A Boy’s Book List

So, at long last, here is a list of books for boys! Now, this is by no means exhaustive and one thing is for sure. You won’t like every book on this list, nor will your son. We have read many more books than the ones listed here, but most of those were books woven into our home education. This list is intended to be leisure reading for your sons when they aren’t formally engaged in learning.
What makes a book a “boy’s book”? Well, in my opinion, it usually involves adventure and then a moral story. Often the main character is a boy, but it doesn’t have to be. The other thing is boy humor. I don’t go down the toilet when it comes to recommending books. If a writer bases humor on cheap laughs I’m not in. In my experience, boys want books to make them laugh. Not every book on this list will do this, but many do.

I labored hard to bring this list into reality. You can’t imagine the hours I put into asking friends and Facebook Home Educating Groups for books they recommend and then searching out the books. Then there were the hours reading many of the books listed below myself. Beyond that I went on Goodreads to get a feel for what everyone else had to say about them. I sorted these books into ages I thought the “average” boy (as if there is one) might be prepared to read them alone. You certainly can read many of these earlier as Read-Alouds. Also, I’m of the mind you should look into books before you take anyone else’s word on them. Some of the books on this list, especially the ones as your boys enter the teen years may have content you don’t want them to encounter. Each family is different.

In addition to this list, I have to share one of my all-time favorite “book of books”:
Books That Build Character: A Guide to Teaching Your Child Moral Values Through Stories by Robert Coles. In this book you will find a list of book synopses covering books which always have moral lessons woven into the fabric of the story. The lists are broken down by age and genre. Not all the stories are Christian, per se, but they have morals and through the synopsis of a given book you can tell if it is suitable for your family. We have delighted in every single book we selected from that guide.

Then, I have to add a little unpaid, unsolicited plug for Lamplighter Publishing. Mark Hamby, the founder and president of Lamplighter has a passion for digging up old, classic stories which highlight characters struggling in difficulties and learning great lessons from these struggles. My boys have been so blessed by the books we have selected from their offerings, such as Teddy’s Button, The Hedge and The Giant Killer. These stories do have a bit of edge to them, but always that is for the purpose of gaining the reader’s empathy so that the lesson learned by the character becomes the lesson of the reader as well.

If you have books you would like to suggest be added to this list, I would love to hear about them. We’re always on the hunt for quality books! {see the contact form below to share your favorites}

6-7yo
• Indian in the Cupboard
• Mountain Born
• Henry Huggins
• Mrs Piggle Wiggle (and all the sequels to these books)
• Red Sails to Capri by Ann Weil and C. B. Falls
• Mouse and the Motor Cycle
• The Trumpet of the Swan by EB White (author of Charlotte’s Web)
• Hank the Cowdog
• Homer Price (and the sequel Centerburg Tales: More Adventures of Homer Price)

8-10yo
• The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (even though it is about 4 daughters, the older two befriend a neighbor boy. Charming.)
• The Boxcar Children
• Cheaper by the DozenCheaper by the Dozen
• The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson
• Farmer Boy (in the Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
• The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
• The 21 Balloons by by William Pene du Bois
• Rover Boys series. (Active Boy Detective Series with Moral Lessons written before the Hardy Boys by Arthur Winfield)
• The Narnia Series by C.S. Lewis
• The Sugar Creek Gang Series
• Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
• Justin Morgan had a Horse
• Encyclopedia Brown
• Carry On, Mr. Bowditch
• Johnny Tremain
• Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
• Jungle Doctor Series by Paul White
• First Aid for Fairies and Other Fabled Beasts by Lari Don

10-12yo
• The Avion my Uncle Flew by Cyrus Fisher
• A Long Way from Chicago (1st in Series) by Richard Peck
• The Mismantle Chronicles by MI McAllister- mouse adventures
• How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell (movie was based on it, but the book is different)
• Redwall Series – another mouse adventure (but not just another mouse adventure)
• The Eragon Series
• Nim’s Island
• G.A. Henty Historical Fiction Novels
• Smoky the Cowhorse (a fictional biography about an artist and writer who lived in the Western US)
• Treasure Island
• Around the World in Eighty Days
• Journey to the Center of the Earth
• The Ranger’s Apprentice series
• The Hobbit
• Lord of the Rings
• Little Britches, Father and I were Ranchers (First in Series by Ralph Moody)
• Allen French: The Viking Bow, The Red Keep, and The Lost Baron
• The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
• The Kingdom Series by Chuck Black
• The Chronicles of Prydian (Series) by Lloyd Alexander
• Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan (fiction based on Greek Mythology)
• Harry Potter Series (though some books in this series were reserved for years when my son was a teen)
• The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place
• Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls
• Wilderking Trilogy (Main character is 12yo, so maybe wait until that age for your child)
• Kildee House
• Twice Freed by Patricia St. John
• Swallows and Amazons series by Arthur Ransome
• The Star Trilogy by Donald Samson
• The Princess Bride by William Goldman (yes, it was a book first) … then, go ahead, indulge, watch the movie!

Teen
• Pilgrim’s Progress by Bunyan (we read this aloud earlier in our children’s lives)
• Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis (Book 1 in the Trilogy)
• Wildwood series (3) by Colin Meloy
• The Viking Quest series by Lois Walfrid Johnson
• Hatchet by Gary Paulson *Series of Books
• Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles
• To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (about a lawyer defending a black man accused of rape)
• The Homelanders Series by Andrew Klavan (teen wakes up accused of murdering his best friend – suspense, sci-fi, good values and character)
• Tom Sawyer
• The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic by Jennifer Trafton (Whimsical about a 10yo girl heroine)
• Books by ND Wilson: Leepike Ridge, 100 Cupboards, Dandelion Fire, and The Chestnut King, The Dragon’s Tooth. Those last four are series. These can have scary elements in the stories, so parents should screen these books for their children. They have been highly recommended by many parents to our family and my oldest son has read them.
• 20,000 leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne
• Journey to the Center of the Earth – Jules Verne
• Gregor the Overlander (series)
• Magnus Fin series by Manis McKay
• Pirate’s Passage by William Gilkerson
• Wayne Thomas Batson writes some glorious books such as his The Isle of Swords series or The Door Within series

Older Teen
I’m leaving this list short as most older teens I know can handle many adult books and have already determined their own preference of genres they will enjoy.
• The Guardians of GaHoole series. It is fun and playful with imagination and good versus evil struggle. It’s nice to see characters develop and grow and overcome.
• Sherlock Holmes.

Your Turn:
Add your recommendations for other books I’ve left off this list. Please include the suggested read-alone age you think is appropriate for your suggestion and why you think the book is a must for boys.

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