First Chapter Friday Books

Books intended for 8-12-year-olds

Updated February 23, 2024
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Jennifer Chan is not alone
Keller, Tae
In her first novel since winning the Newbery Medal for When You Trap a Tiger, Tae Keller offers a gripping and emotional story about friendship, bullying, and the possiblity that there's more in the universe than just us. Sometimes middle school can make you feel like...
Dinosaurs before dark
Osborne, Mary Pope
Where did the magic tree house come from? Before Jack and Anie can find out, the mysterious tree house whisks them back to the prehistoric past. Now can they do it before dark... or will they become a dinosaur's dinner?
Artemis Fowl
Colfer, Eoin
Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is the most ingenious criminal mastermind in history. With two trusty sidekicks in tow, he hatches a cunning plot to divest the fairyfolk of their pot of gold.
From the desk of Zoe Washington
Marks, Janae
#1 Kids Indie Next List * Parents Magazine Best Book of the Year * Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book of the Year * SLJ Best Book of the Year * Kirkus Best Book of the Year * Junior Library Guild Selection * Edgar Award Nominee * Four Starred Reviews * Bank Street Best...
Charlotte's web
White, E. B. (Elwyn Brooks) 1899-1985
Don't miss one of America's top 100 most-loved novels, selected by PBS's The Great American Read. This beloved book by E. B. White, author of Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan, is a classic of children's literature that is "just about perfect." This paperback edition includes...
City of ghosts
Schwab, Victoria
From #1 NYT bestselling author Victoria Schwab comes a sweeping, spooky, evocative adventure, perfect for fans of "Stranger Things" and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.A New York Times bestseller!Ever since Cass almost drowned (okay, she did drown, but she doesn't...
The wild robot
Brown, Peter 1979-
Soon to be a DreamWorks movie, coming to theaters 9/20/24! Wall-E meets Hatchet in this #1 New York Times bestselling illustrated middle grade novel from Caldecott Honor winner Peter Brown Can a robot...
Maizy Chen's last chance
Yee, Lisa
LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD . Twelve year-old Maizy discovers her family's Chinese restaurant is full of secrets in this irresistible novel that celebrates food, fortune, and family. Welcome to the Golden Palace! Maizy has never been to Last Chance,...
The Jules Verne prophecy
Schwarz, Larry
When a mysterious book by the legendary writer Jules Verne falls into the hands of three unlikely friends, it sets off a treasure hunt like no other--get ready for a modern-day reimagining of The Goonies! Owen Godfrey is spending his summer in Paris...
The world according to Humphrey
Birney, Betty G.
The first in the series about everyone's favorite classroom pet! You can learn a lot about life by observing another species. That's what Humphrey was told when he was first brought to Room 26. And boy is it true! There are always adventures in the classroom and each weekend he gets to...
Whale done : a FunJungle novel
Gibbs, Stuart 1969-
In the eighth novel in New York Times bestselling Stuart Gibbs's FunJungle series, Teddy Fitzroy returns as FunJungle's resident sleuth to find the culprits behind a blown-up whale and a string of beach sand thefts. After an escaped kangaroo starts a fire that burns down...
The star outside my window
Raúf, Onjali Q.
From the award-winning author of The Boy at the Back of the Class comes a middle grade novel about the power of hope to sustain even when tragedy strikes. Ten-year-old Aniyah and her little brother Noah find themselves living in foster care after the sudden disappearance...
The outsiders
Hinton, S. E.
Over 50 years of an iconic classic! This international bestseller and inspiration for a beloved movie is a heroic story of friendship and belonging. No one ever said life was easy. But Ponyboy is pretty sure that he's got things figured out. He knows that he can count...
Matilda
Dahl, Roald
From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG! Now a musical on Broadway and streaming on Netflix! Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she's just a nuisance. She expects school to be different...
Lalani of the distant sea
Kelly, Erin Entrada
"Fast-paced and full of wonder, this is a powerful, gripping must-read."--Kirkus (starred review) "A lush and mysterious fable, full of beauty, full of wonder."--Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medal-winning author of When You Reach Me Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly's debut fantasy...
Sir Fig Newton and the science of persistence
Thomas, Sonja (Children's author)
From the Desk of Zoe Washington meets Ways to Make Sunshine in this "noteworthy" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) middle grade novel about a determined young girl who must rely on her ingenuity and scientific know-how to save her beloved cat. Twelve-year-old...
The Ogress and the orphans
Barnhill, Kelly Regan
A National Book Award finalist and instant fantasy classic about the power of community, generosity, books, and baked goods, from the author of the beloved Newbery Medal winner The Girl Who Drank the Moon. The town of Stone in the Glen used to be lovely, but it hasn't been so in...
Goosebumps : you can't scare me!
Stine, R. L.
Courtney is a total show-off. She thinks she's so brave; and she's always making Eddie and his friends look like wimps. But now Eddie's decided he's had enough. He's going to scare Courtney once and for all. And he's come up with the perfect plan to do it. Eddie's going to lure Courtney down to...
Sit, stay, love
Howard, J. J.
Cecilia Murray has been wishing for a dog for as long as she can remember. And when a cute pug named Potato is brought in to Orphan Paws, the shelter where she volunteers, she knows he is the dog she's been waiting for. There's just one problem: Eric Chung -- a popular, arrogant boy from school --...
The field guide
DiTerlizzi, Tony
The Grace children discover the faerie world is closer than you think in this repackage of the first book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Spiderwick Chronicles. After finding a mysterious, handmade field guide in the attic of the ramshackle old mansion they've just moved...
Unplugged
Korman, Gordon
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Unteachables, Gordon Korman, comes a hilarious middle grade novel about a group of kids forced to "unplug" at a wellness camp--where they instead find intrigue, adventure, and a whole lot of chaos. Perfect for fans of Korman's...
A snow day for Plum!
Phelan, Matt
"Lively fun with animal friends."--Kirkus Reviews The animals of the Athensville Zoo are thrilled to be visiting a local school to star in a presentation--everyone except for a very nervous peacock named Plum. And then an unexpected blizzard strands the animals at the elementary school...
Amari and the night brothers
Alston, B. B.
New York Times bestseller! Artemis Fowl meets Men in Black in this exhilarating debut middle grade fantasy, the first in a series filled with #blackgirlmagic. Perfect for fans of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, the Percy Jackson series, and Nevermoor. Amari Peters has...
Doll bones
Black, Holly
Discover the Newbery Honor winner Doll Bones, from Holly Black, the cocreator of the Spiderwick Chronicles. A Kirkus Reviews Best Book. A School Library Journal Best Book. A Booklist Editor's Choice Books for Youth. A Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book. A...
Kenny and the book of beasts
DiTerlizzi, Tony
In this highly anticipated sequel to New York Times bestselling and Caldecott Honor-winning author Tony DiTerlizzi's Kenny and the Dragon, Kenny must cope with many changes in his life--including the fear that he's losing his best friend. What can come between two...
The house with chicken legs
Anderson, Sophie
An extraordinary retelling of the Baba Yaga myth, this debut novel will wrap itself around your heart and never let go.All 12-year-old Marinka wants is a friend. A real friend. Not like her house with chicken legs. Sure, the house can play games like tag and hide-and-seek, but Marinka longs for a...
The mouse and the motorcycle
Cleary, Beverly.
In this imaginative adventure from Newbery Medal-winning author Beverly Cleary, a young mouse named Ralph is thrown into a world of excitement when a boy and his shiny toy motorcycle check in to the Mountain View Inn. When the ever-curious Ralph spots Keith's red toy motorcycle, he vows to...
The lightning thief
Riordan, Rick
The classic first book about Percy Jackson, the troubled boy who discovers he is the son of Poseidon, and his adventures with demigods, monsters, and Greek gods. This classic by #1 New York Times best selling author Rick Riordan has sold millions of copies...
Mr. Popper's penguins
Atwater, Richard
The classic Newbery Honor book that inspired the hilarious Jim Carrey movie--and a childhood favorite book for generations. Mr. Popper's Penguins is one of the handful of American books for children that has attained the status of a classic. A humble...
Fish in a tree
Hunt, Lynda Mullaly
"Fans of R.J. Palacio'sWonderwill appreciate this feel-good story of friendship and unconventional smarts." -Kirkus Reviews Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by...
Holes
Sachar, Louis 1954-
Skunk and Badger
Timberlake, Amy
Learn how Skunk and Badger first became roommates before embarking on their latest adventure, Egg Marks the Spot! A Best Book of 2020: People * Kirkus Reviews * Booklist  * School Library...
Aru Shah and the end of time
Chokshi, Roshani
Best-selling author Rick Riordan introduces this fantasy adventure by New York Times best-selling author, Roshani Chokshi, inspired by the great epics she grew up on. Named one of 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time by Time magazine! Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a...
Root magic
Royce, Eden
"A poignant, necessary entry into the children's literary canon, Root Magic brings to life the history and culture of Gullah people while highlighting the timeless plight of Black Americans. Add in a fun, magical adventure and you get everything I want in a book!" --Justina Ireland, New York...

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