The school year is coming to a close. In the past 9 months, my 14 year old son has read 64 books. Here is a complete list of everything he read during his 8th grade school year along with his a highlight of his favorites broken up by genre.
My son is a big time reader. Because of that, I used a literature based curriculum for him. As a result, he read 20 non-fiction books assigned for school, 15 fiction books assigned for school, 10 self-selected titles that fit into his school requirements, and 19 self-selected titles that he read completely on his own outside of school. I have divided these titles by subject/genre. All titles are listed with links to goodreads page and his favorite title in each category are further highlighted with a short review.
- My Hero Academia books 1-15 by Kohei Horikoshi – These 15 books were all read outside of school. On top of reading these Manga, my son has also spent countless hours reading fanfiction, creating fan art, and generally obsessing over this world. He is a huge My Hero Academia fan.
- One Dead Spy by Nathan Hale
- Action Presidents – Abraham Lincoln by Fred Van Lente
- Treaties, Trenches, Mud and Blood by Nathan Hale
- The Great American Dust Bowl by Don Brown
- Glitch by Laura Martin – My son absolutely loved this middle grade sci-fi thriller. In it, a group of time traveling teens race through time on a quest to save the world.
- Remarkables by Magaret Peterson Haddix
- Sparkers by Eleanor Glewwe
- Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A Nielsen
- City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
- A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay
- Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
- Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes – This is a really good BLM book told from the POV of the ghost of a 12 year old boy who was shot by the police. It’s similar to “The Hate U Give” but appropriate for a middle grade audience.
- No Fixed Address by Susin Neilsen
- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
- Going Bovine by Libba Bray
- The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
- Dreamland Burning – This dual POV mystery jumps back and forth between a modern teen who discovers a skeleton under the floor of her 100 year old home in Tulsa to a boy living in Tulsa during the 1921 race riots. It’s both a fast paced and gripping who done it (who is it) and a historical fiction about a part of US history that is often forgotten.
- Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
- A Study of Treason by Leonard Goldberg
- Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding – All of the classics on this list are excellent (and well known), but this is the title my son enjoyed the most. It’s about kids killing kids, not my favorite topic, but my son is sort of morbid so he loved it.
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
- Call of the Wild by Jack London
- Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred D Taylor
- Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson – This book is about the Yellow Fever outbreak in Philadelphia shortly after the Revolutionary War. Reading this during a pandemic may have increased his enjoyment, but it’s a great book anytime it’s read.
- Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone
- History Smashers: The Mayflower by Kate Messner
- My Name is James Madison Hemings by Jonah Winter
- Bound for Oregon by Jean Van Leeuwen
- Harriet Tubman by Ann Petry
- Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
- See Graphic Novels List for more titles.
- King George by Steven Sheinkin, Which Way to the Wild West by Steven Sheinkin, and Two Miserable Presidents by Steven Sheinkin – All three of Steven Sheinkin’s titles tie as my sons favorites. He enjoyed most of the US History titles included on this list but he especially enjoyed the humorous bend in this series. Some of the other titles may be more educational, but they can also be depressing.
- Turtle Island by Eldon Yellowhorn
- Before Columbus by Charles C Mann
- Young People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
- The History of US by Joy Hakim (10 book set, did not read entire series cover to cover)
- Shh, We’re Writing the Constitution by Jean Fritz
- Red Cloud by SD Nelson
- Wheels of Change by Sue Macy
- Invincible Microbe by Jim Murphy – This book is all about tuberculosis. Again, learning about other diseases during a pandemic added to my sons interest in the topic. Regardless, this is a very interesting/informative book that my son really enjoyed.
- Human Body by Anna Claybourne
- Canals & Dams by Donna Latham
- Weather and Climate Change by Laura Howell
- Industrial Revolution by Carla Mooney
- Star Talk by Neil deGrasse Tyson
- A Black Hole is Not a Hole by Carolyn Cinami Decristofano
- Team Moon by Catherine Thimmesh