Looking for the best books for 8-year-olds? We’ve got the perfect list for you!
Having raised 4 kids through this particular age, we are well-equipped to give suggestions for children with all kinds of book preferences. We’ve got suggestions for Harry Potter-loving fantasy fans and picture book suggestions for reluctant readers.
Below, you’ll find lots of great stories divided by category. Many of the books for 8-year-olds have links to book lists with even more recommendations, so be sure to poke around.
Looking for more options? We’ve got tons of genre-specific book lists for 8-year-olds!
*Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.
Best Fantasy Books for an 8-Year-Old
Brystal Evergreen finds out that she can perform magic when reading a book from her library, but women aren’t supposed to read!
When she is sentenced to a correctional facility, she was quickly whisked away to an academy where she can learn magic! My kids devoured this middle-grade fantasy as quickly as Chris Colfer’s last series. While no correctional facility could be as bad as Azkaban, this series is a perfect pick for books like Harry Potter for kids.
This series of early readers has pictures on almost every page and easy to read language. The Stories, however, are fun and full of adventure.
They are sure to keep your child engaged with fairies, trolls, and mermaids. With all the creatures in this series, these are perfect books like Harry Potter for kids.
Dragonbreath is a graphic novel that is funny, engaging and perfect for a little witch or wizard who would like to encounter dragons a little less menacing than the ones Harry encounters. If you love books like Harry Potter for kids, this is a perfect first graphic novel.
Love Fantasy Books? We do too! That’s why we created a list of Books Like Harry Potter and Books Like Percy Jackson!
Mystery Books for 8-Year-Olds
Another middle-grade story that adults will enjoy too. Mr. Lemoncello’s library is one of a kind. It’s full of holograms, logic puzzles, and hidden games.
To officially open the new library, a few lucky kids get to spend the night inside as they try to win Mr. Lemoncello’s game and be the first team to escape.
These are the same books from when you were a kid! They are great for any child who wants a quick fun read. Each chapter presents a problem that Encyclopedia solves.
It’s great for kids to see if they can figure out the answer themselves. A similar choice to these would be the Choose your Own Adventure books.
My kids adored this beginning reader chapter book based on Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. The bright colors in the drawings and the clever storytelling will have your child thoroughly entertained.
The first in a series, these mystery books are perfect for an 8-year-old detective!
For more books like these, check out our list of Mystery Books for Tweens
Best Family Books for an 8-Year-Old
This charming realistic fiction story is about a bi-racial family in Harlem with 5 kids who are about to lose their home because their reclusive landlord won’t renew their lease.
My entire family enjoyed this delightful tale of the siblings trying to win their landlord over so they don’t have to leave home. Don’t worry. This is one of the best feel-good books on the list.
It was full of all the antics you would expect of a big family. You can find this book on our list of 40 of The Best Books for a 10-Year-Old as well as on our list of The Best Family Audiobooks For Road Trips and Home Listening.
My brother’s girlfriend recommended it to me because her friend wrote it! It did a great job of handling difficult topics in an age-appropriate manner with humor and grace.
Cilla is about to become a big sister, but she wants to become a world-famous author first so her family won’t forget about her. It also addresses coming from a bi-racial family and having difficulties reading. It’s truly a lovely realistic fiction story.
Ramona is another adorable character who is perfectly imperfect. She is sweet and lovable and gets into her share of trouble. Whether you are reading to boys or girls, every child can relate to Ramona.
Best Audiobooks for an 8-Year-Old
This classic middle-grade story is one the whole family will enjoy. Claudia and Jamie decide they want to run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
When a new statue arrives while they are hiding at the famed museum, they won’t rest until they solve the mystery of who created it! Will they solve the mystery before the museum staff?
This story sparked some pretty fun conversations about how to properly prepare to run away and just where each member of my family would wish to escape to!
An imperfect family, the Penderwick family (consisting of the father, 4 daughters, and their dog) go spend their three-week summer vacation at a cottage they rented. Mrs. Tifton, a grumpy, snooty woman, and her son Jeffry own the cottage that is part of the Arundel estate.
The first in a realistic fiction series of 5 books about sisters, this wonderful book is perfect to read aloud at night or listen to on audio for a family roadtrip.
This story is quite the classic and it revolves around all things candy! With its creeptastic vibes, it’s also wonderful for Halloween.
Charlie is thrilled when he gets a golden ticket to see inside Willy Wonka’s amazing chocolate factory, but this is no ordinary candy factory. The machines and recipes behind the walls of the factory are what dreams are made of. This is a wonderful read-aloud book.
For more books like these, check out our list of Family Friendly Audiobooks
Books for 8-Year-Olds Set at School
My 3rd-grade math lover inhaled this tween book in 2 days. It’s all about a 12-year-old girl who was struck by lightning and became a math wiz.
She’s been homeschooled her whole life, but now her grandmother wants her to try to go to school just for one year. She has to make one friend, join one activity, and read one book that isn’t math related. Can she do it?
Louis Sachar’s hysterical collection of stories about the students of Wayside School is a true must-read for students.
The wacky tales and backward ways of the students and teachers at Wayside will have your child in a fit of giggles.
This school has the funniest and weirdest group of teachers. This series is funny and engaging and perfect for early readers!
With over 20 books in this series so far, your child will be entertained for months to come.
Love Back to School Books? We do too! That’s why we created the School Hub with all things school.
Best Spy Books for an 8-Year-Old
When a famed Vermeer painting goes missing, Petra and Calder are thrust into the middle of a scandal! Can they solve an art mystery that’s stumped the F.B.I.?
The first in a 4 book series, this is a great book that is interactive too. There are hidden puzzles in pictures and a code for readers to break in this tween mystery book.
Harriet the Spy has been a classic for over 50 years. The 11-year-old is never without her notebook to write her observations in. When the notebook falls into the hands of her friends, they all get very angry with Harriet.
Will she be able to right her wrongs? There is a reason this realistic fiction book for a 10-year-old has been adapted repeatedly for the screen. It’s got life lessons for every child.
Mac B Kid Spy is an adorable series about a kid spy who works for the Queen of England!
It’s a great series of books for an 8-year-old looking to step up their reading game. It’s almost a mix between a first-chapter book and a graphic novel.
Love these kinds of stories, then check out these spy books for kids.
Royal Books for 8-Year-Olds
Meg Cabot, the author of the famed Princess Diaries, is back with a middle-grade book about Princess Mia’s half-sister, Olivia.
Olivia is an average girl who doesn’t know her father, until her half-sister, Mia shows up and asks her to move to New York to live with the royal family.
She chronicles her adventures in princess life in this charming book series!
In this early reader, the princess has to fight monsters while trying to open her birthday presents.
This adorable book is part of a series that is another cute and funny example of a strong female princess!
This is a hilarious story about the princess who outwits a dragon, rescues the prince, and realizes she doesn’t need him to be happy!!!
It is a classic, wonderful story. Like most of Robert Munch’s books, it is funny and silly and the perfect read-aloud.
Love these kinds of stories, then check out these royal books for kids.
Picture Books for 8-year-olds
This simple yet powerful wordless picture book tells the story of one girl who inspires a community to stand up to bullying.
Inspired by real events, I Walk with Vanessa explores the feelings of helplessness and anger that arise in the wake of seeing a classmate treated badly, and shows how a single act of kindness can lead to an entire community joining in to help.
Both Creepy Carrots and its sibling book, Creepy Pair of Underwear, are favorites in my household. Jasper Rabbit loves carrots, but he soon thinks his favorite carrots are out to get him!
This funny tale is very Twilight Zone-inspired and it’s awesome. The underwear version is funny too and it glows in the dark!
Ada is a thinker whose questions often lead to disasters in the house but, as a parent, how do you encourage your child’s outside-the-box thinking?
Animal Books for 8-Year-Olds
Technically the sequel to Bunnicula, this read-aloud book can really be read as a stand-alone. Chester and Harold are being boarded while their family is on vacation, but they are convinced they are staying in a haunted hotel!
I remember laughing out loud as I read this middle grade mystery book as a child. This Halloween chapter book stands the test of time.
Even before he became a motion picture star, this little bear won my heart. With his hat, duffle coat, and suitcase, he was definitely my favorite growing up.
My kids love him just as much with his crazy antics. He is sweet, lovable, and hilarious. The perfect combination!
This Newberry Honor book is a classic. Originally published in 1938, it tells the story of a painter who finds himself in a house full of penguins.
This hilarious tale is sure to keep the kids entertained.
Classic Books for an 8-Year-Old
Matilda is a magical little girl who loves books. Stuck in a family that doesn’t value education, her life is changed when she meets Ms. Honey at her new school.
But the principal, Miss Trunchbull hates children. When she terrorizes the kids at her new school, Matilda finds the power to fight back. The Netflix book adaption of this one is a musical!
Adventure- Check. Animals- Check. Animals who can talk and wear clothes- Check check. This is a tale that everyone loves about a boy who also happens to be a mouse. All my kids love this great story.
This is such a wonderful story of unconditional love and friendship. When Fern saves the life of Wilbur, the runt of the pig litter, Charlotte befriends him and ultimately saves his life a second time.
This is such a heartwarming story and one of the must-read books for 8-year-olds!
Sports Books for 8-Year-Olds
Bree and her dad have just moved to Florida for her father’s new training program. She’s excited to join electives and make new friends until she realizes the only one she can join is swimming…and that makes her quite nervous.
Soon Bree begins counting on her neighbor Etta to give her swimming lessons, and ends up joining the swim team with the hopes of winning the big competition!
Jake Maddox has long been known for stories about male athletes, but he has female athlete stories too!
This particular story is about Jo and her summer softball team. But Jo might need to make a choice about which team she will be on this summer.
If your child likes basketball, they would love this story written by Shaq. It’s a perfect early reader story for kids that love sports and regular kid stuff.
It’s another perfect series of books for 8-year-olds.
Graphic Novels for an 8-Year-Old
This graphic novel is a Newbery Medal Winner and was an easy pick for a list of the best graphic novels of all time. Astrid and Nicole have done everything together until now. Astrid wants to go to roller derby camp.
And thus begins a summer of friendship, finding yourself, perseverance, and girl power. Astrid may be strong enough to endure middle school. Snag this if you are looking for a book for 11-year-olds.
Dav Pilkey is THE author of books for reluctant readers. His graphic novels never disappoint. From Dog Man to Captain Underwear, these books will keep your kids laughing AND reading.
This particular story is about a half-man, half-dog hero.
Non-fiction Books for 8-Year-Olds
This book tells the story of how Disneyland and the Disney company were created from Walt Disney’s imagination. It’s a fun non-fiction book that is the first in a series.
Other books in the series look at companies like Nike, Google, and Lego. It’s the perfect series of books for an 8-year-old looking to get into the non-fiction genre.
The Who is Series is more than 200 books strong at this point. The series covers famous people, places, and historic events.
If your child is interested in any subject, we can almost guarantee there will be a book related to it in this series. The books are easy to read and interesting, making them the best non-fiction books for an 8-year-old.
Similar to the Who Is series, “The History of” series focuses on key moments in history told in a way that 6-9-year-olds can comprehend.
Books in the series include subjects like Pearl Harbor, the Titanic, The American Revolution, and The Civil War.
Historical Fiction Books for 8-Year-Olds
This book is based on the real story of the world’s most famous bear, Winnie the Pooh. From his beginnings in the forests of Canada all the way to the London zoo where he met the real Christopher Robin, this book mixes one part imagination and one part history to create Winnie’s first big adventure.
We have read the Caldecott Medal winner, Finding Winnie, so many times, this chapter book is perfect for older readers.
Each book tells about a disaster from the point of view of one child who survives. The original books all had a boy on the front cover but, the newer books are told from female perspectives too!
The series has also recently started publishing graphic novels which are some of the best books for an 8-year-old reluctant reader.
I read this for our reading challenge and found it to be such a lovely book. I love the details about life in the late 1800’s. I understand that the language used in some of these books is no longer acceptable; however, this book is sweet and wonderful.
I would have no qualms about reading it to my daughter as long as I provided her with the appropriate context.