Top Ten Read Alouds for 5th Grade

A stack of read aloud novels on a fifth grade level

You can find a similar post for 4th grade and 3rd grade at these links!

It's no secret that read alouds enrich your classroom. (If you're not convinced of that, check out this post!) I love taking the time to choose the perfect novel. But since there are SO many great options out there, it's hard to narrow it down. So now what? How do you choose the read aloud that's best for you?

  1. Typically, I do a new read aloud every month. Dragging a book on for too long will cause a loss of interest. Plus students begin to forget details from the beginning of the book before we even finish. 
  2. I also consider the needs of my class. Are we studying something in Social Studies I can reinforce? Are we experiencing a social problem (i.e. the need to build empathy)? Choosing a book that my students need will ALWAYS make the read aloud more meaningful. 

After these considerations, I head to my list of favorite novels! You can find those below:

Pin image titled 'Top 10 Books for Fifth Grade Classrooms' and a stack of read aloud novels on a fifth grade level

What is a good read aloud for for 5th grade? These are my TOP 10 novel choices. 

Tuck EverlastingIn this blend of history and fiction, Winnie Foster meets a strange family. She learns their secret of immortality and wrestles with her own place in the world. >>View my read aloud companion<<

A Wrinkle in Time: Meg Murry and her family go on a science fiction journey to save her dad, and in the process, the entire planet! >>View my read aloud companion<<

Where the Red Fern Grows: Billy is a country boy who LOVES to hunt with his beloved coon dogs. Due to the sad ending, this book is perfect for building empathy in your classroom. >>View my read aloud companion<<

The Last Holiday Concert: When his teacher steps aside, Hart Evans must direct the 6th grade holiday concert. Little does he know, his teacher is giving him the best lesson of all by handing over the class. >>View my read aloud companion<<

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: Four children save the fantasy world of Narnia from a never-ending winter. >>View my read aloud companion<<

The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963: Set in 1963, the story tells the struggles of an African American family in the American South. >>View my read aloud companion<<

Ella Enchanted: Ella is a strong-willed and charming heroine for your students. They will love finding the parallels between this novel and the classic Cinderella story. >>View my read aloud companion<<

A Night DividedGerta’s family wakes up one morning to be divided by the Berlin Wall. For the next few years, the family risks their lives to find a way to reunite. >>View my read aloud companion<<

Holes: A classic for the middle grades, the main character of this book is Stanley Yelnats. He is mistakenly sent to a camp for troubled boys, but learns that mystery surrounds their work. >>View my read aloud companion<<

Out of My Mind: Melody is a young girl with cerebral palsy. She cannot speak, but she is the smartest student at her school. >>View my read aloud companion<<

After choosing my read aloud, I don't stop there! Read below for my EASY system to hold student accountable (in a FUN way!)

As I read, I keep my students thinking with 2 questions. One question is asked before I read, the second is asked after. Sometimes we do these orally, sometimes in journal format. That's it! See below!

     The cover of Holes by Louis Sachar and a ring of bookmark questions by Fifth in the Forest on Teachers Pay Teachers  The cover of Holes by Louis Sachar and a journal of questions by Fifth in the Forest on Teachers Pay Teachers

You can find a read aloud companion for EVERY novel on my list in my TpT store. Click here to view all 10 novels for 5th grade!

Pin Image that reads 'The Top 10 Novels for Fifth Grade' Image shows a stack of fifth grade level read aloud novelsPin Image that reads 'The Top 10 Novels for Fifth Grade' Image shows a stack of fifth grade level read aloud novels

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics, or posts made in this blog. 


  1. I love Out of My Mind! SUCH a good book!

  2. I love reading Tuck Everlasting! It sparks the students’ minds, gets them thinking about if the choices made by the characters were right or wrong, and would they do the same things. Then I follow it up with the movie and a compare/contrast lesson! #venndiagram

  3. I loved when my third grade teacher read us The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, it was the best thing about third grade! I think it would be interesting to read with my fifth graders especially as we discuss the war in social studies. Like Blair mentioned above, I'd totally do a post-read movie compare/contrast.