During these first few weeks of school, I’ve tried some “book tastings” with fifth graders. I put out a lot of the new books and have them sample three different books for a couple minutes each. I’ve supplemented this with some book talks. After doing this in seven fifth grades, I’ve gotten a sense of what are some favorites this year:
The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John, illustrated by Kevin Cornell, published by Harry N. Abrams.
Wimpy kid fans have been checking out this book about two battling pranksters who unite to create the ultimate prank against their principal.
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. Published by Nancy Paulsen Books.
Sixth-grader Ally has moved so frequently that her dyslexia has gone undiagnosed. She feels like an outsider at school until substitute extraordinaire Mr. Daniels gets her some help. Definitely the sleeper of the new school year, with quite a few fifth-grade girls clamoring for this title.
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson. Published by Dial Books.
No surprise here. Astrid’s story about joining the roller derby has been popular with my Raina Telgemeier fans, and I expect word-of-mouth to play a large role as the school year progresses.
How to Speak Dolphin by Ginny Rorby. Published by Scholastic.
Any book with a dolphin on the cover is sure to generate some interest. The story is compelling, too, with Lily forced to make a difficult choice when she suspects the dolphin who is helping her autistic brother is being mistreated.
Ava and Taco Cat by Carol Weston. Published by Sourcebook Jabberwocky.
I’ve been surprised at the interest in this book. One reader has already finished it and asked me for the sequel, Ava and Pip (fortunately, I had it). Ava’s story about her new cat is told in diary format, with some of the wordplay her entire family enjoys.