Best Books for Teen Boys

Best Books for Teen Boys

Best Books for Teen Boys

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Finding books for teen boys is easier than it was. Many current writers write exciting, interesting books for boys. Keeping boys reading and interested in books is notoriously difficult. The teenage years are such a busy time for boys to learn about the world, themselves, and others.

Books can seem boring by comparison to more exciting activities, such as computer games, sports, girls, school, and other interests, making boys reluctant readers.

However, reading helps teen boys so much in their schooling, by increasing their knowledge and vocabulary, and their development, by posing questions and scenarios. Knowing the best books for teenage boys helps in choosing the perfect book for your young reader, the book that will pique his interest and encourage him to read.

How reading changes for teen boys across the years

Boys change so much during the teenage years, those eight years of huge growth in body and mind; thirteen-year-olds are just leaving childhood whereas eighteen-year-olds are preparing for the adult world. Children, especially boys, develop at very different rates and a boy’s age is not always a guide to his maturity, or for example, some thirteen-year-old boys are still very much little boys, whereas some are typical teenagers, and some are almost young men.

What books are best for teen boys?

What books are best for teen boys?
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Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Younger teenagers or the less mature teenage lad might enjoy the Harry Potter series. These books have been extremely popular and greatly encouraged reading amongst youngsters. As each one came out, boys and girls queued outside bookshops to get their precious copies as soon as possible.

Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz

Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz is a name to conjure with in modern children’s literature. He is passionate about getting teen boys interested in books and reading. Alan Johnson, the British Education Minister chose him to lead an initiative to get boys reading. Horowitz’s Alex Rider series is a spy thriller series for younger teenagers, or the less mature, about a fourteen-year-old boy, who suddenly finds he is an MI6 agent.

The series is very much in the vein of an adult thriller, but suitable for youngsters. The books contain violence, as one would expect from a thriller, but Horowitz does describe it in graphic terms and the lines between good and evil are drawn.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

A young thirteen-year-old would enjoy the teen novel Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. Thirteen-year-old Brian must learn to survive alone in the Canadian wilderness after a plane crash.

Brianís parents are divorced and he was flying to visit his father. Brianís instincts and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present help him to survive through setbacks, mistakes, and small victories. During his isolation, Brian struggles with nature, wildlife, himself, and his thoughts about his parentís divorce, his struggles are a great metaphor for the difficulties of teenage life, but the metaphor never overshadows the exciting and interesting story.

Stotan by Chris Cutcher

Stotan by Chris Cutcher is a classic book for older teenagers. Four eighteen-year-old High School boys, members of their High School swimming team are in their last year at school. Their coach devises an endurance test that will give them the physical and emotional reserves to cope with some knotty life problems, an abusive father, serious illness, violence, and racial prejudice.

They are typical 18-year-olds, they think a lot about girls and sex. Their language is sometimes graphic. The novel is about boys growing into men, and learning how to deal with adult situations and problems. The story is also about courage, responsibility, life, and most of all male friendships.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott-Card

Ender’s Game By Orson Scott-Card

Science fiction, and its relationship with science fact, fascinates many teenage boys. Orson Scott-Card is a famous science fiction writer for adults; however, his Ender book series is for teenagers. Enderís Game (Ender Book 1) is the first sci-fi thriller book in the series. Six-year-old Ender Wiggins, the main character, is a genetically engineered child, destined to become a General to fight a long-running war against an alien invader.

Ender is part of a government program and there are others like him. He attends a special battle school and suffers doubts and loneliness. His teachers and government want Ender to grow up quickly, too quickly, to fight the war. The themes in this book are quite adult and political, more suited to the more mature, teen years boy rather than the sensitive easily upset child.

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3:4 by Sue Townsend

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend

Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4 began a series of hilarious young adult books. Nearly fourteen, Adrian has all the normal preoccupations of teen boys everywhere, he worries about his spots, his mad parents, and his worries about the world. He decides to become an intellectual and poet.

Adrian is very naive and his misapprehensions about the adult world are very funny. The book is suitable for both younger and older teens; many adults enjoy the Adrian Mole series. The book’s diary format means that the writing is very direct and that the book is less frightening for reluctant readers. The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole is the next book in the series following Adrian from 15 through his 16+ examinations.

He still loves Pandora. Growing Pains follows Adrian from April 1982-May 1983, through the Falklands War and a General Election. It makes points about the morality of spending money on weapons when Adrianís school science laboratory must close because the school cannot afford to employ a teacher. It also makes points about racism, politics, friendship, and families.

The Giver By Lois Lowry

The Giver By Lois Lowry

The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1) raises necessary issues for young people. Jonas, a young boy lives in a perfect world. Where no one wants anything but everything is the same. There are no colours, music, or feelings, and each family has one girl and one boy child. The Committee of Elders assigns each child’s career at twelve.

Jonas becomes the Receiver of Memory and discovers that sameness is not all it seems and that his community has forgotten something vital. There are some unsettling themes within this book including euthanasia, infanticide, and suicide, as well as some sex and violence. However, it makes boys think and decide their own opinions on difficult issues. The book is suitable for older teenagers and may stimulate thought and discussion.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy By Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams needs little introduction, it is a famous spoof science fiction book. It has devoted readers worldwide. Some of the themes within the book are too adult for younger boys, but it may suit older teenage boys, encouraging them to read for pleasure.

teenage boy lying on sofa while reading a book

Other books available for teen boys

Some teen readers would enjoy classic literature such as Dickens books. Biggles is now rather dated but may inspire and inform boys about the early days of flying and how early pilots felt.

Others might enjoy detective stories, such as Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie. Older teenagers may enjoy modern detective stories, however, do be careful about buying these for younger or less mature teenage boys, as some of them are rather dark.

Graphic novels or comic books may encourage the reluctant reader, and there are many English translations of the popular Japanese Manga novels, which feature in many computer games. Humourous books might make reading less frightening for some boys.

Other ideas and great suggestions of book series that should be on your list of books for teenagers would be the Percy Jackson series if they like Greek mythology, the hunger games trilogy ( every teen loves katniss everdeen), the maze runner series and the Chronicles of Narnia for teenage girls.

The most reluctant readers are teen boys. However, choosing a great book for young adults involves thinking about individual tastes, interests, and character.

What about young adult novels?

Choosing a young adult novel for a teenager also involves considering the childís maturity, development, and understanding. There are now many books aimed at teenage boys. However, teen boys are all very individual, and inspiring and encouraging them to read means choosing the right book for the particular teenage boy.

What books are best for teen boys?
Teen boy with skateboard and backpack reading in the grass | Image Credit:

Final thoughts

Looking through some best books for teen boys lists and reading online book reviews may help you choose the right book. Otherwise, independent bookstores have knowledgeable and capable assistants, who know the book market and will help you choose the perfect book for a teenage boy.

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Sarah Anguish

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