If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that I am a huge proponent of reading to our kids and making reading a fun priority for our kids. I personally also love to read and have since I was a child.
Our two elementary age boys and are avid readers. Still though it’s tough to compete with tech and gadgets. Even though we limit screen time, everything else pales in comparison and I’m constantly on the look-out for cool new books to entice our young readers to dig in and maybe even learn something.
We love our public library but the books listed below are books we buy for home because there is just something special about a library at home. We build memories as we read our favorite books again and again. We lend them to friends, and they lend books to us. It’s building a solid foundation and true love of books in our kids.
Lately I’ve made it my personal mission to find really awesome boy books. I’m talking about books that highlight a boy’s journey, are written from a boy perspective, or somehow add to our children’s coming of age or joy of learning something new. Some people might find that offensive and ask “why be gender specific” and to that I say I’m celebrating our gender differences. Boys and girls are naturally different. There are a TON of books out there promoting girl power, girl leadership and social development. While the majority of boy books focus around potty humor, getting in trouble at school, or practical jokes.
Don’t get me wrong, my boys read Captain Underpants and Dogman just like any other kid and I laugh along with some of Dav Pilkey’s humor too – however – I want a bit more for my kids (no offense Dav). If you’re reading this, I’m assuming mama that you want more for your boys too.
Maybe you too have been on the search for boy books. Books that your boys will find interesting, resonate with and maybe even learn a thing or two, while they have fun.
Here’s my list of books for boys ages 6-12. Please add your favorites in the comments so we can continue to grow this list — and share this list with any mom who needs it. Also considering purchasing a few books of interest because all proceeds go towards keeping this blog of moms growing.
Use this list of handy links to skip to the section that best suits your child’s age.
Books for Boys Ages 6-8
Imagination Station – series
When they step into the Imagination Station, kids experience an unforgettable journey filled with action-packed adventure to inspire their imaginations. With each book, they’re whisked away with cousins Patrick and Beth to embark on a new journey around the world and back in time.
Perfect for beginning readers, these easy-to-read chapter books will keep kids entertained as they journey through history with Patrick and Beth. This introductory six-book box set includes books 1–6 in the series: Voyage with the Vikings, Attack at the Arena, Peril in the Palace, Revenge of the Red Knight, Showdown with the Shepherd, and Problems in Plymouth.
Ranger in Time – series
Similar to Imagination Station, this book series is one kids fall in love with and learn about history at the same time.
Meet Ranger! He’s a time-traveling golden retriever who has a nose for trouble . . . and always saves the day!
Ranger has been trained as a search-and-rescue dog, but can’t officially pass the test because he’s always getting distracted by squirrels during exercises. One day, he finds a mysterious first aid kit in the garden and is transported.
We use this series to teach and reinforce history lessons – such as colonial times in ‘Ranger in Time: Night of Soldiers & Spies.’
Squire and the Scroll
The message of this book is so good and will challenge the kids to be work on their character. It’s a biblical-based analogy that will really stir up some great questions. This book is to encourage your kids to think and become better.
Join the young squire as he travels the long, dangerous road beside his brave knight. Kids will gain valuable insight as they learn, with the young squire, what it means to face the dangers of temptation and what it takes to guard their hearts from all that is impure. This captivating action adventure builds until the final face-off with the monstrous, evil dragon. Only then does the squire learn of the secret beyond the cave that saves the entire kingdom!
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Shel Silverstein, the New York Times bestselling author of The Giving Tree, A Light in the Attic, Falling Up, and Every Thing On It, has produced a poetry collection that is outrageously hilarious while also being a bit profound.
Shel Silverstein’s masterful collection of poems and paintings pushes the envelope of the imagination and will be enjoyed by children and adults alike. This is a book that belongs in everyone’s home. Makes a wonderful present for special events like birthdays, holidays, or graduation.
Books for Boys Ages 9-12
Peter and the Starcatchers – Series
Dave Barrie and Ridley Pearson have created this “prequel” of sorts – an adventurous back-story to the classic tale of Peter Pan. Anyone familiar with the J.M. Barrie original will find it fascinating to learn of the thrilling adventures and trials that Pan experienced long before he entered the lives of Wendy, John and Michael Darling.
The Chronicles of Narnia – series
Journeys to the end of the world, fantastic creatures, and epic battles between good and evil—what more could any reader ask for in one book? The book that has it all is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, written in 1949 by Clive Staples Lewis. But Lewis didn’t stop there. Six more books followed, and together they became known as The Chronicles of Narnia.
These books might be a little much for young readers to get through on their own but they are fantastic as a family read aloud book at bedtime.
The Magic Treehouse – series
In these epic books, by Mary Pope Osborne readers follow siblings Jack (9) & Annie (6) through a plethora of adventures. My boys love these books and the audiobooks also voiced by the author.
The cover art of these books instantly catches the readers attention. The reader is then drawn into a new world full of suspense and adventure. Each book in the series teaches new lessons in history, nature, science and life. The books make readers have a love for nature through advanced plots and vivid imagery.
A Wrinkle In Time (Classic)
Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time was first published fifty years ago, and introduced the world to Meg, Charles Wallace Murry, and their pal Calvin O’Keefe. When the youngsters discover that Mr. Murry has been seized by the Dark Thing, they go back in time to Camazotz, where they meet a host of memorable characters, including Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which. This timeless story – and Newbery Award Winner – continues to inspire readers today, with its messages about freedom, individuality, and the power of love.
The Action Bible – Graphic Novel
It’s the ultimate graphic novel about the ultimate book. The Action Bible is the most complete picture Bible ever!
It features a captivating, up-to-date artwork style—making it the perfect Bible for today’s visually focused culture. My school-aged boys love The Action Bible primarily because it’s quick-paced and has amazing images.
This bible features 215 fast-paced narratives in chronological order, making it easier to follow the Bible’s historical flow—and reinforcing the build-up to its thrilling climax. The stories in The Action Bible communicate clearly and forcefully to contemporary readers.
This compelling blend of clear writing plus dramatic images offers an appeal that crosses all age boundaries. Brazilian artist Sergio Cariello has created attention-holding illustrations marked by rich coloring, dramatic shading and lighting, bold and energetic designs, and emotionally charged figures.
I Survived – series
The most terrifying events in history are brought vividly to life in this fictional series by Lauren Tarshis.
With relatable characters and riveting plot lines, the I Survived books are perfect for reluctant readers or any young reader who enjoys an action packed, page turning thriller. Each book also contains several pages of nonfiction content, encouraging readers to further explore the historical topic.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this list of books for boys. Please consider purchasing a book or two from the list mentioned above as all purchases help to keep this blog free.