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Topic: 5th Grade Social Studies Books Help

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Subject: 5th Grade Social Studies Books Help
Date Posted: 5/4/2009 7:43 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2007
Posts: 729
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We'll be continuing our schooling throughout the summer to try to catch up for what the private school neglected to teach my son (long story), & I'm hoping that someone has ideas for Social Studies books that are more like novels. My son has Adhd & it isn't easy to get his attention with the dry textbooks at all. Worse, I have Add myself & find myself bored to tears, & my attention starts to wander. He does like to read books for pleasure as I do, as long as they have a good story. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. My son reads at a seventh grade level if that helps any.


If you can think of any books (fiction) that incorporate Science or any other curriculum, that would be a big plus. Thanks so much! :)


ETA: I do not have credits at the moment, so what I'm looking for are suggestions for books from the library.

Last Edited on: 5/4/09 7:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/5/2009 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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I would look into the "Horrible" series:  History, Science, & Geography.  They're from the UK, but Scholastic has published many in the states.  Our library has a handful.




There's usually a few posted here on PBS, but it seems like all of the books are in the system.

*** Edited to add this additional information ***

The Percy Jackson series includes mythology.


The 39 Clues series includes many historical figures and events.  There are three books so far, but there will be ten total.


Blue Balliett's books feature great artists:


There are a lot of great fiction novels that are set during wars - Revolutionary, Civil, WW I & II, etc.


Last Edited on: 5/5/09 3:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/5/2009 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2007
Posts: 729
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Oh wow! Thank you so much. I'll look into those. :)

Date Posted: 5/5/2009 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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I just remembered a great source for novels tied to academics.  Royal Fireworks Press has many.  I started tagging them today.  There's only a few listed here, but lots in the system you could put on a wish list.  You can see more about each book by clicking the titles on this page.  The grade levels are given, and also a synopsis and a listing of the academics & topics it fits.  You can search by topic also.


I'm using the Language Arts series published by RFWP by Michael Clay Thompson.  There are a couple of RFWP staff on the Yahoo Group for MCTLA (short for Thompson's LA) and they've discussed these novels as being very specific to their guiding principle of good literature.  I have a few of the novels on the way from here on PBS.

Some of the RFWP novels have teacher's guides available.

Also, MCT wrote a couple of great books for classic lit - the most well-known is Classics in the Classroom.


You might also like Deconstructing Penguins series.  RFWP has book sets to go with the discussion guides (they use the socratic method):




Date Posted: 5/7/2009 3:32 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2007
Posts: 729
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I check those out. Thanks again!

Date Posted: 5/8/2009 9:16 AM ET
Member Since: 12/8/2006
Posts: 29,785
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I'm not sure what 5th grade social studies entails...haven't gotten there quite yet here:) Anyhow, Scholastic has the Dear America series, which may be below his reading level, but teach all parts of American History.

  • Dear America
  • My America
  • My Name is America
  • Date Posted: 5/8/2009 10:30 AM ET
    Member Since: 2/13/2008
    Posts: 662
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    I just asked my 9th grader for suggestions of kid fiction that incorporates science, and she suggested the Einstein Anderson books by Seymour Simon.  They are very similar to the Encyclopedia Brown books, but the character uses his knowledge of science to solve mysteries.  They are about a fourth or fifth-grade reading level, and your library should have them.  

    I will add that my daughter seems to remember the science part of the books to be a little elementary, so these might be too easy for your son.

    You may want to consider a science magazine for summer reading.  You don't have to use a magazine published for kids; I read somewhere that most popular grown-up magazines are actually written at a sixth-grade reading level.  Browse the magazines at your library--the articles will be short and have colorful photos (nice for summer fun reading), and your son may find a subject he's interested enough in to pursue further on his own.

    Date Posted: 5/8/2009 12:15 PM ET
    Member Since: 3/20/2007
    Posts: 931
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    Oh yes, magazines!  We LOVE Kids Discover & Odyssey.  Our library carries both.  Each are one topic.  KD covers all genres and Odyssey is mostly science.  The publisher has other magazines for compositions, etc.



    Date Posted: 5/8/2009 2:24 PM ET
    Member Since: 6/26/2007
    Posts: 729
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    Wow! Thanks everyone!