I read The Great Gatsby in 8th grade. Or I read the beginning at least. I found the Cliff Notes among my high school notebooks while cleaning out my parents' attic last time I was home. I love The Great Gatsby, but I didn't in middle school. The subtleties of the story were lost on me. And from 8th grade through the beginning of college I thought the book a waste of time until picking it up again for some reason. And what a great book. So many fantastic books are wasted on kids too young. Where the Red Fern Grows is good for middle school, though I don't think it likely that it would stand up to rereading. But perfect for 8th grade.