6th grade reading books for children aged 11-12

Books for grade 6 – this list of suggested reading books for grade 6 pupils includes a range of exciting and thought-provoking books to suit all abilities, including easy readers, gripping series and more difficult texts for children aged 11-12. Authors include Sharon Creech, Anna Sewell, Lous Sachar, and Jason Reynolds. This list of 6th grade reading recommendations was last edited on Mar 24, 2020 @ 4:05 pm.

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Books for Grade 6 – our recommendations

The Call Of The Wild by Jack London

An epic American story of dreams and adversity. Set in the turn of the century gold rush, Buck’s world changes when he’s wrenched from his life as a house dog in California and find himself fending for himself as part of a brutal sled pack in harsh Alaska.

blankThe Call Of The Wild by Jack London - books for 6th grade

Holes by Louis Sachar

A captivating novel about teen Stanley Yelnets who is sent to Camp Green Lake for a crime he didn’t commit. Generations of seemingly unconnected family histories are woven into a stunning plot set in a barren desert which certainly isn’t summer camp. A great story of redemption and a must read for 6th graders.

blankHoles by Louis Sachar - books for grade 6

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

The powerful story of Salamanca Tree Hiddle, who invents outlandish stories for her grandparents on a long road trip. She invents Phoebe, a girls whose mother disappeared in strange circumstances and who she longs for – just as Salamanca longs for her mother. Cleverly woven stories and an unforgettable, bittersweet ending.

blankWalk Two Moons by Sharon Creech - grade 6 books

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

A horse enjoys an idyllic existence in the countryside until he is unexpectedly sold into completely different world of hardship in the city. A moving account from the horse’s point of view, this book inspired campaigns for improved animal welfare.

blankBlack Beauty by Anna Sewell - books for 11 year olds

Space Case by Stuart Gibbs

In this gripping mystery sci-fi adventure, Dash thinks the lunar base commander has been murdered. No-one believes him until he discovers a shocking secret which changes everything.

blankSpace Case by Stuart Gibbs - 6th grade books

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

Sam hates his life in urban New York and decides to run away from the cramped apartment where his family lives. He heads for the mountains and an unforgettable story of challenge, self-reliance and resilience.

blankMy Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George - 6th grade books

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

6th grader Melody is wheelchair-bound and unable to speak due to her cerebral palsy. But she has a secret – she’s the smartest kid in the school – by a mile – if only she could find a way to let the world know. When she does, her world change completely. Moving and life affirming, this book is ideal to use to discuss disability and inclusion.

blankOut of My Mind by Sharon Draper - great book for 11 year olds

Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume

Davey has been uprooted to live with family in Los Alamos, New Mexico after the death of her father in a shooting. Confused and angry, she meets the mysterious Wolf, possibly the only person in the world who can understand her. Haunting and moving this is a powerful story about loss and moving on.

blankTiger Eyes by Judy Blume - 6th grade book

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodson Burnett

Classic children’s fiction set in Yorkshire, England. Mary Lennox is sent to live in a strange house on the moors with her uncle. In the grounds there is on overgrown garden surrounded by high walls. Once she finds her way in Mary is determined to bring the garden back to life in this enchanting story.

blankThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodson Burnett - 6th grader chapter book

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

A spell-binding trilogy of books of which this is the first. Will Stanton is no ordinary 11-year-old. He is the last of an old order, one of the ‘Old Ones’ – with magical powers that mean he can live forever to fight dark forces. Can he find the six signs and stops evil taking over the world?

blankThe Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper - 6th grade reading list

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

The first book in this award-winning series about Miri, whose school is an academy set up by the king, and every girl who attends learns how to be a princess. At the end of the year there is a competition which every girl wants to win, since the winner becomes a princess.

blankPrincess Academy by Shannon Hale - reading list for 6th grade

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

A gripping historical novel telling the story of Karana, an Indian girl who has to fight for her own existence against wild dogs, hunters, and a shortage of food on the remote island which is her home.

blankIsland of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell - book for 11 year old

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

Chester the Cricket follows an enticing smells from a picnic and is transported to the big city in a basket. There, he meets Tucker, a mouse, who guides him through adventure and scrapes with danger. Great fun and ideal for reluctant readers.

blankThe Cricket in Times Square by George Selden - sixth grade book

I Hadn’t Meant to Tell You This by Jacqueline Woodson

A startling and edgy early teen novel about two girls from very different backgrounds who form a strong, but unlikely friendship at school. For more advanced readers, this book explores social tension, dark secrets and role reversal.

blankI Hadn't Meant to Tell You This by Jacqueline Woodson - books for sixth grade

Escape from Mr Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

When a world famous game designer remodels the town library, Kyle is keen to be there. But the opening isn’t an event to get into, but a mystery adventure where the prize is to solve puzzles and find the secret way out once the doors have been locked. Award winning, funny and highly imaginative, this book is ideal for reluctant readers in the sixth grade.

blankEscape from Mr Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein - book for grade 6

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

A gripping historical novel set during the American Revolution. When Isobel and her sister Ruth’s owner dies, and with it a promise for freedom, Isobel realises their best hope now lies in a dangerous world of spying.

blankChains by Laurie Halse Anderson - grade 6 book

Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson

Rose Lee Carter’s heart is set on moving away from segregation in 1950s Mississippi, but a local court cases changes her mind and she vows to stay and help the movement for change. Ideal for social studies topics – this book will appeal to grade 6 book clubs.

blankMidnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson - grade 6 reading list

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

This award-winning book of poetry explores life growing up during the 1960s and 1970s civil rights movement as an African American child. Moving and written in a way which will resonate with and appeal to children and young teens.

blankBrown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson - book to share in 6th grade

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Castle Crenshaw is always running away from his problems – whether it’s from his difficult home life, bullies, or danger. That’s until he meets Coach, an ex track star who inspires him to use his talents in new and positive ways. An uplifiting and transformational story ideal for grade 6 children.

blankGhost by Jason Reynolds - book to share in grade 6

Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova

Penelope Peppi Torres is convinced she will only survive middle school by following the unwritten rules of social acceptance. But when she breaks them almost immediately she finds herself branded a nerd. Slowly, she realises rules are there to be broken and she learns to be herself. Funny, yet true to life, this graphic novel will appeal to reluctant readers.

blankAwkward by Svetlana Chmakova - independent reading in grade 6

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D Taylor

A modern classic, this story follows the determined and resilient Logan family surviving in the South during the depression era, through the eyes of nine-year old Cassie.

blankRoll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D Taylor - bedtime story grade 6

To Catch a Cheat by Varian Johnson

Jackson Green finds himself caught up in scam and the only way out is to pull off his biggest heist yet – to steal a school exam and hand it over to a gang of blackmailers. This fast paced coming of age adventure book is ideal for students in grade 6.

blankTo Catch a Cheat by Varian Johnson - great book for 6th grade

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

A multi award winning book about ‘Bod’, a boy raised by ghosts who lives in a graveyard. He wants to visit the real world, but if he does, danger lurks in the form of Jack – who killed Bod’s family. A masterpiece of storytelling, this fantasy horror will grip younger readers.

blankThe Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - great book for 6th grade

The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies

When a brother and sister set up competing lemonade stands, neither would have predicted the war which results. Evan has a savvy entrepreneurship, whereas his sister Jessie is a math genius. This book is ideal for reluctant readers in grade 6, and also useful for discussion about sibling rivalries and problem solving.

blankThe Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies - 6th grade read aloud book

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

Annabelle’s comfortable safe life changes when Betty joins her middle grade class. Betty’s bullying and manipluation turns everything upside down and only Annabelle’s relentless kindness and courage can put things right. This novel is deal for Grade 6 book clubs.

blankWolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk - grade 6 reading list

The Secret of the Fortune Wookie by Tom Angleberger

This is the third story in the Origami Yoda series, which is ideal for reluctant readers. The pupils in McQuarrie Middle School receive help from a strange source in the form of Chewbacca, a Fortune Wookie origami who offers invaluable ideas and advice for all their romantic problems.

blankThe Secret of the Fortune Wookie by Tom Angleberger - 6th grade reading list

The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare

An incredible story of survival, adventure and social acceptance. When young teen Matt is left in charge of a remote cabin, things go wrong fast. Matt quickly realises the only way to survive will be to break with his bigoted upbringing and befriend a Native American boy, Attean.

blankThe Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare - 6th grade chapter book

The 50 States by Gabrielle Balkan

A stunning oversized hardback book packed with colorfully illustrated pages crammed with exciting and unusual facts about each of the 50 states. Perfect for reluctant readers who prefer fact books to fiction chapter books.

blankThe 50 States by Gabrielle Balkan - grade 6 reluctant reader

Beetle Boy by MG Leonard

A fast-paced and crazy plot which is perfect for 6th grade fans of Roald Dahl. When Darkus Cuttle’s dad goes missing he’s sent to live with his uncle and moves to a horrible new school. However, his life changes when he meets Baxter, a beetle with superpowers.

blankBeetle Boy by MG Leonard - book for 11 year old


If you would like to order all or most of the books in this list; or if you want to order classroom sets or multiple copies of books; or if you are ordering from outside the US,  have a look at our ‘bulk orders’ page which makes this process easy.

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