Monday, April 26, 2010

May book report ideas for 5th grade

For their May book reports, 5th graders must read a book published before 1900 (though Ms. Russell is willing to make exceptions for a few published soon after the turn of the century).

To help you get started, I have listed a few suggestions below (the E. Nesbit and George MacDonald books are my personal favorites!) as well as a way you can search an online library catalog for additional titles.

Louisa May Alcott - Little Women (1868) & Little Men (1871)
Charles DickensA Christmas Carol (1843)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Sherlock Holmes books: A Study in Scarlet (1887), The Sign of Four (1890), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902)
George MacDonald - The Princess and the Goblin (1872)
E. Nesbit - Five Children and It (1902), The Phoenix and the Carpet (1904) & The Railway Children (1906)
Howard Pyle - The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (1883)
Robert Louis Stevenson - Treasure Island (1883)

WorldCat is another source of reading suggestions. Anyone may set up a free account and save search results and lists. You can then use these results to find the book at your local public library or bookstore (or search for the full text online, since the copyright has expired for these older titles).

In WorldCat, click on the advanced search option. Next, type a space and then an asterisk ( *) for the keyword. Leave the title and author fields blank. Finally, limit the dates for your search (e.g. 1850-1899). Choose "juvenile" for the audience, select the type of content (i.e. "fiction"), format ("book") and language of choice.

Be warned: you will get thousands of results! However, most of the pre-1900 literature we are commonly aware of and consider classics today was written for adults and may be too challenging for students of this age. This search will help you find children's books from the appropriate time period.

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