Saturday, November 24th, 2012

Books for boys

I’ve had sons and grandsons for quite a few years, so it’s a long time that  I’ve been on the lookout for books that entice boys to read. In case some of you are running into the same challenge, here are a few possibilities, loosely in age order. Since I’m remembering some from my adult sons’ childhoods, I hope I might be introducing some of these to you for the first time.

To my thinking, one of the things that makes a good boys’ book is that I enjoy it too, reading  aloud with the children or quietly on my own. And of course, a lot of girls will like these books too.

Please comment with your thoughts about any of these books and with your recommendations of good books for boys.


Of course, top of the list is C. S. Lewis’s Narnia series.

Chronicles of Narnia Box Set


The Cooper Kids Adventure series, by Frank Peretti. There are quite a few more of these too.

The Door in the Dragon's Throat (The Cooper Kids Adventure Series #1)   Escape from the Island of Aquarius (The Cooper Kids Adventure Series #2)   The Tombs of Anak (The Cooper Kids Adventure Series #3)   Trapped at the Bottom of the Sea (The Cooper Kids Adventure Series #4)


The Spirit Flyer Series, by John Bibee (There are 4 more books, but these are the ones we read aloud together when our boys were younger)

The Magic Bicycle (Spirit Flyer)   The Toy Campaign (Spirit Flyer)   The Only Game in Town (Spirit Flyer)   Bicycle Hills: How One Halloween Almost Got Out of Hand (Spirit Flyer)


The Archives of Anthropos series, by John White

The Tower of Geburah (Archives of Anthropos)  The Iron Sceptre (Archives of Anthropos)   The Sword Bearer (Archives of Anthropos)   Gaal the Conqueror (Archives of Anthropos)   Quest for the King (Archives of Anthropos)   The Dark Lord's Demise (The Archives of Anthropos)


The 100 Cupboards Trilogy, by N.D. Wilson

100 Cupboards (100 Cupboards, Bk 1)    Dandelion Fire: Book 2 of the 100 Cupboards   The Chestnut King: Book 3 of the 100 Cupboards


The Dragon King Trilogy, by Stephen Lawhead

In the Hall of the Dragon King (The Dragon King Trilogy)   The Warlords of Nin (The Dragon King Trilogy)   The Sword and the Flame (The Dragon King Trilogy)

I haven’t read all the books written by Stephen Lawhead, but I’ve liked every one I’ve read, and most of them would be good choices for boys as well.


Chiveis Trilogy, by Bryan M. Litfin. You might want to check out my review of audiobook edition of The Sword.

The Sword (Redesign): A Novel (Chiveis Trilogy)   The Gift: A Novel (Chiveis Trilogy)   The Kingdom: A Novel (Chiveis Trilogy)


The Pendragon Cycle, by Stephen Lawhead

Taliesin (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 1)   Merlin (The Pendragon Cycle , Book 2)  Arthur (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 3)   Pendragon (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 4)   Grail (The Pendragon Cycle, Book 5)

That’s off the top of my head. I’m sure there are more, but they’ll have to wait for another post.

Remember, please chime in with your suggestions.

  • Leave a Comment (39)  

39 Responses to “Books for boys”

  1. I would recommend the Mad Scientist Club series by Bertrand Brinley. It has been recently been reprinted by Purple House Press.

    • Hey Cuz! These look great. They were written when I was in the depths of raising sons. How did I not know about them? Thanks for the suggestion.

    • Thank you sooook much for printing this! My oldest son (10) LOVES science! And I have a younger son (3) as well, so all of these suggestions will come in handy. Thanks Noel for putting this on your blog! Happy Holidays to you and Pastor John from the Mason’s!!

  2. The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson is a recent publication and is not finished yet, but my three boys (8, 6, and 4) loved the first three!

  3. I was just telling my almost 8 yr old son yesterday that he’s ready for a new series!! Thank you for this list!

  4. The Wilderking series by Jonatham Rogers is great.

  5. My Dad and I just finished writing our frst book in a series for boys. It’s called Tahosa Treasure. It is available on It will be released on Jan 8th and will then be available on Amazon and Kindle.

  6. The Kingdom series by Chuck Black is excellent!

    • Absolutely agree! These books (and audio books too) are amazing! All the boys I know who’ve read/listened to them eat them up!

  7. My boys enjoyed the Redwall series by Brian Jacques

    • We also loved the Redwall series, and it is very entertaining to listen to the audiobook series, read by the author, and incorporating lots of voices and great background music. As a caution, the villains of Redwall may be too “vilainous” for younger children, but my boys particularly loved this series. It can be read either chronologically in Redwall time, OR in the order they were written by Jacques, giving older readers the feel of reading a pre-quel.

    • Agreed my sons loved those too. Mostly the one in college to become an English teacher. He did get his bothers interested and they all loved them, Unless the oldest missed them being in college when his brother were reading them.

  8. I read the Narnia books in my twenties in the firehouse where I was working (all of them.) I cannot wait to read them with my son. Adventure, danger, friendship, loyalty, faith, fear, and ultimately the chance to be a hero by serving the One True Hero–yeah boys needs to know, see, and experience that!

  9. i second the “wingfeather saga” by andrew peterson recommendation. the first 3 are out, and he is currently working on the last.

    the are,quite simply,awesome. i wish they had been out when i was a kid – i would have gobbled them up! that’s this 34 yr. old father’s opinion.

  10. We love the Wilderking Trilogy by Jonathon Rogers! They tell the story of young Aidan, a shepherd boy who hears from a prophet that he is the long-prophesied Wilderking, a wild man who will come from the forests and swamps to ascend the throne and set things right in Corenwald. It is a fun read for boys (and my girls love them too).

  11. For perhaps slightly younger boys the My Father’s Dragon trilogy is wonderful. It’s a perfect first chapter book series for 7-9 yo boys, and has gotten many a reluctant reader going!

  12. The historical fiction series by G.A. Henty (there are at least 70 of them) and another by R.M. Ballantyne (at least 20) are superb, classic, Christian, character building, adventurous books for approx 12 and up. Even our 13 yr old daughter is devouring them. And most of them are free on kindle!

  13. Anything by Douglas Bond – For various ages including books for fathers & sons together.

  14. The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson is wonderful!!!!

  15. The Chip Hilton series by Clair Bee. They have been updated and made overtly Christian by the author’s daughter and reissued, but I still like the originals better; the additions seem artificial.

    I second the Henty recommendation.

    Our family (including our three boys) enjoyed reading through several of Doug Bond’s books.

  16. Anything by Robert Louis Stevenson.

  17. One of my favorite authors for this category is Garth Nix; The Seventh Tower series would be great for boys age ~9+!

  18. I’ve read most of Stephen Lawhead’s books. YES for the Dragon King trilogy. But … I’ve been saddened that beginning in the Pendragon Cycle, his books start having (short) episodes of what I would consider gratuitous nudity and sex, which for me have made me keep them off limits to my son. His Byzantium, Celtic Crusades trilogy, and Song of Albion trilogy all have some of this. The latter 2 trilogies make much of (heretical) Pelagian Christianity vs. what we accept as orthodox. That’s not as much a concern in the Pendragon Cycle. But I would definitely recommend the parent borrow these books from a library and read them before having their boy read them. I wish this wasn’t a real concern — I loved Lawhead’s fiction, otherwise!

  19. Cannot recommend The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson highly enough! It is exceptionally good.

  20. Thanks for compiling this list, several of these are new to us. We do love reading Narnia aloud. My son, when he was younger, really enjoyed reading Paul Hutchens Sugar Creek Gang series…my husband also enjoyed them as a boy. Other ones my teenager enjoys are Redwall, The Lord of the Rings, and Patrick F McManus. When I hear him busting a gut laughing from across the house I can be sure he’s reading a McManus book.

  21. Whoa, let’s try to broaden our book selection beyond SciF/Fantasy. What about My Name Is America series for some historical fiction. Great series. Tom Sawyer is a pretty easy read. The Hatchet, Watership Down, The Giver, Call of the Wild, Where the Red Fern Grows, My Side of the Mountain, Hardy Boys. If a a boy had the reading level for Narnia, they can read any of these. And challenge them with a harder book like Count of Monte Cristo if they are older. Also, whoever said Anne of Green Gables is just for girls has no imagination.

  22. My boys have read most of the ones you mention and really enjoyed them.

    They also just *loved* the GA Henty historical fiction series – over 100 books available!

  23. We have read and re-read Ralph Moody’s books. Excellent for a strong male protagonist who struggles with typical boy issues. Another favorite series was The Borrowers. Also, Ginger Pye series.

  24. The Bronze Bow and The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare are both excellent. Also, my sons enjoyed several series by Sigmund Brouwer – The Accidental Detectives series and the Winds of Light series.

  25. Dh and I raised 5 sons as well. They have all loved the first two Narnia and the Cooper Kids, Mine have also enjoyed reading Lee Roddy’s America Adventure. While the story follows a girl and her family in the depression. There is a on his own boy in much of it too.

  26. This is fantastic! I have been looking for recommendations like this for a while.
    I don’t suppose you could do another post for girl books. Even an empty post where other readers can post suggestions in the comments (I greatly enjoyed everyone’s additions in this post). Thank you!

  27. We have read a lot of these, too. I’d like to add:
    “Castaways of the Flying Dutchman”. There are 3 in this series by Brian Jacques
    “Ranger’s Apprentice” series by John Flanagan

  28. Thank you for posting this list! My 11 year old loves to read, and many of these titles are new to me. It will be a joy to point him to some quality adventures! Thanks to all who contributed,

  29. I’d love to have readers check out “Rescue Me! What Superheroes Can Teach Us about the Power of Faith” ( I think it is a unique gospel-centered resource for kids who love superheroes.

  30. […] my list of books for boys a few days ago, here are a few more I thought […]

  31. Thank you so much for posting!!

  32. When my son was one of only two already reading in Kindergarten, his teaacher had those two (both were boys)read a wonderful series of biographies of pioneers and early American history – Daniel Boone, Andrew Jackson, et al. My son LOVED them. Also (not arranged by age but by my aging brain!) Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates; The Almonzo book from the Little House series; Redwall series, Hardy Boys, The Princess and Curdie & The Princess and the Dragon by George MacDonald, Tales of the Resistance & its companion book (Tales of the Kingdom), Chronicles of Narnia. And we all loved the Bedtime Stories by Arthur Maxwell, which I had loved as a child and which built my faith more than any other obvious factor. There is one story on soul sleep but they are very God-honoring and inspiring to Christian virtue.

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