The list at the end is the set that was available for browsing and reading in my fifth grade and sixtth grade classroom at Nathan Hale Elementary School in Hazardville, CT. (The examples above might've been pitched to a slightly younger set of readers, with a Jean Craighead George early reader that I've never seen...while I do clearly remember her powerful Newbery Award-winner Julie of the Wolves and My Side of the Mountain. (We had one classroom with one teacher for all but some art classes at that small school at that time, and the same teacher for both fifth and sixth grades, and nearly the identical population in the classroom in those two years. We were also, probably unfortunately but conveniently, divided by our perceived ability as readers, with a half-doze of us on the students' left side of the classroom the sophisticated readers, using as our textbooks Scott, Foresman's Vistas (in fifth grade) and Cavalcades (in sixth)...the intermediate readers, making up most of the class, had another text (title forgotten) and sat in the middle of the classroom; and the ten or so of the struggling readers sat on the right, and used the Open Highways volumes for their grades. Scholastic Book Services and Dell Yearling paperbacks, among some others, were available for the kids to read during "open reading" periods or indoor recess, in shelves at the back of the room...I dipped in more than most, I think, even among the "advanced" readers.
Among those which mad the strongest impression were Henry Reed’s Journey by Keith Robertson, the first of Robertson's Reed and Midge Glass novels I read and the second in the series (I recall that a chapter from Henry Reed's Baby-Sitting Service had been included in one of textbooks), Harold Courlander's collection of mythlore and folktales from around the world Ride with the Sun, and the handsomely illustrated edition of "The Charge of the Light Brigade"...though I now remember, looking at this list, that I definitely read the Newbery-winning Across Five Aprils and The Twenty-One Balloons from this set, and North to Freedom, the Danny Dunn books (that one doesn't stand out in memory) and Sea Pup Again (interesting the degree to which they didn't feel the need to include the first novels in a given series). Pretty sure I read James Kjelgaard's Stormy, as well, having already read his Big Red and a few others (at least a few of those among the paperbacks on the same shelves)... Kjelgaard having been a prolific writer for adults, in the slick magazines and higher-paying pulps, as well, who died young, after illness...Robert Bloch helped him shape up some of his last work for publication, when he was simply too ill to produce final drafts.
To what extent did your classrooms have their own collections of books when you were in elementary grades, and did you have any fond memories of those collections...in addition to any libraries your school also maintained? (We had a library at that Enfield, Connecticut school...Hazardville having been absorbed by Enfield some decades before...which was in 1973 already a "media center" instead...the first thing I remember taking out from there was an audiocassette dramatization of Dracula...which my brother, then aged two, gleefully recorded over in part while playing around with the inexpensive cassette player/recorder I had at that time.).
The Scott, Foresman Invitations to Personal Reading Program set we had in my 5th/6th grade classroom:
Adventures in Many Lands
Henry Reed’s Journey by Keith Robertson
The Minnow Leads to Treasure by A. Philippa Pearce
The Singing Cave by Ellis Dillon
“What Then, Raman?” by Shirley Aroroa
Science and Nature
The Giant Golden Book of Biology by Gerald Ames and Rose Wyler
Jets and Rockets and How They Work by William P. Gottlieb
The Peaceful Atom by Bernice Kohn
Sea Pup Again by Archie Binns
Stormy by James Kjelgaard
Biography and Historical Fiction
Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
America’s Ethan Allen by Stewart Holbrook
From the Eagle’s Wing by Hildegarde Swift
Trace Through the Forest by Barbara Robinson
Tree in the Trail by Holling C. Holling
Legends, Myths, and Other Tales
The Golden Treasury of Myths and Legends adapted by Anne T. White
Ride with the Sun edited by Harold Courlander
Science Fiction and Fantasy
Bob Fulton’s Amazing Soda-Pop Stretcher by Jerome Beatty, Jr.
The City Under the Back Steps by Evelyn S. Lampman
Danny Dunn, Time Traveler by Jay Williams and Raymond Abrashkin
Books Too Good to Miss
Mr. Twigg’s Mistake by Robert Lawson
North to Freedom by Anne Holm
The Story of Design by Marion Downer
The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois
The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Lord Tennyson
For more of today's books, please see Patti Abbott's blog.