Finding Great Books for Boys

In upper elementary and middle school, we often lose our boy readers. What can we do to keep them interested? This post includes book recommendations you might try and links to websites for other recommendations too. Check it out if you're needing support.

As teachers, it’s important to know books. We need to know titles that appeal to all types of learners and their specific interests. Clearly, there are authors who choose to write for a specific audience, and on specific topics. In this post, we’ll explore authors and titles that are considered “books for boys“.

Matching Books to Readers

Kids definitely have reading preferences and interests. Some prefer specific genres, and others enjoy choosing by topic. You may have students who prefer reading nonfiction, and many who love fiction. As I share “books for boys”, please know that what I’m sharing are books that have appealed to the boys I’ve been teaching. I am not advocating that we label them as “books for boys” or that we only suggest these titles to boys as many girls may like them too.

Finding Books for Busy Kids

In upper elementary and middle school, we often lose our boy readers. What can we do to keep them interested? This post includes book recommendations you might try and links to websites for other recommendations too. Check it out if you're needing support.

Every year, I have a few “busy kids”. By busy, I mean kids who are into sports, playing outside, and who are not that interested in reading. So just how do we funnel that energy in the classroom to find books for the busy kid? How do you draw those busy boys/girls in and hook them? The answer is: high interest books, activities with movement, opportunities to build things, and anything messy.

Matching tasks to our students’ interests, whether they are boys or girls, is a great motivator. Kids have learning preferences, so we need to mix it up and have a deep repertoire of ideas to make sure we address those needs. One place to start is with literature. I did a little research on the best authors for boys or the busy student as described above (and have a few favorites of my own).

Book Suggestions for Boys

As you can see, there is kind of a common theme in these books. I selected a few of the series that my students have enjoyed (The Weird School SeriesCaptain Awesome Series, and the Jake Maddox Series are my students’ favorites.). I also have the striving fourth and fifth grader in mind. Why? It seems that this is the age when we lose many of them. As kids move into middle school, we lose even more. Independent reading has to be a routine that kids enjoy. The place to emphasize independent reading is at school.

In upper elementary and middle school, we often lose our boy readers. What can we do to keep them interested? This post includes book recommendations you might try and links to websites for other recommendations too. Check it out if you're needing support.

Building a Reading Routine

What can be done to establish the routine? First, set your kids up with personal goals. As you confer with the kids, discuss the books they like and be prepared to share next step books with them. Secondly, let them have time to talk about their reading with their peers. Kids recommending to each other is much more powerful than what we recommend. Finally, and most importantly, have book conversations with them as they’re working through their books. You can use these conversations with students in the future.

Are your boys beyond these? No problem. I have a next step list for you. My son, to this day, is an avid reader. The top titles on his list include Ender’s Game and Science Fiction. Of course, he loved fantasy and adventure in upper elementary. For book alikes, teachers should check Good Reads and Amazon for similar titles.

Fun Activities to Check Out

I did not put together a Pinterest board for this topic, but here are a few busy/dirty learning ideas some of your boys may enjoy. Some of your girls may too.  I think with any activity or assignment we do, you have to make the match with kids’ interests, talents, and needs.  I love hands-on learning, so the more we can keep kids actively engaged (no matter what gender they are), the deeper the learning will be.

In upper elementary and middle school, we often lose our boy readers. What can we do to keep them interested? This post includes book recommendations you might try and links to websites for other recommendations too. Check it out if you're needing support.
In upper elementary and middle school, we often lose our boy readers. What can we do to keep them interested? This post includes book recommendations you might try and links to websites for other recommendations too. Check it out if you're needing support.
In upper elementary and middle school, we often lose our boy readers. What can we do to keep them interested? This post includes book recommendations you might try and links to websites for other recommendations too. Check it out if you're needing support.

Best Websites to Visit for “Boy Books” and Resource Ideas

In upper elementary and middle school, we often lose our boy readers. What can we do to keep them interested? This post includes book recommendations you might try and links to websites for other recommendations too. Check it out if you're needing support.

As we work to come up with a list of great books for boys, there are a few websites to check out too. One I learned about at a reading conference was Boys Read which is linked below. You might also check THIS SITE for a book list too. It is sorted by age level which is nice. Kids Reads is another website with great book recommendation ideas.

What books are popular with your boys? Please share your ideas below in the comments. It’s always helpful to have a list in mind.

Leave a Reply