I ntermediate Grades: 3-5
GREENWALD, TOMMY. Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading
Charlie Joe Jackson may be the most reluctant reader ever born. And so far, he's managed to get through life without ever reading an entire book from cover to cover. But now that he's in middle school, avoiding reading isn't as easy as it used to be. Charlie Joe finds himself resorting to desperate measures to keep his perfect record intact.
Book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBzmNIepzbU
As thirteen-year-old twins, Coke and Pepsi McDonald, continue their dangerous road trip, they find themselves being chased by an evil Elvis impersonator and trapped by flesh-eating soda pop.
also: Mission Unstoppable and Never Say Genius (books #1 & 2 of the Genius Files)
Book trailer for The Genius Files: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMsDvLAVk48HENKES, KEVIN. Junonia
Alice and her parents spend the week of Alice's tenth birthday as they always do on Sanibel Island, Florida, but Alice gets upset when she discovers some of the people who are always there are missing and new ones have arrived, and Alice wants things to be like they have always been.
Kevin Henkes talks about his book Junonia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ph0dWCn6xp8
Carley becomes a foster child and moves in with the Murphys and she's blindsided. This loving, bustling family shows Carley the stable family life she never thought existed. She feels like she doesn’t belong in their perfect household. Despite her resistance, the Murphys eventually show her what it feels like to belong.
Book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBFUPBw7KLI
Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.
Book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOXDD3atWco
Despite facing a host of problems, old and new, optimistic third-grader Sunny continues her quest to create a national Kid's Day and improve other holidays, especially the upcoming Valentine's Day, while bringing joy to those around her.
also: Sunny Holiday
Timmy Failure is the funny and clueless 11-year old CEO of the best detective agency in town and perhaps the nation. You will meet his lazy partner, a polar bear, named Total as they adventure through the story. This story has been compared to Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
Book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ch6eXUoe-RY
Georges has a lot on his mind. He has recently moved and his mom works long hours at the local hospital. Things get interesting when he meets Safer, another boy in the building who runs a spy club. Find out what happens when they try to solve the case of Mr. X in this realistic fiction set in NYC.
also: When you Reach Me, First Light
Derek Fallon gets the opportunity of a lifetime—to be a stunt boy in a major movie. After accepting the job he learns that he is the star's stunt double and must wear a wig! This is a great story if you don’t think you are a reader.
VAIL, RACHEL. Justin Case: Shells, Smells, and the Horrible Flip-Flops of Doom
Justin is going to start the 4th grade if he can just survive the summer and camp! With bus rides to camp, bugs, mess halls and flip-flops, Justin worries if he can survive. Join him as he works on shedding his just in case attitude on his way to being brave.
Book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNRv-M8Z1Ro
also: Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily DIsasters
WEEKS, SARAH. Pie
Family and friendship couldn’t be more important after Alice’s Aunt Polly passes away. But what happened to Aunt Polly’s famous pie recipe? Did she leave it in a will to somebody? Everyone in town is trying to be the winner in the next pie-contest, including Alice’s mother and some of her friends.
BRUEL, NICK. Bad Kitty Meets the Baby
Kitty's owners are home with a big surprise for Kitty. But what is it? Kitty, reeling in horror, thinks it’s a . . . dog. The neighbor cats are convinced it’s a cat. But we all know that it’s really a BABY!
also: other books in the series
When her best friend is abducted by an alien doomsday cult, Zita leaps to the rescue and finds herself a stranger on a strange planet. Humanoid chickens and neurotic robots are shocking enough as new experiences go, but Zita is even more surprised to find herself taking on the role of intergalactic hero.
Book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FbFjGdhryE
Grab your board! The powder's fresh and Babymouse is hitting the slopes in the 17th installment of the popular, award-winning graphic novel series by Matthew Holm and three-time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer L. Holm!
also: other books in the series, and the Squish series
Graphic novel star Kazu Kibuishi creates a world of demons, a mechanical rabbit, a giant robot---and two ordinary children on a life-or-death mission. Follow Emily and Navin on their adventures through an unknown world as they quest to overcome evil.
GIFF, PATRICIA REILLY. Gingersnap
It's 1944 and W.W. II is raging. Jayna's big brother Rob is her only family. When Rob is called to duty on a destroyer, Jayna is left in their small town in upstate New York with their cranky landlady. Courage is the key to Jayna’s happiness.
LAI, THANHHA. Inside Out and Back Again
Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.
MORRIS, GERALD. The Adventures of Sir Gawain the True
Sir Gawain, the only undefeated knight in King Arthur's court, eventually learns the value of friendship, courtliness, and courtesy after a challenge from the Green Knight.
PATRICK, DANIEL LEWIS. Cecile’s Gift 1853
Volunteering at an orphanage, Cécile becomes especially close to one little girl named Perrine. When Cécile hears that a huge benefit will be held to raise money for all the orphanages in New Orleans, she determines to take part.
also: other books in the seriesROCKLIFF, MARA. Me and Momma and Big John
Momma comes home from work, tired and sore from a long day at her job. She used to work on the factory line, but she’s a stonecutter now, helping to build the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. She works all day on just one stone, and finally, Momma’s stone is finished. Little John and his sisters can't wait to see her special stone — in this luminous true-life story.
The master puppeteer, Gaspare Grisini, is so expert at manipulating his stringed puppets that they appear alive. Clara Wintermute, the only child of a wealthy doctor, is spellbound by Grisini’s act and invites him to entertain at her birthday party.
TARSHIS, LAUREN. I Survived the Battle of Gettysburg, 1863
The bloodiest battle in American history is under way in 1863. Thomas and his little sister, Birdie, have fled the farm where they were born and raised as slaves. But things change when Corporal Henry Green brings Thomas and Birdie back to his regiment, and suddenly it feels like they've found a new home.
also: other books in the series
Tully wants is to enjoy his retirement. But mama chick Moosh and chicks Dirt and Sugar are acting strange. A possum keeps finding its way into the chicken coop. And J.J. has questions about Diamond Lil, the fancy new dog next door. He’ll have to track down the clues and sniff out the evidence to save the day.
also: The Trouble with Chickens
Someone has been stealing treats from her friends at school, and suspicion swirls around a chubby boy named Poloko. Encouraged by her father, who has noted Precious’ powers of deduction, the sleuth decides to follow her instincts and prove Poloko innocent.TURNAGE, SHEILA. Three Times Lucky
Rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, where everyone's business is fair game and no secret is sacred. So when a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known.
Since returning from London, the three Incorrigible children and their plucky governess, Miss Penelope Lumley, have been exceedingly busy. Despite their wolfish upbringing, the children have taken up bird-watching, with no unfortunate consequences—yet. And a perplexing gift raises hard questions about how Penelope came to be left at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and why her parents never bothered to return for her.
also: The Mysterious Howling and The Hidden Gallery
Book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9us5ljBWKY
ARONSON, MARC. The Skull in the Rock
With the help of his curious 9-year-old son, Professor Lee Berger-- discovered Australopithecus sediba; a previously unknown species of ape-like creatures that may have been a direct ancestor of modern humans. Hailed as one of the most important archaeological discoveries in history, these fossils reveal what may be one of humankind's oldest ancestors.
also: Trapped; and If Stones Could Speak
BANG, MOLLY. Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas
Poetic language and dazzling illustrations introduce the oceanic world. From tiny aquatic plants to the biggest whale or fish, the life cycle and food chain deep within our wondrous oceans are uniquely explained.CATE, ANNETTE LEBLANC. Look Up! Bird-watching in Your Own Backyard
This conversational, humorous introduction to bird-watching encourages kids to get outdoors with a sketchbook and really look around. Quirky full-color illustrations portray dozens of birds chatting about their distinctive characteristics, including color, shape, plumage, and beak and foot types, while tongue-in-cheek cartoons feature banter between birds, characters, and the reader.
A young girl's courage is tested in this haunting, wordless story. When she discovers a runaway slave hiding in the barn, she is at once startled and frightened. The stranger's fearful eyes weigh upon her conscience, and she must make a difficult choice. Will she have the courage to help him?
DECRISTOFANO, CAROLYN. A Black Hole is Not a Hole
If a black hole is not a hole, then what is it? Find out what they are and how astronomers find them. Get to know our nearest black-hole neighbor and take a journey that will s-t-r-e-t-c-h your mind.
Denver Planetarium trailer for Black Holes movie: http://vimeo.com/26693043
Tells the tale of the sinking of the Titanic using real-life stories from the witnesses and survivors ‒ from the stewardess…to the Captain of the CARPATHIA, who came to the rescue of the sinking ship.
McKENDRY, JOE. One Times Square
Have you ever stood in Times Square in New York City? This book brings history to life with vivid pictures and words, telling the story of how Times Square grew from a dirt road to the most famous intersection in the world.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. Angry Birds: Space
Follow the Angry Birds as they fly through four levels, traveling farther and farther into space to learn all they can about planets, moons, stars, galaxies, and the mysteries of the universe in order to rescue their precious eggs from the evil space piggies. also: Playground Animals and Angry Birds
Book trailer for Angry Birds: Birds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXeR6FV-tM0
SMITH, CHARLES R. Brick By Brick When the president of the United States needed a new home, who would build it? This is the story of how the White House in Washington, DC was created … by human hands working toward their
The true story of a not-so-birdbrained African grey parrot who astonishes everyone with his ability to do math and speak hundreds of words.
Animal Planet Special featuring Alex the parrot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_Fpad20Zbk
World War II was over, Berlin was in ruins, and the children were hungry and afraid. An Air Force pilot wanted to help, but what could one man in one plane do? Drop chocolate out of the plane!
WEITEKAMP, MARGARET. Pluto’s Secret: An Icy World’s Tale of Discovery
What in the world is Pluto? With zippy dialog and whimsical artwork, this book will help you find the answers. A very funny book from the smart scientists at NASA.
HUGHES, LANGSTON. I, Too, Am America
This visual story-poem illustrated by Bryan Collier describes the courage and dignity of the Pullman porters as they worked day in and day out on trains across America.
LEVINE, GAIL CARSON. Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It
A wickedly funny collection of snarky, false apology poems. As the book says: “If you’re looking for a nice happy book, put this one down and run away quickly. Forgive me. Sweetness and good cheer are boring.”LEWIS, J. PATRICK. National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry
200 poems that squeak, soar, and roar, by various authors. With breathtaking photos for all the animal lovers in your family. Listen to one of the poems: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4l_EQCwzJc
Funny poems about real and not-so-real creatures, including this one: “I’ve lost my hippopotamus, The situation’s weird. One minute she was next to me, Then pouf! she disappeared. It’s hard to lose a hippo, For a hippo’s truly huge – I’m sensing something fishy, Some unsavory subterfuge.”
RACZKA, BOB. Lemonade and Other Poems Squeezed From a Single Word
Part anagram, part rebus, part riddle – these poems capture a scene from a child's daily life and present a puzzle to solve. Sometimes sweet and sometimes funny, but always clever, these poems are fun to read and even more fun for kids to write.
A collection of short poems which, when reversed, turn into fairy tales. Fun and magical!
CROWE, CHRIS. Just as Good: How Larry Doby Changed America’s Game
A telling of the true story behind the creation--and breaking--of the Curse of the Bambino, inflicted on World Series champions the Boston Red Sox after they traded Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1918.
Brothers Tank and Jimbo Turner love sneaking into Nashville's Sulphur Dell Ballpark to watch the superstars of Negro League baseball. When Josh Gibson, the famous home-run hitter for the Homestead Grays, bunks at their house, the boys think they're one step away from heaven.
also: other titles in the Scraps of Time series
A visual profile of baseball star Willie Mays, tracing his Birmingham childhood, achievements in the Negro Leagues, and fame as a center fielder for the Giants.
See Willie Mays’ famous catch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUK9lG-7HTc
also: No. 1 Car Spotter series by Atinuke
Babymouse series by Jennifer Holm
also: Squish series
Beast Quest: The Dark Realm series by Adam Blade
Big Nate series by Lincoln Pierce
Blast to the Past series by Stacia Deutsch
also: Capital Mysteries series
Calvin and Hobbes series by Bill Watterson
Charlie Small series
Chet Gecko series by Bruce Hale
Clementine series by Sara Pennypacker
Complicated Life of Claudia Cristina Cortez series by Diana Gallagher
Cool Sports Facts series
Cupcake Club series by Sheryl Berk
avid Mortimer Baxter series by Karen Tayleur
Dessert First series by Hallie Durand
Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney
Doodles of Sam Dibble series by Judy Press
Dragon Slayer’s Academy series by Kate McMullan
also: Myth O Mania series
Dragonbreath series by Ursula Vernon
Dyamonde Daniel series by Nikki Grimes
Easy-to-read Spooky Tales series by Veronika Charles
Ellray Jakes series by Sally Warner
Field Trip Mysteries series by Steven Brezenoff
Franny K. Stein series by Jim Benton
My Weird School series by Dan Gutman
also: My Weird School Daze series; and My Weirder School
Geronimo Stilton series
also: Thea Stilton series
Jake Drake series by Andrew Clements
also: Stink series also: Sisters Club: Rule of Three series
Keena Ford series by Melissa Thomson
Liberty Porter, First Daughter by Julia DeVillers
Lunch Lady series by Jarrett Krosoczka
Magic Thief series by Sarah Prineas
Max Disaster series by Marissa Moss
Max Finder Mystery series by Liam O’Donnell
Merlin’s Dragon series by T.A. Barron
National Geographic Kids Everything series
Oggie Cooder series by Sarah Weeks
Pandora series by Carolyn Hennesy
Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
also: The Kane Chronicles series
Peter and the Starcatchers series by Dave Barry
Ready Freddy series by Abby Klein
Secret Agent, Jack Stalwart series by Elizabeth Hunt
Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch
Secrets of Droon series by Tony Abbott
Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
Shredderman series by Wendelin Van Draanen
Simon Bloom series by Michael Reisman
Sister Magic series by Anne Mazer
Sisters 8 series by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley
also: The Seekers series and The Warriors Graphic Novel series
Weird But True! series by National Geographic Kids
Whatever After series by Sarah Mlynowski
Willimina series by Valerie Wesley
Who was . . .? biography series
Zack Files series by Dan Greenburg
also: Weird Planet series
Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs series by Sharon Draper
also: Sassy series
AUTHORS TOO GOOD TO MISS:
Here are some great authors to explore for intermediate readers:
Nic Bishop, Andrew Clements, Kate DiCamillo, Hallie Durand, Dan Gutman, Mary Downing Hahn, Carl Hiaasen, Gordon Korman, Kathleen Krull, Wendy Mass, Gary Paulsen,
Jack Prelutsky, Graham Salisbury
HERE ARE SOME RECOMMENDED READING WEBSITES, TOO:
Author James Patterson works with children’s book expert, Judy Freeman, to present a resource-rich website full of “unforgettable titles bound to turn kids on to books.”
Author, Jon Scieszka has created a wonderful websites of suggested titles specifically aimed toward boys; but, don’t kid yourself, girls will love these books as well.
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