a booklist for teenaged boys

I hope you find something valuable in here for the young men in your life. I haven't read all these books, so I can't recommend som of them one hundred percent, but I hope this list is worthwhile. Some are what I would consider middle grade fiction, but all readers are different. Some contain violence, swearing, and difficult issues. I believe they handle these with intelligence and dignity for a real purpose.

And of course it should be noted that these books are great for girls too.

Holes, by Louis Sachar
Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
Hatchet and sequels, by Gary Paulsen
My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George.
The Outsiders, by SE Hinton
Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
Henry IV Parts One and Two, by Shakespeare
Henry V, by Shakespeare
The Giver and sequels, by Lois Lowry
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien
Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger
Unwind, by Neal Shusterman
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
Dune and sequels, by Frank Herbert
Ringworld, by Larry Niven
Watership Down, by Richard Adams
Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton
I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
Dragonflight and sequels, by Anne McCaffrey
Journey to the Centre of the Earth, by Jules Verne
1984, by George Orwell
Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
Farenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Old Man and the Sea, by Hemingway
A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula le Guin
The Three Musketeers, by Alexandre Dumas
The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas
The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane
The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
The Hunt for Red October, by Tom Clancy
Life of Pi, for Yann Martel
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Anything by Terry Pratchett
My Family & Other Animals, by Gerald Durrell
Gormenghast series, by Mervyn Peake
David Caopperfield, by Charles Dickens
Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens
Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson
Moby Dick, by Herman Melville
Animal Farm, by George Orwell

I've run out of time and so have to stop there. (I'll come back and add more later.) Recently a couple of people have said to me that there is a dearth of good books for teenaged books, and I've agreed. Certainly most of the popular books lately seem to have female protagonists. But perhaps that is merely a reflection of what's on library and shop shelves - and we all know girls buy more books than boys do. However, as I began compiling this list, I immediately realised what a luxury of literature is available for boys. Certainly a whole lot more than is available for the gentle, peace-loving girl.


  1. Thankyou so much Sarah, I have a lot of these books in my own list and on my bookshelves, but get frustrated when I try to find anything in a bookstore with him. He invariably just defaults to choosing non fiction, because none of the stories marketed to teens appeal. He struggles with reading and we often read together, frequently returning to the "classics" but we both thirst for new stories to share and discover that engage and inspire. I can tell when we find them because he will read ahead a little on his own...

  2. Oh yes! Great choices! I've read most of these myself, and some of them are among my favourites...

  3. love this list. you did super! What a collection. Also don't rule out that certain boys may read novels with wonderful female protagonists. We just read "Island of the Blue Dolphins" -my boys loved it.

    Hoping to have your sweet guest post up tomorrow! xo

  4. This is a good list. I agree that it is harder to find good books for girls, especially ones that feature gentle or ordinary heroines.

    My boys liked Little Britches, by Ralph Moody when they were younger. Also Two Against the North, by Farley Mowat; The Contender, by Robert Lysyte . . . gosh, I think I could go on and on. It really isn't hard to come up with a list for boys, is it?

    1. Oh, and I want to mention The Great Brain series by John D. Fitzgerald--excellent books with boy appeal. : ).