First of all, you guys kind of knocked our Mother’s Day sale out of the park yesterday! If you didn’t get everything you wanted, don’t worry–we have a big shipment coming in today and everything should be back in stock, so stay tuned and we’ll get you taken of! The 15% off code is good through Friday, so you’ve still got plenty of time to make sure all the moms in your life are taken care of (including you!)
Last month, I shared my 7-year-old daughter’s favorite book series and it was SO much fun to talk kid books with all of you! One of the most common requests was to do the same for boys. For me, boy book series are so much easier–in my experience, it’s been much harder finding age-appropriate books that will challenge my daughter that aren’t too scary. So I apologize if the stuff I’m posting isn’t earth-shattering; these are the suggestions we have for books for middle school age boys. My 10-year-old son LOVES them!
1. Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling
Because, you know, we’ve gotta get the obvious one out of the way early, right? Not that I’m sad he loves the Harry Potter books; they’ve long been a favorite of mine, and I still read and re-read them frequently, so being able to share that with him has been so much fun. It’s opened up the doors to deeper conversations–you know, magic…witchcraft…genocide. Kidding. But I love that it’s opened up the door to talking about love and friendship and sacrifice and life and death. Someday he might not want to talk about that stuff with me, but I’m going to pretend that’s not going to happen as long as we have Harry Potter.
2. Hatchet (The Brian’s Saga Series), by Gary Paulsen
I remember reading Hatchet in 5th grade (which I liked, but I was kind of obsessed with Canyons.) A couple of years ago when Clark kind of graduated to big kid books, I got a whole bunch of books from authors I remembered loving as a kid and for him, the Hatchet series was what stuck (the subsequent books are The River, Brian’s Winter, Brian’s Return, and Brian’s Hunt. Adventure-y but not too intense or scary, he really loved these books and comes back to them again and again.
3. The Heroes of Olympus, by Rick Riordan
Clark read these and the Percy Jackson books back to back (don’t worry, that one’s up next), so for awhile there, we were lost in a sea of Greek mythology obsession and I can’t quite tell you which one is which. He was hesitant to dive into these because he was afraid they wouldn’t live up to Percy Jackson and friends, but he loved them even more. Also, he knows way more about Greek mythology than I did when I was 10 (or, let’s face it, than I do now.)
4. Percy Jackson, by Rick Riordan
The Percy Jackson series precedes The Heroes of Olympus series, so if you’re looking for a place to get started, this is probably it. Much like the Harry Potter series that has one foot in reality and one in fantasy, part of these books take place in the present real world and part of them take place with Greek mythological creatures. I haven’t actually read these, but I also haven’t met a 10-year-old boy who has read them that doesn’t absolutely love them.
5. The Fudge Series, by Judy Blume
This is another series of books I snagged when I was collecting old favorites. Clark first read these when he was in first or second grade, but he still loves reading them now (it can’t always be Horcruxes and manticores, right?) I think he likes the humor and the family dynamic, especially since he has a naughty little brother that he adores.
What’s up Next?
Waiting in the wings, we have The Kane Chronicles (also by Rick Riordan–these involve Egyptian mythology), the Fablehaven series, and The Maze Runner series. Hopefully you found these helpful and can snag some books for your middle school boys that they will love!
P.S. While we’re talking books, if you haven’t picked up our new book (or if you want to snag one for the moms in your life), now’s the perfect time! Click on the picture below to pick one up from Amazon.
One of my favorite book series (that I haven’t seen listed here) is The Great Brain series by John D. Fitzgerald, and I think they’d be about right for this age group. So hilarious and the best part is they’re based on real life stories!
My boys loved all of these too! A few I didn’t see were mentioned here:
The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
Half Upon A Time by James Riley
The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry
Junior Genius Guides by Ken Jennings
Kate- thank you so much for both of these posts!! My 6 year old daughter has loved many of the series you recommended before, and I find it really hard to figure out what to encourage her to read. We have read many of the Rick Riordan series with my 9 year old twins, and so this list should be perfect for them. I can’t keep books checked out fast enough for them to have a new read. Thank you! Thank you!
My 9 year old son is OBSESSED with the Warriors series! There’s tons of books and he (as well as his 11 year old sister) devour them all!
Artemis Fowl is so fun. I love it. Especially to listen to! I think it would be perfect for that age.
Great list! Just a heads up about the Fudge series. In one of the books there is a chapter about how Santa Claus isn’t real. If you have early readers (or late believers) be sure to avoid that book. You can easily tell which book it is because the chapter is listed in the table of contents and is quite obvious.
I’m looking forward to reading the Wrinkle in Time Series with my kids in a few years.
I have three boys and the older two have read all that you listed and loved them. I’ve read most of them too and they are great for the age group you’ve listed. I would consider myself a book snob so I am kinda picky about what they read (I want more then just comics or comic type books for them). Other excellent books we’ve read are the “Merlin” series by T.A. Barron, “The Beyonders” by Brandon Mull, and I started reading “The Books of Umber” by P.W. Catanese to them and we are loving it!!
I liked the Gregor series by Susanne Collins (Hunger Games), House of Secrets books by Chris Columbus (director), and The Guardians (starts with Nicholas St North and the Battle of Nightmare) by William Joyce (Rise of the Guardians is based on this series).
I would definitely at the Charlie Bone series by Jenny Nimmo, the Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper and the Children of the Lamp series by PB Kerr. I could go on…:) Once they are 12-13 and up, I started all my boys on the David Eddings series, the Belgariad, with Pawn of Prophecy. We are a huge reading family
I love the chronicles of Prydain, I still read them! Also the Redwall series is a great one, and let’s not forget the Chronicles of Narnia! Classic. 🙂
I would also recommend Shannon Hale’s Goose Girl series and Princess Academy Series. Same with the Mysterious Benedict Society, Because of Winn-Dixie, the Westing Game, Ella Enchanted, Harriet the Spy, Walk Two Moons, and more! I’m of the opinion that there are no “boy books” or “girl books.” There are just “book books,” and all kids should be invited to read the good ones, regardless of the main protagonist’s gender.
I totally agree. We joke that my son’s favorite books are any books with words in them. He read all the Little House books in 1st or 2nd grade and liked all of them. He’s 15 now, but he will still pick up and read any book that any of my daughters are reading. Recently I couldn’t find MY book until I looked in his room. Likewise, all my daughters that are old enough have read (or been obsessed with) all the Rick Riordan books, Harry Potter, the Redwall books, the Warriors books, the 39 Clues books, etc. We don’t worry much about boy or girl books.
Oh, I totally agree. But, at least with my kids, I’ve found that my boy and girl are just drawn to different types of stories. So maybe a better title for my post would have been, “5 Book Series for Kate’s Late Elementary-Aged Boy,” haha!
You might want to hold off on the Maze Runner series for a few more years. I’ve heard from other moms that it’s quite violent. Common Sense doesn’t recommend it until 13: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/the-maze-runner-maze-runner-trilogy-book-1
Thanks for the suggestions!
I agree. The first book is okay violence-wise, but it does get more violent as the series goes on.
I could not finish the maze runner series. oh my it was just IDK, weird.
What about the hunger game series? too scary?
If you aren’t keen on starting your kids on Hunger Games, you might want to have them try Gregor the Overlander. Same author, but geared toward a younger audience. There are five books in the series. My son read them this year (he’s ten). He told me I HAD to read them, so I did, and I loved them. Then I had my husband read them and he loved them, too. I think I prefer the Gregor books to the Hunger Games now.
Eragon. We are listening to those in the car to and from school And will be listening for the next year or so seeing the number of CD’s in each box!! 🙂
But our FAVORITE is the LLoyd Alexander Chronicles of Prydain.
Good picks! My 11 yr old son and I have both read and loved all of these (except for the maze runner but that is on the list). Others your son might enjoy are “The Immortal Life of Nicholas Flammel” by Michael Scott- he got the first 3 books for his birthday last month and had them all read in 2 weeks now he wants me to get him the rest. “A Series of Unfortunate Events ” by Lemony Snickett- I am reading these to all my kids (ages 3-11) right now and they all love it! The Eragon series by Christopher Paolini- now honestly I was surprised he loved these as much as he did, I read them and thought he was still a little young for them, not that there’s anything bad in them but I just thought the level was still above him- he loved them though and said they even surpassed Harry Potter as his all time favorite series (gasp! Sob!) He loves anything by Roald Dahl and I just picked up some books by Rush Limbaugh (I know, kind of weird) about a horse that Ravens through time and visits the Revolutionary War. We haven’t read them yet but they came very highly recommended by cousins, neighbors and friends. We heard they are very entertaining and educational. So there’s a few of our favorites.
Add Septimus Heap and the Ranger’s Apprentice series to your list. Both are great series.
I second the Ranger’s Apprentice. It is a great series!
My sons have loved all these series. (Is series plural for series??) Anyway, they also adore Fablehaven- you won’t regret reading it!- and the Spirit Animals series, which is currently adding books. If you like Fablehaven, you’ll also like Mull’s Candy Shop War books. And some kids at this age also go for the Lord of the Rings series. Can you tell I love reading?
Just a note: the first fudge book (or maybe it’s the second?) spills the beans on Santa Claus! We listened to these books on audio on our last road trip, and I managed to catch it just in time (that’s a long story….but I caught it and pretended the CD was malfunctioning). If you have kids who still believe, you may want to read it with them or delay it.
Story: My brother’s KINDERGARTEN teacher read the first Fudge book to her class, including the Santa Clause part. You can bet there were quite a few parents who were not impressed!
Question: I LOVE Hatchet but have been hesitant to give it to my son yet because the reason the parents are having marital issues is a probable affair. How did you address this with your son? Thanks.
I think he was completely oblivious to the whole affair thing, but in terms of marital issues, it was kind of an opportunity to talk about different kinds of families and the struggles they face. I think it’s really normal at this age for kids to be concerned about their parents staying together; I think they’re starting to see their friends’ parents split up or maybe aunts and uncles and stuff. So I took it as an opportunity to talk about our own family dynamic, and we just didn’t even touch on the affair.
You should add the “Kingdom Keepers” series by Ridley Pearson. These 7 books are really cool especially if you like the magic of Disney. They are full of adventures and villains at every turn.
Oooh, thank you! I bet he’d love it!