Best Books for Teenage Boys Image

Parents, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles Want to Know.

What are the best books for teenage boys? What did your son read? This is a question I answer pretty often. Luckily for me, my son is still technically a teenager, and my husband has a long memory. I have live-in consultants to help me write this post.

I read everything I could get my hands on when I was a teen, and my tastes were decidedly masculine.  I can personally vouch for all the titles I recommend.  They’re good.  These are the books that enliven conversations and fire the imagination.  Best of all, many of them are free!

 

Amazon is a Good Starting Point.

Amazon has a list of popular fiction for teens and young adults.  If you’re looking for possibilities, this isn’t a bad place to start.  That being said, there are some problems here.  Amazon doesn’t differentiate between the titles generally preferred by boys and those generally preferred by girls.

On the positive side, Amazon’s reviews are very helpful in determining whether you want to read a book or present it to your teen.  Further, Amazon Kindle is remarkably affordable and convenient.  Kindle devices start as low as fifty dollars, and it is free to download the app to a tablet, laptop or desk top computer.  Many Kindle titles are free or very inexpensive, and the convenience is unbeatable.

Teenage Boys Need Great Books

America’s boys aren’t reading as much as girls are.  (The girls aren’t reading enough either.)  Much has been written about how boys are failed by our current education system.  One of the ways we fall short in educating our sons is that we often fail to recognize that their reading preferences are usually different than girls’ and women’s.  This oversight is easily repaired.  There are oodles of really great books for guys.  (I know this because my menfolk are non-stop readers, and the family book and kindle download bill is outrageous!)  Since early, proficient reading is strongly correlated with academic success, it’s important to offer our sons plenty of books they genuinely enjoy.

Here is a list of proven winners I have encountered over the years, in no particular order.  In some cases the sources are at low or no cost to you.  All of these books are appropriate for boys thirteen and older, subject to reading ability.

In many cases I’ve linked to an author’s page rather than merely the particular title, because many of these authors’ works are very good and entirely suitable.

This is by no means an exhaustive  list.  There are many, many good books out there.  Amazon’s list does a comprehensive job of noting those books which are is currently popular. Many of the books I’ve listed are less well known.  Please add your own favorites down in the comment section.

If your teen isn’t yet an avid reader, take heart.  He is probably just one great book away from becoming one.  There really is no competition for a good book, once a person is hooked on reading.   As I’ve already noted, reading is strongly correlated to academic success, yet people who read for the joy of it are perhaps the luckiest of all.

All the Best,

Elizabeth

 

 

 

 

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Comments

Eric Cantu

I wonder if the new technological age has changed the way people read. I know from personal experience that I won’t even begin to read something online if it just looks like a wall of text with no visuals. But it’s different in a book. You don’t expect small paragraphs and visuals everywhere. I’m glad there are still people like you out there that truly value the experience of a good book. Nice post.

Mar 14.2017 | 03:54 pm

    Elizabeth

    Eric,
    You’re absolutely right about how life-long readers my age process information. I LIKE graphics A LOT, (Note that this site is downright busy!) , but reading “pure text” is like a treat for my brain. It’s kinda like finally reaching the interstate and accelerating to 70 mph after having crawled through traffic for an hour! The way my brain processes pure text is such that I was outraged when I accidentally ended up with a graphic novel when I downloaded to my kindle last week. I was infuriated, because I had intended to read a novelization of one of my favorite sci-fi TV shows while doing my cardio at the gym. I was worse than an addict deprived of a fix when I discovered my mistake! A graphic novel seriously interferes with my ability to seamlessly process a story!

    Knowing how different people process information is really important for internet businesses. We are NOT all alike!
    All the best,
    Elizabeth

    Mar 15.2017 | 02:15 am

Kurtis Quick

I think your list is missing a few. I know I always love military stories. Those have all the aspects of a great read. Leadership, action, courage, bravery, trumph. I have to say Lone Survivor and No Easy Day, are 2 great reads. Both are about Navy Seal missions and those guys are bad ass!

Mar 14.2017 | 05:18 pm

    Elizabeth

    Thanks Kurtis! I will add those books later today.

    All the Best,

    Elizabeth

    Mar 15.2017 | 02:17 am

Derek Smith

This is probably going to show my age and nerdiness, but I found the local library to be a great source of reading material. I’m not trying to be funny – I asked the librarian to recommend some books and after chatting for a bit about the books I had read and (dis)liked and she came up with ones that I would never have looked at twice.
Just mentioning this, because people tend to forget that libraries still exist in our digital age.

Mar 14.2017 | 06:34 pm

    Elizabeth

    You’re right, Derek,

    Not only that, but you don’t have to drive to the library to use it. Most libraries have ways to loan you e-books and give you access to online research tools.

    Very cool,

    Elizabeth

    Mar 15.2017 | 02:19 am

Karlene

Awesome article for teaching young male to get involve in reading. What you be your favorite books for young teen boys?

Mar 14.2017 | 06:41 pm

    Elizabeth

    Thanks Karlene,
    I have learned to love what the student loves. Usually a reader can point to ONE BOOK or a SINGLE SERIES that caused him or her to become a READING ADDICT! My son fell in love with reading after avidly consuming Sun Tsu’s Art of War – so it is my favorite. I love the book for it’s inherent value, and I am very grateful for the transformative affect it had on my son’s reading habits.

    All the best,

    Elizabeth

    Mar 15.2017 | 02:22 am

Peter

Great list of books Elizabeth. As a teenager I always read detective and espionage books. What do you think of Kindles or e-readers ? are they the wave of the utre of reading and especially teenagers. Most I see are reading their phone. Keep up the great work.

Mar 14.2017 | 07:39 pm

    Elizabeth

    I think Kindle is the connection between the future of reading and the past. I read e-books almost exclusively now, and Kindle is the most accessible format. You can read practically any classic and all the best books printed before about 1920 on Kindle – for free! I can’t say enough good things about it.

    All the best,

    Elizabeth

    Mar 15.2017 | 02:25 am

ido barnoam

I saw that you mentioned Ender’s game. Its one of my favorite books. I read it at least ten times, even as an adult. I have also read the rest of the “ender” series, and even the spinoffs about bean and Petra.
But the one book I could say that ignited my love for reading (up until today as an adult) was “The Hobit” by J.R.R Tolkien. It just revealed a whole new world to me. I actually picked that book out of boredom one night, and couldn’t stop reading. I finished reading it in the morning the next day (I read all night without sleeping) and never stopped reading books ever since.
Today I read books for my son (he’s too young to read by himself yet) and just hope he could appreciate them as much as I do.

Mar 14.2017 | 09:16 pm

    Elizabeth

    Ido,
    It is very encouraging to hear that you read to your son. This affects his attitude about reading in a positive way, and prepares his brain patterns for the process of effortlessly reading for himself. It’s also great for father-son bonding!
    How old is your son? When my son was young he loved Rikki Tikki Tavi, by Rudyard Kipling. Perhaps your boy would like it as well.

    All the best,
    Elizabeth

    Mar 15.2017 | 02:30 am

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