My kids have not had a lot of experience with sixth grade book series yet. My oldest can read at this level, but he is knee deep in Harry Potter which will keep him busy for awhile. Therefore, most of the recommendations currently on this page were written at least 20 years ago. They are book series that I enjoyed growing up. As far as I am concerned, they are still highly worth any reader’s time. I fully intend to introduce my kids to these series when they are old enough. Many of them we have already started as read alouds. Below are some suggestions based on what our family has found to be the best book series for sixth grade.
Note that these sixth grade books are targeted at 11 and 12 year olds. However, remember that all children are different. Whatever your child’s age, they will have the most success if you find books that are at or just above their current reading level.
Sixth Grade Book Series
Harry Potter. Need I say more? This is the book series that is famous for turning non-readers into readers. Honestly, I never got on the Harry Potter bandwagon when it became a thing. I remember friends reading the first book in high school when it came out and being like, “Why are you reading a kids book about a wizard? Random.” I remember different friends putting their lives on hold to binge read the last book the day it came out. I still didn’t get it.
Then I had a son that became obsessed with Harry Potter. I listened to all the books so that I could understand his what the big deal was. Now I get it. It’s not that they are the best written books or the most original. It’s more that they have the perfect balance of realism and fantasy, of flawed heros and redeeming villains. It’s the classic tale of good vs. evil, but with side stories of friendship, love, loss, sacrifice, and growth. Also, it’s fun to get lost in this magical world for a time. I wouldn’t say that I am a full blown Potterhead, but I definitely understand the appeal now. Plus, any author that can get so many children to read 700+ page books must be at least a little magical.
Series of Unfortunate Events
The Series of Unfortunate Events came out when I was a young adult, so I never read it myself. However, my younger siblings definitely enjoyed it and I’ve read several positive reviews. From what I’ve read, even though there is a lot of dark humor, there is no inappropriate or questionable content. I’ve been picking used copies of these books up since my kids were small. Pretty soon I’m planning to try the first one as a family read aloud. If my oldest likes it, I am glad there are so many more books from the series for him to enjoy.
I read the Earthsea series when I was in middle school and I loved them. They are some of the books that made the most lasting impression on me, even as an adult. Ursula K. Leguin is one of my favorite authors. When my kids are old enough, it is important to me that my kids read these stories as well. For fans of Harry Potter, this series also involves wizards and mythical creatures.
Anne of Green Gables
I’m embarrassed to say that I did not read Anne of Green Gables until I was an adult. I had heard of it of course, but I never saw the movies and I never read the book. Then I listened to women I admire talk about what a big influence it had on them growing up. Since I have a daughter, I wanted to know what she would be missing if she didn’t read it. I LOVED the first book, even in my thirties. I understand why it is such a touchstone for many women.
Sweet Valley High
Sweet Valley High is basically a PG-rated version of a soap opera for kids. When I was growing up, I never became obsessed with the them the way I did with Babysitters Club. However, whenever I came across one, I would definitely read it. They were like candy, quickly devoured and delicious. I knew they weren’t helping my intellectual development, but they were a fun guilty pleasure.
My kids have not read the Hunger Games trilogy yet. Since it involves children killing other children, I’m not entirely sure what the right age is for these books. I definitely enjoyed it and I want my kids to read it at some point, but personally, I might encourage my kids to wait until they are closer to high school. In terms of difficulty, a 6th grade reading level should be sufficient. Just keep in mind that some kids may find the subject matter disturbing.