Books for 6th Graders (List)

Welcome to our curated list of books specifically selected for 6th graders. Whether your child is an avid reader or needs a little encouragement, this list offers a range of inspiring stories to captivate their interest and ignite their love for reading.

We have compiled a comprehensive collection of age-appropriate, popular, and highly recommended books that are suitable for 6th graders.

From thrilling adventures to captivating mysteries, each book on this list is carefully chosen to engage, educate, and entertain young readers in the 6th grade.

These stories explore diverse themes, encourage empathy, and inspire self-discovery. By introducing your child to these captivating narratives, you will foster a lifelong love for reading and help expand their imagination.

Books for 6th Graders

Key Takeaways:

  • Our curated list of books for 6th graders offers a range of captivating stories that appeal to various interests and reading levels.
  • These books are carefully selected to engage, educate, and inspire young readers in the 6th grade.
  • From adventure and mystery to self-empowerment and friendship, each book on this list explores important themes and life lessons.
  • By introducing your child to these age-appropriate books, you can spark their love for reading and foster their imagination.
  • Encourage your 6th grader to explore different genres and find the stories that resonate with them the most.

Academic Bowl by Bill Martin Jr.

“Academic Bowl” by Bill Martin Jr. is a highly recommended book for 6th graders.

This novel tells the story of four students who develop a special bond as they prepare to represent their sixth-grade class in the Academic Bowl competition.

The students have their own individual stories and struggles, and their teacher, who is a paraplegic, chooses them for the team. This book explores themes of competition, teamwork, friendship, and the power of overcoming challenges.

Featuring diverse characters, “Academic Bowl” offers valuable lessons for young readers in an engaging and relatable way. The story highlights the importance of collaboration and working together towards a common goal.

In this captivating book, readers will follow the journey of these students as they navigate the competitive academic world, forge friendships, and overcome obstacles. The narrative not only educates but also inspires young readers to embrace teamwork and friendship.

“Academic Bowl” combines the excitement of a thrilling competition with heartfelt moments of friendship and personal growth. Bill Martin Jr. beautifully captures the spirit of teamwork and the triumphs that come from pushing oneself beyond perceived limitations.

Diverse Characters and Valuable Lessons

One of the notable aspects of “Academic Bowl” is its diverse cast of characters. Each student brings their unique background, perspective, and strengths to the team, emphasizing the value of inclusivity and diversity.

This book presents an opportunity for young readers to see themselves reflected in the characters and learn important lessons about empathy, understanding, and appreciating differences.

The story also highlights the power of overcoming challenges. Through the Academic Bowl competition, the characters face academic pressures, personal doubts, and unexpected setbacks.

However, they learn to persevere, develop a growth mindset, and discover the strength that comes from working together.

Key Themes in “Academic Bowl”

Themes Description
Competition Explore the dynamics of healthy competition and the drive to succeed.
Teamwork Showcase the importance of collaboration and the strengths that come from working together.
Friendship Examine the bonds that form between diverse individuals in pursuit of a common goal.
Diverse Characters Emphasize the value of inclusivity, representation, and understanding different perspectives.

Through its captivating storytelling and relatable characters, “Academic Bowl” by Bill Martin Jr. offers young readers an inspiring and thought-provoking exploration of competition, teamwork, friendship, and diversity.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

“Ella Enchanted” by Gail Carson Levine is a popular book for 6th graders, especially for those who enjoy fairy tale retellings.

Based on the story of Cinderella, this novel follows the journey of Ella, who is cursed with obedience from a young age. She must obey any order given to her, which proves to be a challenge throughout her life.

This book explores themes of self-empowerment, inner strength, and breaking free from societal expectations. It offers a fresh and imaginative take on a beloved fairy tale.

Book Overview:

Ella Enchanted, written by Gail Carson Levine, is a captivating and empowering retelling of the classic Cinderella story.

Set in a world of magic and enchantment, the story revolves around Ella, a young girl who is cursed at birth with obedience. As Ella grows older, her curse becomes a constant challenge, affecting her every decision and action.

Despite the obstacles she faces, Ella embarks on a journey of self-discovery, defying the limitations of her curse and embracing her own strength.

The novel delves into themes of self-empowerment, as Ella navigates a world where she must learn to stand up for herself and break free from the constraints placed upon her.

Along the way, she encounters magical creatures, befriends unlikely allies, and discovers the true meaning of courage and resilience.

Ella’s journey serves as an inspiration for young readers, encouraging them to embrace their individuality and overcome any challenges they may face.

Gail Carson Levine’s masterful storytelling and vivid imagination transport readers into a richly detailed world, where they will experience the transformative power of self-belief and the importance of staying true to oneself.

With its engaging plot, relatable characters, and timeless themes, “Ella Enchanted” is a book that will captivate and inspire 6th graders, encouraging them to explore their own inner strength and unleash their true potential.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien

“Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” by Robert C. O’Brien is a classic book for 6th graders that combines elements of fantasy and animal fiction. The story follows a widowed mouse named Mrs. Frisby who seeks help from a group of rats with unique abilities.

These rats were once imprisoned in a laboratory, which made them wise and long-lived. Through her interactions with the rats, Mrs. Frisby learns important lessons about friendship, loyalty, and the power of wisdom. This book is a timeless tale that will captivate young readers.

With talking animals and a gripping storyline, “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” takes readers on an unforgettable journey.

The friendship that develops between Mrs. Frisby and the rats highlights the importance of trust and compassion.

As the rats share their wisdom with Mrs. Frisby, young readers are introduced to valuable life lessons that promote empathy and understanding.

Key Themes: Key Keywords:
Friendship Friendship
Wisdom Wisdom
Talking Animals Talking Animals

Through the experiences of Mrs. Frisby and the rats, young readers are encouraged to explore the power of friendship and the importance of wisdom in navigating life’s challenges.

Robert C. O’Brien’s storytelling prowess creates a captivating narrative that will keep 6th graders engaged from start to finish.

Holes by Louis Sachar

“Holes” by Louis Sachar is a must-read book for 6th graders. It tells the story of Stanley Yelnats, a boy who believes his family is cursed. As further evidence of this curse, Stanley is sent to a correctional camp in the Texas desert.

There, he finds friendship, a hidden treasure, and a new sense of self. This book explores themes of perseverance, friendship, and self-discovery. It is a gripping and compelling read that will keep young readers engaged from beginning to end.

Themes Keywords
Perseverance Perseverance, challenges, resilience
Friendship Friendship, camaraderie, loyalty
Self-discovery Self-discovery, personal growth, identity
Treasure Treasure, adventure, hidden secrets
Curse Curse, family legacy, superstitions

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

“When You Reach Me” by Rebecca Stead is a thrilling mystery novel for 6th graders. The story follows sixth-grader Miranda as odd things start happening around her, including messages that predict the future.

She must unravel the mystery of who is sending these messages and why before it’s too late.

Along the way, she discovers the importance of friendship and the power of belief. This book combines elements of suspense, time travel, and friendship to create a captivating reading experience for young readers.

Rebecca Stead’s “When You Reach Me” is a gripping mystery novel that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. The story revolves around Miranda, a sixth-grader who starts receiving mysterious messages that seem to predict the future.

As she delves deeper into the mystery, she uncovers surprising secrets and must race against time to save a friend and unravel the truth. This page-turner combines elements of suspense, time travel, and friendship to create an unforgettable reading experience for 6th graders.

The compelling plot of “When You Reach Me” keeps readers engaged from start to finish. Rebecca Stead expertly weaves together elements of mystery and friendship, creating a story that resonates with young readers.

The relatable characters and their emotional journeys make this book a relatable and impactful read for 6th graders.

As the story unfolds, readers are taken on an exciting adventure full of twists and turns, enhancing their curiosity and keeping them eagerly turning the pages.

The exploration of themes such as time travel, friendship, and the power of belief adds depth to the story, allowing young readers to contemplate and reflect on these important concepts.

The book’s portrayal of friendship highlights the significance of supporting and relying on one another when faced with challenges.

Additionally, the element of time travel sparks imagination and encourages readers to ponder the possibilities and consequences of altering the past or future.

Overall, “When You Reach Me” by Rebecca Stead is an enthralling mystery novel that captivates 6th graders with its compelling storyline, relatable characters, and thought-provoking themes.

With elements of suspense, time travel, and friendship, this book is a must-read for young readers seeking an engaging and unforgettable reading experience.

Why “When You Reach Me” is a must-read for 6th graders:

  • Engaging mystery storyline that keeps readers hooked
  • Exploration of themes such as time travel and friendship
  • Relatable and well-developed characters

What readers say about “When You Reach Me”:

“This book had me on the edge of my seat the entire time! I couldn’t put it down!” – Sarah

“The time travel aspect added a unique twist to the story. It made me think about the concept of time in a whole new way.” – David

“The friendship between Miranda and her friends was so heartwarming. It reminded me of the importance of having supportive friends.” – Emily

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

“Small Spaces” by Katherine Arden is a captivating ghost story specifically written for middle-grade readers.

The protagonist, 11-year-old Ollie, loves reading and becomes engrossed in a ghost story she finds. However, she soon discovers that the story turns into reality during a school outing.

Ollie is faced with a nightmare that she must unravel and overcome. This book explores themes of mystery, horror, and the power of imagination. It is an ideal choice for 6th graders who enjoy thrilling and spooky stories.

Immerse yourself in the chilling world of “Small Spaces” as Ollie navigates through a haunting tale come to life.

Katherine Arden’s masterful storytelling and attention to detail will keep young readers at the edge of their seats, eagerly turning each page to uncover the secrets hidden within the small spaces.

This ghost story will grip their imaginations and ignite their love for mystery and horror.

Exploring Themes of Mystery and Imagination

Arden expertly weaves together the elements of mystery and imagination, creating a spine-tingling reading experience.

Through Ollie’s journey, readers will encounter eerie events, confront their own fears, and discover the power of their imagination.

The atmospheric setting and vivid descriptions will transport young readers into a world where the line between reality and the supernatural is blurred.

“‘Small spaces,’ the woman whispered. ‘They’re everywhere. They want you to find them.’

Arden’s poetic prose and hauntingly beautiful imagery add depth and nuance to the story, allowing readers to fully immerse themselves in the world of Ollie and the small spaces she encounters.

As the mystery unfolds, readers will be captivated by the twists and turns, eagerly anticipating the resolution while simultaneously experiencing the thrill of the unknown.

Embracing the Power of Imagination

At its core, “Small Spaces” celebrates the power of imagination. Ollie’s love for reading and her vivid imagination become her greatest tools in confronting the horrors she encounters.

Young readers will be inspired to explore their own imaginations, finding solace and strength in the stories they create.

Arden’s masterful storytelling, coupled with the theme of imagination, encourages young readers to embrace their creativity and tap into the power of storytelling.

Through Ollie’s journey, readers are reminded of the transformative power of a good book and the endless possibilities that lie within their imaginations.

Unleash Your Inner Adventurer

Step into the world of “Small Spaces” and embark on an unforgettable adventure. Join Ollie as she confronts her fears, unravels the mysteries, and discovers the strength within herself.

Katherine Arden’s atmospheric writing and compelling characters will captivate readers and leave them yearning for more.

Dive into “Small Spaces” and let your imagination run wild as you explore the mysteries, horror, and excitement that await within the pages of this extraordinary ghost story.

The Call Of The Wild by Jack London

“The Call Of The Wild” by Jack London is an epic adventure story that takes readers on a journey to the harsh wilderness of Alaska.

The protagonist, Buck, is a house dog in California who is suddenly thrust into a brutal life as a sled dog in the gold rush era.

This classic novel explores themes of adventure, perseverance, and self-reliance. As Buck adapts to the harsh realities of the wild, readers witness his transformation from a domesticated pet to a resilient and independent survivor.

“The Call Of The Wild” showcases the unbreakable spirit of its protagonist, as he faces countless challenges and learns to navigate the unforgiving terrain of the Alaskan wilderness.

Jack London’s powerful storytelling and vivid descriptions bring the wilderness to life, immersing readers in the beauty and danger of the natural world.

This captivating novel continues to resonate with readers of all ages, including 6th graders, and inspires a sense of adventure and a belief in the power of the human spirit.

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

“Out of My Mind” by Sharon Draper is a moving and thought-provoking novel that explores themes of disability and inclusion. The protagonist, Melody, is a 6th grader with cerebral palsy who is unable to speak or walk.

Despite these challenges, she is an incredibly intelligent and determined young girl. When she finds a way to communicate, her world changes completely.

This book offers a profound perspective on disability and the power of perseverance. It is a highly recommended read for 6th graders.

“Out of My Mind” by Sharon Draper is a heartwarming and inspiring story that sheds light on the experiences of individuals with disabilities, emphasizing the importance of inclusion and understanding.

Melody’s journey encourages readers to empathize with those who may have different abilities and to recognize the strength and resilience within each person.

Through the power of friendship, Melody’s story teaches us that everyone has a valuable contribution to make, regardless of their physical limitations.

This thought-provoking novel is a powerful tool for promoting empathy and fostering a more inclusive society.


What are some recommended books for 6th graders?

Some highly recommended books for 6th graders include “Academic Bowl” by Bill Martin Jr., “Ella Enchanted” by Gail Carson Levine, “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” by Robert C. O’Brien, “Holes” by Louis Sachar, “When You Reach Me” by Rebecca Stead, “Small Spaces” by Katherine Arden, “The Call Of The Wild” by Jack London, and “Out of My Mind” by Sharon Draper.

What themes do these books explore?

These books explore a wide range of themes such as competition, teamwork, friendship, self-empowerment, breaking free from societal expectations, friendship, loyalty, perseverance, self-discovery, mystery, horror, adventure, self-reliance, disability, and inclusion.

Are these books suitable for 6th graders?

Yes, these books have been specifically selected for 6th graders and are age-appropriate. They offer engaging and educational content that will captivate the interest of young readers in this age group.

Can these books help encourage a love for reading?

Absolutely! These books have been carefully chosen to engage and inspire 6th graders and can help foster a love for reading.

Whether your child is already an avid reader or needs a little encouragement, these books offer captivating stories and valuable life lessons that will make reading a fun and enjoyable experience.

Are these books popular among 6th graders?

Yes, these books are highly popular among 6th graders. They have received positive reviews, awards, and recognition for their engaging storytelling and relatable themes. Their popularity ensures that young readers will enjoy and connect with these books.


In conclusion, this list of books for 6th graders provides a diverse range of titles that cater to various interests and reading levels.

These books span from competition and adventure to mystery and self-discovery, offering engaging stories and valuable life lessons for young readers in the 6th grade.

Whether your child is an avid reader or needs a little encouragement, these books are sure to captivate their interest and ignite their love for reading.

With relatable characters, exciting plots, and thought-provoking themes, these books have been carefully curated to foster a love for literature and an appreciation for the power of storytelling.

From the empowering journey of self-empowerment in “Ella Enchanted” by Gail Carson Levine to the enthralling mystery of “When You Reach Me” by Rebecca Stead, each book on this list offers a unique and compelling reading experience.

These books not only entertain but also provide young readers with an opportunity to explore different perspectives, build empathy, and develop critical thinking skills.

So whether your 6th grader is seeking an exciting adventure, a heartfelt story, or a mind-bending mystery, these carefully selected books are bound to captivate their imagination and foster a lifelong love for reading.

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