Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Books for 8 year olds

If you have a reader in your brood, and you are a reader, rejoice. It is such a pleasure to see their little heads tucked between pages, disappearing into other worlds, their imaginations stimulated, knowledge being absorbed.

If you are not a reader yourself - my other half empathises. There are mornings and evenings when he can get no response out of our eldest, because they are being swept away with Percy Jackson, or have disappeared deep into Del on another quest.

If you don't have a reader, no worries. Here are some books that my 8 year old has enjoyed, and there is a range here that may be useful for readers and non, for you to read to an 8 year old, and for them to read alone. Please add your suggestions. It is always a pleasure for me to see what else is out there.

I have included a totally unscientific method of indicating how challenging these books are, just to introduce a scale. + means they are probably straight-forward at this age, up to ++++ which meant that even as parents we had to concentrate hard when we read them. Every reader is individual, so this scale is only a guide.


Adventure: Eva Ibbotson: Monster Mission +++
                                         The Secret of Platform 13 +++
                                         Which witch?  +++
                  Cressida Cowell: the Hiccup series ++
                  Jack Stalwart series +
                  Beast Quest series +

Fantasy:     Emily Rodda: Deltora Quest (series) ++

Comedy:    Jeremy Strong: The 100 mile an hour Dog (and many others) +
                  Jeff Kinney: Diary of a Wimpy Kid +

Real-life:    Anne Fine: How to Write Really Badly ++
                                     Goggle-eyes ++
                                      The Angel of Nitshill Rd (and many others) +
                  Malorie Blackman: Antidote +++
                                                 Cloud-busting +
                  Morris Gleitzman: Boy Overboard ++
                                                Doubting Thomas ++

Computers: Jason Bradbury: Dot.Robot (challenging at this age) ++++
                   Alan Gibbons: Shadow of the Minotaur +++

Mythology/History: Terry Deary: Greek Tales/Roman Tales/Egyptian Tales etc +
                                Rick Riordan: Percy Jackson (series) +++
                                David Grimstone: Gladiator Boy (series) +


  1. This blog couldn't have been timed any better. I was sat here trying to find some new books and authors for my 9 year old.

    The Beast Quest books haven't kept his interest much as he can read them in one sitting in the car. He's giggled his way through every Jeremy Strong book and goes back to them repeatedly and we often play the audio books in the car. Rowling, Dahl and CS Lewis are the old favourites that he'll go back to repeatedly and will re-read those books over and over.

    He's been reading Michael Morpurgo lately and enjoying them. Got a road trip from the Highlands to France coming up in a few weeks so will take a look at some of your suggestions to keep him occupied.

  2. Thanks for that, Susanna. I have a 15 year old daughter, 13 year old daughter and a 9 month old son so just missing your 'window', but was making lists of what I recommend my 13 year old in addition to her schoolwork.
    As an aside, if you get an opportunity, please look at my blog; as I am raising money for a children's charity with 40 massive challenges (listed on the blog) starting soon. One is to shake hands for a photograph with 40 of my idols/heroes. You will see those already agreed on the blog, but would love it if you would be willing to support with a handshake.
    Thanks x

  3. Cool list, although no Spy Dog! I guess I'll get over it. I would add Andy Stanton's fab 'Mr Gum' series, especially if you're looking to engage boys in reading. Laugh out loud stuff at bedtime. And, of course, the classic 'Charlie and the Choc Factory'. best book in the world...ever!

  4. Hi Andy - I refer you to my Books for Reading Together blogpost for the Spy Dog recommendation!! Re. Andy Stanton's Mr Gum stories - I absolutely agree, and they were about to go on my new 'Books which make them really laugh' blog.

  5. My 10 and 8 year-old boys are currently obsessed with the Young Samurai series of books by Chris Bradford. It's a sort of teenage version of Shogun, the novel by James Clavell (probably better remembered as the 80s TV mini-series with Richard Chamberlain). My boys do ju-jitsu and recognise many of words and moves in the battle sequences. They've become so obsessed with all things Samurai, Ninja and Japanese that the elder one asked for a bonsai tree for Christmas. Bargain!