1. Real Friends by Shannon Hale
When her best friend Adrienne starts hanging out with the most popular girl in class, Shannon questions with whether she and Adrienne will stay friends, and if she is part of the clique.
2. Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab: A Mystery with Electromagnets, Burglar Alarms, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself by Bob Pflugfelder
After moving in with their eccentric uncle, Nick and Tesla encounter strange occurrences in their new neighborhood and build gadgets using simple household objects to help them solve the mysteries.
3. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
A brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy, considered by many to be mentally retarded, discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.
4. The Field Guide by Tony DiTerlizzi, Holly Black
When the Grace children go to stay at their Great Aunt Lucinda’s worn Victorian house, they discover a field guide to fairies and other creatures and begin to have some unusual experiences.
5. No Talking by Andrew Clement
6. Black Elk’s Vision: A Lakota Story by S.D. Nelson
A simple biography of Lakota-Oglala medicine man Black Elk, from his childhood vision which shaped his life through his battles with the whites and his travels with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show.
7. A Room with a Zoo by Jules Feiffer
8. Sahara Special by Esme Raji Codell
9. The Tale of Despereaux: being the story of a mouse, a princess, some soup, and a spool of thread by Kate DiCamillo
10. Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
11. Full of Beans by Jennifer Holm
Ten-year-old Beans Curry, a member of the Keepsies, the best marble playing gang in Depression-era Key West, Florida, engages in various schemes to earn money while “New Dealers” from Washington, D.C., arrive to turn run down Key West into a tourist resort.
12. The Animal Book: A Collection of the Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest — and Most Surprising — Animals on Earth by Steve Jenkins
Shares facts on over three hundred animals and offers a brief overview of the history of life on Earth. Dance with a blue-footed booby, or stare down an eyelash viper. But mind your step — in the animal world, the name of the game is survival.
13. Mirror Mirror : a Book of Reversible Verse by Marilyn Singer
A collection of short poems which, when reversed, provide new perspectives on the fairy tale characters they feature.
14. Archer’s Quest by Linda Sue Park
Twelve-year-old Kevin Kim helps Chu-mong, a legendary king of ancient Korea, return to his own time.
15. Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewisby Jabari Asim
Critically acclaimed author Jabari Asim and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator E. B. Lewis give readers a fascinating glimpse into the boyhood of Civil Rights leader John Lewis.
16. Gertie’s Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley
When her estranged mother decides to move out of town, Gertie devises a five-step plan that will make her the best fifth grader ever in order to show her mother what she’ll be leaving behind, but a new student challenges her efforts.
17. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, buys a magical goldfish, and then joins a dragon who cannot fly on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon in hopes of bringing life to Fruitless Mountain and freshness to Jade River.
18. Seven Wild Sisters by Charles de Lint
Sarah Jane Dillard discovers and helps an injured ‘sangman fairy in the Tanglewood Forest, putting herself, her six sisters, and friends Aunt Lillian and the Apple Tree Man in the middle of a fairy feud.
19. The Zoo at the Edge of the World by Eric Kahn Gale
Marlin, a stutterer, can talk smoothly and freely with the jungle animals that populate his father’s zoo in South America — until a mysterious man-eating black jaguar that his father catches and brings back home talks back.
20. Junonia by Kevin Henkes
The week of her tenth birthday, Alice and her parents go to Sanibel Island, Florida, just as they do every year, but this time some of the people who are always there are missing and some new people have come, which unsettles Alice, who wants things to be exactly the same as they alway are.
21. Ida B: — and her plans to maximize fun, avoid disaster, and (possibly) save the world by Katherine Hannigan
In Wisconsin, fourth-grader Ida B spends happy hours being home-schooled and playing in her family’s apple orchard, until her mother begins treatment for breast cancer and her parents must sell part of the orchard and send her to public school.
22. Chickadee by Louise Erdrich
In 1866, Omakayas’s son Chickadee is kidnapped by two ne’er-do-well brothers from his own tribe and must make a daring escape, forge unlikely friendships, and set out on an exciting and dangerous journey to get back home.
23. Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
24. Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes
When Gabby’s parents separate, her tendency to daydream becomes essential to coping with life’s difficuties, which only increase when she moves with her mother to a new home and a new school.
25. Chews Your Destiny by Rhode Montijo
When Mom issues a no-gum rule, Gabby Gomez sneaks a piece of special bubble gum that turns her into a superhero.
26. Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a Scientist’s Microscopeby Stephen P. Kramer
27. Brothers at Bat: the True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team by Audrey Vernick
Documents the story of the Baseball Hall of Fame honorees, tracing how the Acerra family of New Jersey formed their own semi-pro baseball team in the 1930s and became the longest-running all-brother team in history.