I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You, Tween, Teen, fiction, middle grade fiction

Top 10: Best Books for Middle School by my 6th Grade Daughter

Best Books for 6th Grade by My 6th Grade Daughter

You have no idea how difficult it was for me to pull this list from my eldest. I have been chasing her down for over a month, trying flattery:

“Can I please get your Top 10 chapter books of the year? You know your posts are some of my most popular posts!”

Also, frustration:

“Will you just write down your list for me? When are you going to do that? Why is it taking so long?!”

A minimal request didn’t work either:

“How about you just write part of the title. Nothing else. I can figure it out.”

It must a pre-teen thing. So when I asked for her reviews, I got this:

“Why did you like xx book?”

“Because it was awesome.”


“But you said that about the last book.”

“Well, it was awesome too!”


And so, this is her list of books for tweens and I’ll add some notes based on what she might have mentioned in passing to me. I hope the teenage years get easier (and I hear that, in fact, it gets harder Triple sigh!!!).


Twilight series by Stephanie Meyers

My daughter has asked for this young adult series for a few months, but I worried that it was too YA racy so I held off. But then DesignTrackMind said her daughter, same grade, read it last year and that it was fine for them. She really seems to be loving it as she is reading it at the dinner table!

Witch and Wizard: The Fire by James Patterson

She has also loved the Maximum Ride chapter book series so while we wait for a new one, I got her the Witch and Wizard series. She had 11 chapter books on this list and bumped Maximum Ride from it to make 10. I was surprised! It could be that she just finished The Fire which was a Christmas present.

Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O’Roark Dowell

We both loved this chapter book! It’s categorized as YA (Young Adult) but it’s totally PG for Middle Grade, say ages 9 and up.

I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

This was her book club book and it’s about a girl who is a spy, hence the title. I am trying to locate this book so I can read it. It’s somewhere in my middle daughter’s room as she is reading it now too based on the recommendation of her sister.

How to Rock Glasses and Braces by Meg Haston

I think this should be required reading for every middle grade girl as it is such a great anti-girl bullying book. Here, the Queen Bee bully is the protagonist and gets knocked down to nerd status after having to get glasses and braces. The ascent back to Popular is swift but she learns some valuable lessons about being a friend along the way yet still keeps that charisma that makes her the center of attention. An inside out girl bullying story!

The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

My oldest read this series so many times that I ended up buying replacement copies for Capability:Mom because she wore the borrowed copies out.

Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes

Disney movies tend to get on my nerves, with the exception of the High School Musical movies which I actually really liked. This is The Breakfast Club that forms a band. The movie was ok but she seemed to love the book. I’m not sure which came first.

The Daughters Break the Rules series by Joanna Philbin

I did not expect to like this series but I received a review copy and my daughter snatched it up and read it first. She raved about it so we got the rest of the books on my new Color Nook which made them easy to read late at night. They are actually quite good! I noticed that there is a new one, The Daughters Join the Party, and I am itching to download it pronto!

Nerd Camp by Elissa Weissman

I wouldn’t have guessed that my daughter or her friend would love this chapter book. Not that it isn’t great but that it is about a BOY, and he’s a NERD! I really liked it myself, but you never can tell with kids. They both loved the fact that it’s funny and that it’s about being yourself. I guess I should give them more credit!

Rocky Road by Rose Kent

My daughter read this book a while ago, probably in 2010 even so I was happily surprised that it made the cut. Rose Kent is a great author and this realistic fiction chapter book hits themes of special needs, fitting in, finding yourself, and parenting your parent. And it’s set in an ice cream store!

To view any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. I hadn’t heard of Rocky Road. Looking into that one for school. I loved Ten Miles Past Normal!
    The Brain Lair recently posted…Cathing Jordan by Miranda Kenneally– ReviewMy Profile

    • To The Brain Lair,
      I love author Rose Kent. She also wrote Kimchi and Calamari about an adopted Korean middle school boy who faces an identity crisis when writing a paper for school about his ancestry because his adopted parents are Italian American. She’s really wonderful! I hope you like her book too!

  2. Alex Morris

    Nice collection! It’s important for children to be diverse with what they read – don’t just stick with Harry Potter!

    • To Alex,
      My daughter will be so thrilled that you left her a comment! Thank you! She also loved Harry Potter but when she finished that series, she needed more action adventure fantasy thrillers! And she also discovered that she likes realistic fiction, especially if it’s written in the voice of someone she can relate too. I’m just thrilled that she loves to read because she was a reluctant reader in elementary school.

  3. Arrgh! I was going to try to read a ‘big girl’ book next, but some of these look good….
    Craftwhack recently posted…I Heart YouMy Profile

  4. Thank you squared for making NERD CAMP one of your top 10! I’m so glad you both enjoyed the book! If your daughter or her friend (or you!) would like a Nerd Camp t-shirt, I’d be happy to send them your way.

    • To Elissa,
      We are so excited for Nerd Camp to come out in paper back soon. My sixth grade book reviewers both thought Nerd Camp was really funny. I liked how it was a book about being and accepting yourself for who you are. It’s a really great message for this age of readers who are all trying so hard to “fit in.” Your ability to make the book humorous, makes your message accessible. Both my kid reviewers were girls too, so kudos for transcending gender in appeal despite having a main character who is a boy!!!

  5. This is a great list– I’ll have to look at Rocky Road again. And sometimes it IS hard to explain why a book is awesome. I’m sure I felt that way about Anne of Green Gables at this age!
    Ms. Yingling recently posted…Guy Friday- Spy GuysMy Profile

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