Ms. Teklu's students have little control over their life
experiences. As a result, she feels it important that they
exercise full control over what they read. She makes suggestions,
does book talks as a way of inviting students to experience
particular titles and authors, and models her own choices.
In the end, however, her students are free to choose any
book they like for independent reading. See Recommended
Books for Fourth and Fifth Grade for suggested titles
that have worked well with her students. The books listed
below are those that are mentioned in the video.
Martin Luther King by Ed Clayton
This popular biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. introduces
students to his philosophies and achievements in the fight
for civil rights while outlining key moments in his life.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Dickens's dramatic narrative of the French Revolution is
a novel centering on great sacrifices being made for the
sake of principle. The novel is notable for its vivid representation
of France during this troubled time and was modeled on Carlyle's
The French Revolution.
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
Set in the bleak landscape of Oklahoma during the dust bowl,
this Newbery winner is told in a series of free-verse poems
by 14-year old Billie Joe Kelby. Her mother and newborn brother
die as a result of a terrible accident and her hands are
severely burned in the fire that kills them. Denied the solace
of her piano playing, she fights her guilt, anger, and estrangement
from her father, finally learning to forgive him and herself.
Green Mile by Stephen King
Set on Death Row at Cold Mountain Penitentiary, this novel
explores the conviction of John Coffey. Is he truly a murderer?
Paul Edgecombe, head of security, investigates. With the
help of Eduard Delecroix, a convicted murderer, and his pet
mouse Mr. Jingles, Edgecombe discovers the truth and is forced
to make the most difficult decision of his life.
The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis
This book is the final installment in The Chronicles of Narnia.
A false Aslan is roaming Narnia, commanding everyone to work
for the cruel Calormemes. Eustace and Jill must find the
true Aslan and restore peace to the land. The last battle
is the greatest of all and the final struggle between good
The Story of Harriet Tubman, Conductor of the Underground
Railroad by Kate McMullan
As a small child, Harriet Tubman was forced to work in the
fields and was treated badly by her owner. Leaving her family
behind, she ran away to the North There she became a "conductor"
on the Underground Railroad--returning South again and again
to rescue over 300 slaves as well as becoming a nurse, a
scout, and a spy for the Union forces during the Civil War.
Behind the Bedroom Wall by Laura E. Williams
Thirteen-year-old Korinna, an ardent member of the Hitler
youth group, is horrified to learn that her parents are concealing
Sophie Krugmann and her five-year-old daughter Rachel in
a secret room behind her wardrobe. While she anguishes about
reporting her parents as she has been taught she begins to
feel affection and compassion for the Krugmanns. Warned that
her house will be raided, Korinna is able to help the Krugmans
escape to the next safe house. When the Gestapo arrives,
Korinna has turned the secret room into a shrine to Hitler.
She and her parents must also go into hiding or risk being
You can access additional resources related to this video
clip's texts in the Additional Resources