Books for Grades 8-9

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Article in Young Adult Fiction and Young Adult Nonfiction

The newest version of this booklist is available in printable PDF format here


YA Anderson, Laurie Halse Chains

In Revolutionary War-era New York, Isabel and her sister Ruth are slaves whose owners are loyal to Great Britain, and Isabel is promised freedom by some Patriots if she will spy on her owners. The story continues in Forge

YA Barnaby, Hanna Wonder Show

In the 1930's, Portia lives in a home for "wayward girls" after being abandoned by her father, and following a friend's suicide, she runs away and joins the circus, finding kinship with a colorful cast of characters.

YA Bruchac, Joseph Killer of Enemies

In a world where modern technology no longer works, Lozen, a 17-year-old Apache girl, is one of the few hunters with the skills to take on the genetically-modified creatures that threaten humanity. But Lozen has been pressed into the service of elite warlords who hold her family captive. Lozen is always looking for the chance to rescue her family and escape. But meanwhile, she is the Killer of Enemies, fighting impossible creatures against all odds.

YA Carroll, Michael The Awakening

Ten years after the disappearance of superhumans -- both heroes and villains -- 13-year-olds Danny and Colin begin to develop super powers, making them the object of much unwanted attention. The first in the Quantum Prophecy series.

YA Carson, Rae The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Elisa is the Chosen One. But she despairs of being able to ever do anything remarkable. Just sixteen years old, she finds herself married off to a handsome king who keeps their marriage a secret while a daring revolutionary hunts her, believing she is the savior his people need. Elisa's adventures continue in The Crown of Embers and The Bitter Kingdom.

YA Carter, Ally I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have To Kill You

As a sophomore at a secret spy school and the daughter of a former CIA operative, Cammie is sheltered from the "normal teenage life" until she meets a local boy while on a class surveillance mission. The first in the Gallagher Girls series.

YA Cashore, Kristen Graceling

In a world where certain individuals have unique talents, or Graces, Katsa struggles to overcome her killing Grace by joining another fighter to free their world from corruption. Companion novels: Fire and Bitterblue

YA Coben, Harlan Shelter

Mickey Bolitar is adjusting to life at his uncle's house along with a new school when his new girlfriend suddenly vanishes, and Mickey's search takes him to some dangerous places and puts him contact with a mysterious recluse who supposedly has information about his dead father. The story continues in Seconds Away

YA/YA PB Condie, Ally Matched

Cassia has always been satisfied with the choices the Society has made for her, including the match she's been given for her husband. But when a computer error shows a different match on the screen, Cassia begins to wonder if things are quite as perfect as they seem. The story continues in Crossed and Reached.

YA Coriell, Shelley Goodbye Rebel Blue

Rebecca “Rebel” Blue is constantly in detention living up to her nickname until she takes on the bucket list of a recently deceased friend. Can the notorious Rebel really perform acts of kindness? Along the way, Rebel joins forces with a quirky team of characters as she transforms from jaded cynic to reluctant do-gooder.

YA Cross, Sarah Kill Me Softly

A week before her 16th birthday, Mirabelle runs away, seeking the truth about her past. She discovers that the town where she was born, Beau Rivage, is a place where fairy tales come true. But fairy tales can be deadly. And happy ever after can be a curse.

YA/YA PB Damico, Gina Croak

Delinquent teen Lex Bartleby is sent to live with her Uncle Mort in the tiny town of Croak for the summer. Lex discovers that she (like her uncle and the townspeople) is a Grim, responsible for releasing the souls of the recently dead and ushering them to the Afterlife. When strange deaths start occurring, Lex and her partner Driggs must uncover the dirty secrets of the Grim organization. A Potteresque, dark comedy with a cast of characters to die for. The story continues in Scorch and Rogue

YA Dashner, James The Maze Runner

Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the mniddle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape. The first in the Maze Runner series.

YA/YA PB Draper, Sharon Tears of a Tiger

Andy is unable to overcome the guilt and grief he feels when a good friend is killed in a car accident while Andy is driving.

YA/YA PB Farmer, Nancy The House of the Scorpion

Matt, a favored clone of a drug lord who rules over an opium empire and has lived for 140 years through transplants from his clones, struggles to change his fate and ultimately correct the wrongs done in the past.

YA Haines, Lise Girl in the Arena

In this alternate-reality book set in the present day, gladiator sports are as popular as football. Lyn is devastated when her latest glad-father is killed in the arena, and then horrified when the victor picks up her dowry bracelet, which means she'll have to marry him -- but Lyn isn't about to go without a fight.

YA Han, Jenny To All the Boys I've Loved

In this light-hearted romance, Lara Jean writes never-to-be-mailed love letters to every boy she’s ever liked. Then the letters accidently get mailed out one day, including one to her sister’s recent ex-boyfriend. Lara must now put on a intricate game of dating charades to save face and figure out the complicated relationships of family loyalty and her own love life.

YA Herbach, Geoff Fat Boy vs. the Cheerleaders

Summer Band Camp has been cancelled. Worse, all of the money raised in the school’s soda vending machine has been taken from the band and used to create a new cheerleading dance squad. For Gabe, nicknamed Chunk, this means war. So he leads a motley crew of Band Geeks in revolt against the cheerleaders, the Principal, and the School Board.

YA Johnson, Maureen The Name of the Star

American teenager Rory is at boarding school in London when a series of murders mirroring the Jack the Ripper killings takes place, and during the efforts to locate the killer, she discovers she can see people others can't. The story continues in The Madness Underneath.

YA Lo, Malinda Ash

In this fantastical retelling of Cinderella, Aisling “Ash” is trapped in servitude under the cruel treatment of her stepfamily. She finds escape in her secret trips to the fairy realm, where she becomes enchanted with male fairy Sidhean. Ash learns all magic comes with a price as she uses fairy help to pursue an unlikely relationship with the Royal Huntress, Kaisa, and must make a difficult choice between love and salvation.

YA Lockhart, E The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

Frankie is a popular student at boarding school but, tired of being underestimated by the males in her life, decides to infiltrate the all-male society that her boyfriend belongs to, hoping to prove her abilities and gain their approval.

YA Lyga, Barry Mangaman

Ryoko Kiyama, a character from a Japanese comic book, or manga, falls through a rip into the real world -- the western world --and tries to survive as the ultimate outsider at a typical American high school.

YA PB Muchamore, Robert The Recruit

Recently orphaned, James' math skills get him into CHERUB, an agency of adolescent spies, and a grueling tgraining program is the prelude to some dangerous and adventurous spy missions. The first in the Cherub series.

YA Ness, Patrick A Monster Calls

Thirteen-year-old Conor awakens one night to find a monster outside his bedroom window, but not the one from the recurring nightmare that began when his mother became ill -- an ancient, wild creature that wants him to face truth and loss.

YA Ostlere, Cathy Karma

Written in verse, this story swseeps you away to 1984 India where 15-year-old Maya and her Sikh father arrive in New Delhi from Canada after a family tragedy. Soon a violent political protest separates the two. As she journeys through India, Maya must learn about trust, first love, survival, and her own unique heritage.

YA Pfeffer, Susan Beth Life As We Knew It

When a meteor hits the moon and causes major upheavals on earth, Miranda and her family are forced to struggle to survive all the changes. The Dead and the Gone and The World We Live In follow.

YA Reynolds, Jason The Boy in the Black Suit

While Matt is dealing with his mom’s recent death and his dad’s drinking problem, he takes a job at a funeral home, which helps him to confront his grief as he identifies with others in similar situations.

YA Riggs, Ransom Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

After the brutal death of his grandfather, Jacob travels to a remote island to locate the orphange where his grandfather lived to escape Nazi persecution in World War II ... and discovers a group of very unusual children from his grandfather's stories.

YA Ritter, William Jackaby

Jackaby is a sleuth whose skills rival Holmes’, but with the added ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail Rook is Watson to Jackaby’s Holmes as they race to solve a series of murders that Jackaby believes were committed by a nonhuman creature.

YA Sanderson, Brandon Steelheart

After Calamity, ordinary people gained super powers, earning the name Epics. But Epics are not superheroes. They’re super villains. The seemingly invincible Epic named Steelheart rules New Chicago. He killed David’s father. Now David wants to join the Reckoners, a group dedicated to assassinating Epics, so he can get revenge.

YA PB Shen, Prudence Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong

Basketball star Charlie is caught in the middle of the battle for school funding between his robotics club buddy and his cheerleader ex-girlfriend, until they figure out a way to work together to benefit both sides.

YA Stiefvater, Maggie The Scorpio Races

When Puck Connolly enters the Scorpio Races, the annual races where men race man-eating water horses,her chances look slim until the favored contender Sean Kendrick helps her out. But will he risk his own chances to win by doing so?

YA Tamaki, Mariko and Jillian This One Summer

Rose is spending her summer trying to figure out why her parents keep arguing, what’s up with the dramatic, strange behavior of the local teens, and why is this growing up business so confusing. The struggles of growing up and other heavy topics are explored in this gorgeously illustrated graphic novel that captures the essence on one truly memorable summer.

YA PB Westerfeld, Scott Uglies

In Tally's world, everyone becomes pretty on their 18th birthday through an operation, but when she meets a group of renegades who challenge her beliefs about the operation, she faces a critical choice for her future. The story continues in Pretties, Specials, and Extras.

YA Zarr, Sara How to Save a Life

Jill, grieving over her father's death, and Mandy, who is expecting a baby, find their lives intertwined when Jill's mother suddenly decides to adopt Mandy's unborn child.

YA Zevin, Gabrielle All These Things I've Done

Set in a futuristic New York City where chocolate and caffeine are illegal, 16-year-old Anya, heir to the city's most prominent mob family, falls dangerously in love with Win, son of the state's new district attorney, hired to eradicate crime. The first in the Birthright series.


92 Wagenen, Maya van Popular: A Memoir: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek

Tired of being an outsider in eighth grade, Maya decides to try to become popular by following the advice of a self-help book from the 1950’s.

GN 306.875 Telgemeier, Raina Sisters

A three-week road trip to a family reunion with a younger sister and baby brother can reveal a lot about siblings - the good, the bad, and the strength of family ties. Then there’s the incident with the snake. . .

363.41 Blumenthal, Karen Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition

Back in the 1920's the government tried to improve conditions in society by outlawing the production and sale of alcohol. Read about the results and consequences of this "social experiment."