What Boys Really Want to Read this Summer

As a mother of three girls and only one boy I am afraid to say that our book choices may be a bit lopsided. This got me thinking, What do boys like to read anyway? To find out, I interviewed a friend’s ten year old son.

His answers were nothing earth shattering, but his attitude toward reading was completely different than my daughter’s attitude. Below are his answers, what I learned, and book recommendations.

What Boys Really Want to Read this SummerPin

What is your favorite book? To help with this question I also asked if there was one book you would grab if the house were burning down… He said he might just burn with the house trying to make a decision. Later his mom thanked me for reminding her to talk about fire safety. Oops. 

“Lego Handbooks”

These are the handbooks that come in some lego set. Boys really love non fiction. These were the first types of books mentioned as we talked.

Ok, what about your favorite story?

Guardians of Ga’hoole by Kathryn Lasky

What are your favorite types of books to read?

“Science books, space books, science fiction, books about shipwrecks, and Lego how-to books.”

Even in their fiction, they enjoy technical descriptions. I tried to read The New Tom Swift Adventures and found it to be dry. I handed the book to this boy and he devoured it.

What makes a good book?

“I like science. So, lots of science stuff. Not science fiction that can have lasers go through planets and then destroy something. Science fiction where it sounds like it might actually happen in the future. I like Hardy Boys because of the mystery and adventure, and the characters are funny.”

He was also quite realistic. He didn’t want science fiction books that were too over the top, but just enough of a stretch for him to believe that this could happen someday! 

What advice would you give someone picking out a book in the library?

“Pick a book on a subject you like.”

What Boys Really Want to Read this Summer InterviewPin

When you pick out books for the boys in your life this summer, stretch them yes, but help them to enjoy their choices as well. Use our Enchanted Reading map to help them discover books they may enjoy from other sections of the library.

This amazing boy also came to the interview with a piece of paper filled front and back with his favorite books. I raised my eyebrows at his entry for Blood on the River. He assured me not to worry — it was only about Jamestown.

Here are a few recommendations from his list.

Non Fiction 

PinPin   Pin   Pin   Pin

Historical Fiction – Because this category falls somewhere in the middle, doesn’t it?

Pin   Pin   Pin   Pin   Pin


Pin    Pin   Pin   Pin   Pin

What books do your boys like to read?

Summer Reading Program Free Download FeaturePin



  • My 11 year old son just started the first book in the How to Train Your Dragon series. He was hooked within the first 10 pages! He is loving it!!

    I have found that my son really likes to read books in a series. He has a hard time getting into a new set of characters and storylines, so the familiarity of a series allows him to just jump right in.

    • Jessica says:

      You know, that is a good point I failed to mention! Boys do love a good series. Thanks for sharing!

  • I have three girls, then a boy, then two more girls, then another boy, then one last girl. Also, I grew up with three sisters. Needless to say, boys are quite the enigma to me, and I have watched my now thirteen year old grow up with quite a bit of wonder! I agree wholeheartedly with this post: boys love non-fiction and historical fiction and things that could be real but aren’t yet. And the lego books. 🙂 Mine loves all things military, too, and DK Eyewitness books are great, too.

    • Jessica says:

      Those are great suggestions! Thanks! My little boy does love to look at DK books as well. He isn’t old enough to read the captions yet, but the pictures are so detailed and engaging!

  • Heather van Woerden says:

    My son just devoured the Secret series by Pseudonymous Bosch. I have to say I loved them too! Now he’s getting into Limony Snicket.

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks so much for the suggestion! Will have to check those out!

  • Sarah says:

    The boy you interviewed might love The Great Wheel by Robert Lawson. Historical fiction about the building of the first Ferris Wheel for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Such interesting descriptions about the engineering of the wheel as well as life as an immigrant in 1890s America.

    • Jessica says:

      You know, I just picked that one up at a book sale! I am glad to hear you liked it. I will pass on your suggestion. Thanks!

  • >