LitPick Five Star Book Recommendations - great books for 8 - 12 year olds

By LitPick Book Reviews

By LitPick Book Reviews


J. D. Suhre


I think it is a great book. However, I think it could have used a bit more conflict to make it stronger. It had easy vocabulary, and it didn’t take long to read. It is a little confusing at first because I didn’t know it switched between the two main characters, but once I found out, it was easy to understand. The author did a great job writing it, and the emotions that the characters felt were strong enough to make the reader feel them too. I recommend this book to kids nine to twelve years old who enjoy a good book.

Pepperoni Pizza Pinching Chimps

Tracey C Ayres


This book is one that will catch a reader's attention, and it is easy to understand what's going on in the story. It kept my attention throughout the whole narrative. The plot is great. I like it because it is about teamwork and adventure. My favorite character is Keah because I could almost imagine her as a real person. I like the part in which Keah and her friends go through the tunnel to the spaceship because it is filled with twists and turns and hard to stop reading. I can't wait to read more action-packed books from this author.

The King of Pawleys

David Bernstein

$12.99 $11.95

The King of Pawleys is a book I would read over and over again just to know what happens next. It is a story full of adventure, humor, life lessons, and so much more. I love this book because of its meaning and how it shows readers that they can accomplish their dreams if they try. The King of Pawleys teaches me that when I try my best, I can find out new things about myself and others around me. This is a fairly easy read but with great detail and descriptions that make the reader feel as if he or she were ”in the book.” The King of Pawleys has a great variety of characters who are different and know it, but decide to become friends anyway. I recommend this book to kids ages 8 through 12 who love adventure and trying new things.

The Incredible Adventures of Absolutely Normal

Amanda Rotach Lamkin


I enjoyed reading The Incredible Adventures of Absolutely Normal. It’s an awesome fantasy with many elements of an old-fashioned fairy tale. This is the first book in a series, so it will be interesting to learn how everything works out in the end. The narrative is written in an upbeat, whimsical way, but at the same time it is suspenseful with numerous twists and turns. I like how subtly a few Bible themes are woven into the plot, so the story feels familiar. It’s perfect for 8- to 12-year-olds because it moves along at a steady pace, holds the reader's attention, and has detailed descriptions that bring the story to life. Also, the characters are imaginative and full of personality. I think the best part of the book is that the main characters know they aren’t perfect, but they still strive to do what's right in situations even when they feel uncomfortable or scared.


Janet McLaughlin


Different is an eye-opening story. It deals with the fact that many people have quirks that make them stand out. It also shows the power of assumption. One small inference can cause great confusion. The simplicity of the story line and character bring out deeper meanings: "Disabilities don't define us" and "What makes us stand out can make us special" are among other messages that are prominent throughout this touching story. Different is an easy read but one that makes me think about a lot of new topics. I would definitely recommend it to a friend.

Doomy Prepper's Complete Guide: How to Survive Fifth Grade and the Apocalypse

Amie Borst and Sean Bova


Doomy Prepper’s Complete Guide: How to Survive Fifth Grade and the Apocalypse is a great book for kids whether they like to read or not. It’s written in a conversational style that makes readers feel like they are part of the plot. Each short chapter begins with a main idea and a list of three important facts that often add humor to the story. The quirky characters appear in overexaggerated illustrations that jump off every page. All of the situations that take place at home or school seem realistic but have silliness thrown in for fun, which makes the book easy to read. I especially like how the group, Five, works together to offer support. They realize they are better off helping one another than working alone. They try to think through their plans first, but when they’re sidetracked, they also react quickly. As I read along, I really couldn’t wait to see what would happen next!

Deadman Anchor

K. R. Coleman


Deadman Anchor is a very well-written book filled with suspense, mystery, and adventure. I read this book in one night because I could not put it down. I was always on the edge of my seat, waiting to find out what would happen next. I loved how Kendal did not want to go on the trip but in the end enjoyed spending time with her dad. This is the third book in this series, and this one is written by K.R. Coleman. While reading this book I felt like I was right there with Kendal and the curse.

Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green

Helen Phillips


This book was awesome! I loved it! It had mystery, adventure, and a little romance. It also had some Spanish, and I thought that was pretty cool. The author did a great job describing the scenes, and I could see them in my mind. Overall, this is a great book!

My Dad is a Mad Scientist

Matthew S. Cox


My Dad is a Mad Scientist is a thrilling book. Readers won’t be able to put down this book! It features a perfect blend of reality and imagination, which leaves readers wanting more. Matthew S. Cox captures a child’s thoughts extremely well. Some intense scenes and a few bad words leave the book best for ages 12+. Kelly is the perfect example of the proverb, “Big things come in small packages.” I hope to see more in this series.

The Mighty Miss Malone

Christopher Paul Curtis

$7.99 $7.35

The MightyMiss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis has become one of my favorite books. It's well written, and you really get a good feel for Deza and all her troubles. This book is easy to fall in love with and just leaves you wanting more!

The Card People: Part 1: The Scissors of Fate

James Sulzer


The first book in The Card People series is a wonderful story that is chock-full of surprises in every chapter. Just as clues that make sense fall into place that could reveal secrets about the characters, the plot twists and turns in ways no one would expect. The reader is always on edge and can’t wait to see what happens next. Even though it’s sad that the boys have lost their father and a huge battle between good versus evil is taking place, the story is whimsical and incredibly fun to read. The playing cards are cute and playful but bold and courageous at the same time. They turn out to be great examples of how people should act and interact with one another in real life. This book is so well-written that it would appeal to a variety of readers.

The Heir

Israel Keats


The Heir is a great book that makes the reader feel just like Rob, the main character. I like this book because it has wonderful descriptions of the characters, making it easy to visualize and feel the story's conflicts. It also shows that you don’t have to do only one activity; for example, Rob joins soccer and a band. I recommend this book for kids ages 10 through 12, because of its positive moral leanings and amazing descriptive words.

The Recruit

K. R. Coleman


The Recruit's plot is great. I like that it's about chasing a dream. While it could have used a little bit more action, overall it's a great story. The author is skilled at expressing main character Tessa’s feelings, so much so that it felt like it was real in some parts. I wish it could have been a little bit more exciting in the beginning of the book, but it's still great. I can't wait to hear more from this author.

Bubba and Squirt's Big Dig to China

Sherry Ellis

$7.95 $7.31

I like this story for its adventure and mystery. There are Chinese words in the book, and a pronunciation guide is in the glossary. This is a fun book for someone who wants to learn about China. I liked learning about the terracotta warriors and how they were built a long time ago to guard the first emporor's tomb. I would like to see more books like this that include the tone markings when pinyin is used in a Chinese word or name. Sherry Ellis is a good author for kids, and I look forward to reading more books written by her.

Fly Back, Agnes

Elizabeth Atkinson

$17.99 $16.55

I highly recommend this book for any up-and-coming middle schoolers, a current middle schooler, or even someone in high school. The story is clean and enjoyable and also holds a valuable lesson: Even if your life is messy and not the way you want it to be, it’s your life and is the way it is for a reason, even if you don’t see it yet.

Tyrone the Terrible

Jan Lis


In Tyrone the Terrible, you can never predict what's going to happen next. The plot twists and vivid descriptions of the bayou animal characters pulled me into the book. Lis introduces the reader to the perfect amount of amusing characters, all with very different personalities. There's a chameleon obsessed with his size, a squirrel who becomes a personal trainer, a book-loving opossum, and a mean, old alligator. Having animals that can talk, play baseball, and read certainly isn’t realistic, but the fantasy in the book made it even more interesting. I really like that this book has a life lesson hidden in the animal story: when you’re small and weak, being big and powerful seems like it will be fun, but making friends is all about being nice. I would recommend this book for 7-12 year olds who are looking for a fun, quick read with a positive message.


Julie Mathison

$9.99 $9.19

Believe is an amazing book and has become one of my favorites. The way Julie Mathison, the author, tells Melanie’s story is so descriptive that you feel like you are in the book. I went through the whole book and never wanted to stop reading! The characters are wonderful and have such different personalities, from the class clown to a bully. I would recommend this book for people ages 10+ because of the deep meaning of friendship.

Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words

Karen Leggett Abouraya and Susan L. Roth

$11.95 $10.99

I enjoyed reading Malala Yousafzai: Warrior of Words. The author, Karen Leggett Abouraya, provides a timeline of Malala’s life to illustrate her bravery during a lifetime of discrimination against girls and women by the Taliban. Her humanitarian efforts provide education for young girls throughout the world and are applauded and rewarded. Each page holds a short summary of her life, highlighting her reasons for wanting change. It is easy to read and understand. Best of all, the collages by Susan L. Roth illustrate Malala’s love for pink and bright colors amidst the darkest of times for people living in Pakistan.

Big Wishes for Little Feat

Cheryl Olsten

$17.95 $16.51

Big Wishes for Little Feat is a remarkable story about a horse and his rider. But it is also about more than that. It is a story of dreams, hope, and believing anything is possible if you just wait for the right moment. The storyline is easy to follow and beautiful, along with colorful pictures which perfectly complement the story. The vocabulary is too complex for a young child to read by themself, but this book would be a wonderful read aloud to younger grades at school and in the home. The imagery and language help the reader to experience the sights, sounds, and emotions of the character. Big Wishes for Little Feat shows that patience, hope, and a little dreaming can change the world.