An 8-year-old who loves to read is a reader for life! That's why it's so important to help your 8-year-old children and students (typically 3rd graders) find books that are engaging and make them want to keep reading!
While some kids this age are reading voraciously, others may still be working on reading fluency and comprehension. Choose books–or better yet–teach them to choose books that they can enjoy, are age appropriate, are challenging, but not too frustrating. That may sound like a tall order, but the books on this list will help!
And remember, even when your 8-year-old is reading independently, don't stop reading aloud!
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THE CASE OF THE CASE OF THE MISTAKEN IDENTITY (series) by Mac Barnett
12-year-old Steve dreams of being a detective and has studiously read and re-read "The Baily Brothers Detective Handbook." He knows everything about solving crimes, which comes in handy when he finds himself thrown into the middle of an exciting mystery. Every book in the series has tons of adventure, twist and turns, loads of intelligent humor and a satisfying ending.
DRAGONS IN A BAG (series) by Zetta Elliott
One day, Jaxon's mom leaves him in the care of Ma, a woman who he thinks is his grandmother but who is actually a witch on a baby dragon delivery mission. Ma takes Jaxon on as her apprentice and they travel to a magical world. When they are set to return to Brooklyn, Ma is accidentally left behind and Jaxon enlists the help of his friends to take care of the baby dragons and rescue Ma.
MORE: Dragon chapter books
DEFINITELY DOMINGUITA: KNIGHT OF THE CAPE (series) by Terry Catasus Jennings
This is a great chapter book series with an indomitable, book-loving heroine. In the first book of the series, Dominguita's abuela has just moved away and Dom loves reading Don Quixote, abuela's favorite book. It makes her feel closer to abuela. Dom attempt to set out on some knightly adventures of her own and prove to the class bully that girls can be knights.
INDIAN SHOES by Cynthia Leitich Smith
This early chapter book is a collection of funny stories about a contemporary Seminole-Cherokee boy and his grandfather. I think this book with its charming tales of the loving intergenerational relationship also works very well as a read aloud.
DETECTIVE NOSEGOOD (series) by Marian Orłoń, illustrated by Jerzy Flisak
I absolutely love finding English translations of foreign children's books. This gem is from a Polish author. Mr, Ambrosius Nosegoode is a retired famous detective living with his talking dog in a small town. But retired doesn't mean much when he sets out to investigate a missing music box in his new home. Orłoń's narrative is full of subtle humor for discerning readers and is a great mystery for kids who don't like scary stories.
THE PERILOUS PRINCESS PLOT (series) by Sarah Courtauld
Don't be alarmed if you hear uproarious giggles coming from your child's room while they read this book. Hard-working, practical Eliza and her dreamy, prince poster-collecting sister, Gertrude, are total opposites. When Gertrude goes off one day to find a prince and instead gets captured, her sister heads out to rescue her.
MINDY KIM AND THE YUMMY SEAWEED BUSINESS (series) by Lyla Lee
Mindy and her father have moved to Florida. Starting a new school is always tough and on the first day others tease her about her lunch, which includes kimchi and seaweed. However, a classmate tastes the seaweed and declares it delicious, prompting Mindy to start a seaweed business in pursuit of raising enough money to purchase a puppy to cheer up her newly widowed father. Full of heart, thought-provoking themes and engaging, well-rounded characters, this is a great book series for 8-year-olds.
DETECTIVE GORDON: THE FIRST CASE (series) by Ulf Nilsson
Detective Gordon, the local crime stopper, has more of a penchant for tea and cakes than he does for police work, and don't even think about asking him to use the gun. When he meets up a young mouse, whom he mistakes for the criminal in a case he has to solve, he gains a small but enthusiastic assistant. Together they concoct a plan to discover the real thief, who has stolen all of Squirrel's nuts. The lovely, colorful illustrations are a wonderful accompaniment.
THE GREAT PET ESCAPE (series) by Victoria Jamieson
This is the first book in a graphic novel series, Pets on the Loose. A class pet, GW the hamster, has collected enough classroom debris to create a machine to allow him to escape his cage. He sets out to free the other class pets where chaos and hijinks ensue. Graphic novels are fun for all kids, and are especially useful in encouraging reluctant readers to read more.
MORE: Beginning Graphic Novels
BOOK UNCLE AND ME by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Julianna Swaney
The Book Uncle is a friendly gentlemen who helps children in India find just the right book at the street corner lending library he runs. This is a terrific story about one girl's determination to stand up and protest against the corrupt politicians who threaten to put Book Uncle out of business. Yasmin's story will inspire your kids to work towards a goal and learn about the value of community involvement.