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Sixth Grade Summer Reading 2017

The goal of summer reading for incoming sixth graders is for students to enjoy reading over the summer and for teachers to get to know students as readers. All sixth grade students are expected to read two books from the list below. The books on the choice list meet the needs of students at a variety of reading levels and cover a wide range of topics. They will be held accountable for these books in the fall. Students should select books that they have not previously read.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Meg Murry, her extraordinary little brother Charles Wallace, and schoolmate Calvin O'Keefe make the acquaintance of eccentric Mrs. Whatsit and friends. Together they journey through a wrinkle in time to rescue the Murrys' missing father from an evil presence and a sinister brain called IT.

Belle Prater’s Boy by Ruth White

When Woodrow's mother suddenly disappears, he moves to his grandparents' home in a small Virginia town where he befriends his cousin. Together, they find the strength to face the terrible losses and fears in their lives.

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

Jack Gantos’ plans for vacation excitement are shot down when he is “grounded for life” by his feuding parents, and whose nose spews bad blood at every little shock he gets. But plenty of excitement (and shocks) are coming Jack’s way once his mom loans him out to help a fiesty old neighbor with a most unusual chore—typewriting obituaries filled with stories about the people who founded his utopian town. 

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Fifteen-year-old Eragon believes that he is merely a poor farm boy—until his destiny as a Dragon Rider is revealed. Gifted with only an ancient sword, a loyal dragon, and sage advice from an old storyteller, Eragon is soon swept into a dangerous tapestry of magic, glory, and power. Now his choices could save—or destroy—the Empire.

Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass

At Moon Shadow, an isolated campground, thousands have gathered to catch a glimpse of a rare and extraordinary total eclipse of the sun. Told from three distinct voices and perspectives, Wendy Mass weaves an intricate and compelling story about strangers coming together, unlikely friendships, and finding one's place in the universe.

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

In Philadelphia in 1793, sixteen-year-old Matilda Cook, separated from her sick mother, learns about perseverance and self-reliance when she is forced to cope with the horrors of a yellow fever epidemic. (Note: We will be reading Laurie Halse Anderson’s Chains during the year).

The Golden Acorn by Catherine Cooper

When Jack Brenin finds a golden acorn lying in the grass, little does he know that it is the beginning of a thrilling and magical adventure. Just an ordinary boy, Jack has been chosen for a hugely important task, and enters a world he believed only existed in legend.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place-he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their timely ghostly teachings-like the ability to Fade.

The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forrester

When homeschooled farm girl Piper McCloud reveals her ability to fly, she is quickly taken to a secret government facility to be trained with other exceptional children, but she soon realizes that something is very wrong and begins working with brilliant and wealthy Conrad to escape.

Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia

Delphine and her sisters head south to spend the summer with Big Ma and her mother, and the girls start finding out a whole lot about their family history. Can those bonds pull them together in the face of tragedy?

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single-engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a tattered windbreaker and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present— and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart since his parent's divorce. But now Brian has no time for anger, self pity, or despair— it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive.

Heat by Michael Lupica

Michael Arroyo's lightning fastball makes him the envy of all his teammates, but this speedy southpaw labors under a secret that allows him no rest. Softspoken 12-year-old Cuban refugee Mike worries that he and his 17-year-old brother, Carlos, stand in danger of being separated, even deported.

Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead

Seventh grader Georges moves into a Brooklyn apartment building and meets Safer, a twelve-year-old self-appointed spy. Georges becomes Safer's first spy recruit. His assignment is to track the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. As Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: what is a lie, and what is a game? How far is too far to go for your only friend?

Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai

Mai, 12, travels to Vietnam to help her grandmother discover what happened to Mai’s grandfather during the war. Mai would rather be back in California on the beach, flirting with her new crush. But slowly, Mai begins to look outside of herself and find an understanding of her family and their cultural heritage.

The Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen

In an alternative ancient Rome, Nic, a slave, is forced to climb into a dangerous cave where he finds a bulla, a magical amulet thought to have given Caesar great power. Rather than turn it over to the power-hungry bad guy, he keeps it so he can save Rome.

Masterminds by Gordon Korman

A group of middle school students living in a small, isolated, peaceful town, discover that they are part of an experiment.

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

Melody cannot walk or talk, but she is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy, and is determined to let everyone know it.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor

Set in a small town in Mississippi at the height of the Depression, this powerful, moving novel deals with issues of prejudice, courage, and self-respect. It is the story of one family's struggle to maintain their integrity, pride, and independence in the face of racism and social injustice. It is also the story of Cassie Logan, an independent girl who discovers over the course of an important year why having land of their own is so crucial to her family. The racial tension and harrowing events experienced by young Cassie, her family, and her neighbors cause Cassie to grow up and discover the reality of her environment.

Shadows of Sherwood: A Robyn Hoodlum Adventure by Kekla Magoon

Twelve year-old Robyn fights to find her parents and right the wrongs of a future city taken over by a corrupt government leader.

Theodore Boone: The Fugitive by John Grisham

While on the 8th grade trip to Washington DC, Theo spots Pete Duffy, who escaped custody while on trial for the murder of his wife. Theo is determined to have him recaptured and brought to trial.

The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

Suzy and her best friend have drifted apart in middle school but after Franny dies in an accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy was a rare jellyfish sting. As she withdraws into silence, she focuses on her research to prove her theory.

TombQuest Book 1: Book of the Dead by Michael Northrop

The doctors say nothing can save Alex’s life, but his mom, an expert Egyptologist knows that the Lost Spells of the Egyptian Book of the Dead can crack open a doro to the afterlife and save him. But when she uses the spells, five evil ancients-- the Death Walkers-- are also brought back to life.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

As the only passenger and the only female on a transatlantic voyage in 1832, thirteen year-old Charlotte finds herself caught between a murderous captain and a mutinous crew.

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

The struggle of thirteen year old Salamanca (Sal) to understand and deal with her mother's disappearance unfolds while on a cross-country trip with her eccentric grandparents. Sal tells them the story of her friend Phoebe whose mother has also left home, but in reality it is her own story.

When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park

Sun-hee and her older brother, Tae-yul, live in Korea with their parents. Because Korea is under Japanese occupation, the children study Japanese and speak it at school. When World War II comes to Korea, Sun-hee is surprised that the Japanese expect their Korean subjects to fight on their side. But the greatest shock of all comes when Tae-yul enlists in the Japanese army in an attempt to protect Uncle, who is suspected of aiding the Korean resistance. Sun-hee stays behind, entrusted with the life-and-death secrets of a family at war.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1970s television game show, The $20,000 Pyramid, a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.

(Summaries from

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Penn Charter

A Friends School for Girls and Boys, Pre-K to 12

3000 West School House Lane Philadelphia, PA 19144 215.844.3460
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