10 Great Short Stories For Your Fifth Grader

Getting your kids to be interested in reading can be a huge challenge but sometimes, all it takes is finding the right story. 

Reading has so many benefits that it’s important to encourage your kid to read no matter what the age , but when your kids start to hit the fifth grade, then it may be time to move away from bedtime reading and onto more independent reading. 

10 Great Short Stories For Your Fifth Grader

However, kids have busy lives and they may want to do other things than read a huge book so how can you convince them to spend ten minutes reading without getting bored?

Well, short stories are your answer! 

Short stories are great for retaining kids’ attention while reading as it offers them a beginning, middle and end all in one sitting.

With other long form books, kids can become bored easily or forget who is who by the time they put the book down and pick it back up again later. 

Short stories do not do this as if the whole story can be told in one sitting – which makes your fifth grader way more interested in picking it up to begin with because they know they don’t have to sit around and invest hours into the story. 

So, short stories are great but which ones are best suited for your fifth grader to read? 

Here is a list of our top ten best short story collections for fifth graders. Take a look and find the ones you think would appeal to your kid the most. Enjoy! 

Epic Stories For Kids – Accidental Inventions That Changed Our World

This book is packed with short stories that are super interesting and inspiring to a lot of kids, making it perfect for fifth graders. 

Each story covers a different item in our everyday life and tells the story about how the inventor accidentally came across it.

From the potato chip to the internet, your kid will learn about how some of our everyday items were accidentally invented and what wacky hijinks the inventor had to go through to get their amazing invention out there. 

Kids with creative minds or those who just love asking questions are sure to enjoy each and every short story.

It definitely helps satisfy their curiosity and could even inspire your child to start thinking of their own inventions.

Not only that, but it can also encourage your kids to look on the brighter side of disasters – most of these inventions came about when things went wrong, and your kids may learn to see the good in their mistakes too as it’s an important part of learning and growing. 

There are also plenty of illustrations that are sure to entertain even those kids who despise reading, and each short story is written in a very engaging style of writing that is sure to keep your kid hooked on until the end.

Who knows, they may even keep on reading as these short stories are great for keeping your kid’s attention and their head in their book. 

Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever

Kids love humor and finding things funny, so this collection of short stories is going to be a total hit with your kids. 

Funny Girl is a collection of hilarious short stories and comics that are all written by female writers. However, this does not mean that every story in here is tailored for girls.

In fact, the story’s content ranges from a cat and dog duo running a pet advice column to the story about how a bathtub caught fire. 

This means that Funny Girl will appeal to all genders and is sure to entertain your kid with many fun and exciting stories about disaster road trips, talk shows, and Tic-Tacs getting stuck up noses. 

Some stories are just as heartfelt as they are funny which can sometimes catch the reader off guard so don’t be surprised if you catch your kid tearing up at a story or two – but every single short story in here revolves around the aim of making your kid laugh. 

All in all, Funny Girl is packed with lots of very different short stories that are sure to keep your kids attention.

Not only that, but don’t be surprised if you often hear your kid cracking up with laughter during their reading hour.

This is great as it is certain to make your kid associate reading with lots of fun and humor, and it might be enough to get them to read beyond a short window of time.

The Hero Next Door

This inspiring anthology of short stories is designed for the kids who prefer inspirational and diverse stories.

Each short story is not only set in a different place with a new character and new conflict, but also written differently enough that it is certain to capture your kids’ attention every time.

This is because each short story is written by a different author who each wants to share an inspirational tale about an unlikely hero.

Some stories here are quite sad so expect a few tears, but most follow plots of bravery that are sure to be an inspiration to your kid.

It’s great for teaching messages about kindness and inclusivity by featuring a range of voices and protagonists. 

This makes The Hero Next Door a great choice of a short story anthology for your fifth grader.

Not only that, it’s a great way to introduce your kid to some new authors  that they may have never heard of before and this might encourage them to see more of their works and read more in general.


This short story is so fun and exciting that it is certain to catch the attention of all fifth graders, even the ones who aren’t enthusiastic readers. 

The language is simple enough and there are plenty of illustrations to break up the chunks of text that can sometimes be off-putting to some kids who aren’t into long stories.

This is why a lot of fifth graders pick up and stick with Dragonbreath, even if they aren’t that interested in stories and reading. 

The best thing about Dragonbreath is that this short story is the first in a series so if your kid enjoys this short story, then they can pick up the next one that is equal to the first in length and language. 

While some parents may be concerned that the reading comprehension is too young for their fifth grader, the story is still so interesting and hilarious that it is certain to entertain everyone who reads it.

The simpler language is also a plus for the kids who are behind on their reading – they still get to enjoy a mature story that suits their age’s taste while being able to understand the language and text with no problem. 

So, if you are looking for a short story that is a great jumping point for longer forms of reading, this is the one! 

Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror

For the kids who like spooky stories that they can scare their friends with, Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror is a great story to try out. 

Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror has an interesting structure as it is not actually a single short story but instead, it is many short stories included in an over-arching story.

The main character is Edward who goes to visit his Uncle Montague and each time, Uncle Montague retells a classic frightening story.

Each frightening story stands as its own short story, so your kid can easily skip the overarching mystery about Uncle Montague if they aren’t interested, but this book is definitely a great way to build up your kid to enjoy more reading and encourage them to seek out similar styled books. 

The stories are frightening but not so bad that your kids will wake up upset in the night.

Instead, this is the ideal spooky Halloween collection of stories to read so if that is exactly the kind of thing your kid loves, then this story is definitely one to try out. 

Dragons At Crumbling Castle: And Other Tales

Terry Pratchett is an acclaimed author whose works are beloved by kids and adults alike, so this makes this collection of short stories written by the man himself a perfect choice. 

Each story has a memorable set of characters ranging from silly wizards to talking tortoises, as well as some incredible word play and an unusual approach to classic storytelling.

The genius of Terry Pratchett shines through and your kid is sure to enjoy every crazy adventure found within these pages. 

What’s so great about Dragons at Crumbling Castle: And Other Tales is that this is the perfect introduction to Terry Pratchett’s work and his masterful technique with language may just captivate your kids’ attention and cause them to seek out more of his work.

There is a reason why Terry Pratchett is so popular with teenagers and Dragons at Crumbling Castle: And Other Tales could just be  the book to convince your kid to give long form reading a go. 

Christmas Dinner Of Souls

Another stories with in a story structured book, Christmas Dinner of Souls is a very similar to Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror but with a more of a festive spin. 

The overarching plot of the book follows a young boy named Lewis who has to work Christmas Eve at a school as a form of punishment.

His job is to help prepare a very…unusual meal for some even more unusual guests.

Then, each guest tries to outdo the other by sharing a progressively spooky, gruesome, gore-filled tale that is sure to thrill your kids and absolutely fascinate them. 

Each of the ghost’s tales act as its own short story so it’s easy to just skip to your favorite one and read it alone. However, the book overall is fairly short and it is a great Christmas present for any fifth grader who likes all things spooky and edgy. 

Its unique structure and themes makes it a great choice for kids who usually don’t like reading and its fun yet thrilling stories will definitely entertain the kids who do. 

Interesting Stories For Curious Kids

This collection of true stories are sure to thrill kids who love weird and interesting facts. If your kid is into history, science and the paranormal then they are bound to find this book a complete joy to read. 

Topics for each strange tale varies from video games, to parrots, to the strange relationship Alexander the Great had with his horse Bucephalus.

Each page brings something new but just as interesting to your child’s attention, making them keep turning the pages again and again without even realizing just how much they are reading. 

Not only is this book great reading material for fifth graders, but they will probably enjoy retelling the story to their friends at school and perhaps be inspired by some weird but wonderful science stories to start their own project. 

This book will definitely be an eye-opener for your kid – not only to the wonders of the world around them but to the wonders of reading too! 

Treasury of Greek Mythology

Around fifth grade, kids will start to find strange topics super interesting and want to learn everything they can about it.

Mythology is massively popular with kids around the 11 years old mark and so, this treasury book of some of the best Greek myths is a great book to give to your kid. 

Each myth acts as a short story and has been adjusted to suit the age group and comes with a range of stunningly gorgeous illustrations that helps break up the stories and broaden your child’s imagination.

Along with a retelling of each myth, there are also sidebars to help your kid keep track of which god is which and even links monsters to real-life constellations, world places and the family tree of Greek mythology. 

Not only is this book very educational, it’s also beautiful and incredibly interesting – so it’s perfect for entertaining your fifth grader! 

Case Closed? Nine Mysteries Unlocked By Modern Science

Curious kids love mysteries and discovering new things and fifth graders are just at the right age to start challenging their intellect and creativity with some more exciting yet puzzling mysteries in our own real history. 

This book features nine individual mysteries set out like short stories and encourages your kid to try and work out the answer before it is revealed at the end.

From missing cities to unexplainable deaths, each story is informative and plays out like a short investigation for your kid to think about while they read. 

What’s great about this book is that it is something you can read with your kid and work together to try and solve the mystery yourselves before finally finding out the answer.

So, it’s great for building a bond with your kid plus it’s mature enough for a fifth grader to enjoy. 


So, there are ten collections of short stories for you to pick up and buy for your fifth grader! 

Each book is age appropriate, fun and interesting plus there are a range of topics and genres ranging from spooky to informative, funny to adventurous.

So, there is bound to be something here that your kid will enjoy – so either buy it or borrow it from a library and see if your kid enjoys it!

Helena Waters