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Building Your Classroom Library: The Best Books for Grades 3-5

See the books that teachers of grades 3-5 say are must-haves for your classroom library.

WeAreTeachers recently polled over 200 teachers about the best books in their classroom libraries, from their favorite read-alouds and fiction books to the top science, humor and poetry titles. Here’s what teachers of grades 3-5 had to say:

Top Read Aloud Books
  1. The Tale of Despereaux
    Written by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering. $7.19
  2. No Talking
    Written by Andrew Clements, illustrated by Mark Elliott. $5.39
  3. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
    Written by Judy Blume. $5.39
Also recommended: Top Realistic Fiction Books
  1. Dear Mr. Henshaw
    Written by Beverly Cleary, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. $5.39
  2. Shiloh
    Written by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. $5.71
  3. Frindle
    Written by Andrew Clements, illustrated by Brian Selznick. $6.29
  4. Because of Winn Dixie
    Written by Kate DiCamillo. $4.19
  5. Hatchet
    Written by Gary Paulsen. $6.29
Also recommended: Top Mystery Books
  1. The Maze of Bones (39 Clues, No. 1, Series)
    Written by Rick Riordan. $9.79
  2. Cam Jansen: The Mystery of the Stolen Diamonds (Series)
    Written by David A. Adler, illustrated by Susanna Natti. $3.59
  3. Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective (Series)
    Written by Donald J. Sobol. $4.49
  4. Nancy Drew: The Secret of the Old Clock (Series)
    Written by Carolyn Keene. $40.28
  5. A to Z Mysteries: The Absent Author (Series)
    Written by Ron Roy, illustrated by John Steven Gurney. $3.59
Also recommended: Top Fantasy and Science Fiction Books
  1. A Wrinkle in Time
    Written by Madeleine L’Engle. $6.29
  2. Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark (Series)
    Written by Mary Pope Osborne, illustrated by Sal Murdocca. $4.49
  3. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (Series)
    Written by C.S. Lewis, illustrated by Pauline Baynes. $16.29
  4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Series)
    Written by J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Mary GrandPre and Kazu Kibuishi. $8.98
Also recommended: Top Historical Fiction Books
  1. Number the Stars
    Written by Lois Lowry. $5.71
  2. Sarah, Plain and Tall
    Written by Patricia MacLachlan. $5.39
  3. Pink and Say
    Written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco. $1.99
Also recommended: Top Biographies
  1. Who Is Barack Obama? (Series)
    Written by Roberta Edwards, illustrated by Nancy Harrison and John O’Brien. $4.49
  2. The Story of My Life
    Written by Helen Keller. $2.25
  3. The Story of Ruby Bridges
    Written by Robert Coles, illustrated by George Ford. $6.29
  4. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
    Written by Anne Frank. $11.36
Also recommended:
Top Science Books
  1. The Universe (Series)
    Written by Seymour Simon. $6.29
  2. I Wonder Why The Sea Is Salty (Series)
    Written by Anita Ganeri. $6.29
  3. The Magic School Bus: Inside the Human Body (Series)
    Written by Joanna Cole, illustrated by Bruce Degen. $5.71
Also recommended: Top History Books
  1. Ben and Me
    Written by Robert Lawson. $6.30
  2. I Survived The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 (Series)
    Written by Lauren Tarshis. $4.08
  3. Amelia to Zora
    Written by Cynthia Chin-Lee, illustrated by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy. $7.16
Also recommended: Top Poetry Books
  1. Where the Sidewalk Ends
    Written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein. $14.36
  2. A Light in the Attic
    Written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein. $14.48
  3. Love That Dog
    Written by Sharon Creech. $5.39
Also recommended: Top Humor Books
  1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
    Written and illustrated by Jeff Kinney. $4.00
  2. The BFG
    Written by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake. $6.29
  3. The Adventures of Captain Underpants (Series)
    Written by Dav Pilkey. $5.39
  4. Dork Diaries: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life (Series)
    Written by Rachel Renée Russell. $4.61
Also recommended: Top Reference Books
  1. Guinness World Records 2014
    Edited by Guinness World Records. $10.86
  2. National Geographic Kids Beginner’s World Atlas
    Edited by National Geographic. $13.64
  3. Scholastic Children’s Thesaurus
    Written by John Bollard. $12.23
Also recommended:

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