‘A boy won’t read shark books forever’- Jon Scieszka, author and founder of GuysRead.com.
We all know that children are made bookworms on the laps of their parents but how do we sustain that momentum, particularly with the classic ‘reluctant boy reader’? The key seems to be to avoid parental dictatorship. It may be a bitter pill to swallow but they’re often not interested in what you read when you were twelve! With this in mind, we’ve selected a lovely mix of books for boys. Here’s hoping they find their very own book magic.
Timmy on the Toilet by Peta Lemon (5-8 years) – After being granted a magic wish, Timmy accidentally wishes he could fly while sitting on the toilet. A delightfully silly bare-bottomed adventure.
Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love (5-8 years) – A glimpse of three women dressed as dazzling mermaids inspires a young boy to make his own mermaid costume. But what will everyone think? A joyful and luminous celebration of non-conformity and acceptance.
Monster Slayer: A Beowulf Tale by Brian Patten (8-11 years) – With ‘dangerous swamps, dark forests, two mega-monsters and a fantastic monster-slayer hero,’ this fabulous retelling of Beowulf is perfect for fans of perilous adventure.
Freedom by Catherine Johnson (8-11 years) – Prize winner highlights Britain’s role in the slave trade. It’s the story of Nat, a young Jamacian Slave, and his journey to an England that he believes will set him free. Interwoven with real events and characters, it’s a compelling and enlightening read
Jake Atlas and the Keys of the Apocalypse by Rob Lloyd Jones (8-11 years) – Imagine having to choose between saving the world or saving your family! In the excellent Jake Atlas series, Jake and his family are constantly embroiled in deadly escapades. Book 4 continues with the exciting Indiana Jones vibe.
The Paninis of Pompeii by Andy Stanton (8-11 years) – A new series from the funny and irreverent creator of Mr Gum. Join fart-trader Caecilius and his family in this brilliantly daft reimagining of the last days of Pompeii.
The Letter for the King and The Goldsmith and the Master Thief by Tonke Dragt (8-11 years) – Any boy interested in knights and swords will love these Dutch classics set in medieval times. A welcome change for parents weary of fart jokes.
The Boy Who Biked the World: On the Road to Africa by Alastair Humphrey (11-13 years) – Tom ‘… didn’t want to be at school. He wanted to be an explorer.’ Join him as he skips class and sets off to cycle the globe. For aspiring explorers and cyclists, this is a great combination of educational travelogue and exciting fiction.
Teacher’s Dead by Benjamin Zephaniah (Teen/YA) – ‘My name is Jackson Jones. I stood and watched a teacher die.’ More a whydunnit than a whodunnit, Zephaniah tackles the complexities of knife crime in this debate provoking novel.
The Gifted, the Talented and Me by William Sutcliffe (Teen/YA) – A comedic treat about a young boy who is ill-advisedly enrolled at the North London Academy for the gifted and talented. Guaranteed snorts of laughter and recognition.
White Rabbit, Red Wolf by Tom Pollock (Teen/YA) – Murder, maths and the human psyche. This startling combination will mesmerise you in the unfolding story of young maths prodigy, Peter Blankman. Prone to extreme anxiety, a public awards ceremony triggers a severe panic attack and an inexplicable sequence of events, including the stabbing of Peter’s mother and the disappearance of his beloved sister, Bel.
After the Fire by Will Hill (Teen/YA) – What happens to the child survivors of a brainwashing cult? How do they begin to process the horrors they have seen? Loosely based on the Waco siege of 1993, After the Fire by Will Hill is a stunning depiction of the lead-up to and aftermath of an armed siege on a Texan cult compound.
The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami (Teen/YA) – A left-field choice, this is perfect for tempting your teen with more challenging literature. The tale of a young man trapped in a labyrinthine nightmare with a brain- sucking librarian, it’s a great intro to the surreal delights of Murakami.