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Fiction for 4th, 5th & 6th Graders

This year our son has chosen to read several of the 2010 Nutmeg Award contenders. His teacher gives enthusiastic book talks for these Connecticut-based-prize nominees. At some point, children vote on the best book of the year. Every state has something similar. The goal is to encourage the reading of high-quality literature. 

The Nutmegs are for fiction. I'd like to see some nonfiction in there eventually since many kids prefer it. But that's not part of the picture right now.

Here are the nominees for the 2010 awards in the intermediate (grades 4-6) area. (There's also a teen list for 7th and 8th graders.)

Archer's Quest, by Linda Sue Park

Attack of the Turtle, by Drew Carlson

A Dog's Life: The Autobiography of a Stray, by Ann M. Martin. "Mom, you'll like this book, but it has a sad part," says Junior. (A follow-up was just released: Everything for a Dog.)

Double Identity, by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Drita, My Homegirl, by Jenny Lombard

The Ghost's Grave, by Peg Kehret

Paint the Wind, by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Rules, by Cynthia Lord

The Stumptown Kid, by Carol Gorman and Ron Findley

The Year of the Dog, by Grace Lin (The sequel to this novel is The Year of the Rat.)


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How cool that his teacher does booktalks and that the award is encouraging such a nice range of titles. Lu's new teacher this year has him reading Jerry Spinelli, which he's loving. I should have guessed that pairing myself.

Adrienne, yes, the kids are very enthusiastic to read what the teacher recommends. I think that's great! J. has also enjoyed The Ghost's Grave. Glad to hear Lucas in on a good literary track, too!

We did a survey of 3-5th graders in our town a few years back, and overwhelmingly the kids said they learned about new books to read from their teachers. The next choice was friends.

I can't remember an elementary school teacher recommending any book to me through the fifth grade! (Sixth grade was another story.) I don't even think my first two elementary schools had librarians in the school library. Times have changed--thank goodness!

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