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Best Kids Books

The Best Books for Fifth Graders

Fifth grade is an important time in every reader’s life. Why? Well, at this point, budding bookworms have a sense of the topics they enjoy, while their growing skills open them up to a world of new reading opportunities.

The best books at this stage are going to pique their curiosity, drive interest in new areas, and strengthen their comprehension in a big way. As your little one explores everything from middle grade fiction, to graphic novels, to activity books and more—there’s a whole lot to choose from. We’re highlighting some of the books that we’ve seen fifth graders fall for time and time again. Here are Literati’s top picks for fifth grade readers:

Book cover for Strange But True

Strange But True: 10 of the World’s Greatest Mysteries Explained

by Katherine Hulick

In this captivating book, Hulick takes readers on a fact-first journey from UFOs to krakens, with a pit stop in Atlantis. The author provides psychological and scientific explanations behind these mysterious phenomena to help your child learn how science can help discern fact from fiction. Hulick invites your reader to think scientifically and expand their critical thinking skills. In her pursuit of factual explanations for strange phenomena, she covers a wide variety of historical and scientific topics—your reader will learn a little bit of psychology, geography, and even some marine biology!

Book cover for Framed!


by James Ponti

Framed! centers on a young sleuth who is so good he’s “on the FBI Director’s speed dial.” Think Sherlock Holmes in grade school with a sharp sense of humor—and it’s just the first of the series! We love an independent problem-solver, but the strong friendship at the center of the story makes it a must-read. Plus, the main character’s framework for solving life’s daily mysteries is one that your young reader can keep in their toolbelt, too.

Book cover for The Homework Machine

The Homework Machine

by Dan Gutman

A nerd, a wisecracker, a goody-two-shoes, and a slacker. What could these four possibly have in common? They all share one secret: the homework machine. In this cross-clique adventure, the D Squad is on a mission to hide their magical creation from fellow fifth graders—or worse, their teachers.

In The Homework Machine, it’s a classic humans vs. technology battle. Will the squad be able to control their machine? Or will they lose their special tool… and also their top grades? Your favorite young reader will cackle with every page of this hilarious sci-fi adventure.

Book cover for Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

by Dusti Bowling

Born without arms and adopted as a toddler, our protagonist is the new girl in town. She’s also a daydreamer with an attitude and a wild sense of humor—but her life takes a turn when she discovers a secret in a rundown western theme park.

This inspiring story will prepare your reader for longer, more in-depth narratives, while sharing lessons in empathy and self-acceptance that are spot-on for their social development.

Book cover for LOL Keepsake Journal

LOL: A Keepsake Journal of Hilarious Q&As

By Brandon T. Snider

“Dear Diary” can get a little boring from time to time. How about a prompt to get that journal entry started—would you rather shave your head or wear the ugliest wig in the world for a week? Eat a slug, or keep a live cricket in your mouth for five minutes?

With super silly would-you-rathers, fill-in-the-blanks, and doodle ideas, this book beats a blank diary any day of the week. Your middle-grader will love coloring outside the lines in this keepsake journal and digging deep to answer thought-provoking questions.

Book cover for This is Not a Science Book

This is Not a Science Book

By Clive Gifford

Don’t let the title fool you—this activity book teaches science through stealth. Your middle-grader will draw, puzzle, and build their way through this super-interactive book, and before they know it, become a science sage.

This book is a perfect pick for kids who are shy around the subjects of math and science. They’ll map out bones in the body, create their own optical illusions, and even build high-flying rotocopters. This book is a non-intimidating romp through the natural world, making it the best book for sixth graders or seventh graders who struggle with science.

Readers Thrive with Literati

As your reader ventures into longer stories and more complicated plots, it’s important to find books that fit their level. Books that are too easy won’t keep them engaged, and books that are too challenging can discourage them from reading. 

With Literati’s personalized kids book clubs, you’ll never have to worry whether your bookshelf is suited to support your child’s progress. Instead, you’ll get a box of books that are perfectly-curated for their reading level and their unique interests. 

Authored by Charlie DeTar
October 5, 2022
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