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Book recs? 5th grade girl reading at 3rd gr level

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Hey, I could use some help with book recommendations. I'm looking for books for a 5th grade girl reading at a third grade level. All I know about her book preferences are that she likes to read mystery novels. But any recs, mystery or no, would be really appreciated - books at that reading level aren't one of my best areas of knowledge to start with. 

Thanks! :)
#1 - November 06, 2013, 04:17 PM
« Last Edit: November 07, 2013, 08:43 AM by Lwrites »

These aren't mysteries, but Frindle and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon both come to mind. The mc in Frindle is a 5th grader, but it's a short, fun, easy-to-read book. Where the MM the M is also at a lower reading level (7-10), I believe.
#2 - November 06, 2013, 05:42 PM
THE DARING PRINCE DASHING, Sky Pony Press - available now!

What about the "Bad Kitty" series by Nick Bruel? They're funny.

Some I haven't read but that sound good are the Dear Dumb Diary series by Jim Benton and the Allie Finkel's Rules for Girls series by Meg Cabot.

Another thought is to explore graphic novels. Most tend to be aimed at boys, but I've heard good things about Smile by Raina Telgemeier.

Hope these help. I'm interested in hearing others' suggestions.
#3 - November 06, 2013, 05:42 PM

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One resource to check and see if a book she is interested in is in her reading level is the Accelerated Reader book find engine.
Go to and type in the title.  If it is in the Accelerated Reader catalog (most books are) it will give you the reading grade level.  For example if it says a book has a 3.4 level it means it corresponds to third grade fourth month.  Anyone can check a book on  You just have to check the first box stating whether you're a student, parent, teacher, etc.  I use this tool all the time in my classroom.
#4 - November 06, 2013, 06:35 PM
Rebecca Langston-George
The Women's Rights Movement: Then and Now
Capstone: January, 2018

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The Boxcar Children Mysteries?
#5 - November 06, 2013, 06:58 PM
You must do the things you think you cannot do.  Eleanor Roosevelt

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First thing that came to mind was Kate Messner's mysteries, Capture the Flag and Hide and Seek. Looks like those levels are running a bit higher, at the fourth grade level. Maybe save those for a bit later in the year??

Also, Wendy Mass is hugely popular with 4th and 5th graders, and she has a series that stars with 11 BIRTHDAYS.

At the risk of being obnoxious, may I recommend my cupcake series? :cupcake The characters are in middle school, but I've gotten letters from kids as young as second grade reading them.

It's Raining Cupcakes is the first one, and then if she likes that one, Sprinkles and Secrets and Frosting and Friendship are the companions, with different characters telling the story of each book. It's Raining Cupcakes is listed as level 3.9 and Sprinkles and Secrets at 3.7.

It's Raining Cupcakes sold extremely well in the Scholastic fairs and clubs, if that is helpful to know at all. I'm now writing a new series for them, as a result of that, which will be out next year (Charmed Life), about four girls who meet at summer camp and think they've discovered a lucky bracelet.

Good luck!
#6 - November 06, 2013, 07:01 PM
The Bridge From Me to You, Scholastic
plus five other YA novels
It's Raining Cupcakes trilogy
Charmed Life series

What about Helene Boudreau's "Mermaid" series? Such fun books: fast-paced with great characters!
#7 - November 06, 2013, 07:42 PM
HANNAH & THE SPINDLE WHORL  (Ronsdale, 2010)
HANNAH & THE SALISH SEA (Ronsdale, 2013)

He is Risen! Alleluia!!!
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Clementine books. Junie B. Robert books by Barbara Seuling -- my kids would pick up these series books for fun even though they were in Grade 5.

A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban.
Fourth Grade Rats by Jerry Spinelli.

Also try some nonfiction. Scientists in the field series or books about animals, etc. The photo support makes it so much more fun reading.


#8 - November 06, 2013, 08:15 PM
Little Thief! Max & Midnight, Bound, Ten Easter Eggs & 100+ bks/mags

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How about the A-Z mystery series by Ron Roy? The series starts with the Absent Author.

#9 - November 06, 2013, 08:59 PM
PANDEMIC, Sky Pony Press, 2014
Twitter: @YvonneVentresca

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My daughter is in third grade and she likes the Jigsaw Jones mystery series by James Preller. She loved The Case of the Marshmallow Monster. Really held her interest.
#10 - November 07, 2013, 04:50 AM

Lois Lowry's Gooney Bird Greene books are awesome!
#11 - November 07, 2013, 08:09 AM
"If you don't get it right the first time, just get it written." ~J. Thurber

These are absolutely fantastic recs! Thank you all so much. As always, Blueboarders rock! I have so many great ideas to work with now, how will I ever choose?? :)

(and thanks for the link, Rebecca!)
#12 - November 07, 2013, 08:42 AM

I'm a little late in the game here, but Matilda by Roald Dahl is a must!
#13 - December 03, 2013, 11:17 AM

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#14 - December 03, 2013, 12:26 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

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Encyclopedia Brown & Wishbone series come to mind.
#15 - December 03, 2013, 03:53 PM
THE KING CAKE BABY (Pelican Pub. Co. Jan 2015)

My 2nd Grade daughter who reads at a 3rd grade+ level loves the Warriors series. And there are a lot of them. In fact, my 5th grade daughter who reads at least a couple grades higher also really likes them, which shows you that it can be enjoyed by 10/11 year olds. It depends if she enjoys fantasy books.

My girls also love the Just Grace series.
#16 - December 03, 2013, 04:12 PM
Young Henry and the Dragon (2011, Shenanigan Books)

Since she likes mysteries, Geronimo Stilton and Sisters Grimm would be fun.
#17 - December 03, 2013, 04:38 PM
Kell Andrews

THIS OR THAT, Tilbury House, 2021
THE BOOK DRAGON, Sterling, 2018


I second Lisa's recommendations of her Cupcake series. So good!
#18 - December 03, 2013, 09:04 PM


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