I had asked a group of sixth graders one day if they had any book suggestions for me. I am always interested in reading new books, for my own pleasure but also for future book recommendations to suggest for other students along the way. Here are a some of the books that have been recommended and a few others from the Juvenille Young Adult section that I stumbled upon as well. These are all excellent books, very touching and heart warming but also ones that kids can relate to and make personal connections with. Under each book is a bit of info that might help in deciding if it’s a good choice for you or someone you may have in mind…
(credits to Amazon books for the pics and summaries…)
1. Wonder by R.J. Palacios
I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.
August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a New York Times bestseller, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.
In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.
2. Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson
It’s Rafe Khatchadorian’s first day at Hills Village Middle School, and it’s shaping up to be the worst year ever. He has enough problems at home without throwing his first year of middle school into the mix, but luckily he’s got an ace plan for the best year ever–if only he can pull it off. With his best friend Leonardo the Silent awarding him points, Rafe tries to break every rule in his school’s oppressive Code of Conduct. Chewing gum in class–5,000 points! Running in the hallway–10,000 points! Pulling the fire alarm–50,000 points!But not everyone thinks Rafe’s plan is a good idea, especially not the teachers, parents, and bullies who keep getting in his way. Will Rafe decide that winning is the only thing that matters? Are things about to go from magic to tragic? Find out in this hilarious–and heartwarming–#1 New York Times bestselling hit! Includes over 100 illustrations.
3. The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt
Gary D. Schmidt was awarded a Newbery Honor in 2008 for The Wednesday Wars, the story of the seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood from suburban Long Island in 1967 who is stuck spending his Wednesday afternoons with his teacher Mrs. Baker . . . who is clearly trying to kill him with Shakespeare. As time rolls on, Shakespeare starts to grow on Holling, and even when he’s not playing the yellow-tighted role of the fairy Ariel, he can’t help but hurl the occasional Elizabethan insult. Laugh-out-loud scenes involving overfed escaped classroom rats and chalk-dusted cream puffs mix seamlessly with more poignant moments, some related to the Vietnam War. Holling is courageous, funny, and unique, and readers will love seeing him evolve beyond the expectations of others to become his own fabulous self.
4. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
“Sometimes you know in your heart you love someone, but you have to go away before your head can figure it out.”
To trace the path of her missing mother, Sal embarks on a journey from Ohio to Idaho with her grandparents. On the road, Sal tells the strange and exciting story of her friend Phoebe. As the miles pass, Phoebe’s tale becomes more and more outrageous, while Sal’s own story begins to emerge. In unraveling Phoebe’s mystery, Sal comes ever closer to finding out the truth behind her own bittersweet journey. What will she find at the end of the road?
5. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
This classic about a 10-year-old boy growing up in the Ozark mountains with his inseparable pair of coonhounds will warm the hearts of young and old alike. Many schools use this as a class read aloud, but if you have a 5th or 6th grader who loves dogs, this is a must read for him/her!
***These were just a handful of great books, and there will be more to come since one of my favorite things to do is read…Keep in mind, these are great for young readers but stories that we can all enjoy no matter what our age! Now go to your local library and check one of these awesome books out. I have read the last two multiple times and I still cry every time. Please send me a comment if you have other book suggestions; I will do my best to read them and it may be helpful for other readers as well!