It can be difficult to find appropriate and engaging 8th-grade novels. I have taught 8th grade for 11 years. I love to see what books stand the test of time and remain popular year after year. This best 8th-grade books book list will help you decide on what to add to your classroom library and recommend to your students. This blog post contains affiliate links which are of no cost to the reader. If you make a purchase through the provided links this blog will receive a small commission to help with the financial costs of maintaining the site.
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (Historical/Realistic Fiction)
This is my favourite book for 8th Grade. The Greasers and the Socs have always been at war with each other. Each gang claims their own part of the city. When things go horribly wrong during a fight, Ponyboy and Johnny run away from home to avoid being arrested by the police. Is this book a good fit for your classroom? Read the Common Sense Media Book Review and Movie Review
Rule of 3 by Eric Walters (Science Fiction)
During a global blackout, Adam’s life has become very dangerous. To survive Adam and his mentor Herb, must make the right decisions. When a threat arrives unexpectedly, no one is nearly ready for it. Someone will have to pay because of Adam.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (Mystery)
When ten strangers arrive at a desolate mansion upon the request of a stranger they quickly become aware that this is not your average dinner party. 10, 9, 9, 7 soon after their arrival one guest at a time goes missing. Who is responsible for these actions? Who will be next? Is this book a good fit for your classroom? Read the Common Sense Media Book Review
Tangerine by Edward Bloor (Realistic Fiction)
Paul Fisher has recently moved to a new home in Tangerine County, Florida. Although he wears thick glasses, he still notices that many unusual events occur in his new hometown – lighting strikes, sinkholes and fires. He also must deal with the frequent bullying from his star athlete older brother. He finds solace once he joins the local soccer team. As many events continue to occur, anything seems possible in Tangerine County, Florida. Is this book a good fit for your classroom? Read the Common Sense Media Book Review
Drums Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick
Steven’s life was perfectly normal until things take an unexpected turn. His lifestyle has changed from now being a carefree middle school student to someone who is constantly worried about their five-year-old brother’s diagnosis of leukemia. Steven tries to help his family through this crisis using humour to offset their current reality.
Egghead by Caroline Pignat
The transition from elementary school to high school can be difficult for some students. Will is a “nerdy” boy who enjoys his ant farm and fake turtleneck sweaters. This makes Will a target for Grade 9 bully Shane. Katie, Will’s friend since elementary school must choose which role she wants to have, bystander or friend.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Beatrice lives in a society where it is divided in five main factions. As each citizen becomes an adult they must choose between staying with their family’s faction or switching factions. Read this book, to find out how her initiations lead her to a discovery that will shock not only Tris, but her community. She is warned that she must conceal her status or risk being removed from her home. Is this book a good fit for your classroom? Read the Common Sense Media Book Review and Movie Review
Legend by Marie Lu
Set in the future where the United State has disappeared and the Republic exists, is a story about a place always at war. After her brother is murdered, fifteen year old June crosses paths with Day, one of the Republic’s most sought after criminals. They must sort out their reality and discover the truth about the Republic. Is this book a good fit for your classroom? Read the Common Sense Media Book Review
Monster by Walter Dean Myers
This engaging novel will captivate your students as it is written as a movie script. Steve Harmon lives in a juvenile detention centre. He is currently on trial for murder. The novel showcases how a split second decision can change your life. Is this book a good fit for your classroom? Read the Common Sense Media Book Review
Counting By 7s
Being a twelve-year-old genius isn’t easy – especially when your parents have just died in a car accident. Willow Chance must learn to rise above these challenges and find her way amongst her new family. Is this book a good fit for your classroom? Read the Common Sense Media Book Review
Other Great Reads
- How to Use and Find Young Adult Literature For The ELA Classroom
- Finding Affordable Books For Your Classroom Library
- 10 Books for Picky Middle School Readers