For comprehension instruction and assessment, I LOVE Readworks.org. This site is packed with useful resources, including a great selection of articles with questions organized by both text level and lexile. A treasure trove, and it’s FREE!!
I love studying the author Patricia Pollaco with my students. Her books are perfect for fifth graders to analyze, and they have such terrific themes. Of all of her wonderful works, my favorite is Pink and Say. This book is great for discussing themes such as friendship, loyalty, and war.
Another title we spend some time with is Thunder Cake, which is excellent for teaching about perseverance and facing your fears. We also enjoy reading Just Plain Fancy and considering the value of being original.
Patricia Pollaco’s books are all so rich in both text and illustration. Her representation of a variety of religions and cultures in such titles as Chicken Sunday and Rechenka’s Eggs makes these books great vehicles for exploring the complexity of the human race.