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In 5th grade, students learn to identify an author's purpose, views, and beliefs. They continue to develop vocabulary through the study of literature and learn to use various forms of writing including poetry, research, and open-ended responses. Most importantly, the 5th grade curriculum is heavily based on American history. What better way to balance out the lessons and narrative in the history books, than with historical fiction books that tell our American history from the eyes of Natives, slaves and even children who are living in the post-Revolutionary and Civil War period. Literature that explains segregation, systemic racism, colorism, and false idealistic forms of beauty. It's important for upper elementary children to not only see themselves in the books they are reading in class, but also to develop empathy for those around them, especially before middle school.
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