Grade 5 Reading List

Recommended by educators at top U.S. gifted and talented school

An excellent reading list for 5th graders, starting with classic fiction books, followed by fantasy and science fictions, historical fictions and biography/memoir titles, and ending with non-fiction titles. 


  • Freak the Mighty
  • The Schwa was Here
  • Homecoming (The Tillerman Cycle)
  • Dicey's Song (1983 Newbery)
  • A Solitary Blue (1984 Newbery Honor)
  • My Side of the Mountain
  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon (2017 Newbery)
  • Nothing But The Truth (1992 Newbery Honor)
  • Counting by 7s
  • The Secret Garden
  • Skulduggery Pleasant (Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 1)
  • Playing With Fire (Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 2) (Skulduggery Pleasant (Paperback))
  • The Faceless Ones (Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 3) (Skulduggery Pleasant (Paperback))
  • Dark Days (Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 4)
  • Mortal Coil (Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 5)
  • Death Bringer (Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 6)
  • Kingdom of the Wicked (Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 7)
  • Last Stand of Dead Men (Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 8)
  • The Dying of the Light (Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 9)

Fantasy and Science Fiction

  • The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm (1995 Newbery Honor)
  • Half Magic (Tales of Magic)
  • The Name of this Book Is Secret (The Secret Series, Book 1)

Historical Fiction

  • The Good Earth
  • Johnny Tremain (1944 Newbery)
  • Bull Run
  • The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (1991 Newbery Honor)
  • Out Of The Dust (1998 Newbery)


  • Gorilla Mountain: The Story of Wildlife Biologist Amy Vedder
  • Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice (2010 Newbery Honor)
  • The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain
  • Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery (1994 Newbery Honor)
  • Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement


  • The Dark Game: True Spy Stories from Invisible Ink to CIA Moles
  • Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science
  • The Tarantula in My Purse: And 172 Other Wild Pets
  • Arab Science and Invention in the Golden Age
  • Can I See Your I.D.?: True Stories of False Identities
  • The Word Snoop: A Wild and Witty Tour of the English Language!