Why a book review site just for 5th grade readers?

  • Because reading change lives.
  • Because 5th graders move from short chapter books to full novels and longer nonfiction texts–and the right books help.
  • Because good readers do well in school, and that means a bright future–and the right books help.
  • Because books introduce readers to the wider world–and the right books help.

5thGradeReading.NET provides recommendations for contemporary grade-level appropriate books for fifth graders.

Why 21st Century, Contemporary Literature for Kids?

What does your child or student watch on TV?

  • Reruns of “I Love Lucy”?
  • Reruns of “Gomer Pyle”?
  • Reruns of “Lassie”?

There’s nothing wrong with classics, but if your student ONLY watches reruns, something is out of whack.

Today’s students need today’s literature.
Not reruns.

A recent study of books read by kids revealed that the most read books were classics about 50 years old. Now, we love classics. But it appears that classics are 75-80% of what kids are reading in school. Something is out of whack.

Instead, 5thGradeReading wants to encourage kids to read contemporary literature, nonfiction and fiction. Publishers are turning out exciting, engaging, contemporary work in every genre. Kids are missing out on books meant for their generation.

Common Core Standards Require New Reading Levels

Education reform, the Common Core State Standards, also requires a more complex texts at an earlier grade. We recommend grade-level appropriate, contemporary books for kids.

According to the August, 2012 supplement to the Common Core, one of six measures of text complexity can be used. All books included in this site are within this required grade range.

However, it’s a bit more complicated than that. For example, the classic novel Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck measures at a fourth grade reading level. But the topics and emotional content of the book is high school level. We take into account the content of a book before including here. Books recommended here are within the correct Lexile range AND the content is recommended for fifth grade readers.

More questions? Read our FAQ.

Sue Poduska

Sue is a lifetime lover of books and is dedicated to putting quality literature into the hands of young people. When she is not directing activity on the grade reading sites, she is a Co-Regional Advisor for the Maryland/Delaware/ West Virginia region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She writes both fiction and nonfiction for picture books through middle grade books. Email her at sue.poduska@gmail.com.

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