Here are the books I recommended to 4th and 5th graders this year:
For 4th graders:
The 14th Goldfish by Jennifer Holm: A girl named Ellie must deal with her scientist grandfather being turned into a teenager. The idea of an old man in a teenager's body holds definite kid appeal, and it is a very well written book. It is also a great example of science fiction, and of girls demonstrating a love for science.
Eat your Science Homework: Recipes for Inquiring Minds by Anne McCallum: This title fit the need for nonfiction title I thought kids this age would enjoy reading. It ties together food and science, two perennially kid approved topics.
Maryellen series by Valerie Tripp and Melody series by Denise Lewis Patrick: These new additions to the American Girl books allowed me to promote my library's popular American Girl Club.
For 5th graders:
VIP: I'm With The Band by Jen Calonita: Mac gets to live every teen's dream, going on the road with her favorite band. I like the humor in the book as well as the comic book elements that are included throughout.
Sunny Side Up by Jennifer Holm: Sunny's family is going through a lot with her brother. To get her away from the situation she is sent to spend the summer with her grandfather in his Florida retirement community. While reading about Sunny's adventures in this community we slowly learn about her brother's behavior and drug abuse. This graphic novel treats a difficult subject matter in a way that makes it easy for kids to understand and enjoyable to read.
I Funny TV by James Patterson: Jamie's latest adventure involves creating a TV show based on his life. The behind the scenes drama is pretty funny, as the title suggests. Patterson's tween series continue to be extremely popular among kids in my community.
For both grades:
Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan: This Newbery Honor winner was one of my favorite books of 2015. It will appeal to fans of historical fiction as well as fantasy lovers, and has a ending that just leaves you feeling happy. It is especially terrific as an audiobook.
Voyagers series by multiple authors: The premise of this science fiction series is that kids are sent to space to retrieve a much needed new energy source for Earth. The kids I talked to loved the concept of going to space, and seemed eager to volunteer themselves if the need ever arose.
I hope these titles will come in handy to anyone suggesting books for this age group. For more suggestions see last year's booktalks for fourth and fifth graders. If you have additional recommendations I would love to hear them too. I'm already looking forward to posting about booktalking again next year!