The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA
Summer Reading 2021

Summer Reading grades 5 and 6

Students entering grade 5 or 6 in September

Students entering grade 5 or 6 should select two books from the list below and one additional choice book.

List of 24 items.

  • A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

    This story follows Hansel and Gretel as they walk out of their own story and into eight other Grimm tales, encountering wicked creatures such as witches as well as kindly strangers and other helpful folks.
  • Almost Home by Joan Bauer

    Sixth-grader Sugar and her mother lose their beloved house and experience the harsh world of homelessness.
  • Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan

    Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.” Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.
  • Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

    In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family's farm, until another “third” convinces him that the government is wrong.
  • Black Radishes by Susan Lynn Meyer

    A young boy and his family are forced to move out of their home when the Germans invade France. The boy finds himself helping to smuggle people into the free part of France for the French underground.
  • Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

    Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Award
    Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father—the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.
  • Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

    Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life...until now.
  • Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass

    Ally, Bree, and Jack meet at the one place the Great Eclipse can be seen in totality, each carrying the burden of different personal problems, which become dim when compared to the task they embark upon and the friendship they find.
  • Forget Me Not by Ellie Terry

    A girl with Tourette syndrome starts a new school and tries to hide her quirks in this debut middle-grade novel in verse. Astronomy-loving Calliope June has Tourette syndrome, so she sometimes makes faces or noises that she doesn't mean to make. When she and her mother move yet again, she tries to hide her TS, but it isn't long before the kids at her new school realize she's different.
  • George by Alex Gino

    When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl.
  • Ghost by Jason Reynolds

    Running. That's all that Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known, but never for a track team. Nope, his game has always been ball. But when Ghost impulsively challenges an elite sprinter to a race -- and wins -- the Olympic medalist track coach sees he has something: crazy natural talent. Thing is, Ghost has something else: a lot of anger, and a past that he is trying to outrun. 
  • Hermes: Tales of the Trickster by George O'Connor

    A graphic novel about the Greek god, Hermes.
  • I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition) by Malala Yousafzai and Patricia McCormick

    When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. When she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.  Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York.
  • Into the Woods by Lyn Gardner

    When their parents die and the three sisters are put under the care of the sinister Dr. DeWilde, Storm, Aurora, and Anything flee into the woods in the hopes of finding a better life, but dangerous encounters with kidnappers and hungry wolves make their trek to find a place to call home more treacherous than they could have ever imagined.
  • Never Mind! A Twin Novel by Avi

    Edward and Meg are like night and day, oil and water. Meg zigs while Edward zags. How could two such different people be twins? Well, they are, but they don't have to like it—or each other.
  • Secrets of the Terra-Cotta Soldier by Ying Chang Compestine and Vinson Compestine

    In this action-packed adventure and coming-of-age story that finely weaves fact and fiction, thirteen-year-old Ming lives in a small village in Maoist China in the 1970s. His father is convinced that Emperor Qin’s tomb—and the life-size terra-cotta army created to serve and protect the emperor in the afterlife—lies hidden in the hills around them. But if Ming’s father doesn’t prove it soon, the town’s Political Officer will condemn him to the brutal labor camps. 
  • Squirm by Carl Hiaasen

    This summer, Billy will fly across the country, hike a mountain, float a river, dodge a grizzly bear, shoot down a spy drone, save a neighbor's cat, save an endangered panther, and then try to save his own father. This is a funny, wildly entertaining adventure about the great outdoors and protecting the environment. 
  • Stop the Train! by Geraldine McCaughrean

    Despite the opposition of the owner of the Red Rock Runner railroad in 1893, the new settlers of Florence, Oklahoma, are determined to build a real town. This is a rollicking, beguiling tale of clever shenanigans and faith in the promise of a new land.
  • The Candymakers by Wendy Mass

    When four twelve-year-olds, including Logan, who has grown up never leaving his parents' Life Is Sweet candy factory, compete in the Confectionary Association's annual contest, they unexpectedly become friends and uncover secrets about themselves during the process.
  • The Liberation of Gabriel King by K.L. Going

    Gabriel King is afraid of spiders, loose cows, and just about everything related to the fifth grade. Gabe’s best friend, Frita Wilson, thinks Gabe needs liberating from his fears. But it turns out that Frita has her own list of fears, and while she’s helping Gabe confront his, she’s avoiding the thing that scares her the most.
  • The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donoghue

    Meet the Lotterys: a unique and diverse family featuring four parents, seven kids and five pets - all living happily together in their big old house, Camelottery. Nine-year-old Sumac is the organizer of the family and is looking forward to a long summer of fun. But when their grumpy and intolerant grandad comes to stay, everything is turned upside down.
  • Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor

    Addie’s mother is bipolar, and she often neglects Addie. All-or-nothing never adds up to normal, and it can't bring Addie home, where she wants to be with her half-sisters and her stepfather. But Addie never stops hoping that one day, maybe, she'll find normal.
  • Wonder by R. J. Palacio

    August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face.
  • Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen

    Samuel, 13, spends his days in the forest, hunting for food for his family. He has grown up on the frontier of a British colony, America. He is far from any town or news of the war against the King that American patriots have begun near Boston. But then the war comes to them.

List of 23 items.

  • Boy Bites Bug by Rebecca Petruck

    Nolan eats a live stink bug, gaining popularity and a class project idea but, perhaps, losing a friend.
  • City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

    In the city of Ember, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions. First book in a series.
  • Freedom Walkers by Russell Freedman

    The author breathes life into the key personalities and events that contributed to a yearlong civil rights struggle. The struggle became known as the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
  • Guys Read: Thriller by Jon Scieszka

    This is a series of short stories that are full of mystery, intrigue, and nefarious activity. Featuring some of the best writers around, it is a pulse-pounding collection of brand-new short stories, each one guaranteed to keep you riveted until the final page.
  • Jason and the Gorgon’s Blood by Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris

    Jason, who will grow up to become the head of the Argonauts, leads five other boys on a dangerous quest to save the kingdom of Iolcus, learning along the way what it means to be in command
  • Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt

    Newbery Honor Book, Printz Honor Book
    In 1911, Turner Buckminster hates his new home of Phippsburg, Maine, but things improve when he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin, a girl from a poor nearby island community founded by former slaves. Can Turner do anything to stop developers from making a shady deal to push Lizzie and her people off their island home?
  • Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

    National Book Award
    Ten-year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, struggles to understand emotions, show empathy, and make friends at school, while at home she seeks closure by working on a project with her father.
  • One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

    In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.
  • Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

    Considered by many to be mentally retarded, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.
  • Shooting Kabul by N. H. Senzai

    Escaping from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, eleven-year-old Fadi and his family immigrate to the San Francisco Bay Area, where Fadi schemes to return to the Pakistani refugee camp where his little sister was accidentally left behind
  • Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

    From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of “Stargirl, Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted…at first. Then they turn on her.
  • The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

    Kate, Michael, and Emma have passed from one orphanage to another in the ten years since their parents disappeared to protect them. Now they learn that they have special powers, a quest to find a magical book, and a fearsome enemy.
  • The Exact Location of Home by Kate Messner

    Kirby "Zig" Zigonski lives for the world of simple circuits, light bulbs, buzzers, and motors. Electronics are, after all, much more predictable than most people--especially his father, who he hasn't seen in over a year. When his dad's latest visit is canceled with no explanation and his mom seems to be hiding something, Zig turns to his best friend Gianna and a new gizmo--a garage sale GPS unit--for help. 
  • The Guggenheim Mystery by Robin Stevens

    While visiting their cousin in NYC, Ted and Kat investigate the theft of a famous painting from the Guggenheim Museum.
  • The Journey that Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H. A. Rey by Louise Borden

    This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of the Reys and their escape from Paris during World War II.
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

    Four English school children find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magic land of Narnia and assist Aslan, the golden lion, to triumph over the White Witch, who has cursed the land with eternal winter.
  • The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

    The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
    Ivan is a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall. When he meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.
  • The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

    Ten-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.
  • They Lost Their Heads! What Happened to Washington's Teeth, Einstein's Brain, and Other Famous Body Parts by Carlyn Beccia

    From the kidnapping of Einstein's brain to the horrifying end of Louis XIV's heart, the mysteries surrounding some of history's most famous body parts range from medical to macabre.
  • Titanic: Voices from Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson

    Photographs, telegrams, letters, and first-person accounts from passengers, witnesses, and crew members provide multiple perspectives on the sinking of the Titanic.
  • Ungifted by Gordon Korman

    After pulling a major prank in school and due to an administrative mix-up, troublemaker Donovan Curtis is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction.
  • Wishing Day by Lauren Myracle

    On the third night of the third month after a girl’s thirteenth birthday, every girl in the town of Willow Hill makes three wishes. Natasha is the oldest child in a family steeped in magic, though she’s not sure she believes in it. She’s full to bursting with wishes, however. She misses her mother, who disappeared nearly eight long years ago. She has a crush on one of the cutest boys in her class, and she thinks maybe it would be nice if her very first kiss came from him. So Natasha goes to the willow tree at the top of the hill on her Wishing Day, and she makes three wishes. What unfolds is beyond anything she could have imagined.
  • You Are Mighty: A Guide to Changing the World by Caroline Paul

    Being a good citizen means standing up for what’s right?and here’s just the way to start. From the author of The Gutsy Girl, this kids' guide to activism is the perfect book for those with a fierce sense of justice, a good sense of humor, and a big heart.