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​Graded Lists: 5th Grade

Reading levels, whether measured by Lexile Level, Accelerated Reading, or another measure, will vary widely. In general, children this age are reading complex books over 100 pages. At this age, kids have many other activities that distract from reading, so it's very important for families to set aside time for independent reading every day.

Jim Thorpe : original All-American          
He has been called the world's greatest athlete. Before his professional careers in both baseball and football, he was a college sports star and dominated the track and field events at the 1912 Olympics, winning gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.  The author tells the story for Thorpe's own perspective, including the terrible racism he experienced as a Sac & Fox Indian in the early 1900s.
Extra credit          
Abby agrees to write the letters only because the extra credit assignment might prevent her from failing sixth grade.  Sadeed is eager to write the letters but, to avoid getting in trouble with the village elders, he has to pretend he is just helping his sister Amira.  As the two write back and forth they learn how different, and how similar, life can be between the United States and Afghanistan.
The Watsons go to Birmingham--1963          
Kenny and his family of Weird Watsons, including his juvenile delinquent brother, pile into the Brown Bomber to drive from Flint, Michigan to Birmingham, Alabama for a family visit in 1963. Even though it is less than 800 miles away, it seems like another world with the racial discrimination that was common in that place and time, and nobody is prepared for what happens one Sunday morning.
We all know that reading a good book can draw you into the story but, when Meggie was three, her father Mo read aloud so well that villains from the book actually appeared in their house, and Meggie's mother disappeared into the book.  Nine years later Meggie and Mo come face-to-face with the villains again, and have an opportunity to rejoin Meggie's mom.
The graveyard book          
Bod Owens is an orphan being raised by Mr. and Mrs. Owens, and his guardian Silas, but not in a group home.  They are just a few of the supernatural creatures in the graveyard where Bod went to live when he was a toddler, after his family was murdered.  In the graveyard, Bod can "slip" and "fade" and "dreamwalk," but outside the gates he is being hunted by the Jack who killed his family.
Where the mountain meets the moon          
Minli and her parents live a hard life, barely able to grow enough rice to survive, but she loves the stories her father tells her every night.  Although her mother always complains that the stories are nonsense, Minli believes them and sets out on a journey to find the Old Man of the Moon, hoping to change her family's fortune.  When she runs into the dragon, Minli knows she is on the right track.
Mrs. Frisby, a mother field mouse with a sick child, needs help moving her home out of the path of destruction before farmer Fitzgibbon begins plowing.  So she seeks out the friends of her deceased husband, escaped lab rats from the National Institute of Mental Health, who learned so much from the experiments performed on them that they have developed an independent farming colony.
How to steal a dog : a novel          
Georgina was really just "borrowing" the dog, hoping to get a reward for eventually returning it to the owner.  She knew it was wrong but, with her dad gone, her mom working two jobs, and the family having to live in their car, she was trying to something to get her family out of the bad fix they were in.  When her plan goes astray, Georgina has to figure out the right thing to do.
A long walk to water          
Nya has to walk for hours back and forth to a pond every day in order to bring water to her family.  More than 20 years before that, Salva had to walk for days, weeks, and months in order to avoid being attacked or forced to fight in the Sudanese Civil War.  How Salva survived his own ordeal and eventually got involved in Nya's village is almost unbelievable, but Salva is real and his story is true.
A long way from Chicago : a novel in stories          
Joey and his sister, Mary Alice, leave their home in the big city of Chicago every year from 1929 to 1935 to spend summers with their Grandma Dowdel in her small country town.  Each chapter focuses on a different hilarious episode, including catching local thieves, an airplane ride, some ghostly theatrics, and a dead body that moves too much.  City life seems boring in comparison.
Where the red fern grows : the story of two dogs and a boy          
If you love dogs, you have something in common with Billy Colman, but Billy is completely dedicated to his two Redbone Coonhounds, Dan and Ann.  Over the two years working to earn enough money to buy them, months of training, and countless adventures hunting raccoons together, their loyalty to each other becomes legend.  Unfortunately, such loyalty also involves tragedy.
Becoming Naomi León          
Naomi and her brother Owen love living with Gram, their great grandmother, in her southern California trailer park.  So when their mom shows up after seven years, with a new name, a new boyfriend, and plans to take Naomi and Owen with them to Las Vegas, Gram goes into action.  Driving to Oaxaca, Mexico, to meet her father for the first time is a whole new beginning for Naomi.
Wonderstruck : a novel in words and pictures          
Ben and Rose are both deaf but for different reasons, one in Michigan and the other in New Jersey, and 50 years apart in age.  Both of them end up in New York City, at the American Museum of Natural History, and their separate lives connect in an unexpected way.  Perhaps more amazing is the way the author/illustrator combines his writing with mesmerizing drawings to tell the story.
Bomb : the race to build and steal the world's most dangerous weapon          
This fascinating and factual story is as entertaining as any novel, full of impossible missions, ground-breaking science, and intricate spycraft, but the outcome offers no easy solution.  Bomb describes the beginning of what may be the biggest fear of people all over the world—the possibility of nuclear war.
Brown girl dreaming       
After writing 30 books for young people over the course of 25 years, Jacqueline Woodson writes about her own life in a series of poems.  She writes about her early childhood in Ohio until her parents separated, about living with her mom and grandparents in South Carolina, and about moving to New York City.  All of the love and all of the pain fueled her dream of becoming a writer.