Saturday, October 15, 2011

Chillers for the Halloween Season - Books for 5th graders

For the Halloween season that is now upon us, I wanted to share an author that has become a favorite of mine: Mary Downing Hahn. She writes wonderful thriller type books for youth readers. They are not full of blood and gore and do not contain bad language. They are thrillers and usually about ghosts and things of that sort. I wanted to introduce a few books that I have read to my kiddos in the classroom. Of course, I gave them the option of not listening and reading their own books if they were not into the scary books.

Here are some reviews of some of my favorite books from her:

Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story

This is the story of two girls who move with their family to a church house. They are step sisters and do not get along very well. The youngest starts talking to a ghost named Helen from the cemetery nearby. The oldest must solve the mystery and save her younger sister before it is too late.

** My kids loved this book. They thought it was creepy but not nightmare scary. They were eager to see what would happen next and were kept engaged the entire time.

All the Lovely Bad Ones

The new owner of a hotel with a scary history of being haunted begin having trouble when her young relatives come to stay for awhile. What started out as a prank becomes something much more serious and sinister.

*** Again, my kids thought this book was great and couldn't wait for reading time to continue the story.

The Old Willis Place

The new caretakers of an old estate have no clue the secrets the old house keeps or of some kiddos living on the land that has their own secrets to keep.

*** Another great book! Students couldn't get enough of this one. Lots of good predicting and inferences going on in this one.

The Doll in the Garden: A Ghost Story

Two young girls find a doll hidden in the garden of their home. The old woman who runs the place they are staying at has hidden secrets... as does the doll.

*** I didn't read this one to my kids as we moved on to other books but I did recommend it to them and several read it on their own for their independent reading. Wonderful book and I did not see the ending coming!

Deep and Dark and Dangerous

The water can be extremely dangerous, especially at this lake house. A new friend brings trouble and mysteries.

*** My kids loved this one and loved trying to figure out what was happening. They were so proud of themselves when they would predict correctly :)

There are several others that I have yet to read but am interested in doing so. If you have a group of students interested in some scary stories for the Halloween season, I highly recommend one of these! Try them! You will love them!

Friday, October 7, 2011

5th Grade Booklist

So I'm trying to read one genre at a time to my kiddos this year and so far we have read:

Frindle - Realistic Fiction
Sign of the Beaver - Historical Fiction (starting next week)
Next will be Fablehaven book one: Fantasy Fiction

Other books I've read or plan to read include:
Phantom Tollbooth (you can get a novel study to help your 5th graders through here)
Island of the Blue Dolphins
Summer of the Monkeys
Number the Stars

I'm curious about the book Skellig. Inkheart might make it this year, and I have read the Edge Chronicles myself and think the kids would love it.

My bilingual co-worker has also read Esperanza Rising to her kiddos and together we created a novel study guide for that book as well.

She is currently reading Pedro's Journal to them!

So B. It and Elijah Buxton are great books.

I'm thinking about reading Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimn and something about 100 Cupboards looks like an imagination starter.

What books are you reading to your grade level this year? Or at least think your grade level would enjoy?