6 Books That 6th Grade Girls Are Raving About
by Kari Ness Riedel
Sixth graders lead busy lives. With sports practice, homework, weekend debate tournaments, and hanging out with friends, 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 middle schoolers actually made time in their busy schedules to read and then rave about on Bookopolis.
Amber often feels awkward talking to new people, but when she gets selected as the anonymous writer behind her school’s “Dear Student” advice column, she finally finds a safe way to express her voice. But drama ensues when she has to give conflicting advice to two friends. Jadie, 12, puts it well, “[The author’s] books always have a topic that is relatable. Like this one, [it] discusses shyness … and the effectiveness of giving appropriate advice. I really love her books!”
This 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 plot 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."
Micah is trying to help his dying grandfather reconnect with the magical Circus Mirandus that he remembers from his youth. Unlike most others, Micah firmly believes his grandfather's stories and embarks on a quest to find this long-lost circus. Elizabeth, 11, highly recommends this to fans of the magical realism genre and shares, “I loved this book. It is really sad, but an amazing book.”
Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking
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.”
Pages & Co.: The Bookwanderers
Tilly has grown up surrounded by books in her grandparents’ bookstore where she has lived since her mom disappeared. Her favorite stories suddenly turn into her reality when she discovers she has the ability to literally wander into books and become immersed in these fictional worlds. Perfect for fans of series like The Land of Stories. Berkeley says, “If you like books and magic, you will LOVE this!”
Astrid and Nicole have been BFFs forever, but their interests start to diverge as they enter middle school. Astrid finds a new sense of belonging with the roller derby crowd but misses her old friend. A highly relatable story about navigating friendship, fitting in, and discovering new interests that is great for readers who love graphic novels like Real Friends or Smile. Sonia, 11, exclaims, “GIRLPOWER! Yet another amazing comic book for girls. Overall rating? Awesome!”
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2015 and updated in 2023.