What the Boys Are Reading Now

Boys Reading


With all the book pushing I do on instagram, I thought I might share what the boys are reading and loving right now. These aren’t Newbery winners. These are books that draw them in and keep them reading. I’m good with that.

Mikey loves animals, so any series that features them as main characters is a guaranteed hit. His absolute favorite is the Survivors series, which features a post-apocalytic world (earthquake) where only dogs survive. All the “long paws” (humans) are dead. Lots of social dynamics and territory battles. Of course there’s a bad gang of dogs.

Shark Wars was similar, though more military in nature.

He burned through the most recent Survivors novel in one weekend, so he moved on to WereWorld, which Jessica mentioned is a riff on Game of Thrones. He read the first book quickly and is now reading the second book. It will take him longer to complete it because it’s a book report book, so he needs to journal his thoughts for each chapter as part of the assignment.

James Patterson. Oh, James. His books are pfffft, but he’s capturing the interest of reluctant boy readers, so I can’t hate him. This is the first author Mikey recognizes as a popular and someone he likes. Patterson is an auto-buy for him. Mikey likes his Middle School series, but I refuse to buy them for him because he reads them in a few hours. He has to wait until they’re available in the school library.


My reluctant reader is finally getting the hang of reading. He wants to read all the big books Mikey reads, so that’s a bit of a problem. I think this is the curse of the younger sibling–always wanting to be as old and mature as his sibling…until that sibling turns 40.

He loved the Notebook of Doom series, as I’ve mentioned in the past. Captain Underpants is just so-so. He was into it, and then got bored. He prefers Ook and Gluk, which is a series by the same author, but that also bored hiim after a couple of books.

I don’t think Nico is a series reader, which is fine with me. I think once he sees the pattern in a story, he loses interest. This happened with Magic Treehouse. There are some kids in his class who can’t get enough of Jack and Annie, but Nico has had his fill (3 books). Same with Geronimo Stilton. Two books, and he was good.

As for stand alone books, which is what I’m going to focus on for him from now on, he really liked The Year of the Panda, which he read for a book report. I bought Chocolate Fever recently, and I think that’s a book I’ll have him read this summer.

I’m also having him read picture books, since they are well within his age range and, frankly, usually awesome. Mikey still reads picture books, though Mikey would read anything you put in front of his face because he’s like his mother. He’ll read cereal boxes at breakfast.

Last thing, because I’m pretty excited about a recent idea. I’m going to create Goodreads accounts for the boys so they can keep track of all the books they’ve read. I’ll help Nico with reviews, but Mikey will be on his own. I’m so excited at the idea of them having a record of every book they have ever read. Imagine having that account 10, 20 years from now? It’s like a long term sociology experiment.

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. says

    I can totally see the appeal of handing over their Goodreads account to them when they’re older, and how awesome having their childhood reading life there for them already. If you want them to be able to interact with other kids, though, there is a site I heard about recently that is like Goodreads but is made only for kids, so that kids can talk to other kids about kid books. It’s called BiblioNasium. Just a thought!

  2. Hazel says

    Do you have the Horrible History books in the US? The author is Terry Deary, and they’re just brilliant. There’s a book for pretty much every period in history from the sto My son devoured all of them and they’re the kind of books that adults can appreciate too. They’re non-fiction, but boys often prefer that. (There is a tv series and accompanying DVD which is also fantastic. I defy anyone to watch them and not spent the rest of the day with ‘My name is, my name is, my name is…Charles the second’ on a loop in their head.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2kyNbZc7oc
    May be slightly too UK-centric, but they cover the Ancient world too, not just British Kings and Queens http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfBRCCUjRC8

  3. Phaedra says

    I honestly can I say I feel the same about most series, by the time I’m hitting the middle I’m losing interest (but I also think that’s because today’s authors are encouraged to pump word count & write more books when possibly three was enough!) so I don’t blame Nico at all. Have you guys read the Fudge books by Judy Blume? I know when I say ‘Judy Blume’ we all think girls in puberty, but Fudge is hilarious & timeless (and nothing to do with girls & puberty). We read them aloud together and found the mister getting sucked in, as well.
    Love hearing what the boys are reading and this photo is great!

  4. says

    Roald Dahl books are great, too. No series, but seriously funny and entertaining. When I taught Grade Two I always started with ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ then I read ‘The Twits’ and if there was enough time in the year ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ or ‘James and the Giant Peach’. The book, ‘Boy: Tales of Childhood’ is interesting too, as it tells stories of when Roald Dahl was a boy.


  5. says

    So great to hear what your boys are reading! I have a few nephews that are around your boys’ ages, and since I have no idea what boys read, these are some great ones I’ll keep on the list for birthday gifts this summer!

  6. says

    For reluctant readers, it helps to provide them with short, fast-action, stories. I write paranormal murder mysteries and try to keep the word count under 40,000 words. It’s hard to compete with video games, movies, and YouTube but even a hesitant reader may find himself lost on a great story.

  7. says

    I love hearing about what they are reading.

    Has Mikey tried the Redwall series by Brian Jacques? I think he would really like it, all the characters are animals.

    • Tanyia says

      I absolutely second this recommendation. We started reading Redwall with our boys about a year ago, and about half a year ago our eldest boy (10 in September) started reading them on his own. They’re all animals, and they’re full of action and adventure and fighting and relationships. I think Mikey might love them.

  8. Connie says

    I love the idea of their own Goodreads account! My son in particular enjoys being able to log into the County library site and pick out books to put on hold, and it’s certainly upped his interest and involvement in picking out the next great book (or series). This has helped with that syndrome of, “Oh no, I’ve finished everything by that author, I’ll NEVER find anything that good to read ever again” – which I can actually identify with at times.

  9. Maggie says

    Jules, I’m curious if you make it a point to read what your kids read, not necessarily for discussion but just to know what’s happening. Or, maybe you used to and now don’t feel the need?

  10. Laura W. says

    I’ve had my Goodreads account for six years. Not only do I like being able to “shelve” my books by year and category, I love going back to see what I read when. Occasionally it’s helped me remember if I read a book or where I am in a series.

  11. Maria says

    Hey Jules, just found this site and thought it might interest you. This guy has a section on his site called “Reading” and there are resources to, in his words, “get boys reading”. I’m referring to your post about the kids in the library. I couldn’t find it so I posted here. Here’s the link http://www.joecraig.co.uk

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