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Best Books for 8th Graders
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by
(North Bound) Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Native American is the school mascot.
The First Part Last by
Bobby's carefree teenage life changes forever when he becomes a father and must care for his adored baby daughter.
When sixteen-year-old Jason Bock and his friends create their own religion to worship the town's water tower, what started out as a joke begins to take on a power of its own.
How to Say Goodbye in Robot by
(North Bound) After moving to Baltimore and enrolling in a private school, high school senior Beatrice befriends a quiet loner with a troubled family history.
Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by
While navigating his first year of high school and awaiting the birth of his new baby brother, Scott loses old friends and gains some unlikely new ones as he hones his skills as a writer.
(North Bound) Eighteen-year-old Lia comes to terms with her best friend's death from anorexia as she struggles with the same disorder.
The Book Thief by
(North Bound) Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.
After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.
The Foreshadowing by
Having always been able to know when someone is going to die, Alexandra poses as a nurse to go to France during World War I to locate her brother and to try to save him from the fate she has foreseen for him.
The Loud Silence of Francine Green by
In 1949, thirteen-year-old Francine goes to Catholic school where she becomes best friends with a girl who questions authority and is frequently punished by the nuns, causing Francine to question her own values.
A Northern Light by
(North Bound) Sixteen-year-old Mattie, determined to attend college and be a writer against the wishes of her father and boyfriend, takes a job at a hotel in 1906 where the death of a guest renews her determination to live her own life.
Brave New World by
(North Bound) In the utopian World State, everyone consumes daily grams of soma to fight depression, babies are born in laboratories, and the most popular form of entertainment is a "Feelie," a movie that stimulates the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. Though there is no violence and everyone is provided for, Bernard Marx feels something is missing
The Catcher in the Rye by
An adolescent boy, knowing he is about to be dropped by his school, spends three days and nights in New York City.
The Diary of a Young Girl by
A thirteen-year-old Dutch-Jewish girl records her impressions of the two years she and seven others spent hiding from the Nazis before they were discovered and taken to concentration camps.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by
Autobiography covering the childhood of a woman who has been a professional dancer, actress, poet, journalist, and television producer.
Forced by the Emperor of the known universe to live in exile on a barren planet, Duke Leto Atreides and his son lead the struggle against the Empire.
Pride and Prejudice by
A spirited young woman in early 19th-century England must cope with the courship of a snobbish gentleman as well as the romantic entanglements of her four sisters.
Animal Farm by
A political satire in which the animals take over running the farm but find their utopian state turning into a dictatorship.
The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by
(North Bound) In a world similar to Victorian London, Thaniel, a seventeen-year-old hunter of deadly, demonic creatures called the wych-kin, takes in an lost, possessed girl, and becomes embroiled in a plot to unleash evil on the world.
To free herself from an upcoming arranged marriage, Claudia, the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, a futuristic prison with a mind of its own, decides to help a young prisoner escape.
(North Bound) In all the years she has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house, Grace has been particularly drawn to an unusual yellow-eyed wolf who, in his turn, has been watching her with increasing intensity.
(North Bound) Elphaba, born with emerald green skin, comes of age in the land of Oz, rooming with debutante Glinda at the university, and following a path in life that earns her the label of Wicked.
Ball Don't Lie by
(North Bound) Seventeen-year-old Sticky lives to play basketball at school and at Lincoln Rec Center in Los Angeles and is headed for the pros, but he is unaware of the many dangers--including his own past--that threaten his dream.
Home of the Braves by
Eighteen-year-old Joe, captain of the soccer team, is dismayed when a hotshot player shows up from Brazil and threatens to take over both the team and the girl whom Joe hopes to date.
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by
Daily class discussions about the existence of God, abortion, suicide and other contemporary issues serve as a backdrop for a high-school senior's attempt to answer a friend's cry for help.
Box Out by
High school sophomore Liam jeopardizes his new position on the varsity basketball team when he decides to take a stand against his coach who is leading prayers before games and enforcing teamwide participation.
Whale Talk by
(North Bound) Intellectually and athletically gifted, TJ, a multiracial, adopted teenager, shuns organized sports and the gung-ho athletes at his high school until he agrees to form a swimming team and recruits some of the school's less popular students.
(North Bound) After learning that he has been sent from the future for a special purpose, eighteen-year-old Jack receives help from an unusual dog and a shape-shifting female fighter.
On New Earth, a world based on a video role-playing game, fourteen-year-old Erik pursuades his friends to aid him in some unusual gambits in order to save Erik's father from exile and safeguard the futures of each of their families.
In an alternate 1914 Europe, fifteen-year-old Austrian Prince Alek, on the run from the Clankers, forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn who is disguised as a boy so she can learn to fly genetically-engineered beasts.
As the Galactic Empire declines, psychohistorian Hari Seldon and his band of psychobiologists form the Foundation, designed to be the core of a new ruling corporation.
Nineteen Eighty-Four by
(North Bound) In a grim city and a terrifying country, where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind, Winston is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions.
(North Bound) Three teens embark upon a cross-country journey in order to escape from a society that salvages body parts from children ages thirteen to eighteen.
Dairy Queen by
After spending her summer running the family farm and training the quarterback for her school's rival football team, sixteen-year-old D.J. decides to go out for the sport herself, not anticipating the reactions of those around her.
Mystery & Adventure
The Body of Christopher Creed by
Torey Adams, a high school junior with a seemingly perfect life, struggles with doubts and questions surrounding the mysterious disappearance of the class outcast.
Little Brother by
Interrogated for days by the Department of Homeland Security after a major terrorist attack on San Francisco, California, 17-year-old Marcus is released into what is now a police state, and decides to use his expertise in computer hacking to set things right.
The Perfect Shot by
(North Bound) Brian uses basketball to block out memories of his girlfriend and her family who were murdered; however, the upcoming trial and a high school history assignment forces him to face the past.
The Prince of Mist by
Max and Alicia enlist the help of their friend Roland to explore why a spirit named Jacob is haunting their new house; but their search uncovers a sinister character who returns from beyond in order to collect a debt from the past.
The Rag and Bone Shop by
(North Bound) Trent, an ace interrogator from Vermont, works to procure a confession from an introverted twelve-year-old accused of murdering his seven-year-old friend in Monument, Massachusetts.
When best friends Chris and Win go on a cross country bicycle trek the summer after graduating and only one returns, the FBI wants to know what happened.