Book List, Books, childhood

Boys Read Too! The Step-Up List

I’ve been working on lists of books for teen boys, but there are also books that were recommended that are suitable for younger readers, teens, and as a commenter yesterday pointed out; excellent books are readable at any age (Thanks, Joanne!). So this is the list of books that form a bridge from the middle grades to the YA titles. My friend Tom’s son Robby was a big help with this part of the list. Stellar job, young man! Thank you!

It’s been a fun list to put together, the Modern titles, the Classics, and now these. I probably won’t do a list again for a while like this, it’s a lot of work. Feel free to add other book suggestions in the comments.

I realize that this on it’s own doesn’t help much. Boys still are largely on their own when it comes to books and reading. Some of them have parents who care, and help, but the vast majority don’t. Publishers certainly don’t. Dozens of people helped me with these lists, and if I wrap together this list and the Modern list, we have less than fifty recommended books for teen boys, published in the last four decades. Some of it is that many avid readers progress to reading ‘grown-up’ books. But more of it is that boys are simply abandoned by the traditional publishers in favor of the girl’s books. I have three girls, and I love that they have reading material as well. Although two of them are much more into manga and fanfiction right now… but that’s a post of a different tone.

For my son, I now have a wealth of books to offer him. I hope that this list will help other parents find books to help their sons stay interested in stories – not the kind that they must be force-fed in the guise of education, but the sort that fire the imagination and inspire them. You’re the one that knows your boys best. If they are more interested in movies and video games, suggest tie-in novels. There are bad books. But this is about fostering reading, and getting them back into seeing reading as fun. If they wind up seeing reading as an intolerable chore, how will it affect their future?

Title Author Votes Notes
Redwall  Brian  Jacques 4 Kid-recommended
Animorphs KA Applegate 4 Many people loved these!
Chronicles of Prydain Lloyd Alexander 3 An older series, but still recommended
Warriors  Erin Hunter 3 Kid-recommended
The Time Warp Trio  Jon Scieszka 2 Kid-recommended
The Blackwell Pages KL Armstrong and MA Marr 2 Kid-recommended
The Seven Wonders Series Peter Lerangis 2 Kid-recommended
A Series of Unfortunate Events Lemony Snicket 2 Orphans – my kids liked these
Raold Dahl Collection Raold Dahl 1 Classic reads, but still modern in feel
Guardians of Ga’Hoole  Kathryn Lasky 1 Hero mythology
FableHaven Brandon Mull 1 Fantasy
Higher Institute of Villainous Education Mark Walden 1 Supervillains!
The Phantom Tollbooth Norton Juster 1 Classic Fantasy

2 thoughts on “Boys Read Too! The Step-Up List

  1. My not a teen for very much longer liked Artemis Fowl, Zahn’s Star Wars books, Zahn’s DRAGONBACK series, Christopher Rowley’s Dragon series, and lots and lots of Pratchett. Also Cherryh’s FORTRESS, although I think that would be more likely to miss than hit for many.

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