Book recommendations for an 8th grader? She likes mysteries and has read the Divergent books

Book recommendations for an 8th grader? She likes mysteries and has read the Divergent books but is insistent that if she has seen the movies she doesn’t want/need to read the books (Hunger games, Harry Potter, etc.) 🙄teenagers, oy She says she has read all the good books at her school library 😏🙄 so I want to buy her a bunch for Christmas (hopefully from 2nd hand places). She is from a conservative family and is only 14 so PG-PG-13 on romance.

109 Answers

  • Take her shopping at your local indie bookstore and then maybe lunch to discuss the books she has chosen. Time spent with a person is remembered far more than the gift.

    • we live 4 hours apart, but I did offer to pick her up from school and take her to the public library when I’m in town.

  • If she doesn’t live close by, maybe a gift certificate to her local indie bookstore.

  • Buy her Harry potter anyway because that’s just silly. 🤣

    • Exactly what I was going to say. Teenagers don’t know what’s good for them. 🤣

  • What about going old school with Agatha Christie? I used to teach And Then There Were None to 9th graders.

    • I liked listening to this one. The voices on the audiobook were great!

  • Check out Usborne Books and More they have some decent series. I can recommend a few if you’d like

  • The Life As We Knew It series, by Susan Pfeffer. Especially the first two.

  • And if she likes mysteries, Agatha Christie is always a good choice.

  • WONDER.. The author’s last name is Palacio. It deals with bullying in middle school. It’s a fantastic book. There is a movie out now. Also CHINESE CINDERELLA. This is a book my book club is donating to the local middle school based on a request from the school language department head.

  • Homecoming and Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voigt my favorite growing up

  • The Land of Stories series (6 books) by Chris Colfer, is phenomenal.

  • The Lunar Chronicles (Cinder is the first book…kind of different)

    • My 15 year old loved this series! She is into romance so this was perfect for her!

  • If she likes mysteries how about Agatha Christie books?

  • Peak is what my grandsons class read over the summer. I read it too and really enjoyed learning about climbing Mount Everest. There is always To kill a mockingbird. Also anything by Eudora Welty.

    • Lol, that’s my age too. Tried ND with my daughter who is now 31. She hated them!

    • My youngest (age 10/11 at time) endured a week of college tours for her older sister by reading ND constantly!

    • I loved my Nancy Drew! I could/would read a book in a day. Daughter and now granddaughter are not readers which, to me, is so sad!

  • John Green? I live them and they are YA. Paper towns, finding Alaska, or his new one

  • Look to the past. In 8th grade, I loved Agatha Christie. I started with Ten Little Indians, then moved onto Murder on the Orient Express (which is now a movie).

  • Has she read the Ruby Red series? My 12-year old niece loved the books. I read them to be able to discuss with her and found the books appropriate for her age

  • Lauren Kate’s Fallen series. John Green novels. Meg Cabot novels.

  • There is some sexual content in the John Green novels you may feel is not appropriate for her – Check Common Sense Media for age-appropriate book suggestions – I live by it!!

  • I absolutely loved the twilight series growing up! The books are way better then the movies. Trust me! I also really enjoyed Ann Frank, gossip girl.

    • But there is sex in the last book, so should probably avoid that one.

  • The Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children series is good if she hasn’t read that yet.

  • I believe I was reading Dean Koontz and Stephen King at that age.

    • I know I was, but my mom was more open moved. A conservative family wouldn’t like that. So much, probably.

  • Gregor the Overlander series. Same author as Hunger Games, less graphic, really captivating!

  • Lisa Bergren’s River of Time series! Excellent! (5 books) Also River of Time California (2 books)

  • Narnia books. Has she read A Wrinkle in Time and the sequel? The Witch of Blackbird Pond.

  • My son read “Black Boy” by Richard Wright in 8th grade and loved it! He was a reluctant reader before that, but after reading Black Boy, he read other books by the same author, and then read “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt – also loved the writing and read other books by this author although he was not as impressed as with Angela’s Ashes

  • There’s a sex scene in If I Stay, but I don’t remember there being sex in the sequel “Where She Went” which I preffered over the first, anyway.

  • The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd is really good, as is The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin and Father’s Arcane Daughter by E.L. Konigsburg. The Jackaby books by William Ritter are a truly weird mash-up of Sherlock Holmes, historical fiction, and fantasy along the lines of Dr. Who. As far as adult titles go, she can’t go wrong reading the classics: Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, and Margery Allingham. Georgette Heyer, who is more well-known for her Regency romances, also wrote mysteries, most of them set during the 1930s. They are fun, light reads. Charlotte MacLeod wrote two mystery series which are also quite humorous. For something truly goofy and really funny, try Jasper Fforde’s The Big Over Easy and The Fourth Bear.

  • Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, Matilda by Roald Dahl, Journey of the Sparrows by Fran Leeper Buss, If she is an animal nature girl like I was then any books by Jim Kjelgaard, Kenneth Thomasma or James Herriot are wonderful.

  • The Narnia Series. It has it all!! I have one large volume with all of them in it.

  • The Wingfeather series by Andrew Peterson if she likes fantasy. They are by a Christian author, really good. Also Echo by Pan Nunoz

  • I suggest these. My daughter loved them! A twin brother and sister come into the Land of Stories. It’s all of the fairy tales all wound with each other.

  • The Naturals series by Jennifer Lynne Barnes is good. Teenagers with natural gifts (observation, etc) who join the FBI. There is some stuff about crimes.

  • James Patterson writes kids books,.my daughter likes them

  • Good ole Nancy Drew. My daughter doesn’t read mysteries and I have found that many of the teen mysteries are also crossover into adult mysteries.

  • If she’s read Divergent etc she might turn her nose up at Nancy Drew but it’s worth a try. And if she’s seen the HP and Hunger Games movies then her family is not *that* conservative.

    If she liked Divergent then she might like Flawed, and the sequel Perfect, by Cecelia Ahern. Or the Uglies series by Scott Westerfield

    Sarah Dessen is really good and deals with issues that teens face in a sensitive way. Meg Cabot’s books for teens are fun but there is some sexual content.

  • I think that’s a terrible outlook haha
    I was raised that I should only watch film adaptations if I’ve previously read the book that it was based off of!!
    I recommend Erebos by Ursula Poznanski, Rick Riordan’s books, the Shades of Magic trilogy, the Peculiar Children trilogy, the Books of Beginning trilogy, maybe some Maggie Stiefvater? (i’d stay away from the Shiver trilogy though; they’re kinda trashy)

  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer or the Land of Stories by Chris Colfer.

  • Maybe consider getting her a Kindle, loading some good books on it, buy her some more ebooks every now and then, and setting her up with a library card with Overdrive access so she can download books for free.

  • Garth Nix has a series of books that are fantasy/magic called The Old Kingdom that are fantastic. Sabriel and Lirael are the first two books.

  • Absolutely Truly and Yours, Truly by Heather Frederick Vogel are two mysteries I would suggest. This author also wrote The Mother-Daughter Book Club series, also pretty good. I also liked The Teashop Girls and The Secret Ingredient by Laura Schaefer. The Thirteenth Child by Patricia C Wrede. Withering Tights by Louise Rennison. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. Tons more, but I better quit while I still can haha!

  • The Book of A Thousand Days, The Goose Girl, both by Shannon Hale. Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo.

  • A little younger, but great for the head if she’s wanting a bit of a break from the normal teen romance/adventure: The Mysterious Benedict Society series and The Green Ember. There’s also classics like Island of the Blue Dolphins, Hatchet, To Kill a Mockingbird, and the first three Anne of Green Gables.

  • Sherlock Holmes, the lady in white, great expectations, Agatha Christie, pride and Prejudice, the hobbit, the lord of the rings,

  • I’m sharing this with my daughter, she is a book nut and has worked at B & N for 5 years through college, She loves to help parents get appropriate books for kids/teens. There are so many YA that are way to filthy for 8th graders and parents don’t know that when they buy if not warned! I’ll let you know what she recomends

    • Here is my girl’s recommendation:Hey on this tell her that The Blackthorn Key series is brilliant and she’ll probs love it. Also the Fablehaven books and The Giver series.

  • The Ashes Trilogy, The unwind Series…both YA fiction. The I Hunt Killers trilogy also amazing!! Those are my top picks!!

  • Scott Westerfeld and his series, Patricia Wrede’s series

  • Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy! Best books ever!!!

  • The 13th Gift by Joanne Huist Smith. Wonder by Raquel J. Palacio. 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult. Between the Lines by Samantha vanLeer.

  • The River of Time series by Lisa Bergren is good. I still reread them to this day. Also Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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