Best Books for Grades 7-8

Posted on April 2, 2021

by Kathryn M

Finding just the right book for a seventh or eighth grader can be a challenge.  Let your librarians help you with a few of our favorite fiction titles.

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Cover of The Giver

The Giver
By Lois Lowry

Audiobook   |   eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla   |   Kit

If you only have time in your life to read one dystopian young adult fiction, this is probably the one. Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community. He finally discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives. Note: The Giver is the first book in a series.

Cover of The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book
By Neil Gaiman

Audiobook   |   eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla eBook   |   hoopla eAudiobook

Nobody Owens is a normal boy, except that he has been raised by the ghosts of the graveyard. At times both funny and creepy, The Graveyard Book offers quick episodic chapters, great for reluctant readers.

Cover of A Long Walk to Water

A Long Walk to Water
By Linda Sue Park

eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla   |   Kit

Based on a true story, A Long Walk to Water is short in length but powerful in its storytelling. When the Sudanese civil war reaches his village in 1985, Salva becomes separated from his family and must survive many dangers, walking through southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya.

Cover of The Boy in Striped Pajamas: A Fable

The Boy in Striped Pajamas: A Fable
By John Boyne

eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   Kit   |   Braille

Deep and powerful, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is the story of Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer, who befriends a boy living on the other side of the Auschwitz fence. Through Bruno’s eyes, the reader gains a unique perspective on the complexities and evils of the Holocaust.

Cover of Counting By 7s

Counting By 7s
By Holly Goldberg Sloan

eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla   |   Kit

Willow Chance is a quirky genius who loves gardening, rare skin diseases, and counting by sevens to relax. When both of her parents are killed in a car crash, Willow must learn to connect with other people and rebuild a surrogate family from unlikely outsiders. This is a great story for anyone who has ever felt they were different or an outsider.

Cover of The House on Mango Street

The House on Mango Street
By Sandra Cisneros

Audiobook   |   eBook   |   Spanish   |   Kit

A classic coming of age story told in verse. Esperanza Cordero uses poetry and storytelling to express her thoughts and emotions about growing up in Chicago’s Hispanic quarter.

Cover of Scythe

By Neal Shusterman

eBook   |   Kit

In a world where disease has been eliminated, humans have conquered death. The only way to die is to be randomly killed (‘gleaned’) by professional reapers (‘scythes’). Two teens compete with each other to become a scythe. One will win the job, the other will die at the winner’s hands. As the first title in the Arc of the Scythe Trilogy, Scythe offers ample opportunity to examine deeper ethical questions.

Cover of The Crossover

The Crossover
By Kwame Alexander

Large Print   |   Audiobook   |   eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla

Twins Josh and Jordan are both talented basketball players, thanks largely to the support and encouragement of their father. Their father, a former basketball player, dispenses coaching for the court and for life. Written in pulsing verse, The Crossover tells the story of how these brother drift apart as they face middle school and the possibility of losing their father.

Cover of Speak

By Laurie Halse Anderson

eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   Graphic Novel   |   Kit   |   Playaway

Melinda begins her freshman year as an outcast, subject to harassment and ridicule by her classmates. She is barely able to speak. Through first-person narrative and gritty realism, the reader slowly learns of the trauma Melinda endured as she finds her voice and ability to confront her attacker.

Cover of Orbiting Jupiter

Orbiting Jupiter
By Gary Schmidt

Audiobook   |   eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla

Jack, 12, tells the gripping story of Joseph, 14, who joins his family as a foster child. Damaged in prison, Joseph wants nothing more than to find his baby daughter, Jupiter, whom he has never seen. When Joseph begins to believe he’ll have a future, he is confronted by demons from his past that force a tragic sacrifice.

Cover of Piecing Me Together

Piecing Me Together
By Renee Watson

Audiobook   |   eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla

Tired of being singled out at her mostly white private school as someone who needs support, high school junior Jade would rather participate in the school’s amazing Study Abroad program. She’s invited to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for at-risk girls.

Cover of Into the Wild

Into the Wild
By Erin Hunter

eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla eBook   |   hoopla eAudiobook

As a librarian, when I ask 7th and 8th graders about the best book ever, they are resoundingly huge fans of Erin Hunter’s Warriors series. This first book is the story of Rusty, a bored house kitten, apprenticed by the ThunderClan. Rusty is struggling to fit in when the group of feral cats is threatened by ShadowClan, the enemy. Fast-paced and highly addictive, this series evolves into spinoff series that will keep you reading.

Cover of The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle
By Leslie Connor

Audiobook   |   eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla eBook   |   hoopla eAudiobook

Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again.

Cover of Dead End in Norvelt

Dead End in Norvelt
By Jack Gantos

Audiobook   |   eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla

Fast paced and funny historical fiction. It is the summer of 1962 and Jack is grounded for various offenses. He is assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting, and countless bloody noses.

Cover of Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25
By Richard Paul Evans

Audiobook   |   eBook   |   eAudiobook

A trio of teens set off to learn the origin of their mysterious powers. Their investigation brings them to the attention of a group who wants to control the electric teens–and through them, the world.

Cover of Cinder

By Marissa Meyer

Audiobook   |   eBook   |   eAudiobook

Cinderella meets futuristic science fiction. Plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people. Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world.

Cover of George

By Alex Gino

eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   Playaway

George wants to play the role of Charlotte in the school play. The teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy. With the help of her best friend, George comes up with a plan to be Charlotte and to reveal her identity once and for all.

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