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Updated!! Novels you loved as a 6th grader


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My oldest DD uses Mosdos for her "formal" reading, but I occasionally {strongly} recommend books for her pleasure reading. :p She prefers series like Warriors, Survivors, Wings of Fire, etc (anything with animals and adventure).


Last year, I suggested Wonder and Number the Stars (both were hits). This year, I want to come up with a longer list, including some that I really loved as a young girl, and let her choose.


Here's what I have so far:

Anne of Green Gables

True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (Avi)

A Wrinkle in Time

Redwall (which is similar to her preferred genre but...deeper?)


Potentials (that I read later in life):


Princess Academy

The War that Saved My Life


Suggestion? Thoughts on any from the lists above (i.e. did or didn't go well with your child and why). We'll probably pick 5ish, since I don't see her giving up her fun reading (nor would I want her to, unless she gets sucked into a new series.)


(I'm seeing a theme above, other than Redwall, of a strong, female lead. I'm open to more of that, or totally different route!) I'm also toying with dropping Mosdos and going all novels...but I do appreciate the explicit teaching of literary terms that Mosdos offers...

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Love your list so far! ? Here are a few more contributions:

5 older fantasy/adventure titles
Knight's Castle (Eager) -- also Half Magic, Magic By the Lake, Time Garden, and Seven Day Magic
Tuck Everlasting (Babbitt)
Below the Root (Snyder)
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (O'Brien)
The Ordinary Princess (Kaye)

5 adventure titles
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (Kelly)
Julie of the Wolves (George) *
Island of the Blue Dolphins (O'Dell)
From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (Konigsberg)
Caddie Woodlawn (Brink)

5 animal titles
101 Dalmatians (Smith)
The Incredible Journey (Burnford
The Little White Horse (Goudge)
The Black Stallion (Farley) -- and Island Stallion
The Horse and His Boy (Lewis)

5 books from my 6th grade childhood
Circus Sequins (Friermood)
Two Are Better Than One (Brink)
Behold Your Queen (Malvern)
Mara Daughter of the Nile (McGraw)
Diamond in the Window (Langton) -- and sequel The Astonishing Stereoscope

* = there is about 1/2 a page in one chapter where young teen Julie is forced to marry, and is pushed down by her young teen new husband to consummate the marriage but she escapes -- tactfully written so that it is likely that it might just go over the head of many tweens; it is integral to the story as it is the reason she runs off into the wild where she has the adventures

Edited by Lori D.
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Lori, there are more books in that series - it's not just Diamond in the Window and The Astonishing Stereoscope!


Boy, I'm not sure if I remember exactly what I loved in the 6th grade. I know I really enjoyed (and still do) the Young Wizards series - but if you read them, be sure to get the New Millennium Editions. They've been updated a lot.

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Lori - thanks for that list! We've enjoyed quite a few of those already (The Ordinary Princess was a HUGE favorite of mine).


I forgot about Mrs. Frisby...NIMH. I've been trying to interest her in that one as a family read aloud for a few years now with no luck. I'll have to try again.


And thank you for the insight re: Julie of the Wolves. She was drawn to this a year or 2 ago (during her wolf phase), but I had her hold off on it. She may be ready for it now.

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These are books I read and enjoyed when I was about that age:


The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (Wrede)

The Lyra novels (Wrede)

Mairelon the Magician & Magicians Ward (Wrede)

My Side of the Mountain (George)

Maniac Magee (Spinelli)

The Ransom of Mercy Carter (Cooney)

The Giver (Lowry)

The Sign of the Beaver (Speare)

The Door in the Wall

The Secret Garden

My Brother Sam is Dead (Collier & Collier) this is set in the American revolution. We read it in class in 5th grade.

The Wind in the Willows (Grahame)

The Bromeliad Trilogy (Pratchett)

The Carpet People (Pratchett)

Ender's Game (Card) you would need to check it for appropriateness

A Christmas Carol (Dickens)


These are novels that I like that came out when I was older:


The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (Pratchett)

The Wee Free Men (Pratchett) plus the other novels in the Tiffany Aching series

Dodger (Pratchett)

The Harry Potter books (Rowling)

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I second The Giver, The Sign of the Beaver and, of course, the Harry Potter books if she hasn't read them.




Black Beauty


Poppy (and sequels)


The Tale of Despereaux


The One and Only Ivan


The City of Ember (and sequels)


The Doll People (and sequels)


The Little House series of books


The Devil's Arithmetic


Turtle in Paradise


The Borrowers (and sequels)


Where the Mountain Meets the Moon


Ella Enchanted


Pippi Longstocking (and sequels)


The Sisters Grimm novels (series)


The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (and sequels)



Edited by chiefcookandbottlewasher
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I remember reading and loving:


Harriet the Spy

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret


Freaky Friday

A Gift of Magic



Newer but very good:


Pie by Sarah Weeks

Smells Like Dog (and sequels) by Suzanne Selfors

Edited by chiefcookandbottlewasher
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Lori, there are more books in that series - it's not just Diamond in the Window and The Astonishing Stereoscope!


Thanks Tanaqui, I did know that. But I personally don't care for the rest of the series. ;) One of the books gets dark (child dies), but even more, I don't feel the writing quality held up beyond the first 2 books, and *possibly* the third book of The Swing in the Summerhouse. That's JMO, and why I don't tend to recommend beyond the first 2. :)

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Thanks for all the recs! Some of these are old favorites, some are totally new to me (yay!), and some are already on my list for next year when she's a bit more mature (i.e. The Giver).


I had totally forgotten about the Judy Blume books mentioned above -- they were a huge chunk of my reading when I was DD's age, though I don't know that they would interest her. (I had very little in-person instruction about "female things" so books like those were big for me.)


ETA: Blume, not Bloom. Duh.

Edited by alisoncooks
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I just thought of another that I LOVED in 6th grade. (I found it on my classroom bookshelf, and I'm pretty sure it came home with me to be read and read again...:o)


Megan - by Iris Noble

Historical fiction about a Welsh orphan, adopted and taken to the Canadian frontier and a mining town, tensions between settlers of different nationalities. There's a bit of gentle romance, but maybe DD will enjoy reading another book I loved at her age.

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In addition to some that have already been mentioned, I'm pretty sure that was around the time I read the following:


Across Five Aprils

The Ancient One

The Upstairs Room (& the sequel, The Journey Back)

Bridge to Terabithia

Just as Long as We're Together (Judy Blume)

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Some I remember loving at that age...


Indian in the Cupboard - though I have such mixed feeling about this now because of how stereotyped the characters were.

Janet Oke's Christian romances (Love Comes Softly series, and Canadian West series that started with When Calls the Heart).

My Side of the Mountain (my kids also loved this!)


My boys have loved these series around that age:

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (whole series)

Dragonwings (whole series)

Thedore Boone:  Kid Lawyer (by John Grisham)

Spy School series, plus Spaced Out and some other books by Stuart Gibbs


Wayside School is Falling Down

Jedi Academy



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I was a voracious reader, but I have no recollection of what I read in 6th grade!  


Somewhere between 6th and 9th grade, I discovered The Chronicles of Narnia and loved it.


My girls all started reading the Betsy-Tacy series (by Maude Hart Lovelace)  around that age.  The books begin at a younger level, but end at an older level.  They are the 1920's semi-biographical children's series about one girl in particular -- Betsy, and her life as a young child continuing all the way up to a married woman.  The reading level gets harder as the character gets older.  They're pretty charming!  I didn't discover the series until I was an adult and it quickly became a favorite.



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  • 8 months later...

I just wanted to update this thread, as we're nearing the end of the year. :)  

DD has read (that I suggested - she read other books of her own choosing):

  • Anne of Green Gables (currently reading)
  • True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle 
  • A Wrinkle in Time
  • Redwall 
  • The War that Saved My Life/The War I Finally Won
  • Mrs. Frisby & the Rats of NIMH
  • Harry Potter (books 5-7) - we'd done 1-4 as a family

She's generally very resistant to book suggestions from mommy, but she has enjoyed them all...except for Charlotte Doyle. (And I loved that one!)  I really have seen her grow, as a reader, this year. She FOUGHT me over Redwall for MONTHS (refused to read it until she found out a friend loved it). Well, she got to the end of it and described how it was such a better story (more detailed, well-though out) than her beloved Warriors books.  Victory!

Thanks again for the suggestions!   We're still working through them. :)

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And just a little aside, as an encouragement to moms of struggling readers:

The above mentioned child did not read (beyond a painstakingly laborious Frog & Toad level) until she was 8.5/mid-3rd grade.  Now, as a 6th grader, I'd say she's at grade level and a confident reader.


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My oldest DD is rising 5th but is a strong reader. Recently she has gotten into mysteries. Here are a few she is reading and loving right now:

The Case of the Missing Moonstone: The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency (four books so far in the series but this is book 1)

Encyclopedia Brown (SO many in the series)

Nancy Drew!!!!!

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If she likes Wings of Fire, I think she'd love Dragon Song, Dragon Singer, and Dragon Drums.   The author's others books about dragons are NOT PG...but these three are.  I read them a little later than 6th grade, but I think if I had found them earlier I would have loved them then.

Other ones I loved around that age...

The Ordinary Princess

Adventures in Babysitting

My Side of the Mountain

I was still re-reading the Secret Garden, Little Princess...though my parents first read those to me in Kindergarten.  Not lying, I still re-read those.

Summer of My German Soldier (7th grade, actually...and it was incredibly sad and I cried my eyes out but still loved it)

My sons, around that age, loved...

A Wrinkle in Time

Origami Yoda series (really funny books, with a lot of heart, and some depth...though set in school so, there's that)


Series of Unfortunate Events

Spaced Out by Stewart Gibbs


Don't know if Christian books are ok, but if so, I also loved...

The Mandie Series (though maybe this was a little younger...Mandie and the Secret Passage, etc.)

Love Comes Softly (and series that followed it)

When Calls the Heart (and series that followed it)






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On 8/17/2017 at 1:56 AM, Laura Corin said:

The Little White Horse, Elizabeth Goudge.  Animals, adventure, central older and younger female characters, fantasy-historical.


Ohhh!   I have not read this one by Elizabeth Goudge, but I LOVE her writing.   The Deans Watch is another by her I think might work for this age.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I loved Harry Potter as an adult and sharing with all my magic loving children.  The Giver, Anne of Green Gables, The Princess Academy, Where the Red Fern Grows (many tears, but loved it), Amos Fortune, Series of Unfortunate Events, Tom Sawyer (as a read aloud and they laughed all the way through), Ella Enchanted, and Maniac Magee (is one of my all-time favorites).  Have you tried anything by Brandon Mull?  My kids LOVE him.  He is fantasy and has several series out-- The Beyonders, Fablehaven, and The Candy Shop War.  I love Beyonders and Fablehaven.  Many noble characters in these books and you can relate the stories of heroism.  

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The Harper Hall trilogy of Pern books by Anne McCaffrey. I read those when I had my tonsils out at 12. Then I went and found the rest of the Pern books and enjoyed those as well. That's around the time I discovered Isaac Asimov, Piers Anthony, and Douglas Adams when I decided to try and read all the science fiction and fantasy in our small town library, alpha by author. (I got bored in the B's somewhere, though.) I was a precocious reader and had a subscription to Analog magazine at that age.

I devoured some of the other books mentioned here (Wrinkle in Time, Chronicles of Narnia, etc.) in 4th or 5th grade. 6th was the year I jumped to the adult library (there was no such thing as a "YA" section then). Generally, at that age, sex and such just went over my head, and I'd still enjoy a story if there was enough action and personal character development.

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