New Books for 6th Graders

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham

Reading Level:  Grades 4 and up

Our story begins in 1775. Nat Bowditch, a small boy for his age, loves arithmetic more than anything because the answers always come out the same. His eldest brother has just signed on with a ship leaving for the open ocean and Nat’s father, deciding that his son needs to begin a trade, has pulled Nat out of school.

Nat is apprenticed to a ship chandlery as their bookkeeper for nine years, squashing all dreams he had of studying at Harvard University. But, Nat remembers his brother’s parting words to him – boys don’t blubber - and keeps his head held high. Nat grows up quickly; his raw determination to learn coupled with the difficulties of Revolutionary life made him seem mature far beyond his young years.

Carry On, Mr. Bowditch is an ultimate nautical adventure story, sharing the tale of a young boy, who never thought his dreams could ever be reached, becoming a widely educated man – despite never continuing school past the age of ten. Written in 1956 by Jean Lee Latham, Carry On, Mr. Bowditch is a must-read for all adventurous young boys.

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Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Reading Level: Grades 4 - 6

Lanesha lives in New Orleans, in a neighborhood called the Ninth Ward. Her mother died just after she was born, but the midwife, a woman named Mama Ya-Ya, takes her in. Lanesha loves living in the Ninth Ward, even though it means that she doesn't have very many friends. One day, Mama Ya-Ya has a vision - a terrible hurricane is coming. Soon she and Lanesha hear about Katrina on the news, and begin to prepare. Many others in the Ninth Ward are evacuating, but Lanesha and Mama Ya-Ya have nowhere to go. Katrina is coming, and quickly. Will Lanesha & Mama Ya-Ya make it through the hurricane?

If you liked Ninth Ward, you might also like:
Keeper by Kathi Appelt

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Thresholds by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

Reading Level: Grades 4 - 6

After Maya's best friend dies her family moves to a new town in a new state so everyone can get a fresh start. Maya's new bedroom faces the Janus House Apartments which is filled with a fascinating mix of odd people whom she loves to secretly watch. Then one night, a fairy flies into her room through the open window...

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