Inside: A list of good books for 7th and 8th graders who are strong readers.

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Have you got a young reader in your family? I don’t mean the kind who happily reads the books set by their teacher but would be just as happy watching the movie version. I mean a reader reader! Kids who read over breakfast, on the bus, on the toilet and under the covers at night with a torch. The sort of reader who feels connected to characters and who reads the last few pages of a good book slowly…just so it lasts.

Well then, you might relate to this problem. A parent contacted me to say that her 12-year-old daughter had a reading age of 17. The problem was, which books are thematically appropriate for a 12-year-old but sufficiently challenging? She specifically wanted novels and her daughter was not into the classics…yet!

So I turned to teaching colleagues in Western Australia. The thing about teachers is they love reading, they love kids and they love putting the two together. So here is their list. Thanks colleagues. Great job!

*Find out more about each book by following the links.


Series We Love

Series are great because they allow kids to build momentum in their reading. If they love the first book in a series, they are likely to be hungry for Part 2.

Tomorrow When the War Began series by John Marsden

The Hatchet Adventure series by Gary Paulsen

The Graceling series by Kristen Cashore

Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan

Magic Pens series by Tamora Pierce 

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Lord of the Rings series by J.R. Tolkein

The Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery

The Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody

The Last Dragonslayer series by Jasper Fiorde

Once series by Morris Gleitzman

The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan

Swallows and Amazon series by Arthur Ransome

Dragon series by Anne McCaffrey

Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist

Inheritance Cycle, also known as Eragon Series by Christopher Paolini

The Dagger Spell series by Katharine Kerr

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams

Skullduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy

House of Secrets series by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini

The Kingkiller series by Patrick Rothfuss

The Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks

Wings of Fire series by Tui T. Sutherland

Cherubs series by Robert Muchamore

Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series by Ann Brashares

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott

Tiffany series by Terry Pratchett

Novels We Love

There are some old favourites here and some newbies.

Watership Down by Richard Adams

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O’Brien

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

Parvana by Deborah Ellis

The Hobbit by J.R. Tolkein

Silver Crown by Robert C. O’Brien

Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

A Waltz for Matilda by Jackie French

I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett

The Machine Gunners by Robert Westall

Blueback by Tim Winton

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Laurinda by Alyce Pung

Seahorse by Bruce Pascoe

Letters From The Inside by John Marsden

Jack and Harry by Tony McKenna

Hover Car Race by Matthew Reilly

Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah

Daintree Reflections by Anthony W. Buirchell 

Other Suggested Authors

Robert Cormier

Bryce Courtenay

Melissa Marr

Robin Hobb 

AJ Betts

Dianna Woolfer

Kirsty Murray

Fiona Wood

James Maloney

John Green

Cornelia Funke

Colleen Houck

Tony Diterlizzi

David Eddings

John Steinbeck

Agatha Christie

Emily Rodda

David McRobbie

Victor Kelleher


I hope this list helps. If you are a subscriber to Linda’s blog, you can get a simple download of this list to tuck away for future reference. You’ll find the link in the download library at the bottom of each newsletter. If you’re not a subscriber….why not?


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Linda Stade has worked in various teaching and management roles in education for twenty-five years. She has worked in government and private schools, country and city, single-sex and co-ed. Currently, she is the Research Officer at Santa Maria College, Western Australia.