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12 Kid-Approved Books for Advanced Fourth and Fifth Grade Readers

by Kari Ness Riedel

Finding the right book is a challenge for many kids. It can be especially hard for advanced readers who are capable of reading significantly above their grade level. Students in fourth or fifth grade who can read at a seventh, eighth, or even high school level may gravitate toward the latest young adult sensation — think The Fault in Our Stars, If I Stay, or Twilight. But just because these kids have the ability to read these books, it doesn’t mean they necessarily should.

Here are twelve books recommended as “must reads” by advanced fourth and fifth grade readers on, an online community of young readers. These stories are engaging, thought-provoking, and encourage young readers to learn more about the world — all in an age-appropriate manner. Plus, they’re great reads for adults, too. Read along with your young reader and help them dig deeper by making connections from the books they read to current events, history, and their own lives.

  • History Meets Fiction

  • Echo

    by Pam Muñoz Ryan

    Echo, the newest book by the amazing Pam Muñoz Ryan, weaves together three powerful stories from three different cities both before and after World War II. A magical harmonica connects all of the stories and each one leaves you wanting more. Tommy, 10, says, “If you love music, you will love this book, it is so deep.”

  • Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

    by Grace Lin

    Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, a Newbery Honor book by Grace Lin, is a magical story that is part fantasy novel and part Chinese folklore. Readers get to join Minli on her incredible journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family's fortune. Abigail, 10, sums it up well with her review: “Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.”

  • The Watsons Go to Birmingham

    by Christopher Paul Curtis

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    Any books by Newbery Medalist author Christopher Paul Curtis are a good fit for advanced readers to learn more about important moments in history. Riley, 9, loved The Watsons Go to Birmingham, the story of a middle-class black family who travel from Michigan to Birmingham in the middle of 1963. She says, “I like this book because there are a lot of funny moments, as well as sad ones, and sweet ones.”

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