Best books for 8 year olds: From Harry Potter to the latest David Walliams


AS CHILDREN get older, and start getting exposed to ‘big kid’ pursuits (gaming! computers! apps!), it’s normal for their interest to wander away from reading.

Thankfully, there are some captivating children’s authors that should keep them engaged and that can even tear them away from their screens.

books for 8 year olds
These books for 8-year-olds are good enough to lure them away from Fortnite – we promise

For eight-year-olds, this autumn has quite a few exciting new releases that will make perfect stocking stuffers or Christmas presents.

For starters, David Walliams – aka the modern-day Roald Dahl, and a writer that every eight-year-old has on their bookshelf – has a new book out, combining myth and legend with science fiction.

The ever-prolific Jacqueline Wilson also has a new release, starring a grown-up Tracy Beaker and her daughter, Jess, which is sure to delight her legions of fans aged 7+.

Harry Potter – at least the first book in the series – also starts doing the rounds at this age. Junior school-aged children are completely obsessed by the characters, and most parents find that if their child starts reading the series at this young age, they’ll typically race through the first couple of books but then wait a spell before reading the darker, more mature titles in the series.

We’ve even included a picture book in this round-up – which just happens to be the most exciting release of 2019. Just because your eight-year-old can read all the words these days doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy gazing at a brilliant picture.

This article and featured products have been independently chosen by Sun journalists. It contains links which are ads, and if you click a link and buy a product we will earn revenue.

1. Best picture book for 8-year-olds

books for 8 year olds
Charlie Mackesy’s gorgeous picture book is the surprise hit of 2019
Amazon UK

Top of everyone’s Christmas list this season – whether the recipient is eight or 48 – is illustrator Charlie Mackesy’s book, which combines his glorious illustrations with thought-provoking, inspiring text (‘What is the bravest thing you’ve ever said?’ asked the boy. ‘Help’, said the horse).

One reviewer remarks: ‘Caution: If you buy one, you will then buy 5 more. Lovely, lovely book. Honestly the most inspirational book I have ever owned… It is a book I am buying for my 73yr old mum, 9 yr old nieces and a few friends for Christmas too… it’s really for all age groups. I read it in 30 minutes but I will forever dip into it. Charlie’s art and words are a light we all need in our lives. Thank you Charlie!’

  • (AD) The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse, by Charlie Mackesy, for £11.31 on Amazon – buy here

2. Best book set for 8-year-olds

books for 8 year olds
Even reluctant readers can’t help but fall for Michael Morpurgo’s characters
The Book People

Michael Morpurgo’s acclaimed and heartrending books often have animals as their main focus, which eight-year-olds enjoy. Of course, War Horse, with Joey the horse as the narrator, is a must-read, but this value-for-money book set means kids won’t need to stop there once they’ve finished it.

Other highlights include Kensuke’s Kingdom, King of the Cloud Forests, Waiting for Anya and The White Horse of Zennor, among others.

  • Michael Morpurgo Collection – 12 Books (Collection), for £14.99 on The Book People – buy here

3. Best book for different perspectives

books for 8 year olds
The Boy at the Back of the Class is the powerful story of a refugee
Amazon UK

Eight-year-olds rave about this chapter book, which tells the story of Ahmet, a refugee boy who escaped a war zone, his varied life experiences and the friends that he makes in his new school.

‘Having really enjoyed the book my 9 year old daughter suggested I have a go and I truly enjoyed it. Written from the point of view of a nine year old boy, the story really captures the imagination and prompts deep thought in an amusing way. Totally recommend to both children and adults,’ writes one reviewer.

  • (AD) The Boy At the Back of the Class, by Onjali Rauf, for £4.54 on Amazon – buy here

4. Best modern classic for 8-year-olds

books for 8 year olds
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is a must-read for junior school kids
Amazon UK

For boys, girls, wizards, muggles and everyone in between, Harry Potter is, quite simply, the type of series that gets kids excited about reading in every possible way. If the length of the book puts your eight-year-old off from reading it on their own, read it together.

‘Like the characters, the books mature over the series and change from being predominantly for children to young adults; but the popularity of these books have shown how they can be enjoyed by people of all ages,’ writes a fan.

  • (AD) Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling, for £2.39 on Amazon – buy here

5. Best author for 8-year-olds: David Walliams

books for 8 year olds
David Walliams tackles science fiction fantasy in his latest book
Amazon UK

From The Boy in the Dress to The World’s Worst Children, David Walliams has proven time and again that he is this generation’s funny, heartfelt, go-to author – and, crucially, his books appeals to all genders and ages.

His latest release is a departure for him as he tackles science fiction fantasy in a futuristic London setting in 2120, where London is in ruins and young Prince Alfred – a sickly boy of 12 – has to battle the Griffin to save the city, and himself.

  • (AD) The Beast of Buckingham Palace: The brand new epic adventure from multi-million bestselling author David Walliams, for £7.49 on Amazon – buy here

6. Best book about family life for 8-year-olds

books for 8 year olds
Jacqueline Wilson is a back with a new instalment in the Tracy Beaker series

Jacqueline Wilson’s talent at writing about relationships all kinds, from functional (and dyfunctional) family dynamics to friendships, set at some point in history or in contemporary times, have made her a firm favourite with this age group, who obsessively devour all of her stories.

Tracy Beaker is one of Wilson’s most famous characters; in this latest release, the sequel to My Mum Tracy Beaker, we follow the latest adventures of Tracy and her daughter, Jess. Super-fans will also be excited to see Nick Sharratt’s delightful illustrations.

As one fan puts it: ‘Lovely return to an old friend. Wonderful’.

  • We Are The Beaker Girls (Tracy Beaker 5), by Jacqueline Wilson and Nick Sharratt, for £9.99 on Waterstones – buy here


We’ve designed Sun Selects to help you to find the best products that won’t break the bank.

Need some more book inspo? Then you’ll love this roundup of books for six-year-olds.

Enjoyed our roundup of the best books for eight-year-olds? Then you might like our selection of books for 7-year-olds, too.

This article and any featured products have been independently chosen by The Sun journalists. All recommendations within the article are informed by expert editorial opinion. If you click a link and buy a product we may earn revenue: this helps to support The Sun, and in no way affects our recommendations.



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