6th Grade Summer Reading List

Instructor: Andrea Losa
Check out this list of popular summer reading titles for sixth graders and discover some resources to help you develop literary comprehension skills. These books are grade-level appropriate for students reading at or above the sixth grade level.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Set in a small town in 1930s Alabama, Harper Lee's classic work explores heavy themes such as racism, justice, and human dignity. The story is told through the eyes of a young tomboy, Scout Finch, who is relating the tragic story of Tom Robinson. Robinson is a black man wrongfully accused of raping a white woman and defended by Scout's lawyer father, Atticus, after the passage of an indeterminate number of years.

Examine the characters and settings of this work through this To Kill a Mockingbird Study Guide course.

Holes by Louis Sachar

Louis Sachar won the Newberry Medal and National Book Award for this quirky and clever story of Stanley Yelnats, who, like generations of Yelnats before him, finds himself caught in unlucky circumstances. Wrongfully sent off to a juvenile detention center in the Texas desert, Camp Green Lake, Stanley is one of many boys ordered to spend his day digging 5X5 holes in the oppressive Texas heat. Stanley soon realizes, though, that there is more to Camp Green Lake than what is on the surface, and that the truth runs even deeper than he can imagine.

To find out more about works by Louis Sachar, explore this lesson on Sachar's Biography, Facts and Books.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Set in 1943 Copenhagen, Denmark, this Newberry Award winning book by acclaimed author, Lois Lowry, tells the story of the Danish Resistance through the eyes of young Annemarie Johansen. Annemarie and her best friend, Ellen Rosen, faced with Nazi troops encroaching on Denmark, find themselves on a perilous journey to freedom and safety.

Get an in-depth look at the plot and major characters of this book in's lesson on ''Number the Stars''.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

A story of solitude, survival, and growth, this Newberry Award winning novel follows Brian, a young boy who is stranded alone in the Canadian wild after a plane crash (and the death of the pilot) derails his trip to visit his father. Carrying only the hatchet given him by his mother, and burdened by his parents' recent divorce, Brian must find the will and the way to survive.

Watch this brief lesson on Gary Paulsen's Biography and Books to discover the themes of Paulsen's books and what events have inspired his writing.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

In this classic tale of pirates and buried treasure from Robert Louis Stevenson, a young man named Jim Hawkins finds an old pirate map leading to treasure and sets off with the crew of the Hispaniola to find it. But, as Jim uncovers more about the other crew members, he learns that his pursuit of treasure, and his life, could be in serious jeopardy.

Study the motivations and activities of the crew and other characters in this book by watching a brief and engaging lesson that provides a summary of Treasure Island's characters and storyline.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This classic coming of age story set in Civil War era New England details the lives, loves, ambitions, and tragedies of the March sisters as they venture toward adulthood on their own. Exploring many universal themes, Louisa May Alcott crafted a book that generations of readers have treasured.

Find out why Alcott wrote Little Women and learn more about the other characters in this novel through's lesson on Little Women's characters and author.

The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

In this satirical look at old England, Mark Twain imagines two boys from two very different worlds, one the Prince of Wales and one a poverty-stricken urchin, locked in a case of mistaken identity that greatly changes their fortunes.

Find out why Mark Twain was considered a Regionalist writer and learn more about his influences in this lesson on Mark Twain's biography and works.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

This 1978 Newberry Award winning children's book from Katherine Paterson is a story of friendship, imagination, and loss. After a lonely boy, Jess Arons, befriends his adventurous new neighbor, Leslie Burke, the two create a fantasy world in the woods where they can escape from all the struggles of their present lives. But tragedy will soon bring Jess back to the world of reality, where he must find the courage to go forward.

Learning How to Understand Literature

Reading skills develop over the course of many years with practice, so the most important thing a developing reader can do is simply keep reading. has the tools to help students develop and sharpen their reading skills, including the following chapter on understanding literature. These lessons can aid in your comprehension of the titles on this list, and you can always check your understanding by taking the lesson quizzes as well as the chapter exam.

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