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I feel like I am repeating myself but I can’t help it. Before you explore this list, check out the previous age categories first because those lists contain a lot of books for this age group but perhaps they could be enjoyed by an 8- or 9-year-old already so the book is there and not here. See lists for kids 9 and up, and what my kids read in earlier grades (My Daughter in 4th Grade, My Son in 4th Grade). I place the books in the category that I think is closest to the earliest age the book can be read independently. Most of the books are in a wide age range and can be enjoyed by kids from 8 – 12. Your child will not feel s/he is reading something babyish. On the contrary, I am sometimes not sure if the books in my lists shouldn’t be placed in a higher age range. Definitely start there first. You could miss great books if you didn’t.
Important: Once my daughter or son read a book from this list, I place it on the list My Daughter in 5th Grade or My Son in 5th Grade it is no longer here. For safer bets and the best books, check out those lists as well.
Three Times Lucky and The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing (My daughter read it over the summer before entering 5th grade, my son did too)
Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie My daughter read this book at the beginning of 6th grade and loved it. My son read it in 5th grade and loved it too.
Howl’s Moving Castle I read this book with my kids. If you like it, then try Castle in the Air and House of Many Ways.
The Graveyard Book If you don’t like horrors skip this one (just so that you know-it is mildly creepy, including a man who murders a family and tries to murder a toddler and a teen boy and girl).
The Mysterious Benedict Society Click here for a list of books in this series. Both my daughter and my son read it at the end of 3rd grade.
Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods We listened to the audio book as a family. It is very well written, funny and entertaining (kids were in 3rd and 5th grade)
Doll Bones My daughter read it in 6th grade.
Al Capone Does My Shirts I read it with my kids when they were in 4th and 6th grade. They liked it but my son did not enjoy the next books in the series, which may be more suitable for older kids? My daughter on the other hand read all of them.
Everything on a Waffle
Greenglass House Click here for more ratings and reviews.
The Night Gardener
A Long Walk to Water We listened to the audio book when my kids were 9 and 11.
Seedfolks (a very short read)
Okay for Now
The Last Dragonslayer For a list of books in The Chronicles of Kazam series click here.
Hatchet Click here for other books in the Brian’s saga (they have really great reviews too). My son read it when he was in 4th grade. My daughter read it in 6th grade.
Dragon Slippers Click here for the sequels. I read the series to my kids when they were 7 and 9.
Bud, Not Buddy I read the book with my kids when they were at the end of 3rd and 5th grade.
The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963 We listened to the audio book when my kids were in 3rd and 5th grade.
Esperanza Rising My daughter read it in 6th grade.
Middle School, The Worst Years of My Life For a list of books in this series click here. This book has conflicting reviews–you must be okay with the fact that it glorifies breaking rules with the intent to be humorous. I suggest you check out the reviews yourself but this book has over 2,300 reviews and almost 5 stars so it definitely deserves to be on this list.
I Funny: A Middle School Story For a list of books in this series click here.
Beyonders For a list of books in this series click here. A lot of people say it is a great read-aloud for the whole family.
Walk Two Moons
Small as an Elephant
One for the Murphys My daughter read it over the summer before entering 5th grade.
Pictures of Hollis Woods
Julie of the Wolves For more ratings, reviews and books in this series click here.
Moon Over Manifest
The Last Unicorn
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
The Case of the Missing Moonstone (The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency, Book 1). My daughter read it in 4th grade.
Lost in the Sun
100 Cupboards (slow start) For a list of books in this series click here.
Scepter of the Ancients For a list of books in this series click here.
Crispin: The Cross of Lead For a list of books in this trilogy click here.
The Copernicus Legacy: The Forbidden Stone For a list of books (so far one more) in this new series click here.
The Hobbit If you can’t decide which edition to read, you can find read a post 6 Best Editions of The Hobbit for Young People
Sounder Sad but beautiful.
Freak The Mighty I read it to my kids when they were in 4th and 6th grade.
Cardboard (easy to read, I read that the content is more suitable for kids of this age group, not younger; however, my daughter read it in 4th grade and my son LOVED it in 2nd)
Sahara Special Read more reviews here. My daughter says she wants to be a teacher so I think she should not miss this book that so many people praise. My daughter read it in 6th grade and loved it.
Becoming Naomi Leon My daughter read it in 6th grade.
Holes The sequel Small Steps is in my 12 and up category. My daughter read it in 4th grade. My son too.
The Dark Is Rising Sequence: Over Sea, Under Stone; The Dark Is Rising; Greenwitch; The Grey King; Silver on the Tree
Better Nate Than Ever Click here for the sequel (one as of now).
Boston Jane: An Adventure For a list of books in the Boston Jane series click here.
Call It Courage
Frostborn For a list of books in the Thrones and Bones series click here.
The Wish List
It’s Not the End of the World Especially for kids going through a divorce.
Liar & Spy
The Mark of the Dragonfly
Dealing with Dragons For a list of books in The Enchanted Forest Chronicles series click here. My kids listened to the audio book and loved it (age 8 and 10).
Museum of Thieves For a list of books in The Keepers trilogy click here.
Our Only May Amelia and its sequel The Trouble with May Amelia
A Faraway Island See more ratings and reviews here.
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard For a list of books in this series click here. My son read it in 4th grade.
Wolf Hollow We listened to the audio book before the entered 5th and 7th grade.
When Friendship Followed Me Home
Lily and Dunkin
The Girl Who Drank the Moon My son read it in 4th grade and loved it. My daughter in 6th grade did not finish it.
Ghost For a list of books in the Track series click here. My daughter read it in 6th grade.
A Night Divided We listened to this book when my kids were 9 and 11.
So B. It
A Mango-Shaped Space
The Wide-Awake Princess
The Thickety: A Path Begins For a list of books in this series click here.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
The Pitcher (for baseball fans)
Deadweather and Sunrise For a list of books in The Chronicles of Egg trilogy click here.
Breaking Stalin’s Nose We listened to the audio book with my kids when they were at the beginning of 4th and 6th grade.
Summer at Forsaken Lake
I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition) We did not read this book but watched a documentary called He Named Me Malala when my kids were in 3rd and 5th grade and they liked it. It was very good.
Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze (humor with sadness mixed)
The Silver Bowl For a list of books in this trilogy click here.
The Mostly True Adventures Of Homer P. Figg
When Zachary Beaver Came to Town
Surviving the Applewhites For a list of books in this series click here.
A Corner Of The Universe
The Birchbark House This book might not for everybody, it starts slow, contains a lot of information. Read reviews here.
Romeo and Juliet Together (And Alive!) at Last
The Great Gilly Hopkins
The Agony of Alice For a list of books in this series click here.
Boys of Blur
The School for Good and Evil For a list of books in this series click here. Yet another book that people read trying to find the next Harry Potter. Some loved it, some hated it. It has plenty of good reviews so it’s up to you to decide whether you want to give it a whirl or not.
The Little Prince If you type the title in the Amazon search window, you will get several editions of The Little Prince with umpteen reviews. After having read through many of them, I decided to link it to the original translation hoping that you will be able to find it at your local library. We have the book at home translated into Czech so I am not sure we will ever read it in English but so many people are upset about Richard Howard’s translation (modern language) that if I were to choose an English translation I would go with the one by Katherine Woods.
Lizard Music (funny, a great read-aloud)
The Witch’s Boy
Mistress Masham’s Repose
My Louisiana Sky
On Two Feet and Wings (nonfiction)
The Great Greene Heist
The Crossover (for basketball fans)
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making For a list of books in the Fairyland series click here. My son listened to this book when he was 9.
The Thing About Luck
Ben and Me: An Astonishing Life of Benjamin Franklin by His Good Mouse Amos
A Family Apart For a list of books in this series click here.
Adventurers Wanted, Book One: Slathbog’s Gold (It is not as good as Harry Potter or LOTR but people say it is a good intro to the genre). For a list of books in this series click here.
Cheaper by the Dozen (We listened to the audio book when my kids were 7 and almost 9. They loved it but the vocabulary was quite difficult I think. Not sure for age would be appropriate for independent reading.)
Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief This is one of my daughter’s most favorite series. She probably read all of them in 5th and 6th grade.
The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure
Nightbird We listened to the audio book when my kids were 8 and 10.
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Once Upon a Marigold
Close to Famous
On the Blue Comet
The Honest Truth (may be overwhelming for faint-hearted readers, read a few reviews first before deciding if your child is ready for it)
Confectionately Yours #1: Save the Cupcake! For a list of books in this series click here.
Running Out of Time My daughter read it in 6th grade.
The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge
Hope in The Holler
The Teashop Girls For a list of books in this series click here.
City of Orphans
The Stars Beneath Our Feet
See You in the Cosmos
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow For a list of books in this series click here. I read it with my kids when they were in 5th and 7th grade. We loved it.
Dormia For a list of books in this series click here.
As Brave As You
Eddie Red Undercover For a list of books in this series click here.
Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life
Louisiana’s Way Home
It Wasn’t Me
10 or 11 and up?
Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy
The Wee Free Men (The first in a series of Discworld novels starring the young witch Tiffany Aching.)
The Left-Handed Fate
Stormbreaker (action packed, probably more for 11-year-olds) For a list of books in this series click here.
Every Soul A Star
The Meaning of Maggie
Among the Hidden For a list of books in the Shadow Children Series click here.
The Lions of Little Rock
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (10 or 11?) We listened to the audio book when the kids were 10 and 12.
Absolutely Normal Chaos
Out Of The Dust
Found For a list of books in The Missing series click here.
Letters from Rifka
Stormbreaker For a list of books in the Alex Rider series click here.
Midnight for Charlie Bone For a complete list of books in The Children of the Red King series click here.
Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace
Pi in the Sky
Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key and Joey Pigza Loses Control
Penny from Heaven
Swallows and Amazons For a list of books in this series click here.
The Search for WondLa For the other books in this trilogy click here.
Chasing Vermeer This book has mixed reviews but a lot of kids loved it so I decided to list it here. You can find sequels here. My daughter read it in 6th grade and liked it.
Waiting for Normal
Silent to the Bone
The Sea of Trolls For a list of books in this series click here.
Listening for Lions
The Grey King (The Dark Is Rising Sequence) (This is a fourth book in the series, for a complete list click here.)
The Amulet of Samarkand For a list of books in The Bartimaeus Trilogy click here.
Inkheart For a list of books in the Inkworld Trilogy click here. I have read so many reviews on this Trilogy but I haven’t been able to decide where to place it. A lot of people recommend it for slightly older kids (11 and 12) because of its content. If you are not sure, it will not hurt if your kid reads it a bit later—it is a book teens enjoy too.
Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio
If you are still looking for more books, check out the following reading lists:
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