Grade 8 Reading Recommendations

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Zélie remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. When different clans ruled – Burners igniting flames, Tiders beckoning waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoning forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, anyone with powers was targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Only a few people remain with the power to use magic, and they must remain hidden.

Zélie is one such person. Now she has a chance to bring back magic to her people and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must learn to harness her powers and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where strange creatures prowl, and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to come to terms with the strength of her magic – and her growing feelings for an enemy (Pan Macmillan).

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A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee

Rescued from the gallows in 1850s London, orphan (and thief) Mary Quinn found herself at Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls, the cover for an all-female investigative unit called the Agency. Now seventeen, Mary must put her training to the test. Disguised as a lady’s companion, she infiltrates a merchant’s home in hopes of finding clues to the whereabouts of his missing cargo ships. But the household is full of deceptions, and there is no one to trust. . . . Or is there? Packed with suspense and evoking gritty Victorian backstreets, this breezy mystery marks the debut of a detective who lives by her wits while uncovering secrets — including those of her own past.

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The Sun Is Also A Star by  Nicola Yoon

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true? (Penguin Random House).

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Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester.

But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.

The two interwoven mysteries of this first book in the Truly Devious series dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell will continue her relentless quest for the murderers in books two and three. (HarperCollins Publishers)

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The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Linus Baker is a by-the-book case worker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He's tasked with determining whether six dangerous magical children are likely to bring about the end of the world.

Arthur Parnassus is the master of the orphanage. He would do anything to keep the children safe, even if it means the world will burn. And his secrets will come to light.

The House in the Cerulean Sea is an enchanting love story, masterfully told, about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours. (MacMillan Publishers)

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by  Stephen Chbosky

The critically acclaimed debut novel from Stephen Chbosky follows observant “wallflower” Charlie as he charts a course through the strange world between adolescence and adulthood. First dates, family drama, and new friends. Sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Devastating loss, young love, and life on the fringes. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it, Charlie must learn to navigate those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up (Simon and Schuster).

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Wonder Women by Sam Maggs

You may think you know women’s history pretty well. But have you ever heard of:

• Alice Ball, the chemist who developed an effective treatment for leprosy—only to have the credit taken by a man?
• Mary Sherman Morgan, the rocket scientist whose liquid fuel compounds blasted the first U.S. satellite into orbit?
• Huang Daopo, the inventor whose weaving technology revolutionized textile production in China—centuries before the cotton gin?

Smart women have always been able to achieve amazing things, even when the odds were stacked against them. In Wonder Women, author Sam Maggs tells the stories of the brilliant, brainy, and totally rad women in history who broke barriers as scientists, engineers, mathematicians, adventurers, and inventors. Plus, interviews with real-life women in STEM careers, an extensive bibliography, and a guide to women-centric science and technology organizations—all to show the many ways the geeky girls of today can help to build the future. (Penguin Random House)

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The Radium Girls by  Kate Moore

Amid the excitement of the early twentieth century, hundreds of young women spend their days hard at work painting watch dials with glow-in-the-dark radium paint. The painters consider themselves lucky ― until they start suffering from a mysterious illness. As the corporations try to cover up a shocking secret, these shining girls suddenly find themselves at the center of a deadly scandal.

Company management had long known the dangers these young women faced, but they never informed them. Worse, when the women began to speak up, demanding the company help the workers they had injured, company representatives slandered them, implying that they were actually dying of syphilis, not radium poisoning. With their days numbered, and more of them dying every month, the Radium Girls knew they didn't have long to force the companies to acknowledge what they had done — and ensure it could never happen again (A Mighty Girl).

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Mon cœur après la pluie par Pierre Labrie

« Aujourd’hui, il pleut. Il pleut à transformer les flaques d’eau en lacs. Aujourd’hui, il n’y aura pas de récréation dans la cour d’école. Il n’y aura pas plus de pause à l’extérieur après le dîner. Aujourd’hui, tout se passe à l’intérieur. Aujourd’hui, l’eau est synonyme autant de tristesse que de fraîcheur. Aujourd’hui, c’est le début de tout. Faisant partie de la saga poétique initiée par Nous sommes ce continent, Un gouffre sous mon lit et Suivre le lapin blanc, Mon cœur après la pluie ramène le personnage de LUI à la fin du primaire. Dans ce livre, on y retrouve les premières amours, la joie de l’amitié autant que la dureté du regard des autres, le pouvoir des mots dans ce qu’il y a de beau et de méchant. » -Éditeur

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Les marées par  Brigitte Vaillancourt

« Capucine est comme un poisson hors de l'eau. Pour sa mère Solange et le reste de sa famille, sa timidité est une tare inexcusable. À quelques semaines de la fin de son secondaire, elle ne rêve que d'une chose : prendre le large. Laisser les jacassements de sa mère et de ses tantes pour remonter le fleuve et repartir à zéro. Puis, un jour, les bavardages de Solange cessent d'un coup. En cherchant à comprendre, Capucine finit par déterrer un lourd secret de famille, plus gros que tout ce qu'elle aurait pu imaginer : une sœur. (...) [BTLF] » -Bibliothèque publique d’Ottawa

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