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. Click here for a print-friendly version of this list.

Children’s Fiction (J)

Author Title Call Number
BarriePeter Pan
Adventures abound in Never-Never Land. 1911. (200 pp.)
J Barrie
BaumThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz
A tornado whisks Dorothy far from home to a magical land. 1899. (267 pp.)
J Baum
BrinkCaddie Woodlawn
The adventures of a girl growing up on the Wisconsin frontier. 1935. (275 pp.)
J Brink
BurnettThe Secret Garden
Orphaned Mary is miserable until she discovers a wondrous place. 1911. (340 pp.)
J Burnett
CarrollAlice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice discovers a strange world at the bottom of a rabbit hole. 1866. (192 pp.)
J Carroll
A mischievous wooden puppet yearns to become a real boy. 1898. (173 pp.)
J Collodi
Du BoisThe Twenty-One Balloons
A hot air balloon crash sets off a series of adventures. 1947. (179 pp.)
J Du Bois
FarleyThe Black Stallion
After a shipwreck, Alec and a wild stallion fight for survival. 1941. (275 pp.)
J Farley
GrahameThe Wind in the Willows
The escapades of four animal friends who live along a river. 1908. (249 pp.)
J Grahame
HenryMisty of Chincoteague
Two children are determined to have a wild pony for their own. 1947. (173 pp.)
J Henry
KiplingThe Jungle Book
An abandoned "man-cub" is raised by wolves in the jungle. 1894. (210 pp.)
J Kipling
KjelgaardBig Red
Danny and his Irish setter are tested when they face a killer bear. 1945. (231 pp.)
J Kjelgaard
KnightLassie Come-Home
A collie undertakes a 1000-mile journey to find her former master. 1938. (248 pp.)
J Knight
LewisThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Four children journey to another world that is under an evil spell. 1950. (189 pp.)
J Lewis
NesbitFive Children and It
A family discovers a grumpy sand fairy that grants wishes. 1902. (242 pp.)
J Nesbit
SewellBlack Beauty
A horse shares his experiences with good and bad masters. 1877. (198 pp.)
J Sewell

Junior High Fiction (Y)

Author Title Call Number
AlcottLittle Women
The joys and sorrows of four sisters as they grow up. 1869. (525 pp.)
Y Alcott
BagnoldNational Velvet
A girl wins a horse and rides it in the Grand National steeplechase. 1935. (306 pp.)
Y Bagnold
DoyleThe Hound of the Baskervilles: Another Adventure of Sherlock Holmes
An attempted murder is linked to a legendary supernatural hound. 1902. (195 pp.)
Y Doyle
ForbesJohnny Tremain
An injured young silversmith joins the American Revolution. 1943. (256 pp.)
Y Forbes
LondonThe Call of the Wild
An unusual dog becomes the leader of a wolf pack. 1903. (110 pp.)
Y London
MontgomeryAnne of Green Gables
The adventures of Anne, an imaginative orphan girl. 1908. (304 pp.)
Y Montgomery
O'HaraMy Friend Flicka
A Wyoming boy's life changes thanks to a wild foal. 1941. (346 pp.)
Y O'Hara
RawlingsThe Yearling
A Florida boy lovingly raises a fawn as a pet. 1938. (400 pp.)
Y Rawlings
A monster assembled from body parts develops a mind of his own. 1818. (253 pp.)
Y Shelley
SmithA Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Francie overcomes her poverty with imagination and tenacity. 1943. (493 pp.)
Y Smith
StevensonTreasure Island
Jim Hawkins finds a treasure map leading to a pirate's fortune. 1883. (176 pp.)
Y Stevenson
Stratton-PorterA Girl of the Limberlost
Science-loving Elnora finds a unique way to fund her education. 1909. (338 pp.)
Y paperback ST
TolkienThe Hobbit: Or, There and Back Again
Gandalf the wizard recruits Bilbo Baggins for an adventure. 1937. (330 pp.)
Y Tolkien
TwainThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer
A mischievous boy grows up along the Mississippi River. 1876. (224 pp.)
Y Twain
VerneJourney to the Center of the Earth
A volcanic crater leads a scientific team to the center of the Earth. 1864. (244 pp.)
Y Verne
WellsThe War of the Worlds
Martians invade Earth! 1898. (251 pp.)
Y Wells
WyssThe Swiss Family Robinson
A family makes a new life after being shipwrecked on an island. 1812. (256 pp.)
Y Wyss

Last Updated: 7/15


  • Inside Block Kids' E-books

    E-Books, Movies & More

    Access e-books, e-audiobooks, movies, music, and more, free with your Wilmette Public Library card.

Go to top