Discover our guide to the best books for eight year olds that will keep your little one’s attention to the last page.
Storytime, bedtime, shared memories, and precious moments are all made to feel magical with the help of an excellent storybook. Reading is a bonding experience that will create treasured moments for you and your little one for years.
Favorites like Harry Potter and Matilda are classics that will go down a storm, but if you’re looking for something new and exciting, there are plenty of top-notch reads. If your kid is nearing teenage years, check out our round-up of the best books for twelve-year-olds.
- 1. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
- 2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl
- 3. The BFG, by Roald Dahl
- 4. The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster
- 5. The Indian in the Cupboard, by Lynne Reid Banks
- 6. The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame
- 7. A Series of Unfortunate Events, by Lemony Snicket
- 8. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis
- 9. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
- 10. The Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann David Wyss
- 11. The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- 12. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
- 13. The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling
- 14. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, by Grace Lin
- 15. The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate
- 16. The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
- 17. The Lost Diary of Sami Star by Jaren McCombie
- 18. Cookie! (and the Most Annoying Boy in the World) by Konnie Huq
- 19. Mega Robo Bros 3: Mega Robot Revenge by Neill Cameron
- 20. Everest by Sangma Francis & Lisk Feng
- 21. BOOT: Small Robot Big Adventure by Shane Hegarty
- 22. Mr. Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets by Alex T Smith
- 23. Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet by Zanib Mian
- 24. The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth: Understanding Our World and Its Ecosystems by Rachel Ignotofsky
- 25. Hubert Horatio: How to Raise Your Grown-Ups by Lauren Child
- 26. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
- FAQs About Best Books for 8 Year Olds
1. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is a classic children’s story that generations of readers have loved and cherished. The novel follows the main character, Tom Sawyer, as he embarks on adventures in his hometown, St. Petersburg. Check out our guide on the best books for ten-year-olds.
Twain’s vivid writing style weaves elements of humor with life lessons, making for an engaging and entertaining read for kids and adults alike! Whether Tom is painting fences or solving crimes, every page is packed with action and excitement. Check out The Adventures of Tom Sawyer on Amazon; click here.
“Ah, if he could only die temporarily!”Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl
Mouth-watering and hilarious. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a much-loved storybook that includes a chocolate factory, a boy searching for adventure, and plenty of unexpected twists and turns. When Charlie wins the chance to enter Willie Wonka’s famous chocolate factory, all is not as it seems.
With plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, you’ll be surprised that this read is as hilarious as your little one will. It’s up for debate who the most intriguing and hilarious character is in this story, so you’ll need to read it to find out! Check out Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Amazon; click here.
“You should never, never doubt something that no one is sure of.”Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
You might also be interested in our list of the best books for 7 year olds.
3. The BFG, by Roald Dahl
The BFG is a magical and enchanting adventure that will delight 8-year-olds. This book follows the journey of young Sophie as she befriends the Big Friendly Giant, and together, they embark on a quest to save the world from the gruesome giants. The writing is full of playful and whimsical language that will captivate your young reader.
With its larger-than-life characters and imaginative settings, The BFG is a book that transports readers to a world of endless possibilities. Read The BFG on Amazon; click here.
“What I mean and what I say is two different things,” the BFG announced rather grandly.”Roald Dahl, The BFG
If you’re interested in this topic, you’ll love our round-up of the best Roger Hargreaves books for kids!
4. The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster
The Phantom Tollbooth is an exciting adventure story that 7-year-olds will love. The story follows Milo through a world of wordplay and wit. The books have many fascinating characters like watchdog Tock, the Mathemagician, and the Spelling Bee.
The writing style is simple but engaging, with plenty of jokes and puns to make your kids laugh out loud. This enchanting story will encourage your little one’s imagination to picture the magical world, keeping their attention and entertaining them for hours. Read The Phantom Tollbooth on Amazon; click here.
“Expect everything, I always say, and the unexpected never happens.”Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth
5. The Indian in the Cupboard, by Lynne Reid Banks
The Indian in the Cupboard is about a young boy named Omri. Omri discovers that his toy cupboard brings his plastic figures to life. One of his toys, Little Bear, is a Native American figure who becomes his friend and teaches him valuable life lessons.
The language in the book is straightforward, making it an easy read for children. Read The Indian in the Cupboard on Amazon; click here.
“Omri and Patrick had spent many hours together playing with their joint collections of plastic toys.”Lynne Reid Banks, The Indian in the Cupboard
6. The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame
The Wind in the Willows is a classic tale of friendship and adventure in the idyllic English countryside. With its gentle and flowing prose, the book evokes a sense of tranquility and comfort, inviting young readers to join the characters on their whimsical journeys. The story follows the adventures of a group of talking animals, including the sensible Mole, the loyal Rat, the reckless Toad, and the wise Badger. As they travel through the woods and rivers, the animals encounter challenges and obstacles that test their loyalty and courage.
The book’s detailed and evocative descriptions of nature create a vivid and immersive world that readers will want to revisit time and time. The Wind in the Willows is a timeless masterpiece that will transport your child to a simpler time and place, where nature’s beauty and friendship’s warmth prevail. Read The Wind in the Willows on Amazon; click here.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
7. A Series of Unfortunate Events, by Lemony Snicket
A Series of Unfortunate Events follows the Baudelaire siblings – Violet, Klaus, and Sunny – facing unfortunate events after their parents died in a mysterious fire. Throughout their story, each sibling faces many tragic events orchestrated by a villain – Count Olaf.
Even though the dark themes might not seem appropriate for young kids, be assured that these unfortunate incidents occur with a sense of whimsy and humor. Read A Series of Unfortunate Events on Amazon; click here.
“You know that a good, long session of weeping can often make you feel better, even if your circumstances have not changed one bit.”Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events
8. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a classic children’s book about four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. The siblings embark on a magical journey set in the fictional world of Narnia.
Narnia is a mystical realm where animals talk, and a wicked witch rules the land with a never-ending winter. With the help of the lion Aslan, the children begin an adventure to defeat the witch and restore Narnia to its former glory. Despite being written for children, this story has been enjoyed by readers of all ages for its vivid descriptions and imaginative world-building. Read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe on Amazon; click here.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safety? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
9. The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit is a classic children’s adventure book. Written by J.R.R. Tolkien, the story has everything children love – from dwarves to wizards and hobbits; your little one will adore every character. The story follows Bilbo and his friends as they set out for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to reclaim treasure from a dragon.
With themes of loyalty, friendship, and courage, many important lessons can be learned from The Hobbit. Both children and adults love this classic tale, and you’ll be rooting for Bilbo Baggins from the first page. Read The Hobbit on Amazon; click here.
“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
10. The Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann David Wyss
The Swiss Family Robinson tells the story of a Swiss family stranded on a deserted island after a shipwreck. The family must learn to survive and adapt to their new environment, using their resourcefulness and ingenuity to build shelter, find food, and defend themselves against wild animals. The storytelling emphasizes the practical aspects of survival, with detailed descriptions of the family’s innovations and strategies, which your 8-year-old will love.
Despite being written in the 19th century, the book’s themes of self-reliance and perseverance still resonate with modern readers. The Swiss Family Robinson is a timeless classic that offers a glimpse into adventure and discovery and will captivate your youngster. Read The Swiss Family Robinson on Amazon; click here.
“The monkeys seized all the cocoanuts within their reach and sent them down upon us.”Johann David Wyss, The Swiss Family Robinson
11. The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret Garden is a beautiful and wondrous tale of transformation and rebirth, told in a sumptuous and evocative way. Set against the backdrop of a sprawling English estate, the story follows the journey of young Mary Lennox, who discovers a hidden garden that has been locked away for years. With the help of her newfound friends, Dickon and Colin, Mary slowly brings the garden back to life and, in doing so, transforms herself and those around her.
The author’s rich and lyrical prose captures the natural world’s magic with its vibrant descriptions of the garden and its inhabitants. Even young readers who need help with books will get lost in the prose. The characters are very well developed, each with unique strengths and weaknesses.
Themes of growth, healing, and redemption are woven throughout the story without feeling like lessons are being taught. The Secret Garden is a true masterpiece of children’s literature that deserves a place on your child’s bookshelf. Read The Secret Garden on Amazon; click here.
“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”Frances Hodgson, The Secret Garden
12. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
The Call of the Wild is a rugged and wild adventure tale that is perfect for boys and girls who are animal lovers. The story follows the journey of Buck, a powerful and majestic St. Bernard-Scotch Collie, as he is stolen from his comfortable life and sold into the brutal world of the Alaskan wilderness during the gold rush.
With its vivid and visceral prose, the book captures the raw beauty of nature and the fierce spirit of the animals that inhabit it. Buck’s journey is a testament to the power of loyalty and the unbreakable bond between humans and animals. The Call of the Wild is a book that will thrill and inspire young readers while instilling a deep and lifelong love and respect for the natural world. Read The Call of the Wild on Amazon; click here.
“There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life, and beyond which life cannot rise. And such is the paradox of living; this ecstasy comes when one is most alive, and it comes as a complete forgetfulness that one is alive.”Jack London, The Call of the Wild
13. The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling
The Jungle Book is a collection of short stories that tell the tale of Mowgli, a boy raised by a pack of wolves in the jungles of India. The book follows Mowgli as he learns the ways of the jungle and encounters various friendly and dangerous creatures. Along the way, he must also contend with the humans who are encroaching on the jungle and threatening the balance of nature.
The author, Rudyard Kipling, expertly captures the beauty and mystery of the Indian jungle. His use of animal characters provides a unique and imaginative perspective on human nature, and his themes of self-discovery, loyalty, and the natural world have made the book a classic of children’s literature. Read The Jungle Book on Amazon; click here.
“Now, don’t be angry after you’ve been afraid. That’s the worst kind of cowardice.”Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book
14. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, by Grace Lin
This enchanting and magical novel blends Chinese folklore and adventure storytelling. The story follows a young girl named Minli, who lives in a poor village at the foot of a mountain and embarks on a journey to find the Old Man of the Moon and ask him how she can change her family’s fortune.
Along the way, she meets a colorful cast of characters and experiences a series of magical adventures that teach her about the power of storytelling and the importance of gratitude. With its intricate plot and evocative imagery, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a masterpiece of children’s literature that captivates and inspires your 8-year-old reader. Read Where the Mountain Meets the Moon on Amazon; click here.
“If you make happy those that are near, those that are far will come.”Grace Lin, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
15. The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate
This poignant and beautifully written novel is inspired by the story of a silverback gorilla named Ivan, who lived in a small cage at a shopping mall for 27 years. Told from the perspective of Ivan himself, the story follows the gorilla’s journey as he befriends a stray dog and a baby elephant and dreams of a life beyond his enclosure.
The book touches on themes of friendship, perseverance, and the power of hope and is a moving tribute to the strength and resilience of animals. With its gentle and empathetic writing style, The One and Only Ivan is a book that appeals to young animal lovers. Read The One and Only Ivan on Amazon; click here.
“Humans waste words. They toss them like banana peels and leave them to rot.”Katherine Applegate, The One and Only Ivan
16. The Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
This unique and innovative book is a blend of a graphic novel and a picture book and tells the story of a young orphan boy named Hugo, who lives in the walls of a Paris train station. The book is filled with detailed and intricate illustrations, and the story unfolds through a combination of words and images that work together to create a seamless and immersive reading experience.
With themes of imagination, creativity, and perseverance, The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a book that will inspire and delight your youngster. Read The Invention of Hugo Cabret on Amazon; click here.
“Maybe we are all cabinets of wonders.”Brian Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Looking for more? Check out our guide with metaphor examples for kids!
17. The Lost Diary of Sami Star by Jaren McCombie
The Lost Diary of Sami Star follows a little girl called Hannah as she navigates the struggles of early teen life. Feeling ignored by her parents and watching her friends grow up and drift apart, Hannah feels lost, that is until she finds an intriguing journal in the park. Intrigued by the quirky drawing in the diary, Hannah begins a quest to find Sammi and return it to her.
Tackling topics like new friends, new school dynamics, and growing up, this touching book will prepare your eight-year-old for the challenges they might already face at school. With an accessible, dyslexia-friendly layout, font, and paper, even reluctant readers will love this book. Read The Lost Diary of Sami Star on Amazon; click here.
“That’s my dad I can hear, shouting at my big sister. Dad only called her Victoria when he’s angry”The Lost Diary of Sami Star, Jaren McCombie
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- McCombie, Karen (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 49 Pages - 12/01/2020 (Publication Date) - Barrington Stoke Ltd (Publisher)
18. Cookie! (and the Most Annoying Boy in the World) by Konnie Huq
Cookie! (and the Most Annoying Boy in the World follows Cookie, an excitable nine-year-old going through big changes. First, her best friend of all time moves away, then she sets her sights on a kitten, only for the new boy next door to adopt him instead, and would you believe that after all of this, Cookie then gets the chance to appear on her favorite show Brainbusters?
Cookie is full of life and inspires third-grade kids to be their authentic selves, even if it might annoy others. This is the first book of the three-part series and a must-read for parents and kids alike. It’s also available as an audiobook! Check it out on Amazon; click here.
“Perhaps Brainbusters is still within reach. Maybe I could even be teammates with Jake. If I have to. After the judging is complete everyone gathers round the front desk in the science lab to hear who the winners are. As I go over I catch Mrs Chen’s eye, and she gives me a HUGE grin. A sign? Once again I feel quietly confident. Brainbusters, here I come!”Konnie Huq, Cookie! (Book 1): Cookie and the Most Annoying Boy in the World
19. Mega Robo Bros 3: Mega Robot Revenge by Neill Cameron
Get ready for action-packed robot adventures with Mega Robo Bros 3: Mega Robot Revenge. With vibrant colors and impressive illustrations, this graphic novel is ideal for reluctant readers or early readers who might need their interest sparked by cool drawings and awesome robots.
Mega Robo Bros is a book series following Alex and Freddy, powerful robots who journey on fun adventures together. The third book, Mega Robot Revenge, is one of the most exciting additions to the series, featuring a surprise evil half-brother hunting for revenge. Read Mega Robo Bros 3: Mega Robot Revenge on Amazon; click here.
20. Everest by Sangma Francis & Lisk Feng
Everest is a beautifully illustrated non-fiction book for third-grade kids to learn about Everest. As a part of the Earth’s Incredible Places series, this stunning graphic novel tells the story of those who have explored Everest, exciting facts about this wonder of nature, and the rich history of myth and legend associated with it. With plenty of interesting facts that appeal to young minds, this book is a great way to get your eight-year-old interested in topics like geography, history, and exploration. Read Everest on Amazon; click here.
“There are many legends surrounding the mountains, but none as mysterious and exciting as the legend of Shambhala… Folded into the unknown corners of the Himalayas, there is rumored to be a kingdom called Shambhala.”Everest, Sangma Francis & Lisk Feng
21. BOOT: Small Robot Big Adventure by Shane Hegarty
If you’re looking for a stunning book with uplifting illustrations, look no further! BOOT Small Robot, BIG Adventure is a unique book that will become a family favorite in no time. Follow Boot, a tiny toy robot who wakes up in a scrapyard without its owner, Beth, who is determined to find its way home.
Boot teams up with new friends Noke and Red, who help on the journey, navigating the world in secret as Boot makes its way back home. With new friends by its side, Boot is ready to set off on the dangerous adventure home. Read BOOT Small Robot, BIG Adventure on Amazon; click here.
“All I did know was that I only had two-and-a-half memories, I was lost, and one word kept going around in my brain. Boot.”BOOT: Small Robot Big Adventure, Shane Hegarty
22. Mr. Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets by Alex T Smith
Mr. Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets follows the thrilling adventures of the brave detective—Mr. Penguin. After escaping a wildly dangerous plane accident, Mr. Penguin discovers suspicious noises from a nearby fortress. Following his instincts, Mr. Penguin is convinced that the fortress has something to do with the missing pets in his village.
When disaster strikes and one of Mr. Penguin’s friends disappears, the gang takes action and finds a supervillain who plans to take over the world. Follow Mr. Penguin’s heroic journey as he takes on the evil villain and finds his best friend. With plenty of action, laughs, and all-around silliness, this uplifting book is ideal for 8 to 12-year-olds looking for a fun read. Read Mr. Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets on Amazon; click here.
“Mr. Penguin’s home and office—an igloo between two enormous skyscrapers in Cityville—is in darkness. All is still. The swivel chair behind the desk is empty. A cloth is draped neatly over the typewriter. And Mr. Penguin’s special hat is not hanging on the coat rack as usual. In fact, it’s not there at all.”Mr. Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets, Alex T Smith
23. Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet by Zanib Mian
Omar is an imaginative little boy who loves to daydream. When Omar’s family moves, and he has to start a new school, he is not pleased. What will the new kids be like? How will he make friends? These questions weigh heavily on Omar’s mind as he begins this new adventure.
Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet is a sweet book that teaches kids to deal with change, take on bullies, and embrace their identity. Omar’s funny and relatable personality gives a lighthearted take on the difficulties of growing up and moving schools. Read Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet on Amazon; click here.
“I don’t like things to change. It would be so much more convenient and better for everybody if things always just stayed the same.”Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet, Zanib Mian
24. The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth: Understanding Our World and Its Ecosystems by Rachel Ignotofsky
Inspire your third grader to explore our wonderful world by reading The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth: Understanding Our World and Its Ecosystems. Give your 8-year-old a glimpse into the world of science and ecology with this beautifully illustrated non-fiction book.
There are many things to be excited about as a kid, and one of the best things is exploring the world around you. Learn about biodiversity, the cycles of nature, and the diversity of the Earth’s ecosystem. Read The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth: Understanding Our World and Its Ecosystems on Amazon; click here.
“For starters, we all live on planet Earth. Together, plants, animals, and people spin through outer space, protected only by a thin layer of atmosphere.”The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth: Understanding Our World and Its Ecosystems, Rachel Ignotofsky
25. Hubert Horatio: How to Raise Your Grown-Ups by Lauren Child
Hubert Horatio: How to Raise Your Grown-Ups is a hilarious and heart-warming story about Hubert — a child genius and millionaire. Hubert lives a life of turmoil because, unlike him, his parents aren’t geniuses. Hubert’s parents are careless with money, and Humert worries that they are spending all of it. It’s up to him and his best friend Stanton Harcourt to fix this and save their fortune.
With a fun and light storyline, this easy-read book is perfect for a quick chapter before bedtime or encouraging independent reading for your third-grader. Written by famous children’s book author Laren Child, this story is an ideal reading book for kids ages 9-12. Read Hubert Horatio on Amazon; click here.
“Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton-Trent was, in fact, a child genius — probably the cleverest boy you will ever meet — and he could do a great many things very well.”
26. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Charlotte’s Web is a beloved children’s book that follows a pig named Wilbur, who has an unlikely bond with a friendly spider named Charlotte. Charlotte is intelligent, thoughtful, and sweet — much to Wilbur’s surprise!
This heartwarming story teaches children the importance of friendship, loyalty, and kindness. With plenty of imaginative stories and delightful imagery, this great book is a favorite for kids and parents. Read Charlotte’s Web on Amazon; click here.
“Wilbur never forgot Charlotte. Although he loved her children and grandchildren dearly, none of the new spiders ever quite took her place in his heart.”Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White
FAQs About Best Books for 8 Year Olds
What are the best books for eight year olds?
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and The BFG are great choices for your third-grader to enjoy.
What is a book with a good moral lesson for eight year olds?
The Velveteen Rabbit has powerful moral lessons for kids with love, friendship, and authenticity themes. It follows a stuffed rabbit who dreams of becoming a real rabbit by a young boy’s love. This sweet book tells the story of transformative love resilience, and how genuine connections can improve our lives for the better.
Should 8 year olds be reading chapter books?
Yes, 8 year olds can read chapter books. Reading skills have developed at this age, and attention spans have grown, so it’s the perfect time to begin reading longer books with chapters.