I realized I have a post for great books and read-alouds for the Early Years through fifth grade but nothing for the older grades! So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite and recommended books for sixth grade, along with some suggested by other parents. I have not read every book on this list, so please leaf through for yourself.
For those of you Waldorf homeschooling, I tried to note books that would go great in those sixth grade blocks! Also, please realize that most Waldorf sixth graders are twelve years old or very close to twelve, so these are listed with that age in mind. And as always, please pre-read for your sensitive reader!
Possibilities from Grades Four and Five that you might have missed or want to re-visit:
- All of A Kind Family – Sydney Taylor (series)
- Augustine Came To Kent – Willard
- Because of Winn-Dixie – DiCamillo
- Bed-knob and Broomstick – Norton
- The Bee Book ; Little Bee Sunbeam – Strait (Waldorf book)
- Big Red – Kjelgaard (series)
- The Black Stallion – Farley
- The Children of Green Knowe – Boston
- Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis
- The Dragon Boy – Samson (trilogy)
- Finn Family Moomintroll – Jansson (series)
- Anything by Edith Nesbit
- From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – E.L Konigsburg
- Anything by Eleanor Estes
- Anything by Elizabeth Enright
- Anything by Edward Eager
- Hitty: Her First Hundred Years – Field
- The Matchlock Gun- Edmonds
- Tuck Everlasting – Babbitt
- The Great Turkey Walk -Karr
- Secret of the Andes – Clark ( or save for when you study the Incan Civilization)
- The Wheel on the School – DeJong
- I hope if you are American you have read the Wizard of Oz series!
- Adam of the Road – Gray (Medieval)
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Twain
- Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery
- Ben and Me – Lawson (and others by Lawson)
- Madeleine L’Engle
- The Bronze Bow – Speare (Rome)
- Brother Dusty Feet – Sutcliff (Elizabethan England)
- Call It Courage – Sperry
- Captains Courageous – Kipling
- Carry On, Mr. Bowditch – Latham (could be in seventh grade with navigators and exploration as well)
- Catherine, Called Birdy – Cushman (Medieval England)
- Crispin: The Cross of Lead – Avi (Medieval England)
- The Dancing Bear – Peter Dickinson (Byzantium, 558 AD)
- Dogsong; Hatchet – Paulsen
- The Door in the Wall – de Angeli (Medieval)
- El Cid – Geraldine McCaughrean
- Far North – Hobbs
- Favorite Medieval Tales – Pope
- Galen and the Gateway to Medicine – Bendick
- Geron and Virtus – Streit (Waldorf book) (Rome)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – Rowling – the characters grow up, so please be mindful in looking at the later books when the protagonists are 16 and 17 year olds!
- The Hidden Treasure of Glaston – Jewett (Medieval)
- The High Deeds of Finn Mac Cool – Sutcliff
- The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkein
- Homecoming – Voight
- Books by Lois Lenski
- Books by Jules Verne
- Books by Jean Craighead George
- Books by Robert Louis Stevenson
- Books by Rudyard Kipling
- Stories of King Arthur
- Little Women – (and others ) – Alcott
- Mansa Musa – Burns (picture book, fascinating subject)
- Mistress Masham’s Repose – T.H. White
- A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver – E. L. Konigsburg (Eleanor of Aquitaine) and also The Second Mrs. Giaconda (Da Vinci)
- Queen’s Own Fool – Yole and Harris (Mary, Queen of Scots)
- Redwall – Jacques
- Anything by Jean Craighead George
- Smoky the Cowhorse – James
- Son of Charlemagne – Willard
- String, Straightedge and Shadow – Diggins
- Sundiata (picture book but fascinating subject) – Wisniewksi
- This Dear-Bought Land – Latham (1607 America)
- Tuck Everlasting – Babbitt
- The Trumpeter of Krakow – Kelly (15th century Poland)
- Walk Two Moons – Creech
- The Weirdstone of Brisingamen – Garner
- The Westing Game – Raskin
- The Wilderness Tattoo – Steele (Hernando de Soto)
- The World’s Desire – Haggard and Lang
- The Yearling – Rawlings
I saved most of the explorer and American history related books for seventh grade (when I usually do a Colonial History block and also explorers ) and eighth grade (especially for literature related to World War I and World War II) but if you are looking for titles related to this for sixth grade, I am happy to throw them out there. Please look for upcoming posts on great books for grades seven through nine, and also I would love to hear your suggestions for sixth grade/twelve year olds.
I love book lists, thank you! I see some favorites and some that are new to me!
We love books here so thank you for your above list.
We’ve only just started 6th grade so I don’t have much to add at this stage, but we have completed our mineralogy block during which we read the novel “The Dragon in the Cliff: A novel based on the life of Mary Anning” by Sheila Cole. We really enjoyed the book – but it may not be suitable for younger or sensitive souls as there a few deaths in the story. There is a little romance (my ds was disgusted :-), although nothing really happens, more of an attraction) and a lot of detail about the period setting and class differences and cultural norms of the time. Mostly this book is about fossils and fossil collecting and it does go into quite a bit of detail about this. As we didn’t really cover this in our main lessons it was great to have a read-aloud which did.
We also kicked off our year by reading “Prince Siddhartha” by Jonathan Landau. We didn’t quite get round to covering the Buddha in 5th and I wanted something to ease us back into our rhythm after the summer break. We simply read the book and drew then coloured mandalas. We then read the short book “The Cat Who Went to Heaven” by Elizabeth Chatsworth which re-capped the story and also reminded us of the Jatakas tales from 2nd. I was amazed by how much the Buddha’s story really spoke to my 12 yo, and sparked many great discussions between us. I know that many people have this in 2nd, or 5th grade but I have to say that it worked incredibly well at the start of 6th as my 12 yo is clearly going through changes and could relate to what the Buddha went through when he discovered he had been sheltered from a lot of the harsh realities of life.
Finally, I’d like to mention a book we read in 5th which we really loved – “The Scarlet Fish and Other Stories” by Joan Grant. It is set in Egypt and paints a fabulous picture of life there. The beauty of this book is that, whilst it covers Egyptian spiritual beliefs, it is still suitable for younger children (although perhaps one or two stories should be left for after the 9 year change), so makes a nice read-aloud for those with younger siblings listening in.
I’m looking forward to reading your 7th grade list coming soon!