Mr. Cassarino's Class: Top Ten

Our 10 "Must Reads" for Every Fifth Grader

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

August is a kid but not a normal kid. He has a deformed face and has a hard time making friends. August's mom is an artist and she likes drawing girl stuff and doesn't do a good job drawing things August likes. August wants to wear a space helmet because he is afraid of people gagging at him and running away. August has been home-schooled all his life but now he is going into middle school. Will August make new friends or foes? Now read this book NOW!

Reviewed by Cameron, Joseph, and Jake

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Ivan is a very lonely silverback gorilla living in captivity and performing tricks in a failing circus. Although no one sees it, Ivan can draw very well. Ivan's best friend, Stella, is a very old elephant. But when a young elephant named Ruby shows up at the circus, he has what he has always wanted: someone to protect. Now Ivan feels responsible to get Ruby out of her cage. Can he do it? He is the One and Only Ivan after all.

Reviewed by David and William

Football Hero by Tim Green

Ty has a problem. His parents have passed away and he has to live with his aunt and uncle. They live in an old beaten up shack. Thane (aka Tiger) is a star football player at Syracuse University. Ty decided to start playing football, too. Calvin West is a cheap shot who calls him names and rams into him every play. Tiger gets drafted by the Jets. Lucy wants to use Ty to see who is in the lineup for the Jets for fantasy football so he can win a lot of money.

Reviewed by Matthew and Hagan

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Percy is any like other kid with ADHD and dyslexia. Until he finds out something very unusual. His dad is Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea. In other words, Percy is a demigod aka "half-blood." He goes to a camp called "Camp Half-Blood" where demigods learn to fight monsters. Percy is accused of stealing Zeus's master bolt. Joined by Annabeth, daughter of Athena, and Grover, a satyr, Percy goes on a quest to clear his name and return the bolt to Zeus before the Summer Solstice. Will he get there in time? Read Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan.

Reviewed Katarina, Meera, and Emily Ma.

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm

Turtle is a small town girl. Her mom is a housekeeper. When her mom gets a new boss that doesn't like kids, Turtle has to move away with her cat, Smokey, to her Aunt Minnie and cousins in Key West, Florida. She meets 3 cousins named Beans, Buddy, and Pork Chop. She also meets their dog Termite. She finds a new life but will her mom ever come back to Turtle?

Reviewed by Maria, Justine, and Emily Me.

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai

Ten-year-old Ha and her family are trying to flee South Vietnam during the Vietnam War in 1975. Ha and her family are forced by the war to move by boat and start a new life in America.

Reviewed by Mikey, Callum, Jackson, and Paddy

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Billy always wanted two dogs but they are too expensive. He saw an ad for dogs: $25 per dog. Billy was determined to get two dogs. It took him two years, but he finally got them. They go on many adventures. To find out these amazing adventures, read Where the Red Fern Grows.

Reviewed by Collin and Jack

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

Ben and Rose are two kids with separate stories fifty years apart. They both wish their lives were different. Ben is trying to find his dad. Ben discovers a strange clue in his mom's room and is deaf. Rose is also trying to find something. Will they find what they are looking for?

Reviewed by Helaina and Alex

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Marty Preston found a beagle behind the hill behind his house. The Judd Travers claims that it is his dog. Marty knows that Judd is abusing Shiloh. Is Marty going to save Shiloh or will Judd Travers keep abusing Shiloh? Read Shiloh to find out.

Reviewed by Garrett and Scott

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

The Invention of Hugo Cabret is about a homeless boy who lives in a train station in France. He lost his mother and father and lived with his uncle in the clock in the train station. When his uncle disappears he has to steal food and parts of toys to fix the clock he lives in. He lives by a notebook that gets stolen by a toy seller. When Hugo finds a mechanical man the adventure really starts.

Reviewed by Tess, Lindsay, and Max