16. Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Mysterious, hidden children are the central characters in this novel by Margaret Peterson Haddix.
This story is set in a time of overpopulation, where having a third child is illegal due to food shortages. Despite this, Luke (the main character) is the third-born in his family, and as a result, he must remain hidden away in order to protect himself from the Population Police. He isn't even allowed outdoors once the woods near his home begins to be cleared for new houses.
However, when Luke notices a face hiding in a window of a neighbor's house, he is compelled to go find out who it is and discovers he isn't alone as a third child.
Full of drama, excitement, and adventure, this story is a great one for even reluctant readers.
Buy the Book: Among the Hidden
Get the No Prep Novel Study: Among the Hidden Novel Study
17. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Imaginations run wild with this delightful tale by C.S. Lewis. You can almost imagine the excitement of discovering a magical door hidden in your own wardrobe.
When four siblings step through the door of their new wardrobe they discover a whole new land called Narnia. Unfortunately, this land is under the power of the White Witch and is frozen in an eternal winter. This story follows their quest as they help the Great Lion, Aslan, save the kingdom.
Buy the Book: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Get the No Prep Novel Study: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe Novel Study
18. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
After surviving a plane crash in the rugged wilderness of Canada, Brian is in the fight of his life. This story is the ultimate in survival fiction as students follow Brian’s transformation from a scared, unsure boy to a strong, independent survivor. From making
From creating a fire to gathering food, Brian makes a lot of mistakes in his quest to survive, and Paulsen’s writing captures the imagination of readers pulling them into Brian’s journey.
Buy the Book: Hatchet
Get the No Prep Novel Study: Hatchet Novel Study
19. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
A fantasy tale about a widowed mouse and her small children, in this story Mrs. Frisby is faced with a move…or certain death.
With a young son suffering from pneumonia and numerous other challenges, Mrs. Frisby lucks out when she encounters the rats of NIMH. These (as luck would have it) highly intelligent problem solvers develop a brilliant answer to Mrs. Frisby's unfortunate situation.
A great read with lots of high-quality vocabulary!
Buy the Book: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Get the No Prep Novel Study: Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of NIMH Novel Study
20. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
This fantasy based on Greek mythology is a great novel that follows the story of Percy Jackson as he learns he is not just a typical 12-year-old boy. After discovering he is a demigod, Percy winds up on a quest to find Zeus' stolen lightning bolts.
Great for students who love the Harry Potter series, this book is just the first in a whole series.
With lots of action and excitement, along with relatable characters, your students will be begging to read the rest of the series after they finish this one.
Buy the Book: The Lightning Thief
Get the No Prep Novel Study: The Lightning Thief Novel Study
After seeing the popularity of my post about the best novels for 4th graders, I was inspired to compile this list of the 20 best books for fifth grade. (I've also added a list of the best novels for 3rd graders, in case you need it.)
Did I forget your favorite?? Leave me a comment and let me know your favorite novel for 5th graders.
Looking for more great tips for finding great books?
Maybe you've got some struggling readers or you don't need more books for 5th grade.
If you've already filled your book list for 5th grade, don't worry! I've got you covered. Check out the links below to access more great novels for other grade levels.