Saturday, July 6, 2024

The Best Books Ever!

As part of our end-of-year wrap up in 5th grade, I asked my students to compile their own #BestBookList. They could choose an overall theme or not. You can see all of their recommendations at #BestBookList. For individual book recommendations, check out our  #iLoveMG posts. If you are looking for younger readers, #3rdfor3rd features recommendations from when I taught third grade.

The Best Books EVER!!

Recommended by Anonymous


Sugar and Spite is about a girl named Jolina who is the granddaughter of a arbularyo. Jolina uses the magic of her arbularyo and makes a love potion for a girl named Claudine that has been super mean to her. The potion works so well, Claudine is not just nice to Jolina but wants to be her BFF. 

The Wings of Fire series is about a world run by dragons. In the first 5 books, it is about 5 dragonets from different tribes stopping the war and a prophecy and the rest you will just have to read yourself. (Spoiler alert, they are AWESOME.) 

The Harry Potter series is about a boy who goes to a school for wizards and witches. He goes on amazing adventures with his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. 

A Tale Dark & Grimm is about a Hansel and Gretel who are the children of the king and queen of Grimm. Hansel and Gretel get treated poorly and go out to search for better parents. 

Super Boba Café is about a girl named Aria who goes to visit her nainai because of something and ends up helping her nainai protect the city her nainai lives and possibly the entire world from a monster who LOVES boba.

Click here for all of our #BestBooks posts. Which would YOU read first?

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Amazing Books for Fifth Graders!

As part of our end-of-year wrap up in 5th grade, I asked my students to compile their own #BestBookList. They could choose an overall theme or not. You can see all of their recommendations at #BestBookList. For individual book recommendations, check out our  #iLoveMG posts. If you are looking for younger readers, #3rdfor3rd features recommendations from when I taught third grade.

Amazing Books for Fifth Graders!

Recommended by Araina


One for the Murphys is a heart-warming book that has the sweetest story about a girl finding a family who will care for her.

The Girl with more than One Heart is a book about a girl trying to find happiness even though her dad died. 

Ruby in the Sky a good book about a girl who is going through hard times. She doesn’t want anyone to know about her family. Read this book to find out what really happened to her dad and what her mom did. 

I Can Make This Promise is about a girl who wants to know about her past. Read more to find out her actually family history.

Shape of Thunder is about two girls who friendship is starting to break because of a school shooting.

Click here for all of our #BestBookList posts. What is your favorite middle grade book for 5th graders?

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Orphan Island - book recommendation #iLoveMG

This is part of my continuing series, #iLoveMG , where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

Orphan Island

Recommended by Audra



Orphan Island is a really good book about a girl who lives on an island of orphans. Each year, the oldest one has to go away forever in a boat, and a new youngest one comes. This year, it’s Jinny’s best friend Deen’s turn, leaving Jinny as the Elder. Jinny knows that the Elders always leave, but is she ready? 
 
“Nine on an island, orphans all, 
Any more, the sky might fall.” 

I rate this book 5/5 stars because it is a really beautiful book about friendship, and sacrificing yourself for the people you love.

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Pay Attention, Carter Jones - book recommendation #iLoveMG

This is part of my continuing series, #iLoveMG , where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

Pay Attention, Carter Jones

Recommended by Anonymous



The book I’m reading is Pay Attention, Carter Jones by Gary D. Schmidt. It is about a kid named Carter Jones. His dad is in the army, so his mother is always taking care of them. But one rainy day a man rings the doorbell. Carter answers the door, and standing there is a tall man who talks in a British accent with queensley manner. Or in other words, a butler. 
 
I liked this book because it was very funny and interesting. I rate this book as 4.5/5 stars. I recommend this book for anyone who likes funny and can’t-stop-reading books.

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Needs some Raina Telgemeier readalikes?

Smile, Sisters, and Guts by Raina Telgemeier are megahits in the graphic novel world. Earlier, I suggested a roundup of realistic fiction graphic novels. This selection of readalikes is a bit wider ranging, including graphic novels and prose novels. 

If You Like Raina Telgemeier ... 



Smile, Sisters, and Guts by Raina Telgemeier (series)
Twins by Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright
Stargazing by Jen Wang
Roll with It by Jaime Sumner
First Rule of Punk by Celia Perez
When Stars are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson, Omar Mohamed, and Iman Geddy
Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai
Be Prepared by Vera Brosgel

What are your favorite graphic novels?

Saturday, April 20, 2024

Gregor the Overlander - book recommendation #iLoveMG

This is part of my continuing series, #iLoveMG , where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

Gregor the Overlander

Recommended by Anonymous



My book is called Gregor the Overlander. It is about a boy named Gregor and a toddler named Boots. Gregor also has a sister named Lizzie. Gregor’s dad mysteriously disappeared about 2 and a half years ago. When Boots falls into a grate in their basement with Gregor, they fall into a dark underworld. The humans live in a dark world along with giant creatures. Gregor and his sister must find a way out, but when they discover that they are part of a cryptic prophecy, they must complete the quest along with 10 others in order to find their way home. 

I would rate this book 5/5 stars because I think it is very well written and it makes you so that you can’t stop reading at one certain point.

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Book Review: The Wolf's Curse #iLoveMG

Every year my 5th graders do an independent book club where I give them a range of books to try. The goal is to stretch them as a reader - try a new genre, new style, new situations that they might not pick up on their own. #iLoveMG rounds up these reviews. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

The Wolf's Curse

Recommended by Lucie



I read The Wolf’s Curse by Jessica Vitalis. The genre of my book has some fantasy things and others are perfectly normal. A twelve year old boy has been accused of many deaths. The townspeople think that he summons the wolf. All he is able to do is talk and listen to the wolf. The mayor of the village want’s him put to death, but when the family member who was protecting him dies unexpectedly, he is now alone. Until some unexpected things happens. 
 
I really like this book because the plot is very creative. Many things take a turn so quickly and at the climaxes I never wanted to put the book down. It was also interesting because the book was told from the wolf’s point of view. You hear what the wolf thinks, not what the boy thinks. If you like halfway normal types of books then you will love this book! I liked this book because of the point of view it was told in. I would rate this a 8/10.

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Saturday, March 30, 2024

The Dark Life - book review #iLoveMG

This is part of my continuing series, #iLoveMG , where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

The Dark Life

Recommended by Elliot



Dark Life by Kat Falls is a high fantasy novel. It is about a boy named Ty, who has spent his whole life undersea, helping his family farm flourish. But roaming around undersea, there is also a group of outlaws, and when these outlaws start causing trouble, Ty is caught up in the shuffle, and has to fight for his home. 

He finds a girl named Gemma, who is from land, but has come undersea to look for her brother. As they venture, they also uncover secrets about living undersea. Seacrets that cannot fall into the wrong hands. 
 
Dark Life is a great book where layer after layer of secrets unfold, leaving the reader guessing. To lovers of Jennifer A. Neilson and Suzanne Collins, Dark Life is full of action, adventure, and lots of secrets. I strongly recommend this book. I would give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Saturday, March 16, 2024

The Super Secret Octagon Valley Society - book recommendation #iLoveMG

This is part of my continuing series, #iLoveMG , where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

The (Super Secret) Octagon Valley Society

Recommended by Asher



I recommend The (Super Secret) Octagon Valley Society by Melissa de la Cruz.

This book starts off with eight characters Anton, Ting Ting, Lil Kimmy, Julie, Maureen, Dilip, Harold, and the star of this novel Edwin. He has always been shy but very good at Mathematics top of his class even. He hopes that in his journey he will find others like him smart but a little nervous. 

In this thrill-finding, book watch as these eight iconic characters traverse The Octagon Valley Society Institute for the EXTRAordinary conquering whatever comes at them next.

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Babysitter's Club readalikes

My 5th graders love realistic fiction and graphic novels, so what could be better than realistic graphic novels? This #FirstChapterFriday collection is pretty much always checked out from the classroom library, but it's fun to booktalk them anyway so readers can plan ahead about books they'd like.

You can always tell the savvy readers who skip the queue at school and order books from the public library - smart!

If You Liked the Babysitter's Club Graphic Novels



Sunny Side Up (series)
Merci Suarez Changes Gears (series - not graphic novel)
Real Friends (series)
Just Jaime (series)
All's Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson
El Deafo by Cece Bell
New Kid (Class Act is the second, School Trip is the third in the series)

There are so, so many more graphic novels I could include (and you'll notice graphic novels pop up in a lot of my other book-recommendation categories too). What are your favorite realistic fiction graphic novels?

Saturday, February 3, 2024

Best Middle Grade Survival Stories

Survival stories are always a big hit with kids. I still have falling-apart copies of Hatchet well loved across several generations of students and readers, but there are so many amazing new survival stories in the last few years. 

Be prepared if sharing survival stories for #FirstChapterFriday - your students will NEVER want you to stop reading! 

Survival Stories



I Survived books (series) by Laura Tarshis (series)
Alone by Megan Freeman
The Canyon's Edge by Dusti Bowling
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
Hatchet (series) by Gary Paulsen
Stella By Starlight by Sharon Draper
Controlled Burn by Erin Soderberg Downing
The Disaster Days by Rebecca Behrens
Alone in the Woods by Rebecca Behrens

I was obsessed with survival stories as a kid (and definitely planned my own tree-based dwelling ala My Side of the Mountain). What's your favorite survival story?

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Princess Academy - book review #iLoveMG

Welcome to #iLoveMG where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

Princess Academy

Recommended by Eleanor



Princess Academy is a book by Shannon Hale. It is a fantasy novel with a lot of questions about what you actually want and a little bit of drama It is about a girl who is named Miri after a mountain flower. Miri and her family live on Mount Eskel. One day someone from the lowlands comes to Miri’s village with the news that the prince's bride will be from Mount Eskel. So Miri and girls her age are brought to the princess academy to learn to be proper. When unfair things start happening Miri speaks up for herself and all the other girls. But she doesn't know the is something more dangerous that she will have to face. 

This book has an interesting plot and the characters are determined to stand up for what's right and it has an interesting fantasy element that makes it exciting. I recommend this book to anyone who wants an exciting fantasy book about doing what's right and helping others. I rate this book 9/10 because it was super good and I would love to read it over and over again.

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Looking for Humorous Middle Grade Books?

So many students want humorous books. Instead of falling back on old standards, how about some of these titles? This topic was a HUGE hit with my 5th graders for #FirstChapterFriday. 

Humorous Middle Grade Books



What are your most in-demand humorous books?