What are good middle grade books for 5th grade girls that they’ll love reading? And that will keep them immersed in excellent stories with rich language, relatable themes and topics, and expand their worlds?
These are some of my favorite book choices for 5th graders— that I’ve read and shared with my students and children and that kids agree are un-put-down-able.
Give your 5th-grade girls choices of which book to start with — that builds motivation. How can they choose a book? Let them read my reviews and see if the book sounds interesting. If they’re still wondering, they can read the reviews online (Amazon or Goodreads) and see what other people love about these books.
But there are so many more good books for 5th grade girls. Visit all my reviews for 5th graders and keep your kids or students reading!
Best Books for 5th Grade Girls
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
This is one of the best, life-changing middle grade books you’ll ever read. Narrated by Melody, we learn what it’s like for her, a girl with cerebral palsy who can’t speak or take care of herself. No one except her parents thinks that she’s smart. Then, one day, she gets a chance to prove how smart she is. Heartbreaking. Real. Inspiring. Beautifully written.
From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
On her 12th birthday, Zoe, a girl who loves to bake, discovers a letter to her from her incarcerated biological father, Marcus. She decides to write him back, even daring to ask him about the murder he’s in jail for — did he really do it? Marcus writes to Zoe that he’s innocent and he can prove it, which sets Zoe on a quest to find out the truth for herself, even if her mom and stepdad forbid it. She enlists the help of her Grandma and her best friend, Trevor. You won’t be able to put down this winsome story with a heroine you can’t help but adore; a story that illuminates social justice with themes of family, friendship, and love.
Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston
Fantastic fantasy world-building, excellent writing, a strong female heroine of color, and a surprise plot twist ending are just a few of the reasons you’ll love this book. On top of that, you’ll find an exciting action-packed, suspenseful story about Amari whose brother vanishes mysteriously. He sends her a message that she’s a magician and should attend a special school. There, she discovers she’s a magician with outlawed dark magic but she’s determined to stay in the school and find her brother.
Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin
Snow and Rose are two sisters who with their mother live in the woods after their father disappeared in those same woods. The girls befriend both a young boy from a mushrooming family and a large bear. But danger arrives with the Huntsman and a sinister Little Man who seeks to enchant them or kill them. Surprisingly, this is a MARVELOUS Grimm story with a happy ending!
City Spies by James Ponti
When Sara, a foster kid and hacker, gets in trouble again, her new so-called lawyer recruits her to be an MI6 spy. Sara joins a team of other kids, trains quickly, and is immediately sent undercover to break open a big case in Paris. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I predict you’ll love every second of this action-packed story! It’s filled with great characters and an interesting twisty plot. You won’t be able to put this series down.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Wonderfully crafted and imagined, this 2017 Newbery winner is a fairy tale about a good witch who rescues the town’s many abandoned (sacrificed) babies, one of whom she adopts and names Luna. It’s also the story of the baby’s magical, bereaved mother, a wicked witch who feeds off sorrow, a woodcarver who wants justice, and most of all, a girl named Luna who grows up to be amazing.
Dust by Dusti Bowling
REALISTIC / FOOD ALLERGIES
Avalyn, a spelling bee fanatic, lives in dry Arizona, which is supposed to be better for her asthma–until Adam moves to town, bringing pain and throat-clogging, asthma-attack-inducing dust storms. She wonders if her superpower is sensing energy– like Adam’s negative energy. As she investigates and observes Adam, she and her friends continue to be relentlessly bullied at school. She also struggles with the challenges that come with food and environmental allergies. This story deftly addresses abuse, bullying, asthma, and allergies. The author’s note in the back gives readers advice on what to do if they suspect abuse.
Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan
Action, intrigue, plot twists, and super-cool technology! Ana is the only surviving relative of Captain Nemo. When her school is attacked, she and her crew need to find the Nautilus and the school’s secret base while trying to evade their enemies. You won’t be able to put this book down– run out to get it as soon as possible — it’s a page-turning adventure that will appeal to all boys and girls.
Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova
REALISTIC / GRAPHIC NOVEL (series)
My daughter found this book SO RELATABLE — just like she struggles with confidence and speaking up, so does the main character, Peppi. This well-done graphic novel tackles the issues of friendships and confidence, among other things. We highly recommend this book for 5th grade girls.
5 Worlds: The Sand Warrior by Mark Siegel, Alexis Siegel, Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, and Boya Sun
SCI-FI / GRAPHIC NOVEL
Gorgeous artwork sets the tone for an otherworldly story of five worlds that are falling into chaos. When one world attacks another, Oona Lee, a sand dancer, rescues two boys and they journey on a mission to light the unlit Beacons in order to save the worlds. But they face a dark force and a devastating betrayal. I think this is a perfect science fiction adventure for 5th grade girls.
Front Desk by Kelly Yang
REALISTIC / IMMIGRATION
Mia and her parents have struggled ever since moving to America from China. When her parents take a new live-in job at a motel, they end up working around the clock for very little pay. Mia helps out by working at the front desk. She befriends the weekly tenants and uses her English skills to write letters advocating for other people in tough spots. This book is more than a memorable coming-of-age immigrant story, it’s also about tolerance and diversity. You’ll love this story— the writing, the characters, and the plot.
Measuring Up by Lily LaMotte, illustrated by Ann Xu
REALISTIC / COOKING
A beautiful story of food, a close-knit, multigenerational family, finding your place in a new culture and country, and staying proud of your heritage…Cici moves to the U.S. from Tawain and wants her A’má to come, too. She hopes to win the grand prize in a cooking contest and use the money to buy her A’má a plane ticket. Cici wants to cook American food like her cooking contest partner…She learns from Julia Child but in the end, Cici returns to her Tawainese roots to win the contest.