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Updated by Jeff Bakke on Jun 24, 2015
Headline for Ankeny Fifth Grade Reading Relays
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Ankeny Fifth Grade Reading Relays

Developed and facilitated by the teacher librarians in the Ankeny Community School District, the Reading Relays is a district-wide reading competition for fifth grade students in Ankeny, Iowa. In each elementary school, teams of four students work to read the following list of 24 titles. In the district competition, the teams listen to details from the story and determine the texts from which those details came.

Fever 1793

An epidemic of fever sweeps through the streets of 1793 Philadelphia in this novel from Laurie Halse Anderson where "the plot rages like the epidemic itself" (The New York Times Book Review).

During the summer of 1793, Mattie Cook lives above the family coffee shop with her widowed mother and grandfather. Mattie spends her days avoiding chores and making plans to turn the family business into the finest Philadelphia has ever seen. But then the fever breaks out.

Disease sweeps the streets, destroying everything in its path and turning Mattie's world upside down. At her feverish mother's insistence, Mattie flees the city with her grandfather. But she soon discovers that the sickness is everywhere, and Mattie must learn quickly how to survive in a city turned frantic with disease.

One-Handed Catch

"Dad had asked me to give him a hand, and that's exactly what I was doing. I was fast becoming part of the fourteen-cent chopped meat special--which, I'm told, was not a big seller for the rest of the day."

What would it be like to go through life with only one hand? That's exactly what eleven-year-old Norm finds out when he loses his left hand in an accident at his family's store. It's July 4, 1946. World War II has ended, and life is getting back to normal. But for Norm, the pressing question now is whether he will ever be able to play baseball again. And what about his dreams of becoming an artist? Norm can't even figure out how to tie his shoes anymore. How will he ever learn how to pitch or catch or swing a bat with no left hand? It's up to Norm to find the strength to get beyond this roadblock and move on with his life.

The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity (Brixton Brothers)

Seventh-grader Steve Brixton is an avid reader of the Bailey Brothers series, and he’s about to get a chance to put the detective tactics he’s read so much about into practice. He’s out to solve a mystery being investigated by America’s most secret crime solving agency: the United States Department of Library Sciences. It will take all of Steve’s skills to navigate this story of intrigue and crime as he tracks down the missing quilt (yes, quilt) containing all of America’s secrets.

No Talking

It’s boys vs. girls when the noisiest, most talkative, and most competitive fifth graders in history challenge one another to see who can go longer without talking. Teachers and school administrators are in an uproar, until an innovative teacher sees how the kids’ experiment can provide a terrific and unique lesson in communication. In No Talking, Andrew Clements portrays a battle of wills between some spunky kids and a creative teacher with the perfect pitch for elementary school life that made Frindle an instant classic.

Artemis Fowl

Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius-and, above all, a criminal mastermind. But even Artemis doesn't know what he's taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren't the fairies of bedtime stories; these fairies are armed and dangerous.

Artemis thinks he has them right where he wants them but then they stop playing by the rules.

Free Baseball

Felix knows his dad was a famous baseball player in Cuba—and that his father risked everything to send Felix to America. But his mom won’t reveal anything else. When a baseball team with Cuban players comes to town, Felix wonders if they knew his dad and sneaks into their locker room to ask. That’s when the players mistake him for their new batboy. Determined to uncover the truth about his mysterious father, Felix plays along, going as far as running away from home to become the team’s batboy. His bittersweet adventure glows with the friendship of a miraculous dog, the warmth of a mother’s love, and the magic of baseball.

Bud, Not Buddy

It's 1936, in Flint, Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud's got a few things going for him:1. He has his own suitcase filled with his own important, secret things.2. He's the author of Bud Caldwell's Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself.3. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: flyers of Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression!!!!!!Bud's got an idea that those flyers will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road and find this mystery man, nothing can stop him--not hunger, not fear, not vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself.Bud, Not Buddy is full of laugh-out-loud humor and wonderful characters, hitting the high notes of jazz and sounding the deeper tones of the Great Depression.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

A timeless tale by the incomparable Kate DiCamillo, complete with stunning full-color plates by Bagram Ibatoulline, honors the enduring power of love.

"Someone will come for you, but first you must open your heart. . . ."

Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely.

And then, one day, he was lost.

Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the top of a garbage heap to the fireside of a hoboes' camp, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. And along the way, we are shown a true miracle — that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.

Out of My Mind

Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow.

In this breakthrough story—reminiscent of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly—from multiple Coretta Scott King Award-winner Sharon Draper, readers will come to know a brilliant mind and a brave spirit who will change forever how they look at anyone with a disability.

The City of Ember (The First Book of Ember)

Ember, a 241-year-old, ruined domed city surrounded by a dark unknown, was built to ensure that humans would continue to exist on Earth, and the instructions for getting out have been lost and forgotten. On Assignment Day, 12-year-olds leave school and receive their lifetime job assignments. Lina Mayfleet becomes a messenger, and her friend Doon Harrow ends up in the Pipeworks beneath the city, where the failing electric generator has been ineffectually patched together. Both Lina and Doon are convinced that their survival means finding a way out of the city, and after Lina discovers pieces of the instructions, she and Doon work together to interpret the fragmented document. Life in this postholocaust city is well limned--the frequent blackouts, the food shortage, the public panic, the search for answers, and the actions of the powerful, who are taking selfish advantage of the situation. Readers will relate to Lina and Doon's resourcefulness and courage in the face of ominous odds.

Born to Fly

Ever since she can remember, Bird has loved flying in small propeller airplanes with her mechanic dad. When the local airstrip is turned into a military flight school, Bird is in heaven—and she manages to turn one young airman's interest in her older sister into some personal flight lessons.
Then a young Japanese American student named Kenji Fujita joins Bird's class, and the entire school seems to be convinced that he's a spy, a secret agent, or at the very least, that he and his uncle want the Japs to win.
But through a class project, Bird and Kenji befriend each other and accidentally discover real spy activity in the area. So begins an adventure that will shake the town and may even change the future of the United States.

Umbrella Summer

Annie Richards knows there are a million things to look out for—bicycle accidents, chicken pox, runaway zoo animals. That's why being careful is so important, even if it does mean giving up some of her favorite things, like bike races with her best friend and hot dogs on the Fourth of July. Everyone keeps telling Annie not to worry so much, that she's just fine. But they thought her brother, Jared, was just fine too, and Jared died.

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer

In the small city of Strattenburg, there are many lawyers, and though he’s only thirteen years old, Theo Boone thinks he’s one of them. Theo knows every judge, policeman, court clerk—and a lot about the law. He dreams of being a great trial lawyer, of a life in the courtroom.

But Theo finds himself in court much sooner than expected. Because he knows so much—maybe too much—he is suddenly dragged into the middle of a sensational murder trial. A cold-blooded killer is about to go free, and only Theo knows the truth.

The stakes are high, but Theo won’t stop until justice is served.

Among the Hidden (Shadow Children #1)

In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke, an illegal third child, has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family's farm in this start to the Shadow Children series from Margaret Peterson Haddix.

Luke has never been to school. He's never had a birthday party, or gone to a friend's house for an overnight. In fact, Luke has never had a friend.

Luke is one of the shadow children, a third child forbidden by the Population Police. He's lived his entire life in hiding, and now, with a new housing development replacing the woods next to his family's farm, he is no longer even allowed to go outside.

Then, one day Luke sees a girl's face in the window of a house where he knows two other children already live. Finally, he's met a shadow child like himself. Jen is willing to risk everything to come out of the shadows -- does Luke dare to become involved in her dangerous plan? Can he afford not to?

Running Out of Time

Jessie lives with her family in the frontier village of Clifton, Indiana, in 1840 -- or so she believes. When diphtheria strikes the village and the children of Clifton start dying, Jessie's mother reveals a shocking secret -- it's actually 1996, and they are living in a reconstructed village that serves as a tourist site. In the world outside, medicine exists that can cure the dread disease, and Jessie's mother is sending her on a dangerous mission to bring back help.
But beyond the walls of Clifton, Jessie discovers a world even more alien and threatening than she could have imagined, and soon she finds her own life in jeopardy. Can she get help before the children of Clifton, and Jessie herself, run out of time?

The Music of Dolphins

After a plane crash off the coast of Cuba, a four-year-old survives, nurtured by dolphins. At adolescence, the girl is "rescued" by the Coast Guard and turned over to a scientist who has a government grant to study the part language acquisition plays in socialization. Mila, the otherworldly "dolphin girl," is enthusiastic to please, learning to speak words and write her thoughts on a computer, but gradually she understands that she is a prisoner "in the net of humans." She begins to lose ground, regressing physically, begging to be returned to the sea. Hesse's skill is in making readers believe in this wise, intuitive feral child. Mila's longing for the sea and her dolphin family is so achingly palpable that her return is equally believable. Her story is told in her own perfectly sustained voice: the clear and simple, but profound and poetic language of a "foreigner" with a keen mind and resonant spirit but limited vocabulary.

Stormbreaker (Alex Rider)

They told him his uncle died in an accident. He wasn't wearing his seatbelt, they said. But when fourteen-year-old Alex finds his uncle's windshield riddled with bullet holes, he knows it was no accident. What he doesn't know yet is that his uncle was killed while on a top-secret mission. But he is about to, and once he does, there is no turning back. Finding himself in the middle of terrorists, Alex must outsmart the people who want him dead. The government has given him the technology, but only he can provide the courage. Should he fail, every child in England will be murdered in cold blood.

19

Rules

Rules

Twelve-year-old Catherine just wants a normal life. Which is near impossible when you have a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability. She's spent years trying to teach David the rules from "a peach is not a funny-looking apple" to "keep your pants on in public"---in order to head off David's embarrassing behaviors.
But the summer Catherine meets Jason, a surprising, new sort-of friend, and Kristi, the next-door friend she's always wished for, it's her own shocking behavior that turns everything upside down and forces her to ask: What is normal?

The Giver (Giver Quartet)

The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

Number the Stars

As the German troops begin their campaign to "relocate" all the Jews of Denmark, Annemarie Johansen’s family takes in Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family.

Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that there was pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war.

22

Wonder

Wonder

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1)

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy's mom finds out, she knows it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he'll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends -- one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena -- Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

24

Hostage

Hostage

When eleven-year-old Kaci interrupts burglars in the process of robbing her house, she and her nosy elderly neighbor Mrs. Banducci are kidnapped and held hostage by the desperate and ruthless criminals.

The Orphan Of Ellis Island (Time Travel Adventures)

Dominic Cantori is an orphan. Ashamed of his situation, he avoids making friends for fear of exposing his terrible secret. One day on a class trip to Ellis Island, a tour guide asks everyone about their families. Terrified of having to answer, Dominic immediately flees from the class and hides in a closet, where he falls asleep for hours.

When he wakes up, the museum is deserted. Lonely and afraid, he picks up one display telephone after another, listening to the recorded voices of immigrants who describe their lives in faraway countries and their journeys to Ellis Island. To Dominic's surprise, the voice of an old Italian immigrant speaks directly to him! Before he knows it, he's transported back in time - to Italy in 1908. There, he unlocks the door to his past and discovers just what it feels like to be loved by his own family.