{Recommended Books} Best loved by Boys

Finding recommended books for boys can sometimes be a challenge.   Just the thought of sitting down for ANY reason can send some boys running, but we have found some great boy books that might just cause them to pause.   Kids Activities Blog is ALL about fun…and that includes reading too!



When boys find books they love, they *love* them!
A collection of {THE BEST!!} books for boys

Getting boys to read can be a challenge, and getting boys to love reading can be even more difficult, at least for my son. These are just a few of the books that have been tried, tested and loved by myself and the other families who responded to our Kids Activities Community-wide request for book suggestions for boys. Like these? Check out our other books for kids!

A collection of 20 Books for every boy - help your kids love chapter books with one of these.


Must Read Books:

Kayle said that her 9 year old son loves the Magic Treehouse series, by Mary Pope Osborne. There are 28 easy-to-read chapter books and a second series that has an additional 20 books which are longer books for more developed readers. They all begin with Jack and Annie, two children who have discovered a magical tree filled with magical books that allow them to travel back through time and go on a variety of adventures and missions.

Gruffalo is a scruffy monster living in the dark woods. The Gruffalo Book Series, by Julia Donaldson, are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers who are learning to identify colors, shapes, numbers, animals and more!



Kayle said that her 9 year old son loves the Magic Treehouse series, by Mary Pope Osborne. There are 28 easy-to-read chapter books and a second series that has an additional 20 books which are longer books for more developed readers. They all begin with Jack and Annie, two children who have discovered a magical tree filled with magical books that allow them to travel back through time and go on a variety of adventures and missions.

Gruffalo is a scruffy monster living in the dark woods. The Gruffalo Book Series, by Julia Donaldson, are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers who are learning to identify colors, shapes, numbers, animals and more!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid, by Jeff Kinney, is a book that many, many of you said that your boys love.   These are great for boys who are past early readers – they feature a kid, Greg, & his pal Rowly as they navigate middle school.   This series is sure to have your child giggling hysterically – they will read it multiple times.

Jeremy Thatcher and the Dragon Hatcher is a fun fantasy written by Bruce Coville.     They are written for elementary readers who are past the early-reading stage.   It features a boy, Jeremy, who finds himself in a magic shop with so many different items that he can buy, each of them leading him on an adventure.   In this book, Jeremy purchases an egg, a dragon’s egg and watches it hatch.   Bruce Coville wrote another of other books that our fans have said their boys enjoy, including Monsters Ring.


Best Novels… for boys!

Rick Riordan authors the series Heroes of Olympus, including the book, The Lost Hero.   These are great books for a more solid reader.   The story plots are written from multiple points of view, making it a bit complicated for kids new to chapter books, and fascinating to boys who love mythology and putting themselves “into” the story.

The Cam Jansen Series is a collection of sport-related mysteries.   Featuring Cam, a girl with a terrific memory, and her friend Erick.   These are great books to get kids who love activities more interested in reading.

Boys who enjoy mystery and intrigue will love the book, The Sword Thief (39 Clues), by Peter Lerangis.   The detectives are Amy and Dan, siblings, who use clues to solve problems.   The clues are found through research into Japan’s history.   As a former social studies teacher, I loved how they drew readers into the past.

For a tale about a fantastic adventure your boys will enjoy this adaptation of Peter Pan, Peter and the StarChasers, by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.   Orphaned Peter and his boys are on a boat leaving for the island of Never Land, and on the way they meet Molly (who can talk to animals).   This story is filled with pirates, treasure and bravery.

Have a dramatic boy in your life?   He will most likely love this book by David Walliams, Mr. Stink.   The main characters of the story are a middle school girl and her unlikely friend, a street tramp with a “distinctive” odor.   There is a lot of “flair” in the dramatic language and descriptions in this story.


Best Authors… for boys!

Do you have a child who is struggling to enjoy reading?   We do.   Our son loves to read comic books – I think the illustrations help him to contextualize the words he is reading – Big Nate Outloud, by Lincoln Peirce.   Is a great illustrated book to help boys get involved in their stories.

The Seekers Series and the Warriors by Erin Hunter are books written from the perspective of animals that go on a variety of wilderness adventures – the author shares details about the environment and encourages conservation.   They are better for a mature child, as some of the characters face difficulties, including death.

No list of books would be complete without mentioning  The Harry Potter books, by J. K. Rowling.   The first four books are fun and silly – fantasy that enthralls boys and girls alike – as Harry is a boy in a magical training school.

Silly boys will laugh their hearts out with Captain Underpants, by Dav Pikey, they deal with Dr. Diaper, toilets that talk to them and are experts in wedgies and knock-knock jokes.   As Giselle, mom of a fan said, “Potty humor never fails.”


Books for Reluctant Boy Readers

My son swears that he will read Ninjago all-day and never stop!     The Ninjago series by Greg Farshtey, are loved by boys who enjoy LEGOs and cultural fantasy.   Kye is the lead character, a LEGO figure, who wants to become a Samurai master.

Another illustrated book that boys will have fun reading is Invasion from Planet Dork, by Greg Trine.   The hero of the book is Melvin Beederman, a boy who is training at a superhero academy, preparing to save the world from alien invasions.

Looking for an unlikely hero in a fantasy story filled with intrigue and danger?   The Redwall Series by Brian Jacques features a cast of rodents including the lead mouse, Mattheias, who is seeking to rescue his friends at the Abbey.

Do you have a budding detective?   They will most likely relate and enjoy reading the escapades of Cass and Max-Ernest as they discover a dead magician’s journal in the book, The Name of this book is Secret, by Psydonymous Bosch.   This book mixes mystery and fantasy with word games and eccentricity.

Ever have one of those days where everything blows up in ways you never anticipated?   That happened one Thanksgiving to the Bobowicz family in the story, The Hoboken Chicken Emergency, by Daniel Pinkwater.   They were surprised with a 266lb chicken invading their home.     This book is sure to get giggles from your boys.


What is your recommended “best” book for boys?

Tell me all about your boys favorite chapter books in the comments!



  1. Great list, one I will keep to refer back to for my sons and nephews. I think you should also add the Roald Dahl books!! The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox, James and the Giant Peach, The Twits, The Witches etc… Are all such lively, funny, imagination filled texts. They not only captivate a boy’s imagination they are a pleasure for parents to read to/with their budding readers as well!! As a bonus lots have been made into movies so you can read the book together and then have a fun movie night when you are done!!

  2. …I love love love books and I just also remembered “The Littles” series is a fun one for boys as well. The stories are written about the adventures of a 6 inch tall family that lives inside the walls of the homes of big people. Lucy and Tom Little, the children, get into all sorts of trouble and adventures trying to navigate through various situations without being discovered by the “bigs”. These are simple books and good for readers just beginning to transition to chapter books.

  3. LOVED the Redwall Series as a kid (even though I was a girl 😉 ). The Christmas after my son was born my husband bought me the collection and cookbook so I could share the experience with my son once he’s old enough.

  4. how to Train Your Dragon series
    Harry the Poisonous Centipede (3 books in the series)
    Ralph Mouse Series
    Far Flung Heroes series
    the Edge Chronicles (recommended age 9 and up for content)

  5. Great list! My son also loves the Sonic the Hedgehog graphic novels. We sign them out from the library regularly and he reads them every day.

  6. I have a very young advanced reader and it is SO hard to find chapter books with appropriate content — Danny Dunn books, which are from the 1960s (we have had to get them through interlibrary loan) are excellent books about science. My son also loves the Encyclopedia Brown books and the Flat Stanley/Invisible Stanley etc. books.

  7. Geronimo Stilton books, Hatchet, Brian’s Winter, Brian’s Return, Frindle, Beetles Lightly Toasted…are just a few really great boy books. Gary Paulsen is the Hatchet series author and he has lots of great boy books. Chuck Black and The Kingdom Series is awesome. There are six books in this series and they go from Genesis to Revelations. My boys absolutely loved, loved, loved these books.

  8. Jane Rusch says:

    Jean Craighead George’s My Side of the Mountain – I LOVED this book.
    Sam lives in a hollow tree and lives off the land.

  9. Philip Exoo says:

    Two great series are The Last Apprentice (The Wardstone Chronicles) and The Ranger’s Apprentice. They are fast paced and highly entertaining; perfect for intermediate and middle school aged boys….

  10. My 10 year old son adores the Bone series by Jeff Smith. The librarian at his school recommended them. They are a graphoic novel, but they did get him interested in reading other types of books. When he does not want to read, I can always mention Bone and get him to start reading again. He has also enjoyed Janitors by Tyler Whitesides. There are only two books out that series right now, there will be 5 or 6. he loves them, they make him laugh out loud.

  11. I’m a children’s librarian in a public library, and often we are asked for book recommendations for boys. For shorter chapter books that have appropriate content for younger readers, what’s really hot at our library are:
    — Danny Dragonbreath series, by Ursula Vernon
    — Frankie Pickle series, by Eric Wight
    These two are part text story, part graphic novel, a very appealing blend.
    Also really popular among reluctant readers are the Beastquest series, by Adam Blade. They are VERY short, and the ongoing plot is structured rather like the levels of a video game. There are lots in that series — over 50 last time I checked — and in Illinois, at least, you can find the first 24 or so in libraries (the series originates in England).
    I’ve been asked for lots of recommendations over the years, and a couple of years ago I started writing them up in a blog, “Books for Boys”. It doesn’t do full reviews, but more like the online equivalent of what librarians call “book talks” — short introductions to the book and plot, just enough to entice, not enough to give away any spoilers.
    My blog can be found at http://www.boysbookblog.wordpress.com.

  12. These books aren’t only for boys. My daughter LOVES the Big Nate books, and my husband and I think that they are better than Diary of a Wimpy kid.

    Thanks for the great list here! My son will enjoy some of these in a couple of years.

  13. Jacy Resendez says:

    Great books, my kids (2 boys and 2 girls) also like R.L. Stine’s Rotten School books as well as many other series you’ve mentioned. Thanks for the great list.

  14. Here's a relevant review comment (within a comment):

    I found when I left this book laying on the dining room table one evening that it mysteriously disappeared. Now while it would not surprise me to find my ten year old, who is an avid reader, sitting on his bed reading it, I was very surprised when it was my eleven year old who had picked it up to read. This is the child that will find anything possible to do but read, because it is difficult for him. This is what he had to say:

    ˜I really liked the there was not only words but some nice pictures to go along with it. I was able to picture what the cat and meerkats were doing and what they might look like. It has some tough topics like getting hurt and dying but I thought that it was cool that the cat was willing to help to bring all the meerkats together. I don't know if most animals would do that. I think that this is a book that some of my friends might like. ™

    This is a pretty high compliment coming from a kid who really struggles to make it though the simplest of books. 

    The book? ˜The Meerkat Wars ™ by H.S. Toshack (ISBN 978-0-9563236-2-0)

  15. My son loved the Pendragon series (ages 10+) as did several of his friends who were reluctant readers.
    He also liked the funny Hank Zipzer series by Henry Winkler (The Fonz on Happy Days). The Zipzer series is a funny take on Winkler’s real life struggles with dyslexia, a fun read for 7-11 year-olds)
    Eragon series by Christopher Paolini (who wrote the first book when he was 15 years old)
    My son and daughter both love the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan, The Mysterious Benedict Society series and the Among the Hidden (Shadow Children series) by Margaret Peterson Haddix among many of the others you mentioned: Warriors and Harry Potter were huge favorites.

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  17. Great recommendations. My boys loved the Captain Underpants series. They also enjoyed the Brian Jacques books. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Boys used to like to build things and explore… How about “My Father’s Dragon” a classic story from long ago. Author, Ruth Stiles Gannett
    I wrote a build-it book for kids based on projects I made as a kid …”Kids’ Book of Adventure Projects”, also what about the “Boy Mechanic” books that are now reprinted and available . Way better for homemade toys than sewing and paper dolls etc.

  19. Our favourite books for boys recently are by Andy Griffiths including the 13 Storey Treehouse and the follow-ups – the 26 and the 39 Storey Treehouse. He has also written a bunch of others.

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