5th grade Book Talks I-P
Dial A Ghost

Ibbotson, Eva. Dial-A-Ghost.

A family of nice ghosts protects a British orphan from the diabolical plans of his evil guardians. Excerpt: read pages78-83.

Haunting of Granite Falls

Ibbotson, Eva.  Haunting of Granite Falls.

When twelve-year-old Alex's Scottish castle of Carra is sold, dismantled, and moved to Texas, the ghosts that raised him from a child have difficulty relocating.


Jacques, Brian.  Redwall (Bk 1 in series Redwall)

When the peaceful life of ancient Redwall Abbey is shattered by the arrival of the evil rat Cluny and his villainous hordes, Matthias, a young mouse, determines to find the legendary sword of Martin the Warrior which, he is convinced, will help Redwall's inhabitants destroy the enemy.

Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat

Jonell, Lynne. Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat.

When Emmy discovers that she and her formerly loving parents are being drugged by their evil nanny with rodent potions that can change people in frightening ways, she and some new friends must try everything possible to return things to normal.  Excerpt: read pages 33-36.

Chronicles of Chrestomanci Volume 1

Jones, Diana Wynnne.  Chronicles of Chrestomanci Volume 1.

Volume 1 contains two books. The Charmed Life and The Lives of Christopher Chant. Adventures of the Chrestomanci, an enchanter with nine lives, whose job is to control the practice of magic in the infinite parallel universes of the Twelve Related Worlds. Excerpt: read pages 58-62.

One Thousand Tracings


Judge, Lita.  One Thousand Tracings: Healing the Wounds of World War II.

Tells the story of a family in America, who, after World War II, began helping families across Europe by sending them much needed supplies, including shoes, and features paintings and collages of original photographs and foot tracings. Excerpt: read pages 24-27.




Pompeii: City of Ashes

Kaplan, Sarah Pitt.  Pompeii: City of Ashes.

Describes the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii in 79 A.D. and the rediscovery and subsequent excavation of this buried city.  Excerpt: read pages 12-13.

Akhenaten Adventure

Kerr, P.B.  Akhenaten Adventure. ( Bk.1 of Children of the Lamp series)

When twelve-year-old twins Phillippa and John discover that they are descended from a long line of dginn, their mother sends them away to their Uncle Nimrod, who takes them to Cairo where he starts to teach them about their extraordinary powers.

Diary of a Wimpy KId

Kinney, Jeff. Diary of a Wimpy Kid. (Bk 1 Diary of a Wimpy Kid series)

Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship.

So Far From Normal

Klise, Kate. Far From Normal.

When Charles Harrisong's book about his family's life in Normal, Illinois, is made into a major motion picture, the family is catapulted to instant fame. Excerpt: read pages 37-38.



Korman, Gordon. Swindle.

After unscrupulous collector S. Wendell Palamino cons him out of a valuable baseball card, sixth-grader Griffin Bing puts together a band of misfits to break into Palomino's heavily guarded store and steal the card back, planning to use the money to finance his father's failing invention, the SmartPick fruit picker. Excerpt: read pages 37-40.

Leon and the Spitting Image

Kurzwell, Allen.  Leon and the Spitting Image. (Bk 1 in series)

Leon, a fourth grader at The Ethical School, tries to outwit the school bully and learn to sew for fanatical teacher Miss Cronheim, with unexpected help from his final project-- a doll with magical powers.  Excerpt: read pages 152-159.


Hattie Big Sky

Larson, Kirby.  Hattie Big Sky.

After inheriting her uncle's homesteading claim in Montana, sixteen-year-old orphan Hattie Brooks travels from Iowa in 1917 to make a home for herself and encounters some unexpected problems related to the war being fought in Europe. Excerpt read pages 62-67.

Two princessess of Bamarre

Levine, Gail Carson. Two Princesses of Bamarre.

With her adventurous sister, Meryl, suffering from the the Grey death meek and timid Princess Addie sets out to find a cure.  Excerpt: read pages124-127.



Lord, Cynthia.  Rules.

Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with an young paraplegic. Excerpt: read pages 18-24.


Liberty or Death

Maestro, Betsy.  Liberty or Death.

Describes the people, events, and battles during the early years of the Revolutionary War, and how Britain's thirteen colonies in North America became a separate, independent nation. Excerpt: read pages 6-7.

Belle Teal

Martin, Ann M. Belle Teal.

Belle Teal Harper is from a poor family in the country, and beginning fifth grade is a challenge as her grandmother's memory is slipping away, her brother and father are fighting again, and she becomes involved with the two new kids in her class. Excerpt: read pages 1-3.


Hob and the Goblins


Mayne,William.  Hob and the Goblin.

Hob, the friendly spirit who lives under the stairs and protects the house, must do battle with a variety of evil beings trying to take control of his family's home.  Think of a happy Dobby taking care of his family!

Rufus the scrub

McEwan, Jamie.  Rufus the Scrub Does Not Wear a Tutu

.Rufus wants to be good at football, but although he is the right size, he is too clumsy, so he takes ballet lessons in order to improve his coordination, and when his classmates find out about it, they tease him relentlessly. Excerpt: read pages 58-59.



Seven Spiders Spinning

McGuire, Gregory. Seven Spiders Spinning.

Seven prehistoric spiders that had been trapped in ice for thousands of years bring excitement to rural Vermont and briefly unite two rival clubs at a local elementary school.

The Hero and the Crown

McKinley, Robin.  The Hero and the Crown.

Aerin, with the guidance of the wizard Luthe and the help of the blue sword, wins the birthright due her as the daughter of the Damarian king and a witchwoman of the mysterious, demon-haunted North.  Excerpt: read pages 30-34.

Wishing for Tomorrow

McKay, Hilary.  Wishing for Tomorrow: Sequel to A Little Princess.

Relates what becomes of Ermengarde and the other girls left behind at Miss Minchin's School after Sara Crewe leaves to live with her guardian, the Indian gentleman.


Mikaelson, Ben.  Petey.

In 1922 Petey, who has cerebral palsy, is misdiagnosed as an idiot and institutionalized; sixty years later, still in the institution, he befriends a boy and shares with him the joy of life.



Ballad of Sir Dinadan

Morris, Gerald. Ballad of Sir Dinadan.

Though he would rather pursue his talent as a musician, eighteen-year-old Dinadan is forced to follow his older brother Tristram's path and become a knight. Set at the time of King Arthur. Excerpts: read pages 32-40;61-64.

Boys Start the War


Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds.  Boys Start the War.

Disgusted that a family with three girls moves into the house across the river, nine-year-old Wally and his three brothers declare a practical joke war on the girls. Excerpt: read pages 6-9.

How to disappear completely and never be found

Nickerson,Sara. How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found.

With a swimming medal, the key to a mansion, and a comic book about a half-man/half-rat as her only clues, a twelve-year-old girl seeks the true story of her father's mysterious death four years earlier near an island in the Pacific Northwest. Excerpt: read pages 152-159.

Griffin's Castle

Nimmo, Jenny.  Griffin's Castle.

After years of having moved around, eleven-year-old Dinah determines to make a huge, dilapidated old mansion into a home for her mother and herself, but the wild beasts she summons from a stone wall to protect her may also imprison her.

How to steal a dog

O'Connor, Barbara.  How to Steal a Dog.

Living in the family car in their small North Carolina town after their father leaves them virtually penniless, Georgina, desperate to improve their situation and unwilling to accept her overworked mother's calls for patience, persuades her younger brother to help her in an elaborate scheme to get money by stealing a dog and then claiming the reward that the owners are bound to offer.  Excerpt: read pages 23-25.


Paolini, Christopher. Eragon.

In Aagaesia, a fifteen-year-old boy of unknown lineage called Eragon finds a mysterious stone that weaves his life into an intricate tapestry of destiny, magic, and power, peopled with dragons, elves, and monsters. Excerpt: read pages 48-52. Click here to see book trailer.



Bridge to Terabithia

Paterson, Katherine.  Bridge to Terabithia.

Jess and Leslie form an unlikely friendship and create the imaginary land of Terabithia where they rule as King and Queen until a terrible tragedy occurs. Excerpt read pages 102-103. Click here to watch book trailer.

Higher Power of Lucky

Patron, Susan. The Higher Power of Lucky.

Fearing that her legal guardian plans to abandon her to return to France, ten-year-old aspiring scientist Lucky Trimble determines to run away while also continuing to seek the Higher Power that will bring stability to her life.



Here Lies the Librarian

Peck, Richard.  Here Lies the Librarian.

Fourteen-year-old Eleanor "Peewee" McGrath, a tomboy and automobile enthusiast, discovers new possibilities for her future after the 1914 arrival in her small Indiana town of four young librarians. Excerpt: read pages 25-30. All of Richard Peck's books are great!

Secrets at Sea

Peck, Richard.  Secrets at Sea. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2011.

In 1887, the social-climbing Cranstons voyage from New York to London, where they hope to find a husband for their awkward older daughter, secretly accompanied by Helena and her mouse siblings, for whom the journey is both terrifying and wondrous as they meet an array of titled humans despite their best efforts at remaining hidden.

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