The Best Books for a 6-Year-Old: 40+ Must-Read Stories!
Looking for the best books for a 6-year-old? We’ve got the perfect list for you!
Having raised 5 kids through this particular age, we are well-equipped to give suggestions for children with all kinds of book preferences. We’ve got suggestions for Harry Potter-loving fantasy fans and picture book suggestions for reluctant readers.
Below, you’ll find lots of great stories divided by category. Many of the books for a 6-year-old have links to book lists with even more recommendations, so be sure to poke around.
Looking for more options? We’ve got tons of genre-specific book lists for 6-year-olds!
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Best Fantasy Books for a 6-Year-Old
Dragon Masters by Tracey West
This is a wonderful series for the early reader. High-frequency words, great stories, and bright colorful pictures fill these stories.
Heidi Heckelbeck has a Secret by Wanda Coven
These early readers have large type, cute pictures but are definitely not short on fun. Heidi seems like a regular eight-year-old girl but, she is a witch.
She may not be ready for Hogwarts quite yet, but with 21 books in the series, she is keeping herself occupied in the meantime.
My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
This is a wonderful, magical book that is rich in plot and imagination. I love this book as my kid’s first fantasy chapter book. It is such a great story and continues with two more books after. Elmer and the Dragon and The Dragons of Blueland complete this trilogy.
It says 6+ for age range, but my 3 and 5-year-olds enjoy listening to me read this tale to them at bedtime too.
Love Fantasy Books? We do too! That’s why we created a list of Books Like Harry Potter and Books Like Percy Jackson!
Mystery Books for 6-Year-Olds
Fabio The World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective: Mystery on the Ostrich Express by Laura James
My kids adored this beginning reader chapter book based on Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. The bright colors in the drawings and the clever storytelling will have your child thoroughly entertained.
The first in a series, these mystery books are perfect for an 8-year-old detective!
Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, illus. by Marc Simont
This beginning reader series is wonderful for emerging readers. It’s all about kid detective, Nate, who solves mysteries for his friends and neighbors!
Baby Monkey Private Eye by Brian Selznick
This book is the perfect mystery book for a VERY beginning reader who is looking for a chapter book that looks like it’s made for older kids.
With Selznick’s signature illustrations, easy language, and repetitive sentences, this is book is hysterical and a great way to learn to read. Baby monkey putting his pants on gets me every time!
Best Family Books for a 6-Year-Old
Ramona Quimby Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
Ramona is another adorable character who is perfectly imperfect. She is sweet and lovable and gets into her share of trouble. Whether reading to boys or girls, every child can relate to Ramona.
When it comes to books for a 6-year-old, Ramona can’t be beaten!
Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park
Junie is going into Kindergarten and definitely has a knack for getting into some trouble.
This series is perfect for new readers and will keep your little reader laughing.
Mrs. Piggle-wiggle by Betty MacDonald
If your family loves Mary Poppins or Amelia Bedilia, they will love Mrs. Piggle-wiggle too!
This cheery old lady has the craziest fixes to any childhood issues, but they work every time! I love that each chapter is its own short story. It makes it easier to digest for younger kids.
Best Audiobooks for a 6-Year-Old
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
This story is quite the classic and it revolves around all things candy! With its creeptastic vibes, it’s also wonderful for Halloween.
Charlie is thrilled when he gets a golden ticket to see inside Willy Wonka’s amazing chocolate factory, but this is no ordinary candy factory. The machines and recipes behind the walls of the factory are what dreams are made of. This is a wonderful read-aloud book.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
Beatrix Potter’s Tales of Peter Rabbit are some of the most beloved stories in children’s literature. Her fantastic illustrations and Peter’s engrossing escapades have stood the test of time.
I was so pleased when I learned there would be a movie adaptation of the series. This book is one that should be on every kid’s bookshelf! And don’t forget to watch the netflix book adaptation!
Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
We Love Kate DiCamillo. She is a modern storyteller that appeals to children in an intelligent and thoughtful way. I feel like I could have chosen every single one of her books to put on this list so take your pick. This Newberry Award-winning book is delightful.
For more books like these, check out our list of Family Friendly Audiobooks
Books for 6-Year-Olds Set at a School
My Weird School by Dan Gutman
This school has the funniest and weirdest group of teachers. This series is funny and engaging and perfect for early readers!
With over 20 books in this series so far, your child will be entertained for months to come. These are books any 6-year-old will enjoy.
Magic School Bus Rides Again: Sink or Swim: Exploring Schools of Fish by Judy Katschke
The Magic Schoolbus is back with Miss Frizzle and the kids. This early reader looks at an underwater ecosystem and endangered fish in Hawaii.
There is sure to be an adventure with Miss Frizzle around. This is the first book in the series
If I Built a School by Chris Van Dusen
Chris Van Dusen has done it again with this outrageous book. Jack is imagining how he would like his school to be from the cafeteria and classrooms to the gymnasium and playground.
Written in his signature rhyme, this book with amaze everyone and should lead to a fun discussion about your child’s ideal school!
Love Back to School Books? We do too! That’s why we created the School Hub with all things school.
Best Spy Books for a 6-Year-Old
Mac B. Kid Spy: Mac Undercover by Mac Barnett
Mac B Kid Spy is an adorable series about a kid spy who works for the Queen of England!
It’s a great series of books for a 6-year-old looking to step up their reading game. It’s almost a mix between a first-chapter book and a graphic novel.
Spy Guy: The Not so Secret Agent by Jessica Young
This funny picture book is all about a young kid who is a spy. Except he’s not a very good spy! He’s not sneaky, it’s very clumsy and he has a lot to learn.
Olivia The Spy by Ian Falconer
Olivia the pig is back and being as silly as ever. It’s almost her birthday and she can’t stop eavesdropping and trying to figure out what presents she is getting!
But soon she thinks something else is afoot. My kids were giggling when Olivia started thinking she was being sent to military school! What a silly pig.
Love these kinds of stories, then check out these spy books for kids.
Royal Books for 6-Year-Olds
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
This is a hilarious story about the princess who outwits a dragon, rescues the prince, and realizes she doesn’t need him to be happy!!!
It is a classic, wonderful story. Like most of Robert Munch’s books, it is funny and silly and the perfect read-aloud.
Rulers of the Playground by Joseph Keufler
This charming playground tale is simply adorable. It teaches playground behavior by showing what not to do.
Don’t hog the swings, don’t refuse to share the slide, and don’t act like you are the ruler of the playground or a battle of kings may break out!
Princess Smarty Pants by Babette Cole
This is a hilarious tale in which Princess Smarty Pants does not want to get married. She finds some unique solutions to her situation and ensures that she can continue to be the princess that she wants to be… single and happy!
Love these kinds of stories, then check out these royal books for kids.
Picture Books for 6-year-olds We Adore
Ada Twist Scientist by Andrea Beaty
All three books in this “series” are amazing at encouraging passion and imagination. (Have a look at Iggy Peck Architect and Rosie Revere Engineer).
Ada is a thinker whose questions often lead to disasters in the house but, as a parent, how do you encourage your child’s outside-the-box thinking?
Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy E. Shaw
These sheep are driving and get stuck in the mud. The entire story does not rhyme but there are many rhyming words from the same word family. It is funny and perfect for a young reader.
Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney
It’s Llama Llama’s first day of preschool and he is overwhelmed with feelings. He is trying to get used to the new toys and new surroundings but he just misses his mama.
Soon he learns that it’s OK to love mama and have fun at school too. Love Llama llama? We have the school on all of Anna Dewdney’s books here.
Animal Books for 6-Year-Olds
Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton
This early reader graphic novel is adorable and the first in the Narwhal and Jelly book series. This book is three short stories in one featuring these ocean besties making new friends.
This is one of the best books for beginner readers to gain confidence.
Paddington by Michael Bond
Even before he became a motion picture star, this little bear won my heart. With his hat, duffle coat, and suitcase, he was definitely my favorite growing up.
My kids love him just as much with his crazy antics. He is sweet, lovable, and hilarious. The perfect combination!
Mercy Watson by Kate DiCamillo
My youngest son’s favorite early reader series revolved around a pig named Mercy Watson. We have every book about this charming pig being raised as a child in the Watson home.
There is also a spin-off series about her neighbors on Deckawoo Drive. These are the perfect books for a 6-year-old!
Classic Books for a 6-Year-Old
Charlotte’s Web by E.B White
This is such a wonderful story of unconditional love and friendship. When Fern saves the life of Wilbur, the runt of the pig litter, Charlotte befriends him and ultimately saves his life a second time.
This is such a heartwarming story. I try to read it without crying.
The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, and Christopher Robin have lived in the hearts of children for generations.
This edition features the complete works of A. A. Milne’s stories and is essential for any home library. This is a great one to read aloud to your little ones!
The Mouse and The Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary
Ralph the mouse lives in a hotel where the main rule is simple… don’t get spotted by a guest! But Ralph lives for speed!
When a little boy leaves a toy motorcycle unattended in his room, it’s too much for Ralph to resist. Soon he’s zooming around the hotel and making friends with a human!
When my boys were deep into their car-loving phase, this book had them hooked! I loved the wholesome story too and found myself entertained by Ralph and his adventures too.
Sports Books for 6-Year-Olds
Little Shaq by Shaquille O’Neal
If your child likes basketball, they would love this story written by Shaq. It’s a perfect early reader story for kids that love sports and regular kid stuff.
It’s another series of perfect books for 6-year-olds.
The Berenstain Bears Play Football by Mike Berenstain
This I can Read book made it onto our list of football books for kids. This story is all about the Berenstain and their bear friends as they await the big Grizzly Bowl Game.
Soon all the cubs are outside playing their own game with Brother bear hoping to score!
She Persisted in Sports by Chelsea Clinton
Chelsea Clinton created She Persisted to highlight phenomenal women. In this installment, the women trailblazers of sports are highlighted.
This book tells the story of over a dozen American female Olympic athletes like Mia Hamm, the Venus sisters, Jean Driscoll, Kerri Walsh Jennings, and more. For more sports books for kids, check out our list of Olympics books!
Graphic Novels for a 6-Year-Old
Dog Man by Dav Pilkey
Dav Pilkey is THE author of books for reluctant readers. His graphic novels never disappoint. From Dog Man to Captain Underwear, these books will keep your kids laughing AND reading.
This particular story is about a half-man, half-dog hero.
Pizza and Taco: Best Party Ever! by Stephen Shaskan
This early reader series is hysterical! It gives full Mo Willems vibes with the way Pizza and Taco interact with each other.
These books are laid out in a graphic novel/comic book style that makes it easy for young kids to decipher. When looking for books for a 6-year-old who is new to reading, this is a great place to start.
Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt
The first book in a series of delightful tales of a neurotic squirrel, this is a laugh-out-loud funny story. After reading it, my boys became obsessed with squirrels.
Now the series is 9 books long, so your kids will have lots of scaredy squirrel to read in the future!
Non-fiction Books for 6-Year-Olds
The History of Pearl Harbor by Susan Katz
Similar to the Who Is series, “The History of” series focuses on key moments in history told in a way that 6-9-year-olds can comprehend.
Books in the series include subjects like Pearl Harbor, the Titanic, The American Revolution, and The Civil War.
National Geographic Readers: Sharks by Anne Schreiber
National Geographic Kids has loads of leveled readers for your non-fiction reader. Reading and deciphering non-fiction is a key skills in reading to learn, so these are perfect for emerging readers.
The New Children’s Encyclopedia by D.K.
For curious kids, there is nothing better than a cool encyclopedia. The visuals in the pages of this Smithsonian classic will draw readers in and get them curious. Small facts and tidbits will engage the minds of young kids. Talk about a boredom buster!
Historical Fiction Books for 6-Year-Olds
The Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
I read this for our reading challenge and found it to be such a lovely book. I love the details about life in the late 1800s. I understand that the language used in some of these books is no longer acceptable; however, this book is sweet and wonderful.
I would have no qualms about reading it to my daughter as long as I provided her with the appropriate context.
The Magic Treehouse: Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osbourne
The first in a MASSIVE series of time travel books, Dinosaurs Before Dark introduces us to Jack, Annie, and their magic treehouse.
Each book sends the duo careening back through time on a quest. Later books involve Merlin and there is now a graphic novel version as well.
Finding Winnie by Lindsey Mattick
This is the amazing and true story of the most beloved of all bears- Winnie the Pooh. In 1914, a military veterinarian name Harry Colebourn rescued a baby bear and named him Winnie after his hometown of Winnipeg, Canada.
That bear found his way to the London zoo where he became friends with a little boy named Christopher Robin. The best part? This is a true story told by Harry Colebourn’s great-granddaughter.
The book has an album at the back filled with pictures. This is an adorable book that I know I will be giving to Winnie the Pooh lovers of all ages (my sister-in-law comes to mind).