Summer Reading 6th Grade
Suggested Titles for Upcoming 6th Graders
Fiction and Graphic Novels
24 Hours in Nowhere -- Bowling, Dusti
Thirteen-year-old Gus, having been saved from the bullying of Bo Taylor by Rossi Scott who agreed to trade her dirt bike in exchange for Gus being left alone, agrees to go into Dead Frenchman Mine with Rossi and two other kids to find a piece of gold to buy the bike back; and, while on their adventure, the four bond over how hard life is in their small town of Nowhere, Arizona.
All He Knew -- Frost, Helen
In 1939 six-year-old Henry, who is deaf, is taken from his family and placed in a home for the feeble-minded where, years later, his friends include a conscientious objector serving there during World War II.
Among the Hidden (The first book in The Shadow Children Series) -- Haddix, Margaret Peterson
In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family's farm, until another "third" convinces him that the government is wrong.
Ban this Book -- Gratz, Alan
A fourth grader fights back when 'From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler' by E. L. Konigsburg is challenged by a well-meaning parent and taken off the shelves of her school library. Amy Anne is shy and soft-spoken, but don't mess with her when it comes to her favorite book in the whole world. Amy Anne and her lieutenants wage a battle for the books. LEX 690L
Before the Ever After -- Woodson, Jacqueline
ZJ's friends Ollie, Darry and Daniel help him cope when his father, a beloved professional football player, suffers severe headaches and memory loss that spell the end of his career.
Better Nate than Ever -- Federle, Tim An eighth-grader who dreams of performing in a Broadway musical concocts a plan to run away to New York and audition for the role of Elliot in the musical version of "E.T." Lexile 930
Blended -- Draper, Sharon M
Piano-prodigy Isabella, eleven, whose black father and white mother struggle to share custody, never feels whole, especially as racial tensions affect her school.
City spies -- Ponti, James
Sara Martinez is facing years in the juvenile detention system for hacking into the foster care computer system to prove that her foster parents are crooks. But then she gets a second chance when a mysterious man offers her a chance to join a group of MI6 affiliated spies.
Dead Voices -- Arden, Katherine
Trapped at a haunted ski resort, Ollie, Coco, and Brian must rely on their friendship and sharp minds if they want to escape.
A Diamond in the Desert -- Fitzmaurice, Kathryn
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, thirteen-year-old Tetsu and his family are sent to the Gila River Relocation Center in Arizona where a fellow prisoner starts a baseball team, but when Tetsu's sister becomes ill and he feels responsible, he stops playing.
Do You Know the Monkey Man? -- Butler, Dori Hillestad
While searching for the father who left her and her mother ten years ago, thirteen-year-old Samantha begins to believe that the twin sister who supposedly died when they were three years old is still alive.
Finding Someplace -- Patrick, Denise Lewis.
The weekend she turns thirteen, aspiring clothing designer Teresa "Reesie" Boone is separated from her family by Hurricane Katrina, but during the horrific storm and its aftermath, she begins to find strength in herself.
Football Hero -- Green, Tim
When twelve-year-old Ty's brother Thane is recruited out of college to play for the New York Jets, their Uncle Gus uses Ty to get insider information for his gambling ring, landing Ty and Thane in trouble with the Mafia. Lexile 840
Front Desk -- Yang, Kelly
Recent immigrants from China and desperate for work and money, ten-year-old Mia Tang's parents take a job managing a rundown motel in Southern California, even though the owner, Mr. Yao is a nasty skinflint who exploits them; while her mother (who was an engineer in China) does the cleaning, Mia works the front desk and tries to cope with demanding customers and other recent immigrants--not to mention being only one of two Chinese in her fifth grade class, the other being Mr. Yao's son, Jason.
Glitch -- Martin, Laura
Regan Fitz and Elliot Mason have been enemies since they started training to become Glitchers--people who travel through time to preserve important historical events. But everything changes when they find a letter from Regan's future self, warning them about an impending disaster that threatens them and everyone they know.
House of Robots -- Patterson, James
Fifth-grader Sammy Hayes-Rodriguez struggles to fit in when his inventor mother requires him to take her latest creation, a robotic 'brother,' to school with him to learn to become a student.
Inside Out & Back Again -- Lai, Thanhha
Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.
I'm Not Who You Think I Am -- Kehret, Peg
Ginger becomes the target of a disturbed woman who believes that she is her dead daughter.
The Last Boy at St. Edith's -- Malone, Lee Gjertsen
Seventh-grader Jeremy Miner, the only boy in a school of 475 girls, unleashes a series of pranks in hopes of getting expelled.
Lucky Broken Girl -- Behar, Ruth In 1960s New York, fifth-grader Ruthie, a Cuban-Jewish immigrant, must rely on books, art, her family, and friends in her multicultural neighborhood when an accident puts her in a body cast. LEX 670
Lucky: Maris, Mantle, and my Best Summer Ever—Tooke, Wes
Louis, who loves baseball despite being the worst stickball player in White Plains, New York, sees his opportunity to be bat boy for the 1961 Yankees team as the perfect way to escape the problems of his father's remarriage and moving to the suburbs.
Masterminds -- Korman, Gordon
A group of kids discovers they were cloned from the DNA of some of the greatest criminal masterminds in history for a sociological experiment.
Maya and the Rising Dark -- Barron, Rena
A twelve-year-old girl discovers her father is the keeper of the gateway between our world and The Dark, and when he goes missing she'll need to unlock her own powers and fight a horde of spooky creatures set on starting a war.
Nightbooks -- White, J. A
A boy is imprisoned by a witch and must tell her a new scary story each night to stay alive.
Out of my Mind—Draper, Sharon
Considered by many to be mentally disabled, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.
Pashmina -- Chanani, Nidhi Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri's mom avoids these questions--the topic of India is permanently closed. For Pri, her mother's homeland can only exist in her imagination. That is, until she finds a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. LEX GN240L
Return to Sender -- Alvarez, Julia.
After his family hires migrant Mexican workers to help save their Vermont farm from foreclosure, eleven-year-old Tyler
befriends the oldest daughter, but when he discovers they may not be in the country legally, he realizes that real friendship
knows no borders.
Sal & Gabi Break the Universe -- Hernandez, Carlos Alberto
In order to heal after his mother's death, thirteen-year-old Sal learns to reach into time and space to retrieve things--and people--from other universes.
Sara Lost and Found -- Castleman, Virginia
When their mother abandons them and their father ends up in jail again, ten-year-old Sara and her mentally troubled sister are thrust back into the foster care system.
Short & Skinny -- Tatulli, Mark (Memoir and Graphic Novel)
Recounts the author's experiences in the summer after seventh grade, in which he tries to bulk up his skinny physique using miracle cures found in the back of his comic books.
Shuri: A Black Panther Novel -- Stone, Nic
Follows Shuri as she sets out on a quest to save her homeland of Wakanda.
The Tapper Twins Go to War (with each other) -- Rodkey, Geoff
An oral history that reports, through transcribed recordings, text messages, photographs, illustrations, screenshots, and more, an epic prank war between twelve-year-old twins Reese and Claudia Tapper of New York City.
War Stories -- Korman, Gordon
Twelve-year-old Trevor Firestone loves playing war-based video games and he idolizes his great-grandfather Jacob who came home from World War II a celebrated hero; now ninety-three, Jacob wants to retrace his journey in memory and reality and return to the small French village that his unit liberated, and Trevor is going with him--but not everyone in the town wants Jacob to
We Dream of Space -- Kelly, Erin Entrada
Cash, Fitch, and Bird are three siblings in seventh grade together. In 1986, as the country waits expectantly for the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger, they each struggle with their own personal anxieties. The Thomas children exist in their own orbits. As the launch of the Challenger approaches, they’re given a project; they are separated into spacecraft crews and must create and complete a mission. When the fateful launch day finally arrives, it changes all of their lives.
What Lane? -- Maldonado, Torrey
Biracial sixth-grader Stephen questions the limitations society puts on him after he notices the way strangers treat him when he hangs out with his white friends and learns about the Black Lives Matter movement.
When You Reach Me -- Stead, Rebecca
As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1980s television game show, "The $20,000 Pyramid," a twelve-year-old New
York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.
When You Trap a Tiger -- Keller, Tae
When Lily, her sister Sam, and their mother move in with her sick grandmother, Lily traps a tiger and makes a deal with him to heal Halmoni.
A Wish in the Dark -- Soontornvat, Christina
All light in Chattana is created by one man--the Governor, who appeared after the Great Fire to bring peace and order to the city.
For Pong, who was born in Namwon Prison, the magical lights represent freedom, and he dreams of the day he will be able to walk among them. But when Pong escapes from prison, he realizes that the world outside is no fairer than the one behind bars.
Suggested Titles for Upcoming 6th Graders
Non-Fiction (Includes Biographies)
All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team -- Soontornvat, Christina Looks at the cave rescue of the twelve young players of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach in northern Thailand.
Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier -- Ottaviani, Jim
America may have put the first man on the moon, but it was the Soviet space program that made Valentina Tereshkova the first woman in space. Meanwhile, in the United States, NASA's first female astronauts were racing toward milestones of their own. These trail-blazing women were admitted into Group 9, NASA's first mixed-gender class. They had the challenging task of convincing the powers that be that a woman's place is in space.
Bedpans, Blood & Bandages : a History of Hospitals -- Townsend, John
Describes how hospitals have changed throughout history, what conditions were like, how injuries were treated during wartime, and the use of leeches and maggots.
Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery -- Wallace, Sandra Neil
Discover the true story of NFL star Ernie Barnes, a boy who followed his dreams and became one of the most influential artists of his generation.
Birchbark Brigade : a Fur Trade History -- Peterson, Cris
Chronicles the history of fur trading in North America from the 1490s to the 1960s, discussing people, places, and events based on the diary entries of traders and explorers; and includes a timeline.
Camp Panda: Helping Cubs Return to the Wild -- Thimmesh, Catherine
Looks at attempts to save the dwindling giant panda population by having people dress up as pandas and teach panda cubs how to live and survive in the wild.
Crop Circles -- Burns, Jan.
Examines the phenomena of crop circles, discussing the history of their appearance, and considering possible explanations for how they form.
Lexile 1250, NC
Blizzard! The Storm that Changed America -- Murphy, Jim
Presents a history, based on personal accounts and newspaper articles, of the massive snow storm that hit the Northeast in 1888, focusing on the events in New York City. Lexile: 1080
Encyclopedia Horrifica : the Terrifying Truth! About Vampires, Ghosts, Monsters, and More -- Gee, Joshua
A collection of interviews, rare images, and eyewitness accounts of paranormal and unexplained phenomena, with topics ranging from UFOs to psychic activity and sea monsters.
Exploratopia -- Murphy, Pat
Contains instructions for over four hundred scientific explorations and experiments, each with background information and illustrations; covering eyes, ears, hands, the brain, different places, language, music, math, money, sound, and other topics.
The Greatest Moments in Sports -- Berman, Len
Provides accounts of twenty-five of the greatest moments in sports, each with photographs and statistics, and includes an audio CD that features some of the actual broadcasts of the games. Lexile: 820
History of the World in Comics -- Panafieu, Jean-Baptiste de
A paleontologist and a storyteller take two children through the birth of our planet to the present day, covering major geological periods and the evolution of life on Earth
How They Choked: Failures, Flops, and Flaws of the Awfully Famous -- Bragg, Georgia
Describes the failures of fourteen historical, famous achievers, including Isaac Newton, Thomas Edison, Vincent Van Gogh, Ann Boleyn, and Amelia Earhart.
Mission Control, this is Apollo : the Story of the First Voyages to the Moon -- Chaikin, Andrew
Recounts various important events from the history of space exploration, covering the Mercury missions, the voyage of Apollo 17, and more, with illustrations by ex-NASA astronaut Alan Bean, who walked on the moon during the Apollo 12 mission.
Mysteries of the Mummy Kids -- Halls, Kelly Milner
Explores mummies from around the world, focusing on mummified children; and provides information about their deaths, the sites where they were found, and what caused their preservation.
Noah Webster's Fighting Words -- Maurer, Tracy A brief biography of educator and writer Noah Webster, famous for writing the first dictionary of the English language, with fictitious editing remarks by Noah. LEX 710L
Outlaws, Spies, and Gangster : Chasing Notorious Criminals -- Scandiffio, Laura
Tells about eight of the world's most wanted men, including John Dillinger and Osama bin Laden, and how they were captured.
The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights -- Sheinkin, Steve
Describes the fifty black sailors who refused to work in unsafe and unfair conditions after an explosion in Port Chicago killed 320 servicemen, and how the incident influenced civil rights.
Truce: the Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting -- Murphy, Jim
Tells the story of the December 25, 1914 truce between German and British soldiers as they laid down their weapons and met in No Man's Land to celebrate Christmas.
A Taste of Freedom : Gandhi and the Great Salt March -- Kimmel, Elizabeth Cody
An old man in India recalls how, when he was a young boy, he got his first taste of freedom as he and his brother joined the great Muhatma Gandhi on a march to the sea to make salt in defiance of British law.