Book Recommendations For Teen Boys



I am struggling with deciding on reading material for my children for during our family world trip. If you know me, you will understand that this is particularly annoying a) because I love to read and can easily rattle off suitable titles for any child, any interest, any age (it’s my own personal rain-man habit) and b) because I like to check my to-do boxes. We’re six weeks from leaving and I have something I can’t tick off. This is very, very stressful.

Why is this happening? Well, firstly because my children are very independent and equally strong-willed (I wonder where they got that from?). Neither of them likes anyone telling them what to do particularly when it comes to choosing what to do to relax i.e read a book. Secondly, I’m their mom. This is a disadvantage in understanding the relaxation needs of a teenage boy. I’d be the first to admit that I have no clue in understanding what such a creature needs to read to chill out.

So I crowd-sourced. I reached out to friends and asked for their suggestions and ideas. I am hugely indebted to my friend Stuart for sending me a long and detailed list of books. I appreciate that my buddy Barry took the time from his busy tech-start-up day at Opscode to send my his ideas.

Many of the books recommended are books I know and love but many more are books and authors I’d never heard of – which is something I’m used to since I realized a long time ago that although I loved Milly Molly Mandy in grade-school in Ireland, that doesn’t mean that my parent-peers in Seattle either (a) had ever heard of those books or (b) thought they were any good. I’ve started a shared list of books for teenage boys on Amazon. I’ll keep adding to it as I parse through the recommendations I’ve received through email and facebook.

I’ll also be sharing my tween-age boy recommendations next week. If you want to add to either list, leave a comment below.

Related Links
Math and science books for kids

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About wandermom

". . .life is short and the world is wide" - Simon Raven I'm not sure I've ever consciously planned a trip based on this sentiment, but it definitely influences my subconscious! I've been traveling as frequently and widely as possible since I finished school. And I love it. I love the research, the planning, the fervent packing and the curiosity of exploring somewhere I've never been before. My husband & I are both Irish - as in born-in-Ireland. But we live in Seattle. We have two boys: wild, boisterous, regular boys. So, since becoming a Mom, I've been a WanderMom. Given our slightly-unusual family situation, routine "visits-to-Grandma" are international trips requiring passports, 10hr-flights and (oh joy!) airport transfers. I have rants, raves and opinions about how, where & why to travel with kids (start them as young as you can, I say!). I hope to learn even more by researching topics which other wandermoms may be interested in reading about on this blog. Passports, pacifiers, diapers and gameboys at the ready - off we go! Contact Info: Email Michelle: michelle (at) murphnduff (dot) org

10 thoughts on “Book Recommendations For Teen Boys

  1. Lisa Cottrell-Bentley

    Some additional ideas include:
    Artemis Fowl series
    Percy Jackson series
    Anything by Isaac Asimov
    Anything by Orson Scott Card (Ender series is a good first one)
    Anything by Ray Bradbury, Arthur Clark, Frank Herbert
    Hitchhikers Guide by Douglas Adams
    Lots of fantasy and Sci-Fi

    I’m looking forward to seeing your completed list! :)

  2. Taylor

    If someone had given me a few of these books when I was a teenager, and I seriously read them, I’d be even better off than I am right now.

    I’d buy them a highlighter to go with those books, too. It’s the best way to read :)

    Dave Ramsey – The Total Money Makeover (or equivalent money responsibility book)
    Dale Carnegie – How to win friends and influence people

    Have fun!

  3. Lacy

    Thank you for the list, I started getting some of these books for my son from the local Library and he has loved them so far. He started with Mort and Watership Down.

  4. Jennifer

    Someone beat me to mentioning the Hitchhikers Guide! Well, it’s a whole series, so start with Hitchhikers Guide, and don’t stop ’til you get to So Long and Thanks for All the Fish.

  5. Tom

    G.A. Henty books are great world stories for boys. Read them aloud to them so you enjoy them together. These cover topics of the ancient world, and thus are really useful background for your travels. Pick on or two from the list here that cover the areas you wish to visit.

    The Last of the Mohicans- J.F. Cooper
    The Deerslayer- J.F. Cooper

    Undaunted Courage- Stephen Ambrose, about the Lewis & Clark Expedition (there are some parts about the Mandan Village that may need to be considered if the boys are young).

    I see you have Dava Sobel’s book “Gallileo’s Daughter”, but also consider “Longitude” first, then this one.

  6. Claudia

    You have the usual suspects – Artemis Fowl & Percy Jackson series, and of course Harry Potter! I’d add the young James Bond series as well – perhaps for 12+ though as there is some violence. The Lemony Snicket series is also popular. My guys also like historical non-fiction books about Roman history, the Middle Ages, pirates and soldiers, and Greek Mythology, as well as the perennial fav’s Tintin and Asterix (comic style of course).

    My guys are currently reading the Zac Power series, and Neil Flambe and the Marco Polo Murders; both are great reads. Audiobooks are highly popular in our household too, whether on long road or plane trips, or even on the way to school. Local libraries are great resource for free audiobooks, or iTunes too of course for purchasing them.

  7. Christopher J. Holcroft

    Boys need stories that stimulate and excite their minds into action.
    However, the real question that needs to be answered is are the books stimulating enough to encourage boys to read and can they relate to them.
    I found in Australia there were insufficient adventure books for the post modern teenage boy that not only challenged them to read more but also inspired them to further themselves in creative adventure.
    To fill the void I wrote a trilogy with an unlikely teenager who became the hero he never wanted to be but what a nation needed. The novels, Only The Brave Dare, Canyon and A Ritre Of Passage see Scott Morrow have to battle with Russian drug Mafia; a liefe and death situation during a canyoning incident and warring motorcycle gangs. From all this a hero emerged.
    The books are based on real life where today’s teenager would feel right at home participating in the events the books are based on. They also fire up boys drives to do more outdoors and learn new skills to have a lot more fun.
    I took the teenage book challenge to a new height when I wrote Finding Thomas, which is about a near death experience. Here a teenage boy ‘dies’ on the operating table but is revived. He can now see and talk with spirits and teams up with the dead son of his father’s boss to stop both men being murdered by a rogue cop.
    Finding Thomas pushes the boundaries in relation to life after death and again, what would the teenage reader do in the circumstances presented.
    Please keep up the good work with your lists of top books for teenagers to read as parents need a good guide for their children too.


  8. Christopher J. Holcroft

    Hi K,

    Please check out my website, read the blurbs and listen to the short readings from the books.

    If you would like any for your boys to review please email me your details and I’ll send you the book(s.


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