The Perfect 5th Grade Summer Reading List

Summer often has a way of quickly disappearing on children, parents, and educators if an education plan is not put in place. The summer reading slide is a real thing and before you know it, students will be turning up back at school in the fall at a lower reading level than when they left in May. It is another classic case where if a student does not use the knowledge and skills they have gained, they will lose it in a rather short amount of time. 

To combat the dreaded summer learning slide, here is a 5th-grade summer reading list that will not only keep a student’s literacy skills at a high level, but will also have them looking forward to reading all summer long. In addition, LightSail, the comprehensive literacy program, has a fully stocked online library that has all of these books available. 

Bridge to Terabithia

Winner of the 1978 Newberry Medal, the classic novel Bridge to Terabithia is the perfect book for a child just a year or two away from entering their teenage years. In the novel, the kids are experiencing plenty of the same issues and are completely relatable to the children actively reading the book. Without ruining the plot, Bridge to Terabithia is a story that will stick with the reader for the rest of their lives. 


Did Roald Dahl ever write a less-than-stupendous book? When determining the best children’s authors of all time, Dahl has to be high on the list. The BFG is a great book for 5th-grade students as fitting in with the crowd is never such an easy thing to do for anyone… Even giants!


Wonder is a New York Times Best Seller and it is ranked high on most reading lists for middle school and junior high students for a reason. In the story, Auggie Pullman is a unique but ordinary boy with a severe facial deformity who is able to live his life and express such kindness through his actions that it brings all people together. 

Where the Red Fern Grows

Where the Red Fern Grows explores the bond between a child and his beloved dogs. Billy purchases two young pups and turns them into one of the best hunting teams around, and they become his best friends in the process. But as often the case in these books, tragedy occurs, and trying to deal with the issue of loss is a very difficult thing to do. 

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