As we continue our 60 Days of Summer Fun with a focus on Reading, we present Part IV: Great Reads for Boys, with special attention to reluctant readers. The trick with boys- as is often the case with girls, is to let their interest guide their reading. If they love Star Wars, then give them graphic novels about Star Wars. If they are into Legos or MineCraft, pick a non-fiction read about each. Just go with it and before you know it, more genres can be explored, like poetry through the lens of Shel Silverstein. Be sure to make read alouds a part of each week, or day if necessary and alternate who reads between you and your son for each page or paragraph.
PALNYC’s Top 10 Resources for Great Books for Boys:
Boys Read.org is an excellent resource for books for boys categorized by topics like sports, fantasy, humor and more.
Guys Read, a web-based literacy program for boys founded by author and First National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature Jon Scieszka.. Its mission is to help boys become self-motivated, lifelong readers.
Guys Write for Guys Read by Jon Scieszka. Scieszka has put together a fast-paced anthology of writings about boyhood by some of today’s best young adult authors, from Jerry Spinelli to Chris Van Allsburg. The overarching theme is the simple but important message, “Read what you like, when you like, whatever that happens to be.” (Ages 9 and Up)
Good Reads. A book list for and about boys for the middle and teen reader with a male protagonist.
Best Books for Boys by Pam Allyn. Get all boys reading with this guide—chock-full of a wide range of must-read titles organized by interest, age, and development. For use with K-8th boys, the book selections are accompanied by brief explanations of each book, and a recurring feature, Talk About It, that helps extend the book through conversation. Ready-to-use lessons align with themes and topics of special interest to boys that will motivate and inspire them to read more.
175 Cool Boys from Children’s Literature by Jen Robinson.
Top 100 Young Adult Novels by Persnickety Snark. An older list, but still a goodie.
A Reading List for Teen Boys. Former UK Education Secretary Alan Johnson launched a campaign to get teen boys reading for pleasure. This list of over 160 titles all appeal to teens, particularly 11-14 year old boys. A few are not yet available in the U.S. – those are listed only with U.K. links.
Great Books for Boys by Kathleen Odean, a former member of the Caldecott and Newbery Award committees and author of the groundbreaking bestseller Great Books for Girls has compiled and annotated a unique collection of more than six hundred books–picture books, novels, mysteries, biographies, sports books, and more–that will fascinate and educate boys. Here are classic characters such as Frog and Toad, Bilbo Baggins, and Encyclopedia Brown; new favorites such as Bingo Brown, Martin the Warrior, and Harry the Dirty Dog; and real-life inspirations such as the Wright brothers, Jackie Robinson, and Jacques Cousteau.
Our Top 20 Picks:
Holes by Louis Sachar
Where The Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn and Hal Iggulden
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventure of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (series) by Jeff Kinney
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg
Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snickett