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Author Topic: Good books for 4th & 5th grade girls  (Read 3153 times)

Hilary

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Good books for 4th & 5th grade girls
« on: March 20, 2012, 04:05:28 PM »
Help -- I need suggestions for a mother-daughter book club for next year, when the girls will be in 4th and 5th grade. Of course they are all terribly bright and good readers. The girls, anyway. :)
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RochMomof3

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Re: Good books for 4th & 5th grade girls
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2012, 05:26:22 PM »
I have a 3rd grade & a 6th grade daughter, and they both LOVE the Canterwood Crest book series. However, those are not too terribly "philosophical," and they do have a lot about boyfriends, which may not be appropriate for 4th & 5th graders (or my girls, either, but the books are also about horses, and my girls love horses).

The Canterwood Crest books do bring up typical pre-teen/ teen-age angst type issues, like cliques, and back-stabbing friends, and loyalties. For that reason, they may make good book club readings.

What about the old Judy Blume books? Those also addressed growing-up issues that may make for good book club conversations.

Are 4th & 5th graders in to Harry Potter? Or Hugo Cabaret?
Are they too young for the Hunger Games?

{Maya (my 6th grader) got Hunger Games for a 12th birthday present, and I can't even read it. What a horrible premise for a book! Really depressing, and especially for a 12-year-old, who really doesn't need any additional reasons to see the world as unjust and "not fair!"}
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Ann W.

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Re: Good books for 4th & 5th grade girls
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2012, 06:50:48 AM »


{Maya (my 6th grader) got Hunger Games for a 12th birthday present, and I can't even read it. What a horrible premise for a book! Really depressing, and especially for a 12-year-old, who really doesn't need any additional reasons to see the world as unjust and "not fair!"}

I felt the same way about the Hunger Games.  But my partner read them and she is now on the 3rd book with the kids (6th and 3rd grade).  They read them together. I would "hide" while she was reading the first one but eventually I got sucked in.  They are actually very well written and because we are reading them as a family the kids can pause and ask questions.  It addresses classism, crowd mentality etc.  I've actually come to like the books, but I am definitely glad we are reading them together as a family.

As for other books, I'll have to ask Marci what our daughter is reading right now.  This is a kid that we could never get to read (my son has always read everything he can get his hands on) Since we started home schooling her a light went on and she is reading all the time, I just need to find out what! (Marci knows). 
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JandJmom

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Re: Good books for 4th & 5th grade girls
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 10:53:00 AM »
The Penderwick's by Jane Birdsall has been a huge hit in our household (5th gradde boy, 2nd grade girl) and I like them too.  They are about a family of 4 girls and their father.  They have adventures and meet interesting people and do alot ontheir own.  Each girl has her own strong personality.  The language is interesting.  Did I mention I really like these books?
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Anna

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Re: Good books for 4th & 5th grade girls
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 12:52:03 PM »
I agree with Ann about the Hunger Games. Someone suggested them to my (then) 11-year-old a couple of years ago and when I discovered the premise of the books I told her she was too young for them. But last summer she started the first one, so I read it at the same time. So did my husband. When I say "read it at the same time", I mean that as soon as one of us put it down, even briefly, another picked it up immediately. We devoured all three within a week. I was impressed with how the author dealt with the idea of children killing each other without being too graphic -- the majority of the killings (not all) go on "off-stage". But I am more disturbed by how many of my daughter's friends say how much they love the books on a sort of teenage crush level. I'm not sure how many of them really think too deeply about how awful the society is. I think perhaps as parents, the idea of children killing each other disturbs us more just because we are parents. I think the Hunger Games is a great series, but there are plenty of other books around and 4th/5th graders could maybe wait a couple of years to read them. Am struggling to remember what we were reading when the older one was that age. She and her friends loved the Sharon Flake books. Maybe The Hobbit? Also Scott Westerfeld's Ugglies/Pretties/Specials trilogy. That's another futuristic society series and would spark discussion about body image and what pretty really means.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 12:56:16 PM by Anna »
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SKuykendall

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Re: Good books for 4th & 5th grade girls
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2012, 03:15:32 PM »
The librarian at School 15 and I were discussing Hunger Games just today -- the fact that the older kids (5th & 6th graders) all want to read the books, but no one is quite comfortable with having the books in an elementary-school library.  (Does anyone know whether any of the elementary school libraries in Rochester have copies?)

My daughter loved The Sisters Grimm series and is currently enjoying the School of Fear series, which seems to be contagious: I bought them for her at the bookfair two days ago; she finished the first one last night; and this morning her classmates came in and asked for it, saying my daughter had liked it so much that they wanted to read it too.

The Apothecary was suggested to me by a book-blogger friend and my daughter loved that as well.  It's about a twelve year old girl who moves to London in the 1950s because the House Committee on Unamerican Activities is in the process of blacklisting her screenwriter parents and is planning to make them "snitch," as the kids in my daughter's class say.  The plot is exciting and the historical detail is great.  And, if your kids didn't blaze through all the Noel Streatfeilds when they were younger, Movie Shoes is a great companion book.  It's about a London-based family that spends a year in LA during the 1950s, so it's the same journey in reverse (although the plot lines are otherwise completely different).

Star of Kazan is absolutely terrific, although maybe just a tiny bit girly.  The main character lives in Vienna just before WWI and is a super-capable foundling who winds up on an estate in Germany.

I really liked Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree, too.  I pre-read it to see if it was appropriate for my daughter and, even when it became obvious that it was, I couldn't put it down.  My daughter hasn't read it yet, though, so I don't know whether she'll like it as much as I did. :)
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Ann W.

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Re: Good books for 4th & 5th grade girls
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2012, 04:49:16 PM »
The librarian at School 15 and I were discussing Hunger Games just today -- the fact that the older kids (5th & 6th graders) all want to read the books, but no one is quite comfortable with having the books in an elementary-school library.  (Does anyone know whether any of the elementary school libraries in Rochester have copies?)


I can't speak to whether it's in the UCCS library but I know it was a required class read this year for the 6th graders and I have heard other 6th grade teachers from other district talk about having their classes read the book.

I guess I don't see an issue with it being in the elementary school library.  Is there any reason they can't say for 6th grade only unless a younger child has parent permission?  It doesn't seem fair to the 6th graders to not have current age appropriate reading material available especially if they WANT to read it.

Maybe other RCSD schools have this as a required read for 6th grade?
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Hilary

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Re: Good books for 4th & 5th grade girls
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2012, 09:08:26 PM »
Thanks for the great recommendations, everyone! I think I will wait on the Hunger Games -- my son read it this year at 13 (7th grade) and my daughter hasn't expressed any interest. It seems a little old for 4th and 5th graders to me, though I wouldn't stop them from reading it. I really want to read it myself, actually!

This is what we've read so far this year, when it was a 3rd-4th grade book club:

Hugo Cabret
Love That Dog
! (*such* a great book and you can read it in half an evening - go read it if you haven't!)
Indian Captive: the story of Mary Jemison
In the year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson


There were others that Auden and I missed ...
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