Books Too Good to Miss

Fifth - Sixth Grade

Avi. Crispin: The Cross of Lead (F Avi)

Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in fourteeth-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret.

Avi. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (F Avi)

As the lone "young lady" on a transatlantic voyage in 1832, Charlotte learns that the captain is murderous and the crew rebellious.

Babbitt, Natalie. Tuck Everlasting (F Bab)

The Tuck family is confronted with an agonizing situation when they find that a young girl and a malicious stranger now share their secret about a spring whose water prevents one from growing any older.

Byars, Betsy.Midnight Fox (F Bya)

A young boy saves the life of a fox that has been raiding his uncle’s farm.

Byars, Betsy. The Pinballs (F Bya)

Three lonely foster children learn to care about themselves and each other.

Caseley, Judith.  The Kissing Diary (F Cas)

As thirteen-year-old Rosie Goldglitt contemplates kissing the boy she has a crush on, she tries to navigate the many complications in her life, including her horrible name, her nemesis Mary Katz, her parents' divorce, and her mother's new boyfriend.

Creech, Sharon. Ruby Holler (F Cre)

Thirteen year old fraternal twins, Dallas and Florida, have grown up in a terrible orphanage, but their lives change forever when an eccentric older couple invite them on an adventure.

Curtis, Christopher Paul. The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 (F Cur)

Byron’s family leaves Flint, Michigan, to live with Grandma Sands in Birmingham where they experience the realities of race relations in the South.

Curtis, Christopher Paul. Bud Not Buddy (F Cur)

Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, excapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father – the renowned bandleader, H. E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.

 

Cushman, Karen. Rodzina (F Cus)

A 12-year old Polish-American girl is boarded onto an orphan train in Chicago with fears about traveling to the West and a life of unpaid slavery.

Danziger, Paula. P.S. Longer Letter Later (F Dan)

When flamboyant Tara moves away from her quiet friend Elizabeth, their close relationship is continued through lively letters, which highlight their differences and evolving families and situations.

Enright, Elizabeth.Gone-Away Lake (F Enr)

It’s a summer of adventure when two cousins discover an all-but-forgotten resort, now in ruins.

 

Frazier, Sundee.  Brendan Buckley’s Universe and Everything in It  (F Fra)
 
Brendan Buckley, a biracial ten-year-old, applies his scientific problem-solving ability and newfound interest in rocks and minerals to connect with his white grandfather, the president of Puyallup Rock Club, and to learn why he and Brendan's mother are estranged.
 
Frederick, Heather Vogel.  The Mother-Daughter Book Club (F Fre)
 

The mothers of four very different sixth-grade girls pressure them into forming a book club, and find, as they read the classic novel "Little Women," that they have more in common than they thought.

 

Gantos, Jack. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (F Gan)

Joey has trouble paying attention or controlling his mood swings when his prescription "meds" wear off, and he behaves in an erratic way due to his Attention Deficit Disorder. Also Joey Pigza Loses Control.

George, Jean Craighead. My Side of the Mountain (F Geo)

Sam Gribley learns to survive and depend on nature when he leaves home for the challenge of wilderness living.

Giff, Patricia Reilly.  Water Street (F Gif)

In the shadow of the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, eighth-graders and new neighbors Bird Mallon and Thomas Neary make some decisions about what they want to do with their lives.

Haddix, Margaret Peterson.  Dexter the Tough (F Had)

A sympathetic teacher and her writing assignment help fourth-grader Dexter deal with being the new kid in school after he punches a kid on the first day.

Hobbs, Valerie.  Defiance  (F Hob)

While vacationing in the country, eleven-year-old Toby, a cancer patient, learns some important lessons about living and dying from an elderly poet and her cow.

Hobbs, Will. Jason’s Gold (F Hob)

When news of the discovery of gold in Canada’s Yukon in 1897 reaches fifteen-year-old Jason, he embarks on a 5,000-mile journey to strike it rich. Also good: Downriver, Ghost Canoe, Far North.

 

Holt, Kimberly Willis. My Louisiana Sky (F Hol)

Growing up in Louisiana in the 1950s, twelve-year-old Tiger Ann struggles with her feelings about her stern but loving grandmother, her mentally slow parents, and her good friend and neighbor, Jesse.

Hunt, Irene. The Lottery Rose (F Hun)

A young victim of child abuse gradually overcomes his fears and suspicions when placed in a home with other boys.

Jones, Kimberly K., Sand Dollar Summer (F Jon)

When twelve-year-old Lise spends the summer on an island in Maine with her self-reliant mother and bright--but oddly mute--younger brother, her formerly safe world is complicated by an aged Indian neighbor, her mother's childhood friend, and a hurricane.

Konigsburg, E. L., The View from Saturday (F Kon)

Four students, with their own individual stories, develop a special bond and attract the attention of their teacher, a paraplegic, who chooses them to represent their sixth grade class in the Academic Bowl competition.

Lombard, Jenny, Drita, My Homegirl (F Kon)

When ten-year-old Drita and her family, refugees from Kosovo, move to New York, Drita is teased about not speaking English well, but after a popular student named Maxine is forced to learn about Kosovo as a punishment for teasing Drita, the two girls soon bond.

Lord, Cynthia.  Rules (F Lor)

            Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence, but her world is further complicated by a friendship with a young paraplegic.

Lupica, Mike.  Miracle on 49th Street (F Lup)

After her mother's death, twelve-year-old Molly learns that her father is a basketball star for the Boston Celtics.

Murphey, Pat.  The Wild Girls (F Mur)

Twelve-year-old Joan, worried that she will not have any friends when her family moves from Connecticut to California, bonds right away with Sarah, a girl who prefers to be called Fox; and the two spend a joyous summer playing outside, making up stories, and attending a writing class.

Napoli, Donna Jo.  King of Mulberry Street (F Nap)

Dom, a nine-year old stowaway from Naples, Italy, arrives in New York and must learn to survive the perils of street life in the big city.

 

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. The Fear Place (F Nay)

When two brothers are left camping alone in the Rocky Mountains, twelve-year-old Doug faces his fear of heights and his feelings about Gordon – with the help of a cougar.

O’Connor, Barbara.  How to Steal a Dog  (F O’Co)

Living in the family car in their small North Carolina town after their father leaves them virtually penniless, Georgina, desperate to improve their situation and unwilling to accept her overworked mother's calls for patience, persuades her younger brother to help her in an elaborate scheme to get money by stealing a dog and then claiming the reward that the owners are bound to offer.

Park, Barbara. Mick Harte Was Here (F Par)

Thirteen-year-old Phoebe recalls the death of her younger brother Mick in a bicycle accident, which might not have been fatal had he been wearing his helmet, and how she and her family reacted to the tragedy.

Paterson, Katherine. Bridge to Terabithia (F Pat)

The life of a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia expands when he becomes friends with a newcomer who subsequently meets an untimely death while trying to reach their hideaway during a storm.

Paterson, Katherine.  Bread and Roses, Too. (F Pat

Twelve-year-old Rosa and thirteen-year-old Jake form an unlikely friendship as they try to survive and understand the 1912 Bread and Roses strike of mill workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Paulsen, Gary. Hatchet (F Pau)

After his plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness, thirteen-year-old Brian must survive with only the aid of a hatchet. Companion books are The River, Brian’s Winter and Brian’s Return.

Peck, Richard. A Year Down Yonder (F Pec)

During the recession of 1937, fifteen-year-old Mary Alice is sent to live with her feisty larger-than-life grandmother in rural Illinois and comes to a better understanding of this fearsome woman.

Peck, Richard. A Long Way from Chicago (F Pec)

A boy recounts his annual summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister during the Great Depression to visit their larger-than-life grandmother.

Rawls, Wilson. Where the Red Fern Grows (F)

The adventures of a ten year old boy and the two dogs he bought with money he had earned.

Rockwell, Thomas. How to Eat Fried Worms (F Roc)

Because of a bet, Billy has to eat fifteen worms in fifteen days.

Sachar, Louis. Holes (F Sac)

As further evidence of his family’s bad fortune, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.

Schmidt, Gary.  The Wednesday Wars (F Sch)

During the 1967 school year, on Wednesday afternoons when all his classmates go to either Catechism or Hebrew school, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood stays in Mrs. Baker's classroom where they read the plays of William Shakespeare and Holling learns much of value about the world he lives in.

Spinelli, Jerry.  Star Girl (F Spi)

Stargirl, a teen who animates quiet Mica High with her colorful personality, suddenly finds herself shunned for her refusal to conform.  Also Love, Stargirl.

Tarshis, Lauren.  Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree (F Tar)

A quirky and utterly logical seventh-grade girl named Emma-Jean Lazarus discovers some interesting results when she gets involved in the messy everyday problems of her peers.

Van Draanen, Wendelin. Flipped (F Van)

In alternating chapters, two teenagers describe how their feelings about themselves, each other, and their families have changed over the years.

Voigt, Cynthia. Homecoming (F Voi)

Abandoned by their father and then their mother, four children begin a search for home and an identity.

Voigt, Cynthia. Dicey’s Song(F Voi)

Now that the four abandoned Tillerman children are settled in with their grandmother, Dicey must decide what she wants for her siblings and herself.

Wait, Lea.  The Finest Kind  (F Wai)
 

When his father's Boston bank fails in 1838, causing his family to relocate to a small Maine town, twelve-year-old Jake Webber works to prepare the family for the harsh winter while also keeping the existence of his disabled younger brother a secret.