Summer Reading » Summer Reading for Grade 6

Summer Reading for Grade 6

Dear Parents,

To prepare for 6th grade, we suggest that your child read any of the highly-readable, high-interest titles included below. We also encourage “ear reading” using podcasts and audiobooks in addition to traditional reading.  We have included recommendations based upon titles similar to those you read this year, titles other students in 6th grade have enjoyed, graphic novels and a list of podcasts to listen to that you may enjoy as well. 

Remember to visit the Wadleigh Memorial Library website to sign up for their summer reading challenge for a chance to win prizes for reading this summer!

Please be aware that not all of these selections may be appropriate for every reader.  Please help your child to choose those that are appropriate for him/her.  You can refer to for a summary of each book & reader reviews.  Additional book recommendations can be found on the Wadleigh Memorial Library website: 

Books can be borrowed from Wadleigh Library using curbside pickup or purchased.

Thank you, stay well and have a wonderful summer!  
Milford Middle School Grade 6 Teachers


Ellington Was Not a Street - Ntozake Shange
  • Noted poet Ntozake Shange recalls her childhood home & the close-knit group of innovators that often gathered there in this reflective tribute to the African-American community of old.
No Turning Back: A Novel of South Africa – Beverley Naidoo
  • Escaping from his violent stepfather, 12-year-old Sipho heads for Johannesburg, where he has heard that gangs of children live on the streets. Surviving hunger & bitter-cold winter nights is hard, but learning when to trust in the 'new' South Africa proves even more difficult. 
The African Mask - Janet E Rupert  
  • 12-year-old Layo has no thoughts of marriage. Her joy lies in making pottery, & she greatly admirers her grandmother's success in that art. When her parents demand that she leave her sleepy little village & visit the bustling city to meet her betrothed, she sees her dream slipping away. 
The Glory Field - Walter Dean Myers
  • The author traces a family from the continent in the 1700s to America in 1994 & weaves in the African heritage
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus - Dusti Bowling
  • Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them. And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she’ll have to answer the question over and over again.


Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution - Ji-li Jiang
  • The author describes the happy life she led in China up until she was 12-years-old when her family became a target of the Cultural Revolution. She discusses the choice she had to make between denouncing her father & breaking with her family or refusing to speak against him & losing her future in the Communist Party.
When my Name was Keoko - Linda Sue Park
  • Chronicles the compelling story of two siblings & their battle to maintain their identity & dignity during one of Korea’s most difficult & turbulent times

South America

Secret of the Andes - Ann Nolan Clark
  • Cusi is an Inca boy who has been raised in a remote valley of the Andes mountain range by an old man, Chuto.  Cusi is of royal Incan blood, but his is 400 years after the Spanish conquest
The Dreamer - Pam Munoz Ryan
  • A fictionalized biography of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who grew up a painfully shy child, ridiculed by his overbearing father, but who became one of the most widely-read poets in the world

Central America

Here Where the Sunbeams are Green  - Helen Phillips
  • Sisters Madeline & Ruby travel to a Central American jungle to help find their missing father, a renowned bird watcher, only to discover a nefarious plot that puts their lives in danger.
The Ugly One  - Leanne Statland Ellis
  • At the height of the Incan empire, a girl called the Ugly One because of a disfiguring scar on her face, seeks to have the scar removed & instead finds a life path as a shaman.
The Zoo at the Edge of the World  - Eric Kahn Gale
  • Marlin, a stutterer, can talk smoothly & freely with the jungle animals that populate his father's zoo in South America--until a mysterious man-eating black jaguar that his father catches & brings back home talks back.
Whiskers, Tails & Wings: Animal Folktales  - Judy Goldman
  • Retells animal folktales from 5 indigenous peoples of Mexico, including the Tarahumara tale in which a puma meets a grasshopper & provides information on the culture of each indigenous people.

Non-Fiction Titles

Case Closed?: Nine Mysteries Unlocked by Modern Science - Susan Hughes
  • How developments in modern science, such as DNA analysis & spectroscopy, have helped to reopen archaeological mysteries 
Extreme Scientists: Exploring Nature`s Mysteries from Perilous Places - Donna M. Jackson
  • Extreme scientists battle some of the Earth's most intense conditions, from hurricanes to caves to the crowns of towering redwoods, in order to save lives, preserve species, & help us to better understand the way our planet works
Look Up! Bird Watching in Your Own Backyard – Annette LeBlanc Cate
  • Practical, amusing guide (with comments from the birds) that encourages young people to watch birds even if they don’t have binoculars

Looking for more titles to choose from?

  • Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things (Alvin Ho Series #1) - Lenore Look

  • BFG - Roald Dahl

  • Frindle - Andrew Clements

  • Lemonade War (The Lemonade War Series #1) - Jacqueline Davies

  • Never Glue Your Friends to Chairs (Roscoe Riley Rules Series #1) - Katherine Applegate

  • One and Only Ivan - Katherine Applegate

  • Secret Zoo (The Secret Zoo Series #1) - Bryan Chick

Graphic Novels Recommendations

New Kid- By: Jerry Craft
Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy (retelling of little women) By: Rey Terciero
Ghosts – By: Raina Telgemeier
Becoming Brianna – By: Terri Libenson
Stargazing- By: Jen Wang
Nat Enough- By: Maria Scrivan
Crossover- By: Kwame Alexander

Do you Like to “Ear Read”?  
How About a Podcast!
Listen as world-famous radio reporter Eleanor foils devious plots, outwits crafty villains, and goes after The Big Story. Eleanor’s pursuit of truth takes her into orbit, out to sea, and even to the halls of Congress! Her adventures are entertaining and informative.
If your tweens are into hip-hop, this podcast might be just their speed. Episodes follow the main character, Antoine, a boy who is bullied, who finds a magical book that transports him to another world. 

StarTalk Radio
Neil deGrasse Tyson talks about all things space: stars, planets, humans in space, and so much more. He also interviews a lot of amazing people, from Buzz Aldrin to Alan Rickman.

The Allusionist
Explore the English language, with all its oddities! Filled with good humor and levity, this podcast will help you explore the roots of words and phrases that we use every day.
The title speaks for itself. Learn about people and events that are often overlooked in a typical history class.
Youth Radio is a podcast for teens, published by teens. It was created to showcase the power of young people as makers of media, technology, and community. It brings the teen perspective to issues of public concern.
Humans are a curious lot as this podcast attests to in its mission statement: “true stories of inspiration, humor, and the incredible achievements of all types of people, many of which are sadly under-shared.”