Try a new book that I found on borders.com
It is Sixty Jar in a Pioneer Town by N. Avery.
It is historical fiction. I needed something new for a change instead of the same tired list. My class liked it and it did not take very long to read.
*The Westing Game is a MUST!! Its genious! My kids love it every year. Its a great mystery involving many characters. Great for character analysis activities. When we were done with the book we used the elements of a mystery to create our own mysteries and then we played CLUE the game as an enrichment acticity--good deductive reasoning skilllbuilding.
* On My Honor--sad, but story hits home about followign your parents rules and right/wrong issues
*Holes---Another one my kids worshipped.
* Island of the Blue Dolphins/Hatchet--Survival Unit, fun...kids enjoyed stories and created our own survival stories afterwards.
Lion, Witch and Wardrobe--MOvie is great, too
Joey Pigza Swallowed a Key--boy with ADHD and his trials and tribulations
Letters from Rifka---sad, ww2
The War With Grandpa--lower level readers
Wrinkle In Time
Cricket in Times Square
Rats of Nimh
Bridge to Terabithia--Very sad, but so symbolic, one of my personal childhood favorites
Esperanza Rising---rich girl/poor girl... struggle with life after she loses everyhting..rises to her own challenges
Kensuke's Kingdom (pronounced "ken-sue-kay's") is the novel that my grade 5/6 class is enjoying right now. I have also read Number the Stars (my family is Danish and I can help the students make a lot of connections to the traditions in the story by bringing in artifacts, and by telling them about my father-in-law who was 10 when Germany invaded Denmark. ) I also like Tale of Despereaux and Silverwing.
I read 6 books to my grade six class this year and they worked through another 6 in book club. I start the year with Harris and Me, a summer remembered, ( I make sure to explain the historical and social context regarding some aspects of the book), I then read Touching Spirit Bear which has beautiful examples of the dress-ups and sentence openers I have taught the first few months of school; just before Christmas I read Freak the Mighty and we watch the movie, the Mighty with Sharon Stone. I put successful famous well known names on the board of people who have a learning disability and or physical disability before I begin that book. After Xmas I read The Breadwinner, Among the Hidden, and Running out of Time (didn't care for that one but the kids thought it was okay).