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I often get asked,”What books are there for boys?” At first I thought this was going to be a daunting task after raising two girls but now a whole new world has opened up for me because I’m sharing great reading with my only son. Of course we have read all of the classics i.e. Tom Sawyer, Robin Hood, King Arthur,Farmer Boy,Willie Wonka, Chronicles of Narnia etc. We also have the Tolkien trilogy to look forward to. I’ve really noticed that my son has a very diverse group of reading topics and I thought I would share some of them here. This is only his top 10, for the moment. From time to time we will just keep adding new favorites to the list. It must be stated, however, that a great book is just that, a great book. These are wonderful books for girls,boys, and the adults who love them. Enjoy!
- The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart. “Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” This is how the ad ran in the newspaper. Many children applied to take the mind bending tests but only 4 succeeded. This group of unlikely friends find themselves in the middle of a secret mission that only the smartest and most resourceful could solve. This book had us on the edge of our seats….in only the best way.
- Redwall by Brian Jacques. “Redwall is where safety and warmth surround you. Food, friends, music, and song. Redwall will always welcome you back.” Only the lost sword of Martin the Warrior can save Redwall Abbey from the evil rat Cluny and his greedy horde. Matthias, a young mouse from the Abbey vows to find the sword. This story is one of high adventure,valor, and mystery. Is what makes it so endearing to us are the characters, who have a very distinctive personalities such as Silent Sam the squirrel, Warbeak the sparrow, Constance the badger and many more. This is book 1 of a very large series. The entire Redwall series is 8,000 pages. So we have a lot of great reading ahead of us. Little boy “O” said,”Redwall is one of the best books I’ve ever read.”
- Swallows & Amazons by Arthur Ransome. On vacation with their mother in the Lake District in 1929, four children are allowed to sail over to the nearby island in their boat Swallow and set up camp for a few days. They soon realized this has been the territory of two other girls who sail the Amazon, and the scene is set for serious rivalry. On the island in the lake they have many imaginary adventures with pirates and neighbors alike. This story conveys a great love and joy for the outdoors. At times it is almost like a guide-book, teaching how one could have such an adventure. It got us dreaming of you or two. There are 12 books in the series.
- Can you Whistle, Johanna? A boy’s search for a grandfather. By Ulf Stark. In this heart warming tale, a little boy who has no grandfather goes out and adopts one. This is a wonderful chapter book which guides the young boy to finding a mentor.
- Children of Summer, Henri Fabre’s Insects by Margaret J. Anderson. 10-year-old Paul helps his father, the famous entomologists Jean Henri Fabre, in uncovering the secrets of his “children of summer”, insects. Paul is curious about living insects. Insects are born knowing how to do many clever things by natural instinct. He loves to play tricks on his insects to discover what skill each one holds. Beautiful story and illustrations as well as a quick read.
- The Invention of Hugo Cabret. by Brian Selznick. This book mesmerized us from the first page. Part picture book, story, and film, this author took us on a fantastic journey on every level of our imaginations. This book is a must read. Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station. He is an orphan, clock keeper, and thief. In the train station his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. The old man who runs the toy booth and a young girl who loves books enters Hugo’s life, and everything is at risk including Hugo’s most precious secret. The secret includes a notebook, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father.
- The Misadventures of Benjamin Bartholomew Piff, You wish, by Jason Lethcoe. Benjamin Bartholomew Piff is an orphan who follows the rules of making a birthday wish to a “T”. In the end , he makes the most dangerous wish of all, unlimited wishes. Upsetting the balance in the realm of wishing,Ben learns the old adage of ‘Be careful what you wish for…..”
- Operation Redwood by S. Terrell French. 12 year old Julian Carter-Li accidentally reads an email he shouldn’t be reading only to find himself in a fight to save an old growth stand of the oldest trees in the world, the Redwoods. This book is fast, funny, and shows that anyone with determination can make a difference. One of the big selling points of this book is that it had a hidden treehouse as a focal point in the story.
- Elijah of Buxton,by Christopher Paul Curtis. Buxton,Canada is a settlement of runaway slaves just near the American border. eleven year old Elijah was the first child to be born free. Elijah is looked at as a delicate and fragile boy who talks a lot and is afraid of his own shadow. That is until he starts tracking down a thief, w ho stole money from a friend, who had been saving to buy his family out of slavery in the South. Now he has to find his way back home.
- 100 Cupboards, Book One, by N.D. Wilson. The thumping and scratching on the other side of the attic wall keeps Henry York awake at night. As he scrapes plaster off the wall to find where the noise is coming from, he discovers ninety-nine cupboards of all different shapes and sizes. Through one door he sees a man walking back and forth in the glowing light. Through another he hears rain falling. Henry and his cousin Henrietta soon realize that these aren’t just cupboards but doors to other worlds. We couldn’t put this book down and we can hardly wait to read book 2.