Sunday, January 16, 2011

Boy Books

Facts about me:
1. I love to read.
2. I especially love to read books I think my boys might enjoy.
3. My boys rarely take my recommendations...
4. ...but other boys do!

Since I often get asked to recommend books boys might like and since I often spend a lot of time writing out my recommendations, since I usually think of one or two more every time I'm about to stop making my list, I'm compiling my list here. That way if you ask me for book recommendations for a boy in your life, I'll be able to direct you to this blog post.

Airman by Eoin Colfer - Combines adventure and fantasy, a young man uses his fascination with flying to save himself, his family and his entire kingdom. For mature middle graders and up.

Epic by Conor Kostick - Fantasy and science fiction, on New Earth violence is banned, but Epic, the virtual reality video game provides the arena for settling disputes. As you create and build your character in the game, you build your status and opportunity in real life. Great for mature middle graders and up.

The Heir Series by Cinda Williams Chima - Fantasy, each book focuses on a different character and their special gifts and talents that end up coming together to defeat the evil forces in a great wizard war. Possibly young adult, there is a little romance and kissing that may not appeal to younger boys.

Airborn, Skybreaker, Starclimber by Kenneth Oppel - Fifteen year old Matt Cruse loves his life aboard the greatest luxury ship in the sky in this Victoian era, alternate history story. (You might even say series has elements of steampunk to it.) His greatest desire is to one day become captain of his own airship. He meets wealthy Kate Devries who is determined to prove girls can be scientists too. Lots of adventure! Appropriate for middle grade although there is a bit of romance as the series progresses that may not appeal to younger boys.

The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud - Bartimaeus, a powerful, sarcastic djinni narrates this story of Nathaniel, the young magician who summons him to exact revenge on an enemy. Barimaeus makes his snide remarks in lots and lots of footnotes, a style that works well and brings humor to this otherwise serious tale. Middle grade and up.

Dark Life by Kat Falls - Science fiction, with most of the land covered by water, pioneers set out to explore and settle the last frontier--the ocean. Ty, the first child ever born underwater is more at home there than on land. He meets Gemma who is looking for her brother and together they help to defend the underwater settlement against bandits who would destroy everything. Perfect for kids 10 and up.

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld - Fantasy, steampunk, alternate history, takes place at the start of World War I when Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife are assasinated. Europe is divided into two factions: The Clankers who rely on machines and the Darwinists who rely on creating new species. This book has two narrators, Prince Aleksander the son of Ferdinand, and Deryn Sharpe, a girl who poses as a boy to train as an airman for the Darwinist cause. First in a series, the second book is Behemoth. Middle grade and up.

Ship Breaker by Paulo Bacigalupi - Postapocalyptic, dystopian, Nailer is lucky to be small enough to  work on light crew, crawling through the ducts of massive tanker ships to strip copper wire, a dangerous job that is hard to come by and even harder to keep. The story is raw, harsh and frightening, a little dystopian and very much amazing. This book was the winner of the 2011 Printz Award, chosen by librarians for excellence in young adult literature. There is some violence in this book, so it is probably more appropriate for 14 and up.

Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer - Epic fantasy, a great book but might get a little thick in places for younger kids. Just see what Amazon has to say.

The Fiddler's Gun by AS Peterson - This may be the only book your son doesn't like because there is a girl as the main character. But I have to list it anyway because it's a wonderful book and for much of it the girl, Fin, is mistaken for a boy. She certainly fights like one! Historical fiction, takes place at the start of the Revolutionary War and follows the adventures of Fin Button as she runs from her life in an orphanage to a life of adventure. If your boy doesn't like it, you certainly will!


Natalie said...

I had to google steampunk. Now I know. Thanks for the list!

Afton said...

I wanted to add a more middle grade books for younger boys, but the list was getting so long. The Mystery of the Origami Yoda is a great one for 4th-6th graders.

Chelsea said...

Love this. Thanks Afton!

inkley boys said...

thanks I got your blog from Betsy i needed a little help in this direction. your awsome thanks!