When You Reach Me, Rebecca Stead
I read this book on Sunday for my Information Needs of Children course. I'd seen it at work a million times before, and was especially drawn to the cover. The book was unexpected, but an excellent read.
Sixth grader Miranda (named after the Miranda rights) knows how to navigate 1978 New York City. She's one of the latchkey children, an independent group of children who let themselves into their families' apartments and can take care of themselves. Things start to change for Miranda, and she begins to receive unsettling notes from someone who knows more than it is possible to know. She is thrown headfirst into a confusing A Wrinkle in Time situation and is forced to lift the veil to save a life.
This book might be difficult to understand for sixth graders, but older children will love the time travel themes mixed with a traditional coming-of-age story.