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Growing Reader

Meet the Experts Behind the 50 Best Books for 7- and 8-Year-Olds List

by the Brightly Editors

  • Each book on our list of the 50 Best Books for 7- and 8-Year-Olds was carefully selected by a group of children’s literature experts. You can learn more about these kids’ lit enthusiasts below.

  • Betsy Bird

    Betsy Bird is the Collection Development Manager of Evanston Public Library, and the former Youth Materials Specialist of NYPL. She runs the children’s literature blog A Fuse #8 Production at the School Library Journal website and has written the picture book Giant Dance Party and co-written the very adult Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature.

    Her favorite book at age 8: “That might be The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe actually. My mom read me this awesome fully illustrated version done by artist Michael Hague and I still remember it vividly.”

  • Shana Corey

    Shana Corey is an Executive Editor at Random House Children’s Books and the author of several acclaimed picture books including You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer!Here Come the Girl Scouts!, and coming up in 2016, The Secret Subway. She lives in Brooklyn and when not editing, can usually be found reading with her three kids (but that’s another list).

    Her favorite book at age 8: “I’d have to say Little House on the Prairie (but man are All-of-a-Kind Family and Betsy-Tacy and Tib close at its heels!).”

  • Meghan Dietsche Goel

    Meghan Dietsche Goel has been the Children’s and Young Adult Book Buyer for BookPeople in Austin, Texas since 2005. In that role she helped co-found the Austin Teen Book Festival in 2009, for which she serves as the festival’s program director. Her previous experience includes editing children’s books for several publishing houses including HarperCollins Children’s Books.

    Her favorite book at age 8: “My favorite book when I was 8 was Little WomenWhen I got to Beth’s death, I was reading in an empty room next door to a class my dad was taking and he found me there, in inconsolable tears, when he got out.”

  • Melissa Taylor

    After a MA in Education, a decade of teaching kids and adults, and snagging four Outstanding Teacher awards, Melissa Taylor traded in her chalk for a keyboard to work as a writer. Now the world is her classroom, and she uses words to inform, inspire, and entertain readers on the topics closest to her heart and forever on her mind: children’s books, literacy, and education.

    Her favorite book at age 8: “Little House on the Prairie. But there was rarely a book around that was left unread or unloved.”