Sixth Grade Books: Challenging Reading
Provided are books appropriate for sixth grade students who are reading at an advanced level.
Reading Level: Grade 7 (Interest Level: Grade 6)
*Blos, Joan W. A Gathering of Days. Aladdin, 1979, 144 pp. Thirteen-year-old Catherine Cabot Hall, keeps a journal recounting a crucial year in her life. It was the year she turned 14. It was also the year her father remarried, she helped a runaway slave, and her best friend died. Based on careful research, A Gathering of Days captures the flavor of life on a New England farm in the 1830s. In addition to providing insight into the joys and difficulties a young girl faces as she grows up, it also explores, from the point of view of a young person, some of the critical issues of the times, especially the question of slavery. Provides history tie-in: life in the 1830s; slavery.
Burnford, Sheila. The Incredible Journey. Bantam, 1961, 145 pp. Left on their own, an elderly bull terrier, a Labrador retriever, and a Siamese cat begin a long journey home. Along the way they fight off wild animals and endure hunger, illness, and the rugged wilderness. Somehow, with the help of kindly humans and by looking after each other, they complete their incredible journey. An excellent read-aloud.
Cooper, Susan. The Boggart. Simon & Schuster, 1995, 196 pp. After visiting a castle in Scotland that her family has inherited, 12-year-old Emily finds that strange things begin happening. Food disappears and objects seem to move on their own. Emily learns that she has somehow brought home a boggart, a mischievous but benevolent spirit that enjoys playing tricks on people and pets.
*Konigsburg, E.L. The View from Saturday. Atheneum, 1996, 163 pp. Returning to teaching after having been paralyzed in an automobile accident, sixth-grade teacher Mrs. Glinski is made whole again by the four members of her Academic Bowl team who have been tested by life and made important discoveries about themselves. Part of the fun of reading the book is trying to answer the questions posed in the Academic Bowl contests. For mature, sophisticated readers.
Lowry, Lois. The Giver. Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1993, 180 pp. Living in a controlled world where there is no suffering or war, but there is no individual choice, Jason awaits his twelfth birthday for that is the day when he will be told what his life's work will be. Chosen to be a giver, Jason's job is to hold onto the community's memories. When he experiences both joy and sorrow, Jason decides to escape to a richer, fuller life.
*Sperry, Armstrong. Call It Courage. Macmillan, 1940, 95 pp. Afraid of the sea after being nearly drowned and losing his mother, Mafatu is taunted by the other boys on the island and is a disappointment to his father. Determined to conquer his fear, Mafatu sets out to sea, but ends up on a deserted island. In the ensuing weeks, he kills a shark, a giant octopus, a wild boar, and escapes from cannibals aboard a craft that he built himself.
Wiggin, Kate Douglas. Rebecca of Sunny brook Farm. Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1903, 252 pp. After her father's death, Rebecca is sent to Sunnybrook Farm to live with two elderly aunts, one who is very kindly and one who is very difficult and is known for her sharp tongue. Lively and imaginative, Rebecca learns to love both aunts as she copes with school, friends, boys, and growing up in general.
© ______ 2000, Allyn & Bacon, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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