Books “for” Boys

“There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy’s life that he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.”  -Mark Twain


Boys crave action and adventure. (And so did I, when I was seven, eight, and nine.)

Reading aloud is so crucial, especially with boys, because they might not choose to sit still and read on their own, but if you have Hatchet playing in the car or make him sit for twenty minutes after dinner and listen to a book about the Pony Express, you’ll hook him. Find the right story and you’ll make that boy into a reader.

These books aren’t just for boys. I loved all these stories as a young girl. Try them out on your daughter. She just might like them. If you find yourself with a boy who can’t get enough to read and has a little patience for a slower story, pop over to my lists for girls, although I wouldn’t try to give him A Little Princess just yet. Have suggestions? Shoot me an email.



Kindergarten & 1st Grade

note the books here will more than likely be a step above an average Kindergartner’s ability to read. Try reading aloud to your boys. Interesting stories encourage and capture their attention (most readers are so very boring.) 

  1. Winnie -the-Pooh  |  A. A. Milne ills. E. H. Shepherd
  2. Little Toot  |   Hardie Gramatky
  3. The Biggest Bear  |  Lynd Ward
  4. Go, Dog, Go!  | P. D. Eastman
  5. Frog and Toad are Friends  |  Arnold Lobel
  6. The Tale of Peter Rabbit  |  Beatrix Potter
  7. Aesop’s Fable’s  | trans. V. S. Vernon Jones  ills. Arthur Rackham

2nd Grade

  1. Cinnabar, the One O’Clock Fox  | Marguerite Henry  ills. Wesley Dennis
  2. James and the Giant Peach  |  Roald Dahl ills. Quentin Blake
  3. Stuart Little  |  E. B. White ills. Garth Williams
  4. A Bear Called Paddington  |  Michael Bond
  5. American Tall Tales  |  Mary Pope Osborne
  6. Martin the Warrior  |  Brian Jaques

3rd-4th Grade

  1. Shiloh  |  Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  2. Farmer Boy  |  Laura Ingalls Wilder
  3. Mr. Tucket  |  Gary Paulsen
  4. Sign of the Beaver  |  Elizabeth George Speare
  5. The Black Stallion  |  Walter Farley
  6. Old Yeller  |  Fred Gipson
  7. The Indian in the Cupboard  |  Lynn Reid Banks
  8. King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table  |  Roger Lancelyn Green

5th-6th Grade

  1. Hatchet  |  Gary Paulsen
  2. My Side of the Mountain  |  Jean Craighead George
  3. Where the Red Fern Grows  |  Wilson Rawls
  4. Call it Courage  |  Armstrong Sperry
  5. One-Eyed Cat  |  Paula Fox
  6. Bud, Not Buddy  |  Christopher Paul Curtis
  7. The 21 Balloons  |  William Pène du Bois
  8. Bridge to Terabithia  |  Katherine Paterson
  9. A Series of Unfortunate Events  |  Lemony Snicket

7th-8th Grade

  1. Holes  |  Louis Sachar
  2. The Bronze Bow  |  Elizabeth George Speare
  3. Sounder  |  William H. Armstrong
  4. Adam of the Road  |  Elizabeth Janet Gray Vining
  5. Johnny Tremain  |   Esther Forbes
  6. The Incredible Journey  |  Sheila Burnford
  7. The Hobbit  |  J. R. R. Tolkien
  8. The Swiss Family Robinson  |   Johann David Wyss
  9. Cheaper by the Dozen  |  Ernestine Gilbreth Carey and Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr.

9th-12th Grade

  1. Call of the Wild  |  Jack London
  2. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes  |  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  3. Robinson Crusoe  |   Daniel Defoe
  4. Ender’s Game  |  Orson Scott Card
  5. Farenheit 451  |  Ray Bradbury
  6. Beowulf  |  Author Unknown
  7. Robinson Crusoe  |  Daniel Dafoe

College and Beyond

  1. Moby Dick  |  Herman Melville
  2. Dune  |  Frank Herbert
  3. Hood  |  Stephen R. Lawhead
  4. The Way of Kings  |  Brandon Sanderson
  5. The Scarlet Pimpernel  |  Baroness Orczy

Busy Dads

  1. My Ántonia  |  Willa Cather
  2. Dracula  | Bram Stoker
  3. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court  |  Mark Twain
  4. Lord of the Flies  |  William Golding
  5. Frankenstein  |  Mary Shelley
  6. The Hound of the Baskervilles  | Sir Arthur Conan Doyle