View Full Version : Books for 8 year old boy

21st Nov 2013, 11:33
Could I tap into the collective wisdom of this board for a minute?

My grandson Jack is now 8 years old and I'm pleased to say doing well at school. He is an avid reader and has read and enjoyed books like 'Charlotte's Web' and nearly all of Roald Dahl's. His parents are wondering about what books to point him at next and asked for our thoughts. Thinking back to when I was that sort of age in the mid 50's I can vividly remember being entranced by classics such as Treasure Island, Ivanhoe, Water Babies, Coral Island and most of all, Wind In the Willows. We have of course put forward the names of these all time classics but I wondered if anyone might care to recommend their favourites for boys of that age or perhaps slightly older?



air pig
21st Nov 2013, 11:53
Biggles for a start.

21st Nov 2013, 11:57
Sounds like a fair swap. Were the books in good Nick?

21st Nov 2013, 11:59
Gerald Durrell's books, like 'My Family and Other Animals' are good fun for all ages.

21st Nov 2013, 11:59
Probably not politically correct now but I enjoyed the 'Just William' books, how about 'Winnie the Pooh' or the 'Jungle Book'?

21st Nov 2013, 12:02
May I suggest:

Big Book of Tell Me Why Answers to Hundreds of Questions Children Ask: Amazon.co.uk: Arkady Leokum: Books

Tell Me Why Book | It's true: 4 out of 5 parents recommend 'tell me why books' to answer their children's questions. (http://tellmewhybook.wordpress.com/)

I had an earlier version of "Tell me why" at that age and it kept me in good stead.

cockney steve
21st Nov 2013, 12:18
If he's interested in sailing, Arthur Ransome's "Swallows and Amazons" series are hard to beat...but read them in the right order for maximum enjoyment!

Oliver Twist, Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, The Count of Monte Cristo.....

Perhaps it's a bit early for Penthouse, Playboy and the like :}

21st Nov 2013, 12:30
'Wilmshurst Of The Frontier. Force' and 'Beau Geste'. Two of my old Dad's books. Shaped my character, what!

21st Nov 2013, 12:33
My son, who is 9, absolutely adores the 'diary of a wimpy kid' books at the moment, plus if it helps, there's two DVDs from the books, (although check the material first to see if it is suitable for your grandson) also, he still loves 'where's wally', not exactly reading classics but still lots of fun
Hope this helps :)

21st Nov 2013, 12:41
At that age he should be about ready for 'The Hobbit'.

Dak Man
21st Nov 2013, 12:46
I'm with Skyninja, my kids also love / loved the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series.

Worrals in the wilds
21st Nov 2013, 12:50
SF by Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov.
He could also try the Sherlock Holmes short stories. While they might be a bit advanced there are several good TV adaptations he could watch before or after reading them.

21st Nov 2013, 12:58
Savile, Jimmy.
God'll Fix It.

21st Nov 2013, 13:19
At that age my son was immersed in the Guinness Book of Records (as well as many others both factual and fantasy). He was a very early reader. self-reading in his cot and avidly devouring whatever he could get hold of (whereas his older sister merely devoured books with her teeth).

By age 10 he had read the Bible from cover to cover (despite being agnostic - which he still is at age 36) and declared it "a good book" without preconceived knowledge of the expression.

If Jack has any interest in things such as flying or naval vessels there are many authors who have written books such as Biggles or Run Silent Run Deep that are in some ways historical as well being adventurous.

There's also the Famous Five, King Arthur and his knights, Spiderman, Just William and the Hardy Boys.

Lord of the Flies?

Harry Potter . . .

Any good bookshop should have a suitable selection of age-appropriate books and be able to offer advice - if not then try the library and ask the librarian.

Edited to add:- Horrible Histories (http://www5.scholastic.co.uk/zone/book_horr-histories.htm) by Terry Deary.


21st Nov 2013, 13:24
Don't forget about Jules Verne...

21st Nov 2013, 13:36
Agree with G-CPTN, Horrible Histories are a great set of books!
Lord of the Flies may be a bit more towards secondary school age, (only because I remember having to analyse it for my GCSE English for 2 years and was a very dark book:uhoh:)

Its a shame that they don't have those 'Dungeons and Dragons' Adventure books any more, the ones where you get a choice at the end of the page and either 'turn to page...' or roll the dice that tells you what to do next.

You could try and see if they still do them on that amazonian site, both myself and Mr Ninja agree that we could spend hours reading them

tony draper
21st Nov 2013, 13:38
My favorite book around that age was Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea,must have read it a dozen times,but things have moved on since then, probably wouldn't impress one of today's urchins.
PS Still have it in me bookcase somewhere,a much thumbed and tattered hardback with a faded embossed picture on the front of a vague cigar shape underwater.

Barksdale Boy
21st Nov 2013, 13:38
Just about anything by Michael Morpurgo.

Worrals in the wilds
21st Nov 2013, 13:54
Speaking of Biggles style adventures, for something more modern, what about Clive Cussler? I've only read a couple but they were good fun and seemed fairly G rated wrt sex and swearing.
I'd welcome a second opinion as to whether or not they're suitable.

In the sixties Willard Price wrote a great series of adventure novels about animals. They're a little dated now but still a great read.

21st Nov 2013, 13:55
SF by Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov.

I was thinking along similar lines. Classic SF - it works as adventure stories that will grip the imagination, but much of it - certainly Asimov and Clarke - is very intelligently written.

Another possibility is Terry Pratchett. Some of the themes and ideas in his Discworld series can be a bit challenging, but he has also written several books aimed specifically at children.

21st Nov 2013, 13:59
I used to enjoy reading about the adventures of Hal and Roger Hunt and the despicable Merlin Kaggs when I was eight!

Willard Price - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willard_Price)

Merlin Kaggs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merlin_Kaggs)


21st Nov 2013, 14:06
Age 8 I was still reading some Enid Blyton, Billy Bunter & Hardy Boys.

21st Nov 2013, 14:13
The Midnight Fox and The Eighteenth Emergency by Betsy Byars, a wonderful American authoress. Slightly dated, but excellent.


G&T ice n slice
21st Nov 2013, 14:44
From memory when I was 8 I was reading
the Just William series
the Biggles series
the Hornblower series

bedtime chapter read by Mum was the Hobbit, the Narnia series, Wind in the Willows, 3 men in a boat, and a whole bunch of other stuff...

I also had Beano, Dandy, Eagle when they arrived in the post from overseas.

And MAD magazine, Scientific American - hand-me-down from me big bro'.

There was also an US collection of "funnies" set in the Okiefenokie (?) swap featuring an alligator who couldn't read (but wouldn't admit it) and sundry small animals & friendly snakes. No idea what is was called but was tres amusant.

Old and Horrified
21st Nov 2013, 15:00
My son loved the Goosebumps series of books by R L Stine and read them all avidly. The problem is that, despite the space they all take, I am still not allowed to give them away (he is now 28):ugh:

21st Nov 2013, 15:08
Biggles, Worrals, Gimlet - all W.E. Johns.

Douglas V. Duff.

Conan Doyle - the Brigadier Gerard books as well as Sherlock Holmes

Cadet Editions of Hornblower.

21st Nov 2013, 15:41
A short list of some of my favorites....

"These are Mommy's Happy Pills"
"You Were an Accident"
"You Are Different and That's Bad"
"We're Poor Because We Had You"
"The Boy Who Died From Eating All His Vegetables"
"Dad's New Wife Robert"
"Charlotte's Web of Lies & Deceit"
"Alice's Adventures in Caesar's Palace"
"Ali Baba and the 1,000 Arab Stereotypes"
"Babar, the Ivory Coat Rack"
"Kermit the Frog and the Hot Skillet of Foaming Butter"
"Little Red in Da Hood"
"Snow White and the Seven Intoxicated Mexicans"
"Hansel and Gretel and Hansel's Special Friend Sven"
"Harriet the Stalker"
"Nancy Drew and the Mysterious Case of Recurring Crabs"
"Journey to the Centre of Birmingham"
"Fun Four-letter Words to Know and Share"
"The Kids' Guide to Hitchhiking"
"Kathy Was So Bad Her Mom Stopped Loving Her"
"Curious George and the High-Voltage Fence"
"The Little Sissy Who Snitched"
"That's it, I'm Putting You Up for Adoption"
"Grandpa Gets a Casket"
"How to Get the Childproof Cap Off your Brother's ADD Pills"
"The Magic World Inside the Abandoned Refrigerator"
"The Pop-Up Book of Human Anatomy"
"Whining, Kicking and Crying to Get Your Way"

21st Nov 2013, 15:46
Wind In the Willows
oh, my, I'll get sentimental! :\ also agree with vulcanised :\.
Give him the National Geographic, too?

21st Nov 2013, 15:53
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen- Alan Garner
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis

I used to really enjoy tales of the early African and Polar explorers at that age -there used to be a series (aimed at young teens but very readable at 8).

My parents had a number of old books on early flying which, having a 'Boys' Own' style were very readable for an eight-year-old.

'Men, Women and 10,000 Kites', an autobiography by Gabriel Voisin, has lots about his childhood and I thought was fantastic - but I may have been 10 years old when I read this. I re-read it as an adult several times - I'd recommend it to anyone.

21st Nov 2013, 16:35
Definitely all 21(?) of the Famous five series.. although reading them as a child I assumed this was what life was really like.... (being stuck in deepest Surrey) :O

Also read most of the Rupert annuals... can pick them up for a few pounds on eBay now...

Both of course not multicultural enough for today though....

21st Nov 2013, 17:34
Anything by H Rider Haggard. And Kipling of course, and Conan Doyle, splendid stuff. Both my parents were librarians, they got me pointed the right way at an early age.

Windy Militant
21st Nov 2013, 17:43
Warning Aviation content!
How about the Myro the Micro Light books? they are supposed to be suitable for four to eight years, might be a bit simplistic,depends how advanced your lad is.

As mentioned Sir Terry Pratchetts childrens books are pretty good look for the Bromeliad trilogy 'Truckers','Diggers' and 'Wings' also 'Johnny and the Bomb' and 'Johnny and the dead'

The Tiffany Aching books 'A Hat Full of Sky', 'Wintersmith' " I shall wear Black' and the 'Wee free men books are aimed at teenagers and have slightly more adult themes so might be best for future reading.

Possibly on a different tack how about the the Tin Tin books or Asterix the Gaul.

Edited to add I remembered a favourite from my school days 'Joe and the Gladiator' About a Lad who inherits a cart horse.

Worrals in the wilds
21st Nov 2013, 20:14
I used to enjoy reading about the adventures of Hal and Roger Hunt and the despicable Merlin Kaggs when I was eight!
I forgot about Kaggs! Certainly it was Price's Pacific Islands books that led me towards scuba diving. I'll have to re-read them now! :\

Don't forget non-fiction, either. At that age I loved reading books about space, animals, dinosaurs and similar. No doubt his interests are different but if you can find NF that applies to them, it's well worth a go.

I loved Enid Blyton's Adventure series with the four kids and a parrot. They were set in exotic locations and had lots of caves :ok:.

compressor stall
21st Nov 2013, 21:33
Guinness Book of Records. I got mine when I was 9.

I recently bought it for my 6yo. He's read it from cover to cover and now recites facts from it almost continuously. :ugh:

21st Nov 2013, 21:48
All of the "Wimpy Kid" books my 9yr old loves em. Any of the Percy Jackson series and he loves Captain Underpants - lots of bum and fart jokes but he giggles endlessly when he reads them. The Halfmen of O by Maurice Gee is also good.

21st Nov 2013, 22:42
Wind In the Willows

Fantastic :-)

21st Nov 2013, 23:44
The Hobbit.
Not too scary - and when he's a few years older - The Lord of the Rings.

22nd Nov 2013, 00:13
The Redwall Series by Brian Jacques? I think - sort of Game of Thrones for woodland creatures, but without the bonking.

Absolutely Fabulous
22nd Nov 2013, 00:39
The Adrian Mole diaries.........:}

22nd Nov 2013, 01:19
Get him started on science fiction. The Tales Of Known Space by Larry Niven will keep him happy.

22nd Nov 2013, 01:23
Two Years Before the Mast - Dana. He'll relate to it, I'll bet. Hearty congrats to whoever sparked his intellect.

22nd Nov 2013, 02:30
Many of my favourites already listed so I can only add

The Siver Sword

The Silver Sword - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Silver_Sword)

22nd Nov 2013, 04:23
I think I was about 10 when I read them, but they were the first 'adult' books I read - The Old man & the Sea and The Cruel Sea. I'm sure I didn't understand them properly then, but they sure held my interest. Try TOM&TS first.

22nd Nov 2013, 10:56
My 8 year old boy is currently loving the 'Horrid Henry' books, they are perfect for that age and he laughs all the way through them. Anything that keeps his interest without having to force him to sit and read is good for me!

Andy H
22nd Nov 2013, 12:25
Not sure if he might be too old, but my 6 year old grandson enjoys the MYRO (google it) books a lot

22nd Nov 2013, 12:57
Don't forget about Jules Verne...

+1 - against all expectations, my nine y.o. lad absolutely loved 2000 Leagues.
He's currently reading Roald Dahl's Boy and loving that too.

He struggled to get into Adventures of Tom Sawyer - found the language too hard to understand.

You may want to consider a nice big factual book, something like Prof Brian Cox's Wonders of the Universe, if he's that way inclined. There are also some great how-it-works type books out there.

22nd Nov 2013, 16:19
However, one 8 year old boy I know wanted for Christmas (and read it avidly and understood it) O.S.Nock's 'Great Western Saint Class 4-6-0'. He's now 11 and still as mad keen on steam railways as his 15 year old brother - and 44 year old Dad!

22nd Nov 2013, 19:13
+1 for CS Lewis' Narnia series. And Asterix. And National Geographic. Don't be afraid of giving him the whole Lord of the Rings series, just because he's a bit young. When I was young I enjoyed books that were both above and below my age level.

Something both educational and interesting, such as How To Keep Your Volkswagon Alive. Splendid artwork, as well as a humorous and practical explanation of how cars work.

An encyclopedia with bright, color pictures. No offense to the Britannica, but I spent more time flipping through the World Book Encyclopedia at that age.

Chancy And The Grand Rascal, By The Great Horn Spoon, and Djingo Django, all by Sid Fleischman.

The Penrod trilogy, by Booth Tarkington.

The Story Of A Bad Boy, by Thomas Bailey Aldrich.

flying lid
22nd Nov 2013, 21:08
Books for an 8 year old boy ?

Science and engineering books. Get him a Meccano set also. A No.10 set.

I am told there will be a shortage of 200,000 qualified engineers in the UK in the next few years.


22nd Nov 2013, 22:23
As said before, you can't go wrong with Biggles.

Worrals in the wilds
22nd Nov 2013, 22:28
Gotta say, thanks to this thread I now have a reading/re-reading list that will occupy the next month's worth of spare time :cool:.

Even if Jack doesn't read a word of any of our suggestions, I've done well out of it. :\ Maybe I'm just an eight year old boy at heart...:confused::}

23rd Nov 2013, 14:40
Sorry for slow reply, been away from computer for 24 hours.

Wonderful! Much greater response than I'd hoped for with lots of suggestions which fire the imagination.

Thank you all so much for taking the trouble to reply. :ok:


23rd Nov 2013, 14:50
Of course there is also Leif Hamre whose (translated) aviation themed books kept me enthralled when I was eight and probably would today as well... I liked Biggles but this was better...

Otter Three Two calling: Amazon.co.uk: Leif Hamre: Books


23rd Nov 2013, 14:59
Some great ones in here:

Featured Books for 9+ readers Books - Lovereading 4 Kids UK (http://www.lovereading4kids.co.uk/genre/9/9-plus-readers.html)


23rd Nov 2013, 16:23
Tony.........The love of a woman, Marry me, see the future....

http://imagepic.in/dm-C0VR.jpg (http://imagepic.in/pm-C0VR.html)

23rd Nov 2013, 21:24
flying lid

> I am told there will be a shortage of 200,000 qualified engineers in the UK in the next few years. <

Until they start paying engineers better salaries, why should people go into engineering? Engineering in the UK is almost a 'pleasant occupation for someone of private means'.