Animal Fiction (Grades 4-6)

Adler, C. S.  One Unhappy Horse.  J FIC Adler
Things are difficult for twelve-year-old Jan and her mother after her father’s death, and when it turns out that her beloved horse needs an operation, Jan reluctantly gets money from an elderly woman whom she has befriended.

Applegate, Katherine.  Home of the Brave.  JPB A
Kek, an African refugee, is confronted by many strange things at the Minneapolis home of his aunt and cousin, as well as in his fifth grade classroom, and longs for his missing mother, but finds comfort in the company of a cow and her owner.

Armstrong, William.  Sounder.  J FIC Armstrong & JPB A
Angry and humiliated when his sharecropper father is jailed for stealing food for his family, a young black boy grows in courage and understanding by learning to read and with the help of the devoted dog Sounder.

Avi.  Ereth’s Birthday.  J FIC Avi
Feeling neglected on his birthday, Ereth, the cantankerous old porcupine, sets out looking for his favorite treat and instead finds himself acting as “mother” to three young fox kits.

Avi.  Ragweed.  J FIC Avi
Ragweed, a young country mouse, leaves his family and travels to the big city, where he finds excitement and danger and sees cats for the first time.

Banks, Kate.  Boys Best Friend.  J FIC Banks
Having just moved to Cape Cod, eleven-year-old Lester finds a new friend in George when the two are assigned to work on a school science project testing psychic ability in dogs, based on an experiment developed by Dr. Rupert Sheldrake.

Beck, W.H.  Malcolm At Midnight.  J FIC Beck
Malcolm, a smaller than average rat, loves life at McKenna School and the secret society of classroom pets that keep children out of trouble, but when Aggy the iguana disappears Malcolm must use all of his ratty persistence to prove his innocence and save her.

Cervantes, Angela.  Gaby, Lost and Found.  J FIC Cervantes
Gaby Howard loves volunteering at the local animal shelter. Her mother has been deported to Honduras and Gaby is stuck living with her inattentive dad. She’s confident that her mom will come home soon so that they can adopt Gaby’s favorite shelter cat together. But Gaby worries that her plans for the perfect family are about to fall apart.

Citra, Becky.  Duke’s Den.  JPB C
Amelia’s world came crashing down when her parents separated and she was forced to relocate with her mother to a new part of town. But when Duke and Gabriella move into the suite downstairs with their menagerie of exotic animals, Amelia feels like she’s been thrown a lifeline. Helping care for the animals gives Amelia a sense of purpose, and she’s determined to keep Duke and Gabriella’s secret.

Cleary, Beverly.  Strider.  J FIC Cleary
In a series of diary entries, Leigh tells how he comes to terms with his parents’ divorce, acquires joint custody of an abandoned dog, and joins the track team at school.

Deedy, Carmen Agra & Wright, Richard.  The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens Tale.  J FIC Deedy
A community of mice and a cheese-loving cat form an unlikely alliance at London’s Cheshire Cheese, an inn where Charles Dickens finds inspiration and Queen Victoria makes an unexpected appearance.

DiCamillo, Kate.  Because of Winn-Dixie.   J PB D
Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni describes her first summer in the town of Naomi, Florida, and all the good things that happen to her because of her big ugly dog Winn-Dixie.

DiCamillo, Kate.  Flora & Ulysses.  J FIC DiCamillo
Rescuing a squirrel after an accident involving a vacuum cleaner, comic-reading cynic Flora Belle Buckman is astonished when the squirrel, Ulysses, demonstrates astonishing powers of strength and flight after being revived.

Farley, Walter.  The Black Stallion.  JPB F
Young Alec Ramsay is shipwrecked on a desert island with a horse destined to play an important part in his life. Following their rescue their adventure continues in America.

Farmer, Nancy. The Warm Place.  J FIC Farmer / J PB F
When Ruva, a young giraffe, is captured and sent to a zoo in San Francisco, she calls upon two rats, a street-smart chameleon, a runaway boy, and all the magical powers of the animal world to return to the warm place that is home.

Finney, Patricia. Jack and Rebel, the Police Dog. J FIC Finney
Jack the labrador retriever tells the tale of his adventures at home and with his old friend Rebel, the police dog, and how the two of them broke up a burglary ring that had been robbing houses while police were occupied with political protests. Includes explanatory footnotes written by the cats, and a glossary explaining Jack’s terminology.

Freeman, Martha.  Strudel’s Forever Home.  J FIC Freeman
Strudel, a homeless dachshund, loves listening to Jake read from Chief, Dog of the Old West at the animal shelter. When Jake decides to adopt him, Strudel vows to be as brave and loyal as Chief. Readers get a dog’s eye view as Strudel narrates this story of a dog who needed a family, and a struggling family who needed a dog.

George, Jean Craighead.  Julie of the Wolves.  Y PB G/ Y Fic George / JPB G
While running away from home and an unwanted marriage, a thirteen-year-old Eskimo girl becomes lost on the North Slope of Alaska and is befriended by a wolf pack.

Giff, Patricia Reilly.  Jubilee.  J FIC Giff
Judith stopped talking long ago when Mom left her in the care of beloved Aunt Cora. Going back into a regular fifth-grade classroom won’t be easy, but she has her Dog and new friend who will help her through.

Gipson, Fred.  Old Yeller.  Y FIC Gipson / Y PB G / Fic Gipson (Adult Section)
In the rugged landscape of early frontier Texas, fourteen-year-old Travis is faced with taking over his family’s farm and making a painful, important decision.

Henry, Marguerite.  King of the Wind.  J PB H
Follows the adventures of the Arabian stallion brought to England to become one of the founding sires of the Thoroughbred breed and the mute Arab stable boy who tended him with loyalty and devotion all his life.

Johnson, Terry Lynn.  Ice Dogs.  J FIC Johnson
In this survival story set in Alaska, fourteen-year-old Vicky and her dog sled team find an injured sledder in the wilderness.

Jonell, Lynne.  Sign of the Cat.  J FIC Jonell
Duncan, eleven, is very smart with the rare ability to speak Cat, but his mother has always insisted he appear only average, and when a perfect test score draws attention to him, he not only discovers the wisdom of his mother’s rules, he finds himself crossing the seas on a quest for his true identity.

Knight, Eric. Lassie, Come Home. Q J FIC Knight
Sold in financial desperation to a wealthy duke, a collie undertakes a 1000-mile journey in order to Be reunited with her former master in Yorkshire.

Larson, Kirby.  Dash.  J FIC Larson
Forced to move with her family to an internment camp after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese-American Mitsi mourns her separation from her dog and tries to keep up with the outside world with the help of a neighbor back home.

Lee, Jenny.  Elvis and the Underdogs.  J FIC Lee  (SERIES)
All his life Benji, now ten, has been sickly and he has long been targeted by the school bully, but after a seizure Benji gets a therapy dog that is not only big enough to protect him, it can also talk.  SEQUEL: Secrets, Secret Service, and Room Service (2014). 

London, Jack.  The Call of the Wild / White Fang.  J FIC London // J PB L // Y PB L // Y FIC London
The adventures in the northern wilderness of a dog who is part wolf and who eventually makes his peace with man.

Lord, Cynthia.  A Handful of Stars.  J FIC Lord
When her blind dog slips his collar, twelve-year old Lily meets Salma Santiago, a young Hispanic girl whose migrant family are in Maine for the blueberry-picking season, and, based partly on their mutual love of dogs, the two forge a friendship.

Lowry, Lois.  Stay!: Keeper’s Story.  J FIC Lowry/JPB L
Separated early in life from his mother and siblings, Keeper tells of his adventures with various human masters and his continual search for his little sister.

McCartney, Paul.  High in the Clouds.  J FIC Mc Cartney
When machines belonging to the evil Gretsch destroy the woods that are their home, Wirral the squirrel and his friends journey to legendary Animalia and begin a campaign to free the enslaved animals of Megatropolis.

McGhee, Alison.  Firefly Hollow.  J FIC McGhee
Because their dreams of daring adventures go against the cautious teachings of their nations, Firefly and Cricket set out on their own, find a home with kindly Vole, and together help a grieving “miniature giant” named Peter.

Martin, Ann M.  Rain Reign.  J FIC Martin
Struggling with Asperger’s, Rose shares a bond with her beloved dog, but when the dog goes missing during a storm, Rose is forced to confront the limits of her comfort levels, even if it means leaving her routines in order to search for her pet.

Morgan, Clay.  The Boy Who Spoke Dog.  J FIC Morgan
After being marooned on an island near New Zealand, Jack, an orphaned cabin boy from San Francisco, becomes allied with a group of dogs who protect the local sheep from wild dogs.

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds.  Shiloh.  J PB N/ J Fic Naylor
When he finds a lost beagle in the hills behind his West Virginia home, Marty tries to hide it from his family and the dog’s real owner, a mean-spirited man known to shoot deer out of season and to mistreat his dogs.

O’Dell, Kathleen.  The Aviary.  J FIC O’Dell
In late nineteenth-century Maine, isolated, eleven-year-old Clara Dooley gains a friend and uncovers a magical secret that changes her life when she learns to care for the once-feared birds in the aviary attached to the Glendoveer mansion where she lives.

Pennypacker, Sara.  Pax.  J FIC Pennypacker
When his father enlists in the military and makes him return his beloved pet fox to the wild, Peter, who has been sent to live with his grandfather hundreds of miles away, embarks on a journey filled with astonishing discoveries in order to be reunited with his fox.

Perkins, Lynne Rae.  Nuts to You.  J FIC Perkins
After surviving being carried off by a hawk, a young squirrel resolves to find his way home, as his best friends begin their search for him.

Plourde, Lynn.  Maxi’s Secret (Or, What You Can Learn From a Dog).  J FIC Plourde
Fifth-grader Timminy, who’s small for his age and new in town, isn’t eager to start middle school–but he gets a great consolation prize in Maxi, a big, deaf, lovable dog.

Quinn, Spencer.  Woof.  J FIC Quinn
Bowser is a mutt, just adopted by eleven-year-old Birdie Gaux and her grandmother, but when they all get home to Grammy’s bait and tackle shop in the bayou they discover that their prize stuffed marlin has been stolen–so Bowser decides to investigate, and things quickly become complicated and dangerous. 

Rorby, Ginny.  How to Speak Dolphin.  J FIC Rorby
Determined to get her autistic brother into an appropriate therapy program in spite of her stepfather’s denial, Lily bonds with a sick dolphin who helps her brother and who Lily considers releasing from captivity.

Rosen, Michael J.  The Tale of Rescue.  J FIC Rosen
When a sudden blizzard traps a family vacationing in the Appalachian foothills, a local cattle dog devises a plan to rescue them.

Salamon, Julie.  Mutt’s Promise.  J FIC Salamon
When their owner moves away, two dogs are trapped in a puppy mill until they take matters into their own hands.

Schmidt, Annie M. G.  The Cat Who Came in Off the Roof.  J FIC Schmidt
Minou, formerly a cat but now a woman with many cattish ways, helps Tibbs, a newspaper reporter, with information she gets from her many feline friends. 

Selden, George.  The Cricket in Times Square.  J PB S
The adventures of a country cricket who unintentionally arrives in New York and is befriended by Tucker Mouse and Harry Cat.

Sewell, Anna.  Black Beauty.  J FIC Sewell
A horse in nineteenth-century England recounts his experiences with both good and bad masters.

Sloan, Holly Goldberg.  Appleblossom the Possum.  J FIC Sloan
A young possum strikes out on her own and winds up trapped in a human house before her brothers can rescue her.

Steig, William. Abel’s Island. J PB S
Castaway on an uninhabited island, Abel, a very civilized mouse, finds his resourcefulness and endurance tested to the limit as he struggles to survive and return to his home.

Wallace, Carol.  Bub, Snow, and the Burly Bear Scare.  J FIC Wallace
A young moose, his mother, and his animal friends team up to fight a bully of a grizzly bear one long, hard winter, and make friends with some humans in the process.

Posted in Grades 4-6, Reading Lists and tagged , , , , .