Fifth Grade Read Aloud List

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As my kids move into fifth grade the read alouds, and even their independent reading, becomes deeper. In other words, books begin to deal with the difficult things in life such as death, divorce, injustice, even murder. While these books might seem dark and depressing, they have inspired amazing conversations between all of us about right and wrong, dealing with emotions, and making difficult choices. Of course they are still light-hearted books on this list, as well as classic literature that I feel are must reads. This list of read aloud books was inspired by Jim Trelease’s Read Aloud Handbook and also some personal favorites that I added to it. I have also gone back and updated my other read aloud lists with printables so that you can print out my lists to have handy in your teacher planners or to carry with you to the library. Happy reading!

Goin' Someplace Special by Patricia McKissack (picture book)
More Than Anything Else by Marie Bradby (picture book)
Teammates by Peter Golenbock (picture book)
Run by William Sleator (out of print) 
Stars in My Crown by Joe David Brown (out of print) 
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer 
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine 
Adam Canfield of the Slash by Michael Winerip 
Good Old Boy: A Delta Boyhood by Willie Morris 
My Dog Skip by Willie Morris 
The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald (series)
Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan 
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli 
No Promises in the Wind by Irene Hunt 
My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier 
Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle 
Matilda Bone by Karen Cushman 
The Pinballs by Betsy Byars 
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor (series)
The Gold Cadillac by Mildred Taylor 
Christmas In The Big House, Christmas In The Quarters by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack
Rosa Parks: My Story by Rosa Parks 
The December Rose by Leon Garfield 
Sara Bishop by Scott O’Dell 
Slake's Limbo: 121 Days by Felice Holman 
Stormbreaker (Alex Rider Series) by Anthony Horowitz (series)
Raven's Gate (The Gatekeepers Series) by Anthony Horowitz (series)
Thank You, Jackie Robinson by Barbara Cohen
When the Tripods Came by John Christopher (series)
Woodsong by Gary Paulsen 
Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
Sounder by William H. Armstrong
The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly 
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (This is a gorgeous illustrated version!)
The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge
Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
The Expeditioners and the Treasure of Drowned Man's Canyon by S. S. Taylor (series)
Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo

What books are loved by the fifth graders in your house?


  1. Good list! Are you planning to read all of these books to your 5th grader? Just wondering how that works in your home and any tips you may have. That's a big pile of books. ��

    1. Some of them I assign for her to read. Some listen to in the car. Some I read to her during our Lit for Lunch time. I usually go through the list and choose the books that I know she'd enjoy, and then divide them among the three options. We don't get through all of them, but we get through quite a few doing it this way.

  2. I am curious- do you send out a warning to parents before some of these (like Tom Sawyer for language)?

    1. Not usually. I don't find it part of my job description to parent grown-ups. They are certainly welcome to do an internet search of any book on these lists and research for themselves.

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