Need the best 5th grade books for summer reading? This list of books for your kids, ages 10 or 11, are organized by genres to help you find a good middle grade book for every interest and reader.
If you’re new to Imagination Soup, welcome! I’m a former teacher, a mother, a writer, and an avid children’s literature reader. I read over 1000 books a year and pick the best books to share with you!
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Speaking of picking books, let your readers choose the books they want to read from this list! Why? Because book choice is crucial to ownership and motivation.
I’m not including reviews on this book list for 5th graders, but you can read all my book reviews and recommendations for 5th graders here.
In addition, it’s worth mentioning that these books are good choices for other grade levels, too.
However, if you want other book lists of easier or harder book lists, check these summer reading lists:
Summer Reading List for 4th Grade
Summer Reading List for 6th Grade.
See ALL summer reading lists here.
Remember, summer reading programs can be a great motivation for your fifth graders. I especially love programs that give free books as a reward. Even better, when they give readers the book first!!
Best 5th Grade Books to Read for Summer Reading (Ages 10 – 11)
Fantasy Summer Reading Book Ideas for 5th Grade
- Amari and the Night Brothers (series) by B.B. Alston
- The Endling: The Last (series) by Katherine Applegate
- Travis Daventhorpe for the Win! by Wes Molebash
- Area 51 Interns: Alien Summer by James S. Murray and Carsen Smith
- Escape from Atlantis by Kate O’Hearn
- Pahua and the Soul Stealer by Lori Lee
- Dungeoneer Adventures by Ben Costa and James Parks
- Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat
Adventure Summer Reading for 5th Grade
If you like adventures, you’ll love
- Green Lantern Legacy by Minh Le (graphic novel)
- Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation (series) by Stuart Gibb
- Explorer Academy: The Nebula Secret (series) by Trudi Trueit
- Alone by Megan E Freeman
- Masterminds (series) by Gordon Korman
- The Unforgettable Logan Foster by Shawn Peters
Mystery Summer Reading for 5th Grade
If you like mysteries, you’ll love:
- Minerva Keen’s Detective Club by James Patterson and Keir Graff
- Framed! A T.O.A.S.T. Mystery (series) by James Ponti
- The Screaming Staircase (series) by Jonathan Stroud
- Nooks and Crannies by Jessica Lawson
- The Frame-Up by Wendy McLeod MacKnight
- The Case of the Left-Handed Lady: An Enola Holmes Mystery (series) by
Historical Fiction Summer Reading for 5th Grade
If your 5th grader likes historical fiction, they’ll love one of these middle grade choices:
- A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus
- Lifeboat 12 by Susan Hood
- Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park
- Brother’s Keeper by Julie Lee
- Pony by R.J. Palacio
- Loyalty by Avi
- The War That Saved My Life (series) by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
5th Grade Books to Read: REALISTIC
If you like realistic fiction, try reading one of these excellent 5th grade books:
- Measuring Up by Lily LaMotte (graphic novel)
- Roll with It by Jamie Sumner
- A Duet for Home by Karina Yan Glaser
- Unteachables by Gordon Korman
- Isaiah Dunn is My Hero by Kelly J. Baptist
- Not an Easy Win by Chrystal B. Giles
- New Kid by Jerry Craft (graphic novel)
- From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
- Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega
- Finally Seen by Kelly Yang
5th Grade Books for Summer Reading: FUNNY
If you like funny books, you’ll laugh your way through these choices:
- Phoebe and Her Unicorn: A Heavenly Nostrils Chronicle by Dana Simpson
- The Worst Class Trip Ever (series) by Dave Barry
- The Last Kids on Earth (series) by Max Brallier
- Anyone But Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp
- The Last Last Day of Summer by Lamar Giles
- Once Upon a Tim by Stuart Gibbs
- Crabgrass Comic Adventures by Tauhid Bondia
5th Grade Books to Read: ANIMALS
If you like animal stories, you’ll love:
- Katie the Catsitter by Colleen AF Venable (graphic novel)
- Always Clementine by Carlie Sorosiak
- Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien
- Ride On (gn) by Faith Erin Hicks
- A Whale in the Wild by Rosanne Parry
- Cress Watercress by Gregory Maguire
- The Aquanaut by Dan Santat
- Dog Driven by Terry Lynn Johnson
5th Grade Books to Read: NONFICTION
What about NONFICTION? Here are some great choices:
- Accidental Archeologists: True Stories of Unexpected Discoveries by Sarah Albee
- Two Truths and a Lie by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson, illustrated by Lisa K. Weber
- So You Want to Be a Ninja? by Bruno Vincent
- A Brief History of Underpants by Christine Van Zandt
- The Thrifty Guide to Ancient Rome by Jonathan Stokes
- Black Heroes of the Wild West by James Otis Smith (graphic novel)
- Human Body Learning Lab by Betty Choi, M.D.
- Almanac 2023 National Geographic Kids
- The Biggest Stuff in the Universe by Mr. DeMaio
- Wild Life! a Look at Nature’s Odd Ducks, Underfrogs, and Other At-Risk Species by Re:Wild and Syd Robinson
Don’t forget to find ways to make reading FUN!
Participate in a summer reading program.
Read with a headlamp in bed.
Read on an electronic device. (Free eBooks?)
Start a book club.
Reward reading with . . . more BOOKS! (Kids choose, of course.)
Even More Book Suggestions for Your 5th Graders:
–> More Book Recommendations Plus REVIEWS for 5th Graders