Below is my on-going list of good books and series for boys age 8-10/11. in no particular order, and obviously they can be good for girls too!)
Homer price– Robert McCloskey. A feel good novel about a boy and his small town adventures. Anything by McCloskey is a win, picture books included!
On the wings of heroes- Richard Peck is better know for his books “A Long Way from Chicago” but in this book, he writes about a boy coming to terms with the coming of World War 2.
The Vision Series (Ignatius Press)– These fictionalized books tell the stories of some of the best-loved and less-well know saints that are packed with adventure to inspire children to a live of heroism for Christ.
Henry Huggins – Beverly Cleary was a master at her craft- children’s books about regular life. Boys may find Henry Huggins and his dog Ribsy more relatable than the Ramona series, but all her works are a good choice.
Charlie and the chocolate factory– Roald Dahl. Most are familiar wit this book form the hit movie from the 70s, but the book is worth a read!
Charlies and the Glass Elevator- The sequel to Charlie #1. Dahl wrote many children’s books, but not all are automatically the best choice- depends on your values and sensitivity level of your child (ie, Witches)
Danny Dunn series- This series was written in the 50’s and tells of the adventures of a budding scientist- so this will be a hit for those interested in inventions and science (although it’s clearly “science fiction” as it tells the tales of some not-so-actually scientific attempts. The third one, Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine, may be of more interest to those kids’ avoiding their school work 🙂 The entire series includes 15 books.
Frindle– Andrew Clements (and his other school books.) These are not high literature, but they keep kids attention and help them develop the skill of reading with tales they can relate to- school adventures (and misadventures).
Happy Hollisters– Jerry West. This series follows a lovable and admirable family as the siblings set out to solve mysteries around their home and town. They are probably a step up from the Boxcar Children mysteries.
BoxCar Children series– Gertrude Chanlder Warner I think my family owned nearly this entire set when I was growing up. We loved the relationships between the siblings and the fun mysteries they solved in each story.
Encyclopedia Brown Mysteries– Donald J. Sobol. Another winning series for kids who love mysteries!
Owls in the Family– A story about a boy who finds and raises two owls in Canada- and all that misadventures that come along with pets and families!
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle– Betty MacDonald. These novels tell the story of Mrs. PIggle Wiggle- the resident child-fixer of the community. For behaviors such as laziness and whining too much, parents seek Mrs. PIggle Wiggle for some extremely clever and silly solutions to their children’s bad behavior!
The Railway Children– E. Nesbit was an English writer who published over 60 children’s novels. This is probably her most well-known, followed by Five Children and It. The Railway Children is a novel of the adventures of a family whose lives are turned upside down when their father is taken away, and they are forced to move to the countryside.
The Story of the Treasure Seekers (E. Nesbit) is a small series about a set of siblings trying to restore their families fortunes, and may be fun for a reader who has already read her other work. The works were published in late 1800’s, however, so they do read a bit differently than the modern novels kids may be accustomed to.
The Winged Watchman- (and all Hilda Van Stockum books.) These books may be better for older boys (11+) but I’m listing it to get it attention. This and many others follow the tales of children facing the onslaught of World War 2, but she always has more gentle works such as the Cottage at Bantry Bay. The Michell Family (in Five for victory) is a heartwarming large family, perfect for a read aloud with slightly older children.
The Last of the really Great Whangdooldes– Julie Andrews Edwards. Yes, the famous Julie Andrews writes wonderful children’s books! “Mandy” was my favorite as a child, but this may be more adventures for the animal loving boys in your life.
The Water Horse – Dick King Smith. Smith wrote many novels for children, including Babe: the Gallant Pig (which was made into the hit movie). This books are fast reads and have been a hit with my kids.
Imagination Station Series
31 Club Series
The Great Brain
Matt Christopher – Sports Classics
Race the Wild
Adventures form Somwhere
A to Z Mysteries Series
Paddington Bear Series
My Side of the Mountain
Hank the CowDog
Father Brown Reader (Chesterton’s novels adapted to children’s books by Nancy Carpenter Brown)
The Knight’s Tales by Gerald Morris
The Little Series (The Borrower’s)
CW Bulla’s books – the sword in the tree, the secret Valley, the pony express
The Redwall series
The hardy boys
the chronicles of narnia
The Plant that ate dirty socks
The Dark lord of derkholm
the Chocolate touch
Good Old Archibald
Nate the Great
Rasmys and the Vagabond
Basil of Baker Street (master)
The somewhat true adventures of sammy shine
The Incredible Journey
The Growly Boys
Twenty one Balloons
The Mad scientist club
The Mistmantle Chronicles
Alvin Fernald – (a boy inventor Series)
Ivan the one and only
summer of the monkeys
mr lemonchello’s library (and the series)
Chitty Chitty bang bang
The Green Ember
100 Cupboards N.D. Wilson
The Underland Chronicles
The CandyShop War
Indian in the Cupboard
Redwall (series, but can be read alone)
“I Survived” series