Growing up, my nose was often buried in a book, and I want the same thing for my kids. But the reality is that many boys lag behind girls in literacy, with statistics telling us that boys tend to read less and say they enjoy it less. That’s why I’m at our local library almost every week, picking up stacks of books and making sure there’s a book to grab by their bedsides, on the end tables in the living room, and in a big bin right next to the television. I want my boys to love reading throughout their tween and teenager years–and hopefully through adulthood too.
And when they find a book or series they can’t put down, I want to share it with you–in case you’re looking for books that get your kids hooked too.
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Though I don’t like labeling books as “for boys” or “for girls”, keep in mind that I have two kids who are both boys and enjoy action and adventure, so a lot of these picks skew that way (though some of these books have female main characters too).
Here are ten books and series my boys have enjoyed lately. I’m including age recommendations from Amazon as a guide, but obviously you know your kids best. And I hope you’ll leave a comment telling me which books YOUR kids have been loving lately too!
|Infinity Ring Series: In this series, fifth graders Dak and Sera live in an alternate reality and have to go back in time to fix moments in history when things go awry. (Grades 4-6)|
Tapper Twins Series: Twelve-year-old twins Claudia and Reese Tapper, who live in New York City, are the stars of these books, which are written as oral histories, with illustrations, maps, text message threads, photos, interviews, and scribbled notes throughout. (Grades 4-6)
|The Treehouse Books: What kid wouldn’t be wowed by the idea of a treehouse with a bowling alley, swimming pool, and theater? The two main characters in this series write and illustrate books and have adventures involving sea monsters and wild bananas. My fourth grader says, “It’s creative and it has funny characters.” (Grades 3-5)|
|What Happened When in the World: My husband bought this for our kids on a whim at Barnes & Noble last Christmas, and I’m pretty sure my fourth grader has looked at it almost every day since–and now knows way more about history than I ever did. He says, “It has really cool pictures.” (Grades 6-9)|
|Restart: My older son is a huge fan of Gordon Korman, who also wrote some of the 39 Clues books and the Swindle series. This book is about a boy who falls off a roof and loses his memory–and has to figure out who he was and who he is. My eighth grader says, “It’s a creative idea and had good characters.” (Grades 3-7)|
|Percy Jackson and The Olympians Series: My older son kept trying to convince his little brother to read these–but for some reason, he resisted. When he finally agreed to read the first few chapters, he went on to devour all the books in the series plus three more of Riordan’s series. I love that my kids have learned so much about mythology through these books. (Grades 5-9)|
|Treasure Hunters Series: Two siblings embark on a mission to find treasure AND their parents, who have mysteriously disappeared. And yes, this is THE James Patterson! (Grades 4-6)|
|You Wouldn’t Want To Be…Series: These books use a lot of humor to teach kids about historical events like the Boston Tea Party, WWII, and the Salem Witch Trials. They put kids at the center as the main character, allowing them to imagine what it would’ve been like to to experience these moments firsthand. (Grades 3-6)|
Rick Riordan graphic novels: If your kids are fans of Riodan’s books, these graphic novels are a great companion. (Grades 5-9)
|Alex Rider series: The hero of this James Bond-like series is a 14 year old spy, and there are secret missions, cool gadgets, and villains to battle. My eighth grader says, “They’re compelling and exciting.” (Ages 10 and up)|
Please tell me what books YOUR kids love in the comments below!
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Thank you for this post! Reading is very important to me and I’m doing my best to pass on a love of reading to both of my children. I have a 10 year old daughter who spends most of her free time with a book and a 7 year old son who is just starting to enjoy reading as something separate from his school work. Among some of my daughters favorites are the Harry Potter series, anything by Rick Riordan, anything by Chris Grabenstein, the Unwanteds series by Lisa Mcmann, the Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer, the Wings of Fire series by Tui Sutherland and the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. My son is currently crazy about anything by Dav Pilkey, mainly the Dogman series and the Ricky Ricotta and his Mighty Robot series. I’ll definitely be checking out some of the books you’ve mentioned above!
Thanks for those ideas Christina. I’ve never heard of the Unwanted series–will have to check that out. And I’ve heard great things about the Land of Stories series too. Thanks!
Land of Stories by Chris Colfer was my 9 year old boy’s number one favorite series this year. He is obsessed with finding (and waiting for) each copy to come next from our library book holds. I highly second this recommendation.
I have definitely got to check out that series!
Thank you!! My 11 year old son and I just read Alan Gratz Projekt 1065 and it was fantastic. He writes historical fiction for middle schoolers. Also, the Shadow Children series by Margaret Haddon has both my kids hooked. Divergent series another one the older child likes.
Thanks Sherrie! My son and I saw Margaret Haddix do a reading this summer and her books sound fantastic. My older son read the first book and a half in the Divergent series but I think the romance was a deterrent from finishing it. 😉
My son loved the How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell. I think he was in 4th or 5th when he devoured these books. Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales has a new release Nov 7th! I enjoyed reading these books too! My son likes the books with series b/c then he can keep reading and it doesn’t end with one book.
Lin–That’s great to know about the Nathan Hale book! Will definitely be checking that out for my boys. Thank you!!
Love this list! My son has read several of these! Some books he’s liked this year are:
Black Stallion series
The Carl Hiasen books Scat, Hoot, Flush and Chomp
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Hi – just curious how old your son was when he read the Hiasen books?
Maryea | Happy Healthy Mama
Oh, thank you so much for this list! I’m always looking for great books for my daughter. She recently devoured the Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer and was looking for a new series she would love. I just ordered the first Percy Jackson book–I hope she loves it too!
thank you, always looking for good books, my 7 year old loved the magic tree house books, always looking for more good recommendations.
We’re obsessed with harry potter, on the 4th book, I would like to put it down for a while after we finish just to read something else!
Rosemary–We definitely went through a Magic Tree House phase. Those are fun audio books to listen to as well!
We’ve been reading The Wild Robot books. I’ve enjoyed them as much as my son!