I read a lot of books this summer, even more than I thought I would muster, and now as school has started my students keep asking me which ones were my absolute favorites. While it is hard to choose and these are in no means in order, here are some of the ones that I cannot wait to get into the hands of anyone looking for a great read.
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan. I gushed over this book and have already pressed it into the hands of 3 students either physically or through email. This book grabs you on the first page and then does not let you go until the very end. What a phenomenal story and so appropriate for 4th and up.
Pivot Point by Kasie West. Another page turner, but this time in a not too unrealistic science fiction version. While this one is more young adult, the story itself is gripping and you just want read on and on, no matter how many children are smiling at you hoping you will make them dinner.
The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare. So really this is a series of 6 books, and yet, it still makes the list as a whole. While the cover is slightly too much for me, the story inside is worth every minute of your time. Part fantasy, part love story, and tons of action, this is a great read for more mature 5th graders.
Out of This Place by Emma Cameron. Though not at all appropriate for 5th graders, I would place this book into the hands of many high schoolers. Breathtaking and so genuinely written that you can feel the anguish through the pages. Emma Cameron is now someone I will be looking to for great books.
Delirium Trilogy by Lauren Olivier. Again not a single book but rather a standard trilogy. This one taking place in the future where love has been deemed a disease and all 18 year olds are cured of it. I loved the society created and also the ending, which I will not give away.
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. A heart wrenching must read for students that can handle hard truths. I thought I knew a lot about World War II, but I had never heard this story. Now it is one I cannot forget due to the storytelling in this book.
Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamilo. I am probably one of the last people on earth who had not read this book. After having read it, I now understand why everyone else has read it already. A poignant and deceivingly short story that will speak to many students.
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson. I had heard many singing the praises of this book for a long time, but the cover just did not appeal to me. I know as a teacher that should not stop me from picking u a book but sometimes it does, sorry. When I finally cracked it open I could not believe how fast I read the book and Hattie Ever After. Both brilliant, both read aloud worthy, both must reads for 5th graders.
The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine. There is a reason this was 1st runner up for the Global read Aloud 2013. Taking such a serious topic and bringing it to a level where students can not only understand it, but also connect to it takes mastery of both the history behind it and the written word. Kristin Levine has both, this is an incredible read that will be read aloud in my class later this year.
The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau. I loved this book, I loved the premise, I loved the characters, and now I just hate waiting to hear what will happen next.
It is hard to pick when you are spoiled by so many great books. There are out there and we should be getting them in the hands of our students. To see more of my great reads this summer, visit my review site here.