Looking for book suggestions for 6th graders.  I will be facilitating a book group for 6th graders coming from very different backgrounds. Some read well above grade level, others below. However,...

Looking for book suggestions for 6th graders. 

I will be facilitating a book group for 6th graders coming from very different backgrounds. Some read well above grade level, others below. However, they have all signed up to join the book club that unites two schools from very different economic and social backgrounds. 

I'm looking for some ideas for books that may have social justice themes, or universal themes, but that would be appropriate for various levels of 6th grade readers. All suggestions appreciated!

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If students can relate to the characters in a book, then they enjoy it because in middle school, most reading is mainly for the plot.

  • Oh Yikes! History's Grossest Moments by Joy Masoff. This book, with its "gross" details, appeals especially to many males, but its random, interesting, and curious facts are interesting to all youthful readers. Such characters as Dracula, gladiators, and samurai are contained in the pages.
  • Tales of the Cryptids: Mysterious Creatures That May or May Not Exist by Kelly Milner Halls. This book has many of the legendary creatures that still interest youths and adults alike. There are tales of mermaids, giant squids, the Loch Ness Monster, and others.
  • The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. This classic is still popular, having had such movies as Trading Places modeled after itWhen a pauper puts on the clothes of his look-alike, the Prince of Wales, an unhappy, but insightful adventure begins for both, but especially for the prince who is now but a poor boy with no home, but many interesting adventures.
  • Double Dutch by Sharon Draper. This novel is about having secrets. Delia and her teammates have a chance to win the Double Dutch championships, but they must take a test first, and Delia has a secret: she cannot read. Delia's friend Randy possesses a secret, too. Their secrets collide one day and threaten their friendship. 
mr-mayonnaise eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As a middle school Science teacher I may not have a whole lot of input into book choices, however the more prominent one that stands to my mind is The Giver. In The Giver you begin with a world where there are no socioeconomic differences and all people are forced to be equal. Eventually the main character is given a look into what the world could be and should be truly. This would help some students understand that their differences should be celebrated and having no difference in life at all would not help in the long run. It also doesn't hurt that they have a movie for it out soon, watching the movie would be a great follow up. Hope that helped! 

bubblemint222 | Student

I would recommend books like The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton and The Giver by Lois Lowry. Both of these books are great for all reading levels, are interesting enough for kids, and leave great messages behind with them.

Some others I would recommend would be:

-Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

-Any of the Alex Rider novels by Anthony Horowitz

-Maybe the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

-Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

-Hatchet by Gary Paulson

-HOOT by Carl Hiaasen

-Holes by Louis Sachar

-Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by JK Rowling

-The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

-A Little Princess Frances Hodgson Burnett

-Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

-The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynn Reid Banks

-The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

-The Call of the Wild by Jack London

I hope this helps!:)

loblollyboy | Student

You might want to look at the book "Outsiders"

It's about the 1950-60's period of time and it actually sounds like what you are doing with your students as they come from different backgrounds, right? Well, it's kinda of the same thing because the Socs and the Greasers are financially different if you think about it so they could compare themselves to the characters in the book.

emtheawesome | Student

Perhaps you could use To Kill A Mockingbird or The Book Thief. I am sure that you have heard of To Kill A Mockingbird, and it's a great classic. However, since the Book Thief is more modern, the children may be more interested in it. I have to warn you, though, the Book Thief does talk about bombings a lot, since it takes place in Germany during World War 2. I read it and really enjoyed it because the story is actually told from the point of view of the Grim Reaper himself, which I found interesting. Both of these books show two different worlds collide, and how different people can help each other through hard times. I really like the Book Thief for another reason, which is that it shows that not all Germans were evil Nazis.