5th Grade

The Dogs of Winter

Author: 
Bobbie Pyron

Reading Level: Grades 5 - 8

Truth can be much stranger than fiction and fiction based on truth can make a great story.  Inspired by the life of Ivan Mishukov, Ivan Andreovich is a five-year-old boy who was orphaned in post-Soviet Russia, left on the streets to fend for himself, and adopted by a pack of wild dogs.

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Fairest of All

Author: 
Sarah Mlynowski

Reading Level: Grades 3-5

"Once upon a time my life was normal.  Then the mirror in our basement ate us."

When a magic mirror transports 10-year-old Abby and her little brother Jonah to the forest next to the cottage of the seven dwarves, they stop Snow White from eating the poisoned apple.  Now Snow White has two problems: 1) The evil queen keeps trying to kill her and 2) Since she didn't eat the apple, the prince didn't kiss her so she has lost her chance to live happily ever after.

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Bomb: The Race to Build-and Steal-the World's Most Dangerous Weapon

Author: 
Steve Sheinkin

Reading Level: Grades 5 and up

Bomb  reads like an edge-of -your- seat spy novel, but it's all true.  It tells of  the Herculean effort behind building the bomb, the desperate arms race with Germany that will decide WWII,  the heroic efforts of Norwegein resistance fighters, and  the spies determined to steal the plans for the Soviet Union.  The story of the scientific genius behind the bomb,  the politics, the military heroics, and the espionage make this a thrilling read where truth is far more exciting than fiction.

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Dark Lord, The Early Years

Author: 
Jamie Thomson

Reading Level: Grades 5-7

The Dark Lord, Master of the Legions of Dread, Sorcerer Supreme and Lord of the Darklands is confused.  One moment he was leading his legions against the White Wizard Hasdruban the Pure and the next he is falling out of his world into a strange land where he is trapped in the body of a puny human.  

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On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave

Author: 
Candace Fleming

Reading Level: Grades 5 - 8

Driving at break-neck speed past a Cook County Forest Preserve after midnight, late for curfew again, Mike nearly hits a girl who is standing in the middle of the road. His decision to give the hapless hitchhiker a ride home turns into a night spent sitting in a graveyard listening to the ghosts of Chicago area teenagers as tell him the stories of their lives, and deaths.

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Vodník

Author: 
Bryce Moore

Reading Level: Grades 5 - 8

After Tomas' house burns down, his family moves back to Slovakia where they had lived until Tomas was five and where he had nearly died. Soon after his arrival in his mother's home town he begins to have strange encounters with Slovakian legendary characters. Everyone, from Death herself to a crazy water vampire, known as a vodnik, seems to remember him and want something from him.

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Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan's Rescue from War

Author: 
Marsha Forechuk Skrypuch

Reading Level:  Grades  3-6

This is the true story of Tuyet,  an eight -year- old orphan who didn't remember her life before the Saigon orphanage.  There were the scars that she thought might have been from the war that still raged on, but she couldn't remember  When Saigon fell, she was one of 57 babies and children evacuated to Canada during "Operation Babylift." 

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The One and Only Ivan

Author: 
Katherine Applegate
Illustrator: 
Patricia Castelao

Grades 4+

Ivan (The Ape at Exit 8) is a downtrodden, has-been silverback gorilla living in a small, unkept domain within a shopping mall, occasionally accompanied by Bob, a stray dog who sneaks into Ivan's domain through a hole in the glass.

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