12 good books for the over 8’s these holidays

Looking for some good books for the over 8’s for their holiday reading? Here are some great suggestions!

Ming & Hilde: Lead A Revolution (The Girls Who Changed the World)
by Jackie French, pub. by HarperCollins p/b RRP$16.99 ages 10+

Jackie French is one of our best-known writers. Her new book about 12-yr-old Ming Qong follows on from earlier books about young girls doing heroic things mixing going back in time with the present day. This journey in time-travelling is with Hilde, a shepherdess with her Royal Saxon sheep going to South Australia. Although the story is fictional, Jackie French is known for weaving some history into her Australian stories and this inspiring story is one of those.


Cosima Unfortunate Steals a Star
by Laura Noakes, illus. Flavia Sorrentino, pub. by HarperCollins p/b RRP$16.99 ages 8+

The author has a disability, and this experience has led to the first of a potential series of books featuring her heroine Cosima (Cos), inmate of the Home for Unfortunate Girls (mostly with disabilities). Cos and her three friends have enjoyed minor thefts of sweets and goodies at their ‘Home’. Then she comes across Lord Francis Fitzroy, owner of the tiara with the tempting and sparkling Star Diamond of India. As Lord Fitzroy is a potential adopter of Cos and her friends, Cos plans to change her life in another way and steal the diamond!


The Sideways Orbit of Evie Hart
by Samera Kamaleddine, pub. by HarperCollins p/b RRP$16.99 ages 8+

Evie is in Grade 6 with lots of interesting friends. Science is her passion (amongst others such as falafels). Evie’s Mum is the Mystic Mum Horoscope writer for the New Woman Weekly, and Evie has a sister, a stepdad and two dogs. Evie’s life is full of little vignettes as she tries to find her place in a world that’s familiar to any child of her age.


Leeva at Last
by Sara Pennypacker, illus. Matthew Cordell, pub. by HarperCollins p/b RRP$16.99 ages 8+

From the author of Pax and Pax, Journey Home about Peter and his pet fox, Pax, comes a new adventure.
Leeva’s unusual parents are the mayor and the tax collector of their small sleepy town and they like it that way. They only want fame and money. They don’t want Leeva to go to school for many reasons. They don’t want Leeva to meet and mix with people being one. She wonders then what are people for? Her parents are definitely different. For example, on the third Thursday every month the local supermarket gives a discount for Seniors, so her father dresses up as an old man and tries to trick the store into giving him a discount. He’s the tax collector after all and hopes to catch them out. They’re that type of family!

Matthew Cordell’s whimsical and humorous fine line drawings add to the funny situations and Leeva’s adventures show that there is much more to life than fame and money.


Scout and the Rescue Dogs
by Dianne Wolfer, illus. Tony Flowers, pub. Walker Books Australia p/b RRP$15.99 ages 9+

The summer holidays have finally arrived and Scout can’t wait for her adventure in the big rig with Dad. Scout has a special relationship with her dad especially after her mother has died. They’re on a mission to deliver donations of dog food to animal rescue shelters right across the state. She loves adventures with her dad but the summer bush fires make this adventure extra special.


Animal FACTopia
by Julie Beer, illus. Andy Smith, pub. Britannica Books, h/b RRP$25.99 ages 8+
Part of the FACTopia series.

For the curious child! They can discover about 400 ‘Beastly Facts’ about penguins, farting zebras, leaping dolphins, snorting elephants, dancing bears and more – all connected in weird and wonderful ways. Wonderful, quirky illustrations by Andy Smith will really help to remember the interesting facts!


How to be a Kid Boss: 101 Secrets Grown-ups Won’t Tell You
by Larry Hayes, illus. Joelle Dreidemy, pub. by Walker Books, p/b RRP$19.99 ages 9+

An hilarious book from the author of the How to Survive… series, this book is packed with 101 secrets and tips for kids to outsmart the adults in their lives. The whacky and imaginative illustrations make this the perfect, funny guide to growing up, with a mix of wonderful activities and challenges to get kids thinking.


The One and Only Ruby
by Katherine Applegate, pub. by HarperCollins p/b RRP$16.99 ages 8+

This is the sequel to The One and Only Ivan and The One and Only Bob. The story starts with the visit of Ruby the elephant’s old caretaker, to her post-circus home in a wildlife sanctuary. His arrival brings back all her old good and bad memories of life in Africa before she became a circus animal. It’s her story to relate to us, with her earlier life now made into a Disney+ film.


Bored #3: Evie Dreams Big
by Matt Stanton, pub. by HarperCollins imprint ABC Books, p/b RRP$14.99 ages 8+

From the author of over 20 books such as Funny Kid and The Odds (series) this is about Evie, the new kid on the block, and Evie plans big. Very big. She’s going to build her own house! There’s an empty block of land next to her house and she’s bored. Her friends need  quite a bit of persuasion to help her. There are doubts and excuses though and her father is encouraging BUT…


Three Graphic Novels

Graphic novels are full of cartoon style illustrations and lots of different sized typefaces which makes them interesting for young readers! They are also suitable for encouraging reluctant readers.

Surprisingly Sarah
by Terri Libenson, pub. by HarperCollins US, p/b RRP$17.99 ages 9+

This is the 7th book in the Emmie & Friend series about decisions and friendship. Sarah and Leo have been BFFs since they were little. They share everything… until Sarah develops a crush on Leo’s friend Ben. Then one day Sarah is suddenly faced with a big choice— who to choose to come with her to the school dance!

The Odds #3: The Odds: The Power of being Odd
by Matt Stanton, pub. by HarperCollins imprint ABC Books, p/b RRP$14.99 ages 7+

This is the final in this series by this prolific author. Kip, Dad and the Odds (they are characters from Kip’s imagination…) have been taken to Kip’s Imaginatorium — a mysterious building in the middle of the desert where Dad needs to ask “I’m still confused. Is this place…Are we in Kip’s imaginary world now? Are we not in the real world?”

The power of imagination… where the two worlds collide.


The Last Comics on Earth
by Max Brallier, with Joshua Pruett, llus. by Douglas Holgate and Jay Cooper, pub. by HarperCollins p/b RRP$17.99 ages 8+

From the series The Last Kids on Earth, Jack, Quint, June and Dirk visit their local comic bookstore only to discover they have read the last in their favourite series. They decide to develop their own continuation of the story and cast themselves as the comic book superheroes.

This book is full of colourful and well-illustrated drawings; some very intricate as well as full page ones.

Unusually, there’s a full-page internal photo of the author as well as an upside down one of illustrator Douglas Holgate ‘because he’s in Australia’! A lovely twist to the usual.

The story and illustrations will keep a young reader absorbed for hours!

Looking for these new books for younger set? See Review: Diverse books for ages 3+ books