Need some reading recommendations for teenaged boysDoes anyone have some recommendations of high-interest/low reading level books that would interest teenaged boys?

Expert Answers
wordprof eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I’m sure someone has already suggested Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game by now—the hero is a young genius; his sister Valentine provides a little feminine identification, the plot is full of action, but not very violent, the theme is peace, the language level is right for young teenagers. It is both a story of military training and rebellion, and a Bildungsroman on the level of Lord of the Flies and Catcher in the Rye. Possibly less known but equally attractive to young teenage boys are William Saroyan’s short story collections. Adumbrated by avant-garde literature of the 50’s and 60’s, these very human stories are delightful on a human emotional level, short, humorous, easy-to-read, sketch-portraits of real people, mostly young people. Collections with names like Here Comes, There Goes You Know Who and Visitor in the Piano Warehouse can still be found, and the stories can be assigned in any order. In the final analysis, these short stories are simply worth reading, nonjudgmental but positive, with no bad language or explicit sexuality, easy to identify with and mentally accessible to any young student. Good luck, and good reading.

bvanvelzen eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Need some reading recommendations for teenaged boys

Does anyone have some recommendations of high-interest/low reading level books that would interest teenaged boys?

All of those suggestions are excellent.  I teach ninth-twelfth graders, and I find that many of my young men also enjoy reading The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven(or even Alexie's YA novel), A Long Way Gone, Monster, Under a War-torn Sky, the Percy Jackson series, The Hunger Games series, Tangerine, and pretty much anything that deals with social issues (whether they be teen issues or global issues) and has a male main character.  It doesn't really matter what you give them as long as you present in a positive, interesting way--find out what kinds of books they like (i.e. if he likes fantasy, have him readA Wizard of Earthsea), then suggest something in that genre.  Show them who else is reading it, too.  That also helps.

sarahc418 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I also echo the sentiment about The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier. I found that boys liked After the First Death even better by Cormier. It has more high action, but it is written at a very understandable level. 

I will echo the statements about Hunger Games. I have had a lot of success with this novel with my summer school kids as long as he is not daunted by the length of it. 

Some of my male students really enjoyed Chasing Lincoln's Killer. It is a readable book with an interesting perspective on Lincoln's death and the subsequent chase. 

shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Keep in mind that there is a big difference between a 13-year-old and a 17-year-old. They probably would be interested in different things. A 17-year-old is ready to read books with adult themes and situations.

It also depends on how much the person likes literature. I would strongly recommend Catcher in the Rye, which also has the added appeal of being a classic.

For a more modern selection, check out this list. There are many more lists available online also.

larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have to agree that A Separate Peace is an ideal selection for young men. It not only is written at a level which is easily understood; it also deals with problems that many young men must face, and they therefore may easily identify with the narrator. On a classical level, one might also consider The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which also is told by a young man in language which they can easily understand. This will give them exposure to classical literature which will benefit them immensely.

William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I recommend Night Has a Thousand Eyes by Cornell Woolrich and More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon. Also a collection of short stories by Theodore Sturgeon. Fancies and Goodnights, a collection of stories by John Collier. An anthology of stories by Roald Dahl. Older teenage boys like coming-of-age novels. Martin Eden by Jack London, The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler, the Nick Adams stories by Ernest Hemingway come to mind. And of course there are all those stories about Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think A Separate Peace is a wonderful book for teenaged boys who are interested in reading more serious literature. It is accessible to contemporary readers, but still deals with complex themes in a nuanced and powerful way. Of the canonical "high school" texts, I have found that some students I've talked to find A Catcher in the Rye to speak to them in a profound way, but others see it as a little dated, and are put off by it. 

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series would be a great start for a teen-aged boy to enjoy some exciting reading.  There are five books in that series and there is a sequel series coming out.  It is based on the life of a boy aged 14 and he grows throughout the series. 

I would also recommend the Hunger Games trilogy.  Both will probably keep your teenager very interested.

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I didn't mention this earlier, but just thought of it-- Tears of a Tiger by Sharon Draper, is a really compelling, cuick-paced read for teenage boys.  I always end up giving it to my 'reluctant readers' and I have not had a student yet who could put it down.  It's very dramatic and about a serious subject (teenage drinking and driving), but teenagers (both girls and boys) love it. 

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'd second the suggestion of A Separate Peace. Also, The Chocolate War offers a nice combination of entertainment and signficant themes pitched to an early high school reading level. 

There's always Dan Brown too, and Michael Crichton. Pop novels are often perfect reading for teens - page-turners meant to entertain. 

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I love Walter Dean Myers. Not only are his novels great for any gender, my male students couldn't put his books down. (Students who had admitted to not reading anything for school devoured the novels.) I would suggest Monster. Outside of that author, I would also suggest The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod.

cpeterson38 | Student

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Scorpions by Walter Dean Myers (troubled young african american teen who inherits a high ranking position in a local street gang)

Heat by Mike Lupica (cuban teenager/baseball)



macandcheese99 | Student

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

The Tale of Despereaux

leonster | Student

I'm not sure what you like but I really enjoyed the mortal instruments series. I didn't think I would like it at first but got really drawn in. It's about vampires and Demons etc. ENJOY!

guigs97 | Student

I think Lord of the Flies is a good book, or Garbage King, or Hunger Games, or The Great Gatsby.

nicoledesilva | Student

I would also recommend the all time favourites, Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia.

zala96 | Student

I would say that "The Boy in Striped Pyjama's" and "Kite Rider" are 2 books that would interest boys (since the main protaginist in both books are mid-teens)

cezzlerz | Student

you can try chicken soup

genevive | Student

Percy Jackson & the olympians is a great read with a right mix of action, interesting myths and values. i also rcommend The Hardy Boys series. Tom Sawer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by mark twain is also an enjoyable classic.

doerschuk | Student
Need some reading recommendations for teenaged boys

Does anyone have some recommendations of high-interest/low reading level books that would interest teenaged boys?

Any of the Bluford Series are enjoyed by many of the boys in my class.  They also enjoy just about anything by Gary Paulsen, and for pure enjoyment they get a kick out of the Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey.  Finally, Henry Winkler (Fonzie) wrote a series of books about a boy with ADD, the Hank Zipzer series, that a lot of boys can relate to.

caseym427 | Student

All of John Green's books, Looking Alaska, An Abundance of Katherine's, Paper Towns, and The Fault in our Stars, are phenomenal.  They all feature a good deal of comedy strong male narrators(the exception being his most recent book, the fault in our stars.  Which still has one of his classic "real teenager" narrators.)  Green's books can be read for the wonderful, emotional stories alone but truly lend themselves to 'critical reading outside the class room'.  Feed by M.T Anderson is another change-the-way-you-think-about-life kind of book.  Again a (mostly) like-able, male, teenager as the narrator. Be warned though, some people are put off by Anderson's love of dialect.  And who doesn't love the Harry Potter and Hunger Games serieses?  

jjrichardson | Student

Scarlet Letter, Romeo and Juliet, War and Peace, The Great Gatsby, Great Expectations.

nicoledesilva | Student

Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan.

msela | Student

1.Any book by Mike Lupica such as Heat, Travel Team, True Legend, Hero, The Batboy.  These books have gotten my most reticent male students to read and enjoy it.  Mike Lupica writes novels about athletes so boys are often thrilled with these books.

2. I am Number Four - Pittacus Lore (second book: The Power of Six   third book: The Rise of Nine)

3. The Bartimaeus Trilogy - Jonathan Stroud

4. The Uglies - Scott Westerfeld (a movie will be coming out in 2012 which might be incentive to have him read it)

askinquestions | Student

the boy in the stripped pajamas, freedom writers, the hunger games are just a few titles

billwhitney1 | Student

The book A Time To Kill By John Grisham is great I would reccomend that.

white-tiger-ej | Student

The Eragon series are great

coachmacenglish | Student

In reply

While I am infatuated with classic and modern literature, I like to mix it up with some very current novels as well.

I would suggest something such as Runner by Carl Deuker

Or The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Almost all of the students I taught these books to have loved them (even the boys!). Good luck! Let me know if you need any materials for either. 

Coach MacEnglish