Young Adult Fiction for Adults discussion

Recommendations > Young Adult BOY books

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Doug Beatty I just finished Why I Fight by Oaks and it was pretty good... about bare knuckle fighting. It is a coming of age story about a boy with a horrible family situation. I thought it to be very good.

message 70: by Ted (last edited Apr 25, 2009 11:47AM) (new)

Ted (efcorson) I know that this may be beating a dead horse, but I loved Fledgling Jason Steed by Mark A. Cooper. And all you have to do is read some of the reviews from 13-18 year olds, and you'll see for yourslef that boys are gaga over this book!

And much better than Alex Rider in my opinion.

Shauna | 17 comments My boys love the Percy Jackson series. They have read them and then they had me read them out loud to them. Pendragon is another series that my pre-teen and teenager have read. There is some swearing, but pretty mild. I was suprised by the Tucket series by Gary Paulsen. I checked it out to read to my 10 year old, but he shares a room with his 16 year old brother. After a couple nights of reading my 16 year old was asking when I was going to read the books. They both loved the series! Another series that doesn't get much exposure is the Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins. My kids and I loved these books. She is also the author of Hunger Games.

Kristen | 26 comments There is a Young Adult James Bond series. I think boys really like the Percy Jackson series and there's a series called Jimmy Coates that is really good too.

Auntie J | 37 comments I just finished Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel, the second book after Airborn. Completely enjoyed them. They are adventure stories, with a bit of a fantasy/alternate history twist.

Ann | 48 comments Thanks, Jenni! I'm glad to know stuff is out there. I'll have to hunt around and see what else I can find;>

Jenni (jndarby) | 5 comments Ann wrote: "I was thinking the other day - are there very many "boy books" that feature girls as the main protagonist? It seems like a lot of girls will read books with boys as the main character, but does it..."

I was trying to come up with an example, and then a few posts down someone did it for me! The Maximum Ride books have a female main character and are popular with boys. They are written by a man...I wonder if that makes a difference?

Alicia (amoree) | 2 comments Maximum Ride series by James Patterson
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Gone by Michael Grant
The Compound by S.E. Bodeen

Angela (myfavoriteauthor) | 2 comments MUDVILLE by Kurtis Scaletta is really fantastic! Reading it made me wish I had a son instead of 2 daughters to share it with. I think girls can/will enjoy this, but it's just so perfect for boy!

Also, try BOOK OF TORMOD by Kat Black. It's historical fantasy and really geared to boys.

Ann | 48 comments I was thinking the other day - are there very many "boy books" that feature girls as the main protagonist? It seems like a lot of girls will read books with boys as the main character, but does it work the other way around? What do you all think makes a good boy book?

Jenni (jndarby) | 5 comments Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen, Airborn and Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel, and Stormbreaker (and the many sequels) by Anthony Horowitz are all books my 6th grade male students are enjoying. I have read them all and was surprised at how much even I enjoyed them. I usually enjoy young adult fantasy and rarely read books for boys. Touching Spirit Bear is for boys and is definitely NOT fantasy, but it was very good! The Alex Rider books (Stormbreaker) are great fun - who doesn't want to read about a 14 year old British spy? And I LOVE the AIrborn books, which are fantasy (alternate history).

Vincent Lowry (vlowry) | 7 comments Stephen,

You could try looking at this Amazon YA community site. It has a large list of YA fiction with the description for each book:

Kristen (MissKK) | 6 comments My 11 year old cousin is really enjoying The Softwire Virus on Orbis 1 by PJ Haarsma. It's a four part series. The third book will be released this April.

Carmen | 26 comments When my son was 12 or 13, he used to love The Cirque du Freak books by Darren Shan. The first of them is A Living Nightmare.
I heard they are making a movie now starring Salma Hayek as the bearded women.

Mary JL (MaryJL) | 43 comments There are two older boys authors that our library had that I read and thought were great historical novelists.

One was Stephen w. Meader---who wrote in the 1920's--titles such as "Who Rides In the Dark?" (Revolutionary War era) and "Whaler 'Round the HOrn" a sea adventure.

Also, Joseph Altsheler wrote a series on the early Kentucky frontier "The Young Trailers" and a three part sage of Texas---"The Texan Scouts/The Texan Star/The Texan Triumph.

Meader is the easier of the two to read; Altsheler would be a good challenge for an older fan of historic fiction. Both these authors are not as well know today as when I was growing up but I do ot find them dated and higly recommend both authors.

Mary JL (MaryJL) | 43 comments For boys, the "Tripods" sf trilogy by John Christopher is quite good. The books are:

The White Mountains
The City of Gold and Lead
The Pool of Fire

Also, Robert Heinlein's sf juveniles such as "The Star Beast" and Citizen of the Galaxy"

message 54: by Sara ♥ (last edited Feb 12, 2009 02:08PM) (new)

Sara ♥ (saranicole) Newengland wrote: "I've heard raves about Eoin Colfer's Airman and it's in my sights for next trip to the bookstore. I look forward to your review."

Airman was FABULOUS. It was an action-adventure book, with a little bit of science (the kids loves to fly, you see). I love Eoin Colfer, but most of his are fantasy.

The Alex Rider series seems pretty cool. I've only read the first one so far.

Ender's Game was pretty cool (sci-fi).

I really loved The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (sci-fi/comedy).

Ann | 48 comments Just finished Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians. I really, really liked it! The protagonist is a 13 year old boy and the story is refreshingly different and writing style quite unique and hilarious (in my opinion at least;>). I highly recommend it!!

Ann | 48 comments Okay, I know I already recommended Philip Reeve's Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space, but I just finished the third book in the series, Mothstorm, and feel compelled to give it another plug! I adore these books and they've become instant favorites. If you want just a taste of the wit and amusement of the stories, visit the website:
to see if you'd even be interested in the books:)

Ms Threlkeld | 2 comments I teach 6th grade reading and my boys love all of the titles already suggested. Korman, Nimmo, Riordan and Paulsen are faves. I often recommend Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time to my low-level or reluctant readers. The Schwa Was Here is pretty popular, and Spinelli books are always a hit. I've had a couple kids get into the Blue Balliet art mysteries (Chasing Vermeer, The Wright 3, Calder's Game). Silent to the Bone is a great suspense book by E.L. Konigsburg.

Clickety (clix) | 5 comments I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the Bloody Jack books.

Jennifer (Rennifred) | 6 comments My eleven-year-old will NOT touch anything other than fantasy. But he picked up a book I was reading, read it and liked it. Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life

The main character has a nice "voice" - slightly neurotic. He is best friends with a girl, and both of them are groping their way towards their grown-up identities. The core of the book is the two of them trying to solve the mystery of how to open a box that Jeremy's father gave him posthumously. It is affirming and the grown-ups in Jeremy's life are looking out for him, but it is not saccharine.

message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

The Hardy Boys I found stiff and boring, Alex Rider is a good series. I dont really like Maimum ride by James Patterson, they seem to insult the intelligence of the reader. Fledging Jason Steed is the best book I have ever read. U gotta try that. | 1 comments I read Interworld by Neil Gaiman and enjoyed it. I don't think there was any questionable content in it. My nephew likes the Maximum Ride books by James Patterson. I got him the Dangerous Days of Daniel X by the same author and he read it in 2 days. Which is a record I believe. He's 13 by the way. He also liked the Giver and Hatchet alot.
I thought that the Tales of the Otori series by Lian Hearn was one of the best epic fantasies that I have read in a long time. But due to some sexual content and graphic violence, I would suggest for older teens. The Sea of Trolls and House of Scorpion by Nancy Farmer are really good too.

message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

I just read Fledgling Jason Steed, I wanted to see what the hype was about.
'How can a teen spy book full of action bring tears to your eyes?" I told my bud, when he recommended it. I was wrong it does.
Also try the Alex Rider series and Ravens Gate. All by Brit author Anthony Horowitz

message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

Try Fledgling Jason Steed, its written by Anthony Horowitz (I think under a pen name) I say I think as some websites say he wrote it and others say different, I notice they have a Jason Steed Anthony Horowitz group here, and on the Alex Rider site it has a discussion on his other teen spy books and Jason Steed is voted as his best work...go figure.

Cathy  (Cathygreytfriend) And The Westing Game! It could very well make a mystery lover out of any boy or girl.

Cathy  (Cathygreytfriend) Non-fantasy? That's harder for me, but I'd say to try Holes (not a bad movie, either), Carl Haissen's teen books (Hoot, and I'm forgetting one) and definitely 39 Clues, it was super fun and sneakily educational.

rebecca j (technophobe) | 15 comments I have a thirteen yr. old girl, and I say Yah! for any boys who use their minds and imaginations! We're in a small town and she's already discouraged at the possibility of having to date some of the prospects here when she gets older!

Carmen (carmentheblue) | 10 comments I am a huge fan of Philip K. Dick and Kurt Vonnegut and YAY for boys with minds of their own!

Carmen | 26 comments Thank you Carmen.
What a coincidence we have the same name and just read the same book. (I finished three days ago). Don't tell me you are reading now "The Wand of the Words"?
Just kidding.
As for my boy, he is sixteen now and into Philip P. Dick, Jose Samariego (Blindness) and Kurt Vonnegut. None of which I recommended to him.
He has his own mind this boy of mine.

Carmen (carmentheblue) | 10 comments I don't know if "The Lies of Locke Lamora" is young adult- not saying it isn't swashbuckling fun, i just finished it last night- it just has *a lot* of swearing and references to sexual acts that are kinda lewd [not descriptions, mind you, just references:].

It's all based on opinion, but i would take a look before you recommend it to your young adult boy.



Carmen | 26 comments Ann,

I hope you like both of them.

FYI the books I mentioned before are or were my son's favorites when he was about twelve.
My own favorites are:
The Shamer's Chronicles by Lene Kaaberbol
On Fortune’s Wheel by Cynthia Voigt
The Thief, The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner.
The Name of the Wing by Patrick Rothfuss
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch.

But I'm not sure whether boys would like these.

Ann | 48 comments Carmen, I keep getting recommendations from Amazon for Artemis Fowl and The Pendragon series, but I didn't know how good they were (well, I've heard a lot on Artemis Fowl, but not from anyone I knew), so I'm glad that you would recommend them!:D

Carmen | 26 comments I really like The Pendragon series by D.J. MacHale.

When my son was 12 he used to read Artemis Fowl (there are four books I think) by Eoin Colfer, the Charlie Bone books by Jenny Nimmo, The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket and Eragorn by Paolini. A little older he loved the Cirque Du Freak saga by Darrne Shan (It's a little dark for younger kids).

Bev Forgot to mention Chris Crutcher...ANYTHING by him is fantastic, particularly for boys. Most of his protagonists are male adolescents with voices that ring true. One of my favorites of his is Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes. He is also an author here on Goodreads!

Bev I agree with Jules--Gordon Korman is fantastic! He has several series that are very engaging (Dive, Kidnapped, Meet the Falconers, etc.) and No More Dead Dogs is a real hoot. For an adolescent boy, I recommend his Son of the Mob. It is hysterically funny--one of my all-time favorite YA books!

Jules | 8 comments My son loves the LEVEN THUMPS books, also. He liked the MAXIMUM RIDE books, but he's stopped reading them lately.

He's been loving 39 CLUES, the book, the cards, and the online thing. But then he loves all things Rick Riordan.

One of all of our favorite books is NO MORE DEAD DOGS by Gordon Korman. He and we love Gordon Korman.

And what boy does NOT love R.L. Stine? Goosebumps, Fear Street (a little older), & Rotten School.

He also just told me that Jon Scieszka (don't ask me if that's spelled correctly!) is another of his favorites.

I'm trying to get him to read the Cinda Williams Chima books. I've read the first two (WARRIOR HEIR & WIZARD HEIR) and am going to get the 3rd (DRAGON HEIR) tomorrow. I heard her speak and she's coming out with another trilogy that I can't WAIT for! It'll be another hit for boys.

I'd recommend the Pendragon books, too, by DJ McHale.

Ann | 48 comments I'll have to take a look at Airman, I'm not too familiar with it. Nice title though!:)

STEPHEN (SYOST7) | 8 comments Thanks Ann. I loved Hugo Cabret and sold a few of my students on it. I'll try Larklight and get back to you. Once again, I'm loving Airman by Eoin Colfer, though it's slow going.

Ann | 48 comments Also, The Invention of Hugo Cabret is good. Especially for those are aren't as into reading. It's a really thick book, but it's got loads of pictures, so doesn't take too long to read. Also, the pictures help tell the story - almost like a graphic novel, I guess, but more on the "novel" side of it. Anyway, it reads really fast, and you have a huge sense of accomplishment when you're done!

Ann | 48 comments I highly, HIGHLY, suggest Philip Reeve's "Larklight" I think this book is SO fabulous and I know I've recommended it on other feeds, but it's just SO great! And I think a young boy would really enjoy it! It's written in first person by Art Mumby, an 11 (I think) year old boy. It's sort of a sci-fi, Victorian, fantasy-ish, action/adventure, all rolled into one! Art lives in a Victorian house that happens to float in space - something that is common, but also still a little solitary. When giant talking spiders invades their house, Art and his older sister Myrtle must escape into space. They run into space pirates, giant moths, all kind of space-life, including a giant talking crab, whose so incredibly sweet! If this wasn't enough for a great premise, the story includes excerpts from Myrtles diary that are so well written and made even more hilarious by Art's footnotes to her writing! Such things as:
"And then she goes on to discuss dresses for two pages, so I'm leaving that part out" - so SO fun!!

Jarris1 | 2 comments warriors is a great book series for tweens.

Bev The audio version of the Percy Jackson series is wonderful--the narrator has the perfect voice for Percy! He has lots of fun with the other characters, too, particularly some of the gods and goddesses. There is lots of humor in these stories, and this narrator has great fun with it! We listened to this whole series over a span of time in the car and loved it. It was perfect for my 10-year-old son.

Lisa (TRMite) I'd also add to this growing list a few graphic novels. The Bone series is very popular with this age group as is The Diary of a Wimpy Kid which is now a series as well. Manga rated 10+ or Youth would also be a sure fire hit as well. Go to Tokyo Pop or Viz Media and search by age range.

rebecca j (technophobe) | 15 comments Doesn't hurt to throw a few westerns into the mix, like Max Brand or Louis L'Amour. Some of my sixth grade boys requested them. And of course they still love anything by R.L. Stine!

STEPHEN (SYOST7) | 8 comments I am the Cheese is one of THE BEST novels. Cormier should never be passe. He is a tremendous author. The heaviness of his themes, however, is a bit too intense for the 10-12 year old crowd. Fourteen and above would probably understand and appreciate Cormier much better.

I did enjoy Silverwing, the first, but I never finished the series. I own it, so I should give it a shot one of these days.

Zusak's The Book Thief is also a fantastic and creative story, but like Cormier, it's probably too intense for younger teens.

message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm surprised no one seems to have mentioned Robert Cormier or is he passe nowadays? I am the Cheese and After the First Death would be high on my recommendation list.

Sharon | 1 comments The Silverwing Trilogy (Silverwing, Sunwing, and Firewing) by Kenneth Oppel is wonderful story about a silverwing bat and the other types of bats he meets along the way and his adventures as he matures. Silverwing has won many awards and my children and their friends, both male and female, have really enjoyed them.

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