Oct 27, 2010

Best Books for 10 Year Old Boys

There are many overlaps between books ‘for’ boys and books ‘for’ girls (and the gender divide was really driven by the twitter enquiry that prompted the list of best books for girls), but there are differences too. However much of an old-style Doc-Marten-wearing feminist Kate was (is…), and however much she swore that she would not encourage her own children into gender stereotypes, she’s come to accept differences, whether innate or cultural. in boys’ and girls’ reading and playing preferences. It is better, she thinks, for children to read things that appeal to them, than to try to push them into “appreciating” things that they don’t really respond to.

Once again, the reading levels vary and these are not all literary books. I think children should be encouraged to read widely.


The Narnia stories by C S Lewis
The Just William books by Richmal Crompton
The Tintin books
The Asterix books
The Silver Sword by Ian Serrallier
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Funny books:

The Eddie Dickens books by Philip Ardagh
Larklight books by Philip Reeve
The Mr Gum books by Andy Stanton
The Rover books by Roddy Doyle (especially The Meanwhile Adventures)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
The Jiggy McCue books by Michael Lawrence
Our forthcoming Mega Mash-up books

Time-slip/historical books:

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
Goodnight, Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian
The Wolves of Willougby Chase by Joan Aitken
The Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean
The Legendeer Trilogy by Alan Gibbons
Gladiator by Simon Scarrow and Richard Jones is likely to appeal, and publishes in February 2011
The Eagle of the Ninth and other historical fiction by Rosemary Sutcliffe
Cue for Treason and other historical fiction by Geoffrey Treese
The Machine Gunners and other historical fiction by Robert Westall
Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver
Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo

“Ordinary boy”/school stories:

Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Cloud Busting by Malorie Blackman
Three Weeks with the Queen by Maurice Gleitzman
Bless the Beasts and Children by Glendon Swarthout
Goal by Michael Morpurgo
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
The Jamie Johnson football books by Dan Freedman

Fantasy/adventure stories:

The Alex Rider books by Anthony Horowitz
The Artemis Fowl books by Eoin Colfer
The Cherub books by Robert Muchamore
The Young Bond books by Charlie Higson
Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Charlie Bone books by Jenny Nimmo
Harry Potter books by J K Rowling
Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman (a bit top-end of the age-group, this)
No Such Thing as Dragons by Philip Reeve
Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve (a bit top-end of the age-group, this)
Stig of the Dump by Clive King
Our forthcoming Danny Danger books
Varjak Paw by S F Said
Born to Run by Michael Morpurgo
Arthur, High King of Britain by Michael Morpurgo

“Real-life” stories:

The My Story books (actually fictionalised, but still based on real historical events)
The Horrible Histories books
The Horrible Science books
The Horrible Geography books
Boy by Roald Dahl

In looking at great books for 10 year old boys, I picked ones which not only entertained, but also had some deeper meaning or underlying lessons to learn. All of these books although different are very good. I could not seriously say that any one book is perfect. To find the perfect book, for a boy, you need to match the child to the story. I am a bit of a sucker for the classics, so it should not come as a surprise that I have included a few of them here. So lets get on with reviewing the very best books for 10 year old boys.

The lightning thief

The lightning thief is about a boy, Percy, who finds out that he is the son of Poseidon, making him a human god half-breed. After learning that he is a half-breed Percy is shipped off to a camp for people like him. After learning more about his powers and making some friends Percy finds out that Zeus's lightning bolt has been stolen. He eventually goes on a quest to retrieve the it and save the world.

Because of who his parents are, Percy suffers from ADHD. I think the book does a good job of introducing and explaining the disease to a child.
The writer has a great writing style and sense of humor, also I enjoyed all the characters which where borrowed from Greek mythology. Unsurprisingly the book may very well create an interest in Greek mythology, in it's young readers.

The book is the first of a series of 5. I recommend getting the box set with the first 3 books. I am sure once the boy it's for, reads the first one, he will want to read the rest.

The Hobbit

The Hobbit is written by one of my favorite authors JR Tolkien. Perhaps more famous for his Lord of the rings trilogy, which got made into block buster movies. What not everyone realizes is that all these books where actually written for children, specifically for author's 2 boys.
The story revolves around Bilbo Baggins a reluctant hero who gets roped into having the adventure of a lifetime. He joins Gandalf the Grey(a wizard) and a group of dwarfs on a quest to retrieve their lost treasure, from a terrible dragon. On this quest he wins the 'one ring' in a contest of wits. The ring turns the user invisible and is central to the Lord of the ring's story line.
This isn't the easiest read for a 10 year old and it's fairly lengthy, but absolutely worth the effort.

Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl #1)

The book is a Comedy about the anti-hero Artemis Fowl. He planning to get his hands on the fairies' pot of gold. But Artemis isn't planning to go chasing rainbows. Instead this evil genius plans to kidnap one of the fairies to get their gold.
I would call this book devilishly funny for young and old.

These horror stories are some light reading fun for 10 year olds. Goosebumps have been publishing these books for a while now and they have gotten good at being entertaining without being too scary. This has made the books very popular kids.

I would recommend the series for boys who aren't motivated to take on large literary works.

James and the Giant Peach

Roald Dahl has to be one of the best children's writers ever, I can still remember reading his fanciful stories as a boy.

James and the Giant Peach
Amazon Price: $1.99
List Price: $6.99

In this book he introduces us to James Henry Trotter who loses his parents in a horrible rhinoceros accident. He then has to live with his two wicked aunts. After three years he feels both sad and lonely. One day a man gives James a bag of magic crystals to help him escape his misery. James accidentally spills the crystals on his aunts' withered peach tree. From the old tree a single giant peach grows. James climbs inside the giant fruit and rolls away to a great adventure.

Long Division Books

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