jokes and antics that will leave you belly laughing and completely surprised at the end. A sequel is due out April 1, 2017….April Fools? No really. This is a great book for those who like the highly illustrated format of The Wimpy Kid, Judy Moody, Bad Kitty, Galactic Hot Dogs, and others.

Reviewed by Mrs. Baumgartner

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girls Beats Up the Marvel Universe

squirrel girl coverThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe Written by Ryan North, Drawn by Erica Henderson
Recommended for: Grades 5 and up

I love the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl! I also love comics, but I’m not a huge Marvel fan. You don’t need to know a lot about various Marvel characters to enjoy this graphic novel, although it wouldn’t hurt. Doreen, AKA Squirrel Girl, is a computer science college student who is funny, kind, and generally kick-butt in many ways. When she accidentally gets cloned, and her clone turns evil (surprise!), she will have to use both her super punching abilities and her compassion to save the day. I highly recommend this funny, exciting, and fast-paced graphic novel to all comics fans, ages 10 to 100!

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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The Witch’s Boy

the witch's boy coverThe Witch’s Boy  by Kelly Bramhill
Recommended for: grades 4 – 6

In his village, Ned’s mother is known as Sister Witch. She has been the guardian on an ancient, unruly magic which somehow attaches itself to Ned.
In another kingdom lives Aine, daughter of the Bandit King. Aine loves her father, but he has changed since her mother died. Now he leaves Aine alone while he builds a following of fellow bandits and plans to gain Sister Witch’s powerful magic.
Distrusting each other when they meet, Ned & Aine learn they need each other to survive their quest to cross the enchanted forest between their two kingdoms. They encounter good and evil on their journey and are torn between their budding friendship and loyalty to family. Will their kindness and courage be enough to resolve all the obstacles they face on their quest? Can Ned keep control over the magic he possesses? Can Aine trust Ned’s goodness to overcome the forces against them?
Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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Kinda Like Brothers

kinda like brothers coverKinda Like Brothers by Coe Booth
Recommended for: Grades 4-6

11 year old Jarrett is not having a great summer so far. He has to attend summer school, his best friend is away, and he can’t get the nerve to talk to his crush, Caprice. His mom takes in foster children, and Jarrett always has to struggle to get her full attention. Jarrett’s summer gets even worse when his mom takes in Treasure, a developmentally delayed toddler, and her 12 year old brother Kevon.  Jarrett and Kevon are forced to be together, but neither boy takes the time to really get to know the other.  As the summer continues, and Jarrett’s jealousy and anger grow, both boys make decisions that lead to bad outcomes. I really liked reading about Jarrett’s family and friends, and watching him change and mature over the course of the summer.  He was a realistic character who made mistakes, like all people do, but he learned from them, too.  I recommend this book to anyone who likes stories about family, friendship, and growing up.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Wolf Hollow

wolf hollow coverWolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
Recommended for: Grades 5-8

Annabelle lives a steady and peaceful life in rural Pennsylvania in 1943.  She helps her mother and father on the farm, and attends a one room schoolhouse with her younger brothers.  She and her family offer kindness and understanding to Toby, a quiet WWI veteran who wanders around town.  When mean Betty Glengarry moves to town, Annabelle’s world is turned upside down.  Betty’s nasty pranks cause injury and distress; eventually Betty herself goes missing and Toby is the one who is quickly blamed.  Annabelle is confronted with questions of secrets and trust, and grows up a lot over the course of this honest and sometimes brutal story.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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