For middle school students who have read brilliant YA novels earlier in their scholastic career, the time may have come to move onto weightier material. With young teenage spirits, readers may be preoccupied with relationship issues or increased responsibility. The protagonists of these great 8th grade books share similar (or much heavier) burdens.
1. The Book Thief
In 1939 Germany, the country holds its breath under Nazi control. Death has never been more rampant. Readers are introduced to somber material in Markus Zusak’s wonderful narration of a horrible time in world history. Young adults who may have gotten this far in life without reading about the horror of WWII, will certainly not be disappointed in the history lesson.
2. The Fault in Our Stars
Despite the medical miracle that has given her a few extra years, Hazel has always lived her life with death around the corner. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at her support group, Hazel’s outlook changes for the better. For many 8th graders who read fantasy and sci-fi, the emotional thermometer may have never been this high. As 8th grade reading lists will show, relationships are imperative.
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Charlie is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a typical teenager. This coming-of-age story takes the reader on a journey from being the wallflower to the one in the spotlight. To note, the movie adaptation of this book was a cult hit amongst pre-teens.
4. The Giver
If there is any 8th grade book to read that resonates to all ages, it would be The Giver. Fantastically tailored to taken on themes of Buddhism, Communism and worldly desire. Lowry’s masterpiece may be a young reader’s first dance with philosophy
Born with a terrible disfigurement, Auggie has been home-schooled for his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the outside world. Now, for the first time, he’s being sent to a real school – and he’s dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted – and we, as readers, are faced with our own conflicts on how we would treat a person with such an abnormality. No book will ever take you outside of yourself for reflection quite like Wonder.
Looking For More Great 8th Grade Books To Read?
If you are looking for a sci-fi fantasy that handles some weighty issues like the fragility of life and responsibility of action, check out Seefer Elliot. Reviewers have raved and declared it one of the best new books for 8th graders and readers of all ages.