As a mom of 4 boys and an upper elementary teacher for many years, I know all too well the struggle of finding books that appeal to 9-12 year old boys. Parents would often ask for recommendations for the best books for tween boys, and I always had some favorites to share.
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Boys in this age group can be a true mystery. Generally speaking, they give one-word answers and are more interested in many other things besides a book. I firmly believe, however, that if any student connects with the right book at any given time, it can change that student forever.
By searching for and finding books about topics boys can relate to, you have the opportunity to turn these young men into readers for a lifetime. My own boys craved books that related to any of these categories:
- Anything Gross or Disgusting
- Odd and Amazing Facts
- Short Stories
- Graphic Novels
While I fully realize that not all boys are the same (after all, my now-grown sons are very different. . .a lawyer, a supervisor at a tree company, a rugged gas and oil hand, and we’ll see about the youngest within the next 2 years), and many girls will be drawn to these same topics, this is a great starting place in helping 4th, 5th, and 6th grade boys truly connect to books and reading. My suggestions for some great reads are listed below.
The 25 Best Books for Tween Boys:
My Side of the Mountain (Jean Craighead George)
The Dangerous Book for Boys (Conn Higgulden, Hal Higgulden)
Hatchet (Gary Paulsen)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series (Jeff Kinney)
A Series of Unfortunate Events (Lemony Snickett)
Harry Potter Series (J.K. Rowling)
Holes (Louis Sachar)
Shiloh (Phyllis Reynolds Naylor)
The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
The Indian in the Cupboard (Lynne Reid Banks)
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis)
Eragon (Christopher Paolini)
Wonder (R.J. Palacio)
The Lightning Thief (Rick Riordan)
Touching Spirit Bear (Ben Mikaelsen)
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (John Boyne)
The Giver (Lois Lowry)
Bud, not Buddy (Christopher Paul Curtis)
Dear Mr. Henshaw (Beverly Cleary)
The Chocolate War (Robert Cormier)
Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
Where the Red Fern Grows (Wilson Rawls)
The One and Only Ivan (Katherine Applegate)
There you have it – my list of the 25 Best Books for Tween Boys! Do you have a recommendation that isn’t on my list? I’d love to hear it. Please feel free to leave the title in the comments below.
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Thank you, and happy teaching!
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