New Books for 5th Graders

Rump: The Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff

Reading Level: Grades 3 - 7

This is Rumpelstilton as never before.  Instead of the nasty, baby stealing gnome, Rump is a young boy, small for his age, malnourished, and picked on by village bullies. His mother died when he was born and the last thing she uttered was his name.  In a kingdom where your name is your fate, how much worse could it get than to be named Rump?  But is it his full name?

The orginal story is here.  There's the greedy miller, his beautiful daughter, a gold loving king, and a boy who can spin straw into gold.  Add in messanger gnomes, gold crazed biting pixies, witchesin woods, and smelly trolls and readers will agree that Shurtliff can spin some tale.

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33 Minutes by Todd Hasak-Lowy

Reading Level: Grades 5 - 8

...until Morgan Sturtz kicks my butt

Sam Lewis and Morgan Sturtz were best friends all through elementary school, but by seventh grade Sam is the brainy, nerdy, small kid while Morgan is is the popular football player who struggles in school.  Readers know something has happened to warrant the promised "butt kicking," but don't find out until later in the book. Hask-Lowy takes readers through a boring social studies class, a classic food fight, a fire drill and the cover "butt kicking." Sam is a smart, likeable narrator. "If you know someone was going to kick you someplace, would you not hope for that place to be your butt?"

There are so many books about the changing friendships among girls.  Here's one about boys that girls will enjoy, too.

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The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

Reading Level: Grades 4 - 8

England has always had ghosts, but ever since The Problem began hauntings have become more frequent and much more dangerous, with ghosts being able to kill people with a touch. Most people are born with the ability to sense ghosts, but they lose this skill when they reach adulthood so now children are employed to watch for and hunt ghosts under the supervision of an adult leader.Thirteen-year-old Lucy, who can hear ghosts, joins the rogue pair of ghost hunters known as Lockwood & Co. which has no adult in charge. Needless to say, nobody is terribly surprised when she and Lockwood accidentally burn down a house on one of her first missions. This new supernatural adventure series by the author of the the Bartemaeus books will leave the reader hoping book two comes out soon.

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More books by Jonathan Stroud

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