Timeless Books for Sixth-Grade Readers

by Melissa Taylor

Sixth graders are usually 11 years old and choose to read increasingly complex, multilayered books about topics and themes important to them. That being said, 6th-grade readers still want to be entertained and require excellent storytelling in the books they read. Don’t worry — we have you covered!

Try one of these books the next time your 6th-grade reader is searching for a new book. Filled with exceptional, exciting writing, these timeless books for sixth-graders will hook any reader.

  • Amal Unbound

    by Aisha Saeed

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    When 12-year-old Amal offends a regional Pakistani overlord, she’s forced into servitude at his home, leaving behind her school and family. She’s angry at the injustice, so she fights back. Her efforts, dangerous as they are, lead to her freedom and the freedom of the other enslaved people in the household.

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  • The Bridge Home

    by Padma Venkatraman

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    Viji and her little sister ran away from their abusive father. Now, they live under a bridge with two brothers, collecting trash. But when Viji’s little sister and one of the brothers get sick from mosquito bites, Viji becomes desperate to find medical care. But will it be too late?

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  • Wolf Hollow

    by Lauren Wolk

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    When Betty Glengarry joins Annabelle’s class, she quickly reveals herself to be a bully, her actions cruel and manipulative. At first, Betty’s actions seem isolated, but when she turns her attacks on Toby, a reclusive World War I veteran, Annabelle must find the courage to stand up for a man who has only ever shown her kindness. This beautiful and powerful story helps shine a light on one girl’s resilience, strength, and compassion.

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  • Ranger's Apprentice Series

    by John Flanagan

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    Boys, in particular, love this bestselling series filled with adventure, magic, and friendship. Will is apprenticed to a master Ranger and learns how to spy for the kingdom. When enemy beasts attack his master, Will must fight back, even though he’s only an apprentice with little training.

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  • Daughter of the Deep

    by Rick Riordan

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    Ana’s naval academy gets blown up, revealing that Jules Verne’s novels about Captain Nemo are mostly true — and she’s Nemo’s only surviving relative. Escaping with their sick professor and enemies on their tail, Ana leads her classmates on a search for the Nautilus, the school’s secret base.

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  • Holes

    by Louis Sachar

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    Holes is a classic, and with good reason! This book follows Stanley Yelnats who must deal with his family’s curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather. Your sixth-grader will love following the story through the generations, including the adventures that Stanley encounters at Camp Green Lake, a correctional facility where the kids dig holes to build character. Endlessly entertaining and filled with memorable characters, your reader won’t be able to put this one down!

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  • The War That Saved My Life

    by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

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    Ada escapes her abusive mother when London evacuates children to the countryside during World War II. She and her brother move in with a grieving woman who has a hard time trusting as much as Ada does. Despite their struggles, Ada experiences love for the first time in one of the most heartwarming stories you’ll ever read.

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  • Serafina and the Black Cloak

    by Robert Beatty

    For readers who like suspenseful stories, the Serafina series hits the spot. In this first book, she lives at the fancy estate where her Pa works. When children start to go missing, she and her new friend Braeden investigate from the shadows so they can stop whoever is kidnapping the children.

  • When You Reach Me

    by Rebecca Stead

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    This award-winning book is perfect for readers who love sci-fi adventures and whodunit mysteries. When Miranda starts receiving mysterious notes that send her on a secret mission, it starts off a chain reaction that sends her on a life-changing adventure. Especially when one of the notes tells her that someone is going to die, and she might be too late to stop it.

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  • Theodore Boone Series

    by John Grisham

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    13-year-old Theo already knows about being a lawyer from his parents, so he uses his knowledge to provide free legal advice. What could go wrong? When he learns about an illegal immigrant who is scared to testify in a murder trial, Theo faces a difficult moral choice and grapples with the right thing to do.

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  • The Mona Lisa Vanishes

    by Nicholas Day, illustrated by Brett Helquist

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    Readers won’t believe this is a nonfiction book because it reads like a thrilling and mysterious art heist. Read about the Mona Lisa’s disappearance and eventual discovery interspersed with exciting biographical stories about da Vinci’s life, information about the limited crime-solving science, and how the French became enamored with this small, previously unknown painting.

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  • The Brooklyn Nine

    by Alan M. Gratz

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    Baseball is in the Schneider family’s blood. This superb multi-generational book follows nine generations of the Schneider family, through all their ups and downs, both on and off the field. But through it all, one thing remains constant, that the bonds of family are as strong as their love of the game.

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  • Rick Riordan Presents: The Spirit Glass

    by Roshani Chokshi

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    Corazon can see her dead parents using a rare soul key until the key is stolen. She embarks on a dangerous quest through the spirit realms to create a new one. Filled with Filipino mythology and culture, this is a magical adventure you won’t want to miss.

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  • A Seed in the Sun

    by Aida Salazar

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    In this verse novel set in 1965, Lulu’s mom is very sick from the pesticides at the farm where the family works as migrant workers. The only way to get medical help is to join the worker strikes, but Lulu’s violent father refuses to consider it. Lulu must find her strength to get her mom the care she needs.

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  • Brown Girl Dreaming

    by Jacqueline Woodson

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    Brown Girl Dreaming is Jacqueline Woodson’s powerful memoir told through vivid poetry. Each poem recalls what it was like growing up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s. A mesmerizing portrait of this time in history, this lyrical book also shares the first sparks that led her to be the writer she is today.

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