Books for Eight- to Eleven-Year-Olds to Read by Themselves

Many books read by some children at an earlier age are good for beginning readers over eight. The books and series marked with an asterisk in the six-to-eight section are particularly recommended. More mature children who find the easier books that follow too juvenile should try the books listed as easy books in the eleven-to-fourteen section.

Books for Readers

Avi (2008) The Seer of Shadows. New York: HarperCollins. It is 1872 and the dead daughter of the woman whose photograph is being taken is showing up. A mystery. Other recommended books by the same author: Poppy, The Crispin: Cross of Lead

Byars, Betsy Cromer (1996) The Midnight Fox. New York: Puffin Books. Tommy discovers foxes while staying with relatives and is determined to save the animals from being killed by his uncle! Other recommended books by the same author: The Summer of the Swans

Collins, Suzanne (2005) Gregor the Overlander. Waterville: Thorndike Press. Eleven year-old Gregor and his sister are dragged into an underground world to face battle with both man and beast. Other recommended books by the same author: This is the first book in a series of five.

Dahl, Roald (2004) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. New York: Puffin Books. Originally published in 1964. Finding the golden ticket means passing through the gates of the famous Wonka Chocolate Factory. A chance of a lifetime! Other recommended books by the same author: James and the Giant Peach, Matilda

Danziger, Paula (2007) Amber Brown Goes Fourth. New York: Puffin Books. Who knew a fourth-grader could have so many problems? Upbeat Amber is determined to solve them. Other recommended books by the same author: This is one of fifteen Amber Brown books.

Farley, Walter (1998) The Black Stallion. New York: Random House. Originally published in 1941. A seventeen-year-old befriends a wild stallion, trains him and rides him in a match race. Other recommended books by the same author: This is the first book in a series of three.

Farnsworth, Philo (2009) The Boy Who Invented TV: The Story of Philo Farnsworth. West Minister: Knopf Books for Young Readers. Nonfiction. Standing in a field in 1920, a fourteen-year-old boy has an idea to “make pictures fly through the air.”

Feig, Paul (2008) Ignatius MacFarland. New York: Little Brown. Twelve-year-old Iggy is bullied and wishes he could travel to another planet to escape. Does he get his wish? Other recommended books by the same author: Ignatius MacFarland 2: Frequency Freak-out!

Fox, Paula (2000) One Eyed Cat: A Novel. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks. Ned is haunted by the fact that it may have been his gun that wounded the one-eyed cat! Other recommended books by the same author: The Stone-faced Boy, Portrait of Ivan

George, Jean Craighead (2003) Julie of the Wolves. New York: Harper Teen. When Julie runs away from her unhappy life, she finds herself lost in the tundra with a pack of wolves. Other recommended books by the same author: Julie

Henry, Marguerite (2000) Misty of Chincoteague. New York: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers. Originally published in 1947. Phantom, part of a band of wild ponies, is spotted by two children who decide they cannot live without her! Other recommended books by the same author: Stormy, Misty’s Foal, Album of Horses

Kibuishi, Kazu (2008) Amulet Book One, The Stonekeeper. New York: Graphix. Graphic Novel. Emily and Navin move into their great-grandfather’s house where a creature has captured their mom. Other recommended books by the same author: The Stonekeeper’s Curse, The Cloud Searchers

Kinney, Jeff (2007). Diary of a Wimpy Kid #1: Greg Heffley’s Journal. New York: Amulet Books. Greg journals his and his best friend Rowley’s sixth-grade experiences. Who knew grade six could be so tough? Other recommended books by the same author: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book #4: Dog Days; Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book #3: The Last Straw

Korman, Gordon (2008) Swindle. New York: Scholastic Press. A sixth-grader gets swindled out of a valuable baseball card. His plan: get it back! Other recommended books by the same author: This is one book in a series of three.

Langley, Andrew and Salariya, David (2000) You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Viking Explorer!  Danbury: Grolier Publishing Co. Inc. Nonfiction. Through humour and unusual facts, this book explores the darker side of being a Viking. Other recommended books in the same series: You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Medieval Knight!; You Wouldn’t Want to Live in a Medieval Castle!

Law, Ingrid (2008) Savvy. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers. It is Mibs’ thirteenth birthday and she is waiting for her magical power. Will it be a curse or a blessing? Other recommended books by the same author: Scumble

Lee Ingrid (2008) Dog Lost. New York: Scholastic. This pit bull had a home but now lives on the streets. His brave deeds surprise those who feared him. Other recommended books by the same author: Dustbin Cat

Lewis, C.S. (2004) The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. New York: HarperCollins. Originally published in 1950. Lucy and her siblings walk through her wardrobe into a magic kingdom and encounter the White Witch. Other recommended books by the same author: This book is part of the Narnia series of eight books.

Little, Jean (2005) Mama’s Going to Buy You a Mockingbird. Toronto: Penguin Books Canada. Jeremy learns the sad news that his dad has terminal cancer. Witness Jeremy’s struggle to understand and accept. Other recommended books by the same author: One to Grow On, Look through My Window

Lowry, Lois (1998) Number the Stars. New York: Laurel Leaf. Fictionalized from a true story, a ten-year-old girl hides her Jewish best friend during the Danish resistance. Other recommended books by the same author: The Giver

Macaulay, David (2008) The Way We Work. New York: Houghton Mifflin. Nonfiction. This book explains how the human body works! Other recommended books by the same author: The New Way Things Work

Montgomery, L.M. (1997) Anne of Green Gables. New York: Laurel Leaf. Originally published in 1908. A high-spirited orphan is sent to live with an elderly couple on Prince Edward Island. Other recommended books by the same author: This is the first book in a series of eight.

Norton, Mary (2003) The Borrowers. London: Sandpiper. Originally published in 1953. The small Clock family live below ground and outfit their home with tidbits left over from “human beans.” Other recommended books by the same author: This is the first book in a series of five.

Orgel, Doris (2004) The Devil in Vienna. New York: Speak. Set in Vienna, a Jewish girl and a member of the Hitler Youth try to maintain their friendship during World War II.

Peterson Haddix, Margaret (2008) Found. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Chip and Jonah were among thirty-six babies found on a plane; but, when they are thirteen, they receive messages that they were among the missing! Other recommended books by the same author: Sabotaged, Sent

Raskin, Ellen (2011) The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I mean Noel). New York: Puffin Books. Mrs. Carillon’s husband is missing! She is off to find him with the help of orphan twins. Other recommended books by the same author: Figgs and Phantoms, The Westing Game

Riordan, Rick (2005) The Lightning Thief. New York: Miramax Books. Percy finds out he is half Greek god, half human! Joining other demigods, he is on a quest to prevent war! Other recommended books by the same author: This is the first book in a series of four.

Sands, Emily and Steer, Duglad (2004) Egyptology: Search for the Tomb of Osiris. Cambridge: Candlewick Press. Filled with typed entries, postcards and ticket stubs, the book is set up like an Egyptologist’s travel journal from 1926. Other recommended books by the same author: Pirateology, Dragonology

Selznick, Brian (2007) The Invention of Hugo Cabret: A Novel in Words and Pictures. New York: Scholastic Press. Graphic Novel. Will Hugo, a twelve-year-old orphan who repairs clocks in a train station, have his secret revealed?

Stewart, Trenton Lee (2007) The Mysterious Benedict Society. New York: Little Brown. Four children are chosen to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened: a place with no rules! Other recommended books by the same author: This is one book in a series of three.

Turner, Pamela S. (2009) The Frog Scientist. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Nonfiction. An exploration of the effects pesticides have on frogs…and us! Other recommended books by the same author: Hachiko: The True Story of a Loyal Dog; Gorilla Doctor

White, E.B. (2001) Charlotte’s Web. New York: HarperCollins. Originally published in 1952. Determined to save her friend Wilbur, Charlotte the spider comes up with a brilliant plan. Other recommended books by the same author: Stuart Little, The Trumpet of the Swan

Challenging Books

Colfer, Eoin (2006) Artemis Fowl. New York: Hyperion Books. Artemis, a twelve-year-old millionaire and criminal mastermind, never imagined the results of kidnapping a fairy. Other recommended books by the same author: This is one book in a series of seven.

Cooper, Susan (2007) Dawn of Fear. London: Sandpiper. A group of boys living just outside London in World War II watch the air raids with fascination while creating a secret camp. Other recommended books by the same author: Victory, King of Shadows

Funke, Cornella (2005) Inkheart. New York: Scholastic Inc. Meggie discovers that her dad has magical powers and is in grave danger. It is up to her to save him. Other recommended books by the same author: Thief Lord, DragonRider

Gordon, Roderick (2008) Tunnels. New York: Scholastic Inc. Will’s dad has gone missing and he is determined to find out what happened. His discovery… a secret subterranean society! Other recommended books by the same author: This is the first book in a series of four.

Kelly, Jacqueline (2009) The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. New York: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers. Calpurnia explores the natural world with her grandfather and finds out what it means to be a girl in the 1800’s.

L’Engle, Madeleine (2007) A Wrinkle in Time. New York: Square Fish. Originally published in 1962. The Murray family comes down for a midnight snack and discovers a stranger. Read about their adventure through space and time. Other recommended books by the same author: An Acceptable Time, Many Waters

Lowry, Lois (1993) The Giver. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell. Everything is under control in Jonas’s world until he turns twelve. It is time to learn the truth. Other recommended books by the same author: Messenger, Gathering Blue

Paolini, Christopher (2005) Eragon. Vancouver: Random House Children Books. Eragon believes that he is a normal boy living on a farm…until he finds out he is a Dragon Rider! Other recommended books by the same author: This is the first book in a series of three.

Paterson, Katherine (2004) Bridge to Terabithia. New York: Harper Teen. Two best friends create a magical kingdom where they can go together until tragedy strikes and they are separated forever. Other recommended books by the same author: The Great Gilly Hopkins, Jacob Have I Loved

Simpson, Kathleen (2008) National Geographic Investigates: Extreme Weather: Science Tackles Global Warming and Climate Change. Des Moines: National Geographic. Nonfiction. Hurricanes, blizzards and droughts; extreme weather is everywhere. Join scientists as they explore, explain and predict climate changes! Other recommended books by the same author: National Geographic Investigates: The Human Brain: Inside Your Body’s Control Room

reading-clipart-Summer-Reading-Clip-Art-2011-033Tan, Shaun (2009) Tales From Outer Suburbia. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books. Graphic novel.  This book contains fifteen extraordinary illustrated stories. Other recommended books by the same author: The Arrival, The Lost Thing

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