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55 8th Grade Books Students Should Have On Their Bookshelves

If you are an 8th grader who loves to read, or you know one, then you might find yourself overwhelmed with the choices of books available.

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8th Grade Books Students

There are so many out there, but how do you know which ones are worth reading? We have put together this list of recommendations to make it easier for you. 

1. One Of Us Is Lying – Karen M McManus

This New York Times bestseller has been described as a cross between The Breakfast Club and Pretty Little Liars.

Five students end up in detention, but only 4 make it out. One of them has been murdered, and the rest of them are lying about it. 

2. A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder – Holly Jackson

This is the first book in a bestselling series. Five years after a murder suicide involving two high school students, the town of Fairview still can’t move on.

Especially Pip, who makes it her mission to uncover the truth. But Pip’s determination to uncover secrets about the murder puts her own life in danger. 

3. Twilight – Stephenie Meyer

This is book one of the famous Twilight series which took the world by storm and has been turned into a very popular movie series.

If you know an 8th grader who is interested in vampires then they will love this book. 

4. Looking For Alaska – John Green

This is an award winning book from international bestseller John Green. Miles Halter is a boarding school student with a fascination with last words.

He meets Alaska Young, and his life begins to change in unexpected ways. 

5. The Summer I Turned Pretty – Jenny Han

This is another great book from Jenny Han, who wrote ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ which was turned into a movie.

The Summer I Turned Pretty is a coming of age book about first love, and it is now a major television series. 

6. The Boy In The Striped Pajamas – John Boyne

This moving and harrowing story is about Bruno, a boy living in Berlin in 1942.

His family moved to a house, right next to a concentration camp. Bruno befriends a boy on the other side of the fence who is always wearing striped pajamas. 

7. The Lost Hero – Rick Riordan

This is book one of a series by Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series. It is the same in the same school – Camp Half Blood – where demigods are trained to fight.

Jason wakes up with no memories – he can’t even remember his own girlfriend. But when her father goes missing she needs his help. 

8. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

This book is not an easy read, but is ideal for 8th graders who are strong readers and want to indulge in the classics.

It is more than just a love story, it is a social commentary that tells a lot about what life was like for women in the 1800s. 

9. The Book Of Dust – Philip Pullman

This New York Times bestseller from much loved young adult author Philip Pullman.

It is linked to the well known world of ‘His Dark Materials’, expanding on Lyra’s story. Fans of Philip Pullman will love this book. 

10. All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven

Finch and Violet are two very different teenagers, but they feel a connection when their paths cross. They decide to spend more time together, seeking out experiences to see what life has to offer.

They realise how important their friendship is becoming to them, but their futures are uncertain and things aren’t as simple as it seems. 

11. Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon

Nicola Yoon is the bestselling author of ‘The Sun Is Also A Star’. This story follows Cara, a teenager with a rare disease that means she cannot leave her house without her life being in danger.

When a new family moves in next door she sees Olly, and knows that she is destined to fall in love with him. 

12. If I Stay – Gayle Forman

This is a critically acclaimed novel from a bestselling author that has now been turned into a major motion picture.

Mia is a 17 year old girl trying to piece her life together after a serious accident. She is faced with a difficult choice and needs to decide what she wants to live for. 

13. Skyward – Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Reckoner series, and he is back with book one of the Skyward series.

Spensa is desperate to get into flight school so she can become a pilot and fight to protect the human race. The problem is, she is being held back by the bad reputation of her deceased father. 

14. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

This number one New York Times bestseller is now a major movie. 16 year old Jacob finds himself at a strange orphanage after a family tragedy.

The orphanage is isolated on an island, and the residents are… unusual. 

15. Divergent – Veronica Roth

The Divergent Trilogy is a popular book series for teens who enjoy dystopian fiction like The Hunger Games or The Maze Runner.

It is also a major television series, and there are two more books to enjoy if you like this one. This book is beautifully written and packed with emotion and excitement. 

16. Summer Of The Woods – Steven K Smith

This adventure book is ideal for young adults and teens who want to capture that nostalgic feeling of summer.

When Derek and Sam move to Virginia, they end up uncovering an old mystery and stopping at nothing to find out the truth. This is the first book in the Virginia Mysteries series. 

 17. If He Had Been With Me – Laura Nowlin

This is a bestselling young adult romance about lost chances and unresolved feelings.

It also shows how one connection can have a life altering impact. This gripping and emotionally authentic book is a great read.

18. Girl In Pieces – Kathleen Glasgow

This debut novel from Kathleen Glasgow is beautifully heartbreaking- it’s no wonder it became a New York Times bestseller. It deals with some heavy themes in an excellent way. 

19. Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

Cath used books as a distraction from the difficulties in her life. Not just any books – Simon Snow books.

But there comes a time when you need to let go of the coping mechanisms and face your problems, but is Cath able to let go of Simon Snow? 

20. Scythe – Neal Shusterman

This young adult fantasy book has some chilling themes and makes an exhilarating read.

After the human race has overcome all obstacles, even death, the scythes are used to keep the population size under control. But first, they have to be trained in the art of killing.  

21. Unsouled – Will Wight

This is book one of a 12 part fantasy series that is perfect for young adults. It follows Lindon and the journey he must take in order to save his homeland. 

22. Between Shades Of Gray – Ruta Sepetys

This international bestselling book has now been turned into a popular movie.

It is about 15 year old Lina whose life changes for ever when the Soviets enter Lithuania. She is taken to a Siberian work camp where she uses art to cope with her grim reality. 

23. The Inheritance Games – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

This is book 1 of four in a New York Times bestselling series that is perfect for young adults who are ready to start reading about some more mature themes.

It follows Avery, a girl who must get involved in dangerous games to navigate her complicated family. 

24. I’ll Give You The Sun – Jandy Nelson

This New York Times bestseller is a story about love and loss, as well as betrayal.

Noah and Jude are non-identical twins who shared a very close bond, but something happens between them that changes their connection forever. 

25. Gathering Blue – Lois Lowry

This book is part of The Giver quartet. It is about an orphan called Kira who finds herself fighting for her life and trying to uncover the truth. This book will stay with you long after you have finished the last page. 

26. Romeo And Juliet – William Shakespeare

This timeless love story is a great introduction to Shakespeare for young adults to try. It is full of passion and excitement, and will help with their ongoing literature studies. 

27. Vampire Academy – Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy is a wonderful fantasy book for 8th graders that has been popular since its release 10 years ago. Rose and Lissa must navigate a treacherous world of vampire royalty and forbidden love. 

28. Darkest Minds – Alexandra Bracken

This is book one of a hit book series from Alexandra Bracken. Any 8th grader will find themselves gripped by this book.

After 10 year old Ruby survives a mysterious and fatal disease, she is left with strange and powerful abilities.

Her and the other children with the same powers are sent to a government facility where it seems her life is still in danger. 

29. Dance Of Thieves – Mary E Pearson

This book is part of the Remnant Chronicles universe and is a New York Times bestselling young adult novel.

Kazi is a reformed street thief who is sent to work for the queen. She finds herself caught in a dangerous political game of cat and mouse. 

30. Skink No Surrender – Carl Hiaasen

Carl Hiaasen has been writing the character, Skink – one eyed former Florida governor – for older audiences.

This book brings the character to young adults and is perfect for 8th graders. Can Skink help Richard track down his missing cousin? 

31. Shelter – Harlan Coben

Shelter is a number one bestselling book which is the first in a trilogy. It follows 15 year old Mickey who is sent to live with his estranged uncle.

When Mickey’s girlfriend goes missing he must uncover a conspiracy to find the truth. 

32. Flat Out Love – Jessica Park

Julie is a college freshman who finds herself caught between two guys – she has strong feelings for Finn, but when Matt catches her eye she can’t get him out of her head.

How will she navigate this tricky situation, and who will she choose? 

33. Will Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green & David Levithan

This New York Times bestselling book has been written by two young adult authors in collaboration.

It is about two different boys who share a name – Will Grayson. Their encounter sends their lives in directions they never could have imagined. 

34. The Rose & The Dagger – Renee Ahdieh

This is the bestselling sequel to ‘The Wrath And The Dawn’ and is a must read for every 8th grader. It is a gripping fantasy novel that will whisk you away to a magical world. 

35. All American Boys – Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely

When a violent act of racism shakes up a town, two teens find themselves caught up in racial tension that spreads around the country. People take sides and the situation escalates, but can it be reconciled?

36. Tell Me Three Things – Julie Buxbaum

This is a funny yet romantic mystery that will keep you gripped until the last page. The sad moments make comedic and heartwarming moments even more powerful.

Jessie is in her junior year of prep school when she starts receiving anonymous messages from someone offering her help. But can she trust them? 

37. The Traitor’s Son – Pedro Urvi

Lasgol is a 15 year old boy and the son of a traitor who tried to kill the king. In the first book of the Path Of The Ranger series, find out how he manages to clear his name and uncover the truth as he attends the School Of Rangers. 

38. The Chronicles Of The Dragon: The Hero, The Sword And The Dragons – Craig Holloran

Nath Dragon is trapped in human form until he can prove that he is worthy of his dragon scales.

Accompanied by his Dwarven friend, he must fight to save his kin from dragon poachers, orcs, ogres, trolls and more. 

39. I Shall Wear Midnight – Terry Pratchett

Sir Terry Pratchett is a believed author who has captured the heart of children and adults alike.

This is the fourth book in the Discworld series Tiffany Aching is a witch who is fighting against evil, and the fate of many depends on her success. 

40. Finding Audrey – Sophie Kinsella

Sophie Kinsella has written some fantastic novels including ‘Confessions Of A Shopaholic’ and ‘The Undomestic Goddess’. Now she has started writing young adult novels, and they are perfect for 8th graders. 

41. Unbroken – Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken is the young adult adaptation of the true story of Louis Zamperini, an athlete turned Lieutenant whose plane crashes in enemy territory during the Second World War.

This book features photographs and an interview with Zamperini. 

42. Maniac Magee – Jerry Spinelli

This is a modern classic about a small town struggling with racial division. Jeffrey Magee is an orphan with a passion for running, and running away. But once the town learn of his talents, it brings them together. 

43. The How To Cookbook For Teens: 100 Easy Recipes To Learn The Basics – Julee Morrison

Every 8th grader should be able to cook a simple meal for themselves.

This cookbook is ideal for learning the basics, with straightforward step by step instructions. It will certainly increase your confidence in the kitchen. 

44. The Downstairs Girl – Stacey Lee

This New York Times bestseller is a great choice for 8th graders. Jo Kuan is a 17 year old lady’s maid with a cruel mistress. She moonlights as an anonymous newspaper columnist.

When she uses her words to attack gender roles and social norms, she experiences a level backlash she did not expect. 

45. Reflection – Elizabeth Lim

This is part of Disney’s Twisted Tales – alternative tellings of Disney’s most loved stories. Reflection is about Mulan, who travels to the underworld to recover the soul of Captain Shang. 

46. Poor Unfortunate Souls – Serena Valentino

This is book 3 of the villains series which tells the story of the most well known Disney villains.

This story explains how Ursula came to be so bitter, and helps 8th graders to understand not to judge people too harshly. 

47. The Power Of One – Bryce Courtenay

Peekay is born in 1939 in South Africa. He experiences hardships in his childhood . but his determinism takes him on an epic and transformative journey. 

48. Star Wars – Queen’s Shadow

This Star Wars fiction is written by a New York Times bestselling author. Padme is doing her best to navigate difficult political positions as she becomes Naboo’s representative on the Galactic Senate. 

49. Sunshine – Robin McKinley

This is a vampire fairy tale from an award winning and national bestselling author.

Sunshine is captured by a vampire and taken to a decaying mansion. One of her fellow captors is also a vampire, and Sunshine realises that they are not all the same. 

50. The Alchemyst: The Secrets Of The Immortal Nicholas Flamel – Michael Scott

This is the truth behind the real person who inspired the fictional character in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter Universe. His story is told in the setting of a mystery story which adds an element of excitement. 

51. Michael Vey: The Prisoner Of Cell 25 – Richard Paul Evans

This is the first book in an action packed series that is ideal for young adults. Michael Vey is a teenager with electric powers. He thinks he is alone, but he finds another person with the same powers as him. 

52. Wolf Brother: Chronicles Of Ancient Darkness – Michelle Paver

Wolf Brother is the first book in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series.

It is about 12 year old Torak who becomes an outcast from his tribe, but also an unwilling hero. His only companion is a rescued wolf cub who is also a lone survivor. 

53. Cirque Du Freak: A Living Nightmare – Darren Shan

This is the first book in the Cirque Du Freak series and the inspiration for the movie ‘The Vampire’s Assistant’.

It is scary and exciting and perfect for 8th graders who love horror. It all starts when a young boy buys tickets to a gothic freak show. 

54. Ingo – Helen Dunmore

The late Helen Dunmore wrote amazing books for both adults and young adults. Ingo is a young adult novel set on the English Coast of Cornwall. It follows Sapphy, who has a strong pull to the sea. 

55. City Of Ember – Jeanne DuPrau

This is the first book of a New York Times bestselling series. It has also been made into a movie.

The City Of Ember is the last refuge of the human race, but after 200 years it is under threat. Lina finds an ancient message that might be the thing they need to save the City Of Ember. 


These books are ideal for 8th graders who love to read or want to improve their reading. 

Simon Lewis

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