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Great books for children 8 to 12 years old


Children ages 8-12 love “chapter books”. Book series are good choices for this age group. Sometimes your child will want to read alone. Other times he will still like you to read to him. Let your child choose the story or book that he wants to read. Books should be imaginative and filled with wonder. Children at this age want to react with a laugh, a cry, a shiver, or a gasp. They need the thrill of walking in a character’s shoes for an adventure. They want to feel the delight that comes from hearing playful language. Above all, reading for this age group must be fun.

Great books for 8 to 12 year olds

  1. Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
  2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
  3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  4. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  5. Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  6. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  7. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  8. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  9. Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
  10. Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
  11. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  12. James and the Giant Peach: A Children's Story by Roald Dahl
  13. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
  14. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
  15. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O'Brien
  16. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
  17. Four Fudge Books (Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great, Fudgeamania, Superfudge, and Tale of a 4th Grade Nothing) by Judy Blume
  18. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
  19. The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White
  20. Matilda by Roald Dahl
  21. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
  22. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
  23. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  24. Stuart Little by E. B. White
  25. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
  26. The Book of Three (The Prydain Chronicles) by Lloyd Alexander
  27. Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan
  28. Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner
  29. The Boggart by Susan Cooper
  30. Phantom Toll Booth by Norton Justin

Adapted from materials from the National Education Association,, and from Choose the Right Books for Kids.


To learn more about reading readiness, call Rehabilitation Services at 595-3621 or St. Jude School Program at 595-2364. If you are outside the Memphis area, call toll-free 1-866-2ST-JUDE (1-866-278-5833), extension 3621 or 2364.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

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