5th - 6th Grade

Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick

Since her dad returned from his last tour in Afghanistan, nothing in the lives of the Lovejoys has been the same. After losing a limb, her father’s career is over. He moves the family to his hometown of Pumpkin Falls to take over his parents’ bookstore. While helping clean up at the bookstore, Truly finds a mysterious, un-mailed letter inside a signed first edition of Charlotte’s Web.

The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis

In 1901, two boys become friends in eastern Canada.  Benji is a black youth who intends to become a newspaperman.  His pal is a red-haired Irish boy named Alvin.  Alvin wants to become a scientist.  The duo met at a forensics competition. Benji has landed an apprenticeship with a local newspaper and is always thinking of his next story. Alvin lives with his father and Grandma. While exploring the woods, they encounter the “Madman of Piney Woods,” who turns out to be a Civil War veteran who has become a hermit.

El Deafo by Cece Bell

Cece was four when she got meningitis and lost her hearing.    As she prepares for school, she gets a sonic ear which is a microphone and amplifier device.  It works so well, she can even hear when her teacher goes to the bathroom. The sonic ear is a bulky box that she wears on her chest, it’s hot in summer and cold in the winter and pretty obvious.  Throughout the book, Cece really just wants a true best friend, a sidekick.  So she creates a superhero character for herself, El Deafo! 

Audrey (Cow) by Dan Bar-el

Just before Audrey’s mother was taken away on a truck to Abbott’s War, she told Audrey a story about another cow that escaped from a truck and lived in a forest. (Animals on the farm don’t know what Abbott’s War is; they just know it’s bad.)  Audrey tells this story to her farm animal friends and when news comes down that Audrey is to leave the farm, Audrey and Eddie (a sheepdog) hatch a plan.  On the day Audrey has to leave she escapes to the forest where a whole other set of problems (and friends) arise.

Eddie Red Undercover: Mystery on Museum Mile by Marcia Wells

Edmund is an only child living in Manhattan with his parents.  He is a talented artist, and with his photographic memory, he is able to make remarkable sketches of people.  Hence, he is recruited by the police department to draw people he sees in art museums who might be part of an art theft ring. His police handler is Detective Bovano, who keeps Edmund safe during the investigation.

Mr. Max: The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt

Max is almost thirteen when his parents go to India to start a theatrical company.  The problem is, the ship they were supposed to sail on doesn’t exist.  Max needs a way to make a living after they disappear, so he starts a business solving problems and recovering items for clients. And he investigates what happened to his parents.  He uses a number of their theatrical costumes as he goes about this work around town, sometimes with comic effect.

Capture the Flag by Kate Messner

Three seventh graders, Anna, Jose, and Henry, meet when they are snowed in at the Washington, D.C. airport. They discover that each of them has a connection to the Silver Jaguar Society, a secret society dedicated to protecting the world’s artifacts. When the flag that inspired The Star Spangled Banner is stolen from the Smithsonian, the kids figure out the flag is at the airport and go after it and the thieves.

Knightly & Son by Rohan Gavin

Darkus Knightley’s dad has been in a coma for four years. During that time Darkus has kept himself busy dad by studying his detective dad’s case files at night.  Darkus is certain that there must be some clue to explain both his father’s current state, and the recent increase in crime.  Mr. Knightley suddenly wakes, which seems somehow related to the release of a book called The Code. He fears that the freaky things The Code makes readers do is the work of a shadowy evil group called The Combination.  Mr.

Life on Mars by Jennifer Brown

Arty’s goal is to find life on Mars. On the roof outside his bedroom, using a homemade signaling device, Arty directs messages toward Mars and waits for a response.  One night he sees a man come out of the house next door, carrying a black garbage bag into the woods. Arty and his friends Tripp and Priya decide his neighbor is a face-eating zombie and call him Mr. Death. Arty is upset to learn his family is moving far from the Midwest. Plans get mixed up while his parents are in Las Vegas, looking for a new house, and Arty must spend the night at Mr. Death’s house.

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