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Books for Boys

The topic of boys and reading seems to come up at least yearly amongst my friends.  This is a conversation that frustrates me to no end.  One friend will complain how there are no books for boys and every one else will rack their brains trying to come up with something that would be appropriate for the boy in question.  The reality is there are plenty of books out there for boys.  I don’t understand why there is this problem of locating the books.  It seems a good chunk of the books I pick up have a male main character which seems to be the requirement for a book to be a “boy” book.

The reality is that boys read less than girls over the nation.  I was blessed with an avid reader in my son which I guess is why I have a problem with this concept of not enough boy books.  My son is the sort that reads just about anything so long as it’s in comic book form.  He loves graphic novels and manga.  Because the selection at our library is limited, he reads everyone they have.  We have special ordered graphic novels from the university where I work just to keep him in books.  The end result has been a well read boy who is not stuck in one category.  He does read more than graphic novels – he loves Edgar Allan Poe.  The poor old volume of his works is losing it’s pages because he has read it so many times.  He loves reading books about John Lennon and animals.

I think the trick to getting a boy to read is to 1. get him to the library and 2. encourage him to try different types of books.  My son does a few books on cd while he hangs out in his room or at bedtime.  The other big trick is to make reading important.  We go to the library as a family, dad included.  We encourage picking up a variety of books and we all sit around and read.  We talk about the books we have read, we share.  There are a number of occasions where we swap books and then talk about them or read a book and then see the movie.

So here is my list of books for boys.  I took about 30 minutes to go through books I had read or want to read.  This is not an exhaustive list and I can’t say they are all for you but it should get you thinking about books you and your boys can pick up.

Authors who write mostly male character stories:

Edgar Allan Poe

Chris Crutcher

Gary Paulson


The Phantom Tollbooth

Jungle Book

Catcher in the Rye

Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

Stuart Little by EB White

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The Witches

Books for Younger Boys:

In the Night Kitchen

Arthur by Marc Brown

Geronimo Stilton

Winnie the Pooh

Where the Wild Things Are

I Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon

Series: (listed by either series name or title of first book)

Harry Potter by JK Rowling

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ripley Pearson

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

The Mad Scientists Club by Bertrand R Brinley

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

Artemis Fowl


Midnight for Charlie Bone

Keys to the Kingdom by Garth Nix

Odd Thomas

Kingdom Keepers

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

Cirque de Freak

Alex Rider Series

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride

I am Number 4

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Darwen Arkwright

Chronicles of Nick

Avatar, the Last Airbender


The Ultimate Game by Sean Austin

Daniel X by James Patterson

Dark Eden by Patrick Carman

The Chronicles of Narnia

Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Children of the Lamp by PB Kerr

Young Wizards by Diane Duane

Discworld by Terry Prachett

Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott

Books: (may be part of a series but I didn’t look that far)

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Prachett

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaimen

The 13 ½ Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers

Danny Dunn by Raymond Abrashkin

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

Far Flung Adventures by Paul Stewart

Holes by Louis Sacher

The Thief Lord

The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth La Ban

The Sin Eaters Confession by Ilsa Bick

Never Trust a Dead Man by Vivian Vande Velde

If that’s not enough of a list to get you started check out these websites



I didn’t list the number of superhero graphic novels out there but I will say there are a ton and in a variety of reading abilities and age levels.  Here’s to reading more!