Brilliant books for fourth and fifth graders

If your child is in the fourth or fifth grade, then middle school is right around the corner! That means they will encounter many new things, which can be a bit intimidating. How can you help your child feel comfortable and shine in no time?  

Encourage your child to take a break from digital screens to crack open a book and dive into a new adventure! While they explore new worlds and time periods, they can improve comprehension and social skills to excel in more challenging classes and befriend new classmates. All of this can then boost their confidence to try new things, like extracurriculars!

From heartwarming to fantastical, here are the best books for fourth and fifth graders to read for fun and middle school preparation:  

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes | Eleanor Coerr

Hiroshima-born Sadako is lively and athletic—the star of her school’s running team. Then, the dizzy spells start. Soon gravely ill with leukemia, the atom bomb disease, Sadako faces her future with spirit and bravery. Sadako sets to work folding paper cranes, recalling a Japanese legend that holds that if a sick person folds one thousand cranes, the gods will grant her wish and make her healthy again.

Matilda | Roald Dahl

Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s just a nuisance. She expects school to be different, but there, she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a kid-hating terror of a headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by Miss Trunchbull, she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It’ll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves, and Matilda may be just the one to do it!

A Wrinkle in Time | Madeleine L’Engle

Winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, this is the story of the adventures of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe through space and time. They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on  the tesseract (wrinkle in time) problem. Will they be able to find him in this science-fiction adventure?

Island of the Blue Dolphins | Scott O’Dell

Far off the coast of California looms a harsh rock known as the island of San Nicholas. Here, according to history, an Indian girl spent eighteen years alone, and this beautifully written novel is her story. It is a romantic adventure filled with drama and heartache, for Karana had to contend with the ferocious pack of wild dogs, constantly guard against the Aleutian sea otter hunters, and maintain a precarious food supply.  

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe | C.S. Lewis

Air raids during World War II compel four siblings to be sent away to a professor’s house, where they discover a wardrobe that is a passageway into Narnia. A once peaceful world inhabited by Fauns, Dwarves, Giants, and Talking Beasts, Narnia has been frozen into perpetual winter by the fiendish White Witch, who rules over it. Soon, all of the children become embroiled in an adventure that includes themes of betrayal, forgiveness, death, and rebirth.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler | E.L. Konigsburg

Claudia Kincaid decides to run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City with her brother, Jamie. There, they find themselves caught up in the mystery of a statue that the museum purchased. Is it an early work of the Renaissance master, Michelangelo, and worth millions? This mystery leads Claudia to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the old woman who sold the statue, and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.

From magical lands to realistic experiences, these stories can teach your child a lot about being kind to others, believing in themselves, and thinking creatively. These well-written classics will improve your child’s vocabulary, comprehension, and writing skills!

Tackle the list above, and if your child wants more—or they already read the six books—feel free to move on ahead to the next level. They can also refer to the previous level if they want quick reads or have some difficulty with these ones. As long as your child is reading, they are learning, improving, and growing!

No matter where they are in their reading level, JEI Learning Center can help them advance through our JEI Reading & Writing program, now available through JEI Remote Learning! Even when they’re stuck at home, they can log on to discuss and answer questions about their latest reads with our expertly trained instructors. There is nothing better than implementing what they’ve learned from these books to complete our weekly workbooks.

Contact your local center today to enroll your child and boost their reading skills with our State Standard-aligned JEI Reading & Writing program!