Being only certified to teach sixth grade through twelfth, I never taught fifth grade during my almost twenty years in public schools. I have, however, taught fifth graders in Sunday school for a couple of years. Candace Fleming, author of The Fabled Fifth Graders of Aesop Elementary School, describes the adventures and misadventures of “almost sixth-graders”in a way that can only be captured by someone who has taught elementary school, or who has had kids in fifth grade, or who has a remarkable memory of her fifth grade year of school.
Mr. Jupiter’s fifth grade class has a definite reputation. They are remembered vividly if not fondly, as a group by their first through third grade teachers, some of whom, thanks to these “characters” are no longer teaching or are on “medical leave.” Mr. Jupiter was their fourth grade teacher, and now, when no one can be found to take on these “special” group of fifth graders, he moves up to teach fifth grade. Readers are carried on a journey of “the zaniest school year yet.”
The book is appropriately arranged in fables, complete with morals, chronicling the stories of individual student’s experiences during their fifth grade year. Evidently, a budding attraction between Mr. Jupiter, then their fourth grade teacher, and Miss Turner, the librarian, blossoms into a full-fledged romance during the course of the story. Perhaps it would be even more fun to meet these kids during their fourth grade year before reading this 2010 publication. However, the Fifth Graders works well as a standalone. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.
KEEP ON READING KIDS!