So far in my homeschooling career I’ve found that Middle School aged boys can be are a particular breed of difficult. I think it may be all middle school age children… but since I have no girls my experience is limited. Even though I am a huge reader apparently my boys didn’t inherit my love. So I’ve made it my mission to find the best, most exciting, boy-enticing book series that I can find!
I’ve consulted other homeschool moms, other kids I know who love to read, and my teacher friends… and this list was born. I’ve included a lot of our favorites and some that I’m looking forward to having my boys read!!
Hopefully this is helpful to other moms who have reluctant readers, or readers that go through books quickly. (This list is obviously for girls too!!)
While I haven’t read all of these myself, some I have, and some my boys have! All of them come highly recommended! For each I’m including the synopsis from Amazon to give you an idea what they’re all about!
I also highly recommend checking out Kindle Unlimited– a lot of these series are available through the service and for a low monthly price you can download and read til your heart’s content!! (I’ve used it for several months and love it!)
Peter & The Starcatchers (series) – This goes at the top of the list because these have been a hit with everyone in my family! These books are the story of Peter Pan’s history. They are full of pirates, magic, adventure and friendship! There are 5 books in the series and they are all equally as wonderful!
From Amazon – “Discover richly developed characters in the sweet but sophisticated Molly, the scary but familiar Black Stache, and the fearless Peter. Treacherous battles with pirates, foreboding thunderstorms at sea, and evocative writing immerses the reader in a story that slowly and finally reveals the secrets and mysteries of the beloved Peter Pan.”
The City of Ember– This series of 4 books are a great adventure! The main characters are a young teen boy and girl who discover a mysterious message and embark on a race to save their friends, family & city. I read the whole series before I handed them off to my kids. They are full of adventure, mystery and great characters!
From Amazon- “The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she’s sure it holds a secret that will save the city. She and her friend Doon must decipher the message before the lights go out on Ember forever! This stunning debut novel offers refreshingly clear writing and fascinating, original characters.”
The Giver Series– It was only recently I found out that “The Giver” was the first in a series of 4 books. These stories take place in a dystopian future and each unfolds showing us secrets about the world the main characters live in. The stories revolve around older children and their lives.
From Amazon about “The Giver” – “The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.”
The Hunger Games– This series was the first I could get my oldest to read all the way through. He actually asked for the second one and I was super excited to have finally found books that he loved. These books take place in a bleak future where children are forced to participate in the hunger games. Katniss Everdeen emerges as a strong heroine who is an inspiring character! These books keep you on the edge of your seat and are so hard to put down!
From Amazon- “In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love”
Harry Potter– Of course the boy with the lightening bolt scar would make this list. With 7 books in the series this is one that can keep your kids busy for a long time! Full of magic, daring adventure, awesome characters, spectacular settings… well these are great books. And of course when the books are finished you can watch the movies and continue to enjoy the stories!
Form Amazon- “Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility.
All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley — a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry’s room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in eleven years.
But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry — and anyone who reads about him — will find unforgettable.”
Percy Jackson– From Amazon- “Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends — one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena — Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.”
The Lord of the Rings– These are classics I remember reading in high school. They are perfect for any kid who loves fantasy and high adventure!!
From Amazon- ” In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.
From Sauron’s fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, his power spread far and wide. Sauron gathered all the Great Rings to him, but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominion.
When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.
The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.”
Divergent– Another trilogy with a strong female lead these books take you on an adventure with lots of twists and turns! It has great themes about being true to yourself and daring to be different.
From Amazon- “One choice can transform you. Beatrice Prior’s society is divided into five factions—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Beatrice must choose between staying with her Abnegation family and transferring factions. Her choice will shock her community and herself. But the newly christened Tris also has a secret, one she’s determined to keep hidden, because in this world, what makes you different makes you dangerous”
The Golden Compass trilogy– From Amazon- “The Golden Compass tells the story of Lyra Belacqua.
Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal–including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world.
Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors? This is Lyra: a savage, a schemer, a liar, and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want.
But what Lyra doesn’t know is that to help one of them will be to betray the other. . . .”
The Artemis Foul Series– (3 books) From Amazon- “Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius-and, above all, a criminal mastermind. But even Artemis doesn’t know what he’s taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren’t the fairies of bedtime stories; these fairies are armed and dangerous.
Artemis thinks he has them right where he wants them but then they stop playing by the rules.”
The Chronicles of Narnia– (7 books) Beginning with “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” these books are classics for a reason! Narnia is a magical place with amazing creatures and characters. The stories are rich with inspiring themes, life lessons and beautiful settings. By far some of our favorite stories!
From Amazon (The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe) – “Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.”
Eragon– (4 books) From Amazon- “Fifteen-year-old Eragon believes that he is merely a poor farm boy—until his destiny as a Dragon Rider is revealed. Gifted with only an ancient sword, a loyal dragon, and sage advice from an old storyteller, Eragon is soon swept into a dangerous tapestry of magic, glory, and power. Now his choices could save—or destroy—the Empire”
The Rangers Apprentice– (12 Books) – From Amazon- Book 1- “They have always scared him in the past—the Rangers, with their dark cloaksand shadowy ways. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now 15-year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger’s apprentice. What he doesn’t yet realize is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied. . . .”
The Seven Wonders Series– (7 books) From Amazon- “Percy Jackson meets Indiana Jones in the New York Times bestselling epic adventure Seven Wonders! The Colossus Rises is the first book in a seven-book series. This first installment chronicles the story of Jack McKinley, an ordinary kid with an extraordinary problem. In a few months, he’s going to die—unless he finds seven magic Loculi that have been hidden in the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Rick Riordan calls Seven Wonders “a high-octane mix of modern adventure and ancient secrets. The Colossus Rises is Lerangis’s most gripping work yet. Young readers will love this story. I can’t wait to see what’s next in the Seven Wonders series!””
Lemony Snicket & the Series of Unfortunate Events– (13 books) From Amazon- “Are you made fainthearted by death? Does fire unnerve you? Is a villain something that might crop up in future nightmares of yours? Are you thrilled by nefarious plots? Is cold porridge upsetting to you? Vicious threats? Hooks? Uncomfortable clothing?
It is likely that your answers will reveal A Series of Unfortunate Events to be ill-suited for your personal use. A librarian, bookseller, or acquaintance should be able to suggest books more appropriate for your fragile temperament. But to the rarest of readers we say, “Proceed, but cautiously.”
The Spiderwick Chronicles–(5 books) From Amazon- (book 1) – “After finding a mysterious, handmade field guide in the attic of the ramshackle old mansion they’ve just moved into, Jared; his twin brother, Simon; and their older sister, Mallory, discover that there’s a magical and maybe dangerous world existing parallel to our own—the world of faerie.
The Grace children want to share their story, but the faeries will do everything possible to stop them…”
Hopefully this list is a great tool for you to find a great series to get your middle schooler started with that they’ll love! I’d love to know your favorite series and if you’ve read any of these!
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