Five in a Row Volume 3: Book List and Recommendations

Five in a Row Volume 3 - Five in a Row Volume 3 book list - FIAR activities volume 3

Five in a Row Volume 3 Book List and Resource Recommendations


Disclaimer: This page about activities and books list for Five in a Row volume 3 (FIAR volume 3) may contain affiliate links for which I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. (Links are included mostly because it’s an easy way to provide readers with a link to the ISBN and book info. I truly don’t make much money from those links. Local libraries, used booksellers, places like BetterWorldBooks and thriftstore book sections are always great places to stock up on Five in a Row Volume 3 read-along books without breaking the bank.)

Also, these books are related to the Five in a Row curriculum by Steve and Denise Lambert. These are activities recommendations in addition to the parent’s guide, not in place of it. 


Five in a Row Volume 3 Book: The Bee Tree by Patricia Polacco


The Bee Tree book recommendations: Meet Rebecca (American Girl Collection), by Jacqueline Greene

Rebecca Rubin lives in the year 1914, wanting to join the theater, and living with her Jewish family in New York City. 


The Bee Tree chapter book recommendations: All of a Kind Family, by Sydney Taylor (part of a series of 5 books). Sharing Jewish family traditions in the Lower East Side of NYC around the time of World War 1.  The audiobook says this short novel is a 3hr 30 minute read.



Five in a Row Volume 3 Book: Andy and the Circus by Ellis Credle

Activities: Discussions of the problems with circuses (poor living conditions for animals, who are forced to perform)

Activities: Modern Circuses – Cirque du Soleil – do not use animals. They instead use human performers, acrobatics, and animal puppetry instead of forcing animals to perform. 

Movies: Cirque Du Soleil – Worlds Away (2012) – this movie shows the Cirque du Soleil, rated PG.

Movies: The Greatest Showman (2017) – rated PG

Watch these movies before showing them to children – I have not prescreened these. 


Five in a Row Volume 3 Book: The Wild Horses of Sweetbriar by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock

Five in a Row Volume 3 Book: Paul Revere’s Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, illustrated by Ted Rand

TV show recommendations: Liberty Kids (2002), made by PBS. Currently stored on Amazon Prime.  This show looks from its cover art like it was made by Rush Limbaugh, but it was a PBS production. There is an episode or so that hasn’t aged well, but it is a pretty informative series about the American Revolution. It takes a focus on some of the lesser known figures in America during the time of the American Revolution, including the role played by religious freedom (seeing smaller religions in the colonies), enslavement, Native American conflicts with the colonial state governments, the roles of women, and more. 

There are scenes of political and physical conflict – it’s the American Revolution – so Common Sense Media usually recommends this for children around 7 or 8 through late elementary school. Some 6 year olds have enjoyed it, while others found it too scary or intense at times.


Movie recommendations: 1776 the Musical. (Note: there is a scene of implied reunion between a husband and wife, shown off-screen with music ending. This movie would be enjoyed by 4th grade and up (ages 8-9 and up)

Note: I wouldn’t recommend The Hamilton Musical for this age group – but if someone is thinking about it, it may be better to play select songs or scenes. First, the musical is very dense in terms of words, concepts, content.

  • There’s adultery running throughout the play (Burr’s relationship with Theodosia, married to a British officer stationed in Georgia. Hamilton’s relation with Maria Reynolds). There’s some language – the F words are musically intercepted, but implied.
  • There’s violence – the main characters stage 3 duels throughout the play.
  • There’s physical death on screen, including the death of Hamilton’s son, and Hamilton at the end of the play.
  • There’s heavily thematic elements of death, of dying early, of being unable to prevent death. 
  • The play has issues with how it represents slave owners – which is subverted by having Daveed Diggs play Thomas Jefferson, for example – but the twists and entendres may not be understood or processed by a child of this age.
  • For these reasons, I’d say middle school is a great age to dive into The Hamilton Musical soundtrack or the Hamilfilm.
  • The Hamilton musical’s wordplay and historical references make it an outstanding additional resource for an AP Language class or for studying to prepare for the AP US History test, but this 2.5 hour play about the first Treasury secretary and the United States debt is not well-designed for little ones.




Five in a Row Volume 3 Book:  Henry the Castaway by Mark Taylor


Five in a Row Volume 3 Book: The Finest Horse in Town by Jacqueline Briggs Martin


Five in a Row Volume 3 Book:  Truman’s Aunt Farm by Jama Kim Rattigan


Five in a Row Volume 3 Book:  The Duchess Bakes a Cake by Virginia Kahl

Five in a Row Volume 3 Book: Andy The Lion by James Daugherty


Five in a Row Volume 3 Book:  Daniel’s Duck by Clyde Robert Bulla

Note: Clyde Robert Bulla has a lot of problematic books. He was big on writing stories about Native Americans (like Squanto and Pocahontas) that were stereotypical, inaccurate, and harmful. Daniel’s Duck is about a child who learns to carve wood, and makes a duck – there is not any content in here that itself is problematic.

This book is ‘in his lane’, a cozy little tale about a boy learning to carve a wooden duck. I would not recommend many of Clyde Robert Bulla’s other books.


Five in a Row Volume 3 Book:  Warm as Wool by Scott Russell Sanders

Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep – it’s out of print, but delightful and silly if you can find it on the cheap. It’s a rhyming, fast-paced frenzy.


Five in a Row Volume 3 Book:  The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer


Five in a Row Volume 3 Book:  Climbing Kansas Mountains by George Shannon

Note: this title is a joke – Kansas is flatlands, not known for its mountains. The idea is about a child’s imagination, like visiting Kansas beaches, experiencing Hawaiian glaciers, or seeing south Texas blizzards. 

Climbing Kansas Mountains Related Books: Children’s Books about Kansas


Five in a Row Volume 3 Book:  Amber on the Mountain by Tony Johnston

Five in a Row Volume 3 Book: Little Nino’s Pizzeria by Karen Barbour


Little Nino’s Pizza book recommendation for Art: Henri’s Scissors, by Jeanette Winter

The setting is New York City: Children’s Books and Children’s Movies about New York City

                                               Children’s Books about New York



Added to Updated Version of Five in a Row Volume 3 book list                     

Five in a Row Volume 3 Book: The Old Woman Who Named Things, by Cynthia Rylant


The Old Woman Who Named Things Math lesson: do math on how old everyone in the family is – parents might be around 30 to 50 – and grandparents even older.

What does it mean to outlive? Will a tree outlive us? Will a pet goldfish outlive us?

Making Predictions – (she might die!), and then showing how those failed predictions demonstrate character change. This woman who would never get a puppy got a puppy, and it changed her life. We aren’t always easy people to predict.

The Old Woman Who Named Things Book Recommendations: Related Story (set in Paris, France):  Madame Martine by Sarah S. Brannen

Madame Martine is an elderly woman who is set in her ways, living a life of predictability. She lives in Paris but skips seeing the Eiffel Tower – until she meets Max. She adopts this stray puppy and puts him on a schedule, but then Max doesn’t follow it – causing Madame Martine to follow him through the streets of Paris. The dog heads up the Eiffel Tower, causing Madame Martine to see her beloved town from another perspective.  This picture book is a perfect story about a dog, its owner, and how friendships change how we see ourselves.




Other Five in a Row volumes:

Five in a Row Volume 1 recommendations

Five in a Row Volume 2 recommendations

Five in a Row Volume 4 recommendations