55 Best 6th Grade Books to Read for Summer (Ages 11 – 12)

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What are the best 6th grade books to read for summer that will keep your 6th grader (age 11-12) reading all summer long? The best way is to make sure they have a lot of excellent book choices — like the middle grade books on this list!

I’ve debated forever and finally chosen a selection of fantastic books in a variety of genres that your soon-to-be 6th graders will love.

The 6th grade books to read below are my top picks. This list of books for kids ages 11 and 12 are all books I’ve personally read and recommend. If you want to read the reviews for each book, visit this post of all the books for 6th graders. I’ve intentionally chosen a mix of new and somewhat new books so that you have options. Sometimes new books are expensive or hard to get at the library.

Next, let’s talk about motivation. it’s not always as easy to get 6th grade kids to read simply by having a good book. Kids are distracted by technology and activities and life and on and on.

What else can help motivate 6th grade kids to read?

  1. Choice 
    Let kids pick their own 6th grade books to read for summer reading. Even if it’s a choice within certain guidelines, it’s still a choice. No one likes to be forced to do anything, so the more autonomy kids can have, the better.
  2. Accountability
    If I didn’t require a certain amount of time reading, it wouldn’t happen with my tween. Even though she loves reading. Last summer, my kids tracked minutes reading to earn minutes on screen time. However you plan it, make sure you’re checking in on the reading, so it doesn’t get forgotten.
  3. Variety
    Think outside the traditional book here. Try ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, or blogs.
  4. Fun
    Get a new beanbag pillow just for reading. Read with headlamps in the dark. Whatever your kids like, see if you can pair it with reading.

I have the lists organized by genre. Consider picking one book from each genre to read this summer. That way, your almost 6th grade reader gets exposed to a wide variety of fiction.

Shop this 6th grade summer book list.

Download the free printable of this summer reading list. NOTE: If you don’t see the printable sign-up below, please clear your cache and try again.

Want to help your child be accountable for their reading? Get this summer reading packet with goal setting, a genre graph, & book tracker.

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If you like mystery and adventure, you’ll love:

6th Grade Books to Read for Summer: SCARY

If you like your stories to be a little creepy, try these books:

6th Grade Summer Reading List: HISTORICAL FICTION

If you like historical fiction, you’ll love:

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If you enjoy reading realistic books, read these:

6th Grade Books for Summer Reading: FUNNY

Looking for funny 6th grade books? Try:

6th Grade Books for Summer Reading: NONFICTION

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If you’re looking for a good nonfiction book, try these:

I hope these books give your children enough excellent choices and lots of hours of reading!

Don’t forget to find ways to make reading FUN! Here are some ideas for your 6th graders:

Participate in a summer reading program.

Read with a headlamp in bed.

Read on an electronic device. (Free eBooks?)

Start a book club.

Reward reading with . . . more BOOKS! (Kids choose, of course.)

Read nonfiction books and graphic novels, too.

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  1. I do not see a link for the printable version of the 6th grade list (like the neatly columned 7th and 8th grade lists)….

  2. So helpful! I just wish there was a romance section. Besides that, awesome list!

  3. Hi! I am a new 6th grade teacher coming from 3rd grade. I would love a printable version of your 6th grade list if you wouldn’t mind! I found the links for the 5th and 7th grades and I found them so helpful when trying to set up my new classroom.
    Thank you so much for sharing!