5th Grade Reading List

Our Top Ten Choices for Fifth Grade Books

This 5th grade reading list gives you our top ten picks for quality classic literature for fifth grade students.
See the bottom of this page for more book lists.

Lassie Come Home

By Eric Knight

This is the book which created the famous collie who inspired multiple movies, TV shows, and other books. Lassie is taken from his beloved master and is determined to return home. The story takes place in post-WWI; Depression-Era England and reflects those historical events. Beautifully written with several sad parts, the book demonstrates loyalty and love.

The Cabin Faced West

By Jean Fritz

A true story written by the great-great-grand-daughter of the main character, The Cabin Faced West describes pioneer life in the late 1700's. This is 100 years before the Little House books. Ann's family has moved away from town life in the American colonies to the far Western Frontier. At that time, the far West was Western Pennsylvania. Ann is not happy with frontier life, until an unexpected visitor comes for dinner.


By Brian Jacques

Redwall is the first in a series of book by Brian Jacques that have met instant success. They were first published in the mid 1980's so they are relatively new to the classical scene. These books are not easily categorized with any group of literature. While they are fantasy (talking animals) there is no sorcery or magic. And while it is obvious that Redwall Abbey and its monks are patterned after a Roman Catholic monastery, there is no direct mention of God. The peace-loving creatures of Redwall are threatened by a legendary villian. This classic tale of good versus evil will keep adventure-lovers spellbound.

The Black Stallion

By Walter Farley

A boy and a wild stallion survive a ship wreck and are stranded on a desolate island. But this is not the end, but only the beginning of great adventures for both of them. While we have only included the first book in our 5th grade reading list, an entire series of 20 books, three movies, and a TV series are available for the readers who become fans of this magnificient stallion.

Daddy Long Legs

Daddy Long Legs

By Jean Webster

Judy is a fictitious young adult who was raised in an orphange. A wealthy, anonymous patron sponsors her to attend a women's college. The book is a series of serious and amusing letters written to her unknown benefactor. The orphan with no experience or knowledge beyond the institution describes her emergence into society.

Ten Tales By Shakespeare

Ten Tales From Shakespeare

By Charles and Mary Lamb

Two hundred years ago, Charles Lamb and his sister, Mary, rewrote ten of Shakespeare's plays as stories for children to read. This book has now become a classic of itself. Young readers can discover Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and seven other tales.

The Secret Garden

By Frances Burnett

The Secret Garden is a fictional account of a mean-spirited, wealthy child who becomes an orphan and is sent to live with an uncle who doesn't pay attention to her. She discovers a secret garden outside and another secret inside that change her life. The setting is 19th century England. Themes include life and healing.

Bambi: A Life in the Woods

By Felix Salten

Forget the Disney movie with Thumper. This book bears no resemblance to that film. Instead, Bambi is a thoughful book about nature and the cycle of life. The growing fawn must conquer his fear of Man. He learns that even the dreaded Man is not all powerful. Because of its serious tone, it is included in the fifth grade reading list rather than the younger grades which may be more attracted to the movie. This book holds the students attention and deepens their respect for nature.

The Trumpeter of Krakow

By Eric Kelly

Historical fiction filled with mystery and intrigue, The Trumpeter of Krakow is set in Krakow, Poland in 1462. Joseph is a fictitious fifteen year old who learns the true story of the trumpeter of Krakow who died two hundred years earlier. He also discovers his ancestors have been the caretakers of the legendary Tarnov Crystal (philospher's stone.) Now his family is in great danger from the Russian czar. This book gives students the opportunity to explore how authors may incorporate fiction, history, and legends in a single story.

Caddie Woodlawn

By Carol Ryrie Brink

The author chronicles her grandmother's childhood as a pioneer in Wisconsin. Caddie is a high-spirited tom-boy who tackles one adventure after the next. This popular book is included in the 5th grade reading list because it entertains and educates about life in an earlier time.

5th Grade Reading List Book Club

We will have a book club certificate for fifth graders who read seven or more books from this 5th Grade Reading List.

Return from 5th Grade Reading List to the Home Page.

More Fifth Grade Books

So many, many books to choose from. In addition to those listed above, here are a few other sources for finding great books for your fifth grader:

For great paperback books check out our discount classics for 4th to 8th grade.

Advanced readers might also want to check the classic list for middle school.

If your student enjoys certain themes, check out the book themes on the left navigation bar.

Sign up for the Classic Lit Report in the upper right hand of the screen. We will let you know when new pages are added.

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