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Best Read Aloud Books for Fifth Graders

Updated on February 27, 2013
Marye Audet profile image

Marye Audet-White is an internationally known food writer, food editor for Texas Living, cookbook author, and food blogger.

The best read aloud books for fifth graders have a lot of action. Children in this age range still love to be read to.

Some adults think that reading aloud to older children can discourage them from reading on their own. This is not true; in fact just the opposite is true. It isn't just younger children that love to be read to!

You can read the first book in a great series like Chronicles of Narnia and it will be difficult for your children not to read the rest of the series to find out what happens. Read a few chapters of a great book like My Side of the Mountain out loud and then leave the book for awhile. It won' take long for most kids to pick it up to find out what happens.

With busy schedules, lessons, practices, and favorite TV shows it can be difficult to find the time to read even a chapter of a book. Choose a time that is easy for everyone; the half hour before bedtime for example. Make it a special family time and don’t be discouraged if you get some sighs, moans, or complaints. If you haven’t been in the habit of reading to your children it can take awhile to establish this habit.


Some of the Best Read Aloud Books for Fifth Graders

Here are some classics that have been favorites for decades. If you are reading to a mixed group of boys and girls try to alternate the types of stories you read. One fifth grade teacher read Anne of Green Gables to her class and followed it with Johnny Tremain. Both books were enjoyed by the whole class.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

This is the first book in the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. It is an incredible fantasy that never fails to hold your attention all the way to the end. Talking animals, children being whisked off to alternate realities, the ongoing battle between good and evil… what’s not to like?

My Side of the Mountain

Sam, a teenager, runs away to the Catskills. His year of survival is documented in a realistic way, which even includes drawings of his inventions. Refreshingly he does not hate his family or his parents, just has a need to get away from the city. Your kids will learn a lot of natural science with this one.

Johnny Tremain

A classic tale of a silversmith’s apprentice in Philadelphia that is set just before the Revolutionary War. There is lots of accurate history and fascinating facts. Not only is this a great story with believable characters but your kids will understand a lot more about American history after this is read. It will become real to them. It is a great way to enrich your history lesson.

A Wrinkle in Time

This is the first book in a fantasy series about a family whose scientist father disappears. It has a complicated plot and numerous characters but is superbly written and will steal the imagination of most children with its strong characters and definite heroes and villains.

Indian in the Cupboard

What would happen if one of your toys suddenly came to life? This is exactly what happens to Omri, a young man living in London. He has some difficult decisions to make. The mistakes he makes and how he resolves each circumstance are a great read.

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles

This book is a fantasy by Julie Edwards, who you may know as Julie Andrews (of Mary Poppins fame). Although it is another book about children being taken to other worlds it is fresh and different in its perspective.

Adam of the Road

This is a tale set in England of the 1200s about a young minstrel. There is lots of historic detail in this book. The characters are likable and believable and the scenes are rich in detail. There is enough action to keep it interesting with enough humor to keep it fun.


This is a classic story of a pet raccoon. Be careful with this one; your children are going to want raccoon kits. There is a lot of great information about raccoons, their habits, and the interaction of humans and nature.

Misty of Chincoteague

Introduce your children to the wild horses off the coast of Virginia with this classic book. Best of all, the book is a fictionalized account of a real horse. Most children this age love horses and this is a good place to start.

The Wheel on the School

Concerned that there are no storks in the village, a class sets out to find out why. When they discover the reason they are determined to create a solution and bring the storks back to their village.

Consider Their Interests

Finding the best read aloud books for fifth graders is not too difficult. Consider what they like, the movies they have enjoyed, and their hobbies. There are thousands of books that will fit any personality.

Reading aloud to children helps develop their reading, thinking, and concentration skills. If you can't afford new or used books you can often find books online for free. Choosing and reading one book a month does not take much time but the rewards will be lasting.


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    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      I used to love reading to our son at night. There is a world of dreams and imagination in books. Thank you for you rgood selection

    • Lynett profile image

      Lynett 7 years ago from USA

      My Side of the Mountain is a favorite at our house:-)