My Daughter’s Summer Reading Picks–the Best Books for Fourth and Fifth Grade Girls

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Summer reading list for 4th and 5th grade girls
Here in Tennessee, the kids have been done with school for over a month.  I know some of y’all are just finishing up for the year, but don’t be a hater–remember, we’ll be back to school in early to mid-August, and you won’t have to worry about it until after Labor Day!

Annabelle's summer reading list

In the interest of preserving everyone’s sanity this summer, I asked my daughter to give me her list of top book picks for all the other rising fifth grade girls out there.  Be aware as you read this list that my kids both love to read.  They each check twenty books a week out from the library (yay library!).  My husband and I read all the time, and we clearly passed that gene along to the kids.  I used to get into trouble in elementary school for hiding a book in my desk and reading during class!  My friends still tease me about how I would read a book at lunch and recess instead of playing.  So, yes, I am a proud book geek, and my kids are, too!

Some of these books are perfect for nine-and ten-year-old kids.  Some might be at a higher reading level.  Some might be right at their reading level, but have content that’s a bit grown-up.  We went over her list together and tried to make notes for you, so you can be aware and prepared.  I have no problem with my kids reading things that challenge them, as long as I know that we need to discuss it later.  If you prefer a more sheltered approach, then just avoid the more controversial books until your children are ready.    Also, I still read to my kids every night before bed.  That’s when we cover high-school or adult-level books (Pilgrim’s Progress) or books with tough content (Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry).  We’ll read a few chapters and discuss them.  And, since we homeschool and use a heavily literature-based curriculum, we do a lot of reading (and discussing) aloud during the day.

This is obviously not a complete list, since summer is only so long, and there needs to be plenty of time at the pool, too :), but please add your personal favorites in the comments below.  My son (a rising eighth grader) promised me he’ll write a boy-friendly list, too, so stay tuned {Update:  see that list here}!

Annabelle’s Summer Reading List  (in no particular order)

  1. All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor (the entire series is great, but the first book is the absolute best).
  2. Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell (there are five so far in this series and she’s still writing).
  3. Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow–check out the picture below with the author; we met her at Barnes and Noble last month!  (In this series, one of the girls has two dads, so if you’re ready to start that discussion with your daughter, this series will pave the way.  Otherwise, save it for later.).     Amy Ignatow book signing
  4. Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
  5. Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
  6. Mandy by Julie Andrews Edwards (yes, The Sound of Music Julie Andrews!)
  7. Little House–the whole series–by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  8. Smile: a Graphic Novel by Raina Telgemeier
  9. A Letter to Mrs. Roosevelt by C. Coco DeYoung
  10. Meet Rebecca (American Girls Collection) by Jacqueline Greene (the whole series–this is her favorite, next to Kit)
  11. Lincoln:  A Photobiography by Russell Freedman (for some reason, when we were studying the Civil War, both of my kids loved this book!)
  12. Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen
  13. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
  14. The Winged Watchman by Hilda van Stockum
  15. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (the whole series–the best ever!)
  16. Johnny Tremain by Esther Hoskins Forbes
  17. Ally Finkle’s Rules for Girls by Meg Cabot (the series)
  18. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  19. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (free on Kindle here)
  20. Secret Sisters series by Sandra Byrd (these are Christian fiction)
  21. The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin
  22. The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warren
  23. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield
  24. A Series of Unfortunate Events (series) by Lemony Snicket

(Update:  You can see my daughter’s list for 5th and 6th graders here)

Don’t forget to go to the pool in between all that reading!

Pool time!

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    May I suggest a book? Glory Be, by Augusta Scattergood. (Published by Scholastic) Augusta will be on NPR in a few weeks, as her book was chosen
    as a ‘pick’ for July!

    Eileen in Atlanta

  2. Thanks for posting this list! I have a daughter turning 9 this month and starting 4th grade in August…and she thinks reading is so boring. (I’m not sure how she possibly be related to me and think that!) I’m always looking for book suggestions to encourage her to read a little more.

    • She’ll come around, Stacey! I don’t know what your budget looks like, but I’ve had a few friends tell me that buying their kids a Kindle (just the base model for $69) was the best purchase ever for encouraging reluctant readers. Our library has tons of kids’ books that mine check out for free, and they love being tiny techies. Good luck!

  3. if im in 4th and going to 5th , im I still a 4th grader in the summer ?

  4. Hey there, You’ve done an incredible job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally suggest
    to my friends. I am sure thhey will be benefited from this website.

  5. Megan Murphy says

    Dragonfly Pool is my favorite book that would be great for fourth and fifth graders. It is historical fiction and just about the best book ever!!! Another good book is Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library that would be Realistic fiction and yet another great book?

  6. Megan Murphy says

    I am also a rising fifth grader as of 2015 I have read most of these books including some of the boxcar children, most of the all of a kind family series (she’s right the first one is the best),Allie Finkles rules for girls,Lincoln a photo biography…., The first of the narnia series (the magicians nephew), Smile, The phantom tollbooth, the whole little house series, and because of Winn Dixie. I loved them all!!! Your daughter has a great taste!!!

    • Awesome, Megan! I’m so glad to hear that you liked all of them, too. And thanks so much for sharing your other favorites with everyone.

      Enjoy the rest of your summer!

  7. Barbara Pelletier says

    May I suggest, Skinny Bones and Almost Starring Skinny Bones, by Barbara Park of Junie B. Jones.
    I heard my third grade son laughing in his bedroom because of these books. He has read them a few times as an adult, and he still says they are among his favorite books. He has a Masters degree in history.
    I read these books to 3rd graders, and they all ( girls included ) laugh themselves silly.

    • Thanks so much for sharing these, Barbara! We loved the Junie B. Jones books back in the day and these sound wonderful. I appreciate your taking the time to comment so others can enjoy your suggestions, too!

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