Sunday, March 25, 2012

Books for Boys

Research shows that choice of material is critical in stimulating reading success in boys. According to Smith and Wilhelm in Reading Don’t Fix No Chevys: Literacy in the Lives of Young Men, boys make very different choices in reading materials than girls. Then again, research showed that boys wouldn`t want to read fiction written by a woman, so JK Rowling used her initials for the Harry Potter series. And it has since been determinied that boys will read good fiction by men or women. Its the story not the author that sells the book.  Here are a few truisms about boys' reading habits:

  •  Boys are more inclined to read informational texts, magazines, and newspaper articles.
  •  Boys are more inclined to read graphic novels and comic books.
  •  Boys tend to resist reading stories about girls, whereas girls do not tend to resist reading stories about boys.
  • Boys like to read about hobbies, sports, and things they might do or be interested in doing.
  • Boys like to collect things and tend to like to collect series of books.
  • Boys read less fiction than girls.
  • Boys tend to enjoy escapism and humor, and some boys are passionate about science fiction or fantasy.
Teachers need to let boys know that nonfiction reading is reading. Magazines, newspapers, websites, biographies, science books, comic books, graphic novels are all reading material”. Here are some great suggestions for books for boys!

Young Readers  Grades k -3 (Or To Be Read To):

Frog by Susan Cooper

Mike Mulligan and More: A Virginia Lee Burton Treasury

No, David! By David Shannon – look for more books by this author

Squids Will Be Squids: Fresh Morals, Beastly Fables by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by A. Wolf as told to Jon Scieszka

The Wheels on the Bus by Maryann Kovalski

The Wolf Who Cried Boy by Bob Hartman

Grades 4 and up:

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

Call it Courage by Armstrong Sperry

The Cay by Theodore Taylor

Holes by Louis Sachar

Knights of the Kitchen Table by Jon Scieszka

Loser by Jerry Spinelli

Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat

Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Lois Sachar

Sounder (with Teacher’s Guide) by William Howard Armstrong

Grades 7 and Up:
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Tales of Mystery and Suspense:

The Wars by Timothy Findley

Curse of the Viking Grave by Farley Mowat

Non Fiction:
Early Bird Physics (Series)
Some of the titles in this series include:
- Levers by Sally M. Walker and Roseann Feldman
- Pulleys by Sally M. Walker and Roseann Feldman
- Wheels by Sally M. Walker and Roseann Feldman
Hearts of Gold: Stories of Courage, Dedication and Triumph by Lorne Zeiler

High Interest Books (Series)
Some of the titles in this series include:

- Cloning and Genetic Engineering by Holly Cefrey
- Crisis in Space: Apollo 13 by Mark Beyer
- Jon Krakauer’s Adventure on Mt. Everest by Scott P. Werther 
- The Shackleton Expedition by Jill Fine 
- Virtual Reality by Holly Cefrey

General Science Books:

The Encyclopeadia of Yuck by Joy Masof
The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay
Seven Inventors by Harry McNicol
Sold! The Origins of Money and Trade
Stones and Bones! : How Archaeologists Trace Human Origins

Unlocking the Secrets of Science (Series)
Some of the titles in this series include:
- Albert Einstein and the Theory of Relativity by John Bankston
- Jacques-Yves Cousteau: His Story Under the Sea by John Bankston
- Tim Berners-Lee and the Development of the World Wide Web by Ann G. Gaines

Wild Science: Amazing Encounters between Animals and the People Who Study Them by
Victoria Miles
Why Seals Blow Their Noses: Canadian Wildlife in Fiction & Fact by Diane Swanson

You Wouldn’t Want to Be (Series)
Some of the titles in this series include:
- You Wouldn’t Want to be a Pirate’s Prisoner! : Horrible Things You’d Rather Not
Know by John Malam
- You Wouldn’t Want to be an Aztec Sacrifice! : Gruesome Things You’d Rather Not
Know by Fiona Macdonald
- You Wouldn’t Want to be an Egyptian Mummy! : Disgusting Things You’d Rather
Not Know by David Stewart
- You Wouldn’t Want to be on Apollo 13! : A Mission You’d Rather Not Go On by Ian


  1. Sue the LibrarianMarch 25, 2012 at 4:24 PM

    I'm excited to see the Encyclopedia of Yuck on this list. We have it in our library and it is checked out so often, that we had to buy several copies. We have 8 copies now and they are always checked out. The book is geared towards the gross but it does have a lot of information. I'm going to print this list.

  2. Very thorough list for teachers to have when stocking their classroom libraries.

  3. great tips, I got two boys so I can identify. They love the Diary of a whimpy kid series and the Horrid henry series. Thanks for the book list!

  4. I can't believe I forgot the Diary of A Wimpy Kid. Thanks for the reminder. I find that the Adrain Mole Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend is great for older boys too. (Actually, everyone I know who has read it, loved it.)

  5. More Suggestions For Middle School boys:

    The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

    Crackback by John Coy

    Ghost at the Takaido Inn (samurai series) by Thomas Hoobler

    The Teacher's Funeral: a comedy in three parts by Richard Peck

    1. The Teacher's Funeral is a great book! I read it aloud to a class one year and they loved it. Actually, we all loved it! Thanks for reminding me of it.

      I will have to check the other titles out. I love getting new reading lists!

  6. Here are a few series books I recommend for younger boys (for girls too)

    Louis Sachar.
    The WAYSIDE SCHOOL series.

    K. A. Applegate.
    The ANIMORPHS series.

    Jon Scieszka.
    The TIME WARP TRIO series.

    George Selden.
    and sequels.

    Donald J. Sobol.

    Janet and Isaac Asimov.
    The NORBY THE ROBOT series.

    Judy Blume.
    The SUPERFUDGE series:

    Andrew Clements.
    FRINDLE and ongoing sequels.

    Edward Eager.
    HALF MAGIC and sequels.

    Suzy Kline.
    The HERBIE JONES series:
    The HORRIBLE HARRY series (as someone else posted)

    Lois Lowry.
    ALL ABOUT SAM and sequels.

    Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.
    and sequels:
    The BESSLEDORF series.

    Mary Pope Osborne.
    The MAGIC TREE HOUSE series.

    Walter R. Brooks.
    The FREDDY THE PIG series.

  7. I just found your blog through Karen's blog, "Did you make That?" I can hardly wait to browse your archives because:
    1) I love to sew, and,
    2) My son (12) has auditory processing challenges that have greatly impacted his reading

    A favourite book of ours is:
    "The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963" by Christopher Paul Curtis. My son and I just roared at some of the "boy" antics, especially the older brother and his hair.



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