I have compiled a reading list for each grade we have been through in our family so far. This year, I am teaching fifth and second with a cute three year old in tow, and I realized I never put out a fifth grade reading list! Here is the fourth grade list: https://theparentingpassageway.com/2011/06/02/waldorf-homeschooling-fourth-grade-reading-list/.
Here are few recommendations for fifth, compiled from the appendices in the Path of Discovery books by Eric Fairman and the Waldorf Student Reading List book. I notice as we move up in the grades, there tends to be more overlap between grades in terms of books recommended which is most likely due to each individual child being at different reading and maturity levels. As always, preview if you have a sensitive reader!
Pretty much anything by Enid Blyton – for this age, The Secret Seven are fun British mystery!
Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys and Trixie Belden…My current fifth grader likes Trixie Belden better than Nancy Drew.
The Hobbit – my voracious reader really only has been interested in this book this year; she attempted to start it last year but she didn’t get very far. I wonder if different temperaments would devour this more readily.
I would add in here The Chronicles of Narnia if your child has not read those
The Island of the Blue Dolphins and the sequel Zia by Scott O’Dell
These are from the Waldorf Reading List for Fifth/Sixth Grade, we have not read all of these:
Padraic Colum The Children Of Odin: The Book of Northern Myths
Sharon Creech: Walk Two Moons
Karen Cushman: Catherine, Called Birdy
Robert Stevenson: Kidnapped and Treasure Island
Isabel Wyatt books
Ella Young Celtic Wonder Tales ; The Tangle-Coated Horse
Lois Lenski: Prairie School; Strawberry Island
Patricia Maclachen: Sarah: Plain and Tall and the sequel is Skylark
Rosemary Sutcliff: Light Beyond the Forest
TA Barron’s The Ancient One (my daughter also read TA Barron’s books regarding the Lost Years of Merlin and enjoyed those)
Ron Jones: The Acorn People
Madeliene L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time, The Wind In the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, etc.
Anything by E. Nesbit
Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series
The Redwall series by Brian Jacques (many children seem to find these monotonous after they read the first few)
Susan Coolidge: What Katy Did and others
Ursula LeGuin: A Wizard of Earthsea, etc.
The Root Cellar by Janet Lunn
Lucy M. Boston The Castle of Yew, The Children of Green Knowe, The Chimneys of Green Knowe, etc.
Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer
Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark
All of a Kind Family series – Sydney (these are recommended for Third Grade as well)
The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
The Golden Goblet by Eloise McGraw
Books by Jean Little
I would add: any books in the Little House series that you deem appropriate, and for botany I would add “Girls Who Looked Under Rocks: The Lives of Six Pioneering Naturalists” and the books by Jean Craighead George such as “One Day In the Alpine Tundra” etc…some of these were recommended in the Christopherus Botany guide here:
There are also, of course, many books that go along well with the them of Ancient Civilizations and Mythology as well.
I would love to hear some of the books your children really enjoyed in Fifth Grade, and what you all really enjoyed as a family.
Thank you! I have a fifth grader (in public school) always looking for book ideas so we’ll enjoy looking over this list when she gets home
I only have a first grader (and under) right now. But my mother taught fifth grade (in regular schools) for a decade and she always read “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” to her class. As my brothers and sisters and I grew up, she was no longer teaching, but as we each reached fifth grade, she would read the same book to us. I can’t wait to read it to my own kiddos.
Thanks Carrie, I always love your lists!
Thank you for the reading list. I’m going to be homeschooling my 5th grader this year and this looks great. Just a side note to the previous comment, as a child I adored Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH but when I went to read it with my fourth grader I was surprised by how sexist it seemed to me. I ended up shelving it. I wonder if anyone else had this experience?
I never read that book as a child and I have not read it yet as an adult so I cannot comment. Maybe one of my readers can!
Carrie, I have found your reading lists really helpful. I am wondering if you have any ideas; I am looking for a book for my fifth grade girl. The social dynamics have really begun shifting in her class with some girls being quite mean to others. I’d like to find a book that deals with this in some way to help her process what’s happening. Thanks!
Let me think on it, okay? Nothing is springing to mind…I am thinking one of the Little House books where Laura goes to school and Nellie is mean….but I can’t remember the title.
We are reading “Around the World in 80 days” and my 11 year old boy is really enjoying it.
I love that book, kirsysonner…I usually read it in seventh, because I like how it ties into exploring and the world geography of that grade, but it is a great book for anytime!
hello, I was noticing that you said your daughter read all the Merlin books by T.A. Barron in 5th grade? did I get that right? my daughter read the first one and I know that a series can progress into inappropriate sometimes and I couldn’t find any other info on it. thanks for the help and the list!