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Best Books for 8th Graders

Uncover the best reading material for 8th graders with this list sourced from prominent book blogs and publications. These books have earned their place as top suggestions for young adults.

Recommendations from 14 articles, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lopez, Elon Musk and 40 others.
31 books on the list
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The Lord of the Rings book cover
The Lord of the Rings
50th Anniversary, One Vol. Edition
J. R. R. Tolkien - 2005-10-12 (first published in 1955)
Goodreads Rating
Embark on a perilous quest with hobbit Frodo and his companions as they journey across Middle-earth to destroy the powerful One Ring, which threatens to fall into the hands of the evil Dark Lord, Sauron. Follow the journey of the Fellowship of the Ring, made up of a wizard, hobbits, dwarves, elves, and soldiers, as they battle through forests, mountains, and dark towers to save their world. Discover the epic tale of good versus evil, courage, friendship, and sacrifice in this timeless classic.
Long Way Down book cover
Long Way Down
Jason Reynolds - 2017-10-24
Goodreads Rating
A gripping exploration of teenage gun violence, Long Way Down takes place in just sixty seconds as fifteen-year-old Will decides whether or not to seek revenge for his brother's murder. Told in a series of short, powerful verses, Will's journey on an elevator brings him face-to-face with those connected to his brother's death and the grim realities of street justice. Written by bestselling author Jason Reynolds, this fierce novel is a must-read for anyone looking to confront the devastating impact of gun violence on youth culture today.
Divergent book cover
Veronica Roth - 2012-01-01 (first published in 2011)
Goodreads Rating
A dystopian tale set in Chicago, where society is divided into five factions, each representing a particular virtue. Sixteen-year-olds must choose their faction, deciding their future. Beatrice surprises everyone by choosing to leave her family and find her true self. She's initiated into an extreme physical and psychological testing regime, during which she must make friends and navigate a complicated romance. But Beatrice keeps a dangerous secret that could mean her death or the salvation of those she loves as she uncovers growing unrest and conflict in her seemingly perfect society.
To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee - 2006-05-23 (first published in 1960)
Goodreads Rating
This classic American novel tells the story of a young girl growing up in a sleepy Southern town and the moral crisis that shakes her community to its core. With universal themes of innocence and experience, love and hate, and kindness and cruelty, this Pulitzer Prize-winning book has sold over 18 million copies and been translated into forty languages. Harper Lee's simple love story is now regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.
The Inheritance Games book cover
The Inheritance Games
Jennifer Lynn Barnes - 2020-09-01
Goodreads Rating
In "The Inheritance Games", Avery Grambs inherits a massive fortune from billionaire Tobias Hawthorne, but there's a catch – she doesn't know why. To receive her inheritance, she must move into his cryptic mansion and outsmart his four dangerous grandsons who believe she's a con-artist. A thrilling and deadly Cinderella story filled with puzzles, riddles, and codes.
Anne Frank book cover
Anne Frank
The Diary of a Young Girl
Scholastic Inc. - 1999-01-01
Goodreads Rating
Includes an author biography, chapter summaries, vocabulary builders, reproducibles, and cross-curricular activities for students of all learning styles for Anne Frank's historic diary...
The Hate U Give book cover
The Hate U Give
Angie Thomas - 2017-02-28
Goodreads Rating
A teenage girl, Starr Carter, must navigate between two worlds: her poor neighborhood and her wealthy prep school. After witnessing the fatal shooting of her unarmed childhood friend at the hands of a police officer, Starr must decide whether or not to speak out and risk her own safety. The Hate U Give is a powerful exploration of racial tensions and police brutality that will leave readers questioning their own assumptions and beliefs.
The Serpent King book cover
The Serpent King
Jeff Zentner - 2016-03-08
Goodreads Rating
In The Serpent King, Dill faces vipers in his life, from his father's extreme faith to bullies at school. His only refuge is his friendships with outcasts Lydia and Travis. As they begin senior year, their paths diverge, leaving Dill to face his future alone. Debut author Jeff Zentner offers a comic and unflinching look into growing up in the Bible Belt and finding oneself amidst personal struggles.
Frankenstein book cover
Mary Shelley - 2018-03-08 (first published in 1818)
Goodreads Rating
This Gothic thriller is a cautionary tale about the dangers of science. It tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a science student obsessed with discovering the cause of life. Upon bringing his creation to life, Frankenstein recoils in horror at the creature's hideousness. Tormented by loneliness, the creature turns to evil and seeks revenge against his creator. This bestseller raises thought-provoking questions on the meaning of humanity, our responsibilities to each other, and how far we should tamper with nature.
Recommended by
Guillermo del Toro
Scythe book cover
Neal Shusterman - 2016-11-22
Goodreads Rating
A thought-provoking look into a world where death has been conquered but controlled by a select group of individuals - the scythes. Follow the journey of two teens, Citra and Rowan, as they reluctantly apprentice to become scythes and learn the art of taking life, risking everything in the process.
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
We Are Not Free by Traci Chee
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans
Reimagining Literacy Through Global Collaboration by Pernille Ripp
Starfish by Lisa Fipps
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
What About Will by Ellen Hopkins
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Empowered Schools, Empowered Students by Pernille S. Ripp
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Passionate Readers by Pernille Ripp