Discussion Forums - Teachers' Corner Teachers' Corner

Topic: New 5th grade teacher looking for some help

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: New 5th grade teacher looking for some help
Date Posted: 6/21/2013 5:28 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2013
Posts: 2
Back To Top

Hi everyone! I'm new to this site, and about to start my first year teaching. I'm looking to start building a classroom library. I'd love any suggestions you have for popular fifth grade books. My goal is to stock my shelves with 4th-7th grade books, so anything in that range would be fantastic! Also if you have any of these books and are willing to do some kind of deal, I'd greatly appreciate it! 

Thanks in advance!! 


AmiSue -
Date Posted: 6/25/2013 7:59 PM ET
Member Since: 11/19/2008
Posts: 53
Back To Top

This past year, I taught 6th/7th grade combined class and had students with reading levels as low as 3rd grade up to 9th grade.   I tried to have a mix of genres but found that they liked fantasy and graphic novels. Additionally, they really loved series books.


These are some of the authors my students really enjoyed:


Jeff Kinney - Diary of a Wimpy Kid books

Jeff Smith - Bone books

R.L.Stine - Goosebumps series

Megan McDonald – Judy Moody series

Tony DeTerlizzi and Holly Black – Spiderwick series

J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter series

Katherine Paterson

Beverly Cleary

Judy Blume

Matt Christopher

Pam Munoz Ryan

Patricia Polacco

Roald Dahl

Jerry Spinelli

Neil Gaiman


As far as non-fiction, my boys were more interested in that genre than the girls. The boys tended to favor books about WWI & II, as well as books about animals, reptiles, etc.


If you go to http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/ you can search for books by grade level/range, and get some ideas.


When I was putting together my library (this was my first year teaching), I looked at award winning book – Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Scott O’Dell, etc., and started with those. My local library has a book sale room that was fantastic for finding those books.

Date Posted: 6/27/2013 12:45 PM ET
Member Since: 11/12/2008
Posts: 1,329
Back To Top

I have some Beverly Cleary books and some non fiction you might like to consider. Also Berenstain Bears and a variety of great children's books. Will do 6/3 or 8/4 on children's books.

Date Posted: 7/6/2013 1:05 PM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2010
Posts: 6
Back To Top

You might want to add the Magic TreeHouse books to your class library.  Books by Gary Paulson were also popular with my 5/6 grade class.  Animal stories were also popular, especially Because of Winn Dixie. (You can wtch the movie also and do venn diagrams to find similarities and differences.) 

I make lists of books available from our local library and wishlists of classroom books for our parents.  If you have friends teaching upper grades, they can ask their students to donate books that they enjoyed, but no longer read.

Scholastic books also has special promotions on books.  You can get some popular books for $1, and if your students order books, you can earn points to get  books for yourself.

Enjoy your students and congratulations.


Last Edited on: 7/6/13 1:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/14/2013 10:19 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2007
Posts: 5,377
Back To Top

Hi Kristin! I have 6 copies of Tuck Everlasting and 2 copies of Esperanza Rising that I ordered for my friend who teaches 5th grade, but then she got more copies from the district and didn't need as many from me any more. If you want them, I can send them all to you for 3 credits :)

Date Posted: 12/8/2013 12:27 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2007
Posts: 748
Back To Top

I've found the kids love Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but some aren't at that reading level yet, so I steer them to Zeke Meeks.  Also, Dork Diaries is sort of a female version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  Magic Tree House books are popular with some of the students, as are the Geronimo Stilton books.  Junie B. Jones may be a little young for most of them, but some of them may still be at that level. 

Some of the students enjoy the "I Survived" books.  They're short historical fiction books by Tarshis, I believe.  There's Gettysburg, SF Earthquake, Pearl Harbor, Titanic, 9-11, Hurricane Katrina, for example.  

Texas has an annual program (Texas Bluebonnet Awards) where students (gr. 3-6) across the state read from a Master List of 20 books and vote for their favorite.  The yearly list of books is a good starting place for a variety of good, recently-published juvenile books.  I think other states may have similar programs.  Also, check out Newberry Medal and Honor books. 

My personal favorites in Juvenile Fiction are:

Sarah, Plain and Tall
Esperanza Rising
Ramona Quimby books
Watsons go to Birmingham, 1963 
Belle Prater's Boy (intense subject, though)

I noticed you posted almost 6 months ago.  I'd be interested to know what you've learned since then.