Book List: What Every Boy Wants to Read

 As with any individual, interests determine likes. Some of our boys enjoyed horse stories and devoured anything about something that ran fast. Others sought adventure and mystery. One of our sons would rather read a technical manual than be made to read a feeling book of the classics. 

Age range varies. We read Ishmael out loud even though it was meant for high school, and our toddlers listened too. So this is our family’s list of books in our library that we’d thought we share with you. 

Ages 3-10 

The Adventures of Johnny Chuck, The Adventures of Danny Meadow Mouse, The Adventures of Prickly Porky, The Adventures of Mrs. Quack, …Bob White, …Peter Cottontail. A series of adventures by Thornton W. Burgess through Dover Publishing that tell a story through an animal’s eyes. Over twenty in all. Great for before bed-time. Chapters are small, and repeat what has been covered. Emphasizes men with terrible guns, but that can lead to explaining. 

Forest Folk Tales by Marian M. Schoolland. Similar to the above series with a Christian emphasis. Acknowledges Creator and the animals need to live for Him. 

You are Special, Just the Way You Are, Because I Love You, and The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado. The artwork alone is exceptional, but the story is lasting and deep. 

Where’s My Teddy by Jez Alborough. Cute but disrespectful toward the mother. 

The Tale of Three Trees retold by Angela Elwell Hunt. We reread it every Christmas. 

If You Give a Mouse A Cookie by Laura Jeffe Numeroff. She has an entire series of books that show what actions lead to consequences which lead to another consequence. 

How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head by Bill Peet. Delightful book about choosing friendship over money. 

The Early Bird by Gary Richmond. Reminder that obedience is both necessary and safe. 

Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey. A hickory stick woman’s journeys in nature. 

Annie Oakley by Charles P. Graves. Biography for easy readers. 

Rainbow Garden by Patricia St. John. A classic. 

Blitz: The Story of a Horse by Hetty Burlingame Beatty. Easy reader for a beginner. 

Gentle Ben by Walt Morey. A story of an Alaskan boy and his bear.

Old Yeller by Fred Gipson. A classic of love and devotion between a boy and his dog.

 Where the Red Fern Grows. Another classic about a boy and his dog. 

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinman Rawlings. A classic. 

In Grandma’s Attic and More Stories from Grandma’s Attic by Arleta Richardses. Mishaps from a girl as she grows up during a different time. Lessons of obedience with laughter. 

Providence and the Millers, Storytime with the Millers, Wisdom and the Millers: Proverbs with children  by Mildred A. Martin. Presents obedience as essential to happiness. 

Days on the Farm with Annette and Samuel by Teresa Morgan. A beginner reader of simple values. 

Ages 8-12 

Trail Blazer Books biographies about people who stood for God. 

Sinking the Dayspring: John Paton. 

Trial by Poison: Mary Slessor 

The Betrayer’s Fortune: Menno Simon 

Attack in the Rye Grass: Marcus and Narcissa Whitman 

Flight of the Fugitive: Gladys Aylward  

Abandoned on the Wild Frontier: Peter Cartwright 

The Queen’s Smuggler: William Tyndale 

Joy Sparton by Ruth I. Johnson. She has several books about the mishaps of a preacher’s daughter in her attempt to grow up. 

White Fang by Jack London. A classic of adventure. 

Boys of Grit Who Changed the World. A book from 1847 republished by Lamplighter Publications. Gives inspiration to do what is right. 

Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erickson. A series of mishaps and mysteries that a cow dog solves. 

Old Yeller by Fred Gipson. A classic of love and devotion between a boy and his dog. 

Where the Red Fern Grows. Another classic about a boy and his dog. 

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinman Rawlings. A classic. 

The Hardy Boys Series.  by Franklin W. Dixon. Adventures for boys with mystery and challenge. 

Sugar Creek Gang series by Paul Hutchens. Adventures and mysteries with biblical lessons. 

Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Wilder, especially Farmer Boy. Great reads for long afternoons. 

The American Adventure Series published by Barbour Books Publishing. A 48 book series that places children from 10-14 years of age in a historical setting. They follow the same characters from book to book, as they grow up and new children take their place. They start from the Mayflower and take you through the WWI.  I didn’t always like the disrespectful attitude that the children presented. 

The Magicians Chair, The Silver Chair, The Voyage of the Dawntreader, Prince Caspian C.S. Lewis Narnia series. 

Little Britches by Ralph Moody. Similar to the Little House on the Prairie Series, only for boys. Search for the series. There are eight or so. 

Polyanna by Eleanor H. Porter. A classic.  Polyanna’s view of life through thankfulness changes the way she lives and influences everyone that she touched. 

An Old-Fashioned Girl and Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott. Both classics. Slow for boys but with meaning. 

C.H. Pearson’s series Cabin the North Woods and Cabin on the Prairie. Adventures of frontier life with boys in mind. 

Rebecca of Sunnyside Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin. A classic. Slow on adventure. 

The Legend of Fire: A Ladd Family Adventure by Lee Roddy. Mystery solved by family on vacation. 

Hans Brinker by Mary Mapes Dodge. Condensed version. A classic. 

Adventures on the American Frontier Series by Stephen Bly including: Dangerous Ride Across Humboldt Flats. 

The Great Turkey Walk by Kathleen Karr. A western adventure with a twist. Better a read out-loud to omit some language that might be offensive to some. 

Ages 12-18 

Swiss Family Robinson by Johann D. Wyss. Every boy’s dream. 

Men of Iron by Howard Pyle. Story of becoming a man. 

The Deer Slayer by James Fenimore Cooper. We read out loud to family. Hard reading because you live each day as he does 

King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard. A classic. 

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. A classic. 

Thoughts for Young Men by J.C. Ryle. Addresses the greatest challenges in a young man’s life. Probably best for ages 14 and older. 

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. 

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. 

Black Arrow.

The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. 

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. 

The Hiding Place. 

Sir Nigel by Arthur Conan Doyle. 

Ishmael and Self-Raised by E.D.E.N. Southworth by Lamplighter Publishing. 

G.A. Henty Books, especially A Tale of the Western Plains. He inserts a teenage character into history. 

All Things Wise and Wonderful, All Creatures Great and Small, and the rest of the series. James Herriott. Stories to warm the heart from a veterinary’s experiences. 

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper 

A Father’s Promise. 

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. 

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien 

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. How to get along with people.

Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. 

Purpose Drive Life by Rick Warren. 

A Shepherd’s Look at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller. 

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. An atheist’s struggle to find God. 

More than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell. A defense of why Jesus is who he said he was. 

In His Steps by Sheldon. A challenge to choose each step with “What would Jesus do?” 

Knowing God by Packer. Deep, inspirational, challenging. 

Pursuit of God by Tozer. 

In His Image and Fearfully and Wonderfully Made by Brand and Yancey. Gives a self-worth from God’s perspective.

Horse Stories 

Justin Morgan Had a Horse.

Marguerite Henry has written a series including Stormy, Misty’s Foal; Misty of Chincoteague. A series about horses for those who dream of owning one, or for those who live out their dream and have one. 

Kathleen Duey also has a horse series including Esperanza, and Sierra. 

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. 

Born to Trot by Marguerite Henry. 

 King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry.

My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. A Devotional we give to our boys when they graduate. 

Ranger Apprentice Series and Brotherband Series by John Flanagan. Worth re-reading. As boys become men.

What did we not include that your family has enjoyed? Give a sentence description or review. What favorites have your children read over and over?

Displaying 1 comment

Loved going through your list as we too loved good books to read. Every evening we read aloud, doing our history then or just reading for pleasure. Surprised you mentioned Grandma's Attic books, which my girls loved. Did the boys enjoy them? Well, actually, she had her brothers so I'm sure some of them were great for boys too. Our favorites were probably the Little Britches series, which we're now reading to the grandchildren. (It was my favorite too!) I so miss reading to my kids, but lately have been reading to Lucile M., so that's been fun. Oh, I copied your list to share with my daughter-in-law, she's always looking for good books for the kids as they go through them so fast she can't stay keep ahead of them. Thanks for sharing.

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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