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Five Must-Read Page-Turning Novels for Your Fifth Grader

Updated on October 19, 2008

Keeping the list down to five books was very difficult, but here are the five must-reads that I came up with (based on books I loved when I was that age and also from pupils I taught):

  1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory / Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl - Ok, I cheated here and have two books, but they really could be one story as Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator goes on to tell what really happened when Willy Wonka, Charlie Bucket and his family take off in the great glass elevator. Even if you have watched the movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a magical and amusing read for all ages.

  2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) by J.K. Rowling - This is the first in the Harry Potter series and was written for children in the 10 - 11 year age range. This introduction to Harry and his best friends Hermione and Ron in their first year at Hogwarts should hook most children. If you have read this already, the second in the series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, is also written for this age level.

  3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle - Although this book was written in the 60s, it continues to be a favourite. It tells the story of Meg Murry, her younger brother, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O'Keefe as they search for Meg's father who has disappeared while working on secrect government research. The story begins on a dark and stormy night with the arrival of a very unusual stranger ...

  4. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster - This book is hilarious for both children and adults alike. This is a unique tale about Milo, who is always bored, until one day a tollbooth arrives in his bedroom. After Milo drives his toy car through the tollbooth, we are introduced to all kinds of new and interesting characters. Milo's life can be described as anything but dull from this moment forward.

  5. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg - Claudia decides to run away for one day to teach her parents a lesson. She has it all planned out, where she is going to run to, for how long and who she is going to bring along (her younger brother ... for his money). Claudia and James run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and once settle there, their adventures really begin with a mystery that makes headlines.


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    • AEvans profile image


      9 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      I loved Charlie and the Chocolate factory and to this day I still have my book and of course I watch the movie. On occassion I come across the Wonka bar and it is a special treat for the child within me. Thank you for the memories. As for sharing all of my nieces and nephews have grown up with some of these books.:) Love the hub !!

    • Em Writes profile image

      Em Writes 

      10 years ago from Upstate NY

      Fantastic book choices, and great hub!

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 

      10 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      Nice to know "Harriet the Spy" still popular! I loved that book so!

    • wannabwestern profile image

      Carolyn Augustine 

      10 years ago from Iowa

      I love your choices, blackbv! I read The Mixed Up Files... when I was in fifth grade and I remember enjoying it immensely. We have all read the Harry Potter series over and over here. I agree it's also vastly entertaining. I read the Wrinkle in Time series by L'Engle too. My daughter is reading the Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart and illustrated by Chris Riddell. We find the illustrations sometimes keep her up at night, but that may also be a bedtime delay tactic!

    • blackbv profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Canada

      I almost included Harriet the spy!

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 

      10 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      My favorites in fifth grade were "Harriet, the Spy" and "Anne of Green Gables."


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