Helping to Make Boys “Readers”

I just finished reading an interesting article from the New York Times this morning about helping boys to become “readers” (Boys and Reading: Is there any Hope? ). There is no question that there is a huge output of Young Adult fiction today. In fact, as the article mentions, it seems as if the genre of Young Adult fiction surpasses the interest in Adult fiction today. This made me think of The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) trilogy. I still cannot get those characters out of my mind. The Hunger Games has moved toward the top of my “all-time” favorites list, for sure.

So, what do we as teachers do to help support and encourage these boys who feel reading is a “girl thing”? We need a list of books that appeal to boys to pique their interest. Here are some books that I recommend to help interest and engage boys in middle and high school. Please feel free to make your own recommendations – especially for nonfiction, as my personal list is definitely lacking! I would love to have a huge list of fiction and nonfiction to share with other teachers struggling with the same problem. Here is my list (in no particular order)


A Separate Peace

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Oedipus Rex




The Chocolate War

Touching Spirit Bear



Maniac Magee


Lord of the Flies

The Hunger Games

The Catcher in the Rye

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Fahrenheit 451

Nothing But the Truth


Bud, Not Buddy

Freak the Mighty


Johnny Tremain

The Outsiders

The Jungle

Always Running

Wings of Fire Series

Jurassic Park

New Kid


Shadow Children Series

I Survived Series



False Prince


Here are some prevalent authors for boys as well!

Alan Gratz

Jason Reynolds

James Patterson

Gordan Korman

Jerry Kraft

Mike Lupica

What are some books you would be adding to the list?

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