Brilliant Books for Boys

Three powerful words: “Here, try this”

Getting boys between the ages of seven and fourteen reading is a well-documented educational challenge. One key way to solve this is by providing them with a choice of high quality books to read. It’s been amazing to see some of the boys in my class this year, who came to me saying that they ‘didn’t read’, become totally engrossed in a series. It’s been a privilege to draw upon a list such as this, hand one to the boy who ‘didn’t read’, and say three simple words:

“Here, try this.”

These three words have sparked imaginations. Seeing boys get lost in a captivating tale far beyond their xbox or football in the park is one of my greatest joys of teaching reading. The greatest joy of all is when they come back for another one.

I have read nearly all of the books on this list. If I haven’t read them yet, they are sat on my shelf waiting to be eaten in the coming weeks. I have put them on this list because I’ve been told by several boys that they’re awesome; they are therefore worth sharing.

Some are simple to read; others are more challenging.

Some are serious and heartfelt; others are just really funny, making us all laugh.

Some are picture books that you can read in one sitting; others are long, drawn out and epic.

*I’m going to periodically add to this list as time goes by – so this is just the beginning! I’ve also not included LOTR or Narnia – these are obvious essential reads!*


The List


Flat Stanley Series – Jeff Brown

Beast Quest Series – Adam Blade

Mortal Engines Series – Phillip Reeve

Alex Rider Series – Anthony Horowitz

Young Bond Series – Charlie Higson

Red Wall Series – Brian Jaqcues

Artemis Fowl Series – Eoin Colfer

His Dark Materials Series – Phillip Pullman


Friend or Foe – Michael Morpurgo

Private Peaceful – Michael Morpurgo

Floodland – Marcus Sidgwick

A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

Iron Man – Ted Hughes

The Fastest Boy in the World – Elizabeth Laird

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time – Mark Haddon

Pig Heart Boy – Malorie Blackman

Hacker  – Majorie Blackman

Daniel Pennac – Eye of the wolf

The Boy with One Name – JR Wallis

The Black Amulet – JR Wallis

Letters from the Lighthouse – Emma Carroll

Wolf Rider – Katherine Rundell

The Explorer – Katherine Rundell

Wonder – R.J. Palacio (read a review here)

Short Stories and Story Collections

Coraline and Other Stories – Neil Gaiman

The Selfish Giant and Other Stories – Oscar Wilde

Aesop’s Fables

Just So Stories – Rudyard Kipling

Clockwork – Phillip Pullman

Short! A Book of Very Short Stories – Kevin Crossley – Holland


Around the World in Eighty Days – Jules Verne

Five weeks in a balloon – Jules Verne

20,000 leagues under the sea – Jules Verne

Journey to the Centre of the Earth – Jules Verne

Black Beauty – Anna Sewell

The Borrowers – Mary Norton

Tom’s Midnight Garden – Phillipa Pearce

The Time Machine – H.G. Wells

A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes) – Arthur Conan Doyle

Picture Books and Stimulants for Creative Writing

Zathura – Chris Van Allsburg

Jumanji – Chris Van Allsburg

The Arrival – Shaun Tan

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick – Chris Van Allsburg

Comics and Graphic Novels

Peanuts (Charlie Brown Comics) – Charles M Schulz

Calvin and Hobbes – Bill Waterson

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