Sixth Grade Summer Reading Information

There are so many good books out there! I have not put together a Horror Section as I have not read many. I will update this google doc as I read some new books.  A great resource to find books is the website: Sign up! It is free. Download books from the library - I use Overdrive.

If you want to buy books, a great used book site is

Just keep reading!....





Why you should read this book

Westing Game 

Ellen Raskin

This is an older mystery novel, but so good!

Three Times Lucky

Sheila Turnage

Meet Moses, the detective. If you end up liking this book, there are sequels just as good!

Chasing Vermeer 

Blue Balliett

Puzzles and mysteries are in this book...and art. There are sequels!

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

Leslie Connor

Have a box of tissues handy. This book is so good. 

Sammy Keys Novels

Wendelin Van Draanen 

Sammy Keys is a great detective. Lots of novels - eighteen I think.

Fungle Jungle series

Stuart Gibbs 

I haven’t read any of these, but I think Brooks has read all of them, and he would approve!

Moon Over Manifest or Navigating Early

Clare Vanderpool

This  author is one of my favorites. I hope she writes more. Both books are amazing. Good book for car trips on audio.



Harry Potter

JK Rowling

Of course I have to add Harry Potter! I know most of you have read them, but if not, you should.

Gregor the Overlander Series

Suzanne Collins

This is also the author of Hunger Games, so if you like Hunger Games, you should give this series a go.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Ransom Riggs

What a great series! Complicated and intricate. Amazing fantastical characters! 

Fablehaven Series

Brandon Mull

Want to read about mythical creatures - trolls, witches, satyrs...It is a “save the world” kind of series!

Redwall Series

Brian Jacques

Not a lot of students read this series - you really have to like animals as characters. It is a little more challenging.

Wings of Fire series

Tui T. Sutherland 

Everyone loves this series, so it should be on the must read series for fantasy!

Warriors series

Erin Hunter

Another favorite among middle schoolers. These are great summer reads - not too challenging and highly entertaining!


Historical Fiction  (my favorite genre)


The War That Saved My Life and The War I Finally Won

Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

I loved his book. Great story that is set during WWII. There is a second book, which is just as good. They both have really good endings.

Number the Stars

Lois Lowry

Classic book about the Jews during WWII.

Bud, Not Buddy

Christopher Paul Curtis

Same author as Watsons Go To Birmingham! Very good book. Takes place in 1936.

One Crazy Summer - Book one

Rita Williams-Garcia

Another must read! Takes place in 1968 during the Civil Rights Movement and about the Black Panther organization. There are three in the series. Learn about your history!

Beyond the Bright Sea

Wolf Hollow

Echo Mountain

Lauren Wolk

I had to put all three in. These are amazing reads. It does take a special reader to read these three books. They are very moving in the message the author is presenting. The characters are amazing. 

Finding Langston

Lesa Cline-Ransome

Just finished this one on audio. About a young boy who leaves the south in 1946 and moves to Chicago with his dad. He discovers a library and books and poems. It is a good, quick read.

Wednesday Wars

Gary Schmidt

This is my all time favorite read. Set during the Vietnam War, but really isn’t about the war, but about a seventh grader learning about things he never thought he would learn. Very funny and witty. The ending is amazing! Gary Schmidt is a favorite author - he knows how to write with sarcasm.

  • Note: Ruta Sepetys is a new favorite author if you need a challenge. Between Shades of Gray, Salt to Sea, and Fountains of Silence - just finished this last one - takes place during the dictatorship of Franco in Spain.

Realistic Fiction



RJ Palacio

If you haven’t read this one yet, or seen the movie, you need to. No other explanations.

Out of My Mind

Sharon Draper

We all need to understand the difficulties some kids have, especially if they have a physical limitation. Please read this one to understand and appreciate the struggles some have.


Gordon Korman

This was a really funny book! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Has a great message about bullies and how one can change even if it means hitting the “restart” button! Anything from Korman is good!


Jerry Spinelli

This book came out a while ago and was a favorite read; however, now that Disney made a really good movie based on the book, I highly recommend it again. Great book and film combination.

Hoot, Flush, Scat, Chomp, Squirm

Carl Hiaasen

Yes, I put all of them on! These books are great with solving some of the environmental concerns that are presented in each book. Hiaasen is a funny writer and most stories take place in Florida. Great reads!

Pay Attention, Carter Brown

Gary Schmidt

OK. I read this right before we had to leave for COVID and it is sooooooo funny! But you do have to understand sarcasm from a sixth grader’s point of view. A new favorite! It is also all about cricket, the sport! I learned a lot.

11 Birthdays, Finally, and 13 Gifts

Wendy Mass

These stories are all about a girl and the drama that happens when you turn 11, 12, and 13. Just a fun beach read about life. Wendy Mass is a good storyteller.


Sports Fiction


The Crossover, Booked, Rebound

Kwame Alexander

All of Alexander’s books are written in poetry - yes poetry and so, so good! They tell a story about life and sports. Rebound is my favorite. Some are about basketball and Booked is about soccer. 

Ghost, Patina, Sunny, Lu

Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds writes some amazing novels for middle school. This particular series is about track and running. Read all of them even if you are not into running.

Travel Team

Mike Lupica

Another great author who can write about different sports! Travel Team is all about the small guy reaching his goals of being a basketball player.

Baseball Great

Tim Green

Tim Green writes great sport fiction! He often writes about baseball and football. 

Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery (The Sports Beat, #1) 

John Feinstein

I have yet to read any of Feinstein’s novels, but they are on the top of many lists for sports fiction!

Roller Girl

Victoria Jamieson

A great, fun graphic novel about a middle school girl trying to get through middle school and the roller derby.

Guys Read: The Sports Page

Several authors

Love this series! This a compilation of ten short stories by different writers about all sorts of sports! Some are fiction and some non fiction. If you are not in the mood for a long novel, short stories are a great way to pass the time.


Sci-fi and Post Apocalyptic


Hunger Games series

Suzanne Collins

Of course, most have read these or seen the movies, but if you haven’t, they are good. There  are three in the series and guess what? A prequel! It just came out -The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Divergent series

Veronica Roth

Read about a very dystopian Chicago in this series. I really liked the first two, the third, not so much, but I will let you decide! There is a love story, so beware!

Maze Runner series

James Dashner

I have yet to read this series, and I need to! There are five in the series, so that should keep you busy all summer!

Angel Experiment (The Maximum Ride series)

James Patterson

Another series to put on the list! Read and discover some pretty amazing powers these six characters have. Do they save mankind?

I Am Number 4

Pittacus Lore

I read the first two. They were very good. Some students have read the whole series, but beware - they do not go in the order of the numbers! Be sure to Google the sequence. BTW, there is a movie for the first book. 

Shipbreaker, The Drowned Cities, Tool of War

Paolo Bacigalupi 

Three books in this series.  All I am going to say is that it won a few awards:

A New York Times Bestseller

A Michael L. Printz Award Winner

A National Book Award Finalist

A VOYA 2010 Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers Book

A Rolling Stone 40 Best YA Novels Book

The Shadow Children, the Complete Series: Among the Hidden; Among the Impostors; Among the Betrayed; Among the Barons...

Margaret Peterson-Haddix

I have not read these yet, but many have found them hard to put down, so I have included them on this summer reading list. Here is an excerpt from Amazon: In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke, an illegal third child, has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family's farm. 




Alex Rider series

Anthony Horowitz

Great turn pagers! I’ve read all of them and they are filled with spies and action. Try to read them in order!

Ranger Apprentice series

John Flanagan

This series could also fall under the fantasy category, but I saved it for action and adventure. There are many in the series, so if you really like stories about heroes and villains, you will have lots to read!

Theodore Boone series

John Grisham

Another action packed adventure with a theme of the justice system. Known as a “modern legal thriller”, this series is filled with intrigue and mystery.

The Lord of the Rings

JRR Tolkien

Can’t forget to add this to the list. Even though it could fall under fantasy, it is such a good classic read. Start with The Hobbit!


Marie Lu

Written all inside a virtual reality game. The main protagonist is trying to survive her world and hacks into an elite video game. I’ve read this one and couldn’t put it down. Spoiler alert: love well.

Airborne Trilogy

Kenneth Oppel

It is hard to give a description of this series. Oppel is a fantastic story teller. His unusual setting, and mythological creatures that sort of just show up in the novel, keeps you turning the pages.

The Boundless

Kenneth Oppel

I am going to include one more book from Oppel. This unusual action/mystery novel takes place all on a very long train. And it might involve sasquatches. Yes, I said sasquatches.




Terrible Two

Mac Barnett

Haven’t read this yet, not sure I will, but it is at the top of many national lists for being a book full of pranks! Check it out!

Funny Girl

Many authors

Great fun read for girls - a bunch of funny short stories from a variety of authors. If you are not in the mood for a long novel, this is the way to go.


Gordon Korman

Another Korman book. He is always a great writer to create humor for you. Check out any of his books. Restart is my favorite.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid series

Jeff Kinney

Now I personally have not read any of these, but apparently if you need a goofy character, Greg is the one. 

I Funny books

James Patterson

James Patterson is a well known author who writes in all sorts of genres. He has a collection of these “I Funny” books - check them out!

New Kid

Jerry Craft

I read this new graphic novel which was the Newberry medal winner this year! Not sure it is a really funny book, but I did like the characters. Plus, it’s a really good graphic novel.

Dead End at Norvelt

Jack Gantos

Really, really liked this book. The character is named Jack Gantos. Yes, same as the author.  Basically, it is about Jack getting “grounded for life” and what he makes of it. His mom makes him help a neighbor write obituaries for the newspapers, but all this does is lead him to some pretty strange adventures. This is a must read!!


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