Recommended Books for 8 - 9 year olds

Some reading inspiration for 8 - 9 year olds

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The One & Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, Children's Books for 8 - 9 year olds






A truly inspiring novel about friendship, love and art told in the voice of Ivan, a gorilla that was captured from his home in the jungle and a young baby elephant.  

Unforgettable and timeless, this is a celebrated work of children's literature and a fabulous book for 8 - 9 year olds. And as a bonus, the book is illustrated beautifully.

Mr Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

Sassy: Little Sister is Not My Name by Sharon Draper

Sugar Plum Ballerinas by Whoopi Goldberg

Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream by Jenny Han

Bunnicula by Deborah Howe

The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look

A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord

Cuckoo Feathers by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins

Calvin Coconut by Graham Salisbury

The Time Warp Trio: Knights of the Kitchen Table by Jon Scieszka

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bag Beginning by Lemony Snicket



Looking for something more specific? Get something more tailored with our personalised book prescriptions within 48 hours. 

You might also find it helpful to learn some bibliotherapy techniques to help your child process these feelings by completing our online Bibliotherapy, Literature and Mental Health course, Children's Bibliotherapy Skills Online Course or read our book Bibliotherapy: The Healing Power of Reading.

A big hello and thank you for reading! Passionate about literature, psychology, and life I launched Book Therapy as an alternative form of therapy using the power of literature. I train mental health professionals, librarians, teachers as well as readers on using bibliotherapy in their own work through our online Bibliotherapy, Literature and Mental Health course. We also curate reading lists/personalised book prescriptions for clients based on their individual needs. This is our signature personalised reading service.

You can also check out Book Therapy’s other free reading lists and A- Z of book prescriptions (covering both fiction and non-fiction). These suggest books based on your existing life situation (e.g. anxiety, job change, relationship heartache) as well as interests (e.g memoir, historical fiction, non-fiction, crime etc). There’s also a Children’s A — Z of Book Prescriptions. Feel free to check out the blog for more literary gems. There’s also a post on my personal story of how I entered the world of bibliotherapy and book curation.

In this role, I have had the opportunity to publish two books called Bibliotherapy: The Healing Power of Reading and The Happiness Mindset, and write various literary essays and pieces for newspapers and magazines. I have undertaken bibliotherapy workshops for The United Nations, various libraries in New York and corporate organisations in the UK and US. My book recommendations have featured in the Guardian, Marie Claire, NBC News, Asian Voice, New York Observer, Sydney Telegraph and various other publications. If you are a parent you might enjoy a podcast I’ve recorded with speech and language therapist Sunita Shah on Raising A Reader & Storyteller. And if you’d like to connect, email me at or

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