40 Fiction Books for Boys

40 Fiction Books for Boys

For even more great book lists for boys, visit my posts Books that will keep your son up reading at night and 40 MORE Books for Boys.

My 10 year old prefers non-fiction books over fiction. He even went through a long period where he refused to read any fictional book. I love this about him, but I have always thought it was important for him to be exposed to mysteries, science fiction, and even fantasies like Harry Potter.

(This is my opinion…If you have mature children who know right from wrong and real from make believe, books like Harry Potter are harmless. Some children are more inclined to be heavily influenced by fantasy books. Parents may not want to expose those children to Narnia, Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter until they are much older.) 

I had to research and ask friends for input, but I managed to find some great series and individual books that pulled my son back into fiction. He became captivated by that tiny Indian in the mysterious cupboard; angered by the injustice poured out on the boys in Holes; heartbroken by the deaths of so many soldiers in The Red Badge of Courage; motivated to explore like the Wright Family, Professor Lidenbrock, and the Hobbits; and inspired by Tyce, the paralyzed boy in Robot Wars who doesn’t let anything hold him back.

Reading fiction books with great characters has many benefits for children. Harry Potter taught loyalty and courage; Jotham taught devotion to Christ; the Pevensie siblings taught forgiveness and grace; Robin Hood taught the importance of standing up for those who cannot do it for themselves; and Mrs. Frisby taught sacrifice.

The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle Published by Sterling
Doctor Dolittle is a very special vet—because he knows how to talk to the animals! So when he hears that there’s a terrible sickness hurting all the monkeys in Africa, the good doctor knows he must go and help them. Soon he’s off on an exciting adventure across the seas in this superb retelling of Hugh Lofting’s beloved classic.


Journey to the Center of the Earth Published by Sterling
“Go down the crater of the volcano Snaefells. Follow the shadow just before the month of July. You will find your way to the center of the Earth. I did it.” That mysterious message, found in a long-lost letter, propels a young man and his uncle on the adventure of a lifetime: to a prehistoric world below the earth where dinosaurs and other strange creatures still roam. Jules Verne’s classic fantasy will enchant a new generation of readers.


The Story of King Arthur & His Knights Published by Sterling
From the sword in the stone and the founding of Camelot to the famed Round Table and the Lake of Enchantment, the legend of King Arthur will never lose its magic. Though simpler, this version includes all the wonderful stories—such as King Arthur’s winning of Guenievere and Merlin’s tragic downfall at the hands of the evil Vivien.


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Published by Sterling
“Tom Sawyer liked adventures, which means he was always getting in trouble.” Searching for treasure, witnessing a murder, getting caught in a bat cave, tricking others into doing his work, running away with Huckleberry Finn–Tom Sawyer’s antics and mischief-making are sheer, child-pleasing delight. Every boy and girl should experience the joy and fun of this classic tale.


Treasure Island Published by Sterling
Pirates, buried treasure, and action aplenty–that’s what’s served up in this fine story, mates, and kids will eat it up. After Jim Hawkins finds the map to a mysterious treasure, he sets sail in search of the fortune. Little does he realize he’s boarded a pirate ship, and that surprises and danger await him…including a meeting with the inforgettable Long John Silver.


Around the World in 80 Days Published by Sterling
The eccentric English gentleman Phileas Fogg accepts a challenge to circle the globe in no more than 80 days — an incredible feat for the Victorian age. Exotic locales, seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and comic relief (chiefly supplied by Fogg’s loyal valet, Passepartout) provide a fantastic blend of adventure, entertainment, and suspense.


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Published by Sterling
“We said there was no home like a raft. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery…but you feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.” Sail down the Mississippi with Huck Finn and the runaway slave, Jim. Twain’s beloved tale, with its folksy language, creates an indelible image of antebellum America with its sleepy river towns, con men, family feuds, and a variety of colorful characters.


Gulliver’s Travels Published by Sterling
Through the eyes of Lemuel Gulliver, Swift’s unforgettable satire takes readers into worlds formerly unimagined. Visit four strange and remarkable lands: Lilliput, where Gulliver seems a giant among a race of tiny people; Brobdingnag, the opposite, where the natives are giants and Gulliver puny; the ruined yet magical country of Laputa; and the home of the Houyhnhnms, gentle horses far superior to the ugly humanoid Yahoos who share their universe.


The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (series) Published by Houghton Mifflin
In THE HOBBIT, Bilbo Baggins is whisked away from his comfortable, unambitious life in Hobbiton by the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves. He finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent. THE LORD OF THE RINGS tells of the great and dangerous quest undertaken by Frodo Baggins and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the dwarf; Legolas the elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider. J.R.R. Tolkien’s three volume masterpiece is at once a classic myth and a modern fairy tale — a story of high and heroic adventure set in the unforgettable landscape of Middle-Earth.


The Adventures of Robin Hood Published by Sterling
He robbed from the rich and gave to the poor, and had escapades enough to please any adventure-loving child. Now even the youngest readers can have the chance to enter Sherwood Forest with Robin’s band of merry men, and meet such unforgettable characters as Friar Tuck, Little John, Allan-a-Dale, the nasty Sheriff of Nottingham, and wicked King John. Every moment of the story is filled with action and excitement.


The Red Badge of Courage Published by Sterling
A searing tale of fear and courage, set during the Civil War, but more powerful today than ever. A young man enlists in the Union Army, but nervously wonders how he will react to the blood, violence, and death of a real battle. When that terrible day arrives, he flees the fighting in terror. But his cowardly behavior gnaws at his conscience, and he searches for redemption for what he has done.


The Three Musketeers Published by Sterling
All for one and one for all! That’s the rallying cry of the Musketeers—guards of the French King—and the call to adventure for young readers enjoying their first taste of Dumas’ classic swashbuckler. Aramis, Athos, Porthos, and the not-quite-yet Musketeer D’Artagnan use their wits and their swords to battle an evil Cardinal, the traitorous Milady, and other enemies of the French court.


20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Published by Sterling
Jules Verne’s classic science fiction fantasy carries its hero—Professor Aronnax of the Museum of Paris—on a thrilling and dangerous journey far below the waves to see what creatures live in the ocean’s depths. In the process, Verne imagined a vessel that had not yet been invented: the submarine.


The Cooper Kids Adventure (series) Published by Crossway
Frank Peretti’s “Indiana Jones-style” adventure stories that build sound values in kids while keeping them glued to their seats.


Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh Published by Aladdin
Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, is faced with a terrible problem. She must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma. And Mrs. Frisby in turn renders them a great service.


Magic Tree House (series) Published by Random House
Jack and his little sister Annie are just two regular kids from Frog Creek, Pennsylvania. Then they discover a mysterious tree house packed with all sorts of books…and their lives are never the same! Soon they are traveling through time and space in the magic tree house and having amazing adventures. Whether it’s watching baby dinosaurs hatch, finding a secret passage in a castle, helping a ghost queen in an Egyptian pyramid, or finding pirate treasure, readers won’t want to miss a single story!


How to Train Your Dragon (series) Published by Little, Brown Books
Chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, by catching and training a dragon.


Percy Jackson and the Olympians (series) Published by Hyperion Books
Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends — one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena — Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.


The Mysterious Benedict Society (series) Published by Little, Brown Books
“Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear reader, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they have no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?


Tales from the Odyssey (series) Published by Hyperion Books
Giants and Cannibals! Wonders and Witches! One Amazing Hero. Brave Odysseus is far from home, tossed by stormy seas, and cursed by an angry one-eyed giant. If he ever wants to see his family again, he will have to face hungry cannibals, outwit a beautiful witch, and sail past a six-headed serpent. His journey is the ultimate test of endurance and courage. In this exciting series, best-selling author Mary Pope Osborne retells Homer’s Odyssey, one of the most thrilling adventure stories of all time.


Time Warp Trio (series) Published by Puffin
For his tenth birthday, Joe receives a mysterious blue book from his magician uncle and namesake, “Joe the Magnificent,” known only as The Book. Using an often unpredictable number of voice and print clues, The Book transports Joe and his friends Fred and Sam to a variety of different times and places, from Camelot’s medieval court of knights and dragons to the year 2105, where they meet their own great-granddaughters. The only way they are able to return present-day Brooklyn, New York is to find The Book again within whatever time period they are in.


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Published by Knopf Books
What happens when the five luckiest children in the entire world walk through the doors of Willy Wonka’s famous, mysterious chocolate factory? What happens when, one by one, the children disobey Mr. Wonka’s orders? In Dahl’s most popular story, the nasty are punished and the good are deliciously, sumptuously rewarded.


The Indian in the Cupboard Published by Yearling
What could be better than a magic cupboard that turns small toys into living creatures? Omri’s big brother has no birthday present for him, so he gives Omri an old medicine cabinet he’s found. Although their mother supplies a key, the cabinet still doesn’t seem like much of a present. But when an exhausted Omri dumps a plastic toy Indian into the cabinet just before falling asleep, the magic begins. Turn the key once and the toy comes alive; turn it a second time and it’s an action figure again.


Holes Published by Dell Yearling
Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnats. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the warden makes the boys “build character” by spending all day, every day, digging holes: five feet wide and five feet deep. It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.


Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective (series) Published by Puffin
Leroy Brown, aka Encyclopedia Brown, is Idaville neighborhood’s ten-year-old star detective. With an uncanny knack for trivia, he solves mysteries for the neighborhood kids through his own detective agency. But his dad also happens to be the chief of the Idaville police department, and every night around the dinner table, Encyclopedia helps him solve his most baffling crimes. And with ten confounding mysteries in each book, not only does Encyclopedia have a chance to solve them, but the reader is given all the clues as well. Interactive and chock full of interesting bits of information—it’s classic Encyclopedia Brown!


The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (series) Published by HarperCollins
They open a door and enter a world. Narnia … a land frozen in eternal winter … a country waiting to be set free. Four adventurers step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia — a land enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change … and a great sacrifice.


Wright on Time (series) Published by Do Life Right
Announcing Book #1 in the first series about a homeschooling family. The Wrights travel the USA in an RV. Each month brings them to a new state with a new educational theme to explore and play with. They prove that learning can happen all the time, anywhere, and that being with family is fun! Meet Aidan, age 7: Boisterous and joking all the time, this sporty boy knows how to have fun! Meet Nadia, age 11: Curious and fiery, this intellectual girl can always find out answers to even the most difficult questions. Meet their parents: Harrison, a writer and linguist expert, and Stephanie, a telecommuting computer expert; ready to adventure with their children. Meet Prince Pumpkin III, turtle extraordinaire: This 50 year old little guy is holding on tight, as the family RV and a mysterious device take him on an adventure no turtle has ever gone on before.


Robot Wars (series) Published by Tyndale
Set in an experimental community on Mars in the year 2039, The Robot Wars series features 14-year-old virtual reality specialist Tyce Sanders. Life on the red planet is not always easy, but it is definitely exciting. Tyce finds that the mysteries of the planet point to his greatest discovery—a new relationship with God. He talks about his growing faith and curiosity in a manner that kids can relate to as they are probably wondering some of the same things. Each book contains two exciting adventures. In the first adventure, the Mars project is in trouble and only Tyce holds the key. In the second adventure, Tyce has discovered there may be killer aliens on the loose.


Harry Potter (series) Published by Scholastic
Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That’s because he’s being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he’s really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.


Choose Your Own Adventure (series) Published by Chooseco
This book is different from other books. You and YOU ALONE are in charge of what happens in this story. There are dangers, choices, adventures, and consequences. YOU must use all of your numerous talents and much of your enormous intelligence. The wrong decision could end in disaster – even death. But, don’t despair. At any time, YOU can go back and make another choice, alter the path of your story, and change its result.


The Borrowers Published by Sandpiper
The Borrowers—the Clock family: Homily, Pod, and their fourteen-year-old daughter, Arrietty, to be precise—are tiny people who live underneath the kitchen floor of an old English country manor. All their minuscule home furnishings, from postage stamp paintings to champagne cork chairs, are “borrowed” from the “human beans” who tromp around loudly above them. All is well until Pod is spotted upstairs by a human boy! Can the Clocks stay nested safely in their beloved hidden home, or will they be forced to flee?


The Invention of Hugo Cabret Published by Scholastic
Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.


Hardy Boys (series)
The series tells the adventures of teen brothers Frank and Joe Hardy, and their fight against crime. The two brothers live in the town of Bayport (the location of most of the books), along with their private investigator father, Fenton Hardy, their mother Laura, and their Aunt Gertrude.


Jotham’s Journey Published by Kregel
In this widely popular, exciting story for the advent season, readers follow ten-year-old Jotham across Israel as he searches for his family. Though he faces thieves, robbers, and kidnappers, Jotham also encounters the wise men, shepherds, and innkeepers until at last he finds his way to the Savior born in Bethlehem.


Imagination Station Books (series) Published by Tyndale
Join cousins Patrick and Beth in the Imagination Station and travel through history. Sail with Viking explorers! Meet a Roman emperor! The key to adventure lies within your imagination.


Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle (series) Published by Thomas Nelson
Twelve-year-old Wally – “the walking disaster area” – is forced to stand up to Camp Wahkah Wahkah’s number one, all-American bad guy. One hilarious mishap follows another until, fighting together for their very lives, Wally learns the need to love even his worst enemy.


Sam Cooper Adventures (series) Published by Port Yonder Press
Sam Cooper is up to something fun – you can count on it! Getting lost on an island, helping Captain Jack find a lost treasure, and rafting down a wild river. Yep, Sam and friends Tony and Tyler have their hands full as they get into and out of one scrape after another.


Adventures in Odyssey Passages (series) Published by Tyndale
Passages, the legendary series from the creators of Adventures in Odyssey, lets kids enter a world where ancient history comes to life . . . and faith in God becomes the adventure of a lifetime! In book 1, Darien’s Rise, Anna and Kyle are transported to the mysterious land of Marus—and caught in the middle of a dangerous conflict between a brave army general and a powerful king. Will their newfound powers be strong enough to save the rightful heir to the throne . . . and return them safely home?


Time-Stone Travelers (series) Published by Faith Kidz
This rip-roaring series is filled with peril and humor…and are wholesome, action-packed adventures suitable for all ages…the books are copiously researched and each contains a lesson on one of the Ten Commandments.


The Wormling (series) Published by Tyndale
“Nothing special” is the best way to describe Owen Reeder—at least that’s what he’s been told all his life. When a stranger visits his father’s bookstore, Owen’s ordinary life spirals out of control and right into a world he didn’t even know existed. Owen believes the only gift he possesses is his ability to devour books, but he is about to be forced into a battle that will affect two worlds: his and the unknown world of the Lowlands. Perfect for readers ages 10 to 14 who enjoy a fast-paced story packed with action, fantasy, and humor.



40 Fiction Books for Boys

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  1. Debbie

    Great list! My 11-year-old son has read several of those books already, and I’ll have to try him on some of the others you listed! If I could add to that list, based on my son’s favorites of the past few years, I would include mystery series by Enid Blyton (Famous Five, Secret Seven, others)and some books by Michael Morpurgo (should be previewed by parents, but most are great). Both authors are very popular in Britain. Other favorites of his have been Stormbreaker (by Anthony Horowitz), The Black Stallion (Walter Farley), Where the Red Fern Grows (Wilson Rawls), and The Adventures of Tintin.

  2. I can’t wait to see if my son can get into some of these – great list! Has your son read the other books in the Indian in the Cupboard Series? We love those. Also, the Borrowers is a great series that I read a few decades ago 🙂 My son has read the three other series by Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson…): Heroes of Olympus, Kane Chronicles, and 39 Clues. He has started Riordan’s newest series as well: Infinity Ring. He has also liked Michael Vey by Richard Paul Evans. The second book in the series was recently released. Oh, one more series that he and I both liked is the Wrinkle in Time series by Madeliene L’Engle

  3. Stephanie

    This is a great list. My son is 8 and we really struggled to find some books that would get him to want to read! He was reading The Magic Tree House series, but he would get board and lose interest. I remembered a series that I was reading to my girls when they were younger and ordered some of the books and he LOVES them. It’s a series called “The Secrets of Droon” by Tony Abbott. It’s more exciting than Magic Tree House, but about the same level and there are 40+ books in the series. http://www.tonyabbottbooks.com/

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  5. Susie Alexander

    What a great site, and is is an awesome list that I first saw on Pinterest. As a Christian, do you have any hesitations about the Percy Jackson series? I have wondered about the whole demigod aspect.

    • Mrs. Parks

      As a Christian English teacher in a public middle school setting, I have approached the Percy Jackson series as a search for identity, similar to Spiderman (“with great power comes great responsibility”). Because of who he is as the son of Poseidon, Percy has been gifted with special abilities. However, he also has a responsibility to use his powers to protect civilization as we know it. What he initially perceived as weaknesses (dyslexia, ADHD, etc.) are actually unique strengths that enable him to fulfill his unique role in the larger good-vs-evil battle.

      Through the book’s premise, readers also become familiar with Greek gods, helpful background knowledge for understanding allusions in classic literature, as well as the foundations of western civilization. Riordan deftly weaves together mythology, history, etymology, and satire on modern-day culture without being heavy-handed or pedantic. By combining positive themes, educational value, and high intensity action, Riordan has penned a winner that has never failed to spark a love of reading in my students.

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  7. Jackie

    Gregor series is a must do. Also known as the Underland Chronicles I think. My non reader son got hooked on these.
    The Bone series is good too. Sort of Lord of the Rings epic, 9 book series of graphic novels.

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  9. Tina

    I would agree with Jackie. The Underland Chronicles are great books, as are the Bone comics. Though my daughter loves them, I can see where they would appeal to boys as well.

    Another interesting graphic novel is “Mouse Guard,” by David Peterson. I read the series to my daughter when she was 5 or 6 and she loved them. Might have to see if the library has it so she can reread it on her own.

    For any boys who may like horses, there are two books I would recommend, “King of the Wind” and “White Stallion of Lippiza,” by books by Marguerite Henry. Both feature boys as the main character. Both are wonderful stories about horses.

  10. Stefane

    For boys (and girls!) into fantasy/mystery type books, The Children of the Red King series is a good one (based on my memory and the fact that they are still on my book shelf more than 10 years later!)

  11. Marti Shelley

    All the Hatchet Books by Gary Paulsen are wonderful!! I read them to my fifth graders each year. I also really like The True Adventures of Charlotte Doyle. Even though the main character is a girl, there is enough adventure for the boys to enjoy it.

  12. Great list!

    It’s amazing that your son likes non fiction. I have always been a fiction fan, even at this age (26) I find it difficult to read non fiction. But as a child, I learned so much from fiction books as Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia…

    I’d recommend your son, for when he’s a little bit older, the Eragon series 😛

  13. Hi Amy! What a great resource! I found your link on Pinterest and couldn’t wait to see your blog. I have a friend who writes and illustrates inspiring books that boys love. Michael has visited over 900 schools across the country and is an author your son might like. His book, Young Thomas Edison, is one I’ve pinned on Pinterest and it’s had an incredible response mainly because when Edison was young, he faced many obstacles but with determination and hard work, he over came them. These are stories children should be reading in school. You’ll love his website and biography! http://www.michaeldooling.com/ Have fun reading his site!
    Ruth S.

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    • Mike

      sorry, I wasn’t done! dad, not dads (for clarification). Any chance you know how I can find out the name/author of the books? Any help you can give would be appreciated. Thanks! Mike

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  17. Annette S.

    Encyclopedia Brown books are the very best! Fun for family/classroom read aloud because each mystery is fairly short. It makes the reader/listener tune in closely so they can catch all the clues to come up with the solution. Plus Encyclopedia Brown uses logic and interesting facts to solve the cases which are fun to follow.

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