Skip To Main Content

Logo Image

Logo Title

Incoming 5th Grade Summer Reading List - 2023

SCAPA Bluegrass

Rising 5th grade  Summer Reading List

23-24 School Year

Rising 5th graders are asked to read three books from the list below over the summer. Upon return to school, students will take Accelerated Reader (AR) tests on the titles chosen to earn points toward a reading grade. Books on our summer reading list may be found at public libraries or local/online bookstores. To assist with student selection, a  summary, Lexile level, and AR grade level/point value are included below. 

 If you have questions, reach out to 5th grade classroom teachers: Melanie Stivers 

For summer reading, rising 5th graders should choose any three books from the 32 titles listed below:

  1. Chasing Redbird-Sharon Creech (790L  AR:5.0/7.0)

Thirteen-year-old Zinnia Taylor uncovers family secrets and self-truths while clearing a mysterious settler trail that begins on her family's farm in Kentucky.

  1. Schooled-Gordon Korman (740L   AR:4.9/7.0 )

Cap lives in isolation with his grandmother, a former hippie, but when she falls from a tree and breaks her hip, Cap is sent to a foster home where he has his first experience in a public school. 

  1. Small As An Elephant– Jennifer Richard Jacobson (790L   AR:5.3/7.0 )

Abandoned by his mother in an Acadia National Park campground, eleven-year-old Jack tries to make his way back to Boston before anyone figures out what is going on, with only a small toy elephant for company. 


  1. Front Desk– Kelly Yang (640L   AR:4.5/9.0)

Ten-year-old Mia Tang's parents are recent immigrants from China and desperate for work and money. When they take a job managing a rundown motel in Southern California, Mia works the front desk and tries to cope with demanding customers.

  1. The Swag In His Socks– Kelly Baptist  (760L   AR:4.7/7.0 )

Twelve-year-old Xavier Moon gets the courage to step out of the shadows when his great-uncle gives him some outlandish socks and some even stranger requests. 

  1. The Last Holiday Concert– Andrew Clements (800L    AR:5.4/4.0) 

Life is usually easy for popular sixth grader Hart Evans, but when his music teacher puts him in charge of the holiday concert, Hart must use all of his leadership skills to unite the other students.

  1. You Go First– Erin Entrada Kelly (640L  AR:4.7/5.0 )

Over the course of a week, Charlotte and Ben, online friends connected only by a Scrabble game, intersect in unexpected ways as they struggle to navigate the turmoil of middle school. 

  1. When The World Turned Upside Down– K. Ibura (750L   AR:5.0/7.0)

Friends separated during the coronavirus pandemic find ways to help others who are struggling within their community. 

  1. Hoot– Carl Hiaasen (760L   AR:5.2/9.0)

Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy's attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.

  1.  Fast Pitch– Nic Stone (790L  AR:5.⅖.0 )

Shenice Lockwood, captain of the Fulton Firebirds, is hyper-focused when she steps up to the plate. Nothing can stop her from leading her team to the 12U fast-pitch softball regional championship, but life throws some curveballs her way. 

  1.  All The Stars Denied– Guadalupe Garcia McCall (790L  AR:5.2/11.0 )

When resentment surges during the Great Depression in a Texas town, fifteen-year-old Estrella organizes a protest against the treatment of tejanos and is later dumped with her mother and baby brother in Mexico. 

  1.  Pizza My Heart–Rhiannon Richardson (840L   AR:5.5/7.0  )

Maya Reynolds has practically grown up in her family's Brooklyn pizza shop, Soul Slice, and is a true city girl. When her family moves to a small town in Pennsylvania to open another pizza place, everything changes. 

  1.  Elijah of Buxton– Christopher Paul Curtis (980L    AR:5.4/12.0  )

In 1859, eleven-year-old Elijah, the first freeborn child in Buxton, Canada, a haven for slaves fleeing the American South, uses his wits to try to bring to justice the lying preacher who has stolen money that was to be used to buy a family's freedom. 

  1.  Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky– Kwame Mbalia (710L   AR:4.8/15) Seventh-grader Tristan Strong tumbles into the MidPass and, with allies John Henry and Brer Rabbit, must entice the god Anansi to come out of hiding and seal the hole Tristan accidentally ripped in the sky. Book #1

  1.  A Time Traveler’s Theory of Relativity– Nicole Valentine (630L   AR:4.7/9.0) A few days before his birthday, Finn learns that the women of his family are time travelers and they expect him to help locate his missing mother.

  1.  The Storm Keeper’s Island– Catherine Doyle (780L  AR:5.5/9.0)

Fionn Boyle, terrified of the sea, must spend the summer with his older sister, Tara, and their grandfather on Arranmore, an island that has been known to make people disappear. Book #1

  1. The Van Gogh Deception– Deron R. Hicks (750   AR:5.4/9.0)

When a young boy is discovered in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, without any recollection of who he is, he must piece together the disjointed clues of his origins while stopping one of the greatest art frauds ever. Book #1

  1.  Out Of My Mind– Sharon M. Draper (700L   AR:5.0/8.0 )

Melody cannot walk or talk, but refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates who dismiss her as having an intellectual disability.

  1.  Wonderstruck– Brian Selznick (830L   AR:5.4/4.0)

Twelve-year old Ben, whose story is told in words, loses both his mother and his hearing and leaves home to seek the father he never knew, while Rose, whose story is told in pictures, is also compelled to search for the something missing in her life.

  1. Artemis Fowl– Eoin Colfer (600L    AR:5.0/9.0)

Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a brilliant criminal mastermind, but even he does not know what he has taken on when he kidnaps fairy Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These fairies are armed and they are dangerous. Book #1


FCPS 23-24 Elementary Battle of the Books List 

**Indicates books that are KBA winners for 23-24. (Kentucky Bluegrass Award)

L–Lexile  AR– Accelerated Reader: Grade Level/AR Point Value

  1.  **The Aquanaut- Dan Santat (470L   AR: 2.5/1.0)  With her father lost at sea, Sophie wanders aimlessly around Aqualand, a marine theme park, until an "aquanaut" breaks into the park's research lab. Together, Sophia and her new friends confront Aqualand's dark side.

  1.   **Bartali's Bicycle: The True Story of Gina Bartali, Italy’s Secret Hero - Megan Hoyt (Reading Age: 4-8 yrs.   AR: 4.2/0.5)  Italian cyclist Gino Bartali, winner of the 1938 Tour de France, secretly worked with the Italian resistance to save Jewish men, women, children and others from certain death during World War II.


  1. .**Hummingbird-Natalie Lloyd  (610L   AR:4.2/7.0)  Eleven-year-old homeschooled Olive is tired of being seen as "fragile" just because she has osteogenesis imperfecta (otherwise known as brittle bone disease), so she's thrilled when she convinces her parents to let her attend Macklemore Middle School.

  1. **Odder- Katherine Applegate (Reading Age: 9-11yrs. Grade Level, 4-6   AR: 5.6/2.0) Odder spends her days off the coast of central California, practicing her underwater acrobatics and spinning the quirky stories for which she's known. She's a fearless daredevil, curious to a fault.

  1.  Iceberg - Jennifer A. Nielsen ((730L  AR: 5.1/11.0)   As disaster looms on the horizon, a young stowaway onboard the Titanic will need all her courage and wits to stay alive. Text includes religious bias and imagery that may be disturbing.

  1. **Masters of Disguise: Camouflaging Creatures and Magnificent Mimics – Marc Martin (Reading Age: 4-8 years   No AR)   Now you see them, now you don’t. Cloaked in a riot of color, pattern, and texture are a dozen animals—from chameleons and polar bears to Gaboon vipers and mimic octopuses—that have mastered the art of fading into the background. Fact-packed pages segue into clever and beautifully illustrated seek-and-find spreads that put readers’ newfound knowledge of each creature and its ecosystem to the test. In a timely and visually arresting novelty book for nature lovers of every stripe, Marc Martin jets budding conservationists around the world to artfully expose the secrets of animal camouflage.

  1.  **The Unforgettable Logan Foster- Shawn Peters 

(Reading Age: 8-12yrs. Grade Level: 3-7   AR: 6.1/9.0)  Logan, an undersized twelve-year-old orphan with a photographic memory and no filter, discovers that his foster parents are superheroes in grave danger. Text includes violence and bullying. Book #1


  1. **Stinetinglers: All New Stories by the Master of Scary Tales - R.L. Stine  (480L   No AR)   A boy who hates bugs starts to see them everywhere. A basketball player’s skin starts to almost drip off his hands—but no one else can see it. Three friends find a hole in the ground that just gets bigger, and bigger, and bigger.... And each story is introduced by Stine himself, providing a personal touch sure to delight fans. Laced with Stine’s signature humor and a hefty dose of nightmarish fun, Stinetinglers is perfect for fans of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Stine’s own Goosebumps books. These chilling tales prove that Stine’s epic legacy in the horror genre is justly earned. 

  1. Frizzy- Claribel Ortega Grade Level: 3.7, Reading Age 8-12   AR: 3.0/1.0)  Tired of going to the salon to have her curls straightened every weekend, Marlene slowly learns to embrace her natural curly hair with the help of her best friend and favorite aunt. Book has bullying. 

  1.   Spy School- Stuart Gibbs ((740L   AR: 5.3/9.0)  Twelve-year-old Ben Ripley leaves his public middle school to attend the CIA's highly secretive Espionage Academy, which everyone is told is an elite science school. Book #1

  1.  **Just Right Jillian-  Nicole D. Collier ( Grade Level: 3-7, Reading Age: 8-12yrs.   AR3.8/6.0)  Jillian does everything she can to blend in, including staying quiet. After she loses a classroom competition because she won't speak up, she sets her mind on winning her school's biggest competition. 

  1.  **A Rover's Story- Jasmine Warga  (Grade Level: 3-7, Reading Age: 8-12yrs.   AR 3.8/6.0)  Res was built to explore Mars. He was not built to have human emotions, but as he learns new things from the NASA scientists who assemble him, he begins to develop human-like feelings.

PLEASE NOTE— The FCPS Elementary Battle of the Books List has been included with this Summer Reading List. Students are more than welcome to also select books from the Battle of the Books list for summer reading, especially if they are interested in participating in Battle of the Books this school year. Please see below for information about Battle of the Books.

What is Battle of the Books?

Battle of the Books is a reading promotion program in Elementary and Middle Schools where students compete in a tournament style competition by answering questions about books on a designated book list. For Elementary, students read a total of 12 books in preparation for the BOB competition. Participation in Battle of the Books is voluntary. For more details, please reach out to Ms. Jeanene Jones, SCAPA Librarian,  OR 859-381-3332 Ext. 41623.