Lord of the Deep (2003) Thirteen-year-old Mikey goes on a deep sea fishing trip with his stepdad Bill, and it turns into the adventure of their lives.
Onion John (1959) Andy feels caught between two worlds: the intriguing old-fashioned world of immigrant Onion John and the space-race world of his father. Don’t forget to check out the Tolman Hall guide for this novel.
Johnny Tremain (1944) Could there be a grander adventure than this? Young silversmith John Tremain finds himself embroiled in the American Revolution and rubbing shoulders with the likes of John Hancock and Sam Adams.
The Indian in the Cupboard (1980) Before Toy Story and Night at the Museum, The Indian in the Cupboardcaptivated young readers with plastic action figures coming to life in the night.
My Side of the Mountain (1959) Written in journal entries, My Side of the Mountain tells the story of a thirteen-year-old boy who leaves New York City to live in the Catskill Mountains by himself.
Hatchet (1987) Brian Robeson is the sole survivor of a single-engine plane crash. He must learn to survive in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a torn windbreaker and a hatchet.
The Kane Chronicles (2010) This trilogy about the Egyptian gods is full of action, suspense, and plot twists. Your son will learn all about Egyptian mythology without realizing what’s happening!
Percy Jackson and the Olympians (2005) Written by the same author as The Kane Chronicles, this series follows several children through their adventures with Greek mythological gods and creatures.
The Man Who Was Thursday (1908) Young fans of Sherlock Holmes will appreciate this novel, which is set in a phantasmagoric London. You don’t come across too many books these days that contain both a hot-air-balloon pursuit and an elephant chase.
The Giver (1993) The film was actually quite good, but it’s not terribly true to the book. This is a page-turner, and if your son get’s hooked, that’s good, because there are three companion novels: Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) Roald Dahl is such a boy’s writer. His worlds, his characters, his dialogue: it’s laugh-out-loud, knee-slapping fun. Yes, you’ve seen the movies, but the book is its own zany world.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007) Hugo lives inside the walls of a train station in Paris, and his survival depends on anonymity. When he begins finding clues from his dead father, a mystery ensues. The artwork in this book is incredible.
Inkheart (2003) This is a thick book, but if your son can get past its heft, he’ll soon realize that length is nothing when the adventure is so great and the pages turn so swiftly. Lots of boys enjoy the Tolkien-like good-versus-evil adventures, and this is definitely one of them.
The Door in the Wall (1949) Robin lives in medieval England, and his parents are away serving the king and queen during the war. He is supposed to become a knight, but he catches the bubonic plague and loses the use of his legs. This doesn’t stop him from becoming a hero in his own right.
What are some of your favorite books for boys? Leave your suggestions in the comments section!