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Best Books for Sixth GradeTopics for this reader group start getting just a little serious while still offering plenty of choices for lighter reading. The mysteries are more pronounced. The family dramas take on social themes and what seem like ordinary events get really unpredictable. But that's what makes all these titles so readable!

Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
Sixth-grader Tommy and his friends describe their interactions with a paper finger puppet of Yoda, worn by their weird classmate Dwight, as they try to figure out whether or not the puppet can really predict the future. Includes instructions for making Origami Yoda. 141p. 

Murder at Midnight  by Avi
Falsely accused of plotting to overthrow King Claudio, scholarly Mangus the magician, along with his street-smart servant boy, Fabrizio, face deadly consequences unless they can track down the real traitor by the stroke of midnight. 254 p. 

The Boy Who Dared by Susan C. Bartoletti
In October, 1942, seventeen-year-old Helmuth Hubener, imprisoned for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets, recalls his past life and how he came to dedicate himself to bring the truth about Hitler and the war to the German people. 202p.

TF Undertown  by Melvin Bukiet
Middle schoolers Timothy Murphy and Jessamyn Hazard careen downhill on a sailboat which was being towed through Manhattan and fall into the sewers, where they meet interesting characters before being caught by the evil "queen" of this underground society. 295 p

TF House of Secrets  by Chris Columbus
Cordelia, Brendan, and Eleanor Walker, aged fifteen to eight, must rely on a mysterious book to face the Wind Witch and her father, the Storm King, who have kidnapped Dr. and Mrs. Walker and brought them to a strange world of magic.
490 p.

TF The Void of Mist and Thunder  by James Dashner (13th Reality Bk.#4)
When an all-consuming void from the Fourth Dimension opens up, unleashing monsters throughout the Realities, Mister George has one last weapon at his disposal--the mysterious and powerful Karma button. 483 p.

TF Wish You Were Eyre  by Heather Vogel Frederick
As the Mother-Daughter Book Club reads Jane Eyre, the girls and some of their mothers are involved in some serious competitions, Becca finds romance when the Wyoming pen pals come for a visit, and a wedding brings the British Berkeley brothers and even Stinkerbelle to Concord. 442 p.

TF Beholding Bee  by Kimberly Newton Fusco
In 1942, when life turns sour at the carnival that has always been her home, eleven-year-old Bee takes her dog, Peabody, and piglet, Cordelia, and sets out to find a real home, aided by two women only Bee and her pets can see. 329 p.

TF A Tangle of Knots  by Lisa Graff
Destiny leads 11-year-old Cady to a peanut butter factory, a family of children searching for their own Talents, and a Talent Thief who will alter her life forever.   230 p.

Force Out  by Tim Green
When Joey has to compete with his best friend, Zach, for a single spot on an elite baseball team, he is forced to decide how far he is willing to go to win. 282p.

TF Caught  by Margaret Peterson Haddix Missing #5 343p.
When Jonah and Katherine travel to early 1900s Switzerland and Serbia to return Albert Einstein's daughter, Lieserl, to history, her mother Mileva grasps entirely too much about time travel and has no intention of letting her daughter go.

Closed For the Season by Mary Downing Hahn
When thirteen-year-old Logan and his family move into a run-down old house in rural Virginia, he discovers that a woman was murdered there and becomes involved with his neighbor Arthur in a dangerous investigation to try to uncover the killer. 182 p. 

Deep and Dark and Dangerous  by Mary Downing Hahn
When thirteen-year-old Ali spends the summer with her aunt and cousin at the family's vacation home, she stumbles upon a secret that her mother and aunt have been hiding for over thirty years. 187 p. 

The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge
When a lie is exposed and their tribe turns against them, Hathin must find a way to save her sister Arilou--once considered the tribe's oracle--and herself. 566p. 

Take me to the River by Will Hobbs
When North Carolina fourteen-year-old Dylan Sands joins his fifteen-year-old cousin Rio in running the Rio Grande River, they face a tropical storm and a fugitive kidnapper. 184p.

Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones
After his grandfather dies, Andrew Hope inherits a house and surrounding land in an English village, but things become very complicated when young orphan Aidan shows up and suddenly a host of variously magical townsfolk and interlopers start intruding on their lives. 292 p. 

TF The Thing About Luck  by Cynthia Kadohata
Just when twelve-year-old Summer thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong in a year of bad luck, an emergency takes her parents to Japan, leaving Summer to care for her little brother while helping her grandmother cook and do laundry for harvest workers.  269p.

White Sands, Red Menace by Ellen Klages
It is 1946, and Dewey Kerrigan is now living near the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico with the Gordon family. Dewey and her "sister," Suze, share secrets, art, and science as they adjust to high school in an isolated desert town. Then, Dewey's long-lost mother, Rita Gallucci, reappears in their lives. 337p. 

JF Hideout  by Gordon Korman
Luthor's former owner, Swindle, is back trying to reclaim his dog, and it is up to Griffin Bing, Savannah Drysdale and their friends to hide the Doberman until they can come up with a plan to rescue him from the vicious crook. 275 p.

The Cheat by Amy Goldman Koss
When Sarah gets her hands on the answers to the eighth-grade geography midterm and decides to share them with some other students, the consequences are far-ranging. 176 p.

Poison Ivy by Amy Goldman Koss
In a government class three popular girls undergo a mock trial for their ruthless bullying of a classmate. 166p. 

TF The Cloak Society  by Jeramey Kraatz
Alex Knight, a twelve-year-old in training to be a supervillain in the elite Cloak Society, becomes friends with a young superhero and begins to question where his loyalty lies.  278 p

TF The Colossus Rises  by Peter Lerangis
Teens Jack, Marco, Aly, and Cass begin a quest to find seven pieces of Atlantis's power that were hidden long ago and that will, if returned to Atlantis, save them from certain death due to the genetic abnormality that also gives them superior abilities.  348p

Black Duck by Janet Taylor Lisle
Years afterwards, Ruben Hart tells the story of how, in 1929 Newport, Rhode Island, his family and his best friend's family were caught up in the violent competition among groups trying to control the local rum-smuggling trade. 252 p. 

Hero by Mike Lupica
Fourteen-year-old Zach learns he has the same special abilities as his father, who was the President's globe-trotting troubleshooter until "the Bads" killed him, and now Zach must decide whether to use his powers in the same way at the risk of his own life. 289 p. 

TF Athlete vs Mathlete  by W. C. Mack
When their two worlds collide in seventh grade, fraternal twins and opposites Owen and Russell find themselves in direct competition at school, on the court, and at home.  196p.

JF The Pirate’s Coin: A sixty-Eight Rooms Adventure  by Marianne Malone
A magical coin coin leads sixth-graders Ruthie and Jack to 1753 Massachusetts and to Jack's pirate ancestor when they return to the Art Institute of Chicago's miniature Thorne Rooms on a mission to restore an African American family's reputation.  210p.

TF Faith Hope and Ivy June  by Phyllis Naylor
During a student exchange program, seventh-graders Ivy June and Catherine share their lives, homes, and communities, and find that although their lifestyles are total opposites they have a lot in common.   280 p.

TF The Mystery: Troubletwisters #3  by Garth Nix
When the old man who lives in Rourke Castle dies mysteriously, troubletwister twins Jack and Jaide Shield find themselves drawn into a search for something hidden in the castle--something that The Evil wants desperately--but they have no idea what it is they seek.  296p.

TF Road Trip  by Jim & Gary Paulsen
A father and son embark on a road trip to a distant animal shelter to save a homeless border collie puppy

Hokey Pokey  by Jerry Spinelli
Ever since they were Snotsippers, Jack and the girl have fought, until one day she steals his bike and as he and the Amigos try to recover it, Jack realizes that he is growing up and must eventually leave the "goodlands and badlands of Hokey Pokey.”  285p.

TF Romeo Blue  by Phoebe Stone
During World War II, Felicity Bathburn is living in Bottlebay, Maine, with her eccentric relatives and their foster child Derek, whom she has grown to love, but when a man claiming to be Derek's true father arrives and starts asking all sorts of strange questions Felicity becomes suspicious of his motives. 346p.

TF Navigating Early  by Clare Vanderpool
Odyssey-like adventure of two boys' incredible quest on the Appalachian Trail where they deal with pirates, buried secrets, and extraordinary encounters. 306 p.

JF Leepike Ridge  by Nathan Wilson
While his widowed mother continues to search for him, eleven-year-old Tom, presumed dead after drifting away down a river, finds himself trapped in a series of underground caves with another survivor and a dog, and pursued by murderous treasure-hunters. 224 p.

TF Ivy in the Shadows  by Chris Woodworth
To make ends meet, twelve-year-old Ivy's mother goes to work as a waitress and takes in a boarder, a strange boy named Caleb who Ivy is sure is a liar. 198 p.

NONFICTION

 

DK Eyewitness Mummy   by Andrew Nahum
Documents the history and significance of mummies, both natural and man-made, and describes the principles and ceremonies associated with them.  72p. 

Mission Control, This is Apollo   by Andrew Chaikin
Mission Control, This Is Apollo, recounts space history from the Mercury missions through Apollo 17 and beyond. It is illustrated with stunning full-color paintings by astronaut Alan Bean, who walked on the moonwith Pete Conrad on Apollo 12 and has devoted his post-NASA life to creating art.   114p. 

Spyology  by Spencer Blake
As British spy, Agent K, traverses the globe on an undercover mission to expose a deadly criminal organization, he records his secret techniques in a manual for new recruits, in a title which includes a magnifying jewel on the front cover and a codex.

Army: Civilian to Soldier  by Meish Goldish
What does it take to become one of the finest soldiers in the world? Find out in this exciting look inside the U.S. Army’s basic combat training.

Warships  by Rob Colson
Readers are taken through the history of warships from the time of sails to modern day battleships.

Eyewitness Flight  by David Lambert
Be an eyewitness to how humans first realized the dream of taking flight, and see the remarkable and stunningly different machines that have whisked us up, up, and away

LEGO Super Heroes: Batman Visual Dictionary  by Daniel Lipkowitz
“Celebrate the action-packed world of LEGO Batman and LEGO DC Super Heroes with all of the vehicles, weapons, locations, gadgets, and minifigures”—P.(4) of cover.

Just Joking: 300 Hilarious Jokes, Tricky Tongue Twisters and Ridiculous Riddles by Nancy Feresten
Packed with the silly jokes that kids love, including knock-knocks, tongue twisters, riddles, traditional question and answer jokes, and more, "Just Joking" is presented in National Geographic Kids' colorful, photo-driven style.

Ghost Trackers by Chris Gudgeon
Describes the world of ghost-tracking and paranormal investigation, including the history of ghost hauntings, the science of paranormal investigation, and what to look for in order to determine if a space is haunted. 75p. 

101 Animal Records  by Melvin Berger
The animal kingdom's fascinating facts as well as many photographs. 112 p.

Drawing the New Adventure Cartoons by Chris Hart                
"Learn to draw the funny characters you see in comics, on TV, in movies and in video games: spies, secret agents, saboteurs, sci-fi heroes, hilarious muscle guys and those evil rotten and just plain bad guys you love to hate! Chris Hart shows you how to use body language, costumes, action lines and the secrets of cartoon composition to create memorable characters and exciting scenes." 126p.

Mr. Funky’s Super Crochet Wonderful by Narumi Ogawa
Mr. Funky features 30 projects including stuffed animals (amirgurumi) and wearable accessories such as scarves, hats, crochet flowers, headbands, a water bottle carrier, fun kids stuff and more. Readers who love Hello Kitty, bohemian 70's inspired fashion, and Japanese style will love these supercute projects. All of the projects are easy, super-hip and quick to make--perfect for teen knitters and beginners--and all feature inexpensive craft store yarns 111p.

DK Eyewitness: Baseball by James Buckley
The most trusted nonfiction series on the market, Eyewitness Books provide an in-depth, comprehensive look at their subjects with a unique integration of words and pictures. With information on everything from bats and balls to great players and World Series games, this completely revised edition of Eyewitness: Baseball includes all-new spreads on the minor leagues, college baseball, and more. 72p.