Books Suggested For Grades 6 to 9

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
Young Huck grows up as he travels down the Mississippi River with his companion Jim, a runaway slave.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
Alice falls into a rabbit hole and ends up in another world with peculiar laws of its own.

All Creatures Great and Small, James Herriot
Yorkshire's favorite veterinarian regales the reader with funny and heartwarming tales of balky calves and pampered Pekingese and their equally unique owners.

The Black Stallion, Walter Farley
This is the first in a wonderful series about a proud Arabian horse and the fillies and colts that he sires.

The Call of the Wild, Jack London

A striking and powerful tale of the savage lawlessness of man and beast.
The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas

The enduring French novel about false imprisonment, escape and revenge.
Emily of New Moon, L.M. Montgomery

In the spirit of Anne of Green Gables, Montgomery writes of the adventures, trials and tribulations of an independent young woman.
The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck

Life in China as revealed through the experiences of one peasant family.
The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling

Orphaned as a baby, Mowgli is raised by wolves and speaks the language of the wild. Now he must face down a dreaded new enemy--man.
The Miracle Worker, William Gibson

The story of Annie Sullivan, the courageous young teacher who persevered in teaching Helen Keller to speak and to read Braille.
Old Yeller, Fred Gipson

A tale for dog-lovers about fourteen-year-old Travis and his yellow dog Old Yeller who proves to be a match for thieving raccoons, fighting bulls, grizzly bears, and mad wolves.
The Red Pony, John Steinbeck

A warm, moving story of a boy's love of horses.
The Swiss Family Robinson, Johann Wyss

The many adventures of a family shipwrecked on an uninhabited island in the Pacific.
Tales of Mystery and Imagination, Edgar Allan Poe (top)

The threat of evil is always present in Poe's stories.
Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson

A timeless novel of pirates and buried treasure.
The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame

A delightful fantasy for all ages about four animal friends who explore the English countryside.
The Yearling, Marjorie Rawlings

A sensitive story of a boy, his pet deer, and their life in the Florida wilderness in the 1870s.
At Risk, Alice Hoffman

When eleven-year-old Amanda is diagnosed with AIDS, she and her family must face their own pain and the fears of those around them.
The Best Little Girl in the World, Steven Levenkron

The history of an obsessed, self-destructive young woman diagnosed with anorexia nervosa.
Bracken, Elizabeth Webster (top)

Jake Farrant, a famous London journalist, is stunned to learn that he has only a few months to live. He retreats to an isolated village and meets a mysterious boy named Bracken who teaches him to appreciate and accept nature, life, and death.
Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson

A young girl makes a new friend and is confronted with love and loss in this very realistic novel by a great contemporary author.
The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, Paula Danziger

Marcy overcomes her shyness in order to organize a student protest on behalf of her suspended English teacher.
The Chocolate War, Robert Cormier

A powerful and suspenseful novel about high school politics, cruelty, and conformity.
The Education of Little Tree, Forrest Carter

The account of a six-year-old Cherokee boy who lives with his grandparents in the Tennessee mountains during the Great Depression.
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Paul Zindel

How can Tillie concentrate on her science project while her family life is spinning out of control? A play by the author of The Pigman.
The Girl on the Outside, Mildred Walter

It is 1957 and the Supreme Court has ordered that schools be desegregated. Two girls, one white and one black, are caught up in the town's fury and are bound together by their courage and strength.
The Goats, Brock Cole

The victims of a vicious camp prank, two young teens learn personal and physical survival skills when deserted on an island.
A Hand Full of Stars, Rafik Schami (top)

Although his father has forced him to leave school, a Syrian boy finds a way to become a journalist in spy-ridden Damascus where speaking the truth is a dangerous business.
The Harmony Arms, Ron Koertge

Gabriel is not looking forward to living in California with his teacher-writer father, but the apartment complex in which his father lives turns out to be full of unusual characters.
I Heard the Owl Call My Name, Margaret Craven

A young priest, assigned to live and work among the Kwakiutl Indians, learns enough about life to accept his impending death.
It's Not the End of the World, Judy Blume

Sure, people get divorced, but it's different when they are your own parents: a novel about love and real life.
Izzy Willy Nilly, Cynthia Voigt

Izzy must reevaluate her friendships and life after losing her leg in a drunk-driving accident.
Jacob Have I Loved, Katherine Paterson

Louise deals with sibling rivalry: her sister Caroline is like a Biblical Jacob who is favored and loved by everyone. Louise's struggle to find her own identity causes her to choose a very different path from that of her twin sister.
Locked in Time, Lois Duncan

Visiting her step-family for the first time, Nore at first ignores the hints that all might not be as it seems.
Make Lemonade, Virginia Euwer Wolff

A teenage single mom and her fourteen-year-old baby-sitter try to cope with life's lemons in this tough, funny, and ultimately hopeful novel.
Motown and Didi, Walter Dean Myers

Despite the difficulties of life in Harlem, Motown and Didi are drawn to each other and find hope for their futures.
The Moves Make the Man, Bruce Brooks

A moving, fast-paced novel about the perils and joys of teenage friendship and survival; much of the action takes place on the basketball court.
The Noonday Friends, Mary Stolz

Franny lives in New York City and dreams of being rich and becoming a ballerina. She must take care of her little brother while her mother works. She doesn't get to play after school. Will her noonday friends be all she ever has?
The One-Eyed Cat, Paula Fox (top)

A riveting and simply written adventure of a minister's son who sneaks a rifle out of the attic and shoots at something in the dark.
On My Honor, Marion Dane Bauer

When his best friend drowns while they are both swimming in a treacherous river that they had promised never to go near, Joel is devastated and terrified at having to tell their parents.
Rainbow Jordan, Alice Childress

Neglected by her young mother and placed in an "interim home," Rainbow feels the world is a hostile and uncaring place.
Remembering the Good Times, Richard Peck

Buck, Kate, and Trav have a special friendship that helps them face the changes in their hometown. One of them has inner battles to fight--some too big to handle.
A Ring of Endless Light, Madeleine L'Engle

Vicky Austin must come to terms with both her grandfather's death and the increasing complexity of her own life in the summer before her sixteenth birthday. A wonderful combination of L'Engle's poetic, inspirational and realistic storytelling.
The Star Fisher,Laurence Yep

Joan Lee and her family are the first Chinese-Americans that the small community of Clarksburg, West Virginia, has ever seen. Prejudice and persecution make it difficult for the Lee family to pursue the American Dream.
The Summer of the Swans, Betsy Byars

A confused, fourteen-year-old girl learns a valuable lesson when her retarded younger brother disappears one night.
Toning the Sweep, Angela Johnson

Get to know three generations of African-American women, each holding on to separate truths about life, death and themselves.
Waiting for the Rain, Sheila Gordon

Can the childhood friendship between Frikkie and Tengo survive apartheid in contemporary South Africa?
Walk Two Moons, Sharon Creech

This Newbury Award winner follows the mysterious, funny and touching adventures of a thirteen-year-old girl on a cross-country trip with her elderly grandparents.
Where the Lilies Bloom, Vera and Bill Cleaver

Mary Call, a spunky and surprising fourteen-year-old, vows to keep her orphaned family together.
A White Romance, Virginia Hamilton (top)

When her previously all-black school is integrated, Talley makes some new friends and embarks on a doomed romance.
Words by Heart, Ouida Sebestyen

An African-American girl's confrontation with fear and hatred.

Alan and Naomi, Myron Levoy

Alan's ordinary life changes as he struggles to help Naomi recover from the horrors of the Holocaust; set in New York City in the 1940s.
Caddie Woodlawn, Carol Brink

Caddie Woodlawn, knitting and cooking? Never! Exploring the Wisconsin frontier in the 1800s with her new Native American friends promises to be much more exciting.
Constance, Patricia Clapp

The fourteen-year-old girl standing on the deck of the Mayflower in November 1620 was not looking forward to the life ahead. In a journal, Constance Hopkins records her observations and feelings over the course of six years, from the first dreadful winter when sickness killed half of the settlers to the time of her marriage.
Davita's Harp, Chaim Potok

Growing up in Brooklyn during the 1930s, the daughter of American Communists, Davita is confused by her parents' political activities, which isolate her from her friends but give her the strength to find her own way.
Gentlehands, M.E. Kerr

Could Buddy's beloved grandfather be a Nazi war criminal?
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, Betty Bao Lord

A young Chinese girl finds that the world of baseball helps her adjust to her new home in America.
Island on Bird Street, Uri Orlev

Experience the terror of World War II through the eyes of Alex, a courageous Jewish child who takes refuge, alone, in an abandoned building.
Lisa's War, Carol Matas

The Nazis have invaded Denmark and Lisa can't sit by doing nothing. Can one girl make a difference?
The Midwife's Apprentice, Karen Cushman

One cold morning in medieval England, a homeless and nameless but determined girl finds her place in the world as the midwife's apprentice.
My Name is Not Angelica, Scott O'Dell

Here is a compelling account of the great slave rebellion of 1733 on the island of St. John's, and of one young woman's suffering but ultimate triumph of will.
No Promises in the Wind, Irene Hunt (top)

This is the unforgettable story of Josh, who grows up during the turbulent years of America's Great Depression.
The Return, Sonia Levitin

Seen from the viewpoint of a teenage girl, this is the story of a group of African Jews who journey from Ethiopia to the Sudan to escape persecution.
Sarah Bishop, Scott O'Dell

Sarah Bishop, fifteen years old, tries to ignore the American Revolution, but discovers that she is caught up in a conflict of loyalties.
The Slave Dancer, Paula Fox

A spellbinding tale of young Jessie forced to play his fife on board a slave ship bound for America.
Sweet Grass, Jan Hudson

Can a fifteen-year-old member of the Blackfoot Tribe find the courage and the skill to save her people?
To Be a Slave, Julius Lester

Told by slaves themselves, this is the true story of slavery in North America, from its African origins in the 1600s up to the time of the American Civil War.
Tree of Freedom, Rebecca Caudill

A young girl moves to Kentucky from Carolina in the 1780s and experiences a new life full of promise as well as hardship.
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Avi

Leaving England on the brig Seahawk to join her family in America in 1832, Charlotte is a prim, dutiful young lady. What is it that changes her so radically in just a few weeks at sea?
The Upstairs Room, Johanna Reiss

Annie and Sini, two Jewish girls, hide in a room of a small farmhouse after the Germans invade Holland during World War II.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth Speare

Kit moves from the Caribbean to a stern Puritan community in Connecticut where her unconventional ways bring an accusation of witchcraft.
Wolf by the Ears, Ann Rinaldi

Historical fiction about a young woman who was one of Thomas Jefferson's slaves and who may even have been his daughter.
Beauty, Robin McKinley (top)

"Beauty and the Beast" retold in a full-length novel rich in character and emotion.
The Book of Three, Lloyd Alexander

The first in a series of gripping fantasies about the adventures of Taran in the imaginary kingdom of Wales.
Dandelion Wine, Ray Bradbury

A magical coming-of-age novel about the freedoms of summers past.
The Dark Is Rising, Susan Cooper

The seventh son of a seventh son becomes, on his eleventh birthday, an unknowing and unwilling participant in the eternal struggle between good and evil.
Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey

First in a series of fantastic adventures about the dragonriders of Pern, human colonists who have long been out of contact with earth, and the mind-reading dragons who carry them "in between."
The Giver, Lois Lowry

Jonas lives in a perfect society without pain or war. But when The Giver chooses him for "Special Instructions," his life is changed forever.
The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien

Tolkien creates a fantasy world called Middle Earth populated by small creatures known as Hobbits; prequel to Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Indian in the Cupboard, Lynne Reid Banks

Omri's adventure begins when the plastic Indian he is given for his birthday comes alive.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis

An extraordinary excursion into magical lands and enchanted happenings.
Redwall, Brian Jacques (top)

This is a tale of fantasy, adventure and romance in which the heroes are the gentle mice of Mossflower Wood and the villains are Cluny the Scourge and his battle-seasoned army of rats.
The Sword in the Stone, T.H. White

A brilliant storyteller recounts the early years and adventures of King Arthur.
Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt

An exciting and thought-provoking adventure of a young girl who stumbles upon the Tuck family's home in the wilderness and learns their strange and awesome secret.
Watership Down, Richard Adams

A group of enterprising rabbits sets out to find a new home.
Witches, Roald Dahl

Another humorous fantasy adventure by this popular English author.
A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula Le Guin

The story of Ged, a boy with an unusual aptitude for wizardry; the first book of Le Guin's famous Earthsea trilogy.
Z for Zachariah, Robert C. O'Brien

Safe in her radiation-free valley after World War III, Ann Burden thinks she is the last person in the world until the arrival of a stranger.
The Egypt Game, Zilpha Keatly Snyder

Several friends create their own Egyptian temple in a desolate yard, attracting a murderer's attention.
From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg (top)

Claudia and her brother run away from home and take up residence in New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, where they must solve a puzzling mystery of the art world.
The House of Dies Drear, Virginia Hamilton

The haunting story of thirteen-year-old Thomas Small and his family who move into a mansion that was once the home of Dies Drear, a murdered abolitionist, and subsequently a station on the underground railroad.
Killing Mr. Griffin, Lois Duncan

He gives the lowest grades. He demands the most work. He refuses to turn his classes into a place where students have fun. Are these grounds for murder?
The Silver Kiss, Annette Klaus

Zoe's loneliness and confusion over her mother's death are mysteriously eased by a gentle vampire in this story that is at once a mystery, a romance, and an exploration of the meaning of death.
Tell Me Everything, Carolyn Coman

Roz's mother dies trying to rescue Nate. Now Roz must find Nate and find out what he knows before he disappears forever, like her mother.
The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin

Can you discover who took Sam Westing's life? If you can beat the other sixteen players in this play-along story, you could win $200 million.
After the First Death, Robert Cormier

A busload of schoolchildren become the victims of a terrorist plot.
Alive, Piers Paul Read

A spellbinding and inspirational account of the survivors of a 1972 plane crash, who must go to extremes to survive in the snowbound Andes.
The Cay, Theodore Taylor (top)

A blind boy and an old black sailor are shipwrecked on a coral island.
Dry Tears, Nechama Tec

Forced to pass as Christians during the Holocaust, a desperate family of Polish Jews finds both the best and the worst in the people around them.
Fireweed, Jill Paton Walsh

A boy and a girl, both runaways, try to live independently in London during the bombings of World War II.
The Haymeadow, Gary Paulsen

Using his wits and determination, fourteen-year-old John Barron survives rattlesnakes, coyote and bear attacks, and a flash flood during the three months that he is responsible for tending his family's six thousand sheep.
Incident at Hawk's Hill, Allan W. Eckert

A moving story of a boy's life in the wild; young Ben MacDonald is adopted by a badger when he wanders from his family's farm.
The Incredible Journey, Sheila Burnford

A cat and two dogs find their way home through the Canadian wilderness to the family they love.
Julie of the Wolves, Jean Craighead George

A young Inuit girl runs away from home and becomes lost in the Arctic where she learns to survive by observing a pack of wolves.
Never Cry Wolf, Farley Mowat

The true story of a young scientist's incredible adventures with a family of wolves in the Canadian wilderness.
The Night Journey, Kathryn Lasky (top)

Rachel listens to her great-grandmother's tale of her family's escape from Russia.
Shabanu, Suzanne Fisher Staples

Growing up on the windswept Cholistan Desert of Pakistan, young Shabanu has been allowed freedoms forbidden to most Muslim girls. Now she must make a difficult decision: marry the man her father has chosen for her, or bring dishonor to her family by striking out on her own.
The Sign of the Beaver, Elizabeth Speare

Thirteen-year-old Matt is left alone to guard his family's home in the wilderness of Maine. It's the eighteenth century, and in order to survive Matt has no choice but to trust his Native American neighbors.
Walkabout, James Vance Marshall

A young girl and her brother learn to communicate with an Aborigine youth in an effort to survive the wilderness of the Australian Outback.
When the Legends Die, Hal Borland

Extraordinary novel about a young boy left alone in the wilderness after his parents' death, who resolves never to return to the white man's world that had condemned his father.
Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls

Billy and his two dogs, Old Dan and Little Ann, are a loving threesome. They roam the dark hills and river bottoms of Cherokee country as Billy trains his canine companions to be great coon dogs.
Boy, Roald Dahl

Funny and painful memories of growing up by the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach.
Coming of Age in Mississippi, Anne Moody

The author describes her experiences growing up as an African-American in Mississippi.
The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia, Esther Hautzig (top)

A gripping account of a young girl and her family exiled to Siberia in 1941.
Eric, Doris Lund

A true story of a seventeen-year old boy who, afflicted with a terminal illness, lives life to the fullest.
Harriet Tubman: Conductor of the Underground Railroad, Ann Petry

After escaping slavery, Harriet Tubman returned to danger again and again as she led men and women north to freedom.
Homesick: My Own Story, Jean Fritz

Twelve-year-old Jean Guttery has lived her entire life in China, but is homesick for America, a place she has never seen. When the time comes for her family to make the long and perilous return journey to the United States, Jean begins to wonder if she will ever belong anywhere.
The Invisible Thread, Yoshiko Uchida

In a moving autobiography, Uchida describes growing up in Berkeley, California, as a second-generation Japanese American, her family's internment in a Utah concentration camp during World War II, and her pride in her heritage.
Little by Little: A Writer's Education, Jean Little

Nearly blind from birth, Jean Little has led an extraordinary life. Subjected to ridicule, rejection, and bullying, she had to discover her own sources of strength.
My Dog Skip, Willie Morris

Willie Morris' boyhood reads like the further adventures of Tom Sawyer as Willie and Skip spend their days chasing squirrels and their nights taking little kids into graveyards and scaring them.
So Far from the Bamboo Grove, Yoko Kawahima Watkins

Young Yoko is a Japanese girl living in Northern Korea after World War II. With the outbreak of the Korean War, she and her family must make the long and dangerous journey home to Japan. Faced with starvation, armed soldiers, and a hostile native population, Yoko learns the true meaning of courage.
Albatross: The True Story of a Woman's Survival at Sea, Deborah Scaling Kiley

Numbing cold, monstrous waves, and sharks challenge five people stranded in a tiny rubber dinghy in this incredible account by one of the survivors.
Annie John, Jamaica Kincaid

This is the story of a young girl who grows up on the beautiful and magical island of Antigua. But Annie John's story goes beyond a typical adolescence; it is about the terrible struggle between Annie and her mother and the even greater struggle Annie faces in trying to discover who she really is.
Charms for the Easy Life, Kaye Gibbons

Set in the backwoods of North Carolina during wartime, this compelling yet simply written novel takes the reader into the lives of a grandmother, mother and granddaughter as they forge their way in a world unused to such outspoken women.
David Copperfield, Charles Dickens (top)

What a gallery of characters stroll through these pages of a young boy's growing up, setting the standard for so many autobiographical novels that came after it.
Equal Rites, Terry Pratchett

The eighth son of an eighth son turns out to be a daughter, and Discworld turns up with its first female wizard. This proves to be a Good Thing, as both the world and magic itself are in trouble.
Good Moon Rising, Nancy Garden

A love story, a portrait of aspiring young actors involved in a high school production of The Crucible, and an illustration of the damaging effects of homophobia.
Haveli, Suzanne Fisher Staples

Haveli shows us the Pakistan of the upper class and the social constraints that bind its women. Shabanu, an eighteen year old, has been forced to marry a much older man. Separated from her family and living on an estate in the city, Shabanu struggles to raise her daughter while enduring torture at the hands of her husband's more cultured and powerful wives. Eventually she is confronted by a major obstacle which forces her to make an extremely difficult choice.
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, Hannah Green (Joanne Greenberg)

Eloquent novel about the struggles of a sixteen-year-old girl who retreats from reality to the horrors of an imaginary world, and of the help she receives from a caring psychiatrist.
An Island Like You, Judith Ortiz Cofer

In this rich and poignant collection of coming of age stories, Puerto Rican American teenagers in a New Jersey barrio experience the difficulties and rewards of growing up between two cultures.
Kitchen, Banana Yoshimoto

Magical realism, humor, and an inside look at contemporary Japanese culture combine to make these two novellas an unforgettable experience. Yoshimoto handles issues of loss and the relationships between women and men with warmth and wisdom.
A Night to Remember, Walter Lord

You have seen the film Titanic (how many times?) Now here's an opportunity to read an historical account of this memorable disaster.
One More River, Lynne Reid Banks

The riveting story of a spoiled Canadian girl who grows into a self-reliant young woman after her family emigrates to a kibbutz in Israel.
Rosie, Anne Lamott

Still recovering from the unexpected death of her husband, Elizabeth Ferguson attempts, through a fog of alcohol, to raise her precocious, stubborn daughter, Rosie. Lamott's characters are funny, intelligent, introspective and interesting as they struggle to redefine their relationships with each other and with themselves.
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Age 133/4, Sue Townsend

Adrian Mole is a British teenager who adores his girlfriend Pandora, befriends a lonely eccentric in his nineties, reads hard books, and survives his parents' separation. Best of all, he has a great sense of humor. Everyone loves this book!
Silver Pigs, Lindsey Davis

The first of a series of novels featuring Marcus Didius Falco, wisecracking private investigator, in Rome, A.D. 70.
Stand Before Your God, Paul Watkins

In this memoir about an American boy coming of age in British boarding schools, Watkins vividly recreates the joy and pain of growing up. Watkins' parents dropped him off at the age of six; he left at nineteen, a changed person.
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, Chris Crutcher

Eric, a self-described fat kid, and Sarah, a girl with disfiguring burn scars, are drawn together by the insensitivity both face at the hands of their classmates. What happens to their friendship when Eric loses weight and begins to explore the abuse behind Sarah's burns?
The Sound of Waves, Yukio Mishima

Set in a Japanese fishing village, this is the