Best Books for Fifth Graders

By fifth grade, kids are more curious about the world around them and starting to wonder about their place in it. Our list offers captivating, tween-friendly stories from a variety of perspectives. You'll find historical fiction, realistic contemporary stories, exciting fantasies, middle school tales, and memoirs in verse. There is so much to choose from for kids age 10 to 11. Dive into these picks for older elementary school kids, and also explore our Best Book Series for Tweens. And when they're ready, check out the Best Books for Sixth Graders.

Amber & Clay Poster Image
BOOK

Amber & Clay

age 10+

Lyrical, epic tale of ancient Greece is emotionally intense.

By: Laura Amy Schlitz (2021)
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As Brave As You Poster Image
BOOK

As Brave As You

age 10+

Poignant summer adventure brims with family love and hope.

By: Jason Reynolds (2016)
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Best Nerds Forever Poster Image
BOOK

Best Nerds Forever

age 10+

Ghostly mystery has humor, sadness, and surprising depth.

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BOOK

Better Nate Than Ever

age 10+

Terrific tale of misfit taking bold step to remake his life.

By: Tim Federle (2013)
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BOOK

Booked

age 10+

Soccer player faces divorce, bullies in fast-paced novel.

By: Kwame Alexander (2016)
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Brown Girl Dreaming Poster Image
BOOK

Brown Girl Dreaming

age 10+

Captivating poems depict coming-of-age in tumultuous 1960s.

By: Jacqueline Woodson (2014)
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BOOK

The Chance to Fly

age 10+

Uplifting musical theater-themed story has charming lead.

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BOOK

Counting by 7s

age 10+

Striking tale of quirky girl connecting after parental loss.

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BOOK

Echo Mountain

age 10+

Girl finds her strengths in rich, poignant Depression tale.

By: Lauren Wolk (2020)
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Esperanza Rising Poster Image
BOOK

Esperanza Rising

age 10+

Historical fiction at its best in story of '30s farmworkers.

By: Pam Munoz Ryan (2000)
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BOOK

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

age 10+

Newbery Honor book about a smart Southern tomboy in 1899.

By: Jacqueline Kelly (2009)
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The False Prince: The Ascendance Trilogy, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

The False Prince: The Ascendance Trilogy, Book 1

age 10+

Page-turning adventure of false identity and intrigue.

By: Jennifer A. Nielsen (2012)
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BOOK

Fish in a Tree

age 10+

Big-hearted book about overcoming dyslexia inspires.

By: Lynda Mullaly Hunt (2015)
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Ghost: Track, Book 1 Poster Image
BOOK

Ghost: Track, Book 1

age 10+

Poignant, smart look at track star running from his past.

By: Jason Reynolds (2016)
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BOOK

Girl Giant and the Monkey King

age 10+

Middle school girl uses trickster god's help in fun fantasy.

By: Van Hoang (2020)
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BOOK

Gold Rush Girl

age 10+

Great characters, perilous adventures in historical tale.

By: Avi (2020)
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Holes Poster Image
BOOK

Holes

age 10+

Exciting mystery is often intense but occasionally funny.

By: Louis Sachar (2000)
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I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World Poster Image
BOOK

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World

age 10+

Inspiring memoir of teen Nobel laureate shot by Taliban.

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I Funny: A Middle School Story Poster Image
BOOK

I Funny: A Middle School Story

age 10+

Middle school humor mixes with moving disability subplot.

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Inside Out and Back Again Poster Image
BOOK

Inside Out and Back Again

age 10+

Inspiring, educational immigrant story told in free verse.

By: Thanhha Lai (2011)
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