Picture books for upper grades

My 4th and 5th graders still love picture books, but sometimes it is hard to find one that is not too “babyish” or too long! I’d like to share with you a few that I have found.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, by William Joyce, is listed on Amazon’s 100 children’s books to read in a lifetime. It follows the life of a man who is writing his own story and lives his life among books.

In an interview with the author, William Joyce, he explains that the book was inspired by one of his mentors at Harper Collins. As Joyce was on his way to visit his mentor, who was very ill, he came up with this story about a guy who gives his life to books, just as his mentor had.

There is a short film of the book on YouTube that I like to show after reading the book. My students always love the book and the video. Here is a link to the unnarrated video.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Leah’s Pony, by Elizabeth Friedrich, is a heart-warming story set in the time of the Dust Bowl in the 1930s.  Leah’s family is close to losing their farm to the bank. Leah is determined to help out during this rough time. She sells her pony to help her family pay off a bank loan. In the end, neighbors come together to help this family out. 
The Sweetest Fig, by Chris Van Allsburg, is always a hit with my 4th and 5th graders. The main character, Monsieur Bibot of France, is not a nice man. He is a dentist who has no compassion for one of his patients. He treats his dog very badly and soon learns exactly what that feels like.

The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt is a hilarious story of how the game came to be. Of course you have to let everyone play they game after the story.
After the Fall, by Dan Santat, if the story of what happened to Humpty Dumpy after he fell of that infamous wall. Did he give up? No way. I love the surprise ending! 

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