December 20, 2013

Great Books for Boys (and Girls Too!)

I realize that my kid book recommendations often skew toward girls (for completely obvious reasons!). I was a pretty unbiased kid... I have in fact read ALL of the Hardy Boys. But I know that a lot of boys are hesitant to read books that seem "girly". So I asked Anne Bogel, from Modern Mrs. Darcy, to share recommendations for books that her boys like. She has two girls and two boys, and is a big bookworm herself, so she knows what kids like!

Anne says, "I have a much harder time finding books for my boys than for my girls, and I suspect I'm not the only parent who does. Most children's books are gender-neutral, but my own boys are much more likely to dive into the books listed below than, say, Black Beauty. If you're looking for stories boys will get fired up about, here are six titles to get you started.
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society, Trenton Lee Stuart  “Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” Scores of children respond to this newspaper ad, but only four are chosen to save the world. Don’t be intimidated by the bulging 400+ pages, your kid will whiz through it. Smart and fun and a thoroughly good read, for kids and grown-ups. 
  • The Wingfeather Saga, Andrew Peterson This quartet from songwriter Andrew Peterson kicks off with On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, where we meet the three Igiby children and their trusty dog Nugget as they set out on their epic adventure. Quirky and captivating, this series will have kids (of all ages) smiling and laughing ... and turning the pages as fast as they can. 
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Rick Riordan The gods of Olympus live on in 21st century America. In the series opener, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, Percy is a twelve-year-old kid who discovers he’s a demigod--half human, half god--as the absent father he’s never known is actually Poseidon, king of the sea. In Riordan’s world, the gods still mix with and marry humans, and continue to stir up all kinds of trouble down on earth. (Jessica's a fan of these!) 
  • The Indian in the Cupboard, Lynn Reid Banks A little boy gets two seemingly mundane birthday presents: a little plastic figurine, and an old medicine cabinet. But it’s not a regular cupboard, and soon enough Omni is given a key to unlock the magic. While I was busy reading Anne of Green Gables as a girl, my husband was reading this modern classic over and over. 
  • Gannon and Wyatt, Patti Wheeler and Keith Hemstreet Teenage twins Gannon and Wyatt have been traveling the world their whole lives. In this adventure book series, the boys visit exotic locales such as Botswana, Egypt, and the Great Bear Rainforest, documenting their explorations all the while as part of their homeschool assignments. These action-packed books will reel in young adventurers, and are a great leaping off point to learn more about the history of exploration. 
  • Brick City, Warren Elsmore This new release includes instructions for the basics of LEGO architecture, plus detailed instructions for building landmarks such as the Roman Colosseum, the Arc de Triomphe, and Buckingham Palace. Young LEGO addicts will keep coming back to this wonderful introduction to architecture."

What books do YOUR boys like? 

Note: Images are my affiliate links, others are Anne's!