Classic Novels for Grades 5-8

Selected novels that have stood the test of time, published no later than 1950. Keep in mind that older books are often more difficult to read due to the evolution of language.

Children’s Fiction (J)

Barrie Peter Pan    (Adventures abound in Never-Never Land. 1911.)
Baum The Wonderful Wizard of Oz    (A tornado whisks Dorothy far from home to a magical land. 1899.)
Brink Caddie Woodlawn    (The adventures of a girl growing up on the Wisconsin frontier. 1935.)
Burnett The Secret Garden    (Orphaned Mary is miserable until she discovers a wondrous place. 1911.)
Carroll Alice's Adventures in Wonderland    (Alice discovers a strange world at the bottom of a rabbit hole. 1866.)
Collodi Pinocchio    (A mischievous wooden puppet yearns to become a real boy. 1898.)
Du Bois The Twenty-One Balloons    (A hot air balloon crash sets off a series of adventures. 1947.)
Farley The Black Stallion    (After a shipwreck, Alec and a wild stallion fight for survival. 1941.)
Grahame The Wind in the Willows    (The escapades of four animal friends who live along a river. 1908.)
Henry Misty of Chincoteague    (Two children are determined to have a wild pony for their own. 1947.)
Kipling The Jungle Book    (An abandoned "man-cub" is raised by wolves in the jungle. 1894.)
Kjelgaard Big Red    (Danny and his Irish setter are tested when they face a killer bear. 1945.)
Knight Lassie Come-Home    (A collie undertakes a 1000-mile journey to find her former master. 1938.)
Lewis The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe    (Four children journey to another world that is under an evil spell. 1950.)
Nesbit Five Children and It    (A family discovers a grumpy sand fairy that grants wishes. 1902.)
Sewell Black Beauty    (A horse shares his experiences with good and bad masters. 1877.)

Junior High Fiction (Y)

Alcott Little Women    (The joys and sorrows of four sisters as they grow up. 1869.)
Bagnold National Velvet    (A girl wins a horse and rides it in the Grand National steeplechase. 1935.)
Doyle The Hound of the Baskervilles: Another Adventure of Sherlock Holmes    (An attempted murder is linked to a legendary supernatural hound. 1902.)
Forbes Johnny Tremain    (An injured young silversmith joins the American Revolution. 1943.)
London The Call of the Wild    (An unusual dog becomes the leader of a wolf pack. 1903.)
Montgomery Anne of Green Gables    (The adventures of Anne, an imaginative orphan girl. 1908.)
O'Hara My Friend Flicka    (A Wyoming boy's life changes thanks to a wild foal. 1941.)
Rawlings The Yearling    (A Florida boy lovingly raises a fawn as a pet. 1938.)
Shelley Frankenstein    (A monster assembled from body parts develops a mind of his own. 1818.)
Smith A Tree Grows in Brooklyn    (Francie overcomes her poverty with imagination and tenacity. 1943.)
Stevenson Treasure Island     (Jim Hawkins finds a treasure map leading to a pirate's fortune. 1883.)
Y paperback ST A Girl of the Limberlost    (Science-loving Elnora finds a unique way to fund her education. 1909.)
Tolkien The Hobbit: Or, There and Back Again    (Gandalf the wizard recruits Bilbo Baggins for an adventure. 1937.)
Twain The Adventures of Tom Sawyer    (A mischievous boy grows up along the Mississippi River. 1876.)
Verne Journey to the Center of the Earth    (A volcanic crater leads a scientific team to the center of the Earth. 1864.)
Wells The War of the Worlds    (Martians invade Earth! 1898.)
Wyss The Swiss Family Robinson    (A family makes a new life after being shipwrecked on an island. 1812.)
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Last Updated 7/15