Summer Reading, Incoming 5th Grade
Summer reading should be fun. These reading lists have been prepared by the librarians of the Santa Monica Public Library in collaboration with the Elementary Library Coordinators and Librarians of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. The lists provide a selection of good books that kids enjoy. Reading levels are suggestions only, as every student learns to read at his or her own speed.
You can help by reading with your child and encouraging his or her own interests. Reading takes lots of practice and encouragement. Set aside 15 to 30 minutes every day for your child to read with you. Have fun with the books and help instill the joy of reading in your child. Some titles are also available as audiobooks so families can enjoy a good book together.
For extra summer fun, visit your local public library for reading programs, many of which offer activities and prizes. Have a wonderful summer vacation and read, read, read!
Humphrey (series), by Betty G. Birney
Humphrey, the pet hamster of room twenty-six, has many adventures.
Shiloh (series), by Phyllis R. Naylor
Marty finds a beagle and tries to hide it from his a mean-spirited owner.
Nuts to You, by Lynne Rae Perkins
A squirrel must find his way home after surviving being taken by a hawk.
Dear America/My Name Is America/ Royal Diaries, by Various Authors
Each book in these series is written in the form of a diary of a young person’s life during an important event or time period in history.
The War that Saved My Life, by Kimberly B. Bradley
Siblings are evacuated to the English countryside during World War II.
Stella by Starlight, by Sharon Draper
When the Klan causes panic in 1932 North Carolina, Stella must fight prejudice to demand change.
The Earth Dragon Awakes: The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, by Laurence Yep
Henry and Chin love to read about heroes in popular "penny dreadful" novels, until they both witness real courage in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
The Penderwicks, by Jeanne Birdsall
Andy and Terry live in a 13-story treehouse. What could go wrong?
The Honest Truth, by Dan Gemeinhart
A boy with cancer runs away with his dog to accomplish one last goal.
Rain Reign, by Ann M. Martin
Struggling with Asperger’s, Rose is forced to confront the limits of her comfort levels to search for her missing dog.
Wonder, by T. J. Palacio
Born with facial abnormalities, Auggie enters fifth grade and struggles to be seen as just another student.
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (series), by Tom Angleberger
Sixth-grader Tommy and his friends try to figure out if weird Dwight’s paper finger puppet Yoda really can predict the future.
My Life as a Book (series), by Janet Tashjian
Derek learns important lessons while trying to read through his summer list.
Mystery & Adventure
The Fairy-tale Detectives (Sisters Grimm series), by Michael Buckley
Orphans Sabrina and Daphne are sent to live with their grandmother and unravel a mystery leading to their ancestors’ magical beginnings.
Swindle, by Gordon Korman
After an unscrupulous collector cons him out of a valuable baseball card, sixthgrader Griffin puts together a band of misfits to steal the card back.
The Case of the Deadly Desperados (series), by Caroline Lawrence
In 1862 Nevada Territory, orphaned Pinky Pinkerton inherits a valuable deed and must hide from a dangerous outlaw gang.
Science Fiction & Fantasy
Doll Bones, by Holly Black
Three friends journey to bury a doll made from the ashes of a dead girl.
Molly Moon (series), by Georgia Bing
Molly Moon discovers a hidden talent for hypnotism and hypnotizes her way out of her dreary orphanage from one adventure to another.
The Glitch in Sleep, by John Hulme
When Becker Drane is recruited by the Seems, he must fix a glitch in the Department of Sleep that threatens everyone’s ability to sleep again.
The Unwanteds, by Lisa McMann
Twins Aaron and Alex are separated. One goes to University, while the other finds a place where youths hone their abilities and learn magic.
Splendors and Glooms, by Laura Schlitz
A Victorian fantasy about a kidnapping, an evil puppeteer, and two orphans caught by a witch.
The Distance To Home, by Jenn Bishop
After her sister dies, Quinnen doesn’t feel like playing baseball anymore, but then her family hosts a player from the minor league for the summer.
Safe at Home, by Mike Lupica
Nick’s foster parents know nothing about sports, and his new teammates feel he is too young to play varsity baseball; but Nick is out to prove that he belongs to the team.
One Dead Spy: the Life, Times and Last Words of Nathan Hale, America’s Most Famous Spy (series), Nathan Hale
The author channels his namesake to present history’s roughest, toughest, and craziest stories.
Roller Girl, by Victoria Jamieson
A girl discovers roller derby right as she and her best friend are growing apart.
Non-fiction & Poetry
Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem
Explains to kids about how to write poems about everyday subjects, such as experiences with family, friends, and pets.
YA 920 BRAGG
How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous
A look at the deaths of several famous people throughout history. (Also How They Choked)
YA 921 ENGLE
Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: a Memoir
The first Latina woman to receive a Newbery Honor tells of growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War.