Choosing books for eighth-graders is a delicate balancing act. Adult novels are already being read by some 8th graders. Others may not enjoy reading or may still find it difficult to do so. Both of these things are perfectly normal. We have tried to select 25 works that would appeal to a wide range of 8th-grade readers, including middle-grade fiction, classics, dramas, and comic books. We examined reviews for a variety of novels in children’s fiction, young adult, and adult divisions to ensure they were all regarded suitable for 13- and 14-year-old students. This is the age where students have to develop the type of books they read. Reading is a beautiful and productive habit. But as we should also be sure that the books we read develop with our age. You cannot stick to the same books that you used to read when you were a kindergartener. We have put together a list of the top 10 best books for 8th graders that will make the transition for you a lot smoother and enjoyable. These stories may make you laugh, cry or gasp with wonder. But they are sure to make you a better version of yourself too.
Table of Contents
M.T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin’s assassination of Brangwain Spurge. This charmingly strange story, which is recounted in both written and illustrated segments, is one of the best books on this list. Spurge is an elf scholar sent on a top-secret covert mission to the country of the goblins, where he lodges with Werfel, a scholar who is keen on treating him like royalty. What Brangwain Spurge doesn’t realize is how he’s being employed by an Elfland commander who wants to kill the goblin lord. Messages to the king interwoven throughout the book indicate the spymaster’s ambitions. Spurge and Werfel must work together to guarantee their own existence as circumstances unfold, and readers must consider issues of political ideology, miscommunication, state propaganda, and blind loyalty as well. But fear not: slapstick humor and offbeat humor are also on the menu. The book has every element of a great page-turner and you will enjoy this one for sure.
The Crystal Ribbon is another great story. This book is perfect for children above 10. The story revolves around 12-year-old Li Jing. Jing’s life is difficult. Her dad is a modest tea farmer, and her family has arrived at the conclusion that Jing must be dedicated to the general good to make sure that the rest of them is better off. She is given as a bride to the Koh family, where she would be the bride of their three-year-old son, Ju’nan, and caretaker to him. It’s not right, and Jing resents it, particularly when she’s mistreated by the Kohs and forced into an even worse circumstance, leading her to conclude her only alternative is to flee and return home. Jing goes on a quest back to Huanan – and to herself – with the help of a spider who threads her a way to escape and a nightingale who assists her to find her way home. The book is a heart-warming tale of courage that you will definitely enjoy.
This is a March release of a medieval fantasy tale based on Mozart’s older sister, Maria. In her own right, Maria Anna is a great musician. Throughout her youth, she toured over Europe with her brother entertaining. This novel combines the 18th-century society they lived in with the Back fictional world created by the real Mozart siblings during their childhood journeys. Maria Anna must balance two different worlds all through the story: one full of mythical fairy companions which may or may not have her best interests in mind, and the other where her brother’s gender guarantees him musical laurels she can only fantasize of. Marie Lu, the number-one New York Times bestseller novelist, creates a sumptuous, poetically recounted story of music, enchantment, and the unbreakable love between siblings in her first book of historical fiction.
Karen Harrington’s Mayday is a fantastic book for 13-year-olds. Wayne and his single mum are in a horrible plane crash on their way back home after his uncle’s funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. Both of them escape, but Wayne suffers an injury that renders him speechless for a few months. During this period, his grandpa, a former drill instructor, lives with them. Wayne’s life is unexpectedly flipped upside down. His girlfriend only remains with him out of sympathy, his grandfather is unwell but won’t say anything about it, and he’s looking for the Union Jack from his uncle’s casket that was lost in the accident. But Wayne makes a new buddy who helps him get through it all, and he learns a little more about his own terrible excuse for a parent. Mayday takes readers on an extraordinary trip of family and friendship, with Karen Harrington’s trademark heart and humor. The book is perfect for a pleasant read and you are sure to enjoy it a lot.
5. Train I Ride
Paul Mosier’s Train I Ride is a short book that tackles a difficult topic for children to discuss. Rydr, a 13-year-old boy, is traveling from California to Chicago via rail. Her grandma has died suddenly, and she is being sent out to reside with an old uncle she has never seen. Rydr had lost her mother to heroin addiction a few years before. Rydr is escorted by Dorothy, an Amtrak escort, on the train. On the train voyage, Rydr’s boldness helps her form several critical and life-saving contacts. Although the topic of the book is difficult, it is still a positive story and an excellent book to give to your child who may not want to read a large tome. The story is really good and the language is simple and easy to understand too.
6. Nowhere Boy
Katherine Marsh’s Nowhere Boy is yet another story you won’t be able to lay down. Max is a 13-year-old American kid whose family has moved to Brussels for the next year. Max resents having to retake a term and attend a French-language school. On the river crossing to Greece, Ahmed, a 14-year-old Migrant worker, breaks away from his father. He manages to go to Belgium and takes refuge in Max’s basement. When Max finds him, the two develop a friendship and devise a strategy to help Ahmed reintegrate into society. Friendship, home, and taking control of one’s life are explored in this current and sensitive book. With the Syrian migrant issue as a setting, award-winning author of Jepp, Who Defied the Stars Katherine Marsh tells an engrossing and touching narrative of perseverance, friendship, and ordinary heroes.
Sophie Anderson wrote a book called The House with Chicken Legs which has been popular among high school readers for a while now. Marinka is approaching her 13th birthday, and despite knowing she is meant to be the next Yaga, she is angry about her fate and wishes for the freedom to choose her own path. She despises her grandmother’s isolated, nomadic existence, which entails assisting the deceased in passing through The Gate and into the hereafter. Marinka discovers a life-altering knowledge about her life when she goes very far away from her house one day, but when her grandma journeys through The Gates to assist a soul and never returns, Marinka must find out how to both command and fulfill her own destiny. This imaginative fresh and uplifting retelling of the Slavic Baba Yaga folktale, which defies the stereotype of Yaga as a villain, was one of my favorites. The locations in the book are beautifully described in vivid detail which makes it a really enjoyable read.
Introduce aspiring thriller readers to a legendary detective story. In Dartmoor, England, the legendary investigator Sherlock Holmes, and his sidekick Watson set out to investigate a new crime. Huge dog pawprints lead to the corpse of a guy who has died. Some people think it’s just a coincidence. Others believe in a dark secret as well as local folklore about a ghostly dog who can scare people to death. When Holmes and Watson arrive in Dartmoor, they discover a number of strange events and hints. Together, they begin to solve a conundrum that has defined intrigue and detective literature since the publication of this novel. Sherlock Holmes is Hands down the best fictional detective ever to be created. Fans of amazing characters will love this book.
Things Fall Apart is the first of Chinua Achebe’s highly lauded African Trilogy, which includes three works. It’s a famous story of Africa’s devastating confrontation with Europe as it creates a colonial force. This is a timeless classic that may be enjoyed by people of all ages. This was one of the first books many parents read in middle school, and it was one of the first books a lot of students read in college. It was first published in 1959 and is now considered a rare African work in the academic canon. The intriguing tale follows the character Okonkwo, who lives in a Nigerian Igbo community. As European missionaries and colonization have an impact on the world around him, his life alters radically.
10. The Night Circus
This novel could be a good comfort book for 8th graders, with differing viewpoints, extensive scene descriptions, and an intricate magic system. Celia and Marcus, two teenage magicians, have spent their entire lives preparing for magical combat. The duel entails each participant outdoing the other in the building of a magical circus. When they meet and develop affections for one other, though, the contest is jeopardized. However, whether in love or not, the game continues to call more and more from each magician. Neither of them wants to lose the game or their friendship. The story is beautifully written and you are sure to enjoy it to the fullest.