20 Books That The Kids In Your Life Might Enjoy

Earlier this week PamB left a comment and asked if I’d put together a list of books for kids. Since I happen to know a nine year-old boy who loves to read and who keeps his mama in the know about all of his favorite books, I figured I was up to the task. There are stacks of his books all over this house, and while sometimes I sigh a little bit when I move the piles from room to room, I am always tickled to hear the little guy mention how much he’s enjoying whatever he happens to be reading.

So. Here are twenty books that A. has enjoyed a whole bunch this past year. Lots of these books are part of a series, so if you do a little clicking on Amazon, you’ll see the other books in the series, too. I tried to make a list that goes beyond the normal favorites (Narnia, Harry Potter, etc.) and that’s very much geared to the older elementary / middle school set. As a mama I like to see A. reading a mix of classics as well as books that are just flat-out fun to read, but I definitely think that this list errs on the side of fun. Christmas is coming, after all.

Just FYI: these aren’t affiliate links. These are just links for books that I wanted to share. So there you have it.

1. The Action Bible (I’m putting this one first because it has hands-down been Alex’s favorite this past year. I’ve lost count of how many times he’s read it. And oh, has it ever prompted some interesting conversations. It’s a FANTASTIC resource for adventure-minded kids.)

2. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

3. Darth Paper Strikes Back

4. The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee

5. The Third Wheel

6. Worst Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure: Amazon

7. Justin Case: Smells, Smells, and the Horrible Flip-Flops of Doom

8. Big Nate Makes the Grade

9. The Hardy Boys (Starter Set)

10. The Name of this Book Is Secret (and the rest of The Secret Series)

11. Herbert’s Wormhole: The Rise and Fall of El Solo Libre

12. A to Z Mysteries Series

13. Through My Eyes: A Quarterback’s Journey, Young Reader’s Edition

14. Who Was Neil Armstrong? (this whole series has been a big hit in our house)

15. Geronimo Stilton and the Kingdom of Fantasy: Amazing Voyage

16. Calvin and Hobbes

17. Wonkenstein: The Creature from My Closet

18. Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark

19. The Great Rabbit Rescue

20. Garfield Fat Cat 3-Pack

If you have any additional suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments!

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  1. BooMama, thank you oh so very much. What a great list for me to print and keep. I had ordered a couple of the books you mentioned from an ealier blog this year for birthday presents but now I have some wonderful suggestions for the next couple of years and this Christmas. I have a feeling I’ll be ordering books every month and have a stash ready for birthdays/Christmas/other occasions. I love books and want my grandchildren to love them also. Thank you for taking the time. Appreciate it so much.

  2. ok since I know you are a book nerd family just like mine (said in complete and utter love) I read a series as a kid and I cannot remember the name of them. It was about a boy whose dad was s detective. Each night at dinner the dad would come home and discuss the cases and the boy would end up solving the crime/mystery. I think they were green, but you remember how us kids of the 80’s library books always looked. Help!


    • Casey, Was it Encyclopedia Brown? That sounds very similar to the Encyclopedia Brown books that I read as a kid.

  3. My 11 year old is an avid reader (and so is my 9 year old – both boys), and lately he has been on a Percy Jackson kick. I know this is pretty trendy and whatnot, but he has a lot of similar interests to your son, according to your list (although I WILL be getting him the Action Bible for Christmas – had not heard of it until now!). But about Percy Jackson – Rick Riordan (author) has also collaborated on the 39 Clues series – also books that my sons love. And while I haven’t read the books, I have read the reviews and saw the first Percy movie with my son. They deal with mythology, which I’m sure is controversial, but it has given us some great springboards for discussion.

  4. My 4 year old daughter LOVES mysteries – so the Nate the Great books are where we started, and I just recently discovered the A to Z mystery series at our library. It is a little old for her, but she still very much enjoyed the two that we got and read together. I’ll keep this list in mind for the future — thanks!

  5. My 5 year old is LOVING any Mike Artell books! He came to her school & even taught them to draw some characters & she loved him! Her favorite right now is Three Little Cajun Pigs

  6. I read the Origami Yoda book. If A liked it, you may check out The Fourth Stall (if he hasn’t read it already). It was a pretty decent book for boys in his age group :)

  7. Thanks for this list! I have a 7 year old boy and I’m trying to help him transition past picture books to chapter books. He likes to read, but I’m having a hard time convincing him that reading a book that may take several days to finish is a good thing rather than a tedious chore. :)

  8. We bought The Action Bible for our son last year and it’s still a favorite. My older kids (23 and 21) will pick it up and read it. Great book.

    Jacob, my 21yo, used to love The Accidental Detectives series by Sigmund Brouwer. (I had to pull the book from my box of keepers to get the author’s name. Jacob’s now telling my 10yo, Ethan, that they are great books and he will love them.)

  9. I just finished The Escape of Princess Madeline by Kirstin Pulioff. It’s for older elementary/middle school kids, but I enjoyed it myself as an adult and loved that it was an adventure/fantasy without any violence or gore, etc. And there was a twist at the end that I never saw coming! I *love* that! I am an avid reader and it’s hard to get a good twist in. Most books you can see the end coming from a mile away! So I’ve got my fingers crossed that there’s a 2nd book coming soon because you can’t drop the world’s greatest twist and then leave all the readers hanging!

  10. A list of books. Be still, my heart.

    Our boys aren’t independent readers yet, but the older one is in Kindergarten and learning to read, which is, like, the most fun thing to see happening EVER!

    In teaching 2nd and 3rd graders for nearly an eternity, I’ve run across a few books that seem to capture their hearts every single time. Kate de Camillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie is great, but if your reader hasn’t read de Camillo’s The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, he/she is missing out on an incredible book. In Yoda-speak, change your world, it will. Roald Dahl’s The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) is always a hit, too.

    Anyhoo, thanks for the list. I’ll file it away for future reference.

  11. My son and I read the Narnia series together when he was 9. We both looked forward to reading it each night and it opened the door to some fairly deep theological discussions (for a 9 year old).

  12. As a former 3rd grade teacher I TOTALLY agree on the “Who Is/Who Was” (#14) biography series!!!

    If your child is on grade level in 3rd grade then these books are perfect!! :)

  13. My boys are 7, 9, and 10, and I have to say that they love every book listed here. I try to encourage some Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, and some non-fiction too. I tried every which way to convince them to love the Little House series to no avail. Fortunately, my niece was able to be persuaded on that one :)

  14. Shoot! Some of these, like ‘Who Was Neil Armstrong” looks like something I would read … thanks for the heads up.

  15. I’d love a list of book suggestions for us ladies- specifically fiction! :)

  16. Julie Reynolds says:

    My soon has not always been an avid reader, until middle school, when we discovered the Artemis Fowl book series by Eon Colder. Oh my, he has gobbled up each one eagerly and upon learning that a new one had been released at age 20, he promptly went and bought it to read. I highly recommend these especially for boys who like mystery and excitement.

  17. I love book lists! My second grader is enjoying the Zac Power series–spy action-adventure. For reluctant readers, Dav Pilkey was our gateway. All his books are fun and his graphic series like Ricky Ricotta have enough cartoons and simple language in them that reading isn’t a daunting challenge.

  18. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a book I’m doing a presentation on in Children’s Lit class tomorrow. I love it-a mixture of pictures and text telling the story. It looks huge, but don’t be intimidated by the size. It’s as much or maybe a little more illustrations than text. Check out the official website to get an idea of what’s going on-http://www.theinventionofhugocabret.com/index.htm
    In the same class I recently discovered “So You Want to be President”-a look at not quite the typical presidential facts. It’s pretty funny!

  19. Sam and Ginny both adored the “Hank the Cowdog” series by John Erickson. They are funny and clever and are the type of books that you can read and re-read and enjoy on lots of different levels. I still enjoy picking them up and reading them from time to time, even though my babies are in college and grad school now!

  20. I love Ridley Pearson – if he hasn’t read “Science Fair” or any of the “Steel Trapp” series in addition to the “Kingdom Keepers,” I highly recommend them. And Carl Hiassen’s “Scat” or “Hoot” are great, too :)

  21. no talking by andrew clements
    frindle by andrew clements
    my side of the mountain by ??
    my life as a …. a series of books by bill myers
    misty of chincoteague by marguerite henry (or any other horse book)
    pippi longstocking (i know, i know, but my son thought it was funny)
    henry and the paper route by beverly cleary
    the mouse and the motorcycle by beverly cleary
    tim tebow: through my eyes
    the trumpet of the swan by e.b. white