Even though my son will start ninth grade in the fall (gasp!), I classified this list as a 7th-9th grade list. Connor skipped first grade and so he’s really only the age of a typical eighth grader, yet he reads tons of adult books (Malcolm Gladwell, anyone?!). Then I’ll turn around and he’ll be reading through the entire Calvin and Hobbes collection and making fart noises at his sister, lest you think he’s not a normal 13-year-old!
The school my kids attend is pretty rigorous, because he read Beowulf and Dante–both of which made this list–last year, but I didn’t read either until high school. So just know going in that there’s a pretty wide range of subject matter and reading level, and adjust accordingly.
1. The Giver by Lois Lowry
2. The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, although he although he also likes the Kane Chronicles and the Heroes of Olympus series as well.
3. Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson (we check the collections out from the library). Garfield (Jim Davis) and The Peanuts (Charles Schultz) are a big hit, too.
4. A Series of Unfortunate Events (series) by Lemony Snicket (also on my daughter’s list)
5. Beowulf (Seamus Heaney translation)
6. The Hobbitt by J.R.R. Tolkien
7. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
8. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
9. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
10. Anything by G. A. Henty (these are free on Kindle–historical fiction/adventure geared toward boys)
11. Anything by R. M. Ballantyne (these are also free on Kindle–historical fiction/adventure geared toward boys)
12. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
13. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins (I read these and loved them; they were a bit heavy for Connor and he worked his way through them very slowly; I would just use discretion based on your child’s personality)
14. The Divergent series by Veronica Roth ( I read these first–you might want to, too)
15. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Please note: parents should pre-screen this one and decide whether it’s ok for their child–there’s some language and sex so maybe just for the older age range of this list)
16. The Ender’s Game series by Orson Scott Card
17. The Ashtown Burials series by N.D. Wilson
18. The Divine Comedy (Inferno) by Dante (Dorothy Sayers translation)
19. The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer (Nevill Coghill translation)
20. The Battle 100 by Michael Lanning
21. My son goes to sleep at night listening to audio books. Some of his favorites are read by William (Bill) Potter and he highly recommends them. A few of the titles are Providential Battles, Broadside, Bayonets, and Battle Cry. Try CBD.com)
What are your son’s favorite books? Please add them to the list in the comments below!
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