Books for 8 year old boys are the topic of our blog post today!
If you’re on the hunt for engaging reads that will capture the hearts and minds of young lads, you’re in the right spot. As someone who’s spent years in the classroom , I can’t emphasize enough the importance of finding the right books that not only entertain but also enrich young minds and expand their imagination. Books are not just pages filled with words; they are passports to different worlds, life lessons wrapped in adventures, and vehicles for igniting lifelong interests.
I’ve poured through countless titles, considered my own teaching experience, and even consulted with educators and parents to compile a list that’s nothing short of magical for 8-year old boys. So whether your young reader is into dragons, sports, history, or a mix of everything, stay tuned! We’re diving into a literary treasure trove designed specifically to keep 8 year old boys turning the page.
Related: Best Books for 5 Year Old
Books for 8 Year Old Boys
Here are our top picks for books for 8 year old boys
1. J.D. the Kid Barber Series, by J. Dillard
The “J.D. the Kid Barber” series dives into the life of J.D., a third-grader who turns a disastrous home haircut into a booming barbershop business right in his bedroom. Facing ridicule from his classmates after a less-than-stellar haircut from his mom, J.D. realizes he has a knack for barbering. However, his success comes with its own set of challenges, notably from Henry Jr., the owner of the local barbershop who feels threatened by J.D.’s newfound popularity. It’s not just about snipping and styling; it’s about determination, business acumen, and standing up for oneself.
Books in the J.D. the Kid Barber Series:
- J.D. and the Great Barber Battle (J.D. the Kid Barber Book 1): In this first installment, 8-year-old J.D. converts a disastrous home haircut into an opportunity. He starts his own barber business and takes on a barber battle to prove his skills. This is where his journey to becoming a kid barber sensation begins.
- J.D. and the Family Business (J.D. the Kid Barber Book 2): J.D. is back and teaming up with his sister, Vanessa, who dreams of beauty shop success. The siblings join forces to not only conquer Meridian, Mississippi but aim for national fame. From Vanessa’s growing online following for her hair tutorials to J.D.’s aspirations to be the best barber in the country, the stakes are high. A wonderful read that explores sibling dynamics and ambition.
- J.D. and the Hair Show Showdown (J.D. the Kid Barber Book 3): J.D. takes his cutting-edge skills to a hair expo in Atlanta, experiencing the VIP treatment and realizing the hair and beauty world is much larger than he thought. From snapping a pic with a child rap sensation to his own hair demo, J.D. is ready to up his game and make his mark on the industry.
2. Dory Book Series, by Abby Hanlon
Dory, the youngest in her family, is on a relentless quest for attention and adventure. While her older siblings find her too immature to join their games, Dory’s vivid imagination and endless energy keep her entertained. She’s a master at outsmarting imaginary monsters, staging closet move-ins, and even plotting revenge on her sister’s beloved doll. Bursting with charm and character, the series captures the essence of being the baby in the family but also showcases Dory’s brave side when her family needs her most.
Books in the Dory Fantasmagory Series:
- Dory Fantasmagory: In this debut, Dory, the youngest in her family, craves attention and imaginative play, even if her siblings aren’t interested. From vanquishing house monsters to setting up camp in the closet, Dory is a force of nature, teaching us that imagination knows no bounds.
- Dory Fantasmagory: The Real True Friend: Dory heads to school, trying to heed her siblings’ warnings about leaving her imagination at home. Instead, she finds a kindred spirit and proves that her wild imagination has a place even in the classroom. It’s a shoutout to the friendships that shape us and allow us to be our authentic selves.
- Dory Fantasmagory: Dory Dory Black Sheep: Dory struggles with learning to read but turns the experience into another fantastic adventure. Complete with imaginary nemeses and a black sheep who literally jumps out of a book, this one adds layers to Dory’s quirky character and shows the magic that can happen when we grapple with life’s challenges.
- Dory Fantasmagory: Head in the Clouds: Dory’s first loose tooth becomes the epicenter of her latest adventure, which includes tooth fairy shenanigans and a tutu-clad Mrs. Gobble Gracker. It’s a whimsical take on the timeless childhood experience of losing a tooth, wrapped up in Dory’s fantastic imagination.
- Dory Fantasmagory: Tiny Tough: Dory’s imagination dives into the high seas of pirate life when she tries to solve her sister Violet’s friend trouble. Her imaginary friend Mary strays, leading to bouts of jealousy, but as always, Dory finds a way to sail through. This book delves into the complexities of friendships at different life stages.
- Dory Fantasmagory: Can’t Live Without You: A short bout of separation anxiety sees Dory turning into a household ghost, haunting her family to keep them from leaving her. Cue the return of Mrs. Gobble Gracker and some surprising family news. This book is a riotous take on the anxieties and speculations that come with family changes.
3. The “A Narwhal and Jelly Book” series, by Ben Clanton
This is a charming early graphic novel series that follows the whimsical adventures of two underwater pals—Narwhal, the ever-cheerful and imaginative creature, and Jelly, a more pragmatic jellyfish. While they may seem like an odd pair, their differences make for a friendship that’s as deep as the ocean they explore. Known for their love of waffles and parties, the duo embarks on various escapades that highlight the beauty of friendship, teamwork, and the sheer joy of letting your imagination run wild.
Books in the A Narwhal and Jelly Book” series:
- Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea (Book #1): This introductory book sets the stage for the friendship between Narwhal and Jelly. They bond over waffles and form their “pod of awesomeness” with other sea creatures, learning the joy of friendship and the magic of a good book—even one without words or pictures.
- Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt (Book #2): Narwhal and Jelly embrace their inner superheroes in a trio of adventures. They explore their superpowers, help a lost friend, and cheer up a blue Jelly. It’s a beautiful exploration of self-belief and the power of friendship.
- Peanut Butter and Jelly (Book #3): Narwhal becomes obsessed with peanut butter, much to Jelly’s skepticism. Through a series of stories, they both learn the value of trying new things and being accepting of who they are.
- Narwhal’s Otter Friend (Book #4): The duo meets Otty, an adventurous otter, and navigates the complexities of expanding their circle of friends. This book dives into jealousy, friendship, and the joy of having something in common, like waffle-loving.
- Happy Narwhalidays (Book #5): Set during Christmas, Narwhal is thrilled about the Merry Mermicorn, while Jelly needs a little convincing. A mysterious gift changes Jelly’s outlook, bringing warmth and joy in a festive setting.
- Narwhal’s School of Awesomeness (Book #6): Narwhal and Jelly turn into substitute teachers and introduce their students to “Wafflematics” and other unconventional yet fun subjects. It’s a comedic take on education with a focus on positivity and humor.
- Narwhalicorn and Jelly (Book #7): Narwhal wishes to become a unicorn and ventures onto land with the help of Star. It’s an interstellar trip to a unicorn planet, where Jelly feels a bit out of his comfort zone but learns the power of embracing new experiences.
4. The “Dragons in a Bag” series, by Zetta Elliott
In the “Dragons in a Bag” series by Zetta Elliott, young Jaxon finds himself entangled in a magical adventure when he’s sent to spend the day with Ma, a witch who’s not his grandmother but needs his help nonetheless. Tasked with delivering baby dragons to a magical world, Jaxon and his friends Vikram and Kavita quickly find themselves breaking the two cardinal rules: don’t let the dragons out of the bag and don’t feed them sweets. The series navigates the thrilling and risky journey of ensuring the baby dragons’ safety, all while exploring themes of friendship, responsibility, and the blending of two very different worlds—Brooklyn and a magical realm.
Books in the Dragons in a Bag” series:
- Dragons in a Bag: Jaxon is sent to spend the day with Ma, a mysterious old lady who turns out to be a witch. He and his friends Vikram and Kavita end up breaking the two crucial rules about baby dragons they’re supposed to be delivering to a magical realm, launching them into an unexpected adventure.
- The Dragon Thief: In the sequel, Jaxon discovers one of the baby dragons is missing, stolen by Kavita. As Kavita struggles to keep the growing dragon a secret, the missing dragon creates an imbalance between the magical and human worlds, closing the gates between them.
- The Witch’s Apprentice: Jaxon is now apprenticing with a witch and is tasked with figuring out how to hatch a phoenix egg. Meanwhile, the balance in the magical realm is off, affecting the New York summer and even transforming Jaxon’s friends in mysterious ways.
- The Enchanted Bridge: Jaxon, now an ambassador to the realm of magic, must navigate complex politics involving the Guardian of Palmara’s mysterious twin, Ol-Korrok. The mission is to build a bridge between the two realms, but not all allies are as trustworthy as they seem, putting both worlds at risk.
5. The “Ana & Andrew” series, by Christine Platt
In the “Ana & Andrew” series, siblings Ana and Andrew embark on various adventures, often while visiting their grandparents in Savannah, Georgia. The series dives deep into African American history and culture, including impactful lessons like learning that their grandparents’ church was built by slaves. The stories blend familial bonds, cultural heritage, and enlightening discoveries, making it a rich educational experience for young readers. This series would be a wonderful resource for teachers and parents looking to infuse historical and cultural depth into their reading lists.
Books in The “Ana & Andrew” series:
- Summer in Savannah: Ana & Andrew visit their grandparents in Savannah and learn the historical significance of their grandparents’ church, built by slaves.
- Dancing at Carnival: The siblings head to Trinidad for Carnival and discover how their ancestors contributed to the holiday’s origins.
- A Day at the Museum: Ana & Andrew tour the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture with their Grandma, learning about key African American figures.
- A Snowy Day: School’s out due to snow! Ana & Andrew make snow ice cream and save some for their cousins in Trinidad, who have never seen snow.
- The New Baby: A new sibling is on the way, and the family prepares for the arrival, learning about the importance of names in African American culture from Granny.
- Planting Peanuts: Ana & Andrew start a garden and learn about George Washington Carver, one of the first African American botanists, while planting peanuts.
- Honoring Heroes: The family visits an unexplored location in Washington, DC, to honor an ancestor who fought for freedom.
- Home Run: Andrew joins a baseball team and gains inspiration from Jackie Robinson, the first African American in modern Major League Baseball, to overcome his nerves.
- Family Reunion: Ana & Andrew attend their family’s 75th-anniversary reunion in Savannah, where they reconnect with relatives and understand the importance of family ties.
- Martin’s Dream: During Black History Month, Ana & Andrew learn about Martin Luther King Jr. and help to make one of his famous dreams come true.
6. The “Stink” series , by Megan McDonald
The “Stink” series centers around Judy Moody’s younger brother, Stink, who navigates the challenges and wonders of being a kid with an imaginative twist. From fretting about his height to idolizing James Madison, Stink’s adventures are humorously amplified by his own self-made comic strips. Each book captures Stink’s unique perspective on everyday situations, revealing how he uses creativity and humor to tackle problems, often with the overhanging shadow of his bossy big sister. Through 13 engaging books, the series explores the lovable quirks and imaginative solutions that make Stink a memorable character for young readers.
Books in The “Stink” serie:
- Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid: In this introductory book, Stink Moody realizes he’s shrinking and navigates the challenges and comic misadventures that come with feeling smaller than everyone else, even the class newt.
- Stink and the Incredible Super-Galactic Jawbreaker: Stink’s complaint to a candy company turns into a jawbreaker jackpot, leading him down a sugar-fueled path of seeking more free stuff.
- Stink and the World’s Worst Super-Stinky Sneakers: A field trip to a ‘Gross-Me-Out’ exhibit turns Stink into a sniffing savant, leading him to compete in a stinky sneaker contest.
- Stink and the Great Guinea Pig Express: Stink and friends embark on a mission to find homes for 101 guinea pigs, transforming their quest into an epic, fur-filled adventure.
- Stink: Solar System Superhero: Stink becomes an advocate for Pluto, taking a stand against its demotion from planet status, challenging scientists and classmates alike.
- Stink and the Ultimate Thumb-Wrestling Smackdown: Facing a less-than-perfect grade in gym, Stink delves into the world of thumb wrestling, seeking both mastery and family recognition.
- Stink and the Midnight Zombie Walk: Stink gets caught up in zombie mania as he eagerly awaits the release of a new zombie book, leading to undead escapades and some nocturnal frights.
- Stink and the Freaky Frog Freakout: An encounter with a strange frog leaves Stink with newfound aquatic abilities, as he overcomes his fear of putting his face in water and starts seeing frogs everywhere.
- Stink and the Shark Sleepover: A sleepover at an aquarium excites Stink, but the nocturnal event becomes a test of courage when he starts imagining undersea monsters.
- Stink and the Attack of the Slime Mold: In this ode to slime molds, Stink grapples with the unsettling idea that a one-celled organism might be smarter—and more invasive—than he initially thought.
- Stink: Hamlet and Cheese: Stink takes on Shakespeare camp, learning to sword-fight and curse in Elizabethan style, but has to deal with being the only boy and the always-annoying Riley Rottenberger.
- Stink and the Hairy Scary Spider: Stink’s arachnophobia is put to the test when he must confront his most terrifying fear, leading to a surprise real-life encounter with a spider.
- Stink: Superhero Superfan: Stink becomes enamored with a vintage comic book superhero, and soon mysterious messages make him wonder if fiction could be turning into reality.
7. The Magnificent Makers series, by Theanne Griffith
The Magnificent Makers series by Theanne Griffith is a dynamic, modern twist on educational adventure books—think Magic School Bus for a new generation. Best friends Violet and Pablo, who are both science enthusiasts, along with their new classmate Deepak, stumble upon a magical makerspace called the Maker Maze. Located in their school’s Science Space, this fantastical lab is a wonderland of scientific exploration, featuring everything from robots and 3D printers to an antigravity chamber. Guided by a quirky and humorous scientist, the trio embarks on a series of adventures through various doors in the makerspace, each leading to a new science challenge. As they navigate these exhilarating quests, they not only grasp complex scientific concepts ranging from human biology to ecology but also tackle important life skills like teamwork, courage, and how to manage failure and jealousy. The series offers a delightful blend of science and life lessons, wrapped in an engaging narrative.
Books in The Magnificent Makers series
- The Magnificent Makers #1: How to Test a Friendship
In the first book, best friends Violet and Pablo, along with their new classmate Deepak, discover a magical makerspace called the Maker Maze. Guided by a quirky scientist, they tackle various science puzzles and learn to work as a team. The book sets the stage for the series, exploring diverse scientific concepts while delving into life skills like teamwork and dealing with failure.
- The Magnificent Makers #2: Brain Trouble
In this sequel, Violet and Pablo participate in a brain fair at school, where they solve science puzzles related to the human brain. Alongside a set of twins, the friends face the challenge of learning to collaborate. The book includes two quick at-home science activities, emphasizing hands-on learning and cooperation.
- The Magnificent Makers #3: Riding Sound Wave
On a field trip to the science museum, Violet and Pablo are paired with Henry, a classmate with sensory processing disorder. In the Maker Maze, they learn about the human senses of touch, hearing, and vision. Through their experience, they also gain insight into empathy and the importance of understanding others’ unique traits.
- The Magnificent Makers #4: The Great Germ Hunt
After recovering from an illness, Violet is eager to explore the world of germs. Along with Pablo and another classmate, Aria, who has a weakened immune system, they delve into the Maker Maze to learn about bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The book touches on why it’s crucial to stay home when sick, providing a nuanced understanding of public health.
- The Magnificent Makers #5: Race Through Space
Violet, Pablo, and Deepak return to the Maker Maze to explore outer space. Pablo, who’s passionate about space science, grapples with self-doubt following a series of mistakes. The book addresses self-esteem issues while educating readers about the mysteries of the cosmos.
- The Magnificent Makers #6: Storm Chasers
This installment features a weather-themed challenge. Pablo, Violet, and twins Devin and Skylar dive into the Maker Maze to learn about wind patterns, the water cycle, and the creation of storms. While tackling meteorological mysteries, the friends notice Devin seems to be down, introducing a subplot about emotional well-being.
9. The Penelope Rex series, by Ryan T. Higgins
The Penelope Rex series by Ryan T. Higgins humorously tackles the ups and downs of Penelope, a young T-Rex, as she navigates social dynamics in a human world. Starting with her first day of school, Penelope learns the hard way that making friends can be tricky, especially when you find your classmates so “delicious.” Each book delves into Penelope’s colorful escapades as she grapples with different life lessons, from understanding empathy to re-evaluating her place in the social (and literal) food chain. The series combines wit and visual storytelling to offer entertaining, yet thought-provoking, narratives on friendship and self-discovery. It’s a great blend of humor and life lessons—just the kind of books that can stimulate meaningful discussions among young readers and their parents or educators.
Books in The Penelope Rex series
- We Don’t Eat Our Classmates: On her first day of school, Penelope Rex realizes making human friends is tough when they look so tasty. A lesson in empathy makes her rethink her predatory ways.
- We Will Rock Our Classmates: Penelope Rex, already a pro at being a T. rex, wants to rock out on guitar at the school talent show. She grapples with self-expression and stage fright but finds courage and support in unexpected places.
- We Don’t Lose Our Class Goldfish: Penelope faces her fear of Walter, the class goldfish. After a sleepless night and a missing Walter, she learns that sometimes fears can be misunderstood and that there’s more to Walter than his chomping jaws.
- Penelope Rex and the Problem with Pets: Penelope gets a saber tooth tiger pet named Mittens. As she navigates pet ownership, she learns that large pets with long teeth can be a huge responsibility, leading to messy but enlightening situations.
10. The “Mercy Watson” series, by Kate DiCamillo
In the “Mercy Watson” series, we follow the escapades of Mercy, a lovable pig who’s more than just livestock to the Watson family—she’s a “porcine wonder.” The Watsons adore her, and she adores them right back, especially their buttered toast. Each book in this series delves into a new adventure, often triggered by Mercy’s love for food and comfort, and always spiraling into hilarious, unpredictable directions.
Books in The “Mercy Watson” series
- Mercy Watson to the Rescue: Mercy, the Watson family’s “porcine wonder,” manages to break the bed while snuggling with her owners. The Watsons think Mercy is going to alert the fire department but actually, our porky protagonist is off to savor some of the neighbors’ sugar cookies. Chaos ensues, but there’s always room for buttered toast.
- Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride: Mercy is back and this time she’s hitting the road, much to the consternation of Mr. and Mrs. Watson. The story reaches peak hilarity when their elderly neighbor Baby Lincoln tags along for some “folly and adventure,” and Mercy somehow ends up driving the car. Yet again, buttered toast saves the day.
- Mercy Watson Fights Crime: A small-time thief, Leroy Ninker, dreams of being a cowboy but finds himself in Mercy’s house stealing a toaster. Mercy wakes up and what follows is a comical series of misunderstandings and accidental heroics that could only happen in a world where a pig is a cherished family member.
- Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise: It’s Halloween, and Mercy gets dolled up as a princess. As always, she’s just in it for the treats (read: buttered toast). The entire neighborhood gets caught up in a “Halloween parade” led by a cat, and Mercy’s costume might just be the star of the show.
- Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig: Eugenia Lincoln’s pansies are missing and Animal Control Officer Francine Poulet is on the case. But catching a pig with a taste for flowers (and buttered toast) proves to be a lot more challenging than anticipated. Mercy’s unique thinking once again turns the tables.
- Mercy Watson: Something Wonky This Way Comes: The Watsons and Mercy go to a drive-in movie, inspired by the title “When Pigs Fly.” But Mercy has a different source of inspiration: the buttery smell from the theater’s Bottomless Buckets of popcorn. A chaotic chase follows, reuniting characters from Mercy’s previous escapades.
As I come to the end of this compilation of books for 8 year old boys I hope you’ve found a book or two—or maybe even a whole treasure chest full of literary gold. There’s nothing quite like seeing a young mind light up as they connect with a story or character, and the books we’ve explored today offer an array of opportunities for just that. Whether they’re adventurers at heart or budding scientists, there’s something here for every 8 year old boys.