12 Best Books for 6th Grade Boys

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What middle grade books for boys should you give your kids to read? Start with these twelve choices that are excellent stories that appeal to boys with action, adventure, and emotional resonance.

Then, check out the rest of my good book recommendations for 6th graders, whether your 6th grade boys are starting middle school or finishing upper elementary school.

As you may know, I’m a former teacher and parent of two who reads constantly. These are original reviews I wrote about the books I actually read. In other words, I use my background in education to inform my recommendations, kids recommendations, and teacher and librarian recommendations. I write these reviews without AI or copying and pasting from publisher descriptions!

best books for 6th grade boys

Best Books for 6th Grade Boys

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Because this is written in verse, this fast read packs a big punch. Basketball player and twin Josh narrates his life in quarters, just like the game he plays. He writes about missing his twin when his twin Jordan gets a girlfriend, about getting in trouble when he hits Jordan in the face with a basketball. and about watching his father as his heart fails. This is a coming-of-age, gripping story about the real life of a boy at age 12.

books for 6th grade boys

The Ruins of Gorlan: Ranger’s Apprentice by John A. Flanagan
FANTASY (series)
Will is apprenticed to become a Ranger, but he’s not excited about it. However, he develops a relationship with his master and learns that being a Ranger is all about spying for the kingdom. When an old enemy of the kingdom sends out dangerous beasts to attack Will’s master, Will is instrumental in getting help and killing the creatures. Action, fantasy, adventure, friendship, excellent writing — this book has it all! It’s a must-read for 6th grade boys. 

books for 6th grade boys

Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
One of the BEST books ever; it’s well-crafted with deep emotional resonance. Doug is a boy who can’t read. Not only are his dad and older brother abusive, but they all live in abject poverty. What saves Doug is his connection to a librarian who shows Doug Audubon’s bird paintings and how to draw. This eventually leads to reading and hope.

Charlie Hernandez and the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo
Get ready for an exciting adventure filled with Latin American and Spanish mythology! This story is the perfect balance of action, dialogue, & description interspersed with Spanish words and phrases. Charlie Hernández’s house burns down, his parents go missing, and he is sent to a foster home. But it’s when he grows HORNS, the WINGS, and meets the MYTHS in real life — like calacas, mukis, and El Justo Juez — that he’s freaked out. Fortunately, his classmate Violet Rey helps Charlie follow the clues to find out what happened to his parents — and discover what it has to do with La Mano Peluda and the prophesied Morphling.

books for 6th grade boys

The Iron Trial (Magisterium) by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Even though Callum tries to fail the entrance trials, he is admitted to the school his dad says is evil. But the Magisterium school is not as bad as he expects. Call learns about his elemental powers, he forges bonds of friendship with his teammates and rescues a wolf puppy who is infused with the evil magic of Chaos. I couldn’t put this book down — especially after the surprise twist about who Callum really is!! One of the best books for 6th graders.

Framed! A T.O.A.S.T. Mystery by James Ponti
Captivating from the first page, 12-year-old Florian Bates uses his brilliant, observing brain to implement T.O.A.S.T. (The Theory of All Small Things) to notice things that others have missed, including the FBI. When there’s an art heist at the museum where his mother works, the FBI hires him to help unravel the mystery. He does, with the help of his best friend, Margaret. If your 6th grade boys like fast-paced and interesting mysteries, they’ll love this book series.

books for 6th grade boys

Allies by Alan Gratz
Written from many different voices about one day in history, readers see the massive amount of cooperation, planning, and troops from different countries involved in D-Day (when the Allies invaded France at Normandy.) We hear from an American teenage soldier who was born in Germany, a French Algerian girl whose mom is a recently captured spy,  a Canadian paratrooper who lands in the wrong spot, and an American black medic. It’s violent, with terrible losses, racism, and injuries, but the fighters persist despite everything to accomplish their goal — to take back the area for the Allies. 

The Supervillain’s Guide to Being a Fat Kid by Matt Wallace
6th graders will love this surprisingly philosophical, poignant story about dealing with bullies, growing in confidence, and the complexities of human beings. Matt doesn’t think he can survive three more years of middle school bullying, so he writes supervillain Master Plan who is also a “gentleman of size,” asking for help. Surprisingly, Master Plan emails back with helpful, sage advice, but is Master Plan actually looking out for Max or for himself?

Lockwood & Co. The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
Set in Victorian London, we learn that dangerous ghosts and spirits are everywhere, but only kids can see them. Teens Lucy, Anthony, and George badly need money for their ghost agency, so they take an inadvisable, perilous job that may just be their last. Sixth graders (and I) love this series with its addicting, edge-of-your-seat writing.

Masterminds by Gordon Korman
SCI-FI (series)
Eli and his friends discover that their utopian town is a large-scale, illegal science experiment to determine if kids cloned from criminal masterminds can be good when raised in the right environment. Eli and his cloned friends know they can’t stay in their town of lies anymore, but how can they escape when the minute they reach the border, they experience violent pain and guards surround them? And if they do escape, what will they do next?

Skandar and the Unicorn Thief by A.F. Steadman
In Skandar’s world with bloodthirsty unicorns and unicorn riders, he’s denied as a unicorn rider until a mysterious woman sneaks him in. He learns he and his unicorn have the forbidden 5th spirit element like the evil Weaver who has been wreaking destruction and stealing unicorns. His new friends help him hide the magic and control his unicorn, who hates pretending to be a water elemental. But he and his unicorn’s elemental magic may be the only ones who can stop the Weaver.

The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry
While on a class trip to Washington D.C., Wyatt and his best friend, Matt, are positive they’ve discovered a plot to blow up the White House. Wyatt’s crush, Suzanna, helps the friends make a plan, and as you can imagine, disaster and humor strike as the kids try to stop the bombing.



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