Suggestions for Sixth Graders

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All fiction is shelved alphabetically by the author's last name 

The Terrible Two
by Mac Barnett
Miles is a prankster - everyone in town knows it. But then his family moves to a new town, where some other guy is already the king of practical jokes. Has Miles met his match? Let the prank competition begin!

The Secret Garden
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Orphaned by a cholera outbreak, Mary is sent to live with her uncle in Yorkshire. Sad and lonely, Mary is left to explore the grim house and the grounds alone, one day finding the secret garden that will save her. Helped by her friend Dickon, Mary returns the garden to its former glory, and brings joy back into the house. 

Al Capone Does My Shirts
by Gennifer Choldenko
12-year-old Moose’s family moves to the prison island of Alcatraz so his dad can work as a guard and his autistic sister can attend a special school. Forced to leave his friends and winning baseball team behind, Moose hates Alcatraz, until he meets the warden's daughter, who has a knack for getting in trouble! A funny, believable and fascinating story. 

Flora and Ulysses
by Kate Di Camillo
Ulysses the squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but Flora, who’s read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is just the right person to save him. What they don’t know is that Ulysses’ tragic accident has given him superpowers, and will transform Flora’s life, too.    

Better Nate Than Ever
by Tim Federle
Starry-eyed, irrepressible Nate is sure that stardom awaits, so when he hears about auditions for ET, The Musical in New York City, he hops a bus out of his boring hometown life and into a crazy adventure. Theater geeks - and lots of other readers - will like this. 

The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman
Bod is the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by ghosts and werewolves, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their ghostly teachings - such as the ability to Fade, so mere mortals cannot see him. 

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key
by Jack Gantos
"They say I'm wired bad, or wired sad, but there's no doubt about it - I'm wired."   Joey’s got heart, he's got a mom who loves him, and he's got his meds: the Ritalin pills to help his wild mood swings. But Joey bounces around a lot - ending up in the district special-ed program. Will this be the end of the line? Not if Joey can help it.

Among the Hidden: Shadow Children Series #1
by Margaret Haddix
In the dark future where this novel is set, being the third child in his family makes Luke illegal. He has to hide. He’s never been to school, never had a birthday party, never had a friend. But one day he sees a girl’s face in a house with two other children. He’s found another Shadow Child, and things are about to change.

The Fourteenth Goldfish
by Jennifer L. Holm
Ellie doesn’t like change. She misses 5th grade, her old best friend...even her dearly departed goldfish! Then one day a new boy shows up. He’s bossy and cranky, weirdly similar to Ellie’s grandpa (a scientist who was always obsessed with immortality). Could this gawky teenager really be Grandpa Melvin?   

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
by E. L. Konigsburg
When almost-12 Claudia decides to run away, she doesn't want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere - to a place that’s comfortable, beautiful, and elegant!  After much planning, she and her brother run away, right into a mystery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Newbery Medal 

A Wrinkle In Time
by Madeleine L’Engle
Everyone in town thinks that Meg is dull-witted, that her brother Charles Wallace is dumb, and that their dad has run off and left their brilliant scientist mother. Meg and Charles Wallace embark on a perilous quest through space to prove the rumors wrong, to find their father, and to face down the shadow of an evil power which is darkening the cosmos, one planet at a time. Newbery Medal.

Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City
by Kirsten Miller
Ananka Fishbein’s “boring as mush” seventh-grade life becomes anything but boring after she goes to explore the sinkhole that’s opened across the street and finds a secret world under New York City. When she meets the unforgettable Kiki Strike, things get really interesting! 

Midnight For Charlie Bone: Children of the Red King #1
by Jenny Nimmo
Charlie Bone has discovered an unusual gift - he can hear people in photographs talking! His scheming aunts decide to send him to Bloor Academy, a school for geniuses, where he uses his gifts to discover the truth despite all the dangers that lie ahead.

Echo
by Pam Munoz Ryan
This book pulls together characters from different times and places, which all link together in a way that is uplifting and unforgettable. It moves from a fairy tale wood to Hitler’s Germany, to modern California and many places in between. Challenging, but worth every page!   Newbery Honor

Bridge to Terabithia
by Katherine Paterson
Jess has trained all summer to be the fastest runner n his class, and he almost is, until Leslie, the new girl, beats him. Friends anyway, they spend days in the woods, and invent an enchanted land called Terabithia. But one day Leslie goes to Terabithia without Jess and tragedy occurs. A modern classic of love and loss. Newbery Medal. 

Middle School: The Worst Years of my Life
by James Patterson
Rafe has enough problems at home without facing the first year of middle school as well, but he has a plan for the best year ever: to break every rule in his school's oppressive Code of Conduct, while his friend Leonardo awards him points. Chewing gum: 5,000! Running in the hall: 10,000! 

Hatchet
by Gary Paulsen
On his way to visit his dad, 13-year-old Brian finds himself in a fight for his life when the single-engine plane he is flying in crashes. Now he’s alone in the wilderness with only a torn Windbreaker, a hatchet that his mom gave him, and an awful secret that’s been tearing him apart since his parent's divorce. But there’s no time for self-pity, if he is to survive. 

Locker Hero
by Rachel Russell
Max Crumbly is about to face the scariest place ever been: Middle School. There’s a lot to like about his new school, but there’s also a big problem - Doug - whose hobby is stuffing Max in his locker. If only Max could be like the hero in his favorite comics! But Max’s uncanny ability to smell pizza from a block away isn’t going to save lives … or foil bad guys! 

Guys Write For Guys Read                             J810.80928
by Jon Sciezska 
This book is non-fiction, full of a lot of short, true stories by a lot of writers (all guys). Stories about things that happened when they were kids, and about growing up as a boy. Some stories are funny, some exciting, but all are memorable, and the book is hard to put down. 

The Georges and the Jewels: Horses of Oak Valley Ranch #1
by Jane Smiley
Abby’s more comfortable with horses than with people, and takes comfort with the horses on her family’s ranch when things at school go bad. And when her brother leaves. But one gelding gives her nothing but trouble, bucking her off every chance he gets. So why should she have to ride him every day? 

Liar and Spy
by Rebecca Stead
When Georges moves into a Brooklyn apartment building he meets Safer, a 12-year-old coffee-drinking self-appointed spy. Georges becomes Safer's first spy recruit. His assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But soon Georges starts to wonder: what’s a lie, and what’s a game? And how far is too far to go for your only friend? 

Sisters                         J306.8753
by Raina Telgemeier   
Raina can't wait to be a big sister, but Amara turns out to be a cranky baby who mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship doesn't improve much over the years, but eventually they have to figure out how to get along - they are sisters, after all. This funny and poignant story unfolds on a road trip to a family reunion. 

Paperboy
by Vince Vawter
Victor - aka Little Man - throws the meanest fastball in town. But talking is a whole different ball game. He can barely say a word without stuttering - not even his own name. So when he takes over his friend’s paper route one summer, he’s not crazy about talking to  customers. But it’s the neighborhood junk man, a bully and thief, who stirs up real danger in Little Man’s life. Set in 1950’s Memphis. 

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
by Jules Verne
A professor sets sail to investigate a series of attacks said to have been made by an underwater monster, but the ‘monster’ is really submarine vessel The Nautilus, commanded by Captain Nemo. When the Nautilus destroys the professor's ship, he is taken prisoner by Nemo, and what follows is a tale of great adventure! 

One Crazy Summer
by Rita Williams-Garcia
Summer 1968:  three sisters travel from New York to California to meet the mom who abandoned them long ago. When they arrive, nothing is like they imagined. No going to Disneyland to meet Tinkerbell - instead they go to a day camp run by the Black Panthers! The girls learn a lot about their family, their country, and themselves during one crazy summer. Newbery Honor. 

The Shadows
by Jacqueline West
When Olive and her parents move into a crumbling mansion filled with spooky paintings, Olive finds dark magic afoot. She discovers she can travel into the paintings, to the world of Elsewhere. But when she does, she is ensnared in a mystery darker and more dangerous than she could have imagined.