2019 District 65 Summer Reading List (grades 3-5)

By Lorrie Hansen

This list of summer reads for kids in grades 3-5 was compiled by Evanston/Skokie School District 65's librarians and teachers.

  • Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion

    2017 by Barton, Chris

    When the British Royal Navy grew desperate to protect their ship from German U-Boat attacks, they created ships painted in bold colors and patterns to confuse the enemy about their location and speed.

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  • The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy

    2005 by Birdsall, Jeanne

    While vacationing with their widowed father in the Berkshire Mountains, four sisters, ages 4 through 12, share adventures with a local boy, much to the dismay of his snobbish mother.

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  • Hurricane Child

    2018 by Callender, Kheryn

    Born on Water Island in the Virgin Islands during a hurricane, which is considered bad luck, 12-year-old Caroline falls in love with another girl. The two of them set out in a hurricane to find Caroline's missing mother.

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  • Lowriders in Space

    by Camper. Cathy

    What will it take to transform a junker into the best car in the universe? Find out as Lupe Impala, El Chavo Flapjack, and Elirio Malaria enter a contest with a prize of a trunkful of cash—just what the team needs to open their own shop!

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  • Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

    2017 by Carmon, Irin

    An illustrated biography of the feminist icon and legal pioneer who has changed the world, especially in the realms of gender equality and civil rights.

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  • Gaby, Lost and Found

    2013 by Cervantes, Angela

    Wanted: One amazing forever home for one amazing 6th grader who loves volunteering at the local animal shelter.

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  • Artemis Fowl

    2001 by Colfer, Eoin

    When a 12-year-old evil genius tries to restore his family fortune by capturing a fairy and demanding a ransom in gold, the fairies fight back with magic, technology, and a particularly nasty troll.

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  • Gregor the Overlander

    2003 by Collins, Suzanne

    When 11-year-old Gregor and his 2-year-old sister are pulled into a strange underground world, they trigger an epic battle involving men, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy.

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  • A Time to Act: John F. Kennedy's Big Speech

    2017 by Corey, Shana

    This biography offers a sensitive look at a tumultuous time in history and compelling questions about making positive change today. It includes quotes from JFK's speeches and a thought-provoking author's note.

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  • Unstoppable: How Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Defeated Army

    2018 by Coulson, Art

    Known for unusual formations and innovative plays, the Carlisle squad was out to prove just one thing—that it was the best football team in all the land.

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  • The London Eye Mystery

    2008 by Dowd, Siobhan

    When Ted and Kat's cousin Salim disappears from the London Eye ferris wheel, the siblings must work together—Ted with his brain that is "wired differently" and impatient Kat—to solve the mystery of what happened to Salim.

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  • Blended

    2018 by Draper, Sharon M.

    Piano-prodigy Isabella, age 11, whose black father and white mother struggle to share custody, never feels whole, especially as racial tensions affect her school, her parents both become engaged, and she and her stepbrother are stopped by police.

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  • The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day

    2019 by Edge, Christopher

    It's the morning of Maisie's 10th birthday, and she can't wait to open her presents. But she wakes to an empty house, and outside the front door is nothing but an unsettling, all-consuming blackness—a shifted reality.

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  • The Parker Inheritance

    2018 by Johnson, Varian

    While spending the summer in Lambert, South Carolina, 12-year-old Candice Miller sets out to find an inheritance, exonerate her grandmother, and expose an injustice once committed against an African American family in Lambert.

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  • Dying to Meet You

    2009 by Klise, Kate

    In this story told mostly through letters, children's book author, I.B. Grumply, gets more than he bargained for when he rents a quiet place to write for the summer.

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  • Cricket in the Thicket: Poems about Bugs

    2017 by Murray, Carol

    Poetry about cool insects with accompanying fascinating facts.

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  • Dactyl Hill Squad

    2018 by Older, Daniel José

    When Magdalys Roca receives a letter telling her that her brother Montez was wounded, Magdalys knows that somehow she must reach him—and her ability to communicate telepathically with dinosaurs may come in handy.

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  • The Bridge Home

    2019 by Venkatraman, Padma

    Four determined children who don't have a home make a life for themselves in Chennai, India.

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  • The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop

    2019 by Weatherford, Carole Boston

    This book presents the history of hip-hop, including how it evolved from folktales, spirituals, and poetry, to the showmanship of James Brown, to the culture of graffiti art and break dancing that formed around the art form.

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  • Soof

    2018 by Weeks, Sarah

    Aurora and her family have always believed in "soof" (love). But sometimes even when soof is right there in front of you, you still need to find it, and that's exactly what Aurora is going to do.

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  • Harbor Me

    2018 by Woodson, Jacqueline

    When six students are chosen to participate in a weekly talk with no adults allowed, they discover that when they're together, it's safe to share the hopes and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world.

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