5th Grade Says… The Best Books of the Year, in Exactly 15 Words

Looking for something great to read this summer? Read on to find out the books that 5th grade says were the best of the 2017-2018 school year!

Pernille Ripp, teacher and literature specialist extraordinaire, is generous enough to share her amazing ideas on social media. I’m constantly inspired by her blog posts, Instagram, and Twitter feed. (My wall of covers? Her idea.) This week, she posted an end-of-the-year tradition that she uses in her classroom. Here’s some details:

Every year our very last speech is a “Best Book of the Year” Speech.  Every year, my students declare their love for books in front of the class.  They share their favorite reads in order for everyone else to add them to their to-be-read list.  I scribble down each title so I can create a blog post for the rest of the world.  It is always fascinating to see the books that make the cut.

This year, we have worked on brevity.  On the importance of words.  On getting to the point, so we added a twist to this yearly event; you get 15 words exactly.  No more, no less.  15 words to make others write down the title you loved.  15 words to somehow give enough of a glimpse into the book to tempt others.

(Read more on PernilleSRipp.com)

How cool is that? I love the dual focus on sharing the books that you love, and learning to use clear, concise language to make a point. I took the idea for a test drive today with my 5th graders, and it was so much fun to hear the books that they chose as their top read of the year. Students had 15 minutes to write and practice. Their responses were so exciting – they had their classmates whooping and cheering!

If you’re looking for some great ideas to kick off your #stabsummerreading, here are some of the best books of the 2017-2018 school year, as selected and described by 5th grade students at St. Anne’s-Belfield.

  • Maximum Ride: Action, adventure, mystery. You’re just an experiment, but it is still a struggle to survive.
  • Because of Mr. Terupt: One teacher. 5 kids. An accident that changes everything. Will they get back on track?
  • Out of my Mind: Cerebral Palsy… will ruin my life? Will I ever talk, walk, or learn? Can I?
  • Airborn: Girl, boy, mysterious animals. Invisible ships. Crash! Boom! Will they complete it? Will they survive?
  • Percy Jackson: Monsters are no problem for Percy Jackson, the son of the Sea God. Monsters, beware.
  • The Ethan I Was Before: One dare. He’ll never see Kacey again. New place, new friends, new Ethan…. no Kacey.
  • Ungifted: I was sent to a genius school, but I am dumb. Can I fit in?
  • The Guardian Herd: Star, born a dud, born to destroy. Wanted dead. Gone. Can he unite the herds?
  • The War that Saved my Life: Club foot, tragic story. Life missing, or so I thought. How will my life change?
  • The Ascendence Trilogy: Three books, one story. Exciting, twists and turns. Princes, fights for the throne. Adventure, betrayal, thieves.
  • The Creepover – The Terror Behind the Mask: Darkness can always be scary, but for Jasmine Porter, that is a whole different story.
  • My Life with the Walter Boys: Family gone. Living with 12 boys now. Boys fighting, fighting, because of things I did.
  • Never Cry Wolf: Action! True! Big words. Wolves. Funny, proving stereotypes wrong. I loved it!
  • A Wrinkle in Time: Meg and her brother search the universe for their lost dad. Will they find him?
  • Auggie and Me: Three action-packed perspectives, three plot twists. Based off Wonder. Julian, Christopher, and Charlotte.
  • The Alchemist: A book of magic, fantasy, and the hidden truth of the world that surrounds you.
  • I, Funny: A good book makes you feel emotions. Well, this book will definitely make you laugh!
  • Unbroken: A bombardier’s plane crashes in WWII. He is captured by the Japanese. He survives.
  • Lion: A boy is lost… no food… no water… new family… where is his old family?
  • Bad Unicorn: It all started with the Codex. And a bad unicorn who likes to eat people for fun.
  • The Land of Stories – An Author’s Odyssey: Can the twins save two worlds? Or will they be lost to a masked scoundrel?
  • Jurassic Park: A park, but not with animals. Dinosaurs. The people at Jurassic made a bad decision.

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