Realistic Fiction Books

for Literature Circles

Many students enjoy reading and discussing realistic fiction books in Literature Circles. This collection was recommended by upper elementary and middle school teachers who follow the Teaching Resources Facebook page and Corkboard Connections blog.

Literature Circle Book Recommendations by Genre

Realistic Fiction Books for Literature Circles

Audio VersionRead each book recommendation below and click its cover or the title to read more about the book on Most of the books also have audio book versions which are great for differentiating instruction, so be sure to look for the link to the audio book when you click through to Amazon.

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
For 3rd to 5th GradeI love this book! I have never had a student who didn’t love it! Students always empathize with the character’s struggle between being honest with his parents and protecting the dog that he knows is being abused and neglected. This is plight of poverty, terrific character comparisons, good versus evil, connections, honesty, coming of age, standing up for what you believe in.
Recommended by Suellen Thompson
No Talking
No Talking by Andrew Clements
For 3rd to 5th GradeThis is the perfect book for Literature Circles. It’s about a 5th grade class, nicknamed the “Unhushables,” that cannot control their talking or dislike for the opposite gender. This spunky group stumbles upon the idea to challenge the boys vs. the girls to not talk, at all, for 2 whole days. This contest brings out the creative side of the students and teachers.
Recommended by Jennifer McCarthy
Muggie Maggie
Muggie Maggie by Beverly Cleary
For 3rd GradeI love to use this at the beginning of the school year. At my school, cursive is taught in the 2nd semester of 2nd grade. By third, many students no longer see the “magic” in it. When they see Maggie’s struggles to learn cursive, they can easily put themselves in the midst of the story. Any story by Beverly Cleary is always a plus!
Recommended by MaryEileen Rufkahr
Flying Solo
Flying Solo by Ralph Fletcher
For 4th Grade and UpThis is a story about students taking over a classroom for a day when their teacher is absent. They manage to make it through the day without anyone discovering their situation. There are complex moral issues at play as well as a tie into how democracies work.
Recommended by Vanessa Miles
Trouble River
Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech
Recommended for 4th and 5th GradesBoth boys and girls in my classroom enjoy this book. It brings up social issues like foster families, adoption and family dynamics. Creech writes a wonderful story of love, acceptance, great adventure! It allows for wonderful discussions and high level thinking within the literature circle. The characters are interesting and provide opportunities for making inferences and studying character traits.
Recommended by Karen Mann

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