40 Chapter Books for Boys

40 great chapter books for boys (ages 9-12)!

Weird. Funny. Exciting. Gross.

That is the criteria for choosing boy books. Well, according to my son, anyway.

As a girl, I grew up reading American Girl and Nancy Drew books and while I definitely think my son appreciates classics like A Little Princess and the Little House series, I am always on the lookout for gross/funny/exciting/weird books that he can enjoy.

So, this year I decided his literature reading list would be compiled entirely of classic “boy” books! In addition to meeting his above criteria, I chose these books because they are told from a boy’s point of view and/or have a boy protagonist.

The books on this list cover a variety of topics, time periods, reading levels, and genres. My son is 10 years old, so most of these books are for the 9-12 year old age range.

I hope my son enjoys his reading list this year and I look forward to introducing my daughter to several of these classics as well!

40 Chapter Books for Boys

Along Came a Dog
Around the World in Eighty Days
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Beowulf: A Hero’s Tale Retold
Call It Courage
Castle Diary
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Dangerous Journey: The Story of Pilgrim’s Progress
George Muller (Christian Heroes: Then & Now)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Homer Price
How to Eat Fried Worms
James and the Giant Peach
MacBeth: For Kids
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
My Side of the Mountain
Peter Pan
Robinson Crusoe
Stuart Little
The Adventures of Robin Hood
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Apple and the Arrow
The Borrowers 
The Castle in the Attic

The Door in the Wall
The Dragon of Lonely Island
The Hobbit
The House of Sixty Fathers
The Indian in the Cupboard
The Kite Fighters
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Matchlock Gun
The Mouse and the Motorcycle
The Phantom Tollbooth
The Swiss Family Robinson
The Tale of Despereaux
The Twenty-One Balloons
Treasure Island
Where the Red Fern Grows

Are there any other classic “boy” books you would add to this list?

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  1. I would absolutely add Old Yeller, Hatchet, and Poppy. I read these every year to my students when I taught third grade, and the kids loved them!! Yours is a great list, however. :-)

  2. I just posted a book review my son wrote about The Ranger’s Apprentice series.

    Also, the Redwall series by Brian Jacques was enjoyed by my 4 boys and a couple of the girls, too.

    • So funny – one of my son’s friends was just telling me about this book! It was one of her top 3 favorite books! I’ll be adding this to my list of books to check out, thanks!

  3. Mrs. Johnson says:

    My Side of the Mountain, Shiloh, Hoot, and the Trumpet of the Swan are also big hits in my classroom.

    • I just read My Side of the Mountain and promptly added it to his reading stack! We also read Trumpet of the Swan and the entire family enjoyed it! Thank you for the suggestions!

  4. Love several of your selections! I want to add practically any books by Bruce Coville. He’s a children’s sci-fi/fantasy author and I was basically addicted to his books as a kid. “Weird, funny, exciting, and gross” describe Coville’s work to a T! :)

  5. I’d also recommend adding The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. It’s not weird or gross, but it’s exciting and there’s a shipwreck on a desert island, so if that doesn’t make for a good boy book, I’m not sure what does! :) The rest of the books in the series are pretty great too. King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry is a lovely classic with a male protagonist, and her other books are awesome as well. Obviously I was a horse lover as a kid!

  6. I love this list. We have stumbled on many of these over the years and my boys have loved them. We love the old books. This list gives me even more to add to my book list. Thanks.

  7. Farmer Boy! (Found this on pinterest.) So many wonderful ones on your list.

  8. My Side of the Mountain, Maniac Magee, The Whipping Boy

    • My Side of the Mountain has definitely been added to my son’s reading stack and we read Maniac Magee together (it’s one of my absolute favorite books from childhood)!

  9. Don’t know if anybody mentioned this one yet, but definitely Summer of the Monkeys.

  10. One of my all time favorite boy books is Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen ~ you find yourself shaking with laughter and yet it has many poignant moments. It is somewhat autobiographical as Paulsen didn’t have an ideal childhood. I have 4 younger brothers and I gave them each a copy ~ they all loved it and wondered if Paulsen was spying on their childhood antics!

  11. I would add “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Such a great book for boys.


  1. […] all the work I put into creating my son’s reading list of 40 “boy” books, I figured making my daughter’s list of “girl” books would be a piece of cake. […]

  2. […] Stephanie has a list of 40 Chapter Books for Girls and 40 Chapter Books for Boys. […]