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Year 5 Recommended Fiction

contemporary fiction
Recommended contemporary fiction for year 6
classic fiction
Recommended classic fiction for year 6
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CONTEMPORARY FICTION

The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket
by John Boyne

There’s nothing unusual or different about the Brocket family – and they’re keen to keep it that way. But when Barnaby Brocket comes into the world, it’s clear he’s anything but ordinary. To his parents’ horror, Barnaby defies the laws of gravity – and floats.

Soon, the Brockets decide enough is enough. The neighbours are starting to talk. They never askedfor a weird, abnormal, floating child. Barnaby has to go . . .

Betrayed and frightened, Barnaby floats into the path of a very special hot air balloon – and so begins a magical journey around the world, with a cast of extraordinary new friends.

King of the Cloud Forests
by Michael Morpurgo

Escaping from China as the Japanese invade, Ashley and Uncle Sung embark on a perilous journey across the Himalayas. Then Ashley finds himself alone in the hostile mountains, battling for his life. He is just about to give up all hope, when he has a mysterious and terrifying encounter . . .

Kensuke's Kingdom
by Michael Morpurgo

Kensuke’s Kingdom is a true children’s classic by former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo, the creator of War Horse.

I heard the wind above me in the sails. I remember thinking, this is silly, you haven’t got your safety harness on, you haven’t got your lifejacket on. You shouldn’t be doing this . . . I was in the cold of the sea before I could even open my mouth to scream.

Washed up on an island in the Pacific, Michael struggles to survive on his own. With no food and no water, he curls up to die. When he wakes, there is a plate beside him of fish, of fruit, and a bowl of fresh water. He is not alone . . .

The Nowhere Emporium
by Ross MacKenzie

When the mysterious Nowhere Emporium arrives in Glasgow, orphan Daniel Holmes stumbles upon it quite by accident. Before long, the ‘shop from nowhere’ — and its owner, Mr Silver — draw Daniel into a breathtaking world of magic and enchantment. Recruited as Mr Silver’s apprentice, Daniel learns the secrets of the Emporium’s vast labyrinth of passageways and rooms — rooms that contain wonders beyond anything Daniel has ever imagined. But when Mr Silver disappears, and a shadow from the past threatens everything, the Emporium and all its wonders begin to crumble. Can Daniel save his home, and his new friends, before the Nowhere Emporium is destroyed forever? Scottish Children’s Book Award winner Ross MacKenzie unleashes a riot of imagination, colour and fantasy in this astonishing adventure, perfect for fans of Philip Pullman, Cornelia Funke and Neil Gaiman.

The Imaginary
by A. F. Harrold and illustrated by Emily Gravett

An extraordinary tale of love, loss, imagination and not really being there, for fans of Roald Dahl and Neil Gaiman.

Rudger is Amanda’s best friend. He doesn’t exist, but nobody’s perfect.

Only Amanda can see her imaginary friend – until the sinister Mr Bunting arrives at Amanda’s door. Mr Bunting hunts imaginaries. Rumour says that he eats them. And he’s sniffed out Rudger. Soon Rudger is alone, and running for his imaginary life. But can a boy who isn’t there survive without a friend to dream him up?

A brilliantly funny, scary and moving read from the unique imagination of A.F. Harrold, this beautiful book is astoundingly illustrated with integrated art and colour spreads by the award-winning Emily Gravett.

Return to the Secret Garden
by Holly Webb

Return to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s timeless classic, The Secret Garden, in this magical sequel by bestselling author Holly Webb. It’s 1939 and a group of children have been evacuated to Misselthwaite Hall. Emmie is far from happy to have been separated from her cat and sent to a huge old mansion. But soon she starts discovering the secrets of the house – a boy crying at night, a diary written by a girl named Mary, and a garden. A very secret garden…

My Best Friends and other Enemies
by Catherine Wilkins

When Jessica’s best friend goes off with new-girl Natalie, Jessica is hurt but determined not to take it lying down. She has a plan, and a secret weapon – her felt-tips. The pen is mightier than the sword, after all, and having a sense of humour wins Jessica far more friends than she loses. A funny wise story that will touch a nerve with everyone who reads it.

The River Singers
by Tom Moorhouse

Something was approaching the burrow.  Something deadly.  Something that made Sylvan’s fur bristle with fear . . .

Knowing their lives are under threat, Sylvan and his brother and sisters have no choice but to abandon their burrow for ever. Together they set out on an epic journey along the Great River; but with dangers lurking at every turn, will they ever find a safe place to call home?

Varjak Paw
by S F Said

Varjak Paw is a Mesopotamian Blue kitten. He lives high up in an old house on a hill. He’s never left home, but then his grandfather tells him about the Way – a secret martial art for cats.

Now Varjak must use the Way to survive in a city full of dangerous dogs, cat gangs and, strangest of all the mysterious Vanishings.

Hetty Feather
by Jacqueline Wilson

London, 1876. Hetty Feather is just a tiny baby when her mother leaves her at the Foundling Hospital. The Hospital cares for abandoned children – but Hetty must first live with a foster family until she is big enough to go to school.

Life in the countryside is sometimes hard, but with her foster brothers, Jem and Gideon, Hetty helps in the fields and plays vivid imaginary games. Together they sneak off to visit the travelling circus, and Hetty is mesmerised by the show – especially the stunning Madame Adeline and her performing horses.

But Hetty’s happiness is threatened once more when she must return to the Foundling Hospital to begin her education. The new life of awful uniforms and terrible food is a struggle for her, and she desperately misses her beloved Jem. But now she has the chance to find her real mother. Could she really be the wonderful Madame Adeline? Or will Hetty find the truth is even more surprising?

Who Could That Be At This Hour?
by Lemony Snicket

In a fading town, far from anyone he knew or trusted, a young Lemony Snicket began his apprenticeship in an organization nobody knows about. He began asking questions that shouldn’t have been on his mind. Now he has written an account that should not be published, in four volumes that shouldn’t be read. This is the first volume.

In Darkling Wood
by Emma Carroll

When Alice’s brother gets a longed-for chance for a heart transplant, Alice is suddenly bundled off to her estranged grandmother’s house. There’s nothing good about staying with Nell, except for the beautiful Darkling Wood at the end of her garden – but Nell wants to have it cut down. Alice feels at home there, at peace, and even finds a friend, Flo. But Flo doesn’t seem to go to the local school and no one in town has heard of a girl with that name. When Flo shows Alice the surprising secrets of Darkling Wood, Alice starts to wonder, what is real? And can she find out in time to save the wood from destruction?

The Rising
by Tom Moorhouse

When their uncle Sylvan pays an unexpected visit, bringing with him a terrible warning, young water voles Kale and Strife have no idea that their world is about to change for ever.
Soon they’ll be running for their lives as a new danger threatens to destroy everything and everyone they care about.
Kale and Strife will need all their strength and courage to survive their journey into the unknown. But the shadows are full of enemies, and still more surprises lie in wait . . . will they ever make it back home again?
This thrilling follow-up to the highly-acclaimed novel, The River Singers, will transport readers into a vivid world of riverbank creatures, where excitement and danger are never far away.  Containing the original beautiful black and white illustrations by Simon Mendez.

Look Into my Eyes (Ruby Redfort)
by Lauren Child

Hey, buster! Normal life is a total yawn. Break out of boredom with Ruby Redfort, the super-awesome teen detective series from multi-million-copy bestseller Lauren Child…

Want to know more? Of course you do, bozo.

Here’s the low-down on Ruby Redfort: she’s a genius code-cracker, a daring detective, and a gadget-laden special agent who just happens to be a thirteen-year-old girl. She and her slick sidekick butler, Hitch, foil crimes and get into loads of scrapes with evil villains, but they’re always ice-cool in a crisis.

In this first book, we go right back to Ruby’s beginnings as an agent. When an anonymous caller sets Ruby a challenge, it’s not long before she finds her way into the HQ of the most secret of secret agencies – SPECTRUM. They need her help to crack a code but her desk job soon spirals into an all-out action adventure, as Ruby uncovers the dastardly plans of the formidable Fool’s Gold Gang…

The Dream Snatcher
by Abi Elphinstone

Twelve-year-old Molly Pecksniff wakes one night in the middle of the forest, lured there by a recurring nightmare – the one with the drums and the rattles and the masks. The Dreamsnatcher is waiting. He has already taken her dreams and now he wants her life. Because Moll is more important than she knows…The Oracle Bones foretold that she and Gryff, a wildcat that has always been by her side, are the only ones who can fight back against the Dreamsnatcher’s dark magic. Suddenly everything is at stake, and Moll is drawn into a world full of secrets, magic and adventure. Perfect for fans of J.K. Rowling, Michelle Harrison and Eva Ibbotson.

Circus of Thieves and the Raffle of Doom
by William Sutcliffe and illustrated by David Tazzyman

Hannah’s life is boring, boring, boring! But when Armitage Shank’s Impossible Circus comes to town, Hannah’s world is turned on its head. Meeting Billy Shank, his astonishing camel, Narcissus, and a host of other bizarrely brilliant members of the circus. But all is not as it seems; Armitage Shank, evil ringmaster and Billy’s surrogate father, has a dastardly plan involving light-fingered thievery. can Hannah and Billy to stop his stinking scheme before it’s too late…Full of fun, adventure and wacky characters, William Sutcliffe’s debut children’s novel – brought to life by the energetic illustrations of David Tazzyman – is a must for fans of Andy Stanton, David Walliams and Roald Dahl.

Fizzlebert Stump: The Boy Who Ran Away from the Circus and Joined the Library
by A F Harrold

‘There are many boys in the world, all slightly different from one another, and most of them are referred to by names. These are often John or Jack or Desmond, but sometimes they are James or Philip or Simon. Once, and once only, there was a boy whose name was Fizzlebert.’

Fizzlebert Stump lives in a travelling circus. But although he gets to hang around with acrobats, play the fool with clowns, and put his head in a lion’s mouth every night, he’s the only kid there – and he’s bored. But then Fizz decides to join a library, and life suddenly gets a lot more exciting, when a simple library card application leads to him being kidnapped by a pair of crazed pensioners! Will he ever see the circus again?

Fizzlebert Stump: The Boy Who Cried Fish
by A F Harrold

This is the third book in a quirky series about Fizzlebert Stump, a boy who lives in a circus. When Fish the sea lion goes missing, Fizzlebert sets out with Admiral Spratt-Haddock, an invisible octopus, and colour-coded fish, to track down the runaway beast. Can Fizzlebert solve the mystery, avoid an over-enthusiastic crocodile, and find his friend?

Artemis Fowl
by Eoin Colfer

Join the world of Artemis Fowl, the number one bestseller by Eoin Colfer.

Rumour has it Artemis Fowl is responsible for every major crime of the new century.

Just twelve years old and already he’s a criminal genius, plotting to restore his family’s fortune with a spot of corruption and kidnapping.

Kidnapping a fairy for ransom, to be precise.

Artemis Fowl has discovered a world below ground of armed and dangerous – and extremely high-tech – fairies. But he may have underestimated their powers. They will fight back. Is the boy about to trigger a cross-species war?

Witchworld
by Emma Fischel

The witches of Witchworld have no need for old-fashioned wands or broomsticks, not when they have shiny Spellsticks and super-whizzy Skyriders instead. And no one has a cauldron anymore, just a cupboard full of Potions2Go. Flo Skritchett lives with her mother, the editor-in-chief of celebrity and lifestyle magazine, Hocus Pocus, and her witchteen sister. All is well, until her grandmother flies into town and warns them that Witchworld is in danger from a ghoul attack! No one believes her – after all, ghouls died out years ago and she still rides around on a broomstick, for goodness’ sake!

Wave Me Goodbye
by Jacqueline Wilson

September, 1939. As the Second World War begins, ten-year-old Shirley is sent away on a train with her schoolmates. She doesn’t know where she’s going, or what’s going to happen to her when she gets there. All she has been told is that she’s going on ‘a little holiday’.

Shirley is billeted in the country, with two boys from East End London, Kevin and Archie – and their experiences living in the strange, half-empty Red House, with the mysterious and reclusive Mrs Waverley, will change their lives for ever.

 

CLASSIC FICTION

The Secret of the Unicorn. The Adventures of Tintin
by Herge

The world’s most famous travelling reporter learns the secret of the Unicorn.

When Tintin stumbles across a model ship at the Old Street Market, he buys it as a gift for his friend Captain Haddock. But this isn’t just any old model ship . . . it’s the Unicorn. Built by one of Haddock’s ancestors it holds a clue to finding the treasure of a notorious pirate.

This is the first of a two-part adventure that concludes with “Red Rackham’s Treasure”.

Ballet Shoes
by Noel Streatfeild

Pauline, Petrova and Posy Fossil are sisters – with a difference. All three were adopted as babies by Great Uncle Matthew, an eccentric and rich explorer who then disappeared, leaving them in the care of his niece Sylvia. The girls grow up in comfort until their money begins to run out and nobody can find Great Uncle Matthew.Things look bleak until they hit on an inspired idea: Pauline, Petrova and Posy will take to the stage. But it’s not long before the Fossils learn that being a star isn’t as easy as they first thought…

The Borrowers
by Mary Norton

The Borrowers live in the secret places of quiet old houses; behind the mantelpiece, inside the harpsichord, under the kitchen clock. They own nothing, borrow everything, and think that human beings were invented just to do the dirty work. Arrietty’s father, Pod, was an expert Borrower. He could scale curtains using a hatpin, and bring back a doll’s teacup without breaking it. Girls weren’t supposed to go borrowing but as Arrietty was an only child her father broke the rule, and then something happened which changed their lives. She made friends with the human boy living in the house…

Swallows and Amazons
by Arthur Ransome

The Walker children – also known as Captain John, Mate Susan, Able-Seaman Titty, and Ship’s Boy Roger – set sail on the Swallow and head for Wild Cat Island. There they camp under open skies, swim in clear water and go fishing for their dinner. But their days are disturbed by the Blackett sisters, the fierce Amazon pirates. The Swallows and Amazons decide to battle it out, and so begins a summer of unforgettable discoveries and incredible adventures.

Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh
by Robert C. O'Brien

They are not like other rats. They work at night, in secret . . .

Time is running out for Mrs Frisby. She must move her family of mice before the farmer destroys their home. But her youngest son, Timothy, is too ill to survive the move. 
Help comes in the unexpected form of a group of mysterious, super-intelligent rats. But the rats are in danger too, and little by little Mrs Frisby discovers their extraordinary past . . .

The Wind in the Willows
by Kenneth Grahame

Join in the delights and disasters on the riverbank with Mole and his new friends. With sensible Ratty, wise Badger, fun-loving Toad, and the dastardly stoats and weasles, there's never a dull moment!