50 Cities of the U.S.A.: Explore America’s Cities with 50 Fact-Filled Maps by Gabriella Balkan
Once I brought this book into the classroom, I could not get it back. It is hugely popular with fifth graders. This book is packed with information about cities in our country. The colors and the visuals are appealing and the layout makes it fun to read. The thing I like most about this book is that it isn’t your usual information about the states. Instead, a variety of cities (not necessarily capitals) are included with interesting information that is unique to the city.
C is for Chickasaw by Wiley BarnesEarly this year we enjoyed the book Mission to Space by John Herrington, an astronaut and citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. After reading the book, students had several questions about the Chickasaw Nation, so I ordered C is for Chickasaw to add to our collection. This is an alphabet book packed with information that may correct misinformation our students might have. The format makes it engaging and allows readers to learn a great deal about the topic in a short time. This is a good book for read aloud or independent reading.
Grand Canyon by Jason Chin
This book won NCTE’s Orbis Pictus Award, an award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children. It features expository writing, but the artwork includes a story, making it well suited for a broad range of readers. Packed with information, this is a book readers can return to again and again to learn more.
Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees by Mary Beth Leatherdale
This is book, intended for older elementary readers, is a combination of narrative and expository writing styles. It includes stories of five refugees--children who escaped their countries by sea--as well as expository sidebars and fact boxes. This topic is timely and this book is a bit more in-depth than other picture books for this age.
So many fifth graders enjoy fractured fairy tales by Leisl Shurtliff, Christopher Healy, Sarah Mlynowski and others. This nonfiction picture book lets readers know that the things we might know about being a princess from stories and movies may not be true. It compares princess life as we may visualize it with the real truth. It is a fun book, and I can see it being enjoyed by readers of all ages.
Franki Sibberson currently teaches fifth grade in Dublin, Ohio. She has worked in elementary schools for over 25 years as a classroom teacher, a Reading Support Teacher, a curriculum support teacher, and a school librarian. Franki’s books include Digital Reading: What’s Essential in Grades 3-8 (NCTE), Beyond Leveled Books (Stenhouse), Still Learning to Read (Stenhouse), Day-to-Day Assessment in the Reading Workshop (Scholastic), and The Joy of Planning (Choice Literacy). She blogs regularly at A Year of Reading and she is also a regular contributor to Choice Literacy. Franki Sibberson is currently President-Elect of NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English)