When your kid comes home from a long day at school, abandons their backpack, and slumps down into the couch, more learning is likely the last thing on their mind. Nonetheless, you want to give them books that expand their mind and worldview. But what if there was a way to get them to read awesome, thrilling, educational books—and love it?
Enter Literati: your one stop shop for monthly book picks that fascinate as they educate. These educational reads are a far cry from the dry textbooks in the classroom. To that end, here are the five best books for sixth graders and seventh graders that will tell a story and teach a few amazing lessons.
#1 Fantastic Failures: True Stories of People Who Changed the World by Falling Down First
Nobody dreads failure like a middle schooler. Everything from a rejected request to be field trip buddies to a glaring red ‘F’ on a difficult test can mess up their whole month. But this book redefines failure—and proves that behind every achievement is a hundred failed attempts.
Fantastic Failures is an homage to not getting it right.
This biographical collection details the lives of famous figures and all the ways they faltered before growing into their potential. Stories from people like Rosa Parks, Vincent Van Gough, Betsy Johnson, and more will inspire your middle schooler to try again and again. This is one of the best books for middle schoolers to learn that failure is an important part of growth.
#2 The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope
If anyone understands the power of the individual, it’s William Kamkwamba. William was born in Malawi, where running water and electricity are a luxury only 2% of the population can afford. That is, until Will single-handedly creates a contraption that changes everything.
This incredible true story details how one young man transforms his community with pure willpower and hard work. Using just some scrap metal, tractor parts, bicycle halves, and science textbooks, William creates a machine that harnesses the power of wind and transforms it into electricity—something once considered impossible for his community.
7th graders will love this incredible story about perseverance. Any time they ask themselves, “how can just one person make a difference?” this story will ring in reply.
#3 Season of the Witch: A Spellbinding History of Witches and Other Magical Folk
The word witch immediately conjures images of green-skinned, hook-nosed old ladies with pointy hats, riding on broomsticks into a full moon. But there’s so much more to witches than the Halloween-y stereotype.
Dating all the way back to the stone age, Season of the Witch explores different witches and magical beings throughout human history. This book does amazing work in dismantling the image of a vengeful witch, and replaces it with real life poetry, art, mythology, and history. We get a close look at Egyptian priestesses, Mesopotamian priests, Norse healers, and more.
Your 6th grader will love this multi-cultural history book, steeped in magic. They’ll be enchanted learning all there is to know about real world witches.
#4 George’s Secret Key to the Universe
Does your 6th grader wonder about space, stars, and the universe? In this first installment of a 6-book journey, your middle grader gets to explore the cosmos under the careful watch of some of the best science educators out there: Lucy Hawking and her father, legendary physicist Stephen Hawking.
Our hero is a young boy named George who is sent on a captivating, hilarious journey. George is swept into space by a scientist, his daughter, and a smart supercomputer named Cosmos. Peppered throughout are real world explanations about the universe, including Stephen Hawking’s latest theories about how black holes work.
Send your 6th grader to the stars with this perfect cross between gripping adventure and space education.
#5 Women Who Dared: 52 Stories of Fearless Daredevils, Adventurers, and Rebels
Women have been formidable rebels for the entirety of human history, but boring history books don’t always see it that way. Women Who Dared is here to set the record straight once and for all.
This book includes 52 short biographies of women who changed the world. Linda Skeers strays from recognized names like Jane Goodall and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Instead, she brings other women to light—ever heard of Annie Edson Taylor, the first person brave enough to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel? How about Helen Gibson, the world’s first professional stunt woman?
Livi Gosling provides beautifully distinguished illustrations for each woman, illuminating their accomplishments. Your middle grader will be inspired by these fearsome females and how they each did their part to change the world.
Ever-Learning with Literati
Picking the right book for your middle grader and watching them rip through it is a rewarding endeavor. How do you recreate that feeling over and over?
Let Literati take the reins—our kids book delivery club offers age-appropriate, kid-tested books for your middle grader to sink their teeth into. With our kids book subscriptions, you’ll get 5 new books at your door every month.
Your only job is to send back the books your child didn’t love, and sit back as you watch them read, learn, and fall in love with literature. Start now with Literati’s Club Phoenix!
Bookshop. Fantastic Failures: True Stories of People Who Changed the World by Falling Down First. https://bookshop.org/books/fantastic-failures-true-stories-of-people-who-changed-the-world-by-falling-down-first-9781582706641/9781582706658?aid=7233
Barnes and Noble. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope. https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/boy-who-harnessed-the-wind-william-kamkwamba/1100038452
Nobrow. Season of the Witch: A Spellbinding History of Witches and Other Magical Folk. https://nobrow.net/shop/season-of-the-witch-a-spellbinding-history-of-witches-and-other-magical-folk/
Simon and Schuster. George’s Secret Key to the Universe. https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Georges-Secret-Key-to-the-Universe/Stephen-Hawking/Georges-Secret-Key/9781416985846
Common Sense Media. Women Who Dared: 52 Stories of Fearless Daredevils, Adventurers, and Rebels. https://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/women-who-dared-52-fearless-daredevils-adventurers-and-rebels