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9 Great Books for Fifth Graders

Now Available!

Case #1 & 2 in the Sam London Adventure series

Guardians of the Gryphon's Claw

We dont have any lions, tigers, or bears, but we do have evil foxes that want to take over the world and huge toothy cows that like to attack and eat people (vegans too?). Not to mention a gryphon, fairies, trolls, talking dogs, automata cats, dragons, werewolves, and even a demon!

Kids Reading Outdoor

Put them all together and you’ve got the ultimate list of 9 great books for fifth graders, as assembled by the book-loving staff at the Department of Mythical Wildlife (psst: #9 is our personal favorite, no bias here). Here comes a whole new crew of brave-hearted heroes sure to inspire your children to keep turning those pages! 

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Author: Sage Blackwood

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Take a stroll down a magical path with the first book in the Jinx series. You can't step off the trail when you are in the Urwald. Werewolves, trolls, and witches (that ride butter churns!) lurk and hide among the clawing branches, ready to snatch away the innocent. Jinx has rightly always been afraid of straying from the path, until, that is, he meets Simon Magus, the wizard.

Even knowing that wizards are evil, Jinx still finds Simon's kitchen cozy. In fact, Simon doesn't seem wicked at all, just somewhat cranky! Jinx decides that staying with the grumpy wizard is, perhaps, his only option, and definitely his safest. Jinx finds his curiosity about magic growing as he learns to listen to the trees, even as he listens to Simon's unusual visitors.

Jinx becomes more determined the more he discovers, and he bravely decides to explore what lies beyond the well-trod paths of the Urwald. However, fear is a good thing in the Urwald because magicians and magic can be as dangerous as the Urwald forest. Jinx now finds himself in a situation where he must decide which is the greatest threat.

The Last

Author: Katherine Applegate

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Journey on an adventurous quest in the first book of the Endling series, The Last. Byx is the youngest member of her mythical doglike dairne pack. Hunted in Nedarra, the war-ravaged kingdom because they are believed to possess extraordinary abilities Byx knows her species is nearing extinction.


Byx is afraid that she is the last of her species after her pack has been hunted down and killed. The Endling. Byx sets out on a journey to not only find a safe haven but also to discover whether the tales of others dairnes being in hiding are true or not. 


Byx meets new allies along the way, both humans and animals alike, who join her quest, each for their own reasons. Although they each begin the quest as strangers, soon they become a family of their own making. The quest will lead them to discover a secret that could threaten every creature in their world!


Author: Brandon Mull

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Join Seth and Kendra in the first adventure in the Fablehaven series. In order to prevent their extinction, mystical creatures have gathered in a secret refuge called Fablehaven for centuries. Surviving as one of the last strongholds of true magic today, Fablehaven is home of many different mystical creatures that are enchanting and exciting, but far from safe. Kendra and Seth, her brother, are unaware that the current caretaker of Fablehaven is their very own grandfather. Ancient laws keep order amongst the mischievous satyrs, greedy trolls, spiteful imps, jealous fairies, and plotting witches inside the gated woods.

Seth becomes too reckless and curious for his own good and breaks the rules, unleashing powerful forces of evil. Seth and Kendra now face the greatest challenge of their young lives. They must find the courage to do what they most fear in order to save their family, Fablehaven, and even the world! (We love high stakes!)


The Wingsnatchers

Author: Sarah Jean Horowitz

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Book one of the Carmer and Grit series is full of mystery and fingernail-biting suspense (our favorite kind!) Felix Carmer III, the magician's apprentice, and aspiring inventor, loves to tinker with his latest experiments but instead finds himself sawing girls in half on stage. When Carmer's show, Antoine, the Amazifier, is but a tomato's throw away from tanking, he decides to win the cash prize in the largest magic competition Skemantis has ever seen.

After striking a deal with a flightless, although fiery, faerie princess named Grit, Carmer helps her investigate a string of faerie disappearances, while she helps Carmer give his mechanical illusions very real magic, giving him a boost above the competition. But Grit and Carmer quickly discover that they're not the only ones playing with magic and machines, and they realize the combination can be deadly.

Horwitz takes readers on a thrilling and fantastic journey through steampunk streets lurking with automata cats in the shadows, magical wooded fairylands, and a new menacing mechanical invention from a mad scientist that threatens them all.


100 Cupboards

Author: Nathan D. Wilson

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The first book in the series, 100 Cupboards, will have you hooked and wanting to read more! Unable to ignore it, Henry hears scratching and thumping on the other side of his bedroom wall. Unable to help himself, Henry starts peeling the plaster off his wall. To his astonishment, he discovers one hundred mysterious cupboards of all shapes and sizes.

One of the cupboards shows a man pacing back and forth in a glowing room. Another cupboard shows nothing but pitch black but leaves Henry with a sense of unease.

Against his wishes, his cousin Henrietta explores the world beyond the cupboards, forcing Henry to follow her. Once the cupboards have been opened, can Henry keep the evil that lurks within from coming through to his side?


Joshua and the Lightning Road

Author: Donna Galavanti

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The first book in the Lightning Road series is sure to electrify you! Joshua Cooper is twelve years old. His grandpa warned him about the danger of lightning, but Joshua never paid attention to his grandpa's warnings. He just thought his grandpa was a crazy old man with a vast imagination. But Joshua learns the hard way that his grandpa was right when his best friend is whisked away by a bolt of lightning during a frightful storm while he and Joshua are home alone. Could his best friend be gone forever? 

In order to get him back, Joshua has to travel the Lightning Road to an evil place that steals kids for energy. But saving his friend and getting back home won't be easy. Joshua must face the evil and terrifying Child Collector while fending off unnatural and ferocious beasts who want to destroy him. Joshua suddenly possesses powers in this world that he never knew he had. Joshua's mission soon becomes more than a search for his best friends. He decides he must send all the stolen children home. Joshua soon enters into the battle of his life.

On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

Author: Andrew Peterson

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The first book in the gripping Wingfeather saga will have you staying up past your bedtime to read one more page, then another, and another...

On the cliffs above the Dark Sea of Darkness, there lives three children and their loyal dog Nugget in a small, but loved cottage. Janner, his brother Tink, and their crippled sister Leeli are all gifted children, well-loved by their noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather.

Finding themselves pursued by the venomous Fangs of Dang, they will need their gifts and the love of their mother and grandfather to survive. The evil Fangs of Dang crossed the dark sea and have ruled the land with hatred for as long as Janner can remember. While running from the Fangs of Dang, Janner finds that his family holds the secret to the lost jewels of the Shining Isle of Anniera and the legend of good King Wingfeather.

Fairy-Tale Detectives

Author: Michael Buckley

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Newly orphaned sisters, Daphne and Sabrina, are sent to live in the strange town of Ferryport Landing with Relda Grimm, the grandmother they have just discovered is alive. Their grandmother reveals a shocking family secret - they are actually descendants of the infamous Grimm Brothers, whose book of stories are not just fairy-tales, but a history book and field guide.

Soon the Sisters Grimm have to stop a horrible giant bent on terrorizing the town and solve the mystery of who and why someone would set the giant loose. Could it be Mayor Charming? The former Prince Charming desperately wants his kingdom back, after all. Or is it the shifty town cops, the Three Not-So-Little Pigs? Or is it one of the myriads of other fairy-tale characters in the town who have a grudge against the Grimms? Book one of the Sisters Grimm Series spins a new tale on the fairy-tales of yore.

Guardians of the Gryphon's Claw

Author: Todd Calgi Gallicano

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Last, but definitely not least, we must, absolutely MUST, mention Guardians of the Gryphon's Claw, otherwise an Aswang might eat us! Don't know what an Aswang is? I guess you'll just have to read Guardians of the Gryphon's Claw to find out!


Here's a quck rundown: After fourteen nights of being haunted by the same dream, Sam London finally dreams of a mythical gryphon. An ancient secret is uncovered that changes the way he sees the world forever. Sam is whisked away on an adventure by Dr. Vance Vantana, an eccentric park ranger and zoologist that has been sent by the government. The adventure takes him to the farthest reaches of the globe and along the way Sam learns an amazing truth: Mythical creatures are real and living amongst us in our national parks. The U.S. Department of Mythical Wildlife, a special department in the U.S. government, monitors and ensures that their existence remains secret.

Sam discovers his dream is actually an omen that the secret might be in danger. Someone seeks the power to overthrow humankind and expose these creatures. But that power can only be found in the Gryphon's Claw, a magical talisman that must be protected at all costs. Sam's story continues in The Selkie of San Francisco, be sure to check it out!

The End Already?

There are some amazingly amazing books in our list of 9 great books for 5th graders, and since they are all the first books in their respective series, the list doesn't have to end here! Read on, brave-hearted bibliophiles!

If you want to experience the world of Sam London, be sure to sign up to become a Secret Ranger and get FREE access to the DMW archives and their classified files. And don't forget to pick up one, two, or all of the books in our list above! Your next great adventure awaits!

Disclosure policy: The links to "Guardians of the Gryphon's Claw" and "The Selkie of San Francisco" are referral links. The owner of this site may be compensated when visitors click on these links and make a purchase.

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