Check out the best books for 6th graders on Epic!
Looking to add some quality books to your 6th-grader’s reading list? Check out this curated virtual stack of award-winning and bestselling reads for middle-grade kids.
See our list of best books for 6th graders on Epic below!
Best Books for 6th Graders
By: Erin Entrada Kelly
Virgil, Valencia, Kaori and Chet couldn’t be more different, and they definitely are NOT friends. That is until a prank-turned-disaster links these four together in an unlikely place and in an unlikely way.
This Newbery Award winner highlights the importance of individuality, friendship and kindness. All wrapped up in the beautiful message that anyone can build real relationships and find common ground, regardless of our differences. Filled with humor and authenticity, “Hello, Universe” is the perfect read for tweens.
By: Gordon Korman
One of our favorite books on this list of books for 6th graders is “Ungifted.” Donovan Curtis is always getting into trouble and loves to play pranks, but when he gets a call from the principal’s office, he’s sure he’s finally gone too far. Lucky for him, the school makes a mistake and instead of punishing him for his bad behavior, the principal places him in a special school for gifted children. Read and laugh with your middle schooler as this troublemaker gets used to his new school… and his new school gets used to him!
Written by bestselling author Gordon Korman, “Ungifted” is goofy, heartfelt and flat-out hilarious.
By: Thanhha Lai
Want a tried and true hit for your 6th grader? “Inside Out and Back Again” is a Newbery Honor Book, New York Times #1 bestseller and winner of the National Book Award.
In this important coming-of-age novel, a young girl named Hà must leave her hometown in Vietnam and immigrates with her family to escape the Vietnam War, which is raging too close to home. So they seek hope and refuge in the United States.
Filled with dreams and disappointments, and a surprising amount of humor, this story explores the war and immigration experience through the eyes of a child.
By: Margi Preus
A shipwreck leaves an 1840s Japanese fishing boat deserted on a small island, and the passengers are rescued by an American ship. The saved castaways must then learn a new culture and language. A Japanese teen from the crew decides to move to the United States before eventually making his way back to Japan. Once he arrives, he encounters imprisonment, a meeting with the Emperor and a chance at becoming a Samurai.
This Newbery Award winning historical fiction book will immerse your kid in Japanese culture and excitement.
By: Lesa Cline-Ransome
After 11-year-old, African American Langston loses his mother in 1946, he and his father move from Alabama to start over in Chicago’s Bronzeville district. He feels like he’s giving up everything he loves—family, friends and the familiarity of home. Langston is often alone and has a hard time fitting in at his new school, but he finds one bright spot in his new, solitary life: a library that’s open to black children during a time when public spaces were deeply segregated.
He finds refuge in the library for hours and days, and then he comes across a writer that catches his interest—a poet also named Langston.
6. El Deafo
By: Cece Bell
If you could have any superpower, what would it be? For Cece, her new magic ability is bionic hearing! As a deaf student, Cece is nervous to start going to a new class where she’ll be different. She’s afraid that the other kids will all stare at her and her hearing aid, AKA “Phonic Ear.” But her anxiety melts away as something miraculous begins to happen. Cece can not only hear her teacher in class, but in the hallway, from the restroom and in the teacher’s lounge!
Your 6th grader will love this semi-autobiographical #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel about Cece, and her wacky adventures about middle school, best friends and being different.
By: Tom Angleberger
Dwight is not what you’d describe as “cool.” He wears the same shirt for a month at a time and prefers to be called “Captain Dwight.” There is one thing Dwight does, though, that his classmates do think is cool—he makes origami. One day Dwight’s creativity leads him to fold a new invention: a finger puppet shaped like Yoda from Star Wars! Maybe it’s magic or maybe the force, but Origami Yoda can predict the future. Soon Origami Yoda has Dwight making all of the right moves, and all of his classmates are asking questions.
Your 6th grade reader won’t need to be “forced” to get through this zany, fun story. In fact, you may just find them sneaking it to bed with their flashlight (or lightsaber) in tow.
By: Kelly Barnhill
Looking for a magical story to bewitch your middle school student? “The Girl Who Drank to Moon” is full of intrigue, imagination and whimsey. Every year, the people of the Protectorate offer up a baby to satisfy a nearby witch. Little do they know, the “witch” is actually a kind caregiver named Xan who places the babies with loving families who want children. One year on her journey to find a home for a newfound baby, Xan accidentally feeds the infant moonlight—and the child develops magic abilities.
Written by: Thomas Lennon
Illustrated by: John Hendrix
Hop into a land of mystic monsters, lawless leprechauns and fearsome fairy fellows! 14-year-old Ronan Boyle is a new recruit for the secret Garda, a group of constables that police a community of Irish mythical creatures. But Ronan is on a mission to do more than fulfill his policing duty—he’s determined to prove that his imprisoned parents were framed. Your 11-year-old or 12-year-old reader will get lost in this fast-paced, hilarious story and imagination-rich world.
By: Joan M. Wolf
If you loved “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen, “Runs with Courage” is the perfect pick for you and your young reader. On her reservation, 10-year-old Native American girl Four Winds has to fight to find food. Now that she’s forced to attend a “white school,” she also has to fight to hold on to her identity. Teachers at her new school seem less interested in her assimilation and more intent on erasing her culture altogether. This story about diversity, civil rights and cultural awareness approaches these important issues in a way that’s easy-to-digest for 6th graders.
By: Rosalyn Schanzer
It’s 1692 in a small, colonial Salem village and a doctor diagnosing young women as “bewitched” takes things to a next and terrible level. This riveting book by Rosalyn Schanzer explores true stories of the victims, crooked officials and mass hysteria of the Salem witch trials. Taking a look into this chilling piece of U.S. history will educate your middle-school reader about the past, but also highlight the importance approaching current events with wisdom.
Written by: Katherine Paterson
Illustrated by: Donna Diamond
Here’s a beloved classic read to share with your 6th grader: “Bridge to Terabithia.” Jess Aarons and Leslie Burke become unexpected best friends after she beats him in a foot race, and they spend their days playing in the woods. In time, they give life to an imagined, magical land called Terabithia, where they reign as king and queen. The two always venture into Terabithia together, until one morning when Leslie goes on her own and tragedy strikes. Jess must rely on his family, friends and the strength that Leslie inspired in him as he works through his grief.
This heartwarming story tackles tough topics in a gentle way that young readers can grasp and appreciate.
By: Virginia Hamilton
The lives of tweens and teens are filled with crossroads and big decisions that shape their futures. Which friends will they make? What school are they going to attend? What will they be when they grow up? This classic coming-of-age novel follows young Mayo Cornelius Higgins as he chooses between two paths. Will he stay with his close-knit family or pursue his dream? This National Book Award- and Newbery Award–winning novel deals with the struggles of choice, change and hard work in a compelling, kid-friendly way.
That’s our list of best books for 6th graders! If you’re looking for more must-read chapter books for your 5th-grade and 6th-grade reading list, browse Epic or try these popular book series and titles available for free as audiobooks (as of this writing) on Amazon Audible:
- “A Wrinkle in Time,” by Madeleine L’Engle
- “Goodbye Stranger,” by Rebecca Stead
- “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” by J.K. Rowling
- “Long Way Down,” by Jason Reynolds
- “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” by Rick Riordan
Looking for some awesome titles for younger kids? Our curated list of best nonfiction reads for 1st graders is waiting for you!