30 Recommended Books for Tweens (Favorites of My Boys)

Overview: If your son doesn’t enjoy reading, he isn’t reading the right books. Here’s a list of recommended books for tweens that will entice him to want to read.

I’m sure we all would love our kids to enjoy reading. Unfortunately, some kids naturally take to reading and some of them don’t. Often, when boys claim they don’t like to read, it’s actually because they aren’t enjoying the specific books that we’re asking them to read.

30 Recommended Books for Tweens (Favorites of My Boys!)

If we give them the right books and don’t use methods which will squash their love, then they are much more likely to become readers and to read many books over their lifetimes.

Some classic books are great for boys to read. However, a book doesn’t need to be a classic for our sons to get a lot of benefit out of reading it.

Time Capsule: Medieval England Unit Study

There are lots of books out there which contain great moral content, exciting plots, memorable characters, and excellent life lessons.

In my opinion, it’s more important to give our boys a love of reading than it is to force them to read a list of books which have been recommended by “the experts.”  If we can get them to love reading, they will be exposed to a lot more than if we have to force them to read a couple of books a year.

Here are 20 Recommended Books for Tweens that my boys have loved!:

1.  The Berinfell Prophecies by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper

The Seven succeeding Elven Lords of Allyra were dead, lost in the Siege of Berinfell as babes. At least that’s what everyone thought until tremors from a distant world known as Earth, revealed strange signs that Elven blood lived among its peoples. With a glimmer of hope in their hearts, sentinels are sent to see if the signs are true. But theirs is not a lone errand. The ruling warlord of Allyra, the Spider King, has sent his own scouts to hunt down the Seven and finish the job they failed to complete many ages ago.

2.  The Accidental Detectives by Sigmund Brower

This series is great for reluctant readers! Postcard-perfect Hawaii proves to be anything but paradise when Ricky and the other Accidental Detectives stumble on an active volcano. This one threatens to destroy the hiding places of immigrants. What can the Accidental Detectives do to help—without being reduced to ash?

3.  The Kingdom Series by Chuck Black

Good and evil clash. Leinad and Cedric are determined to not only survive, but claim hope and victory! In Kingdom’s Dawn, Leinad and Tess, along with all the king’s people, must escape slavery by the powerful Lord Fairos. Kingdom’s Hope finds them free and arriving in the Chessington Valley. But when they forget the king, will Kergon and the Kessons capture them for good? After many years, Kingdom’s Edgefinds Cedric living a hopeless life until a stranger appears with powerful words of a new kingdom and a grand army. Finally, Kingdom’s Reign marches you through the danger of earth’s last days as the evil dark knight threatens to defeat the prince once and for all. Swords, knights, and battles define these captivating tales that parallel biblical events from Genesis to Revelation!

4.  The Truth Chronicles by Tim Chaffey and Joe Westbrook

What would you do if you could travel through time? When four unsuspecting teens from the world’s top science academy attempt a trip to ancient Egypt, they dive into an adventure beyond their wildest imaginations. Jax and Isaiah expect pyramids and pharaohs, but come face-to-face with some of the deadliest creatures to ever walk the earth. Can JT and Micky get there before it’s too late? And what will happen when they are confronted with the true history of the world?

5.  Dragons in our Midst series by Bryan Davis

A boy learns of his dragon past; a girl has known of hers for years. They combine their faith, courage, and love to overcome evil, a slayer who seeks to bring an end to dragon heritage, forever.

6.  The Circle series by Ted Dekker

An epic tale of evil and rescue, betrayal and love, and a terrorist threat unlike anything the human race has ever known. Our story beings when a man named Thomas Hunter is chased down an alley after working the late shift at a coffee house. When a bullet grazes his head, he awakens in an entirely different reality. Now every time he falls asleep, he wakes up in the other reality—and every choice he makes impacts the fate of both worlds.

7.  The Michael Vey series by Richard Paul Evans

To everyone at Meridian High School, Michael Vey is nothing special, just the kid who has Tourette’s syndrome. But in truth, Michael is extremely special—he has electric powers. And he’s not the only one, either… Join Michael, Taylor, Ostin, and the rest of the Electroclan as they use their powers and wits to prevent a dangerous organization from achieving its sinister goal of global domination.

8.  The Genius Files by Dan Gutman

The most exciting road trip in history begins! In this action-packed, New York Times bestselling adventure, twelve-year-old twins Coke and Pepsi McDonald embark on a family vacation you’ll have to read to believe. With the real-kid humor that has earned Dan Gutman millions of fans around the world, and featuring weird-but-true American tourist destinations, The Genius Files is a one-of-a-kind mix of geography and fun. As Coke and Pepsi dodge nefarious villains from the Pez museum in California all the way to the Infinity Room in Wisconsin, black-and-white photographs and maps put young readers right into the action.

9.  Redwall series by Brian Jacques

As the inhabitants of Redwall Abbey bask in the glorious Summer of the Late Rose, all is quiet and peaceful. But things are not as they seem. Cluny the Scourge–the evil one-eyed rat warlord, is hell-bent on destroying the tranquility as he prepares to fight a bloody battle for the ownership of Redwall. This dazzling story in the Redwall series is packed with all the wit, wisdom, humor, and blood-curdling adventure of the other books in the collection, but has the added bonus of taking the reader right back to the heart and soul of Redwall Abbey and the characters who live there.

10.  The Wormling Series by Jerry Jenkins and Chris Fabry

“Nothing special” is the best way to describe Owen Reeder―at least that’s what he’s been told all his life. When a stranger visits his father’s bookstore, Owen’s ordinary life spirals out of control and right into a world he didn’t even know existed. Owen believes the only gift he possesses is his ability to devour books, but he is about to be forced into a battle that will affect two worlds: his and the unknown world of the Lowlands. Perfect for readers ages 10 to 14 who enjoy a fast-paced story packed with action, fantasy, and humor.

11.  The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Fantastic creatures, heroic deeds, epic battles in the war between good and evil, and unforgettable adventures come together in this world where magic meets reality, which has been enchanting readers of all ages for over sixty years. The Chronicles of Narnia has transcended the fantasy genre to become a part of the canon of classic literature.

12.  The Chiveis Trilogy by Bryan M. Litfin

The Sword explores a world where society has no knowledge of Christianity, and a Bible is discovered after being lost for centuries.

13.  The Singreale Chronicles by Dr. Calvin Miller

In the land of Ren, Graygill heroes Raccoman and Velissa meet the mystical King Ren, whose knights are locked in a war of betrayal. Many of the knights have left the palace, taking on new and hideous forms, and have challenged Ren’s right to rule. Complications arise when the King disappears and his nephew usurps the throne.

14.  TJ and the Time Stumblers by Bill Myers

This six-book series centers around two 23rd century goofballs, Tuna and Herby, who travel back in time to study TJ Finkelstein for their history project. TJ will someday become a great leader who demonstrates honesty, integrity, thoughtfulness, self-sacrifice, respect for others―all traits she hones and grasps through her adventures in this series. Unfortunately, Tuna and Herby get stuck in TJ’s time (modern day), so she has to deal with their schemes while juggling the normal issues of a seventh grader who has moved to a new city, is trying to fit in, and is coping with her mother’s death and her family’s new life.

15.  The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle by Bill Myers

Twelve-year-old Wally – “the walking disaster area” – is forced to stand up to Camp Wahkah Wahkah’s number one, all-American bad guy. One hilarious mishap follows another until, fighting together for their very lives, Wally learns the need to love even his worst enemy.

16.  Dragonspell by Donita K. Paul

When Kale, a slave girl, finds a dragon egg, she is given the unexpected opportunity to become a servant to Paladin. But on her way to The Hall, where she was to be trained, Kale runs into danger. Rescued by a small band of Paladin’s servants, Kale is turned from her destination.

17.  The Cooper Kids series by Frank Peretti

Features Jay and Lila Cooper and their archaeologist father as they search to find the truth behind an ancient legend, lead a rescue mission on a doomed South Sea island, search for a treasure-seeker at the bottom of a pit, and race against time and terrrorists to save Lila.Features Jay and Lila Cooper and their archaeologist father as they search to find the truth behind an ancient legend, lead a rescue mission on a doomed South Sea island, search for a treasure-seeker at the bottom of a pit, and race against time and terrrorists to save Lila.

18.  The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson

Janner Igiby, his brother, Tink, and their disabled sister, Leeli, are gifted children as all children are, loved well by a noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather. But they will need all their gifts and all that they love to survive the evil pursuit of the venomous Fangs of Dang, who have crossed the dark sea to rule the land with malice. The Igibys hold the secret to the lost legend and jewels of good King Wingfeather of the Shining Isle of Anniera.
Andrew Peterson’s sweeping saga is full of characters rich in heart, smarts, and courage. It is a tale that children of all ages will cherish, families can read aloud, and readers’ groups are sure to enjoy discussing for its many layers of meaning. Each book features interior illustrations from Joe Sutphin, funny footnotes, a map of the fantastical world, inventive appendices, and fanciful line art.

19.  The Auschwitz Escape by Joel C Rosenberg

As the Nazi war machine rolls across Europe, young Jacob Weisz is forced to flee his beloved Germany and join an underground resistance group in Belgium. But when a rescue operation goes horribly wrong, Jacob finds himself trapped in a crowded cattle car headed to southern Poland. Sentenced to hard labor in the Auschwitz labor camp, Jacob forms an unlikely alliance with Jean-Luc Leclerc, a former assistant pastor who was imprisoned for helping Jews. They’ve been chosen for one of the most daring and dangerous feats imaginable―escape from Auschwitz. With no regard for their own safety, they must make it to the West and alert the Allies to the awful truth of what is happening in Poland before Fascism overtakes all of Europe. The fate of millions hangs in the balance.

20. The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart

“Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?” Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests, which readers take along with them. Only four children–two boys and two girls–succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. But what they’ll find in the hidden underground tunnels of the school is more than your average school supplies. So, if you’re gifted, creative, or happen to know Morse Code, they could probably use your help.

21. The Brotherband series by John Flanagan

They are outcasts. Hal, Stig, and the others – they are the boys the others want no part of. Skandians, as any reader of Ranger’s Apprentice could tell you, are known for their size and strength. Not these boys. Yet that doesn’t mean they don’t have skills. And courage – which they will need every ounce of to do battle at sea against the other bands, the Wolves and the Sharks, in the ultimate race. The icy waters make for a treacherous playing field . . . especially when not everyone thinks of it as playing.

22. The Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan

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. . . .

23. The Mapmaker Chronicles by A. L. Tait

Perfect for readers who love stories filled with adventure and suspense, The Mapmaker Chronicles are one-part fantasy, one-part quest, one-part high-seas action. Filled with strong, feisty characters who learn resilience, perseverance and the importance of friendship, each book transports readers to faraway lands.

24. The Axel and Beast Series by Adrian C. Bott

“BEAST had a sad history. A greedy, evil company called Grabbem Industries had built him. He was supposed to be a superpowered suit of armor that would let young Gus Grabbem Junior help his father smash things up; but when BEAST found out that the things he was meant to be smashing up were things he loved, such as plants, animals and … well … most of nature, he decided to get out.”

BEAST is no ordinary robot, and Axel isn’t your usual gamer. But are they awesome enough together to escape from BEAST’s evil creators?

The Axel & Beast books are packed with super-cool tech, a diverse cast, a lightning-fast pace, and word art and energetic illustrations, along with exaggerated, over-the-top situations – and villains – to keep emerging readers glued to the page.

25. The Ateban Cipher series by A. L. Tait

When a dying man hands orphan Gabe a coded manuscript, he’s hurled into a quest that takes him far beyond his monastery home. With new, unexpected friends, Gabe sets out to uncover the book’s secrets and finds himself questioning everything he knows about right and wrong and wondering if he’ll ever find a way back home?

26. The Kensy and Max series by Jacqueline Harvey

Twins Kensy and Max Grey’s lives are turned upside down when they are whisked off to London and discover their parents are missing. As the situation unfolds, so many things don’t add up: their strange new school, the bizarre grannies on their street, the coded messages they keep finding, and the feeling that, all around them, adults are keeping secrets…

Kensy and Max is a suspenseful, action-packed spy-adventure series for girls and boys featuring a cast of exciting characters, mysterious settings, and family secrets.

27. How to Win a Nobel Prize by Barry Marshall

When Mary stumbles on a secret meeting of Nobel Prize winners, Dr. Barry Marshall agrees to travel with her through time to learn the secrets behind some of the most fascinating and important scientific discoveries. They talk time and space with Albert Einstein, radiation with Marie Curie, DNA with Crick, Watson and Wilkins – and more. Fun science experiments included!

28. Boy Band of the Apocalypse by Tom Nicoll

Sam knows it will be bad when he’s stuck taking his sister to boy band Apocalips’ concert, but he doesn’t expect to overhear the band plotting to destroy the world! Even though he’s a disaster at singing and dancing, it’s up to Sam, with help from his best friend, Milo, to infiltrate the band and save the world from Armageddon.

29. The Impossible Quest series by Kate Forsyth

Four unlikely heroes are forced on a perilous quest to save their people. But first, Tom, Elanor, Sebastian and Quinn must escape the overrun castle. Only they can find the four impossible elements needed to wake the sleeping warriors of the legend. Only they can drive back the darkness that reigns over the land.

Chimera by Ben Caskey

30. Chimera by Ben Caskey (This one was written by my son!)

A boy on the brink of manhood. A magical orange scar. An old feud that could threaten everything. Chimera wants nothing more than peace and prosperity for his tribe, but trouble is brewing in Aragath when food and land run short and everyone seems to want a piece of it. His father isn’t able to maintain the delicate peace needed, and if something isn’t done soon, his people could face extinction. Chimera desperately tries to protect his family and his allies, all the while hunting for the truth about the mysterious scar on his arm. When he’s forced into a war he can’t hope to win, will an age-old mystery hold the key to victory?

Question:  Which of the above books have your boys loved?  Do you have any other books you would recommend for tween boys?  Please leave a comment below.

30 Recommended Books for Tweens (Favorites of My Boys!)

41 thoughts on “30 Recommended Books for Tweens (Favorites of My Boys)”

  1. Thank you so much, Michelle! I am always looking for books for my boys and it is great to get recommendations from a fellow Christian mom for good reads. There are so many “bad” reads out there!

    1. Michelle Caskey

      You’re welcome. I know what you mean about “bad” reads. Fortunately, there are lots of great books out there, too… It can just be hard to find them amongst all of the yuck. I hope your boys enjoy some of these! 🙂

  2. I appreciate your book recommendations. I am very wary of the stuff that’s out there. I hope to get my son reading books like these.

  3. My son LOVED the Michael Vey series. He read them all and then immediately RE-read them! The Chronicles of Narnia are very good. I see lots of books in this list that are new to us. I will check them out! thanks

    1. Michelle Caskey

      You’re welcome, Lisa. Glad I could help! If you have any other recommendations you can think of that your son has also enjoyed, please let me know. Have a great day. 🙂

  4. Hi! I have 3 young boys and I would LOVE to homeschool them. I tried Nursery school with my oldest this year and it’s been very rough on all of us. I’m so glad to find your website and will be looking through the posts!

      1. Sure, I can recommend some books for you. First, is your son reading chapter books yet? Or do you need recommendations that are a bit easier? One of my sons loved Encyclopedia Brown and The Boxcar Children at that age. The other took longer to get the hang of reading and was still reading George & Martha and Mr. Putter and Tabby books around that time. His reading took off in 3rd grade. I should write a blog post with more book recommendations at different ages. Thanks for the idea!

  5. Thank you so much for this great list! We’re just hitting the “tween” years and this will be so helpful!

  6. Thank you for this list. It’s often hard to find enough good books for my son as he is an avid reader. He is 9. Would any of these books be appropriate for his age level, or are they for a bit older child? While he can read at higher levels, I’m always cautious about the content. I recognize some of these authors and know their writing is good, but I also know that what’s good for a 13 year old might not be for a younger child. Just thought I’d see what your age suggestions were. Thank you for this site. It’s been helpful as I homeschool my boys!

    1. Michelle Caskey

      Good question, Rebecca. These books all have good content; however, at his age I would say to start out with The Genius Files by Dan Gutman, TJ and the Time Stumblers by Bill Myers, and The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle by Bill Myers. After that, I’m sure he would also enjoy The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, Redwall by Brian Jacques, and The Accidental Detectives by Sigmund Brouwer. My boys read those around your son’s age. Happy reading! 🙂

  7. I noticed you have a lot of great Christian fantasy on the list. I wanted to add a wonderful series by L.B. Graham to the list. I loved it, though my boys aren’t old enough for it yet. But when I had a young man visiting us, he wouldn’t put the series down. It’s called the Binding of the Blade series, and the first book is Beyond the Summerland.

    1. Michelle Caskey

      Yes, my boys love Christian fantasy. Thanks for the suggestion! I’m not familiar with that series. We’ll have to check it out! 🙂

  8. Dear Michelle, as a mom of five boys, and guardian of another boy and a girl!, I am so excited about seeing this list. My sons have enjoyed Dragons in the Midst series, Narnia, the Circle series, Curse of the Spider King, and Mysterious Benedict Society. Because our boys have similar tastes, I think I know what i’ll be getting for summer reading! Thank you! Keep up the good work. My two oldest sons will be at Biola University in their great books program in the Fall and both love to read. A note for moms: don’t deprive yourself of a good book this summer!

    1. Thanks so much for your encouraging words, Lisa! Yes, I do plan to get a little bit of reading in this summer. I even spent my upcoming birthday money on a new lawn chair so that I can relax outside with a good book. Looking forward to it! 🙂

  9. I needed this list! He’s reading The Genius Files right now and has read Narnia 7 times. I need get him into some new authors and it’s nice to have books I feel like I can trust without having to read them first. Thanks!

  10. My 11 year old is enjoying The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Peter Hoose. He also likes the old Tom Swift Jr. Books from the 50s. He listens to the Rush Revere audios over and over. (There are also Rush Revere books.) My boy is not one to read a lot, so I was glad to come across your book list and get more ideas.

    1. Thanks for the suggestions! I’ve heard great things about the Rush Revere books but they came out after my boys weren’t tweens anymore. We may need to go through them anyway. 🙂

  11. The Ranger’s Apprentice series and the Brotherband series by John Flanagan. They have great fast paced action and battles, while having great messages about leadership, doing the right thing, standing up against evil, discipline and hard work, finding your place in a world that may not see your strengths…the only caveat is there is some mild cursing in the books, especially the first half of the Ranger’s Apprentice series, but it tapers off by the end, and I think Brotherband didn’t have much cursing at all(if any).

  12. Just when I was so desperate trying to find a book for my 11-year-old boy! Couldn’t have been better timing. Thank you!
    BTW, we have loved, loved, loved Redwall, Dragonspell, Narnia, and Edge of the Darksea…. Can’t wait to check out your other recommendations.
    A couple recommendations for series we’ve loved also: any books by ND Smith and the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander.

  13. My oldest LOVES Redwall.

    If you like The Auschwitz Escape,you might be interested in learning about Fr Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish priest imprisoned at Auschwitz for using his newspapers to tell about what the Nazis were doing. After a man escaped, the guards chose ten men to die, a deterrent method they used to discourage escape attempts. When one man chosen cried out that he was a husband and father, Fr. Max volunteered to take his place. He and the other nine were locked up to starve to death. 21 days later, he was still alive, and was killed by an injection of carbolic acid. The man he saved was present at his canonization. There are many excellent books about him.

  14. My boys all enjoyed books by G.A. Henty, an 18th century author who wrote for boys. These books are hefty, both in size and vocabulary, but worth the time and effort. If the books are too much at first, the audio books can fill the gap. Can’t say enough about how much these books helped in the areas of history, vocabulary and character development.

  15. Bridget Hanshaw Burton

    Thank you so much for this site. I’ve been looking for this kind of list for a long time.
    12 Year old grandson is a veracious reader and is reading adult books (not from me)
    I am grateful that I can offer him books that are good for his mind!

    1. Thanks for those suggestions! I used to enjoy reading Michael Crichton books myself back in my college days but didn’t think to recommend them to my sons. I haven’t heard of Douglas Preston. I’ll have to check his books out. 🙂

  16. Oh the Wingfeather Saga! Love, love, LOVE them! My oldest read them and now my second son is starting them. Looking forward to introducing some of these others to him also.

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