A good book for a 10-year-old boy or girl in fifth grade? These reviews will help you choose a good book for your fifth-grade class. Also, I’ve added the genre next to the title if your child or student likes a certain genre.
You can start with this age and grade only. Each child is unique and will learn to read at a different pace.
Looking for 5th grade books that are part of a set? Visit my list of book series for 5th graders to see what I think.
I have a list of the best books for 11-year-olds and a list of hard books for young advanced readers.
Go to my lists of the best books for 9-year olds or the best books for 5th graders if you want books that are easier to read.
Best Books for 10-Year-Olds (5th Graders)
A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus
Wonderful, heartwarming historical fiction that features very close-knit siblings who stay together and end up living in the same place for the rest of their lives These siblings were forced to flee London during WWII. They need to find a new place to live. Unfortunately, their places aren’t very good. Bullying and hunger are the only things that keep them alive. The only thing that helps them is the library and the librarian who is kind. She can’t be their foster mother because her husband is from Germany, but that doesn’t mean she can’t help them. Children can fight for a home with the librarian even if their new town doesn’t want them.
Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park
Park has written a wonderful, heartfelt story about a young half-Asian girl who lived on the frontier in the early 1800s. The story has a lot of different layers. After Hana’s mother dies, her father moves the two of them to a small town in the middle of the country. Set the scene with care, and you’ll see how life was like in the 1880s from a person who was discriminated against. In spite of many unfair things, Hana stays strong and wants to go to school and help her father in his shop.
Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
A new favorite fantasy series with elves, danger, and magical creatures! Sophie, who is 12 years old, doesn’t fit in with her world, maybe because she is a Telepath and not even a person. She leaves the human world and moves to the Elvin world, where she faces both human and Elvin threats. She thinks she’ll be safe if she can get back the memories she lost about her past.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
This book is so good, I’d say it’s a modern children’s book that people love today. A group of ghosts and other cemetery creatures raise Bod after his parents are killed when he was a baby. Bod lives in the graveyard with the ghosts and other cemetery creatures. Bod’s main guardian is Silas, who takes care of him, feeds him, and teaches him about the world around him. The ending is bittersweet, but it’s just right. My daughter yelled at me for making her read a sad book, but it was just right. Bod’s parents are killed in the first chapter. Most fifth-graders should be able to handle that, even though the title sounds scary.
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Having a sense of wonder helps us see compassion and empathy from a variety of characters’ points of view. August, a boy with a facial difference, starts public school for the first time in fifth grade, when he’s 13. His experience, even though it was sometimes hard, shows how strong he is inside. In this heartwarming story, we see that kindness always comes out on top.
Refugee by Alan Gratz
Wow. This book is a tween must-read about what refugees go through. Follow three different stories about being forced to leave your home country, on the run, and in danger. This is the first story. A young Jewish boy flees from Nazi Germany on a ship to Cuba. Next, we have a Cuban girl in the 1990s who flees to the United States on a home-made raft. Last but not least, is a story about an Iraqi boy whose home is bombed in a country that is in a war. Gatz skillfully connects all three stories with a satisfying, real-world ending that makes sense.
Legacy and the Queen by Annie Matthew, created by Kobe Bryant
This unique story is also well-written and completely enchanting. At an orphanage, Legacy lives with her father and all of the other orphans. She wants to play tennis, but she doesn’t have the money for it. After getting the chance, she leaves to try out for the best tennis school in the country. During her time at the Academy, Legacy is an outsider because she comes from a country background. But that also helps her find two true friends, her inner magical power, and the dangerous truth about what’s going on there. I thought this was a great mix of tennis and fantasy, and I can’t wait for the next book!
Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller, illustrated by Karl Kwasny
Charlie’s father gets married and moves Charlie and his younger brother into his new wife’s scary purple mansion. At that point, Charlie starts having terrible nightmares that blur the line between reality and dream. When the nightmare witches steal Charlie’s little brother, Charlie and his friends must venture into the nightmare world, face their fears, and hope they can save his little brother and the entire world before it’s too late.
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
One of the best books you’ll ever read. She tells us how it feels to be in a body that doesn’t let her speak or take care of herself. The only people who think she’s smart are her parents, and no one else. Then one day, she gets to show how smart she is. Heartbreaking. This is real. It’s a good thing. The text is very good.
Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova
Peppi, the main character in this book, is just like my daughter when it comes to having confidence and speaking up. This well-done comic book talks about friendships and confidence, among other things. (I’m glad I’m no longer in middle school.) We think this is a great graphic novel.