Best Books for Boys

Beginning Reader Books for Boys

Learning to read is one of life's great milestones. Your job at this time is to keep your boy supplied with appealing titles that make him want to read more. As they enter school and learn to decode words, many children enjoy looking at a mix of picture books and traditional easy readers with controlled vocabulary.


Good Night, Good Knight Book CoverGood Night, Good Knight
by Shelley Moore Thomas

One night a knight hears a dragon's ferocious roar. He rides off into forest with grand intentions of fighting this fearsome creature. What he finds instead are three little dragons who need some help falling asleep. One wants a drink of water and another wants a bedtime story. Your child will enjoy this warm and comical tale. (Ages 4–8)

Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance Book CoverFrank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance
by Keith Graves

Your child will laugh out loud at this hilarious tale of Frank, a monster who wanted to dance. When he shakes and shimmers, Frank loses his body parts. Outrageous illustrations and rhyming text will make you want to read this story over and over again. (Ages 5–7)

Monster Manners Book CoverMonster Manners
by Bethany Roberts

Your little monsters will enjoy seeing what happens when three lovable creatures remember and forget their etiquette lessons. (Ages 5–7)

We Eat Dinner in the Bathtub Book CoverWe Eat Dinner in the Bathtub
by Angela Shelf Medearis and Jacqueline Rogers

This book about an unorthodox family makes an excellent starting point for a conversation about differences. But most of all, it provides boys with a good belly laugh. (Ages 5–7)


The Man Who Walked Between the Towers Book CoverThe Man Who Walked Between the Towers
by Mordicai Gerstein

This Caldecott Medal-winning book tells the amazing tale of Philippe Petit, a French aerialist who walked between the twin towers of the World Trade Center on a tightrope. Readers of all ages will love Mordicai Gerstein's account of this historical event. (Ages 5–8)

How Much Is a Million? Book CoverHow Much Is a Million?
by David M. Schwartz

Has your child ever wondered how much is a million? This book, complete with colorful and whimsical illustrations, brings concepts about large numbers to life. (Ages 5–8)

The Scrambled States of America Book CoverThe Scrambled States of America
by Laurie Keller

What would happen if all the states in the union decided they were bored and wanted to move around? Find out in this hilarious tale of trading places. Boys will unwittingly learn more than they bargained for about the United States, while poring over the witty remarks and engaging illustrations. (Ages 6–9)

Wonderful Worms Book CoverWonderful Worms
by Linda Glaser

Have you ever wondered what worms do underground? This book gives your child a look at the work of worms through cross-section illustrations and informative text about their life cycle and behaviors. Frequently asked questions about worms, such as, "If an earthworm breaks in two, does it really become two worms?" are answered in the back of the book. (Ages 4–8)


The Dog That Stole Home Book CoverThe Dog That Stole Home
by Matt Christopher

Mike owes his success in baseball to his advisor: his dog, Harry. It turns out that Harry is a great base coach. Sports-minded children will love this book as well as The Dog That Pitched a No-Hitter, The Dog That Stole Football Plays and more titles by the same author. (Ages 5–8)

Animals and Nature

Born to Be a Butterfly Book CoverBorn to Be a Butterfly
by Karen Wallace

This is the perfect book for the child who wants to learn about the life cycle of the butterfly. Simple sentences with limited vocabulary are supported by clear and distinct illustrations as well as picture dictionary boxes. Well suited for beginning readers, this book will help your child to build his reading confidence while learning some important facts about one of nature's most fascinating creatures. (Ages 5–7)

Danny and the Dinosaur Book CoverDanny and the Dinosaur (series)
by Syd Hoff

Danny can't imagine there would be anything better than seeing a real live dinosaur. Your child will agree after reading this story about the day Danny spends with a dinosaur that comes to life and escapes from the museum. (Ages 4–7)

Diary of a Worm Book CoverDiary of a Worm
by Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss

Written in diary form, this very funny picture book tracks the ins and outs of a worm's life from the perspective of the worm family's young son. Also try Diary of a Spider, the hilarious sequel. (Ages 5–8)

Dinosaur Bones Book CoverDinosaur Bones
by Aliki

This book's clear text and attractive illustrations make it an exciting introduction to the discovery of fossils and the study of dinosaurs. This is a great addition to the library of a dinosaur lover. (Ages 5–9)

How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? Book CoverHow Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon?
by Jane Yolen

What happens when a dinosaur gets the flu? He whines and whimpers and throws his tissues on the floor. Your child will laugh out loud as he reads this hilarious rhyming tale about a group of cranky, sick dinosaurs. Eye-catching, full-page illustrations add to the silliness of this lovable book. A 2003 Parents' Choice Award winner. (Ages 4–8)

I Wonder Book CoverI Wonder (Green Light Readers Level 2)
by Tana Hoban

In this beginning nonfiction book, the author challenges children to wonder about what they see. Close-up photographs show how to take a close look at nature in familiar surroundings and ask wondering questions. (Ages 5–6)

Storms Book CoverStorms
by Seymour Simon

Hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms and hail storms are presented in this dynamic book through informative narrative text and dazzling photographs. Your child will learn the science behind each of these dramatic weather events with this unique nonfiction book. Look also for Volcanoes by the same author. (Ages 48)


Mystery and Adventure

Alphabet Adventure Book CoverAlphabet Adventure
by Audrey Wood

This alphabet book brings to life the "little letters" as they prepare to teach a child the ABCs. On the way to school, the dot for lowercase i disappears. Throughout the story, the author cleverly weaves in information about the letters of the alphabet —their order, their correct positions and their sounds. The lively illustrations call attention to both upper- and lower-case letters. (Ages 4–7)

Daniel's Mystery Egg Book CoverDaniel's Mystery Egg (Green Light Readers Level 2)
by Alma Flor Ada

Suspense builds as Daniel's friends guess what is inside his mystery egg. The friends wait for the egg to hatch, and when it does, Daniel's hopes are fulfilled. This book will delight early readers who are beginning to read longer stories. (Ages 6–7)

Marveltown Book CoverMarveltown
by Bruce McCall

Aspiring inventors will be drawn to this creative world of crazy contraptions like the Rocket Chair and Hypno-Goggles. The boldly colored illustrations by New Yorker cartoonist McCall will capture the attention of parents and sons alike. (Ages 4–8)

Traction Man Book CoverTraction Man
by Mini Gray

Traction Man, wearing combat boots and battle pants, arrives in a box but soon finds the way into the imagination of his lucky boy owner. Boy readers will gleefully follow this hero's comic adventures. (Ages 4–8)


Arthur Writes a Story Book CoverArthur Writes a Story
by Marc Brown

When Mr. Ratburn gives Arthur's class a writing assignment, everyone helps Arthur compose his story. In the end, he creates a strange fantasy that doesn't make much sense. What will Mr. Ratburn and his friends think? (Ages 4–8)

Jumanji Book CoverJumanji
by Chris Van Allsburg

One day Judy and Peter find a jungle adventure board game in the park. As they begin to play, they soon discover that the characters in this mysterious game come to life. What will happen when monkeys fill their kitchen and a rhinoceros storms through the living room? Your child will love finding out how this wild tale with amazing pencil illustrations unfolds. (Ages 5–9)

Roxaboxen Book CoverRoxaboxen
by Alice McLerran

This story celebrates one of the best childhood pastimes — imaginary play. Main character Marian creates an imaginary town out of boxes and rocks and names it Roxaboxen. Your child will find himself drawn into this magical town, where speeding is only allowed if you are riding a horse, and there is not just one but two ice cream parlors. (Ages 4–8)

Poetry and Wordplay

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich Book CoverFrankenstein Makes a Sandwich
by Adam Rex

This hilarious collection of illustrated poems describes the lives of well-known monsters. Boys will eat it up! (Ages 48)

How I Spent My Summer Vacation Book CoverHow I Spent My Summer Vacation
by Mark Teague

This is an original fantasy told in rhyme. Wallace Bleff, who is reporting to his class about his summer vacation, tells of his travels west at the bidding of his parents, who felt his overactive imagination needed a rest. (Ages 4-8)

I Like Bugs Book CoverI Like Bugs (Road to Reading Series: Mile 1)
by Margaret Wise Brown

With simple rhymes about familiar bugs, this book, filled with bright and bold illustrations, will help beginning readers achieve success. (Ages 5–6)

When the Moon Is Full: A Lunar Year Book CoverWhen the Moon Is Full: A Lunar Year
by Penny Polluck

In this beautiful book, simple poems and wood-cut prints illustrate each full moon in a year's cycle. Native Americans named each of the twelve moons based on what was happening in nature when the moon was full. (Ages 48)

Feelings and Relationships

Chester's Way Book CoverChester's Way
by Kevin Henkes

Chester's Way is a humorous tale about two mouse friends, Chester and Wilson, who do everything together. Your child will love finding out how things change when the spirited Lilly moves into the neighborhood. This amusing book teaches children about making new friends and keeping old ones. (Ages 4–8)

Frog and Toad Are Friends Book CoverFrog and Toad Are Friends
by Arnold Lobel

This classic features the escapades of Frog and Toad, an adorable amphibious duo who are the best of friends. Your child will love these five stories about friendship that include adventures such as feeling embarrassed when wearing a bathing suit, waiting for mail, finding a lost button and waking up from hibernation in the spring. Caldecott Honor Book, 1971 (Ages 48)

The Kissing Hand Book CoverThe Kissing Hand
by Audrey Penn

The thought of going to school all alone terrifies Chester. Luckily, his mother teaches him a special way to keep her love with him all the time. This book will reassure children as they learn to overcome their fears. (Ages 48)

My Brother, Ant Book CoverMy Brother, Ant
by Betsy Byars

Your child will love this collection of four stories about pesky Ant and his older brother. The simple sentences and controlled vocabulary, coupled with belly-rolling humor, make this a popular selection with early readers. (Ages 6-8)

William's Doll Book CoverWilliam's Doll
by Charlotte Zolotow

Of all the toys in the store, there is nothing William wants more than a doll. His father and brother try to convince him to choose a "boy" toy, but his grandmother realizes that he wants a doll so he can practice being a daddy. This book offers you and your child an ideal opportunity to talk together about the different roles men and women can play. (Ages 4–7)

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