Boys and Books

Readers, I need your help. I have a twelve year old son who hates to read! He has struggled with learning disabilities over the years, dyslexia being one of them, and I think all the struggles have led to a complete dislike of the written language.

He and I went out tonight and talked about how we could improve his reading this year. He told me that he didn’t like to read, and especially didn’t like to read stories that are boring. He said he would like to read stories that are exciting and full of adventure.

This is where you come in, I need some good book ideas for boys that are action packed, full of adventure, and guaranteed to keep this guy’s attention for more than five minutes. My only stipulations are the books need to be easy for him to read (about a fifth grade level) and no books about magic (that’s dad’s rule). He is an outdoors type of kid that would rather be hiking, bike riding, or swimming than any thing else. His favorite fiction book is My Side of the Mountain if that helps you learn a little more about his personality.

The boy, doing what he loves to do…


Please leave me your suggestions in the comments section or email me.


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  1. Marla Hartson says:

    My nephew loves Calvin and Hobbs. It’s cartoons rather than a chapter book, but he just devours them. Pretty big vocabulary in big books, too, so it’s real reading.

    My nephew also loves anything about World War II. So consider non-fiction, especially if there’s a topic in which he’s especially interested.

  2. How about “Holes” or “How to Eat Fried Worms?” My boys loved those books!

  3. Check out this webpage…

    It’s designed to be interesting to guys. You can look for book similar to ones he likes, by theme/topic, etc.

    I use this webpage all the time in my teaching to recommend books to boys!

  4. Abigail Thomas says:

    I’ve journal-hopped here, but when I saw this entry I had to comment…

    Avi’s Crispin: Cross of Lead and sequel usually get good responses from boys.

    Also, Rosemary Sutcliff’s Eagle of the Ninth, although that’s a bit more challenging.

    Jean Craighead George’s My Side of the Mountain; I’ve had students wear my copies of this book out.

    Also, Brian Paulsen’s books, like Hatchet and Brian’s Winter

    Iain Lawrence’s The Wreckers and sequels

    The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

    Hope that helps some!

  5. My husband highly recommends the Hardy Boys series and all of the Louis L’Amour westerns.

    When I taught sixth grade “at risk” reading, I tried to figure out what the student’s interests were and match reading material to his/her interests. That material wasn’t always in book form (magazine, newspaper, internet, etc.), but if they’d read it and were learning from it, I didn’t care!

    Good luck! That’s a frustrating situation…

  6. Don’t know if your son enjoys baseball, but I recently found books that my son will read voluntarily. They are written by Dan Gutman (we got them at the library) and are about various baseball players. I don’t know how loosely you define ‘magic,’ but the boy does go back to the time period when he holds the card so he can experience their time in history for himself. So far he has read Honus and Me and Jackie and Me and enjoyed them both.

    I look forward to other’s suggestions. It is hard to find good books for this age. Henty books were just a little too much for him to read on his own. Audio books he loves, but reading on his own, it has to be good to keep his attention.


  7. Hi! Have you ever tried giving him fish oil (Omega 3,6,9s)?

    It is said to help with many developmental issues, dyslexia being one of them!

    My toddler boys have developmental language issues ( and likely reading down the road!), and have greatly benefitted from taking the fish oil.

    The LCP Solution by Madeline Stordy is the book you’d want to start with!

    The basic premise is: Give the brain the right food (Omega 3,6,9s) and it will function better!

    It’s worth a try!


  8. I’ve been following your “frugal” tips for a while – I think they’re great. This is my first comment though. And, it’s kind of long. Sorry. Books are one of my passions!

    The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick is another good one. It’s HUGE (over 500 pages), BUT most of the story is told through beautiful pictures. It actually won the Caldecott Medal this year. My brother (who just started 6th grade), read it this summer and loved it.

    Leepike Ridge by N.D. Wilson is a fabulous adventure story. There’s hidden treasure, bad guys, a raft trip – lots of action. It reminded me a lot of Huckleberry Finn.

    The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan might fit the bill (the first one is The Lightning Thief). There are 4 out, with the fifth and final due out next year. Rick wrote it for his oldest son who also has dyslexia. They do feature the Greek gods (and other mythical type creatures – though no magic like Harry Potter), and I don’t know if that’s ok.

    The Ranger’s Apprentice Series by John Flannagan (the first one is The Ruins of Gorlan). It’s another fun adventure story – a bit slower than the others listed above, but by no means “slow”. It’s also a series written by a dad for his son in hopes of inspiring him to read.

    Finally, my husband is dyslexic. He claims the reason he enjoys reading now is video games (in the old days dialog was written, not spoken so he HAD to learn). Is there something your son really enjoys and would be willing to read for? Not necessarily video games, and the reading wouldn’t necessarily have to be in book form…

    Good luck.

  9. My oldest loves Encyclopedia Brown books and Boxcar Children books!

  10. I would definitely do all the old dog books, Stormy, Old Yellar, etc.

  11. I buy my son non-fiction juvenile books in subjects that interest him: trains, space/solar system, history, inventions/technology, etc. Also, The Guinness Book of World Records and Ripley’s Believe It or Not books are always popular with boys. Just remember that they don’t have to read novels to be considered reading. 🙂

  12. Some of the books we have read together that were my sons favorites:
    The Mysterious Benedict Society.
    This is quite a large book, but the print is good size and the story clips along. We all loved it! Everyone is eager to read the sequel. We are waiting our turn for it, as it makes its rounds through our mission families.

    The City of Ember and the sequel, The People of Sparks.
    Great stories, not too big and very engaging. Main characters are both a boy and a girl.

    How about Choose Your Own Adventure Books?
    I think they are out of print, but can usually be found at Half-Price Books or store of that ilk.

    I too am always on the lookout for books to appeal to boys, with an honorable boy as the main character without him being a wizard or magician. I will check back to see what other say. 🙂

  13. I love discussing books and am always looking for book recommendations for my son so I will be checking back to see other’s recommendations – how fun!

    How about “The Great Brain” series??? My son sped through those this summer. He just couldn’t put them down.

  14. Try Banner in the Sky by James Ramsey Ullman. It’s about a teenage boy and his mountain climbing adventure. I think it’s about the right level.

  15. Piers Anthony has a number of series that I enjoyed as a young boy, though they are more of a fantasy slant that may not necessarily go over well with the very religiously stringent parents. His books were engaging and fun, many a night I would stay up until 6am reading all night long just to finish them. Also I read all the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boy/ Bobsy Twin series and although they were pretty formulaic they still kept my attention, along with most of the Louis Lamoure series.

    As an aside my father paid me $20 for every Encyclopedia Britannica I read from cover to cover. After reading one he would flip through it and quiz me on my retention. If I didn’t get a majority right I would have to re-read or go to the next letter volume. I think that I made it to the letter I before I just gave up.

  16. My husband’s youngest brother is 13 (14 in Nov.) He hasn’t been a big reader either, but he really has enjoyed the Red Rock Mysteries by Jerry Jenkins and Chris Fabry. He also gets a kick out of Hank the Cowdog.

    One of my professors recommend the author Gary Paulson for boys that age. I have bought two of his books (used) to check them out, but haven’t read them. His books are big on outdoor adventure.

    Other Christian boys books are the Sugar Creek Gang,The Mars Diaries Series by Sigmund Brouwer, and Cooper Kids Adventures by Frank Peretti

    As you can tell, books are a passion of mine. Your post pulled me out of “lurkdom!” 🙂

  17. My almost 12-year-old likes to read Hardy Boys, but we only read the classic blue covers. He loves the Baseball Card Adventures by Dan Gutman. He has read a couple of the sports books written by Matt Christopher. He has also enjoyed the A to Z Mystery series by Ron Roy.

    Barnes & Noble has some classics right now in hardcover for under five dollars each, and he just finished The Three Musketeers. They also had Robin Hood and some others that might be of interest like that. They are called Classic Starts and are abridged for easier reading.

    Henty novels would probably be exciting but I think based on what you said they may be too long or just too much for him, but you might check. We’re reading our first one in school this year. They are supposed to be action-packed historical novels.

    Hope some of these help you out.

  18. I haven’t read any of these yet because I don’t have a reluctant reader, but I’ve heard very good reviews about these books:

    Also, we are unschoolers, so personally I wouldn’t push him. At least he knows how to read! After all, isn’t that the most important thing? He won’t need to use reading in “real life” (or grown-up life) for quite a while still. He may never “catch up” with other kids his age (or he may!), but if you back off, he will probably enjoy reading much more if he can read what he wants and when he wants. He sounds like he could be a perfect text-book (HA!) unschooler to me. 🙂

    And I just have to add, you are definitely doing the best thing for him, IMHO. Letting him enjoy what he is reading is definitely a must. 🙂

  19. The books that my boys (12 & 9) really enjoy for fun on a rainy day are: Captain Underpants, Calvin & Hobbes, Garfield, Star Wars chapter books and Archie (we buy the old ones at second hand book stores). This fun ones keep them reading, and that helps them to fall in love with the more challenging works.

  20. Hands down favorite – Chronicles of Narnia.
    The Call of the Wild, by Jack London

    Also, when I was that age, I loved reading stories about animals, told from the animals’ perspective. A wild animal’s life is one big adventure. I can’t remember titles, unfortunately.

  21. I forgot to add this. Would he let you read to him? He could still read on his own, of course. But you could read things that are hard enough that they would no longer be fun for him, and then he could concentrate on the story instead of the mechanics of reading.

    My husband reads to me while I’m washing the dishes and doing other boring chores. We both love it.

    The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease makes an excellent case for reading to kids all the way through high school, no matter how good they are at reading on their own. And it also has lists of suggested books to read to kids – you might find some he would like.

  22. My husband struggled desperately with dyslexia, so we feel for you. His ‘breakthrough book’ was Carry on Mr Bowditch. I haven’t read it myself, but he loved it as a boy, which was really saying something. It is an adventure that takes place at sea.

    I would also suggest Where the Red Fern Grows. Perfect for a 5th grade boy who loves the outdoors and has a sense of adventure. This is perhaps my favorite children’s novel of all time.

    What about the CS Lewis Chronicles of Narnia? Not sure if your hubs’ concern with magic would extend to this kind of fantasy, but the books are all action packed for sure.

    Hope this helps! It’s a great question …

  23. I recommend G.A. Henty books. They are challenging, but SO engaging! He may surprise you by jumping in his reading ability if you introduce these great books!

    You can find wonderful book lists at It’s the homeschool curriculum I use with my eight children. Good luck!

  24. I know my brother who also has struggles reading was tested and was able to take tests longer in school.

  25. Hardy Boys. Adventure, Suspense, Good clean fun.

  26. I have five boys (12 and under) and when they started reading we just wanted them to read–anything. They love Garfield, Calvin and Hobbs and the Far Side. Some of the stuff they don’t get but they always come and ask because they want to get it. We have every single Garfield that I know exists and they read and reread them over and over. Calvin and Hobbs has a bunch out there too. We about have the covers worn off. You’d be surprised at the vocabulary in these. I think they have been very valuable in creating a love of reading. We were able to get these at Half-Price Books pretty inexpensively. Good Luck.

  27. I was going to mentioned My Side of the Mountain and then I read the next line that that was his favorite book 🙂

    G.A. Henty books – I haven’t read them yet – but I hear they are good old fashioned books for boys…not sure of the reading level they are.

    How about Hardy Boys or other vintage boys mystery books…just search vintage mystery books children on eBay.

  28. TheHappyHousewife says:

    Comment from Joy

    Jaden’s a very reluctant reader too, but he loved reading these series (all three are Christian series):

    • The Kingdom Series by Chuck Black (allegory of the Bible set in the Middle Ages—in other words knights!)
    • The Sever Sleepers Series by Gilbert Morris (I think you’d say it’s in the fantasy genre)
    • The Cooper Kids Series by Frank Peretti

  29. TheHappyHousewife says:

    Comment from Nina in Texas
    For 2 years, I worked in the children’s section of a bookstore, specifically helping those kids who said they “didn’t like to read.” 🙂

    Gary Paulson is great. He writes lots of outdoors adventures. My favorite is “Harris and Me.” It is slightly earthy, but HILARIOUS! Another is “Homer Price” by Robert McCloskey. My mother is the librarian for a 4th-5th grade campus, and whenever she gets a boy who says he “doesn’t like to read,” she gives him Homer Price. It works every time. As my dad says “It’s not that you don’t like to read…it’s just that you haven’t found what you like!”

    There’s also “The Sign of the Beaver” by Elizabeth George Spears, “The Island of the Blue Dolphins” by Scott O’Dell, “The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle” by Avi. The last 2 might be about girls, but the first one basically becomes a pirate, and the 2nd survives alone on a deserted island. Both excellent reads!

    Hope this helps!–

  30. I second the vote for Rick Riordan’s Lightning Thief series (Percy Jackson). My son hates to read and he eagerly awaits each new book in the series. Like the earlier poster said, they are based on Greek mythology and written by a former middle school teacher. We have fun tying the stories to mythological ones.

  31. The sequel to My Side of the Mountain is On the Far Side of the Mountain which if he hasn’t already read I would assume he’d like.

    The Gary Paulson ones might be a little old for him but they might just be the right sort of challenge – I definitely think the topics would be right.

    Jean Van Leeuwen – Cabin on Trouble Creek. Story about two boys in the early 1800s who end up left alone in a cabin and have to survive.

    If you have a public library nearby, you might try asking the children’s or young adult librarian for suggestions. Let them know your restrictions (and you might add any additional preferences that might seem obvious to you such as language etc.) if they’re good they can and should give appropriate suggestions. Until you know them enough to know you can trust their advice, I would vet any books they suggest (but I’d also do that with advice from anyone I didn’t know).

    And my last bit of advice as a former librarian (not a kids librarian which is why I don’t have all that many specifics) is whenever you’re looking for books to read and have a title or two that you like, google the book you like and add the search term “if you liked” or “readalike”. This might lead you to already-prepared reading lists that should be similar. Trying that with the George book led me to these lists:

    The “if you liked” search also works if with the overall genre of the books he likes, for example survival stories or adventure etc. Watch the age level of suggestions you’ll find this way though – it might lead you to adult fiction.

    I think there are plenty of books out there that you should be able to find several that will catch his interest.

    Sorry for the long comment – I love to talk about books and reading!

  32. My son is only 6 and doesn’t like to read books unless they are exciting and full of adventure. I was lucky enough to come across Captain Underpants books. OK… I dunno the recommended reading level for Captain Underpants books… but WHO CARES?! They are Hilarious and even I, an awesome avid reader who can devour a captain underpants book in a whole 15 minutes – absolutely loves them. Even if they’re below his “level,” they are fun and easy reading.

    Another that I always loved and my boys love are the Choose your Adventure books. They are loaded with adventure and offer the reader choices on what the character will do next. We love them ( especially the older ones).

    Another tip, is to let him explore a book out of the confines of reading the entire thing. There are boring parts in some very exciting books. Take for example, the Incredible Journey. You could read through the boring parts out loud and let him read the exciting parts on his own. Or Where the Red Fern Grows. Or some sci-fi picks from William Sleator like the Green Futures of Tycho. Or My Side of The Mountain. Or Hatchett. They’re all cool.

  33. Hardy Boys Series-for sure! Full of action and some mystery!

  34. TheHappyHousewife says:

    I second “Holes” and the Kingdom series, both of which my nephews love. You may also wish to check out The “Wally McDoogle” series and also the Trailblazer series, which my nephew loves, especially “Shanghaied to China” by Dave and Neta Jackson.

    Also, perhaps the “Dragons In Our Midst” series which are dragon reads written for children of faith, although there is faith-based magical themes, similar to “The Chronicles of Narnia” series by CS Lewis. Both of those series have many great reads if your husband is comfortable with the themes.

    Other ideas:

    “The Friends’ by Kazumi Yumoto — it’s a more obscure book that sits on the NEAs list of 50 multicultural books every child should read… good for 9-12 year olds… three boys, fascinated with the concept of death, find love and friendship from an old man whom they initially spied upon

    “Bud, Not Buddy” by Christopher Paul Curtis — excellent adventure book about a ten-year-old who sets off in search of his father after his mother’s death… also on the NEAs multicultural book list

    “Robin’s Country” by Monica Furlong — about a mute boy who escapes his cruel master and finds himself now living in Robin Hood’s camp

    “The Twin in the Tavern” by Barbara Brooks Wallace — a boy is taken from his recently deceased uncle’s house when thieves prowl about… he then sets off navigating life with his uncle’s words ringing in his ears, “find your twin and you will know who you are — trust no one.”

    Smiles ~ Tonggu Momma

  35. I just ordered “The Dangerous Book for Boys” on amazon for my son for Christmas. I had seen it at a friends house and it was great….told you how to do things like tie knots, make paper airplanes and all sorts of fun BOY stuff!

    Another good one if he’s into the outdoors is “Camp Out! The ultimate kids guide” That one has some great outdoors stuff in it too.


  36. Oh wow! I did not read all the responses, so forgive me if I repeat! 🙂

    I was going to suggest that you get him books on CD or tape! 🙂 I know I LOVE books on CD!! To me it is as good as tv, only, well better, cuz it is someone reading to me! LOL

    And I bet he’d like the Shiloh series! About the little dog from my neck of the woods 😉

    Has he tried Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn? Or how about Robinson Crusoe?

    Or any Pirate books. Or anything really by Mark Twain is awesome for boys 🙂

  37. Oh, and I get my books on CD from the library 😉

  38. Have you looked at the Sonlight Homeschool Curriculum catalog for suggestions? I think that is a great resource for books. My kids have enjoyed almost all of their picks.

  39. How about the Sugar Creek Gang series?

  40. I taught 4th grade for several years and his struggle is nothing new. It’s often difficult for boys to find books they really like. You’ve gotten some excellent suggestions here. For an outdoorsy boy I would definitely suggest books by Jean Craighead George, and Gary Paulson (“Hatchet”), there is another “My Side of the Mountain” book as well.

    Is he into sports at all? If so, books by Matt Christopher would be good. All of his books involve a boy playing a sport of some kind. They’re a bit older, but quick, easy reads that might get him hooked.

    I’d also suggest biographies. There are TONS of children’s biographies out there. Choose ones about people that fit his interests. Surely there will be one out soon on Michael Phelps, if there isn’t already! Good Luck!

  41. My son (7th grade now) really enjoyed “Sign of the Beaver” and “Witch of Blackbird Pond” (not about witchcraft though…it’s during the 1600’s and people think she’s a witch, although she really isn’t.) I also found books on tape really helped my son.

  42. Holes by Louis Sachar

    Boxcar Children

    Suggestion–how ’bout reading with your son–he reads a little, you read a little. It might take a little of the pressure off of him.

  43. Sonlight has excellent books. (

    Personally, I love “A Barrel of Laughs, a Vale of Tears” by Jules Feiffer.

    I struggle with reading. It’s really hard for me (has to do in large part because my eyes don’t “track” together). So, I love audio books.

    Because, really, the important thing is loving great stories and literature… much less with the physical act of reading words on a page. So, try books on tape or audio books. That’s how I got through high school.


  44. Too many comments to read them all – so I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned these.

    Dragon Slayer Academy – it’s a series so lots of adventure and they are not too long either.

  45. The first book that got my son really into reading was “Where the red fern grows. He loved it so much he named his dogs after the dogs in the book. He loves the R.L. Stine books like the “Goosebumps” series. Some may have magic, I’m not sure. The subject matter has to be interesting to him for him to want to willingly read it. He also likes anything on dinosaurs. Just try to find an area he likes. It will make it lots easier.

  46. I second Gary Paulsen’s books. What could be more exciting than a 13 year old boy who is the sole survivor of a plane crash in the Canadian wilderness? The books detail how he learns to hunt and fish (after making his own bows, arrows, and fishing spears) and survive by “listening” to nature.

    If you decide to go with Paulsen, he should read Hatchet first.

  47. I used to love to read Nancy Drew when I was a kid. I bought The Hardy Boys series for my son (who is only 3) at the Goodwill because I thought he might like those when he turns 11 or 12.

  48. My boys, age 10 and 12) both love the Sugar Creek Gang Series by Paul Hutchings. Hope this helps. Blessings.

  49. Hank the Cowdog!! He is a little old for its target audience, but the books are simply hilarious and good clean fun. They are all on audiobook too, so that may help whet his appetite to read the books as well.

    Also Calvin and Hobbes.

  50. Encyclopedia Brown
    Boxcar Children
    Hardy Boys
    Nancy Drew
    Bobsey Twins
    Mystery of the Old Violin by Augusta Huiell Seaman
    Summer of The Monkeys
    How to Eat Fried Worms
    Beverly Cleary’s Ralph, Beezus, B and Ramona, etc

    From my experiences while teaching school, if it is funny and below his “level”, read it! First grade and having fun is better than fifth and hating it.

  51. Oooh oooh oooh Mr. Kotter! (Sorry, Toni, you were two when that show was on!)

    Alvin Fernald books!!! By Clifford B. Hicks. Alvin’s an inventor (with a best friend and annoying little sister who’s very cool) and they get into all kinds of scrapes and mysteries. My brother (reluctant reader) LOVED them at your son’s age. They’re back in print now, too!

  52. I only briefly perused the comments above…

    Anthony Horowitz’s “Stormbreakers”, a juvenile spy thriller.

    Clay Morgan’s “The Boy Who Spoke Dog” as well as the sequel…

    My 12yo son enjoyed these recently, and he is not a “reader” by any means. A couple of years ago I finally figured out he would read graphic novels — I was desperate. He, too, loves Calvin and Hobbes. I also got him the “Picture Bible” a couple of years ago and he devoured it. Recently his dad, military himself, is getting him into age-appropriate WWII non-fiction. Whatever it takes, is where I’m at.

    Good luck! Have been enjoying your blog for a few weeks now. If you have a chance, I am wondering — do commissaries price match? I’ve always assumed they don’t, but can never remember to ask when I’m there…!


    I did a search and of the books I found I really like the way these sound. My son will be 10 soon and likes adventure and some fiction but likes to relate to real life. This look right on taget.

  54. I hope I am not repeating, or maybe it’s good that I am. Anyway, my son sounds very much like your son, and he loved the Dunc & Amos series. It is a very silly, very adventurous series – by either Sacher or Paulsen. I can’t remember which. They are also quick and easy!

  55. Many classic books are written in comic book format and are a great jumping off point for those reluctant readers. Build skill with something enjoyable and then increase reading level.

    I also didn’t see the White Mountians books listed by John Christopher. They include The White Mountains, The City of Gold and Lead, and Pool of Fire. Heroic boys, adventure, courage and action. Great stories. Best of Luck. A reader for life is a worthy goal.

  56. Several great books have been mentioned, but without knowing his reading ability, I don’t know what to suggest. My guess is books like Box Car Children might be good, but Summer of the Monkeys (which is a great book) might be pretty difficult for him. It is a large book with very small print. Which is so hard when you are dyslexic.

    My daughter has dyslexia and for a long time it was a huge struggle to get her to read. Then we had her tested and she tested as reading at a 2nd grade level even though she was almost through 3rd. Once we got her reading books that she could read without struggling on ever other word, she really started to enjoy it. What else I have been taught, is that it is very important that a dyslexic child read everyday. I use to give my daughter large breaks in the summer, because I know how hard it is for her. But the doctor explained that everyday she doesn’t read, she back tracks. If she goes a few weeks, she could lose everything she gained that year. Now she reads every night before bed and loves it.

    I know I didn’t address your question, but hope it helps.

  57. Scouting Magazine this month has an article on Guys Read Guy Books. Check it out; maybe you’ll find something to peak his interest.

  58. Try Hatchet, Gary Paulson. Sure to please.

  59. My son loves the Deltora series. He also loves the Narnia stuff too.

  60. My Side Of The Mountain was one of my favourite books as a kid as well!
    My brother read a lot of Matt Christopher books as a kid. They were all about sports and he devoured them.
    He also read The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle series by Bill Myers, a Christian author.
    I echo that Calvin and Hobbes is a great reading experience, even if it isn’t a “book” per se. So funny!
    Hope these help!

  61. I know some have already mentioned FRANK PERETTI so I am just agreeing. Neither one of my children liked to read but they sure were glued to his books (and so was I and still can be). ALL CHRISTIAN so don’t be scared when you go to this website :)!

  62. My son has similar interests to yours. He loves The Great Brain books and Hank the Cowdog.

    Also, We found The Field and Forest Handy Book and The American Boys Handy Book. They show how to make rafts, traps, shelters, etc. These are excellent if he’s into My Side of the Mountain and only require reading the section he’s interested in.

    Wilson Rawls books Where the Red Fern Grows and Summer of the Monkeys are also WONDERFUL!!

  63. I didn’t scan all of the others, but some favorites of my students have been the books by Will Hobbs. They’re outdoor adventure books, and they keep it moving.

    The Joey Pigza books are also hilarious.

    Happy reading!

  64. Boy, I’m just a commentin’ fool tonight, ain’t I?

    (I really have better grammar than that! 🙂

    The American Adventure series is a set of historical fiction books that go through all of American History in small sections: from The Mayflower Adventure to either the Korean or Vietnam war (I can’t remember which).

    The best thing about them is that they are all written from a Christian perspective of American History, and from the eyes of the children in the stories. Great series!

  65. I tried to browse through the comments to make sure I don’t repeat.

    By the Great Hornspoon was a lot of fun to read with my son and has become one of my favorites! You can also find decent children’s versions of classics like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Robinson Crusoe. Homer Price was fun and Judy Blume’s Fudge series is too.

    There are so many quality books I had never heard of and just have not read with my son (8) yet. I like the looks of Clyde Bulla’s works and well too many to really mention I guess. The Minstrel in the Tower is supposed to have a fast plot (not sure about magic-we haven’t read yet).

    I would also recommend checking out Honey for A Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt and Books Children Love by Elizabeth Wilson as a resource for helping you choose books for your son. I love both of them.

    Sorry, can you tell this is something I get excited about? Happy reading and I hope this helps.

  66. I really disliked reading as a child until I discovered Enid Blytons Famous Five series. These great books are about the adventures of a group of kids that love to solve mysteries ect.

  67. Two things that work here are turning on the TV to a show they LOVE… turning the captions on and turning the TV down…. They watch their fav. shows while reading…. =-)

    I go to the library and borrow books and borrow the CD of the book at the same time… My son listens to the story on CD as he reads along….

    Hope that helps =-)

  68. Lori Phillips says:

    Hi Toni!

    Love your blog! I have the same trouble with Quentin reading. He loves adventure/nature stories also! My Side of the Mountain, Call it Courage…. I like to look on the Sonlight reader list and always find good adventures story ideas, then try to find them at the library. Hope all is well with you. Blessings, Lori Phillips

  69. I don’t konw any specific books but maybe graphic novels would work. They are written in commic book style, but significantly longer

  70. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer is one I used for reluctant readers when I was a 6th grade teacher. It’s short and a fairly easy read, but a good story that could lead to lots of “what would you do?” discussions.

    Gary Paulsen is favorite author of mine from my teaching days. There are a variety of reading levels, so you might want to check out a couple to peruse yourself first. They are very good for outdoorsy boys. Hatchet and The Haymeadow are two I used regularly.

  71. My 8 year old loves Time Warp Trio Series and some titles like “The War of the Worlds”, “The Threee Muskteers” in Great Illustrated Classics.

  72. This page at goodreads should give you a great running start: (I just added a bunch of titles to it.)

  73. I know you said no magic, but david eddings wrote an amazing series called the belgarid that my entire family loved. it is actually very similar to Christianity actually, abd the magic is secondary tovthe characters and story development. I always recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read. my teenager boy is reading it now, as well as myself, and loves it!

  74. My brother with reading problems learned to read with Tintin books! He doesn’t read a lot as an adult but is able to thoughtfully discuss issues and concepts at a deep level. My children are both readers and the aim is always to stimulate thought, provide new ideas, meet characters of various backgrounds and develop the ability to analyse and discuss issues. Al the best with it! I have an interest in boys who don’t fit the “reader” type and the development of thinking skills. Boys who have caring adults to talk things over with and teach verbally (dinnertable discussion, read alouds) will always do well in the big picture. A lot of boys prefer non-fiction.


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