The Best 6th Grade Reading List

By August 1, 2019 October 16th, 2019 Reading Book Lists
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Are you looking for new and exciting reads for your 6th grader?  Are you struggling with finding options that they’ll find interesting and relatable?  Do you want to expose them to world issues in a way that is enjoyable, relatable, and simple? If you can answer yes to either of these questions, then you have come to the right place. 6th grade is the glorious time where you have a tween in your home who is discovering the world.  They are not quite a teen yet still ready to explore a variety of topics that the world has to offer. Reading is their passport to the world.  If you are looking for books that are kid friendly and still an excellent read for your growing child, look no further.  This list is full of fiction and nonfiction books that are guaranteed to keep your child entertained for hours on end. From biographies to stories of fantasy, there is something for every personality as well. Keep reading to find the best books to read in 6th grade.

The Best Books to Read in 6th Grade

Star Girl by Jerry Spinelli

Star Girl is a star from the day she arrives at Mica High. She is enchanting, she is vibrant, and she is colorful. She captures everyone’s attention and love until the day that they turn on her. She is now shunned for her uniqueness instead of openly embraced. Star Girl is a story of the parallels of popularity and the importance of a not conforming. It is a great read to complete before moving into the higher grades and being met with the challenge of popularity and identity.


Goosebumps by R.L. Stein

Goosebumps by R.L. Stein is a popular series for tweens everywhere. The Goosebumps series is comprised of the perfect 6th-grade fiction books to keep your child entertained and on edge. The Goosebumps series can be categorized as fictional horror for children. The books touch on a variety of subjects and scenarios. From being the new family in a town of bloodsuckers to a ventriloquist dummy that comes alive, the Goosebumps series gives a horrific twist on everyday situations. The Goosebumps books are a hit with kids everywhere and were even made into a popular TV series which lasted three seasons.


Award Winning Popular Books for 6th Graders

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver by Lois Lowry is a Newbery Award winner. This award honors the most distinguished American literature for kids. The Giver is a dystopian novel which follows a young boy named Jonas. Jonas lives in a seemingly utopian society until his life assignment helps him to see otherwise. There are several themes present in The Giver which many students can learn from that includes the notion of individuality and the importance of memories. It is an excellent book for young readers.


The View From Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg

Another Newbery Award winner is The View From Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg. The View From Saturday is the story of 4 unlikely 6th-grade academic bowl champions: Noah, Nadia, Ethan, and Julian. These four students teach unlikely lessons of confidence and strength, each bringing a new and different story to the forefront as they continuously band together to win contest after contest. The View From Saturday is a relatable and entertaining read which leaves a lasting impression on all who read it.


Recommended 6th Grade Reading List Classics

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a literary classic written by the profound writer, Mark Twain. The story mirrors much of his experience growing up as a young boy in Hannibal. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer centers around a dark secret Tom kept with Huck Finn and how it shapes Tom’s journey into adulthood. This is a great coming of age story for young men to read.


Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Treasure Island was said by Robert Louis Stevenson to be a story for boys. It is a pirate’s tale filled with adventure and excitement. Jim Hawkins is the main character and the boy in the middle of the experiences. Jim Hawkins and his team are on a hunt for treasure throughout this thrilling novel. Treasure Island is a literary classic and is an excellent read for the adventurous soul in love with treasure and pirates.


The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Follow the classic adventures of Dorothy and her little dog, Toto as they embark on a mission to get home after being swept from their home in Kansas and dropped into the world of O.Z. Throughout her adventures, Dorothy encounters characters who are all searching for something and in need of the Wizard of Oz’s magic. Dorothy and her new friends, the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion all embark on an unforgettable journey to the Emerald City. This is a classic piece of literature that has been adapted in several variations on film as well as in Broadway. It boasts powerful messages of self-acceptance and courage, making it a must read for children of any age.


Mary Poppins by Dr. P. L. Travers

Mary Poppins is a classic tale that is loved by all. It is a series which includes eight children’s books which P.L. Travers wrote all. Mary Poppins centers around an English nanny, Mary, with magic powers. She often uses these powers to attempt to solve the mystery between child and adult. She aims to teach children and adults about the power of imagination. Though Mary Poppins was made into a Disney movie, P.L. Travelers did not believe Walt Disney did the story justice and never forgave him. The Mary Poppins series is enjoyed by people of all ages and is perfect for your 6th grader.


Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is a literary classic. It is a story of friendship and triumph during the Great Depression. George and Lennie are two outsiders struggling to find their place in the world. Their ultimate goal is to acquire a piece of land. However, upon finding jobs, Lennie faces struggles which could derail the entire plan. Of Mice and Men gives a voice to a community which can be seen as having lesser value. Of Mice and Men has found success in multiple forms, including film, Broadway stages, and in print. This is an excellent read with valuable takeaways.


Recommended 6th Grade Reading List for Common Core

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

One Crazy Summer is the story of three sisters who at one point were abandoned by their mother; seven years later are sent to spend the summer with her in California. Although they believe they will be met with Disney Land and the joy the characters bring, they are instead sent to a Black Panther day camp. The girls surprisingly get a better understanding of not only themselves but their family and their history. One Crazy Summer is intended for any 6th-grade reading list and is an award-winning body of work.


The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman

The Genius Files is the story of two 12-year-old twins, Coke and Pepsi, who take on the family vacation of a lifetime.  Not only do Coke and Pepsi dodge villains across the country, but they also put readers right into the action with maps and photographs. This New York Times bestseller is filled with adventure and humor any child would love.


Recommended 6th Grade Historical Fiction Books

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living in Germany during the late 1930s. She soon comes to realize that there is one thing she can’t seem to tear herself away from. This thing is books. Her foster father aids her in her endeavors. He also teaches her to read and helps her share her treasures with neighbors and even their Jewish hideaway. The Book Thief has many themes that many 6th graders can ultimately learn from. These include the power of literacy, death, and power.


The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Watsons Go to Birmingham is the story of 10-year-old Kenny and his family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan. The Watsons are made up of Kenny’s Mom, Dad, his little sister Joetta, and older brother Byron. Desperate to get Byron, an “official juvenile delinquent,” back on the straight and narrow, the family takes a trip to Birmingham to see Grandma in hopes that she can whip him into shape. However, the journey takes a turn for the worst when Grandma’s church is blown up. Many readers feel that the characters are relatable, humorous, and authentic. The Birmingham Church bombing is an integral piece of history during the Civil Rights era that all should be aware of.


The Best 6th Grade Nonfiction Books

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Anne Frank was a 13-year-old girl living during the problematic and horrific years of the Holocaust. Her diary was found in the attic where she spent the last few years of her life. Anne battled the constant worry of discovery and death regularly. Her story is a personal account of experience as a teen growing through a stressful and life-altering event. Anne receives her diary as a gift, and ultimately, even in death ends up giving the world a gift they never expected. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl is an excellent read for children to not only help them understand past historical events but the differences in what people, even young ones may face.


Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson

Titanic: Voices from the Disaster is a collection of first-hand accounts from survivors and witnesses to the tragedy that is the Titanic. The book is full of action, photos, and reports from the ship’s departure to its untimely end. Titanic: Voices from the Disaster also features an account from Violet Jessop, a stewardess on the CARPATHIA rescuing ship. Many may have seen the movie but are unaware of the actual story behind the ship’s sinking or the number of people it affected.


Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz by Michael Bornstein & Debbie Bornstein Holinstat

Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz is the brutal, memorable, and gut-wrenching story of a small boy who is 1945 was filmed being carried out of Auschwitz by his grandmother. Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz tells the story of how a family’s love and determination, as well as an unexpected illness, saved this child’s life. It also recounts his family’s numerous near-death encounters with the Nazis. This heavily researched story is told through the eyes of the young boy as well as countless relatives. This is simply one family’s struggle to survive in the aftermath of the German invasion in 1939. Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz makes this list as a gut-wrenching story of survival and perseverance as well as a teacher of the Holocaust events.


The Best 6th Grade Fiction Books

Paperboy by Vince Vawter

Paperboy is the story of Little Man. A young boy growing up in the segregated south who although is highly skilled in baseball is not hitting home runs when it comes to communicating. His life is forever changed when he has to take over his best friend’s paper route for one summer month. Though numerous challenges meet him along the way, his biggest fear is communicating with the customers. Paperboy is an authentic story which highlights the struggle of living with a speech impediment. This is a coming of age story in which the main character must find strength in his weaknesses and fight against everything in his way. This is a great read for children looking to stay true to themselves and facing uncontrollable circumstances.


The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

The Outsiders is not your run of the mill Jock and Cheerleader story. Hinton writes a coming of age story modeled after his own school experience. The story does not aim to sugar coat or put a Band-Aid on the realities that many teens face. The Outsiders is a story of friendship and belonging. The novel remains a best seller and must-read for pre-teens and adults around the globe. The story follows a greaser, PonyBoy, and the unsettling conflict between the greasers and the Socs, a rich kid gang. The greasers are the outsiders consistently mistreated by society. This is an excellent novel for aiding 6-grade students in understanding class conflicts and how they shape our societies.


Absolute Must Read 6th Grade Books Before 7th Grade

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is a fantastic read which showcases the importance of black pride in one’s culture and one’s self. It is the story of an African American family in Mississippi struggling to survive in the face of racism and injustice. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry demonstrates how struggle and experience shape us into who we become. This is an essential book for the times that we live in as it is important to remember that although racism and hatred exists, love and family will help to conquer anything.


The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis is a mystical story of good, and evil splitting at its seems with fantasy realms, heroic characters, and even betrayals. The Chronicles of Narnia are still highly loved even more than 50 years later. The series is made up of 7 books.  These include:

  • The Magician’s Nephew
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
  • The Horse and His Boy
  • Prince Caspian
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  • The Silver Chair
  • The Last Battle

The characters, adventures, and stories make them a great read for younger and older children.  Many readers categorize the stories as timeless and definite classics in the literary realm.


Summary of the Best 6th Grade Reading List

To sum up, here are the 6th grade reading list we looked at today:

ProductList PriceNumber Of Pages
Stargirl (Stargirl Series) $9.99 208
Goosebumps Classic (Series 1) - 10 Books Set Collection R.L. Stine N/A N/A
The Giver (1) (Giver Quartet) $9.99 240
The View from Saturday $8.99 176
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer $8.75 168
Treasure Island $6.85 122
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz $7.99 133
Mary Poppins N/A 232
Of Mice and Men $12.00 107
One Crazy Summer $7.99 240
The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable $6.99 304
The Book Thief $14.99 608
The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 $8.99 210
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl $6.99 283
Titanic: Voices From the Disaster $7.99 304
Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz $16.99 352
Paperboy $7.99 240
The Outsiders $10.99 224
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry $8.99 288
The Chronicles of Narnia Boxed Set $45.00 1632

This list contains some of the best 6th-grade books to read.  There is something for every personality and every interest.  If you are looking for something light-hearted and fun, the Goosebumps series is the way to go.  If you’re looking for an award-winning read, The View From Saturday By E. L. Konigsburg is a definite winner. Aside from light-hearted fun, the list is also full of historical books which are educational, informative and contain small pieces of history.  These are books like Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, Paperboy by Vince Vawter and even The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis.  These are just a few of the unique titles mentioned in this list.  Is your child a history lover?  Does your student thrive on thrill and adventure?  Are you looking for ways to help them understand society better? These books are perfect for not only for your child but any 6th-grade reading list.

Did you find this helpful? If so, check out our other middle school reading lists:

> The Best Books for Middle School Boys

> The Best Books for Middle School Girls

> The Best Middle School Summer Reading List


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