6th Grade

June 22, 2022

Hi 6th Grade Parents and Students,

I hope everyone is already enjoying their summer!  I’m back in the classroom today and I’m nostalgic already for the nice classroom community you all created.  Thank you, parents, for raising such a fabulous group of caring, compassionate learners!  I will truly miss this class.

“Thank you” to everyone to helped make our end of the year party a success.

Students should all read this summer.  I’ve attached a list of suggested books.  It would also be helpful to practice some math at least once a week.  A half hour on IXL would be great!

I hope everyone has a restful and rejuvenating summer.

-Mr. Bell

Mr. Bell’s 6th Grade Summer Reading Suggestions

Angleberger, Tom.  DARTH PAPER STRIKES BACK.  (Fiction)

Harvey is upset when his Darth Paper finger puppet brings humiliation and gets Dwight suspended.  Origami Yoda asks Tommy and Kellan, now in seventh grade, to make a new casefile to persuade the School Board to reinstate Dwight.

Angleberger, Tom.  STRANGE CASE OF ORIGAMI YODA.  (Fiction)

Sixth-grader Tommy and his friends describe their interactions with a paper finger puppet of Yoda, worn by their weird classmate Dwight.  They try to figure out whether or not the puppet can really predict the future.

Applegate, Katherine.  THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN. (Fiction) 

Ivan is a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall.  When he meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.

Barrett, Tracy.  THE 100-YEAR-OLD SECRET.  (Mystery)

An American brother and sister living in London, discover that Sherlock Holmes was their great-great-great grandfather.  They are inducted into the Society for the Preservation of Famous Detectives and given his unsolved casebook.  They attempt to solve the case of a famous missing painting.

Baskin, Nora Raleigh.  SUMMER BEFORE BOYS.  (Fiction)

Julia and Eliza are lifelong friends who have shared everything until one develops her first real crush.  The girls find themselves drifting apart until Eliza does something drastic to win Julia back.

Bauer, Joan.  ALMOST HOME. (Fiction)

Sixth-grader Sugar and her mother lose their beloved house and experience the harsh world of homelessness.


Puzzle-crazy, twelve-year-old Winston and his ten-year-old sister Katie find themselves involved in a dangerous mystery involving a hidden ring.

Black, Holly.  DOLL BONES.  (Fiction)

Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. Just when it looks like the three might be growing up and leaving the game behind, Poppy reveals she is being haunted.  Reality and make-believe begin to blend, and the three head out on an adventure they will never forget.


This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of the Reys and their escape from Paris during World War II.

Buyea, Rob,  BECAUSE OF MR. TERUPT.  (Fiction)

Seven fifth-graders at Snow Hill School in Connecticut relate how their lives are changed for the better by “rookie teacher” Mr. Terupt.

Choat, Beth.  SOCCERLAND.  (Fiction)

Flora is such a good soccer player that she has been invited to the International Sports Academy to compete for a chance on the U. S. Girls’ Soccer team.  It’s her first time away from home, and she works hard to make new friends as well as trying to become the best soccer player that she can be.

Clements, Andrew.  ABOUT AVERAGE.  (Fiction)

As the end of sixth grade nears, Jordan Johnson, unhappy that she is only average in appearance, intelligence, and athletic ability, reveals her special skills when disaster strikes her central Illinois elementary school.

Clements, Andrew.  TROUBLE-MAKER.  (Fiction)

When his older brother gets in serious trouble, sixth-grader Clay decides to change his own mischief-making ways, but he cannot seem to shake his reputation as a troublemaker.

Cody, Matthew.  POWERLESS.  (Fiction)

A group of young people set out to discover why their very special powers disappear before their 13th birthday.

Connor, Leslie.  WAITING FOR NORMAL.  (Fiction)

Waiting for a “normal” life, Addie is forced to make it on her own when her mother neglects to live up to her responsibilities.

Creech, Sharon.  THE GREAT UNEXPECTED.  (Fiction)

Humorous and heartfelt, this is a story of pairs—of young Naomi and Lizzie, both orphans in present-day Blackbird Tree, USA, and of Sybil and Nula, grown-up sisters from faraway Rook’s Orchard, Ireland, who have become estranged.

Cronin, Doreen.  THE TROUBLE WITH CHICKENS.  (Fiction)

J.J. Tully is a former search-and-rescue dog who is trying to enjoy his retirement after years of performing daring missions saving lives. So he’s not terribly impressed when two chicks named Dirt and Sugar and their chicken mom show up demanding his help to find their missing siblings.  Driven by the promise of a cheeseburger, J.J. begins to track down clues. Is Vince the Funnel hiding something? Are there dark forces at work?

Curtis, Christopher Paul.  THE MIGHTY MISS MALONE.  (Fiction)

With love and determination befitting the “world’s greatest family,” Deza Malone, her brother Jimmie, and their parents endure tough times in Indiana and later Michigan, during the Great Depression.

DiCamillo, Kate.  THE MAGICIAN’S ELEPHANT.  (Fiction)

When ten-year-old orphan Peter Augustus Duchene encounters a fortune teller in the marketplace, she tells him that his sister, who was presumed dead, is alive.  He goes on a series of adventures to find her.

Draper, Sharon.  OUT OF MY MIND.  (Fiction)

Considered by many to be mentally retarded, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.

Erskine, Katherine.  MOCKINGBIRD.  (Fiction)

Ten-year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, struggles to understand emotions, show empathy, and make friends at school, while at home she seeks closure by working on a project with her father.

Federle, Tim.  BETTER NATE THAN EVER.  (Fiction)

Nate Foster has big dreams. His whole life, he’s wanted to star in a Broadway show.  But how is Nate supposed to make his dreams come true when he’s stuck in Jankburg, Pennsylvania, where no one (except his best pal Libby) appreciates a good show tune? With Libby’s help, Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York.

Fleming, Candace.  AMELIA LOST.  (Biography)

This book tells the story of Amelia Earhart’s life – as a child, a woman, and a pilot – and describes the search for her missing plane.


Freedman tells the story of a friendship between two men who shared many characteristics.  Lincoln and Douglass were both self-educated, born into poverty, and through relentless effort and hard work, reached great success.

Freedman, Russell.  FREEDOM WALKERS.  (Nonfiction)

The author breathes life into the key personalities and events that contributed to the yearlong civil rights struggle.  The struggle became known as the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Freedman, Russell.  THE BOSTON TEA PARTY.  (Nonfiction)

More than any other event, the Boston Tea Party of 1773 has come to stand for the determination of American colonists to control their own destinies.  From the arrival of the ships full of tea in Boston Harbor, through the protest meetings at the Old South Church, to the act of dumping 226 chests of tea into the harbor, Freedman captures this exciting story.

Hale, Shannon.  PRINCESS ACADEMY:  PALACE OF STONE.  (Fiction)

Miri returns to Asland and calls upon all of her knowledge of rhetoric and other useful lessons learned at the Princess Academy when she and the other girls face strong opposition while working for a new, fair charter.  This is the sequel to Princess Academy.

Hiaasen, Carl.  CHOMP.  (Fiction)

When filming an episode of the reality television show “Expedition Survival” in the Florida Everglades, the difficult star disappears.  Wahoo and classmate, Tuna Gordon, set out to solve the mystery.

Hopkinson, Deborah.  ANNIE AND HELEN.  (Biography)

This book describes the relationship between Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan, and includes excerpts from letters written by Annie about her work with Helen.

Hopkinson, Deborah.  TITANIC:  VOICES FROM DISASTER.  (Nonfiction)

Photographs, telegrams, letters, and first-person accounts from passengers, witnesses, and crew members provide multiple perspectives on the sinking of the Titanic. 

Klise, Kate.  DYING TO MEET YOU:  43 OLD CEMETERY ROAD.  (Fiction)

In this story told mostly through letters, children’s book author, I.B. Grumply, gets more than he bargained for when he rents a quiet place to write for the summer.

Korman, Gordon.  SCHOOLED.  (Fiction)

Capricorn Cap Anderson has been homeschooled by his hippie grandmother, Rain.  When Rain is injured in a fall, Cap is forced to attend the local middle school.  Although he knows a lot about Zen Buddhism, nothing has prepared him for public school.

Korman, Gordon.  UNGIFTED.  (Fiction)

After pulling a major prank in school and due to an administrative mix-up, troublemaker Donovan Curtis is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction.

Lakin, Patricia.  STEVE JOBS:  THINKING DIFFERENTLY.  (Biography)

Everyone knows that Steve Jobs was an entrepreneur and a visionary.  This book discusses Jobs’ triumphs, but it also lets us see his human side.  Readers are reminded that people who dare to dream can change the world.


Rachel Carson was an ordinary child who grew up to be a pioneer environmentalist.  This biography shows that anyone can make a difference.  A detailed epilogue explains more about the lasting impact of her book, Silent Spring. 

Lord, Cynthia.  TOUCH BLUE.  (Fiction) 

The state of Maine plans to shut down her island’s schoolhouse, which would force her family to move to the mainland–and Tess to leave the only home she has ever known. Fortunately, the islanders have a plan too: increase the numbers of students by having several families take in foster children. So now Tess and her family are taking a chance on Aaron, who has been bounced from home to home.

Lourie, Peter.  THE POLAR BEAR SCIENTISTS.  (Nonfiction)

Young readers can follow scientists as they scan the Alaskan wilderness for these magnificent creatures.  Full color.

Lubar, David.  DOG DAYS.  (Fiction)

Larry has to work hard to try to earn money to buy food to feed three stray dogs.  Now his brother has taken him to an alley where another dog is staying.  How can he afford to take care of another dog?

Mass, Wendy.  11 BIRTHDAYS.  (Fiction)

After celebrating their first nine same-day birthdays together, Amanda and Leo had a falling out on their tenth birthday and have not spoken since.  Since not speaking to each other for the last year, they prepare to celebrate their eleventh birthday separately.  Soon peculiar things begin to happen as the day of their birthday begins to repeat itself over and over again.

Mass, Wendy.  13 GIFTS.

Shortly before her thirteenth birthday, shy and withdrawn Tara is sent to stay with her aunt, uncle, and cousin in her parents’ hometown of Willow Falls.  She makes new friends and becomes involved with an elderly buyer and seller of collectibles, who seems to be trying to give Tara some kind of mysterious message.

Mills, Claudia.  HOW OLIVER OLSON CHANGED THE WORLD.  (Realistic Fiction)

Oliver has a problem…his parents are way too protective and to top it off, they won’t even let him do school projects by himself.  When his teacher proclaims that anyone can change the world with a good idea, Oliver is skeptical but hopeful that it is true.

Morpurgo, Michael.  AN ELEPHANT IN THE GARDEN.  (Fiction)

Devastated to learn that an orphan elephant in the Dresden zoo, where their mother works, is to be euthanized in anticipation of an upcoming bombing, Lizzie and Karl persuade the zoo director to let them keep the elephant in their garden.

Myer, Susan Lynn.  BLACK RADISHES.  (Fiction)

A young boy and family are forced to move out of their home when the Germans invade France.  The boy finds himself helping to smuggle people into the free part of France for the French Underground.

Nielsen, Jennifer.  THE FALSE PRINCE.  (Fiction)

In the country of Carthya, a devious nobleman engages four orphans in a competition to be selected to impersonate the king’s long-missing son.


Owen Jester wishes his family hadn’t moved to his grandfather’s house after his dad lost his job. For one thing, his grandfather’s live-in nurse knows how to ruin anyone’s idea of a good time. And then there’s Viola, the girl next door, who can’t ever mind her own business.  Late one night, Owen hears a curious noise when the train passes by his grandfather’s house.  Something mysterious and wonderful has fallen off the train.  When Owen finally discovers what it is, he realizes he just might need a know-it-all after all.  But can he trust Viola keep the most fantastic secret to ever tumble into Carter, Georgia?

Palacio, R. J.  WONDER.  (Fiction)

Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan.  There he endures the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.

Pastis, Stephan.  TIMMY FAILURE:  NOW LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE.  (Fiction)

Timmy Failure is the founder, president, and CEO of the greatest detective agency in town.  And he’s about to crack the biggest case of his generation:  a school competition to find a stolen globe. It’s his ticket to bringing home a $500 prize, but shenanigans are afoot and must be stopped.

Patent, Dorothy Henshaw.  DOGS ON DUTY.  (Nonfiction)

The invaluable contributions of Military Working Dogs are well documented in this book.  Patent discusses their special attributes such as the night vision and sense of smell that help these dogs keep their human partners safe.  The roles they have played in World Wars I and II, in Vietnam, and in Iraq and Afghanistan are highlighted.  Brief histories of individual dogs such as Stubby from World War I and Eli in Afghanistan are told.

Patterson, James and Chris Grabenstein.  I FUNNY.  (Fiction)

Wheelchair-bound Jamie Grimm resolves to become the world’s greatest stand-up comedian despite less-than-funny challenges in his life.  He endures bullying from his mean-spirited cousin and hopes he will be fairly judged when he enters a local comedy contest.

Patterson, Nancy Ruth.  Ellie Ever.  (Fiction)

After losing her father and all their possessions in a hurricane, nine-year-old Ellie and her mother move to a small apartment on a horse farm in Virginia.  There her new classmates think that she lives in a mansion and is a princess.

Peck, Richard.  THE SECRETS AT SEA.  (Fiction)

In 1887, the social-climbing Cranston family is secretly accompanied on their voyage from New York to London by Helena and her mouse siblings.  The journey is both terrifying and wondrous as the mice meet an array of titled humans despite their best efforts at remaining hidden.

Pinkney, Andrea Davis.  HAND IN HAND:  TEN BLACK MEN WHO CHANGED AMERICA.  (Biography)

This biography profiles the lives of 10 brave men from different eras of American History.  Readers discover that each man left an indelible legacy and that courage and determination can turn ordinary citizens into heroes.

Pitchford, Dean.  CAPTAIN NOBODY.  (Realistic Fiction)

Newt Newman has always been in his big brother’s shadow.  When a football injury sends his brother into a coma, Newt is noticed even less by his too-busy parents.  Along with some quirky friends, Newt creates a Halloween costume that creates an alter ego for him – Captain Nobody – the defender of the little guy.

Rinaldi, Ann.  SARAH’S GROUND.  (Historical Fiction) 

In 1861, eighteen-year-old Sarah Tracy, from New York state, comes to work at Mount Vernon, the historic Virginia home of George Washington.  While there she tries to protect the safety and neutrality of the site during the Civil War.  She also meets her future husband, Upton Herbert, the plantation superintendent.  Historical notes are included


In the dead of an Arctic winter, whaling ships full of men are stranded in ice. Follow three rescuers in a race against time in this heart-pounding true adventure.

Scatterwood, Agusta.  GLORY BE.  (Fiction)

Gloria Hemple celebrates her Fourth of July birthday at the community pool, but 1964 brings changes that she had not anticipated.  Her hometown of Hanging Moss, Mississippi, is in turmoil, and Gloria must navigate her way through changing relationships with family and friends.

Schmidt, Gary D.  OKAY FOR NOW.  (Fiction)

As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, Doug Swieteck has no friends, an abusive father, and a louse for an older brother.  He finds an ally in Lil Spicer–a fiery young lady.  Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon’s birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage.

Selznick, Brian.  WONDERSTRUCK.  (Fiction)

Having lost his mother and his hearing in a short time, twelve-year-old Ben leaves his Minnesota home in 1977 to seek the father he never knew in New York City.  There he meets Rose, who is also longing for something missing from her life. Ben’s story is told in words; Rose’s in pictures.

Senzai, N. H.  SHOOTING KABUL.  (Fiction)

Escaping from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, eleven-year-old Fadi and his family immigrate to the San Francisco Bay Area, where Fadi schemes to return to the Pakistani refugee camp where his little sister was accidentally left behind.


Ten stories guaranteed to delight and amuse, from the following writers:  Mac Barnett, Christopher Paul Curtis, Kate DiCamillo and Jon Scieszka, Paul Feig, Jack Gantos, Jeff Kinney, David Lubar, Adam Rex, and David Yoo are included.

Scieszka, Jon.  GUYS READ:  THRILLER

This is a series of short stories that are full of mystery, intrigue, and nefarious activity. Featuring some of the best writers around, it is a pulse-pounding collection of brand-new short stories, each one guaranteed to keep you riveted until the final page.

Scott, Elaine.  BURIED ALIVE.  (Nonfiction)

This book describes the 2010 mining accident in San José, Chile, in which thirty-three men became trapped underground for over sixty days and details the rescue efforts and the worldwide media coverage of the event.

Sheinkin, Steve.  LINCOLN’S GRAVE ROBBERS.  (Nonfiction)

A group of counterfeiters scheme to steal Abraham Lincoln’s body from his tomb and ransom his remains for money to free a master counterfeiter from jail.  Secret Service agents learn of the plot, recruit an undercover agent to infiltrate the gang, and try to catch the criminals before they can rob Lincoln’s grave.

Silverstein, Shel.  EVERY THING ON IT.  (Poetry)

This poetry collection, published since Silverstein’s death, includes more than one hundred and thirty never-before-seen poems and drawings completed by the cherished American artist.

Simon, Seymour.  SEYMOUR SIMON’S EXTREME OCEANS.  (Nonfiction)

Seymour Simon investigates the most extreme environments, animals, plants, and weather in the ocean.  Imagine exploring the most extreme parts of our amazing oceans— the tallest waves, the darkest depths, and the largest and most dangerous sea creatures on Earth.  Interesting facts and stunning photographs make for an exciting underwater expedition!

Stead, Rebecca.  WHEN YOU REACH ME.  (Fiction)

By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it’s safe to go, and they know who to avoid.  But things start to unravel.  A mysterious note arrives, scrawled on a tiny slip of paper. The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows things that haven’t yet happened.

Stephens, John.  THE EMERALD ATLAS.  (Fiction)

Kate, Michael, and Emma have passed from one orphanage to another in the ten years since their parents disappeared to protect them.  Now they learn that they have special powers, a quest to find a magical book, and a fearsome enemy.

Stone, Phoebe.  THE ROMEO AND JULIET CODE.  (Historical Fiction)

During World War II, eleven-year-old Felicity is sent from London to Bottlebay, Maine, to live with her grandmother, aunt, uncle, and a reclusive boy.  He helps her decode mysterious letters that contain the truth about her missing parents.

Telgemeier, Raina.  DRAMA.  (Fiction—Graphic Novel)

Callie rides an emotional roller coaster while serving on the stage crew for a middle school production of Moon over Mississippi as various relationships start and end, and others never quite get going.

Telgemeier, Raina.  SMILE.  (Fiction—Graphic Novel)

Raina trips and severely injures her two front teeth.  She copes with a variety of dental problems that affect her appearance and how she feels about herself.


This book tells how women throughout the ages have responded to situations confronting them in daily life by inventing such items as correction fluid, space helmets, and disposable diapers.

Thompson, Jamie.  DARK LORD:  THE EARLY YEARS.  (Fiction) 

The Dark Lord is confounded when he awakens in the middle of a small town on a planet he’s never seen before.  What is this strange place, why do they keep calling him Dirk Lloyd, and why is he powerless against these earthlings who insist on finding his parents?

Turnage, Shelia.  THREE TIMES LUCKY.  (Fiction)

Mo LoBeau was washed ashore as a baby in tiny Tupelo Landing, North Carolina.   Now eleven, Mo and her best friend turn detective when the co-owner of a café and his cook appear to be implicated in a murder.


The Accerra family had 16 children, including 12 baseball-playing brothers.  In the 1930s, the boys formed their own semiprofessional team and became the longest playing all-brother baseball team in history.

Weeks, Sarah.  PIE.  (Fiction)

Polly Portman’s award- winning pies put the town of Ipswitch, Pennsylvania, on the map.  After Polly’s death, her devoted niece Alice and Alice’s friend investigate who is going to extremes to find Aunt Polly’s secret pie crust recipe.  Fourteen pie recipes are included.

Williams-Garcia, Rita.  ONE CRAZY SUMMER.  (Fiction) 

In the summer of 1968, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters travel from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know.  They arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.

Woodson, Jacqueline.  EACH KINDNESS.  (Fiction)

When a newcomer is shunned by the popular girls, their teacher shows them how small acts of kindness can change the world.  It is too late to undo the harm they have caused, but these students will take this anti-bullying message to heart.