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What Are Some Good Books to Read to 8 Yr Old Daughter?

Hi Mom's!

I'm looking for some suggestions on books for me to read during story time at night to my 8 yr old daughter. We've just finished Adventures of Huck Finn and one of the Goosebumps book (wasn't scarey, but some of them look kind of scarey). She has just recently became very interested in the "big girl" chapter books being read to her (I can see her mind just making pictures as I read - I love it). Anyway, I would love some good ideas of books that I can read to her at night. She even tells me it is time for bed so we can go see what happens next :o).


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Wow! Thank you so much! You are a wonderful group of Mom's! I am making a list of all the suggestions and already have a couple on hold at the library :o). Your suggestions reminded me that I have a box set of Samantha American Girl books (passed down through family) that we started reading yesterday...my daughter's name is Samantha and she is anxiously waiting for her Samantha Doll too - now we can get to know her before her doll arrives :o)). All your suggestions were great and I can't wait to read them. I really enjoy the stories and I love making the different voices for the characters. I too hope this tradition keeps going for a long time. I also wanted to thank you for all your encouraging words...it is so nice to hear someone say "way to go", "good job Mom"....I love it! Being a Mom is wonderful, but we all need a little encouragement once and a while. THANKS!!!! You all made my day!

Blessings to all,

Featured Answers

My daughters loved the Anne of Green Gables series, and after the movies came out, they said they like the books better!!!

My daughter loves all of the Series of Unfortunate Events books. There are actually 13 of them. She really enjoyed them. Hope this helps.

Right now we're reading "Heidi" which is really good. Some of the books that I would suggest are: Pollyanna, Jill's Red Bag, Little House on the Prairie series, The Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew, The Phantom Tollbooth, and Chronicles of Narnia.

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Three other books I didn't see mentioned yet are by E.B. White-Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, Trumpet of the Swan. Also, Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo. There is a series of books The Magic Treehouse that lots of kids checked out of my library when I was still a school librarian and also the A to Z Mysteries. You might also want to go to the Texas Library Association website http://www.txla.org and look at the 2x2 Booklist and the Bluebonnet list. The 2x2 list is geared for ages 2yrs to 2nd grade (therefore they are picture books, but really great ones) and the Bluebonnet list is a program that students in grades 3-6 participate in during the school year. However, you could always read the books to her. Some are obviously for the 6th grade crowd. But, it was always my experience that most were 3rd/4th grade appropriate. You can also look at past lists and winners. A summary for each book is provided. It is great that she is so excited "to see what happens next!" GREAT JOB MOM!!!

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Since you are doing the reading (which I think is wonderful, reading to them gives you something common to talk about and it really boosts their desire to read) then I would not read books that are on her level. Let her read the Boxcar series to you!! But you read things to her that are harder than she can read herself.

Start looking at the Newberry books. Some of the older ones are fantastic. (Sorry, not so impressed with some in the last ten years.) She will love stories like Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (nothing like the movie and quite good), A Single Shard, Hatchet, Where the Redfern Grows, Island of the Blue Dolphins,Courage of Sarah Noble, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Hobbit, The Harry Potters Series. All of these are books I or my husband read to our 7 and 8 year old children this year. Oh, our book club did Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry. This is fantastic to read with your kids and discuss.

Because you are doing the reading, it is a whole different ball game. The discussions you will have reading "older" books is fantastic. You are doing such a great thing...letting her see you read is one of the best things you can do. And then you can start the tradition of her reading to you...when you are driving, working on a project, etc. My mom did this and I read to her for years...she read to me in the evenings and I read to her during the day when she was doing things. I really treasure those memories.


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I see you already have lots of advice, and I can't read them all, but in case no one has already said this, there is a book called the Read Aloud Hand-book by Jim Trelease. It is filled with a list of different books to read to different ages of kids. We really have enjoyed it! Good luck and way to go for reading to your kids:)

This is Charlotte Mason's online curriculum reading lists. I highly recommend them as they are rich literary works full of moral lessons and vivid imagery that allow your child's mind to grow. Lots of classics and some newer books. I am not sure what grade level your child reads at so I sent you the link to the main index but you can pull up the list by grade (2 or 3?) Hope this helps. -J.

Some really oldies but goodies--The "Little House" Books--Laura Ingalls Wilder--there are 7 or 8. Also, the "Anne of Green Gables" series or Pippi Longstocking--all great adventure stories showing strong girl stuff etc.

Hi A., my daughter loved the little house on the prairie books. She also liked all of the junie b jones books.

Books by Lois Lenski are great for this age. The "Little House on the Prairie" books are a really good suggestion, plus you can get videos from the library or from Netflix that have some of these stories, which can be a fun accompaniment for the books.
My youngest daughter enjoyed a book called "Catwings" which had some beautiful drawings. We also loved reading the Grimm's fairy tales over and over.
Happy reading!
B. G. (mother of 8, grandmother of 4)

A great series in The Box Car Children. I'm not sure the author but my kids loved them. Lots of mystery and adventure.

My daughter loves all of the Series of Unfortunate Events books. There are actually 13 of them. She really enjoyed them. Hope this helps.

My daughters loved the Anne of Green Gables series, and after the movies came out, they said they like the books better!!!

It is so great that you are still reading to your daughter! So many parents don't make time for it when their kids start reading independently!

When I was teaching and needed ideas for read aloud books, I would sometimes refer to a book written by Jim Trelease called The Read Aloud Handbook. On his website, he has excerpts from the book. With each title, he gives the listening level (ex. K-2 for kinder through second) and a short review. There are ideas for picture books, short chapter books, novels, etc.


Just scroll down a bit and you will see the different sections to choose from. His book has many more ideas.

Hope this helps.
Happy reading!

A., You've gotten a lot of good suggestions! Several have shared the benefits and the example you are to your daughter when you read aloud, and how it will stay with her forever.

To the list others have shared, I'd add (these are some of my and my almost 18 yo daughter's enduring favorites):

Louisa May Alcott - start with the best known, Little Women, then read Little Men. These are phenomenal and can be enjoyed by young and old alike! She has written some short stories, as well (I have a Christmas stories collection that is so enjoyable).

Anne of Green Gables (and the rest of the series) by Lucy Maude Montgomery. These are fantastic read-alouds for mothers and daughters. Even though our daughter works more and is finishing up her senior year, she will still occasionally read with and to the family on special occasions. We've even gotten her boy-friend in on the reading once! There are some old-fashioned activities that just made sense and had the built-in benefit of knitting people together more tightly.

Now some children (dh and I also have three boys, ages 13, 15, and 20) really take to the cadences and musicality of Shakespeare. Another family favorite is Charles and Mary Lamb's Tales From Shakespeare. It is not oversimplified, and yet it is not so difficult, either. When our kids were about your daughter's age, they would come up with their own plays or speak "Shakespearian" in their free time/play time. I'm thinking this is good foundational material (in the unthreatening guise of 'play') for college prep and AP lit (high school lit, which becomes understandably more structured) and may stir up fond, maye even magical family memories from childhood.


Poetry - Yes, Poetry! At least give it a try.

Christina Rosetti is wonderful, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sara Teasdale, William Blake, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow for starters!

Enjoy this time!

A long time ago I enjoyed Pinnochio, Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking-glass. So I read these to my children at night and they loved them too. I also had a book called the Complete Mother Goose --I think. It had all the verses of nursery rhymes. Did you know there are umpteen verses of Old Mother Hubbard? My granddaughter liked it so well that she learned all the verses by the time she was 3. (Think how many time I had to read it!!!)

Whatever you pick make sure there is enough suspense about what is going to happen next (as in next chapter, tommorrow night!)

I really recommend the older classics while you are still reading to her. She will soon enough get into the current classics as she learns to read for herself and has reading assignments at school.

Keep reading!!! It will be with you always.

God bless


I have a 10 year old daughter and she likes the American Girl books and the Tinkerbell chapter books. They are fun and easy to read. We read as a family and are now reading the Twilight series.

Good Luck!

Others have mentioned the Little House series, my absolute favorites. There is another series that takes up with Laura's daughter Rose. My boys even liked these.
Some others they liked that girls probably would also is Holes, the Magic Tree House series and Junie B. Jones series. I would also suggest historical biographies of great women like Sacagawea, Pochantas, Amelia Earhart, etc.

When I was that age I was hooked on Trixie Belden,Nancy Drew, Little House on the Prairie, and my favorite book then was Swiss Family Robinson. The Black Stallion books, Black Beauty, Big Red series, Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, books by C.S. Lewis, Judy Bloom, Beverly Cleary, Roald Dahl. Sarah, Plain and Tall was good. The Secret of Nihm. Once you get on a "topic" that she takes particular interest in, you can have a direction for other books, too. For example, Swiss Family Robinson was my favorite story, and from there I found Robinson Caruso, Treasure Island, Where the Pirates Are, etc.

Junie B Jones are nice "big girl" books and so are the Magic Tree House books. These are about adventures of a brother and sister.

My 9 year old daughter loves the American Girl books. But be careful since she also loves the dolls too, and they can get very expensive. She also reads the A to Z mysteries, Bailey School kids, and Babysitting Wars.

Would you like to read my book? "Going to the Ark"? It is a delightful story of two little mice and their journey to the ark. It is the only story like it out there and give the Noah's Ark story from the animal's perspective. It is based on 7-9yrs old but I have found kids of all ages like it.

You can order from the publisher, Tait Publishing if you like or on Amazon or through your local bookstore.

We love books too and have decided classics are great and yes, Anne of Green gables is wonderful for girls. Nancy Drew, The Witch and the Wardrobe is awesome too.

Enjoy! C.

My 8 year old just finished The Tale of Desperaux. She also loves the Babysitter's Club series, the Ivy and Bean series, and i've also heard the Diary of a Wimpy Kid is good...

Try Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series. Its really good and has a great female character in it. Its mythology based where all the kids are son/daughters of the Gods. Hermes, Athena, etc. Its a lot of fun. My son loved the first one, we haven't gotten to the second one yet.

I have to second (maybe third?) the Anne of Green Gables series and Little House on the Prarie books. Also, at that age I really liked the "Shoe" books by Noel Streatfield. Kudos for reading to your kids!

I loved Judy Bloom when I was a young girl and it could open the door for discussions on issues that girl's face as they mature.

I taught 3-4th grade. Here are a few of my favorites...

Clementine...Sara Pennypacker
Tales of a 4th grade Nothing...Judy Blume
Matilda...Roald Dahl
Tale of Desperaux...Kate DiCamillo

The rest escape me right now...I'll keep thinking. ;)

Hi A.,
When my daughter was that age, she was very much into fairies. She loved the series by Tracey West called Pixie Tricks. (I think that's the name of the series, or it may be the name of the first book - I'm not sure which.) There are eight books in this charming little series.

Right now we're reading "Heidi" which is really good. Some of the books that I would suggest are: Pollyanna, Jill's Red Bag, Little House on the Prairie series, The Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew, The Phantom Tollbooth, and Chronicles of Narnia.

Alot of girls this age really enjoy the Junie B. Jones series about a girl starting Kindergarten... it is hilarious (I enjoy it myself) and being past Kindergarten she can appreciate the humor in the situations Junie finds herself in.

My 8 year old enjoys the Judy Moody series, and believe it or not, is hooked on the Little House on the Prarie books! Those are fun for me to read with her because I loved that series as a kid..still do sometimes:) Ohh..another fun and educational series is the American Girl books. Those are great because there are about 6 books about each character, so the interest can continue for a few weeks per girl. Happy reading..I hope these helped some:) ~A.~

You already have great sugestions, but I'd like to also add the Anne of Green Gables series.

The Courage of Sarah Noble, by Alice Dalgliesh
The Moffats series by Eleanor Estes
Ginger Pye,
Pinky Pye,
100 Dresses all by Eleanor Estes
Eight Cousins , Rose in Bloom both by Louisa May Alcott
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
the Shoes series by Noel Streatfeild (Ballet Shoes, Dancing Shoes-- 12 books in the series)
These are all wholesome and classic chapter books.

Hi A.!
I have to echo some of the other suggestions for The Chronicles of Narnia series. My daughter loved those books at this age. I can't wait until my two youngest daughters are old enough to read this series. They were entertaining for me, too! :)

I haven't read any of them, but I've also heard the children's books by Madeleine L'Engle are wonderful, especially A Wrinkle in Time. I believe they are for the pre-adolescent age as well.

Hope this helps!
K. :)

Hank the Cowdog, Pollyanna, Mrs.Pigglewiggle, Princess Academy, any Gail Carson Levine books- they are princess books. Any of the older classic's like Alice in wonderland, The strawberry girl, Mr.Popper's penguins.
These are all ones I have read with my kids (ages 8, 7, 4&3) They are all very entertaining for me too and I read ahead after they are asleep!
have fun!

The Chronicles of Narnia are great.

Kudos to you for reading to your daughter. I read to my chilren daily too.

The Tale of Desperaux is a GREAT book. We are finishing the Chronicles of Narnia, we are on the last book of the series. Swiss Family Robinson is great, Call of the Wild. My daughter enjoyed reading the Fairies series by Disney when she was around your daughter's age. We loved The Secret Garden.

If you go on www.teachersfirst.com there is a list of the top 100 books to read and it's broken down in age groups. It's a great resource.

Blessings and enjoy this time with your daughter!

When I was a little girl, I LOVED The Magic Faraway Tree books. I recently purchased them for my kids. They've been through several versions, being updated from the first ones written in the 1940s. They are true classics.

Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, Little House and Chronicles of Narnia...it's very exciting to read to children. My daughter has loved it!

Hi A.,

You have some great suggestions. My kids are now 11 and 13, and I still read to them--only now it's harder to find time, because Dad doesn't want to miss out! Most of the books listed would also be good for your 5 year old. Reading to both kids together will build their relationship and your family identity.

I especially agree with everyone re: Little House books (more than just entertaining--they give a sense of history, family, and excellent values like hard work and perseverance), the Chronicles of Narnia (magical and engaging, but also show God at work in our lives and common sense), and Roald Dahl books. One other person mentioned the Percy Jackson books. They are great, but I might wait a year or two. Ditto with Harry Potter. They values they teach (loyalty, good vs. evil, compassion) are wonderful, but they can be genuinely scary.

One series that I didn't see mentioned in my quick glance was the Series of Unfortunate Events. My kids LOVED these. They are about three orphans in constant peril for their lives, but they are written in such a funny, witty, entertaining manner that they are never scary. The narrator's character has a distinct personality that makes it fun to read in a silly voice. Also, they are great vocabulary builders. Each individual book uses 5 or 6 "big" words throughout the story, stopping the action to define them in a silly, but understandable way. Each one is repeated throughout the story, until by the end, your child has learned some really meaty new vocabulary words. Very cool.

Kudos to you for being such an engaged, thoughtful mom!

I don't have girls but some of the ones I loved at that age were Nancy Drew, Little House on the Prairie, and Sweet Valley High books. So glad she's interested in reading !

I remember as a little girl, though it was not all that long ago, reading and really enjoying the American Girl books. They only have 4 or 5 girls at the time in the series but now I know there are several more. They are fun, and even a little educational at the same time. I hope her love of reading continues as she gets older.

My 7 year old and I just finished reading all the Spiderwick Chronicles and loved them. We are now in the "Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicle" series, but the author only has 2 of those, so we are axiously awaiting the rest of the story.

The boxcar children, Little house on the prairie, Judy blume books, Junie B. Jones, and my daughter (who's also 8), is interested in reading Journey to the Center of the earth, The time machine, etc. but I'm not sure she's ready to comprehend the old english yet. We'll see.

I highly recommend anything by Louisa May Alcott, the Anne of Green Gables series, and the Mandie Books series by Lois Gladys Leppard. Keep reading, what a wonderful thing you're doing for your daughter!

You've got lots of great suggestions. I'll add City of Ember and People of Sparks by Du Prau. My kids devoured them. (City of Ember recently came out as a movie, but read the book first). My daughter (11) is a big nature/animal lover and enjoyed the book Sunwing, a novel about a bat. I would wait a couple of years on that one. Enjoy that time! I love it. I enjoy the books as much as the kids!

Magic Treehouse series (the best!)
Junie B. Jones series (laugh-out-loud funny)

There is a somewhat new "chapter" book series out called Geranimo Stilton...he is a mouse/rat and the stories are funny and illustrations are great;they are in color. She would also be able to read them on her own...my six yr. old LOVES them...

My daughters, ages 7 and 10, love the Box Car series. Right now we are on book one, Litte House in the Big Woods, the Laura Ingalls series which the Little House on the Prairie was based on. It is wonderful and I bought the whole boxed set for them with color pictured on amazon for Christmas. They were like $35.


You need to find "The Read-Aloud Handbook" by Jim Trelease. It has wonderful suggestions for books that are perfect for reading to your children.

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