• Welcome teachers! Log in or Register Now for a free ProTeacher account!

Book suggestions needed


Junior Member
My Walk to Read class finished reading "The Giver" and seemed to really get into it at the end, although I can tell that it is not a bbok they would have chosen for themselves.
Now I need to pick another book or go back to the Basal, Which they hate. One of my students suggested doing lit. circles, but I am wondering if it too late in the year to try and organize something like that. Plus these students are not good at working on their own so much, easily distracted. So any ideas for a new book? We have already read Holes and The Watson's go to Birmingham.We are currently studying the 60's and 70's in Socials Studies.

Mrs. G

Senior Member

Bud, Not Buddy is an excellent book. My 5th graders are reading it now and they love it! Holes is another good book for 5th grade. ;)


Senior Member
Literature Circles

I just finished Watson's my kids absolutely loved it....umm the 60's and 70's I'm not sure about ...but here's some ideas of books my kids drooled over: Esperanza Rising, Walk Two Moons, and how about Christopher Paul Curtis's second book after Watson's - Bud Not Buddy the kids will love it...you could do an author spotlight his most recent book Mr. Chickee's money just came out 6 months ago....the kids really relate to his characters...my students are writing Mr. Curtis right now to see if he will come to our school!


Senior Member

Does it have to be about the 60s and 70s? If it doesn't, I can tell you some of my student's favorites:
1. Where the Red Fern Grows (sad, but a definite favorite!)
2. Hatchet (and the sequel - Brian's Winter)
3. The Westing Game (great mystery!)

I don't think it's too late to organize lit. circles. In fact, this is a good time of year because I like to take the kids outside to let them sit around in circles far enough away from the other groups that they don't hear each other as easily. The basketball court is a great place for that, and spring is beautiful weather for it.


Senior Member

Some of my favorites for lit circles: Confessions of a Liar and her Dog, The Report Card, and Babe and Me. My class enjoys lit circles. It's never too late to start.


Senior Member

My fifth graders love Maniac Magee. We have fun with that book. I am trying to branch out and get some new ideas for it.


Full Member
It's not too late

I just started lit circles about a month ago, and my kids love them. They have grown so much due to the individual jobs they perform within their group. Because of lit circles they did wonderfully on our state assessment test. Here is the way I progressed:

First: Do one book as a whole class and each day assign a new job for EVERYONE to work on. This way they are learning the jobs as you go.

Second: Do one book as a whole class, but put the kids in groups. Within each group, every person has a different job each day.

Last: Do different books depending on the group. Within each group, every person has a different job each day.

If you want more details just let me know. :)


New Member
Book suggestions

-The Phantom Tollbooth (for more advanced readers)
-Bridge to Terebithia
-Among the Hidden (there are two sequels about the shadow children as well)
-My Brother Sam Is Dead

That's all I can think of at the moment...and the books the students enjoyed the most! :-)


Bud Not Buddy

My class will be reading the book next month...What activities are done with your students?


Get a new book!

You need to get something new. Sixty Jars in a Pioneer Town is historical fiction and will keep your readers very engaged. Time for change from the same-old-books!


Senior Member

My kids wrote a few journal entries to practice paragraph writing. We drew pictures of the photograph described of Bud's mother to demonstrate how powerful Curtis's descriptions are. We also did abstract illustrations of the chapter in which Bud hears the band for the first time. I also used passages to extend lessons on prepositions and prepositional phrases as well as pronouns and antecedents. I wanted to include lessons on identifying simile and metaphor, because the book is rife with figurative language (also onomatopoeia). I had the kids also complete a few character graphic organizers and, vocabulary study including a looping game, and crossword puzzles. They did a few scene sketch graphic organiezers too. I think most of our time was spent on reading and talking about the book. I tried to help them sharpen their skills in the inferring. I googled a few pictures of Hoovervilles too as a grabber and had the kids write a page to explain who, what, when, where, and how. Some kids were really inspired to write lengthy narratives about these pictures. I also played jazz music while they worked on some of these creative activities.



My students have NEVER shown interest in Hatchet, Where the Red Fern...or any of the same old classics, if you will, used in 5th grade. Each year, 100's of new books are published with current issues and topics, and characters kids in 2006 can relate to...

Here are some my kids love:
Tiger Rising
Ida B
Becoming Naomi Leon
Ruby Holler

Yes, offer choices including the older books, but don't be afraid to launch into new lit. You don't need a guide or a list of activities to do with a book. Teach kids how to authentically respond and interact with text--They will fall in love with books for a lifetime! Loose the laminated lesson plans and teacher guides--My students respond on a very surface basis when I rely on published materials. They can think--They have billions of neurons and dendrites dancing in their heads. Open up the world of books to them!

When I ask a question similar to "What did you like most about reading this year?" on an end of year survey, without challenge, the responses reflect the enjoyment of choosing what they read instead of "being forced" to read the teacher's list of books.

RH teacher

Lit Circles

I'm planning to do lit circles with my 5th grade. Does anyone have a good resource for organizers for the roles? Any other help would be greatly appreciated since this is my first time trying it.


The Among the Hidden Series has grown. There are now four sequels, and all wonderful!



The book Rules by cynthia lord is a fantastic book for read aloud/ lit circles.