Summer Reading

Incoming Fifth Grade

Summer Reading List


Lifeboat 12, Susan Hood (610 Lexile)
ISBN 978-1-48146883-1

This novel in verse based on true events tells the story of a boy's harrowing experience on a lifeboat after surviving a torpedo attack during World War II.
With Nazis bombing London every night, it's time for thirteen-year-old Ken to escape. He suspects his stepmother is glad to see him go, but his dad says he's one of the lucky ones--one of ninety boys and girls to ship out aboard the SS City of Benares to safety in Canada.

Life aboard the luxury ship is grand--nine-course meals, new friends, and a life far from the bombs, rations, and his stepmum's glare. And after five days at sea, the ship's officers announce that they're out of danger. They're wrong. Late that night, an explosion hurls Ken from his bunk. They've been hit. Torpedoed! The Benares is sinking fast. Terrified, Ken scrambles aboard Lifeboat 12 with five other boys. Will they get away? Will they survive?

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, Dan Gemeinhart (N/A Lexile)
ISBN 978-1250196705

Five years.

That's how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation.

It's also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash.

Coyote hasn’t been home in all that time, but when she learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished―the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box―she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days...without him realizing it.

Along the way, they'll pick up a strange crew of misfit travelers. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. And then there's Gladys...

Over the course of thousands of miles, Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all...but that with friends by her side, she just might be able to turn her “once upon a time” into a “happily ever after.”

The Trail, Meika Hashimoto (Lexile 780)
ISBN 978-1-33803586-5

Toby and his friend, Lucas, made a list of things to do the summer before they entered middle school, but now Lucas is gone. So Toby sets out to fulfill the promise he made to his friend, to finish the list by hiking the Appalachian Trail from Velvet Rocks to Mt. Katahdin--an undertaking that he is poorly prepared for--and which will become not only a struggle for survival, but a rescue mission for the starving and abused dog who he finds along the way.

Blended, Sharon Draper (Lexile 610)
ISBN 978-1-44249500-5

Eleven-year-old Isabella’s parents are divorced, so she has to switch lives every week: One week she’s Isabella with her dad, his girlfriend Anastasia, and her son Darren living in a fancy house where they are one of the only black families in the neighborhood. The next week she’s Izzy with her mom and her boyfriend John-Mark in a small, not-so-fancy house that she loves.

Because of this, Isabella has always felt pulled between two worlds. And now that her parents are divorced, it seems their fights are even worse, and they’re always about HER. Isabella feels even more stuck in the middle, split and divided between them than ever. And she’s is beginning to realize that being split between Mom and Dad is more than switching houses, switching nicknames, switching backpacks: it’s also about switching identities. Her dad is black, her mom is white. And when her parents, who both get engaged at the same time, get in their biggest fight ever, Isabella doesn’t just feel divided, she feels ripped in two. What does it mean to be half white or half black? To belong to half mom and half dad? And if you’re only seen as half of this and half of that, how can you ever feel whole?

It seems like nothing can bring Isabella’s family together again—until the worst happens. Isabella and Darren are stopped by the police. A cell phone is mistaken for a gun. And shots are fired.

Panda-monium, Stuart Gibbs (Lexile 780)
ISBN 978-1-48144567-2

The frenzied anticipation of FunJungle's newest resident, a rare giant panda, turns into alarm when the truck transporting the panda goes missing, a situation that is complicated by a blackmailer who threatens Teddy's girlfriend if he fails to solve the crime. This book is part of the FunJungle mystery series.

When Friendship Followed Me Home, Paul Griffin (Lexile 590)
ISBN 978-0-8037-3816-4

Seventh-grader Ben, a boy who has lived in foster care, is adopted by an older, loving woman. Ben feels he is always an outsider, but he ends up in a deep friendship with Halley, the daughter of the librarian from his public library. Ben has adopted a special dog he names Flip, and together Ben and Halley work to get the dog certified as a therapy dog. Unfortunately life gets in the way and Ben is faced with a number of losses which he learns how to cope with.

Aru Shah and the End of Time, Roshani Chokshi (Lexile 630)
ISBN 978-1-36801235-5

Telling fibs in order to fit in better with her wealthier peers, 12-year-old Aru Shah spends her school break at the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture where her mother works. When some girls from her school dare her to light a cursed lamp, she unwittingly releases an ancient demon who wants to awaken the Lord of Destruction to end the world. This plunges Aru into the world of Hindu mythology as she, her soul sister and their sidekick pigeon embark on a quest to stop the Sleeper.

Sidetracked, Diana Asher (Lexile 690)
ISBN 978-1-41973139-6

Seventh-grader Joseph Friedman is friendless and puny, with ADD to boot. He spends most of his time avoiding the class bully and hiding out in the Resource Room. But the Resource Room teacher encourages (i.e., practically forces) him to join the school cross country team, and he meets Heather, a new student who's tough and athletic and refuses to be pushed around by anybody.

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle, Leslie Connor (Lexile 310)
ISBN 978-0-06-249143-5

Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason's learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason's best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family's orchard. An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can't understand why Lieutenant Baird won't believe the story Mason has told about that day. Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground club space for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He's desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin, and eventually, Benny. But will anyone believe him?

Grump, Liesl Shurtliff (Lexile 630)
 ISBN 978-1524717018

Ever since he was a dwarfling, Borlen (nicknamed "Grump") has dreamed of visiting The Surface, so when opportunity knocks, he leaves his cavern home behind.

At first, life above ground is a dream come true. Queen Elfrieda Veronika Ingrid Lenore (E.V.I.L.) is the best friend Grump always wanted, feeding him all the rubies he can eat and allowing him to rule at her side in exchange for magic and information. But as time goes on, Grump starts to suspect that Queen E.V.I.L. may not be as nice as she seems.

When the queen commands him to carry out a horrible task against her stepdaughter, Snow White, Grump is in over his head. He's bound by magic to help the queen, but also to protect Snow White. As if that wasn't stressful enough, the queen keeps bugging him for updates through her magic mirror! He'll have to dig deep to find a way out of this pickle, and that's enough to make any dwarf Grumpy indeed.

Grade 5 Summer Reading Assignment

Incoming Sixth Grade

Summer Reading List


Ghost, Jason Reynolds (730 L)

ISBN-13:  9781481450157

Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down.  Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.


Ghost has a crazy natural talent, but no formal training. If he can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all started with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who blew his own shot at success, and who is determined to keep other kids from blowing theirs.

A Night Divided, Jennifer A. Nielsen (810 L)

ISBN-13:  9780545682428

With the rise of the Berlin Wall, twelve-year-old Gerta finds her family suddenly divided. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, to think forbidden thoughts of freedom, yet she can't help herself. She sees the East German soldiers with their guns trained on their own citizens; she, her family, her neighbors and friends are prisoners in their own city.

But one day, while on her way to school, Gerta spots her father on a viewing platform on the western side, pantomiming a peculiar dance. Then, when she receives a mysterious drawing, Gerta puts two and two together and concludes that her father wants Gerta and Fritz to tunnel beneath the wall, out of East Berlin. However, if they are caught, the consequences will be deadly. No one can be trusted. Will Gerta and her family find their way to freedom?

The Paperboy, Vince Vawter (940 L)         

ISBN - 13: 978-0307931511

An eleven-year-old by living in Memphis in 1959 throws the meanest fastball in town, but talking is a whole different ball game.  He can barely say a word without stuttering – not even his own name.  So when he takes over his best friend’s paper route or the month of July, he knows he’ll be forced to communicate with the customers, including a house with a merchant marine who seems to know just about everything.  The paper route poses challenges, but it’s a run-in with the neighborhood junkman, a bully and thief, that stirs up real trouble – and puts the boy’s life, as well as that of his family’s devoted housekeeper, in danger.

The Scourge, Jennifer A. Nielsen (740 L)

ISBN-13: 9780545682459

As a lethal plague sweeps through the land, Ani Mells is shocked when she is unexpectedly captured by the governor's wardens and forced to submit to a test for the deadly Scourge. She is even more surprised when the test results come back positive, and she is sent to Attic Island, a former prison turned refuge -- and quarantine colony -- for the ill. The Scourge's victims, Ani now among them, can only expect to live out short, painful lives there. However, Ani quickly discovers that she doesn't know the whole truth about the Scourge or the Colony. She's been caught in a devious plot, and, with the help of her best friend, Weevil, Ani means to uncover just what is actually going on.

But will she and Weevil survive long enough to do so?  The Scourge is an explosively thrilling tale of adventure and intrigue, courage and heart.

The Boy Who Painted The World, Melody J. Bremen

ISBN-13:  9781548663353

He spends his mornings in a refrigerator box, his afternoons shoveling snow, and his nights in the basement of a homeless shelter. But during every free moment, he draws and dreams of becoming a famous artist.

His best friend Jade looks after him, but she is arrested for shoplifting and he’s left all alone. With his box of pencils under his arm, he sets out on a quest to search for Jade and discovers a whole new world… full of the art he loves.

His journey brings him friendship, family, and the courage to hold onto his dreams.

Checked, Cynthia Kadohata  (760 L)

ISBN-13:  9781481446624

Hockey is Conor’s life. His whole life. He’ll say it himself, he’s a hockey beast. It’s his dad’s whole life too—and Conor is sure that’s why his stepmom, Jenny, left. There are very few things Conor and his dad love more than the game, and one of those things is their Doberman, Sinbad. When Sinbad is diagnosed with cancer, Conor chooses to put his hockey lessons and practices on hold so they can pay for Sinbad’s chemotherapy.

But without hockey to distract him, Conor begins to notice more. Like his dad’s crying bouts, and his friend’s difficult family life. And then Conor notices one more thing: Without hockey, the one thing that makes him feel special, is he really special at all?

Fuzzy, Tom Angleberger (700 L)

ISBN-13: 9781419729683

The newest student at Vanguard Middle School is Fuzzy, a robot developed as part of a government project exploring advanced artificial intelligence. In order to aid with Fuzzy’s integration into the school, which is already under the control of the ultra-strict supercomputer known as Vice Principal Barbara, Maxine “Max” Zelaster is selected to act as his guide and friend. However, Max and Fuzzy face the anti-robot prejudices of those tired of losing their jobs to automation, as well as Barbara’s increasingly tyrannical micromanagement. Complicating matters, the military keeps pushing up Fuzzy’s development timeline, and someone is out to steal his unique code.  Origami Yoda creator Angleberger teams up with science-fiction writer Dellinger for this funny, thrilling, and thought-provoking page-turner.

Michael Vey, Prisoner of Cell 25, Richard Paul Evans (500 L) I

SBN-13: 9781442468122

To everyone at Meridian High School, fourteen-year-old Michael Vey is nothing special, just the kid who has Tourette’s syndrome. But in truth, Michael is extremely special—he has electric powers. Michael thinks he is unique until he discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor has the same mysterious powers. With the help of Michael’s friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up with their abilities, and their investigation soon brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric teens—and through them, the world.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Richard Paul Evans introduces a character whose risk-filled exploration marks the beginning of a riveting new series. With only his powers, his wits, and his friends to protect him, Michael will need all his strength to survive….

Breakout, Kate Messner  (840 L)

ISBN-13: 9781681195360

Breakout is the story of a prison break narrated by three girls who live in the neighborhood surrounding the prison. What begins as just reporting on the event ends up saying a lot about racism and criminal justice, told in a very accessible style of texts, comics, letters, and more."

Nora Tucker is looking forward to summer vacation in Wolf Creek--two months of swimming, popsicles, and brushing up on her journalism skills for the school paper. But when two inmates break out of the town's maximum security prison, everything changes. Doors are locked, helicopters fly over the woods, and police patrol the school grounds. Worst of all, everyone is on edge, and fear brings out the worst in some people Nora has known her whole life. Even if the inmates are caught, she worries that home might never feel the same.

Told in letters, poems, text messages, news stories, and comics--a series of documents Nora collects for the Wolf Creek Community Time Capsule Project--Breakout is a thrilling story that will leave readers thinking about who's really welcome in the places we call home.

The Ethan I Was Before, Kate Messner  (730 L)

ISBN-13: 9780062433398

Ethan and his family relocate from Boston to Palm Knot, GA, ostensibly to help Ethan's grandfather as he gets older. Yet it quickly becomes clear that the real reason is Ethan; he has experienced a tragic incident involving his best friend Kasey, and his parents think a new place will bring a new start. On top of Ethan's guilt from the accident, he must make new friends at school, deal with his brother Roddie's dissatisfaction with their new home, and witness the arguments between his mother and grandfather, who don't get along for mysterious reasons.

Yet, Palm Knot may be tiny, but it’s the home of possibility and second chances. It’s also home to Coralee, a girl with a big personality and even bigger stories. Coralee may be just the friend Ethan needs, except Ethan isn’t the only one with secrets. Coralee’s are catching up with her, and what she’s hiding might be putting both their lives at risk. This title is packed with conflict and familial and personal strife.

Grade 6 Summer Reading Assignment

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