Books for Boys

I’m no expert on books for boys, so I turned to people who are to create this list: librarians. Boys can read these books on their own or as part of a parent/child book club.

Books for 7 and 8 year old boys

  • Charlotte’s WebE. B. White, Charlotte the spider and Wilbur the pig become friends.
  • The Number Devil—Hans Magnus Enzensberger, a beguiling number adventure.
  • The Real Thief—William Steig
  • The Secret School–Avi
  • The Trumpet of the SwanE.B. White, Louis the trumpeter swan learns how to thrive despite being born without a trumpet
  • The Year of the DogGrace Lin

Books for 9 and 10 year old boys

  • A Necessary EndNathaniel Benchley, a realistic depiction of a young Navy recruit in World War II.
  • Across Five Aprils—Irene Hunt, a moving account of the effect of the Civil War on one family.
  • Alibi Junior HighGreg Logsted, an undercover CIA agent’s son goes to middle school.
  • And Then There Were NoneAgatha Christie
  • The Barftastic Life of Louie Burger by Jenny Meyerhoff
  • Bat 6—Virginia Euwer Wollf, a story of lingering feelings of guild, racism, and patriotism in two small Oregon towns after World War II.
  • Boy – Roald Dahl, a laugh-out-loud funny and serious memoir of Roald Dahl’s childhood that reveals his inspiration for some of his most infamous characters.
  • Cabin on Trouble CreekJean Van Leeuwen, a frontier survival tale of two brothers.
  • Children of the Covered WagonMary Jane Carr, a 1934 tale about the old Oregon Trail.
  • Code Talker—Joseph Bruchac, based on a story of the Navajo Marines in World War II.
  • Cosmic—Frank Cottrell Boyce, a boy discovers the true meaning of what it takes to be a dad.
  • Gaudenzia, Pride of the PalioMarguerite Henry, based on a true story of a courageous horse and his rider in the Palio race of Siena, Italy.
  • Holes—Louis Sachar, Stanley survives at a boy’s work camp in the desert while solving a family mystery.
  • Julie of the WolvesJean Craighead George, a survival tale set in Alaska.
  • Red Scarf GirlJi-Li Jiang, a touching and informative memoir of life in China during the Cultural Revolution.
  • Sword of the Samurai: Adventure Stories from JapanEric A. Kimmel, a collection of Samurai tales.
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer—Mark Twain, the 1876 boyhood classic.
  • The Ghost in the Tokaido InnDorothy & Thomas Hoobler, the first book in a Samurai mystery series.
  • The Graveyard Book—Neil Gaiman
  • The Great Brain series—John D. Fitzgerald, a 1960’s series reminiscent of Tom Sawyer.
  • The Great Turkey Walk—Kathleen Kerr, a humorous tale of the Old West.
  • The Heart of a Chief—Joseph Bruchac, an 11-year-old American Indian boy learns what it takes to be a leader.
  • The Sea of Trolls—Nancy Farmer, a fantasy involving Vikings, berserkers and trolls.
  • The Tale of Despereaux—Kate DiCamillo, a story of mouse and human love and redemption.
  • Walk Across the SeaSusan Fletcher, historical fiction of Chinese immigrants in California and a lighthouse keeper’s daughter.
  • Walk the Wild Road—Nigel Hinton, historical fiction about a Polish boy during the late 1800s who must leave home to help support his family.
  • War HorseMichael Morpurgo, a World War I tale as told by an English farm horse.
  • When the Hermit Thrush SingsSusan Butler, science fiction tale of escaping a repressive society.
  • Up PeriscopeRob Whte, based on a true story of a Navy frogman in World War II.
  • Young Mac of Fort Vancouver—Mary Jane Carr, A 1940 story of a 13-year-old at Fort Vancouver.

Books for 11 to 13 year old boys

  • A Year Down Yonder—Richard Peck, forced to spend a year in the country with her Grandma, Mary Alice eventually becomes Grandma Dowdel’s partner in crime.
  • Al Capone Does My ShirtsGennifer Choldenko, Moose and his family live on Alcatraz Island in the 1930s with his father who is a guard.
  • BloomabilitySharon Creech, Dinnie learns to live on her own at a boarding school in Switzerland.
  • Bodyguard series—Chris Bradford
  • Bright Candles: A Novel of the Danish Resistance—Nathaniel Benchley, a well-researched and moving story of the Danish Resistance during World War II.
  • Cold Sassy Tree—Olive Ann Burns, a coming-of-age tale set in a turn-of-the-century Georgia town.
  • Coraline—Neil Gaiman, a creepy story of a girl who must find her parents in a parallel world.
  • Ender’s GameOrson Scott Card, an action-packed science fiction story of the future of the human race.
  • Fair WeatherRichard Peck, the story of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.
  • Fishbone’s Song—Gary Paulsen, a boy grows up in the wilderness
  • Flipped—Wendelin Van Drannen, see how the same story can be told from two perspectives.
  • Framed—Frank Cottrell Boyce, a boy working in his family’s mechanic shop in a smal town in England learns how to save his family and the town through famous art.
  • Going SoloRoald Dahl, the second of Roald Dahl’s memoirs, this one about his stint as a fighter pilot in World War II.
  • Hoot—Carl Hiassen, Roy and his friends save burrowing owls from dishonest developers in Florida.
  • How to Survive Middle School—Donna Gephart, David makes videos, navigates changing friendships, and figures out how to survive around bigger kids.
  • Joey Pigza Loses Control—Jack Gantos
  • Kensuke’s KingdomMichael Morpurgo, a tale of shipwreck and survival.
  • Kimchi and Calamari—Rose Kent, Joseph works to figure out how he feels about family and traditions as the adopted Korean with Italian American parents.
  • MillionsFrank Cottrell Boyc, Damien and his brother decide what to do with money that drops from the sky.
  • Private PeacefulMichael Morpurgo, poignant story of two brothers in World War I.
  • Remember Me to Harold SquarePaula Danziger, teens go on a scavenger hunt in New York City.
  • Spud—Jon van de Ruit, a boy comes of age in a boarding school in South Africea
  • Stargirl—Jerry Spinelli, what happens to a girl who dares to be different than everyone else in her school.
  • Story TimeEdward Bloor, social satire and black comedy about the perils of overemphasis of standardized testing in education today.
  • TangerineEdward Bloor, a story of how families, communities and the environment act under stress.
  • Time Stops for No MouseMichael Hoeye
  • The Boy and the SamuraiErik Christian Haugaard, sequel to The Samurai’s Tale.
  • The House of the ScorpionNancy Farmer, futuristic story of cloning humans.
  • The Man in the CeilingJules Feiffer, a funny and thought-provoking story of a boy who wants to be a cartoonist, by the illustrator of The Phantom Tollbooth.
  • The Once and Future KingT. H. White, the classic tale of King Arthur’s boyhood.
  • The Phantom TollboothNorman Juster, a witty and highly imaginative fantasy.
  • The Samurai’s TaleErik Christian Haugaard, a riveting story of Samurai and feuding warlords in ancient Japan.
  • The White Deer—James Thurber, a charming James Thurber fairy tale.

Books for Boys aged 14 and up

  • A Matter of Profit—Hilari Bell
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, can Arnold escape the despair he sees all around him on the Indian reservation while staying true to his family?
  • The Adrian Mole Diaries—Sara Thompson
  • All But My Life: A MemoirGerda Weissmann Klein
  • Blank Confession—Pete Hautman
  • The Book Thief —Markus Zusak, a story about Leisl,the German people, and Death during World War II.
  • Boy Nobody—Allen Zadoff
  • Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock—Matthew Quick
  • Genius—Steven T. Seagle and Teddy Kristiansen
  • Godless—Pete Hautman
  • Half Lives—Sara Grant
  • I Am the MessengerMarkus Zusak, mysterious messages start appearing for 19-year-old Ed Kennedy after he foils a bank robbery.
  • The Kite RunnerKhaled Hosseini, a story about loyalty and courage set in Afghanistan and the U.S.
  • Light Years—Tammar Stein, can 20-year-old Maya make a new life at college in the U.S. and forget the suicide bombing that killed her boyfriend in Israel?
  • Neverwhere—Neil Gaiman
  • Templar—written by Jordan Mechner, illustrated by LeUyen Pham and Alex Puvilland
  • This Boy’s LifeTobias Wolff, a memoir of Wolff’s boyhood.
  • The Watcher in the Shadows by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • West With the Night—Beryl Markham, a memoir of the aviatrix’s childhood in Africa, life as an elephant bush pilot, and being the first pilot to cross the Atlantic east to west.
  • What’s Eating Gilbert Grape—Peter Hedges, Gilbert would love to escape his small town, but he feels trapped by family circumstances.
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson—John Green and David Levithan, two Will Graysons living near Chicago dealing with issues of friendship and identity.
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