Riveting Sixth Grade Books

The following lists contain a selection of books for sixth grade readers.  Many of these titles address the issues of adolescence and are for mature readers. To see a title's Lexile number, click on the title and then click on the "Full Record" tab.
Click here for the latest pdf version of all suggested titles.

New Book Reviews

Constable & Toop by Gareth P. Jones

Reading Level: Grades 4 - 7

Sam Toop has lived all his life above Constable & Toop. His father builds caskets for Mr. Constable, the mortician. Perhaps his close association with death is the reason Sam is a Talker (someone who can see and hear ghosts). Meanwhile the ghost Lapsewood has worked for many years filling out forms in the bureaucratic monstrosity of the afterlife. Little do they know that Sam's life and Lapsewood's afterlife will be forever changed by a mysterious disappearing of ghosts from haunted houses.

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The Carpet People by Terry Pratchett

Reading Level: Grades 3 and older

When the mythical Fray returns and destroys the Munrung's village with its terrible winds the entire tribe must make a perilous journey across the Carpet, battling the mouls who are said to control Fray, as they search for a safe new place to live. If you liked the Borrowers or the Littles you will enjoy this book about the microscopic beings that live in the wild jungle beneath your feet. (and it will make you look at your vacuum cleaner differently too.).

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The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheikin

Reading Level: Ages 10 - 14

On July 17, 1944, an explosion at the Port Chicago naval base in California killed over 300 people and sank two ships.  All the men loading bombs and ammunition onto ships were black.  All supervising officers were white.  Black sailors who had never received proper training in the handling of munitions were afraid and refused to go back to work on the docks.  Some gave in under pressure from the navy until only 50 men held fast.  They were brought up on charges of mutiny, a charge that could mean the death penalty.  Sheinkin has crafted another book that brings history to life.  You'll be outraged, but you'll cheer for 50 new heroes in the fight for equal rights.

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Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab: A Mystery With Eletromagnets, Burglar Alarms, and Other Gadgets You Can Build Yourself by "Science Bob" Pflugfelder, Steve Hockensmith

Reading Level:  Ages 9 - 12

Eleven-year-old twins, Nick and Tesla, are sent to spend the summer with their comical, mad scientist uncle while their parents are out of the country.   Instead of the boring time they expect, they encounter a spooky deserted mansion guarded by ravenous dogs, a mysterious girl at the window holding a "GO AWAY" sign, ill-tempered construction workers, and black van that keeps following them.  The twins are science geeks themselves who use everyday objects to build what they need to solve the mystery and survive.  Interspersed in the book are great directions for building the gadgets.  Have fun!

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The Great Trouble: a Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson

Reading Level: Ages 9 - 12

In 1854 there was a cholera outbreak in London. Hundreds died. There was no cure and no one knew the cause of cholera.   Hopkinson 's hero is a thirteen-year-old orphan, Eel,  who scavenges the filthy Thames River and works odd jobs.  One job brings him in contact with Dr. Snow, a real historical figure who was an early epidemiologist.  The fast-paced novel combines a medical mystery, a race against the clock, evil child snatchers, and an assortment of characters.  You'll love Eel and his friends and want to them to triumph.

 

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