Students Entering Grade 6: Summer Reading List

Choose one title and complete the required Notes for September Book Discussion worksheet! 

if none of the recommended titles below appeal to your child, your child may choose any grade-level book that better matches their interests. Click here for the Notes for September Book Discussion worksheet.

  • All Thirteen by Christina Soontornvat
    On June 23, 2018, twelve young players of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach entered a cave in northern Thailand seeking an afternoon's adventure. But when they turn to leave, rising floodwaters block their path out. The boys are trapped! Before long, news of the missing team spread, launching a 17-day rescue operation involving thousands of rescuers from around the globe. As the world sits vigil, people begin to wonder: how long can a group of ordinary kids survive in complete darkness, with no food or clean water? Luckily, the Wild Boars are a very extraordinary "ordinary" group. Combining first-hand interviews of rescue workers with in-depth science and details and the region's culture and religion, author Christina Soontornvat masterfully shows how both the complex engineering operation above ground and the mental struggles of the thirteen young people below proved critical in the life-or-death mission.
  • Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston
    Amari Peters has never stopped believing her missing brother, Quinton, is alive. Not even when the police told her otherwisie, or when she got in trouble for standing up to bullies who said he was gone for good. So when she finds a ticking briefcase in his closet, containing a nomination for a summer tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she's certain the secret organization holds the key to locating Quinton—if only she can wrap her head around the idea of magicians, fairies, aliens, and other supernatural creatures all being real. Now she must compete for a spot against kids who've known about magic their whole lives. No matter how hard she tries, Amari can't seem to escape their intense doubt and scrutiny—especially once her supernaturally enhanced talent is deemed "illegal." With an evil magician threatening the supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she's an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But is she doesn't stick it out and pass the tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton.
  • Ana on the Edge by A.J. Sass
    Twelve-year-old Ana-Marie Jin, the reigning U.S. Juvenile figure skating champion, is not a frilly dress kind of kid. So, when Ana learns that next season's program will be princess themed, doubt forms fast. Still, Ana tries to focus on training and putting together a stellar routine worthy of national success. Once Ana meets Hayden, a transgender boy new to the rink, thoughts about the princess program and gender identity begin to take center stage. And when Hayden mistakes Ana for a boy, Ana doesn't correct him and finds comfort in this boyish identity when he's around. As their friendship develops, Ana realizes that it's tricky juggling two different identities on one slippery sheet of ice. And with a major competition approaching, Ana must decide whether telling everyone the truth is worth risking years of hard work and sacrifice.

  • Blades of Freedom by Nathan Hale                                                             
    Why would Napoleon Bonaparte sell the Louisiana Territory to the recently formed United States of America? It all comes back to the island nation of Haiti, which Napoleon had planned to use as a base for trade with North America. While Napoleon climbed the ranks of the French army and government, enslaved people were organizing in Haiti under the leadership of François Mackandal, Dutty Boukman, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, and Touissant L’Ouverture, who in 1791 led the largest uprising of enslaved people in history—the Haitian Revolution. Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales are graphic novels that tell the thrilling, shocking, gruesome, and TRUE stories of American history.          

  • Blended by Sharon M. Draper                                                                                                                                                                              
    Eleven-year-old Isabella's parents are divorced, so she has to switch lives every week. One week she's Isabella with her dad, his girlfriend Anastasia, and her son Darren living in a fancy house where they are one of the only black families in the neighborhood. The next week she's Izzy with her mom and her boyfriend John-Mark in a small, not-so-fancy house that she loves. Because of this, Isabella has always felt pulled between the two worlds. Isabella feels completely stuck in the middle, split and divided between them more than ever.     

  • Fantastic Failures by Luke Reynolds                                                                                     
    There is a lot of pressure in today’s society to succeed, but failing is a part of learning how to be a successful person. With stories from people like J. K. Rowling, Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks, Sonia Sotomayor, Vincent Van Gogh, Julia Child, Steven Spielberg, and Betsy Johnson, each profile proves that the greatest mistakes and flops can turn into something amazing. Intermixed throughout the fun profiles, Reynolds spotlights great inventors and scientists who discovered and created some of the most important medicines, devices, and concepts of all time, including lifesaving vaccines and medicines that were stumbled upon by mistake.                                                    

  • Fins by Randy Wayne White                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The world's shark population is in trouble for a sad, simple reason: shark fin soup. And although its illegal, poachers have been targeting Florida's biannual migration of blacktip sharks. Marine biologist Doc Ford needs some assistance protecting the sharks and enlists the help of three kids. Luke is brand new to Florida from the Midwest; sisters Maribel and Sabina have only recently arrived from Cuba. It's going to take some convincing for them to work as a team. Together they form Sharks, Inc. and are given an important assignment: to set out each day on their small fishing boat in hopes of tagging sharks for Doc's research and to stay way—far way—from any possible poachers in the area. The trio certainly isn't looking for trouble, but when they come face to face with danger, survival requires them to rely on each of their own unique gifts, and especially on one another.

  • Ground Zero by Alan Gratz                                                                                                                             
    September 11, 2001, New York City: Brandon is visiting his dad at work, on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center. Out of nowhere, an airplane slams into the tower, creating a fiery nightmare of terror and confusion. And Brandon is in the middle of it all. Can he survive -- and escape?  September 11, 2019, Afghanistan: Reshmina has grown up in the shadow of war, but she dreams of peace and progress. When a battle erupts in her village, Reshmina stumbles upon a wounded American soldier named Taz. Should she help Taz—and put herself and her family in mortal danger?  Two kids. One devastating day. Nothing will ever be the same.

  • Guts by Raina Telgemeier 
    Raina wakes up one night with a terrible upset stomach. Her mom has one, too, so it's probably just a bug. Raina eventually returns to school, where she's dealing with the usual highs and lows: friends, not-friends, and classmates who think the school year is just one long gross-out session. It soon becomes clear that Raina's tummy trouble isn't going away...and it coincides with her worries about food, school, and changing friendships. What's going on? Raina Telgemeier once again brings us a thoughtful, charming, and funny true story about growing up and gathering the courage to face—and conquer—her fears.
     
  • Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds
    This story was going to begin like all the best stories. With a school bus falling from the sky. But no one saw it happen. They were all too busy—

    Talking about boogers.
    Stealing pocket change.
    Skateboarding.
    Wiping out.
    Braving up.
    Executing complicated handshakes.
    Planning an escape.
    Making jokes.
    Lotioning up.
    Finding comfort.
    But mostly, too busy walking home.

    Jason Reynolds conjures 10 tales (one per block) about what happens after the dismissal bell rings, and brilliantly weaves them into one wickedly funny, piercingly poignant look at the detours we face on the walk home, and in life.

  • Millionares for the Month by Stacy McAnulty
    Felix Rannells and Benji Porter were never supposed to be field-trip partners. Felix is a rule follower. Benji is a rule bender. They're not friends. And they don't have anything to talk about. Until… They find a wallet. A wallet that belongs to tech billionaire Laura Friendly. They're totally going to return it—but not before Benji "borrows" 20 dollars to buy hot dogs. Because 20 dollars is like a penny to a billionaire, right? But a penny has value. A penny doubled every day for thirty days is $5,368,709.12! So that's exactly how much money Laura Friendly challenges Felix and Benji to spend. They have 30 days. They can't tell anyone. And there are lots of other rules. But if they succeed, they each get 10 million dollars to spend however they want. Challenge accepted! They rent cool cars, go to Disney World, buy pizza for the whole school—and that's just the beginning! But money can't buy everything or fix every problem. And spending it isn't always as easy and fun as they thought it would be.

  • Restart by Gordon Korman                                                                                                                                                   
    Seventh grader Chase doesn't remember falling off the roof. He doesn't remember hitting his head. He doesn't, in fact, remember anything. He wakes up in a hospital room and suddenly has to learn his whole life all over again . . . starting with his own name. He knows he's Chase. But who is Chase? When he gets back to school, he sees that different kids have very different reactions to his return. Some kids treat him like a hero. Some kids are clearly afraid of him. One girl in particular is so angry with him that she pours her frozen yogurt on his head the first chance she gets. Pretty soon, it's not only a question of who Chase is—it's a question of who he was . . . and who he's going to be. 

  • To Night Owl, From Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer                                                                                   
    Avery Bloom, who's bookish, intense, and afraid of many things, particularly deep water, lives in New York City. Bett Devlin, who's fearless, outgoing, and loves all animals as well as the ocean, lives in California. What they have in common is that they are both 12 years old, and are both being raised by single, gay dads. When their dads fall in love, Bett and Avery are sent, against their will, to the same sleepaway camp. Their dads hope that they will find common ground and become friends—and possibly, sisters.                                                                

  • The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
    Ten-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him. So begins a new adventure for Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—but in the end, will that save her? 

  • When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson & Omar Mohamed
    Omar Mohamed was only four years old when he fled to a Kenyan refugee camp from war-torn Somalia with only his little brother in tow. Accompanied with Victoria Jamieson’s brilliant graphic artwork, When Stars Are Scattered is a remarkable true account of Omar’s childhood growing up in the camp, raising his little brother and dreaming of a better life for them both. A heartbreaking, hopeful, eye-opening must-read for all ages.

  • Wild River by Rodman Philbrick                                                                                                                                                               
    Daniel Redmayne is fast asleep on the first night of a white water rafting trip, when he's awoken by screams. The dam has failed. The river is surging, and their camp will be underwater in a matter of moments.  As the shrieking roar of the river rushes closer, the kids scramble to higher ground. They make it; their counselors do not.  Now they're on their own, with barely any food or supplies, in the middle of the Montana wilderness. Do Daniel and his four classmates have what it takes to stay alive until they can get rescued? Alone in the wild, they forge powerful bonds— but develop dangerous disagreements. If nature doesn't break them, they might just destroy each other.

 

Click here for the Notes for September Book Discussion worksheet.

If you are having difficulty finding and acquiring a text for summer reading, please click here to email Nancy Aiken in the Curriculum Department.