Eighth Grade Summer Reading Lists Program
Eighth grade is good age to introduce some classic literature. Challenge your reader to compare the story's setting to the current environment. Ask them how the characters would have handled their struggles in today's world.
Three books per month is a reasonable goal for this age. Allow them the freedom of choosing a designated reading time, and then help them enforce it with reminders. Encourage them to spend time reading every day.
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (Must Read)
Rival gangs and frightening violence are threats to Ponyboy Curtis, a boy who must look outwardly tough even though is he scared inside. This book is a very compelling book for teens.
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (Must Read)
Oliver is a workhouse orphan who is kidnapped and made to work for thieves. The contrast between the evil Fagin and sweet, good Oliver is wonderful to read. This classic will likely surprise those who think they know the story, but have never read the book.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice is a comedy of manners with witty dialogue and interesting characters. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy have one of the most fascinating courtships in literary history.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
This is a novel based on a true story. Edouard Dantes was betrayed and imprisoned. Several years later, a mysterious count appears and takes his revenge. It was hugely popular when it was written in 1844, and is still the ultimate tale of revenge today.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
This is a classic novel of gothic suspense. Prepare for a slow start, but once the plot gets rolling, this is a book that is tough to put down. The protagonist remains unnamed throughout the book, referred to only as "the second Mrs. deWinter" as she finds herself embroiled in a the mystery of what happened to first woman who held the title of Mrs. deWinter.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The novel is named after the fictional guide that features heavily in the story. Arthur Dent narrowly escapes the demolition of Earth with Ford Prefect, who is conducting research for the aforementioned guide. They encounter the President of the Galaxy, a clinically depressed robot, and a supercomputer as they hitchhike through the galaxy.
Feed by M.T. Anderson
Imagine a world where everyone has an Internet/television stream hardwired into their brains. Now imagine what happen if a teenager should choose to rebel and entertain independent thought...
Crash by Jerry Spinelli
Spinelli has a gift for writing realistic fiction that is both entertaining and relatable. In this novel, Crash Coogan is used to his aggressive side until a family illness and a Quaker boy cause him to reevaluate his life and priorities.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Melinda Sordino called 911 when a teen party got out of hand. Everyone is angry with her, but worse than that is the memory of something horrible that happened at that party - something she doesn't want to think about, let alone speak about.
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Andrew "Ender" Wiggin is recruited for military training to help preserve the human species. Teens will likely enjoy reading about the battle games portion of his training.
Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
This is a fun book to read because the chapters alternate in the manner of "he said, she said" as readers learn about Julianna and Bryce and their relationship from second grade to eighth.
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
Two kids play a practical joke on a man named Angelo Pignati. They had no idea that this small gag would begin a long friendship between them and the Pigman.