Top 5 Educational Books for Sixth-Graders

Sixth-graders are hungry to learn more about the amazing world around them. But as kids enter middle school, the stacks of assignments, worksheets, and book reports start to take their toll on that love of learning (and possibly on your dog’s digestive system if you tend to find your child’s homework conveniently tucked into Fido’s kibble bowl).

So how do you keep the excitement for learning alive?

With stories so dazzlingly dynamic, so captivatingly cool, and so engagingly educational that your child will be begging for more, of course!

Whether you want to fuel a love for a particular subject or turn an ember of ambivalence into a fiery excitement for knowledge, there’s a story that will help your child love learning. And Literati has all the best books for sixth-graders of all reading levels. These books are genuinely addicting reads that span across a wide range of subjects.

Read on to discover the top five educational books for kids in sixth grade!

#1 George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt

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Have you ever wondered what kind of bedtime stories famous scientists tell their kids? Once upon a time, there was a happy little particle accelerator… 

Your child can enjoy the scientific excellence and storytelling prowess of famous father-daughter duo Stephen Hawking (yes, that Steven Hawking!) and renowned science educator and journalist Lucy Hawking. 

George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt centers around a courageous young boy and girl, who are led on an action-packed treasure hunt through the galaxy. There’s a reason the story’s science feels real enough to touch: Lucy Hawking infuses the story with her real experiences in zero-gravity flight! Plus, Stephen Hawking and his colleagues provide insightful essays on space travel that will amaze your little scientists.

Educational, real, and out-of-this-world cool, this story might inspire you and your child to come up with your own educational adventure stories!

#2 Big Ideas That Changed the World: Machines That Think!

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If your little engineer peppers your smart device with questions about how it works, this book is perfect for them.

“Siri, tell me about your people!”

Machines That Think! is an info-packed romp through the history of machines. It gets as primary as the abacus, as advanced as A.I., and covers every contraption in between. The book features machines that don’t just “think:” they calculate impossible equations, speak in binary, and send people to the moon! Not to mention the fact that they have irreversibly changed the course of human history. 

These machines and their brilliant contributors are sure to get the gears turning in your middle-grade reader’s mind. But keep an eye on the family electronics after reading—your kid may attempt to rewire your universal remote into a new robotic BFF! 

#3 Famous Phonies: Legends, Fakes, and Frauds Who Changed History

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Do you regularly find a sibling’s diary underneath your child’s pillow? Has your kid released a neighborhood newsletter full of scathing editorials? If there’s tea to spill, is your sixth-grader holding the cup, pinkies up? Tap into that love of snoopery and secrets with a book that reads like a tabloid, spilling the juiciest gossip from every corner of history!

In Brianna Dumont’s hilarious book, Famous Phonies: Legends, Fakes, and Frauds Who Changed History, Dumont shows us that some of history’s most famous figures of all time aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

The book explores famous characters and their controversial pasts, including George Washington, William Shakespeare, and Pythagoras, to name just a few. These guys aren’t telling the whole story in the history books—and your young reader will love finding out about the scandalous skeletons in their closets!

#4 Strange But True: 10 of the World’s Greatest Mysteries Explained

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UFOs, ghosts, Bigfoot, oh my! These mythical mysteries are way scarier than lions, tigers, or bears. So how do you break down these concepts and explain the unexplainable?

Kathryn Hulick uses a wealth of research to reveal the truth behind superstitious tales of aliens, zombies, and even the lost city of Atlantis. Using sharp deduction and scientific reasoning, your 11-year-old (or older!) reader will overcome their fears and instead become fascinated with unravelling these real-world mysteries.

If you’re looking for a non-fiction book to knock their sixth-grade socks off, set your sleuth on these 10 riveting tales taken straight from the real world and watch their critical thinking skills blossom!

#5 Two Truths and a Lie: Forces of Nature 

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Can Earth’s gravitational field really be affected by too many fidget spinners spinning in the same direction? Was the loudest sound in history a volcano blast from the 1800s? Can you make a shiny diamond from the remains of a loved one?

Two Truths and a Lie presents three real-world facts at a time to your young reader. It’s up to them to guess which of those three facts is a lie!

You’ll have a harder time than you think discerning the real from the fake—the natural world is strange enough to make anyone’s head spin. We’re not spoiling the answers—your child has to to read and find out! 

Captivate and Educate with Literati

From history to science, there’s a book that will captivate any child’s imagination and ignite lifelong fascinations with the world around them. But once you’ve started that fascination, how do you keep it going? 

Literati Kids has the answer!

We expertly curate the best books for sixth-graders (and beyond) to get your child hooked on books for life. With our kids book subscription box, you’ll receive five fantastic book picks each month. Explore the books for a week and keep only the books your child loves. 

Watching your little one find their new favorite reads is an extraordinary experience. Spark your middle-grader’s spirit of discovery with a book club curated just for them—our Club Phoenix book club!


Simon and Schuster. George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt. 

Abrams Books. Machines That Think!

Brianna Dumont. Famous Phonies.

Kathryn Hulick. Strange but True: 10 of the World’s Greatest Mysteries Explained.

Harper Collins. Two Truths and a Lie: Forces of Nature. 

On Key

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