20 Great Book Series for Boys

By Jessica Streit

Traditionally, and in my experience this is true, boys tend to be more reluctant to reading than girls. Often times, they are interested in building, playing sports or video games. They aren’t always interested in reading.

If you have a boy who is reluctant to read, it’s important to provide him with books that will spark his interest and get him reading. Below are 20 series that boys love.

Early Elementary (grades 1-3)

Magic Tree House - This series by Mary Pope Osborne, features a brother-sister team who explore history and the world via a magic tree house. Many of the fictional stories have non-fictional companion books called “research guides,” which my son tended to like even more than the books.

Captain Underpants - As a teacher and a book lover, I abhor Captain Underpants. As a mother to a reluctant reader, I will happily stock my shelves with Captain Underpants if it means he is reading. This series appeals to boys because, well there’s a kid in his underpants on the cover, there doesn’t need to be another reason. There’s also ridiculous hijinx and humor that boys love.

Flat Stanley - Flat Stanley is more than just a fun book to read. It is also a full literary and geography project. If you have not participated in a Flat Stanley project, chances are your child will in school. But there’s no need to wait for that to introduce this great series to your child.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid - This is another book that I find to have little in the way of redeeming qualities but the kids, especially boys devour them. The main character is a middle schooler and much of the content is geared toward middle schoolers but the reading level is definitely lower and is especially popular with the 3rd grade group.

For even more great books, check out the Encyclopedia Brown, Goosebumps, or The Boxcar Children.

Upper Elementary School (grades 4-6)

The Lightning Thief - My son absolutely loves this series. He also loves additional series by the author Rick Riordan. It also has the added benefit of teaching about Greek Mythology. My son now wants to learn more about it and is reading an abridged version of The Odyssey.

Harry Potter - If you haven’t read Harry Potter, you really should. This series begins when Harry is 11 years old and is appropriate for readers at that age. The great thing about this series is that as Harry ages, so does the reading level. You’ll have to decide at what age your child should stop reading the series. I have found that my 10 year old is only ready for the first 5 books right now. As he matures, I will let him to read the rest of the series.

Artemis Fowl - Twelve-year old, boy genius, Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, criminal. What boy wouldn’t want to read about that? The author, Eoin Colfer has described this series as “Die Hard but with fairies.” Sounds like a win to me (and my son agrees, this is on his “next-to-read” list).

Eragon - Eragon believes he’s a poor, orphan, farmer’s child but learns that isn’t his truth. He’s actually a Dragon Rider. This story features magic, power and struggle to save the world. Boys will enjoy this series written by Christopher Paolini.

Gregor the Overlander (The Underland Chronicles) - This is the first series published by Suzanne Collins, who is known for The Hunger Games Trilogy. It is about eleven-year old, Gregor who discovers a world underground where humans live among giant rats, cockroaches and more. Gregor wants nothing more than to get home but soon discovers that his arrival has been prophesied.

Also consider The Giver, My Side of the Mountain, Chronicles of Narnia or The Maze Runner for your child.

If you have older boys who are looking for a series to read, I suggest The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Ruins of Gorlan, or Dune.

Instilling a love for reading can be difficult to do for some boys who have interests in other places. This list of books, however should help with that.