5th Grade

Mango Delight, by Fracaswell Hyman

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MangoDelight
A realistic story about recovering from social disaster, being true to your family, and finding your inner diva.

Mango Delight Fuller has survived many challenges: her food-based name, the birth of her baby brother, and her parents’ refusal to get her a cell phone until she turns thirteen. But when she beats her best friend Brooklyn in track practice, Brooklyn dumps Mango and joins the Cell Belles, a gossipy clique of bullies who taunt Mango into getting herself suspended from the track team and then trick her into trying out for the school musical. Surprise- she gets the lead, and her strict mom won’t let her back out, even though Mango has never sung in front of an audience before. Worse, Brooklyn’s dad owns the restaurant where Mango’s dad is a chef, and might fire him because of their daughters’ fight. Mango must find a way to make up for her mistake and make a new place for herself at the school. Read-alikes: Ruby Reinvented; Fly, Blackbird; Stef Soto, Taco Queen. Published 2017. –E.S

Ahimsa, by Supriya Kelkar

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Ahimsa

Gripping historical fiction about a Brahmin girl whose mother joins the fight for India’s independence.

When Anjali and her best friend, Irfaan, get caught painting a Q (for Quit India) on the British colonial headquarters in their town, Anjali’s mother loses her job as the secretary of the British commander. Anjali’s life is upended as her parents join Mahatma Gandhi in the struggle for freedom from British rule, working for the release of political prisoners and organizing against colonial economic exploitation by boycotting British goods and refusing to provide labor or raw materials. As the British stoke divisons in her community, Anjali finds herself struggling to keep a good relationship between her Hindu family and Irfaan’s Muslim family, as well as with her own beliefs about the Dalits, a caste of Hindus who are either pitied or despised by the other castes. Based on the life of the author’s great -grandmother, this fast-paced novel offers historical insights into the lives of Indians who joined Gandhi and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to help free India from colonial rule, religious division, and social prejudice, as well as a thoughtful exploration of relative privilege and the importance of listening to the people you think need your help. Great for fans of Chains and The War That Saved My Life. Published 2017.  –E.S.

Out of Wonder, by Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley, and Marjory Wentworth

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Out of Wonder

The instant New York Times bestseller!

A Newbery Medalist and a Caldecott Honoree offer a glorious, lyrical ode to poets who have sparked a sense of wonder.

Out of gratitude for the poet’s art form, Newbery Award-winning author and poet Kwame Alexander, along with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, present original poems that pay homage to twenty famed poets who have made the authors’ hearts sing and their minds wonder. Stunning mixed-media images by Ekua Holmes, winner of a Caldecott Honor and a John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award, complete the celebration and invite the reader to listen, wonder, and perhaps even pick up a pen.

Stef Soto, Taco Queen, by Jennifer Torres

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Stef Soto, Taco QueenA heartwarming and charming debut novel about family, friends, and finding your voice all wrapped up in a warm tortilla.

Estefania “Stef” Soto is itching to shake off the onion-and-cilantro embrace of Tia Perla, her family’s taco truck. She wants nothing more than for Papi to get a normal job and for Tia Perla to be a distant memory. Then maybe everyone at school will stop seeing her as the Taco Queen.
But when her family’s livelihood is threatened, and it looks like her wish will finally come true, Stef surprises everyone (including herself) by becoming the truck’s unlikely champion. In this fun and heartfelt novel, Stef will discover what matters most and ultimately embrace an identity that even includes old Tia Perla.

Riding Chance, by Christine Kendall

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Riding Chance

This is a story of family, brotherhood, and a hero’s journey amid city streets and an uncertain future.

Troy is a kid with a passion. And dreams. And wanting to do the right thing. But after taking a wrong turn, he’s forced to endure something that’s worse than any juvenile detention he can imagine-he’s “sentenced” to the local city stables where he’s made to take care of horses. The greatest punishment has been trying to make sense of things since his mom died but, through his work with the horses, he discovers a sport totally unknown to him-polo.

Troy has to figure out which friends have his back, which kids to cut loose, and whether he and Alisha have a true connection. Laced with humor and beating with heartache, this novel will grip readers, pull them in quickly, and take them on an unforgettable ride.

Set in present day Christine Kendall’s stunning debut lets us come face-to-face with the challenges of a loving family that turn hardships into triumphs.

A Boy Called Bat, by Elana Arnold

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A Boy Called Bat

From acclaimed author Elana K. Arnold and with illustrations by Charles Santoso, A Boy Called Bat is the first book in a funny, heartfelt, and irresistible young middle grade series starring an unforgettable young boy on the autism spectrum.

For Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat), life tends to be full of surprises–some of them good, some not so good. Today, though, is a good-surprise day. Bat’s mom, a veterinarian, has brought home a baby skunk, which she needs to take care of until she can hand him over to a wild-animal shelter.

But the minute Bat meets the kit, he knows they belong together. And he’s got one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might just make a pretty terrific pet.

Lucky Broken Girl, by Ruth Behar

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Lucky Broken Girl“A book for anyone mending from childhood wounds.”–Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

In this unforgettable multicultural coming-of-age narrative–based on the author’s childhood in the 1960s–a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant girl is adjusting to her new life in New York City when her American dream is suddenly derailed. Ruthie’s plight will intrigue readers, and her powerful story of strength and resilience, full of color, light, and poignancy, will stay with them for a long time.

Ruthie Mizrahi and her family recently emigrated from Castro’s Cuba to New York City. Just when she’s finally beginning to gain confidence in her mastery of English–and enjoying her reign as her neighborhood’s hopscotch queen–a horrific car accident leaves her in a body cast and confined her to her bed for a long recovery. As Ruthie’s world shrinks because of her inability to move, her powers of observation and her heart grow larger and she comes to understand how fragile life is, how vulnerable we all are as human beings, and how friends, neighbors, and the power of the arts can sweeten even the worst of times.