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Little Willow [userpic]

Booklist: Books For Young Boys

May 8th, 2008 (07:25 pm)

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jenah needed recommendations for her son. Here are some great books for ages eight to twelve.

OutCast by Christopher Golden and Thomas Sniegoski - Everything and everyone in the world has magic . . . except for 12-year-old Timothy. A four book series, starting with The Un-Magician. Good guys (and girls), bad guys, dragons, warriors, inventions, and more. Give this to avid readers who enjoy action-packed fantasy series and to reluctant readers who like Star Wars.
The NeverEnding Story by Michael Ende - An imaginative, amazing book! Very long, very deep, so if it's too much for him on his own, read it aloud and trade off reading duty every few pages!

Henry Huggins series by Beverly Cleary - Start with the aforementioned title and prepare yourself for innocent hijinks with a boy and his dog. Ribsy is adorable. Companion to the Ramona Quimby series.
Otis Spofford by Beverly Cleary - Otis is a third-grade goof. Companion to the book Ellen Tebbits.
Ralph trilogy by Beverly Cleary - A mouse, a motorcycle, and many adventures.
I, Houdini by Lynne Reid Banks - An escape-artist hamster has plenty of stories to tell.
Wayside School books by Louis Sachar - Start with Sideways Stories for Wayside School. Great read-alouds.
Peter Hatcher series by Judy Blume - Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing kicks off Peter's stories of life with his parents, his pets, and his little brother Fudge, who seems to get all of the attention.
Sam books by Lois Lowry - Another little brother companion series. His big sis is Anastasia Krupnik.
Everyone Else's Parents Said Yes by Paula Danziger - and the other books about Matthew Martin
Judy Moody by Megan McDonald and Stink by Megan McDonald - Judy is in 3rd grade; Stink is in 2nd grade, so the books revolving around him are shorter and easier to read.

Every single book by John Bellairs - Start with The Mummy, the Will, and the Crypt, and proceed!
Coraline by Neil Gaiman - Creepy, twisted, good.
Selected titles from Goosebumps by R.L. Stine - The Girl Who Cried Monster, Welcome to Camp Nightmare, Let's Get Invisible and The Haunted Mask are recommended.

The Hardy Boys - Action. Adventure. Mystery. Need I say more?
Choose Your Own Adventure - This series lets readers make their own decisions with the turn of a page. (A quick, fake example: Want to go sledding down the hill with your wild uncle? Turn to page 14! OR Would you rather follow the treasure map and walk down the hill? Turn to page 37!) Readers may get a different ending with each re-read. This is a fantastic series for reluctant readers. I am so glad that it is finally back in print!

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli - I cannot recommend this book enough! It's about tolerance. It's about literacy. It's about family. It's about belonging. It's so powerful.

The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks - A fantastic series in which a young boy gets a cupboard with a key - and discovers that if he puts his plastic little figures in the cupboard, twists the key, and re-opens the cupboard, the figures come to life.

Anything in juvenile fiction by Matt Christopher - stories about kids playing football, baseball, basketball, soccer, extreme sports, you name it! - as well as the biographies of big-name athletes by the same author.

I have many more sports-related books on my list entitled Hey There, Sports Fan!

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
White Fang by Jack London
Call of the Wild by Jack London


Posted by: kim! (kimexclaimation)
Posted at: May 7th, 2006 08:19 pm (UTC)

What are the age ranges of these books? You mentioned a 9 year old boy. Would boys up to 12 still like them? And do you have recommendations up to 15 year olds?

I don't have a teaching position yet, but I want to get a good book list going!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 7th, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)

Everything listed above should be good for eight to twelve year olds. Astute readers can be a little younger; the Henry Huggins series the easiest read on this list; The NeverEnding Story, the hardest.

Posted by: Cosmic Bob (cosmicbob)
Posted at: May 8th, 2006 08:36 am (UTC)

I would add another category:

Any of several young adult books by Robert Heinlein, most published in the 50s. In particular I would say The Star Beast and The Rolling Stones are very entertaining and somewhat educational.

I'm sure there are other authors out there in this genre, probably more current than Heinlein, but I know that I enjoyed his stuff when I was growing up. They may be a tad dated, but that doesn't mean they're not good.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 8th, 2006 07:25 pm (UTC)

Oh, yes, I'll re-title the Fantasy category. Thanks!

Posted by: Emma (randomdent)
Posted at: May 8th, 2006 09:10 am (UTC)

This is great. I work in a bookstore and sometimes people come in asking for this kinda stuff. Sometimes I got it, but usually I'm better with girls' books than boys.

And if I may add to Fantasy: Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl books are great for this age, too. My brother is eleven and he loves them.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 8th, 2006 07:27 pm (UTC)

I have yet to read AF. I read The Wish List, which I liked because it was snarky and fun!

Yay, bookstore. If you ever need more recommendations, please don't hesitate to ask.

Posted by: Shelley McKibbon (coneycat)
Posted at: May 8th, 2006 09:48 am (UTC)

I would recommend Only You Can Save Mankind (and in fact the other Johnny books) by Terry Pratchett. I've read two of them and liked this one best--the 12-year-old hero is playing a video game in which he battles an alien fleet--and it suddenly surrenders to him. The story involves, among other things, Johnny's efforts to get them safely out of the game and home again.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 8th, 2006 07:24 pm (UTC)

Your icon made me smile and think of Jack London.

Thanks for the link! It sounds cool. I have only read two Prachetts.

Posted by: queen_of_ocd (queen_of_ocd)
Posted at: May 8th, 2006 03:01 pm (UTC)

I second Maniac Magee and Henry Huggins. :)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 8th, 2006 06:57 pm (UTC)

I love Maniac Magee so much.

Posted by: queen_of_ocd (queen_of_ocd)
Posted at: May 9th, 2006 06:41 am (UTC)

I do, too.

Posted by: Allan Rosewarne (taras_wizard)
Posted at: May 8th, 2006 03:18 pm (UTC)
Recommended books

This is my first message on Little Willow's list.

My overwhelming recommend in the YA category is a fantasy by Nina Hofmann "Fistful of sky", it's a really great book about a family of magic users, who live in world like our own. The protagonist's mother uses her magic to aid her career as a local TV journalist. The protagonist's sister uses her magic to aid her career as a Hollywood makeup artist. Most family members get their magic when their between 12 and 16 yrs. old, but the protagonist does not get her magic until she's about 21 yrs. old.

A 9 yr. old boy might not like to read about a girl; however, I read "Podkayne of Mars" when I was about that age and loved it and I'm a guy. And if I would have been able to read FoS when I was nine I think I'd liked it then, too.

Last note of books I've read this year, FoS and "Air" by Geoff Ryman have been the best so far.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 8th, 2006 06:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Recommended books

Thank you for the recommendation! That sounds very interesting. I read A Stir of Bones by Nina Kiriki Hoffman years ago, when it first hit hardcover, and it was decent.

I hadn't heard of Podkayne; I have yet to read any Heinlein. Thanks.

Posted by: Cosmic Bob (cosmicbob)
Posted at: May 9th, 2006 05:47 am (UTC)
Re: Recommended books

Podkayne is another one of the above mentioned young adult books. I don't know if any of these are still in print or not.

And iffin you haven't read any Heinlein you should read:

The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress
Stranger In A Strange Land
Glory Road

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: May 10th, 2006 10:14 am (UTC)
The Lightning Thief

An excellent list! People are always looking for books for boys. I loved Maniac Magee. I've also heard about a lot of boys who absolutely love The Lightning Thief, by Rick Riordan. It's towards the upper end of the spectrum of the other books that you recommended, and is about a modern-day boy who finds out that he's the son of a God (and a mortal mother). Which explains a lot of his ADD and behavior problems.

Jen Robinson -

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: May 10th, 2006 06:10 pm (UTC)
Re: The Lightning Thief

I may look that one up. Is it founded in Greek myth?

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: August 23rd, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC)

What a talent, wishing I have that too :), Great review from different kinds of book. It's really useful to the readers and having a great writer encouraging what the great one is. Keep it up and more power!

From the Philippines,
Imee for Kids, Adults and Teachers (

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: August 23rd, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Hi...


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