5th grade booktalks


April 2, 2019: "What factors can contribute to an individual's success in changing society?" The answers might be in a book!

Daring Play: how a courageous Jackie Robinson transformed baseball by Michael Burgan

  • 796.357 BUR. informational nonfiction.
  • This book is another perspective of what made Jackie Robinson famous AND inspirational.
  • It also describes the iconic photograph of him stealing home that is part of what people associate with Jackie today.

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor

  • F CON. realistic fiction.
  • Perry was born and raised by his mom in the Blue River Co-Ed Correctional Facility in Surprise, Nebraska. So far the warden has allowed them to be together. But then a new district attorney discovers what is going on, removes Perry, and sends him to a foster home.
  • Perry struggles on the "outside," so he sets out to find answers to him mom's past crime. As he gets closer to the truth, he discovers that love makes people resilient...and the true meaning of the word "home."

The Girl With 500 Middle Names by Margaret Peterson Haddix

  • F HAD (turning cart). realistic fiction.
  • Janie has started a new school because of the new business her mom has started--a business that is meant to give Janie more opportunities.
  • But Janie is not the same as her new classmates, and she doesn't feel like she fits in at all.
  • When Janie's mother's business falls apart, Janie realizes what it means for her--and the confidence she's going to need to do what it takes to help her family.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

  • F LOW. historical fiction.
  • Annemarie Jensen and her best friend Ellen Rosen live in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1943. They are the midst of World War II, but the two try to remember better days.
  • Then the Nazis arrive, and the Jews of Denmark are soon becoming "relocated."
  • Annemarie and her family decide they need to help Ellen and her family. Can Annemarie find the courage to do what is right, even if it is extremely dangerous?

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

  • F SAE. realistic fiction.
  • Life is fairly routine for Amal, growing up in a Pakastani village. She has dreams of being a teacher one day. But those dreams get put on hold when she, as the oldest daughter, must stay home to take care of her younger siblings.
  • One day in the market, she has a run-in with the village's corrupt landlord. She unintentionally offends him, and suddenly she is his servant, paying off her family's debt.
  • Life is very different and difficult for Amal living at the landlord's estate. As she learns more about the landlord's family, she realizes she and the other servants are going to have to work together to be courageous enough to make changes to how life is in the village--and so Amal can achieve her own dreams.

Happy reading!

February 20, 2019: good books you should really read!

Dog Days of History: the Incredible Story of Our Best Friends by Sarah Albee

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

  • F ANG: realistic fiction.
  • Dwight is the sixth grade oddball, always doing weird things--at least it seems that way to Tommy, who sits by him at lunch.
  • The one cool thing Dwight does is make origami, and one day he makes an origami finger puppet of Yoda.
  • This Origami Yoda predicts the future and suggests the best ways to deal with tricky situations, and its right! Soon the whole sixth grade is lining up with questions of their own.
  • Tommy needs to figure out how Origami Yoda works so well when Dwight is clueless, and he's determined to solve the mystery.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

  • F CUR: historical fiction.
  • This book is all about the Watsons: Momma, Dad, little sister Joetta, thirteen-year-old Byron, an "official juvenile delinquent," and ten-year-old Kenny, the narrator of the story.
  • The family lives in Flint, Michigan. When Momma and Dad decide it's time to visit Grandma in the south, Dad buys a new "Ultra-Glide" and they head out.
  • They're heading to Birmingham, Alabama where an experience changes them forever.

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

  • F GEO: fantasy.
  • Imagine having a home that grows--like Celie's home, a castle, that grows every Tuesday.
  • When Celie's parents disappear it's up to Celie to use the secrets of the magical castle to protect both her family and her home.

Greenglass House by Kate Milford

  • F MIL: mystery.
  • Milo and his parents live in the Greenglass House, an inn for smugglers. It is usually quieter during the winter, but on the first night of winter vacation a whole group of guests come to the door one by one.
  • Each guest has a strange story that somehow connects to each other and to the house, and Milo must figure out the truth.
  • book trailer

Happy reading!

January 22, 2019: newish books you have may missed!

Endling: The Last by Katherine Applegate

  • F APP: fantasy.
  • Byx is part of a mythical dog-like species called dairne. After her pack is hunted down and killed, she fears she is the last one left so she sets out to find out if there are other hidden dairnes somewhere.
  • Along the way, she meets other allies, both human and animal. They start as strangers but end as family and uncover a dangerous truth along the way.

Enginerds by Jarrett Lerner

To the Moon: the true stories of the American heroes on the Apollo 8 Spaceship by Jeffrey Kluger

  • 629.45 KLU: narrative nonfiction
  • 1968. A spacecraft fire had killed the crew of Apollo 1 a year before, and rumors were flying that Russia was getting ready to send a man to the moon.
  • President Kennedy had said America would have a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s, so NASA needed to make a bold move.
  • This book tells the story of that bold move--of Apollo 8, the first crewed spaceship to break the Earth's orbit and reach the moon.

Babysitting Nightmares: The Shadow Hand by Kat Shepherd

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

  • F WOO: realistic fiction
  • It starts when six kids' teacher tells them she is taking them to a room every Friday afternoon where they will be alone--no adults listening in. And they'll be able to just talk.
  • At first the six kids are very hesitant, but soon they begin calling the room the ARTT (A Room To Talk) Room, and they begin to learn it is a safe place.
  • They talk to each other about things they don't talk about with anyone else: a dad who has suddenly gone missing, another dad who is in prison, a kid who deals with assumptions about his race, and tensions between them all.
  • The room, and the time, makes each kid braver than he or she was before.

Happy reading!

October 2, 2018: Nonfiction and Fiction Read-Alikes

When the Sky Breaks: Hurricanes, Tornadoes, and the Worst Weather in the World by Simon Winchester

  • Informational nonfiction. 551.55 WIN
  • Simon Winchester is a weather watcher. He's been all over the world, tracking the world's worst weather.
  • This book looks at how, when, where, and why hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, and tornadoes start building, how they build, and what happens when they hit.

Terror at Bottle Creek by Watt Key

  • Action/Adventure Fiction. F KEY
  • book trailer
  • Cort and his father live in Alabama, where his father is an expert hunter and knows all the swamp lore and has been teaching Cort everything he knows.
  • When a Category 3 hurricane unexpectedly hits landfall, Cort must put everything he knows to the test. Things don't go well, though, and Cort and two neighbor girls must brave the storm the best they can.
  • In the middle of storm-thrashed Alabama with wild animals also trying to survive, Cort must fight for their lives.

Orphan Train Rider: one boy's true story by Andrea Warren

  • Narrative nonfiction. 921 NAI
  • Between 1854 and 1930, more than 200,000 orphaned or abandoned children from the northeast were sent west on orphan trains to find new homes.
  • The homes the children found were sometimes good and sometimes not so good.
  • This book tells the history of the orphan trains in general and the story of Lee Nailling, a nine year old who went to Texas in 1926.

A Family Apart by Joan Lowery Nixon

  • Historical Fiction. F NIX
  • It's 1856, and the six Kelly children who live in New York City have been taken from their home and sent west to Missouri. And their mother wanted it to happen. She's convinced they'll have a better life than what she can give them.
  • Once they arrive in St. Joseph, MO, they are split up. And oldest sibling Frances is not about to let that happen. She'll do whatever it takes to protect her brothers and sisters.

The Little Rock Nine: a Primary Source Exploration of the Battle for School Integration by Brian K. Krumm

  • Informational nonfiction. 379.263 KRU
  • The Little Rock Nine were a group of students in Little Rock, Arkansas who became the representatives of the fight to end school segregation in the United States. They endured violence and vicious words to stand up for their rights.
  • This book tells the story of the Little Rock Nine from their points of view and the points of view of the people who were against them.

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

  • Historical fiction. F LEV
  • 12 year old Marlee is starting middle school in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1958 and is having a really hard time. Until she meets Liz, the new girl.
  • Liz and Marlee begin to get to know each other and become great friends. Liz is everything Marlee could want in a friend.
  • Suddenly Liz doesn't come to school anymore without even saying goodbye, and Marlee hears a rumor that Liz was African-American passing as white.
  • Marlee has to decide if their friendship is worth the risk--should she fight segregation and risk her family's safety to keep Liz as her friend?

Happy reading!

September 4, 2018: Like this book? Then you might like that one too!

Did you like The 13-Storey Treehouse? Then try Wonkenstein by Obert Skye!

  • F SKY science fiction/fantasy
  • Robert is not a big fan of reading, so he stashes the books his parents give him in his closet.
  • One day a little creature walks out of his closet. He half grunts, half talks, and seems to be a combination of some book characters he's tried to ignore. He names the creature "Wonk."
  • Together, Robert and Wonk have some adventures and figure out how to solve Robert's problems.
  • Book Trailer

Did you like Storm Runners? Then try Ghost Dog Secrets by Peg Kehret!

  • F KEH mystery/suspense animal action/adventure
  • Rusty and his friend Andrew are taking care of dog that is chained up with no food or water, even in the very cold weather.
  • When they realize the dog is injured, they take it to their secret hideout.
  • They face multiple challenges as they protect the dog, including a mystery ghost dog, Andrew's snoopy sister, and the dog's abusive owner.

Did you like One For the Murphys? Then try The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson!

  • F PAT realistic fiction
  • Gilly is eleven years old and has been in more foster homes that she can count, and has hated them all.
  • Her reputation is that she is brilliant but also completely unmanageable. And she likes it that way.
  • When she's sent to live with the Trotters, who are the strangest family yet, she has a plan to take care of them and get her real mother to come rescue her. But her plan doesn't work quite the way she thought it would.

Did you like Smile? Then try Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf by Jennifer Holm!

  • F HOL realistic fiction
  • Ginny has big plans for her seventh grade year to make it great.
  • Those plans do not include accidentally turning her hair pink, getting sent to detention for throwing frogs in class, or losing the lead role in the ballet recital to her ex-best friend.
  • Ginny is having one of those years.

Did you like Dog Man? Then try The Giggler Treatment by Roddy Doyle!

  • F DOY fantasy
  • This book is about Mr. Mack, his wife Billy Jean, and his children Robbie, Jimmy, and Kayla.
  • Even more, this book is about what happens when adults are mean to children.
  • What happens? The Gigglers, of course. And their treatment? "Poo on the shoe."

Happy Reading!