12 Best Classic Books For 6th Graders Update 05/2022

Classic Books For 6th Graders

The Chronicles of Narnia

by: C.S. Lewis – (HarperCollins, 1950)

The Chronicles of Narnia

If they have seen the movie, that doesn’t mean they won’t like this seven-book series, which cleverly blends the supernatural and the real world. It has been a major influence on children’s literature for 50 years now.

The main characters, children from the real world, are magically transported to Narnia, where they play important roles in shaping the fate of this other world. Aslan, the wise lion, leads them (a powerful fantasy for any child). Is Narnia going to be good or bad? This question is at the heart of each of Lewis’s page-turning books, which are all written in masterful prose.

It’s great for people who are 8 and up and like to read about eerie symbols and magic.

There are some of our favorite books at your local library. They are: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Magician’s Nephew and Prince Caspian.

The Hobbit

by: J.R.R. Tolkien – (Houghton Mifflin, 1966) 300 pages.

A group of 13 dwarves and the wizard Gandalf came to Bilbo Baggins’ door. They asked him to join them on their quest to find a stolen treasure. They go on a thrilling journey to fight off the dragon Smaug, but the reluctant Hobbit is not happy about it. They meet hungry trolls, killer spiders, and an ancient magical ring. In this prequel, some characters from The Lord of the Rings trilogy may show up. This is a better book to read with tweens because it’s less complicated.

Watch the movie? Start with The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey, which came out in 2012. There are three live-action movies based on the book.

Kids who like epic adventure stories will love this.

The Hobbit can be found at your library.

White Fang

by: Jack London – (Macmillan Publishers, 1906) 128 pages.

People are cruel to White Fang, who is both a wolf and a dog. People and animals don’t get along with the wolf-dog until he’s saved by a mining expert. It takes a lot of gentle treatment and patience, but Scott eventually tame the wild dog. The two form a strong bond. White Fang tells part of this story from his point of view. It looks at how the environment affects the way humans and other animals act, as well as the harsh beauty of the natural world.

Watch the movie? Check out the 1991 movie starring Ethan Hawke. It’s based on the book, but it doesn’t follow it very closely.

Nature lovers will love this.

White Fang can be found at your library.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

by: Anne Frank – (Bantam, 1993) 304 pages.

This is what happened to Anne Frank when the Nazis took over Amsterdam in 1942. She was 13 years old, and she and her family had to hide in the secret annex of a warehouse. Anne writes about her two years of claustrophobic confinement in a diary that is witty, fearful, and intimate. The diary ends when the Gestapo find the hideout. During the war, Anne was sent to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. She died in March 1945. This is a classic coming-of-age story, but it’s set in a very sad way. Anne wrote, “I want to live on even after I die!… I want to live on!” ‘Will I ever write something good?’ Her dream has come true.

Teenagers, people who want to write, or kids who want to learn about Nazi Germany will love this book.

The library has Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, so go there to look for it.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

by: L. Frank Baum, illustrated by: W.W. Denslow – (George M. Hill Company, 1900) 76 pages.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

With her house and dog Toto, Dorothy is taken by the cyclone to a new place. In Oz, Dorothy finds out that her house accidentally killed the Wicked Witch of the East, which freed the Munchkins from her rule. A pair of magic silver shoes given to Dorothy by the Good Witch of the North and a group of new friends help Dorothy find her way home to her uncle and aunt. Kids who have seen the movie version of the story may be surprised by how different the movie’s plot is from the book’s.

Watch the movie? Check out the Judy Garland movie from 1939.

Perfect for: Kids who love the fantastic.

If you go to your library, you can find The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

The Outsiders

by: S.E. Hinton – (Viking Press, 1967) 224 pages.

Soc, short for “Socials,” is a word that means “rich.” Ponyboy, from the wrong side of the tracks, is always ready to fight the rich Socs (socs). His best friend Johnny accidentally kills one of the Socs gang members. Ponyboy has to face the violent reality of his life and make decisions that will affect the choices he makes for the rest of his life. It was written by a high school student in 1967, and its themes of class, violence, and teen coming of age still resonate with tweens and teens now.

Watch the movie? Check out the 1983 film version directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Parents should be aware that the movie has violence and underage drinking in it, so they should not watch it.

Perfect for: Kids who like gritty, real-life stories.

The Outsiders can be found at your library.

Watership Down

by: Richard Adams – (Macmillan, 1972) 476 pages.

Fifer has a bad dream about his home, so he and brother Hazel go out with a group of young bunnies to look for a new home in the English country. In the end, they get to Watership Down, which is a safe place. Their search isn’t over yet. This book is a great way for young people to learn about allegory. It has well-developed characters and interesting details. It also comes with a glossary that will help people who don’t understand “rabbitese.”

Watch the movie? This animated movie from 1978 will be a hit with older kids and adults.

It’s great for kids who like animal stories.

The library is where you can find Watership Down.

Treasure Island

by: Robert Louis Stevenson – (Cassell and Company, 1883) 160 pages.

Afterward, Jim Hawkins finds a map to a hidden treasure. They decide to build a ship and look for the treasure together with the town doctor. However, when the trio hire Long John Silver as the cook on their ship, their treasure hunt takes a dark turn. Compelling characters and a lot of suspense help kids read this classic book, which is a great way to learn new words.

Watch the movie? A lot of people have made changes. Fans of the 1950 Disney version might like Muppet Treasure Island (1995) or the animated Treasure Planet (2002), which set the story in space.

Kids who like to go on adventures at sea.

Treasure Island can be found at your library.

Mary Poppins

by: Dr. P. L. Travers, illustrated by: Mary Shephard – (Harpercollins Childs, 2010) 768 pages.

Mary Poppins

The nanny at the Banks house in London can do things that are out of this world. It’s her name: Marry Poppins. She can fly through the air with her umbrella, serve tea on the ceiling, and take the kids on a Christmas shopping trip on a faraway star. She also has a lot of weird friends, like Bert the match man, the Bird Woman, her laughing uncle Mr. Wigg, and a lot of different animals that she talks to on the phone. That said, the main character has a no-nonsense personality that’s full of ego, sarcastic jokes about herself, and a lot of other things that are not very nice. So, even though she doesn’t look like the film’s Julie Andrews, it’s a good book to read together and talk about how it compares to the movie.

Anyone who likes to go on magical adventures will love this.

Mary Poppins can be found at your library.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

by: Avi – (Scholastic Paperbacks, 2012) 240 pages.

Upper-class When the Seahawk sails from England to Rhode Island in 1832 and only Charlotte Doyle, 13, is on board, she is the only woman. She gets into a fight right away with the cruel Captain Jaggery and the mutinous crew. She throws away her refined clothes and ladylike behavior, dresses as a cabin boy, climbs the highest mast, and leads her shipmates in a successful rebellion. An stowaway sneaks on board during the storm. There’s also the flogging, the knife fight, an odorous brig, disgusting food, and walking the plank. It’s a gripping story of suspense on the dangerous seas, with a strong female protagonist who has a lot of girl power.

Young sailors and people who like to lead

If you want to read The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, you can find it at your library.

Of Mice and Men

by: John Steinbeck – (Penguin Books, 1993) 112 pages.

The best friends George and Lennie are migrants who are looking for work on California ranches in the 1930s. In terms of size, Lennie is very strong and powerful, but he also has a soft side. For some reason, Lennie likes to touch soft things, like rabbit fur and girls’ hair. This can get him in trouble. George does everything he can to keep Lennie from getting into trouble. As soon as the boss’s son’s wife flirts with Lennie, their plan to buy a one-acre farm and “live off the ffat the land” doesn’t work. The main themes of the book are economic powerlessness, friendship, and loneliness.

Children who like stories about friendship that have been through a lot.

You can find Of Mice and Men at your library.

The Red Pony

by: John Steinbeck – (Penguin Classics, 1994) 128 pages.

This short story is about Jody Tiflin, a 10-year-old boy who lives on a ranch in California. In the title, Jody’s father gives him a red horse. As much as Jody trains Gabilan, he looks forward to the day he will ride him and be happy when he does. Unfortunately, the colt gets sick and dies. It’s a heartbreaking story about an adolescent who has lost someone close to them.

Children who can understand stories about love and loss.

The Red Pony can be found at your library.

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