Looking for some great books for 6th graders?
In the past, your girl’s favorite books may have been Anne of Green Gables, anything by Roald Dahl, Little Women, and The Phantom Tollbooth.
Or maybe she was (and still is!) one of the die-hard Harry Potter fans.
Or maybe you have reluctant readers on your hands who haven’t met any good books that are more exciting than their cell phones.
****Be sure to find the graphic novels in the list if that’s your girl!).
No matter what you’re dealing with or what you’re looking for, the book list below has something that is going to get your sixth graders excited about books!
This epic list contains book recommendations that are full of great themes for older girls, such as hard work, true friends, perseverance, real love, and self-worth. All of them are perfect for summer reading lists, book club, or just for fun.
I was careful to make sure these books were grade level appropriate for middle schoolers in reading level and content. They are full of adventure, mystery, tragedy, triumph, magic, sorrow, and joy – but not on a young adult or “Hunger Games” level of excitement.
I have a 6th grade girl myself, so I know it’s a balance!
Alright, go ahead and dive into the list and good luck trying to not buy them all!
Best Books for 6th Grade Girls
1. Fire Girl (Powerful Story)
Title: Fire Girl
Author: Tony Abbott
From the moment Jessica arrives, life is never quite the same for Tom and his seventh-grade classmates. They learn that Jessica has been in a fire and was badly burned, and will be attending St. Catherine’s will receiving medical treatments. Despite her appearance and the fear she evokes in him and most of the class, Tom slowly develops a tentative friendship with Jessica that changes his life.
2. Princess Academy
Title: Princess Academy
Author: Shannon Hale
Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king’s priests have divined her village the home of the future princess. In a year’s time, the prince will choose his bride from among the village girls.
The king’s ministers set up an academy on the mountain, and every teenage girl must attend and learn how to become a princess. Soon Miri finds herself confronted with a harsh academy mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and her own conflicting desires. Winning the contest could give her everything she ever wanted–but it would mean leaving her home and family behind.
3. The Girl Who Looked Beyond The Stars
Title: The Girl Who Looked Beyond The Stars (Book 1 of Sheena Meyer Series)
Author: L.B. Anne
This story is a captivating blend of Christian science fiction, fantasy, and mystery. For 11-14-year-old listeners who enjoy books such as A Wrinkle In Time.
Sheena Meyer is the girl that brings an extra sandwich to school each day just in case someone doesn’t have lunch. She’s also the girl that questions and investigates everything, driving her parents and teachers nuts. She spends most days waiting for some grand event to happen and change her life. But this isn’t what she had in mind.
The Murk is coming for her because of a gift she doesn’t know she has.
4. The Candy Shop Wars
Title: The Candy Shop Wars
Author: Brandon Mull
Welcome to the Sweet Tooth Ice Cream & Candy Shoppe, where the confections are a bit on the…unusual side. In this start to the series, four young friends—Nate, Summer, Trevor, and Pigeon—meet the grandmotherly Mrs. White, owner of the Sweet Tooth, and soon learn about the magical side effects of her candies: Rock candy that makes you weightless. Jawbreakers that make you unbreakable. Chocolate balls that make you a master of disguise.
In addition, the ice cream truck driver, Mr. Stott, has arrived with a few enchanted sweets of his own. But what about the mysterious man in the dark overcoat and fedora hat? And why are all these “magicians” trying to recruit Nate and his friends? Who can they trust?
5. The Thing About Jellyfish
Title: The Thing About Jellyfish
Author: Ali Benjamin
This stunning debut novel about grief and wonder was an instant New York Times bestseller and captured widespread critical acclaim, including selection as a 2015 National Book Award finalist!
After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting–things don’t just happen for no reason. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory–even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy’s achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe…and the potential for love and hope right next door.
6. El Deafo
Title: El Deafo
Author: Cece Bell
Starting at a new school is scary, especially with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece’s class was deaf. Here, she’s different. She’s sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher. Too bad it also seems certain to repel potential friends.
Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom but anywhere her teacher is in the school—in the hallway . . . in the teacher’s lounge . . . in the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower! Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, Listener for All. But the funny thing about being a superhero is that it’s just another way of feeling different . . . and lonely. Can Cece channel her powers into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend?
7. Nine, Ten: A September 11th Story
Author: Nora Raleigh Baskin
Ask anyone: September 11, 2001, was serene and lovely, a perfect day—until a plane struck the World Trade Center.
But right now it is a few days earlier, and four kids in different parts of the country are going about their lives. Sergio, who lives in Brooklyn, is struggling to come to terms with the absentee father he hates and the grandmother he loves. Will’s father is gone, too, killed in a car accident that has left the family reeling. Naheed has never before felt uncomfortable about being Muslim, but at her new school she’s getting funny looks because of the head scarf she wears. Aimee is starting a new school in a new city and missing her mom, who has to fly to New York on business.
These four don’t know one another, but their lives are about to intersect in ways they never could have imagined. Award-winning author Nora Raleigh Baskin weaves together their stories into an unforgettable novel about that seemingly perfect September day—the day our world changed forever.
Author: J.J. & Chris Grabenstein
Shine on! might be the catchphrase of twelve-year-old Piper’s hero–astronaut, astronomer, and television host Nellie Dumont Frisse–but Piper knows the truth: some people are born to shine, and she’s just not one of them. That fact has never been clearer than now, when her dad’s new job has landed them both at Chumley Prep, a posh private school where everyone seems to be the best at something and where Piper definitely doesn’t fit in.
Bursting with humor, heart, science, possibilities, and big questions, Shine! is a story about finding your place in the universe–a story about figuring out who you are and who you want to be. BONUS! Science experiment included!
9. Pippa Park Raises Her Game
Title: Pippa Park Raises Her Game (Book 1 of Pippa Park Series)
Author: Erin Yun
Readers will cheer on Pippa Park in this wonderful middle school book about friendships, bullying, crushes, and family. In this relatable story, Pippa reinvents herself and discovers who she really is on and off the basketball court.
Life is full of great expectations for Korean American Pippa Park. It seems like everyone, from her family to the other kids at school, has a plan for how her life should look.
When Pippa gets a mysterious basketball scholarship to Lakeview Private, she jumps at the chance to reinvent herself. At school, Pippa juggles old and new friends, a crush, and the pressure to get and score points while keeping her past and family’s laundromat a secret from her elite new classmates.
10. The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl
Author: Stacy McAnulty
Lucy Callahan’s life was changed forever when she was struck by lightning. She doesn’t remember it, but the zap gave her genius-level math skills, and she’s been homeschooled ever since. Now, at 12 years old, she’s technically ready for college. She just has to pass 1 more test–middle school!
Lucy’s grandma insists: Go to middle school for 1 year. Make 1 friend. Join 1 activity. And read 1 book (that’s not a math textbook!). Lucy’s not sure what a girl who does calculus homework for fun can possibly learn in 7th grade. She has everything she needs at home, where nobody can make fun of her rigid routines or her superpowered brain. The equation of Lucy’s life has already been solved. Unless there’s been a miscalculation?
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Storm beasts and their guardians create perfect weather every day, and Mina longs for a storm beast of her own. But when the gentle girl bonds with a lightning beast—a creature of fire and chaos—everyone’s certain it’s a mistake. Everyone but Mina and the beast himself, Pixit. Quickly enrolled in lightning school, Mina struggles to master a guardian’s skills, and she discovers that her country’s weather comes at a devastating cost—a cost powerful people wish to hide. Mina’s never been the type to speak out, but someone has to tell the truth, and, with Pixit’s help, she resolves to find a way to be heard.
12. Millie Maven
Title: Millie Maven (Book 1 In the Millie Maven Series)
Author: Ted Dekker and Rachelle Dekker
Enter the world of Millie Maven, a twelve-year-old girl who embarks on a great adventure that takes her to the distant, mysterious world of FIGS, the FarPointe Institute for Gifted Students. There, she discovers that there is more to her than she ever dared imagine or believe….and that there are some truths that change everything.
****Book written in free verse style
Author: Katherine Applegate
Odder spends her days off the coast of central California, practicing her underwater acrobatics and spinning the quirky stories for which she’s known. She’s a fearless daredevil, curious to a fault. But when Odder comes face-to-face with a hungry great white shark, her life takes a dramatic turn, one that will challenge everything she believes about herself―and about the humans who hope to save her.
Inspired by the true story of a Monterey Bay Aquarium program that pairs orphaned otter pups with surrogate mothers, this poignant and humorous tale told in free verse examines bravery and healing through the eyes of one of nature’s most beloved and charming animals.
****Book written in free verse style
Author: Megan E. Freeman
When 12-year-old Maddie hatches a scheme for a secret sleepover with her two best friends, she ends up waking up to a nightmare. She’s alone – left behind in a town that has been mysteriously evacuated and abandoned.
With no one to rely on, no power, and no working phone lines or internet access, Maddie slowly learns to survive on her own. Her only companions are a Rottweiler named George and all the books she can read. After a rough start, Maddie learns to trust her own ingenuity and invents clever ways to survive in a place that has been deserted and forgotten.
As months pass, she escapes natural disasters, looters, and wild animals. But Maddie’s most formidable enemy is the crushing loneliness she faces every day. Can Maddie’s stubborn will to survive carry her through the most frightening experience of her life?
15. Going Wild
Title: Going Wild
Author: Lisa McMann
Charlie Wilde knew her life would change forever when her family moved from the city of Chicago to the suburbs of Arizona…and that was before she found the bracelet. After putting it on, she notices odd things start to happen. Suddenly Charlie seems to have the speed of a cheetah and the strength of an elephant—and that’s just the beginning.
16. Across The Desert
Title: Across The Desert
Author: Dusti Bowling
Twelve-year-old Jolene spends every day she can at the library watching her favorite livestream: The Desert Aviator, where twelve-year-old “Addie Earhart” shares her adventures flying an ultralight plane over the desert. While watching this daring girl fly through the sky, Jolene can dream of what it would be like to fly with her, far away from her own troubled home life where her mother struggles with a narcotic addiction. And Addie, who is grieving the loss of her father, finds solace in her online conversations with Jolene, her biggest—and only—fan.
Then, one day, it all goes wrong: Addie’s engine abruptly stops, and Jolene watches in helpless horror as the ultralight plummets to the ground and the video goes dark. Jolene knows that Addie won’t survive long in the extreme summer desert heat. With no one to turn to for help and armed with only a hand-drawn map and a stolen cell phone, it’s up to Jolene to find a way to save the Desert Aviator. Packed with adventure and heart, Across the Desert is a story of a girl who sets out on a journey across the treacherous Arizona desert to rescue a young pilot, and speaks to the resilience, hope, and strength within each of us.
17. Daring Darleen: Queen of the Screen
Author: Anne Nesbet
Lights! Camera! Kidnapping?
It’s 1914, and Darleen Darling’s film adventures collide with reality when a fake kidnapping set up by her studio becomes all too real. Suddenly Darleen finds herself in the hands of dastardly criminals who have just nabbed Miss Victorine Berryman, the poor-little-rich-girl heiress of one of America’s largest fortunes. Soon real life starts to seem like a bona fide adventure serial, complete with dramatic escapes, murderous plots, and a runaway air balloon. Will Darleen and Victorine be able to engineer their own happily-ever-after, or will the villains be victorious?
18. When Stars Are Scattered (Based On True Events!)
Title: When Stars Are Scattered
Author: Victoria Jamieson
A National Book Award Finalist, this remarkable graphic novel is about growing up in a refugee camp, as told by a former Somali refugee to the Newbery Honor-winning creator of Roller Girl.
Heartbreak, hope, and gentle humor exist together in this graphic novel about a childhood spent waiting, and a young man who is able to create a sense of family and home in the most difficult of settings. It’s an intimate, important, unforgettable look at the day-to-day life of a refugee.
19. The Forbidden Library
Title: The Forbidden Library
Author: Django Wexler
When Alice’s father disappears in a shipwreck, she is sent to live with her uncle Geryon—an uncle she’s never heard of and knows nothing about. He lives in an enormous manor with a massive library that is off-limits to Alice. But then she meets a talking cat. And, even for a rule-follower, when a talking cat sneaks you into a forbidden library and introduces you to an arrogant boy who dares you to open a book, it’s hard to resist. Especially if you’re a reader to begin with. Soon Alice finds herself INSIDE the book, and the only way out is to defeat the creature imprisoned within.
It seems Uncle Geryon is more than he says he is. But then, so is Alice.
20. Echo Mountain
Title: Echo Mountain
Author: Lauren Wolk
After losing almost everything in the Great Depression, Ellie’s family is forced to leave their home in town and start over in the untamed wilderness of nearby Echo Mountain. Ellie has found a welcome freedom, and a love of the natural world, in her new life on the mountain. But there is little joy after a terrible accident leaves her father in a coma. An accident unfairly blamed on Ellie.
Ellie is a girl who takes matters into her own hands, and determined to help her father she will make her way to the top of the mountain in search of the healing secrets of a woman known only as “the hag.” But the hag, and the mountain, still have many untold stories left to reveal.
Historical fiction at its finest, Echo Mountain is celebration of finding your own path and becoming your truest self.
21. How To Steal A Dog
Title: How to Steal A Dog
Georgina Hayes is desperate. Ever since her father left and they were evicted from their apartment, her family has been living in their car. With her mama juggling two jobs and trying to make enough money to find a place to live, Georgina is stuck looking after her younger brother, Toby. And she has her heart set on improving their situation. When Georgina spots a missing-dog poster with a reward of five hundred dollars, the solution to all her problems suddenly seems within reach. All she has to do is “borrow” the right dog and its owners are sure to offer a reward. What happens next is the last thing she expected.
22. From The Desk of Zoe Washington
Author: Janae Marks
Zoe Washington isn’t sure what to write. What does a girl say to the father she’s never met, hadn’t heard from until his letter arrived on her twelfth birthday, and who’s been in prison for a terrible crime? A crime he says he never committed.
Could Marcus really be innocent? Zoe is determined to uncover the truth. Even if it means hiding his letters and her investigation from the rest of her family. Everyone else thinks Zoe’s worrying about doing a good job at her bakery internship and proving to her parents that she’s worthy of auditioning for Food Network’s Kids Bake Challenge.
But with bakery confections on one part of her mind, and Marcus’s conviction weighing heavily on the other, this is one recipe Zoe doesn’t know how to balance.
23. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
Thirteen-year-old Charlotte Doyle is excited to return home from her school in England to her family in Rhode Island in the summer of 1832. But when the two families she was supposed to travel with mysteriously cancel their trips, Charlotte finds herself the lone passenger on a long sea voyage with a cruel captain and a mutinous crew. Worse yet, soon after stepping aboard the ship, she becomes enmeshed in a conflict between them! What begins as an eagerly anticipated ocean crossing turns into a harrowing journey, where Charlotte gains a villainous enemy… and is put on trial for murder!
24. A Long Walk To Water
Title: A Long Walk To Water
Author: Linda Sue Park
A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a young girl in 2008 and a young boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay.
Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way. Includes an afterword by author Linda Sue Park and the real-life Salva Dut, on whom the novel is based, and who went on to found Water for South Sudan.
25. Sisterhood of Sleuths
Title: Sisterhood of Sleuths
Author:Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Maizy always assumed she knew everything about her grandmother, Jacuzzi. So when a box full of vintage Nancy Drew books gets left at her mom’s thrift store, Maizy is surprised to find an old photo of her grandmother and two other women tucked beneath the collection. Stranger still, when Maizy shows the photo to Jacuzzi she feigns ignorance, insisting the woman is someone else. Determined to learn the truth — and inspired by the legacy of Nancy Drew — Maizy launches her own investigation with the help of new friends, Nell and Cam. What they discover not only points to the origins of the iconic series, but uncovers a truth from the past that will lead to self-discovery in the present, connecting three generations of women.
26. The Library of Ever
Title: The Library of Ever
Author: Zeno Alexander
With her parents off traveling the globe, Lenora is bored, bored, bored―until she discovers a secret doorway into the ultimate library. Mazelike and reality-bending, the library contains all the universe’s wisdom. Every book ever written, and every fact ever known, can be found within its walls. And Lenora becomes its newly appointed Fourth Assistant Apprentice Librarian.
She rockets to the stars, travels to a future filled with robots, and faces down a dark nothingness that wants to destroy all knowledge. To save the library, Lenora will have to test her limits and uncover secrets hidden among its shelves.
Title: Walk Two Moons
Author: Sharon Creech
Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle, proud of her country roots and the “Indian-ness in her blood,” travels from Ohio to Idaho with her eccentric grandparents. Along the way, she tells them of the story of Phoebe Winterbottom, who received mysterious messages, who met a “potential lunatic,” and whose mother disappeared.
As Sal entertains her grandparents with Phoebe’s outrageous story, her own story begins to unfold—the story of a thirteen-year-old girl whose only wish is to be reunited with her missing mother.
Recap Best Chapter Books For 6th Grade Girls
Hopefully, you found an amazing main character, an unforgettable coming-of-age story, a magical world, and/or a page-turning modern classic for your girl!
If you loved this list, be sure to catch my 5th grade book list below and stay tuned for my seventh grade list coming soon!
As always, if you have your own favorites that you’d love to see on this list, drop a comment below!