Great Reads for Kids 10 and up (5th Grade)

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I feel like I am repeating myself but I can’t help it. Before you explore this list, check out the previous age categories first because those lists contain a lot of books for this age group but perhaps they could be enjoyed by an 8- or 9-year-old already so the book is there and not here. See lists for kids 9 and up, and what my kids read in earlier grades (My Daughter in 4th Grade, My Son in 4th Grade). I place the books in the category that I think is closest to the earliest age the book can be read independently. Most of the books are in a wide age range and can be enjoyed by kids from 8 – 12. Your child will not feel s/he is reading something babyish. On the contrary, I am sometimes not sure if the books in my lists shouldn’t be placed in a higher age range. Definitely start there first. You could miss great books if you didn’t.

Important: Once my daughter or son read a book from this list, I place it on the list My Daughter in 5th Grade or My Son in 5th Grade it is no longer here. For safer bets and the best books, check out those lists as well.

Three Times Lucky and The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing (My daughter read it over the summer before entering 5th grade, my son did too)
three times lucky

War Horse
war horse

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie  My daughter read this book at the beginning of 6th grade and loved it. My son read it in 5th grade and loved it too.
drums girls

Howl’s Moving Castle  I read this book with my kids.  If you like it, then try Castle in the Air and House of Many Ways.
howls moving castle

The Graveyard Book  If you don’t like horrors skip this one (just so that you know-it is mildly creepy, including a man who murders a family and tries to murder a toddler and a teen boy and girl).
graveyard

The Mysterious Benedict Society Click here for a list of books in this series. Both my daughter and my son read it at the end of 3rd grade.
the mysterious benedict society

Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods We listened to the audio book as a family. It is very well written, funny and entertaining (kids were in 3rd and 5th grade)
greek gods

Doll Bones My daughter read it in 6th grade.
doll bones

Al Capone Does My Shirts I read it with my kids when they were in 4th and 6th grade. They liked it but my son did not enjoy the next books in the series, which may be more suitable for older kids? My daughter on the other hand read all of them.
al capone

Everything on a Waffle
everything on a waffle

Greenglass House Click here for more ratings and reviews.
greenglass house

The Night Gardener
the night gardener

Paperboy
paperboy

Navigating Early
navigating early

A Long Walk to Water We listened to the audio book when my kids were 9 and 11.
a long walk to water

Seedfolks (a very short read)
seedfolks

Okay for Now
okay for now

The Last Dragonslayer For a list of books in The Chronicles of Kazam series click here.
the last dragon slayer

Hatchet Click here for other books in the Brian’s saga (they have really great reviews too). My son read it when he was in 4th grade. My daughter read it in 6th grade.
hatchet

Dragon Slippers Click here for the sequels. I read the series to my kids when they were 7 and 9.
dragon slippers

Chomp
chomp

Flush
flush

Bud, Not Buddy I read the book with my kids when they were at the end of 3rd and 5th grade.
bud not buddy

The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963 We listened to the audio book when my kids were in 3rd and 5th grade.
the watsons

Esperanza Rising My daughter read it in 6th grade.
esperanza rising

Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life For a list of books in this series click here.  This book has conflicting reviews–you must be okay with the fact that it glorifies breaking rules with the intent to be humorous. I suggest you check out the reviews yourself but this book has over 2,300 reviews and almost 5 stars so it definitely deserves to be on this list.
middle school the worst years of my life

I Funny: A Middle School Story For a list of books in this series click here.
I funny

Beyonders For a list of books in this series click here. A lot of people say it is a great read-aloud for the whole family.
beyonders

Twerp
twerp

Walk Two Moons
walk two moons

Small as an Elephant
small as an elephant

One for the Murphys My daughter read it over the summer before entering 5th grade.
one for the murhpys

Pictures of Hollis Woods
pictures of hollis

Julie of the Wolves For more ratings, reviews and books in this series click here.
julie of the wolves

Moon Over Manifest
moon over manifest

The Last Unicorn
the last unicorn

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
are you there god

The Case of the Missing Moonstone (The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency, Book 1). My daughter read it in 4th grade.
the case of the missing moonstone

Lost in the Sun
lost in the sun

100 Cupboards (slow start) For a list of books in this series click here.
100 cupboards

Scepter of the Ancients For a list of books in this series click here.
scepter of the ancients

Crispin: The Cross of Lead For a list of books in this trilogy click here.
crispin

The Copernicus Legacy: The Forbidden Stone For a list of books (so far one more) in this new series click here.
the copernicus legacy

The Hobbit If you can’t decide which edition to read, you can find read a post 6 Best Editions of The Hobbit for Young People
the hobbit

Sounder Sad but beautiful.
sounder

Freak The Mighty I read it to my kids when they were in 4th and 6th grade.
freak the mighty

Cardboard (easy to read, I read that the content is more suitable for kids of this age group, not younger; however, my daughter read it in 4th grade and my son LOVED it in 2nd)
cardboard

Sahara Special Read more reviews here. My daughter says she wants to be a teacher so I think she should not miss this book that so many people praise. My daughter read it in 6th grade and loved it.
sahara special

Becoming Naomi Leon My daughter read it in 6th grade.
becoming naomi leon

Bloomability
bloomability

Holes The sequel Small Steps is in my 12 and up category. My daughter read it in 4th grade. My son too.
holes

The Dark Is Rising Sequence: Over Sea, Under Stone; The Dark Is Rising; Greenwitch; The Grey King; Silver on the Tree
the dark is rising

Better Nate Than Ever Click here for the sequel (one as of now).
better nate than

Boston Jane: An Adventure For a list of books in the Boston Jane series click here.
boston jane

Call It Courage
call it courage

Frostborn For a list of books in the Thrones and Bones series click here.
frostborn

The Wish List
the wish list

It’s Not the End of the World Especially for kids going through a divorce.
its not the end of the world

Liar & Spy
liar and spy

The Mark of the Dragonfly
the mark of the dragonfly

Dealing with Dragons For a list of books in The Enchanted Forest Chronicles series click here. My kids listened to the audio book and loved it (age 8 and 10).
dealing with dragons

Museum of Thieves  For a list of books in The Keepers trilogy click here.
museum of thieves

Our Only May Amelia and its sequel The Trouble with May Amelia
our only may

A Faraway Island See more ratings and reviews here.
a faraway island

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard For a list of books in this series click here. My son read it in 4th grade.
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard

Wolf Hollow We listened to the audio book before the entered 5th and 7th grade.
Wolf Hollow

Goodbye Stranger
Goodbye Stranger

When Friendship Followed Me Home
When friendship followed me home

Lily and Dunkin
Lily and Dunkin

The Girl Who Drank the Moon My son read it in 4th grade and loved it. My daughter in 6th grade did not finish it.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Ghost For a list of books in the Track series click here. My daughter read it in 6th grade.
Ghost

A Night Divided We listened to this book when my kids were 9 and 11.
A Night Divided

So B. It
So B It

A Mango-Shaped Space
A Mango Shaped Space

The Wide-Awake Princess
the wide awake princess

The Thickety: A Path Begins For a list of books in this series click here.
The Thickety

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The Pitcher (for baseball fans)
The pitcher

Deadweather and Sunrise For a list of books in The Chronicles of Egg trilogy click here.
deathwater and sunrise

Breaking Stalin’s Nose  We listened to the audio book with my kids when they were at the beginning of 4th and 6th grade.
breaking stalins nose

Summer at Forsaken Lake
summer at forsaken lake

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition) We did not read this book but watched a documentary called He Named Me Malala when my kids were in 3rd and 5th grade and they liked it. It was very good.
I am malala

Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze (humor with sadness mixed)
milo

Black Beauty
black beauty

The Silver Bowl For a list of books in this trilogy click here.
the silver bowl

The Mostly True Adventures Of Homer P. Figg
the mostly true adventures

When Zachary Beaver Came to Town
when zachary beaver

Surviving the Applewhites For a list of books in this series click here.
surviving the applewhites

A Corner Of The Universe
a corner of the universe

The Birchbark House This book might not for everybody, it starts slow, contains a lot of information. Read reviews here.
the birchbark house

Romeo and Juliet Together (And Alive!) at Last
romeo and juliet together

The Great Gilly Hopkins
the great gilly hopkins

The Agony of Alice For a list of books in this series click here.
the agony of alice

Boys of Blur
boys of blur

The School for Good and Evil  For a list of books in this series click here. Yet another book that people read trying to find the next Harry Potter. Some  loved it, some hated it. It has plenty of good reviews so it’s up to you to decide whether you want to give it a whirl or not.
the school for good and evil

The Little Prince  If you type the title in the Amazon search window, you will get several editions of The Little Prince with umpteen reviews. After having read through many of them, I decided to link it to the original translation hoping that you will be able to find it at your local library. We have the book at home translated into Czech so I am not sure we will ever read it in English but so many people are upset about Richard Howard’s translation (modern language) that if I were to choose an English translation I would go with the one by Katherine Woods.
the little prince

Lizard Music  (funny, a great read-aloud)
lizard music

The Witch’s Boy
the witchs boy

Clockwork
clockwork

Charlotte Sometimes
charlotte sometimes

Mistress Masham’s Repose
mistress mashams repose

My Louisiana Sky
my luisiana sky

On Two Feet and Wings (nonfiction)
on two feet and wings

The Great Greene Heist
the great green heist

The Crossover (for basketball fans)
the crossover

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making For a list of books in the Fairyland series click here. My son listened to this book when he was 9.
the girl who circumnavigated

The Thing About Luck
the thing about luck

Ben and Me: An Astonishing Life of Benjamin Franklin by His Good Mouse Amos
ben and me

A Family Apart For a list of books in this series click here.
a family apart

Adventurers Wanted, Book One: Slathbog’s Gold (It is not as good as Harry Potter or LOTR but people say it is a good intro to the genre). For a list of books in this series click here.
adventurers wanted

Cheaper by the Dozen (We listened to the audio book when my kids were 7 and almost 9. They loved it but the vocabulary was quite difficult I think. Not sure for age would be appropriate for independent reading.)
cheaper by the dozen

Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief This is one of my daughter’s most favorite series. She probably read all of them in 5th and 6th grade.
Sammy Keyes

The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
the number devil

Nightbird We listened to the audio book when my kids were 8 and 10.
nightbird

Journey to the Center of the Earth
journey to the center of the earth

Far North
far north

Once Upon a Marigold
once upon a marigold

Close to Famous
close to famous

Buddy
buddy

On the Blue Comet
on the blue comet

Mockingbird
mockingbird

The Honest Truth (may be overwhelming for faint-hearted readers, read a few reviews first before deciding if your child is ready for it)
the honest truth

Genuine Sweet
genuine sweet

Confectionately Yours #1: Save the Cupcake! For a list of books in this series click here.
confectionately yours

Running Out of Time  My daughter read it in 6th grade.
running out of time

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge

Harbor Me

Amal Unbound

Breakout

Small Spaces

Hope in The Holler

The Teashop Girls For a list of books in this series click here.

City of Orphans

True Legend

The Stars Beneath Our Feet

See You in the Cosmos

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow For a list of books in this series click here. I read it with my kids when they were in 5th and 7th grade. We loved it.

The Wonderling

Dormia For a list of books in this series click here.

As Brave As You

Counting Thyme

Eddie Red Undercover For a list of books in this series click here.

The Nest

Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life

Louisiana’s Way Home

It Wasn’t Me

10 or 11 and up?

Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy

The Wee Free Men (The first in a series of Discworld novels starring the young witch Tiffany Aching.)

The Left-Handed Fate

Stormbreaker (action packed, probably more for 11-year-olds) For a list of books in this series click here.

Every Soul A Star

The Meaning of Maggie
the meaning of maggie

Among the Hidden  For a list of books in the Shadow Children Series click here.
among the hidden

The Lions of Little Rock
the lions of little rock

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (10 or 11?) We listened to the audio book when the kids were 10 and 12.
the evolution of calpurnia

Absolutely Normal Chaos
absolutely normal chaos

Ruby Holler
ruby holler

Out Of The Dust
out of the dust

Found For a list of books in The Missing series click here.
found

Letters from Rifka
letters from rifka

Stormbreaker For a list of books in the Alex Rider series click here.
storm breaker

Midnight for Charlie Bone For a complete list of books in The Children of the Red King series click here.
midnight for charlie bone

Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace
hiding out at a pancake palace

Pi in the Sky
Pi in the Sky

Hold Fast
hold fast

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key and Joey Pigza Loses Control
joey

Penny from Heaven
penny from heaven

Almost Home
almost home

The Wanderer
wanderer

Swallows and Amazons For a list of books in this series click here.
swallows and amazons

Ghostopolis
ghostopolis

The Search for WondLa For the other books in this trilogy click here.
the search for wondla

Chasing Vermeer  This book has mixed reviews but a lot of kids loved it so I decided to list it here. You can find sequels here. My daughter read it in 6th grade and liked it.
chasing vermeer

Shakespeare’s Secret
shakespeares secret

Waiting for Normal
waiting for normal

Petey
petey

Silent to the Bone
silent to the bone

Listen, Slowly
listen slowly

The Sea of Trolls For a list of books in this series click here.
the sea of trolls

Listening for Lions
listening for lions

The Grey King (The Dark Is Rising Sequence) (This is a fourth book in the series, for a complete list click here.)
the dark is rising

The Amulet of Samarkand For a list of books in The Bartimaeus Trilogy click here.
the amulet of samarkand

Inkheart For a list of books in the Inkworld Trilogy click here. I have read so many reviews on this Trilogy but I haven’t been able to decide where to place it. A lot of people recommend it for slightly older kids (11 and 12) because of its content. If you are not sure, it will not hurt if your kid reads it a bit later—it is a book teens enjoy too.
inkheart

Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio
small steps

If you are still looking for more books, check out the following reading lists:

List 1

List 2

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