continued list of recommendations from Best Books for 8-Year Olds
More Recommended Books for 8 Year Olds
Kylie Jean REALISTIC
Kylie Jean is all Texas, determined and spunky! Very cute stories for 8-year old readers.
Balto of the Blue Dawn by Mary Kate Osborne, illustrated by Sal Murdocca
Ready for another enjoyable and educational adventure from this inspired historical-adventure beginning chapter book series? In this latest Magic Tree House book, Jack and Annie travel to the cold north in 1925 where they must save lives by getting medicine through a blizzard to a sled dog team led by a dog named Balto.
Ferno the Fire Dragon (Beast Quest #1) by Adam Blade FANTASY
This is a short, early chapter book about a young boy, Tom, who gets to go on a quest just like his father before him. Tom’s quest is to free the dragon from the enchanted collar which is making him destroy the kingdom. It’s a decent story –short, adventurous, and features a kid-hero. What could be better than that!?
The Case of the Stolen Sixpence by Holly Webb HISTORICAL MYSTERY
I’m not sure if kids will find this story, set in Victorian England, totally relatable. I think kids need to have enough background knowledge about the setting and characters when they’re reading beginning chapter books. That being said, the story is interesting. Our heroine solves a mystery and helps a friend. The line drawing illustrations are lovely and helpful to understanding the developing plot.
The Magical Animal Adoption Agency Clover’s Luck by Kallie George, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger FANTASY
Clover discovers and volunteers to work at the magical animal adoption agency in a deep part of the woods. But after just one day, Mr. Jams leaves Clover in charge by herself. It’s a lovely story showing Clover learning more about herself (that maybe she isn’t unlucky) and gaining confidence.
Hilo The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick SCI-FI GRAPHIC NOVEL
Hilo can’t remember what happened to him before D.J. finds him crashed into the earth. Hilo remembers an evil monster robot, and that he is a robot meant to protect his world from the bad robots — but those robots have followed Hilo to Earth. This ends of a cliff-note but is worth it — it’s a great page-turning adventure!
Hamster Princess Harriet the Invincible by Ursula Vernon HUMOR
HILARIOUS remix of Sleeping Beauty. In this (much better) retelling, the princess realizes she can’t die until she’s 18 so therefore, she must be INVINCIBLE!! (also read: Hamster Princess Of Mice and Magic by Ursula Vernon)
Fable Comics edited by Chris Duffy FABLES
My kids and I ADORE this book — as well as the series’ previously published books, Nursery Rhyme Comics and Fairy Tale Comics. We love that 17 different cartoonists created one or more of the 28 illustrated fables, sometimes retelling a traditional, often unknown fable, and sometimes retelling with their own twist.
Scarecrow’s Nightmare Maze Batman & Robin Adventures by J.E. Bright, illustrated by Luciano Vecchio SCARY
This is not a graphic novel; it’s an illustrated beginning chapter book that is action-packed and slightly scary. Scarecrow has taken over the corn maze where a group of terrified teenagers are trapped. It’s up to Batman and Robin to stop Scarecrow and rescue the teens. If you’re a fan of DC Comics, or even if you’re not, you’ll find this to be a great superhero adventure story.
Dolphin Rescue (Animal Planet Adventures #1) by Catherine Nichols REALISTIC
Nancy Clancy Seeks a Fortune by Jane O’Connor, illustrations by Robin Preiss Glasser REALISTIC
It’s impressive how well the author took the Fancy Nancy picture books and developed an older Nancy into good beginning chapter books! This is the 7th in the Nancy Clancy series and another enjoyable read. Nancy and her best friend, Bree, learn about Gold Miners at school and determine to make their own fortune with a small business. Their entrepreneurial spirit has them making face cream (the dog eats it) and tiaras (their supplies cost more than they think) which teach them valuable life lessons.
Sofia Martinez My Fantástica Family by Jacqueline Jules, illustrated by Kim Smith REALISTIC
Filled with lots of Spanish words, this warm-hearted story shares three Sofia stories: going to the beach, making a time capsule, and shopping for school supplies, all with her close-knit family.
Ashley Small & Ashlee Tall Brushes and Basketballs by Michele Jakubowski REALISTIC
For Emme, Baked with Love (The Dessert Diaries) by Joy Laura Dower MAGICAL REALISM
Batman The Lazarus Plan (You Choose) by John Sazaklis
Misty the Abandoned Kitten (Pet Rescue Adventures) by Holly Webb REALISTIC
Sherlock Sam and the Ghostly Moans in Fort Canning by A.J. Low MYSTERY
Set in Singapore, Sherlock Sam and his friends use their brains to solve mysteries. In this case, they’re determined to discover the cause of the ghostly sounds from an abandoned military fort. Could it be a ghost? Their adventures are funny and exciting, this is a well-written chapter book in a new series. (See also: Sherlock Sam and the Missing Heirloom in Katong.)
The D.A.T.A. Set: March of the Mini Beasts by Ada Hooper, illustrated by Sam Ricks
Three science-loving friends learn that their neighbor, Dr. Bunsen is a “mad” scientist. They’re thrilled to try out his newest invention — a growth ray. Which turns the kids’ plastic animals into real animals that are growing and growing and growing . . . What will the kids do? I always love to find new STEM-themed, easy-to-read beginning chapter book series like this. Can’t wait for more in the series.
Danger! Tiger Crossing #1 by Lin Oliver
When 10-year old Tiger and his friend, Luna, investigate an unusual neighbor woman’s house, they discover a magical golden frame that transports them into famous paintings. They get stuck in a Henri Rousseau painting where they meet a boy who was trapped there 50 years prior. Will they be able to escape the painting before they’re trapped forever?
Second grader, Alvin Ho, is afraid of everything, especially school. A school he’s quiet but at home, he’s Firecracker Man, superhero.
Basil of Baker Street by Eve Titus, illustrated by Paul Galdone
Living with the famous Sherlock Holmes is how Basil learns to be a skilled detective. He must race against the clock to find the kidnapped mouse twins before it’s too late. Kids will love these suspenseful beginning reader mysteries narrated by Basil’s friend, Dr. Dawson.
Ivy and the Meanstalk by Dawn Lairamore FANTASY
A meanstalk is a beanstalk that attacks — and Princess Ivy and her dragon, Elridge, need to find the golden harp, rescue Toadstool the goat, and return it to the giantess at the top of the meanstalk or the kingdom of Ardendale will be destroyed. A fun adventure of mixed-up fairy-tales.
Gustav Gloom and the Four Terrors by Adam-Troy Castro FANTASY
Fernie, Pearlie and their over-cautious dad help their neighbor Gustav look for his missing father in the shadowy and scary Dark Country. But there is a prison break in the Dark Country and now everything is a big disaster. Quirky and a little bit scary.
Furry and Flo The Big Hairy Secret by Thomas Kingsley Troupe REALISTIC FANTASY
This is the first book in a new, easy chapter book series about Flo and her neighbor, Furry — who is really a very hungry but nice werewolf. The gigantic mama spider might be a bit scary to your kids but that’s it.
Monster Juice Fear the Barfitron by M.D. Payne HUMOR
I liked this silly book for it’s overall kindness message with an entertaining plot. Chris starts volunteering at a retirement home and soon discovers it’s a home for retired monsters. At first he’s scared until he realizes that the monsters are under attack. He and his friends decide they can help — with cheese and barf.
The Gumazing Gum Girl! by Rode Montijo ADVENTURE
When Gabby Gomez pops her enormous gum bubbles, the gum envelops her and gives her superpowers which she uses to help others. Fun and entertaining!
Recipe for Adventure #1 Naples! by Giada De Laurentiis ADVENTURE
Time-travel back to Naples, Italy with siblings Emilia and Alfie where they discover a world of pizza and help a new friend and his family with the important missing ingredient. Plus, 2 recipe cards. A great cooking adventure for 8-year olds!
The Misadventures of Salem Hyde Spelling Trouble by Frank Cammuso HUMOR
What a hilarious character! We love this graphic novel about Salem Hyde, an impulsive but very cute little witch who gets confused between spelling words and casting spells. It’s like Calvin turned witch and female. Fantastic for second and third grade readers!
The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail by Richard Peck, illustrated by Kelly Murphy ADVENTURE
This is a simple but charming story about a mouse grows up at Buckingham Palace longing for an identity. Not only does he not know his parents, he doesn’t even know his name! Happily, his adventures lead him to a very satisfactory conclusion.
Minerva Mint The Order of the Owls by Elisa Puricelli Guerra MYSTERY
Minerva lives in a huge but run-down mansion (that she owns) with her guardian, a quirky artist who found her abandoned at a train station (with the house deed.) Every year, her guardian put an ad in the papers to find her real parents. And, every year imposters answer the ad. This year is no different for imposters but this year, Minerva has two friends her own age. Minerva and her friends not only run off the imposters, but discover answers about Minerva’s past.
Star in the Forest by Laura Resau REALISTIC
Star in the Forest is a good introduction to the situation of Mexican children illegally in the U.S., who are fearful and sometimes separated from their family members. We learn that friendship comes from the most unlikely of friends, even someone like Crystal who despite her lies, is a loyal friend. And, we find that Zitlally’s love for her father helps her do courageous things.
Diary of a Mad Brownie by Bruce Coville FANTASY
It took me a minute to get into the story — but once I passed the slow beginning, I found the story entertaining. We follow a cursed Brownie who is forced to live with a messy American girl and her family. It’s told in diary entries from both main characters points of view plus ancient texts, text messages, and letters.
Smashie McPerter and the Mystery of Room 11 by N. Griffin, illustrated by Kate Hindley MYSTERY
Falsely accused of stealing the class 11 hamster, who she admittedly doesn’t like, third-grader Smashie decides to find the real thief and clear her name. She and her friend Dontel look for clues and try to put them together to solve the crime. Smashie is a well-written, relatable book on the easier side of middle-grade chapter books. Great book for third grade students.
Grace American Girl REALISTIC FICTION
My daughters both love American Girl dolls and books. Grace is the doll of the year for 2015. The book is about Grace’s adventure in Paris with her relatives, including a step-cousin who doesn’t seem to like her or speak much English. Grace develops her courage for new things as well as her cooking skills in her uncle’s bakery. And slowly she and her cousin develop a friendship. It’s a sweet, easy-to-read book where you’ll learn more about French cooking and words set in the City of Lights.
The G-Man Super Journal Awesome Origins by Chris Giarrusso SCI-FI
Of Giants and Ice by Shelby Bach FANTASY
When Rory finds out that her new after school club, Ever After School, is a fairy tale training school for characters. In fact, her first day she fights a real dragon! We learn that all the kids will be assigned their own character in a familiar tale – and the chance to prove themselves. It’s also the beginning of acceptance for Rory – finding friends for the first time, and learning about herself. Love it. (First in a series.)
Jenny and the Cat Club: A Collection of Favorite Stories about Jenny Linsky
We adore the fearless Jenny who lives with an old sea captain and has her own cat club of cat friends.
Finley Flowers Original Recipe by Jessica Young REALISTIC
3rd grade Finley wants to win a cooking contest so she can give the prize (free pizza for a year) to her best friend, Henry, for his birthday. She insists she doesn’t need ideas or help which turns out to be a disaster as well as a valuable learning experience. Charming illustrations accompany this sweet story of friendship.
Benji Franklin Kid Zillionaire by Raymond Bean REALISTIC
Beastologist Series by R. L. LaFevers FANTASY
Great for newer readers, this easy chapter book series is about a boy named Nathaniel Fludd who lives with his Aunt Phil. As it turns out, she is a beastologist — a protector of mythological creatures. Good but not excellent. However, I think kids will like it.
Candy Fairies FANTASY
Each of the candy fairies has a specialty. Yummy adventures!
Elliot and the Goblin War by Jennifer Nielsen FANTASY
Debut author Nielsen serves up goblins like they’ve never been seen (or smelled) before, in this tale that unfolds the mysteries of the Underworld.
The Seals That Wouldn’t Swim, Field Trip Mysteries by Steve Brezenoff, illustrated by Marcos Calo MYSTERY
The Field Trip Mysteries are the field trips of Cat and her classmates. In this particular adventure, they are at the aquarium to see a seal show. But the seal show is cancelled and the kids discover that two of the seals have been drugged. It’s up to them to discover the person behind it.
Rescue Princesses MYSTERY
These princesses love animals and solve mysteries.
Mermaid Tales by Debbie Dadey FANTASY ADVENTURE
Fun books about friendship with mystery and adventure.
The Kicks Hat Trick by Alex Morgan (book 4) REALISTIC
Finally, a fantastic book (series) for soccer girls! If you have a soccer player in your house, and I think a LOT of you do, you’ll want to get your soccer lover this book –actually, buy her the entire series. Written by Olympic Gold Medalist and U.S. Soccer team member (among other things), Alex Morgan, it’s a realistic story of life, friendship, and playing soccer.