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Tween

6 Books That 6th Grade Girls Are Raving About

by Kari Ness Riedel

Photo credit: Swell Media, UpperCut Images/Getty Images

Sixth graders lead busy lives. With sports practice, homework, weekend debate tournaments, and walking to Starbucks with friends after school, it can be hard to find time to read for pleasure. But this is a time in their changing lives when they’re seriously in need of a safe outlet like reading to help them make sense of the world and escape from the pressures of everyday life.

So, how do we get them to read? The secret to getting anyone to read, especially busy middle schoolers, is finding the book that hooks.

Here are six books that the sixth graders in my Bookoplis Book Club are raving about right now and made time in their busy schedules to read.

  • Goodbye Stranger

    by Rebecca Stead

    Also available from:

    The newest book from the Newbery winning author of When You Reach Me has three intertwined storylines about friendship, loyalty, and love. At the center of the book are three seventh grade girls — Bridge, Emily, and Tabitha — who have been best friends since third grade. Their ups and downs with new friends, new interests, and family issues perfectly capture what it’s like to be in middle school. Julia, 11, says, “You have to read this book ... it’s a really funny realistic fiction book about friendship. It is SUPER good.”

    Also available from:
  • The Thing About Jellyfish

    by Ali Benjamin

    Another great pick for fans of realistic fiction and “sad” books. Suzy learns that her best friend, Frannie, has died. In her attempt to process this horrible news, she develops a theory that Frannie’s death must have been caused by a jellyfish. It’s a story about friendship and change and dealing with hard things in life. Molly, 11, says, “This book is very good, exciting, and sad at times, too. I would recommend this book to any girls in middle school.”

  • Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking

    by Erin Dionne

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    For fans of mystery and humor, this is a perfect pick. Thirteen-year-old Moxie is a total rule follower until she finds herself involved in Boston’s biggest unsolved mystery, the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum art heist. Based on a real crime, this fictional story takes readers on a great ride. As Emily, 11, says, “You’ve got to read it to find out what happens.”

    Also available from:
  • The School for Good and Evil

    by Soman Chainani, illustrated by Iacopo Bruno

    Mio, 11, highly recommends this modern fairy tale that re-examines our assumptions about what it means to be good or evil. “It is a perfect mixture of mystery and fairy tale. I love it!” There are three books in this popular series about the adventures of Sophie and Agatha who have been selected to enter the prestigious School for Good and Evil and find themselves living in the fairy tales they’ve known since childhood.

  • The Selection

    by Kiera Cass

    Charlotte, 11, declares, “This series is the best. Really, you have to read it.” A great vacation book for those who enjoy stories about princesses and love and glittering balls. In this dystopian romance, the world is divided into “castes” and a group of girls are given the chance to move up in their rank and marry the prince. Most girls see this as the chance of a lifetime, but for America it sounds like a nightmare since it would take her away from her secret love, Aspen. This YA novel is also super popular with teens (and many adults) who are fans of romance, fantasy, and fairy tales with a bit of adventure.

  • Unwind

    by Neal Shusterman

    Bridget, 12, raves, “This is the best series in the entire world ... full of mystery, adventure, and a touch of creepiness.” Set in a future world where pro-choice and pro-life proponents compromise that human life cannot be touched from conception to age 13, but from ages 13 to 18 troublesome tweens can be eliminated through an “unwinding”. The series follows three teens who become runaway Unwinds and work to change the system. This twisted dystopian story is definitely best suited to more mature readers due to the subject matter and some violent scenes.