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!