100 Books Every Boy Should Read


For more than 100 years, Boys’ Life has featured thousands of great books for boys. Here are the 100 titles that we think every boy should read.

Keep in mind that we will be constantly updating this list as new titles release. So, you may see some new books from time to time. Also, some books may require parental guidance. As always, before choosing a book to read, check with your parent(s) first. Click here to download the full list.


Here’s the full list:

  • The 39 Clues
  • Across Five Aprils
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • The Adventure of Tintin
  • Aesop’s Fables
  • Artemis Fowl
  • Babe the Gallant Pig
  • Billy Budd
  • Black Like Me
  • The Book Thief
  • Brian’s Winter
  • Bridge to Terabithia
  • Bud, Not Buddy
  • The Butter Battle Book
  • The Call of the Wild
  • The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • The Chosen
  • A Christmas Carol
  • The Chronicles of Narnia (series)
  • Crossing the Wire
  • David Copperfield
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid (series)
  • Defeat of the Ghost Riders
  • Discworld (series)
  • Doctor Dolittle (series)
  • Dune
  • Encyclopedia Brown (series)
  • Everybody’s Revolution
  • Falling Up
  • Far North
  • Football Genius
  • The Friendship
  • The Giving Tree
  • The Graveyard Book
  • Great Expectations
  • The Great Quarterback Switch
  • Grimm’s Fairy Tales
  • The Hardy Boys (series)
  • Harry Potter (series)
  • Hatchet
  • The Hobbit
  • Holes
  • Honus & Me
  • Horton Hears a Who!
  • The Hunger Games
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • Joey Pigza (series)
  • Johnny Tremain
  • A Light in the Attic
  • Lord of the Flies
  • The Lord of the Rings (series)
  • Magic Treehouse (series)
  • Maniac Magee
  • Maximum Ride (series)
  • The Maze Runner
  • Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM
  • My Father’s Dragon (series)
  • My Side of the Mountain
  • Of Mice and Men
  • The Old Man and the Sea
  • Old Yeller
  • On My Honor
  • The Outsiders
  • Percy Jackson & the Olympians (series)
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit
  • The Phantom Tollbooth
  • The Red Badge of Courage
  • The River
  • Robinson Crusoe
  • The Sea Wolf
  • A Separate Peace
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events (series)
  • The Shadow Children (series)
  • Shane
  • Shiloh
  • Siddhartha
  • Sounder
  • The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairy Stupid Tales
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Stuart Little
  • Sunrise Over Fallujah
  • The Tale of Despereaux
  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
  • The Time Machine
  • To Build a Fire
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Travel Team
  • Treasure Island
  • Tuck Everlasting
  • Tuesdays with Morrie
  • The War of the Worlds
  •  Watership Down
  • Wayside School (series)
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends
  • Where the Red Fern Grows
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • White Fang
  • The Wind in the Willows
  •  A Wrinkle in Time

 Think we missed a book? Let us know in the comments section.


203 Comments on 100 Books Every Boy Should Read

  1. GAMEMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! // April 2, 2011 at 2:24 pm // Reply

    Cool! Add 1 next year!

    • b.o. slogbottom // April 7, 2011 at 10:35 am // Reply

      The reason they made 1 this year is only because it’s the 100 year anniversary of BL

    • I would definitely add “Dynamo” by Zach Lichtmann. Really an amazing book with themes of identity, risk-taking, courage, taking a stand, etc. And it’s really relatable and fun. It reminds me of The Outsiders in a way.

  2. Not too bad of a list with a few exceptions (Harry Potter). I would like to see more Christian authors.

    • The Indian // April 7, 2011 at 11:08 am // Reply

      Harry Potter rules and just because it’s about wizards doesn’t mean it teaches witchcraft!

    • In response to “The Indian”, I think Harry Potter should be on there. I know a lot of people object to books that contain references to magic, but I don’t really think that you should worry about that with Harry Potter. It is rather dark though.
      I think that Inheritance series-Eragon,Eldest,Brisingr should be on there as well. Speaking of which, I wonder when Christopher will finish the series.

    • harry potter rules!

  3. Great reference list. My oldest has read at least 25 of these, including lots of the series.

  4. The later diskworld series have gotten darker and less fun to read. Also my favorites missing from the list were Tripods, Day of the triffids, and Harlon Ellison’s Memos from Pergatory. Overall, a good list.

  5. Staurolite // April 3, 2011 at 6:13 pm // Reply

    Harry Potter is fine too. I understand your thoughts, myself having a Christian background. Have you read them? Very fun fantasy. Classics are wonderful. Parents need to read or re-read too. I am.

    • b.o. slogbottom // April 7, 2011 at 10:32 am // Reply

      Harry Potter is good and probably will become a classic eventually but right now it’s not old enough.

  6. Th1Alchemyst // April 3, 2011 at 7:40 pm // Reply

    Ive read most of these already… :)

  7. I have allready read most of these

  8. Hurricane1973 // April 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm // Reply

    My Mom gave me most of these books to read before this list ever came out :) . Great reference. Buut, they should put what ages probably would like them.

  9. Wish there were Eragon(series) Books:Eragon,Eldest,Brisingr,Coming in 2011 (It has a green cover) Author:Christopher Paolini

  10. Cool Dude Brown // April 4, 2011 at 7:06 pm // Reply

    read 36

  11. literary a genius // April 4, 2011 at 9:07 pm // Reply

    Good list, read about a quarter of them. Just one thing……

  12. Hooray for all these… It’s awesome… I used one of these for my school assignments.

  13. No PENDRAGON??? That really surprises me!

  14. I LOVE redwall!

  15. b.o. slogbottom // April 7, 2011 at 10:43 am // Reply

    the book is okay but DO NOT watch the movie of where the wild things are! It’s incredibly gloomy.

  16. Missing Eragon and Redwall

  17. boook worm // April 8, 2011 at 4:13 pm // Reply

    where’s the Fablehaven series?

  18. I’ve read 13. Would be 14 but I can never finish Bridge to Terabithia after seeing the movie. Sad, I know.

    • I have seen 36 of them. I just recently finished Tuck Everlasting and I am reading the Phantom Tollbooth. :D

      P.S. Hi, Jonbuddy!

      • jonbuddy1 // July 28, 2011 at 9:03 pm //

        Hi, wertys! :)

        Anyway, I think the “Space Odyssey” series should be on here. I just finished the first book, 2001, and just got out 2010 from my library. The series should be on the “100 Movies” list as well.


  19. I’ve read only 3% of them, but like I said in “100 Movies” I’ve heard about a couple of them.

  20. Diskworld is the BEST and so are all of Tolkiens books. but there are definately a few more I would add

  21. The Appropriater // April 23, 2011 at 10:12 am // Reply

    There can only be 1 best.

  22. Soccerstar7 // May 10, 2011 at 6:53 pm // Reply

    Where is Redwall, Fablehaven, Eragon, and the new Beyonders

  23. ok, WHERE is the mysterious benedict society?

  24. Joe-Jack-Billy-Bob // May 16, 2011 at 3:05 pm // Reply

    I’ve read 45!

  25. ive read40

  26. i mean 46

  27. I’v read Where the Red Fern Grows 15 times and I still cry at the end and I’m not afraid to admit it.

  28. wheres the kingdom series its like the best series ever!

  29. Alpha Rex // May 30, 2011 at 1:40 pm // Reply

    Every 22 Redwall books should be on here because each are as awesome as anyone of these books.

  30. MovieFreak // June 2, 2011 at 4:02 pm // Reply

    35 so far, I’m in the middle of Great Expectations and Of Mice and Men at the moment.

  31. silver lily // June 13, 2011 at 9:56 am // Reply

    I have read 42. and I loved the hunger games! it should be number two! next to the giver, it was the best book ever! I’m surprised giver isn’t on the list. :(

  32. I’ve read all of them.

  33. Fan of Super Mario Bros. 3 // June 22, 2011 at 6:45 am // Reply

    This list is epic.

  34. My name isnt evan // June 30, 2011 at 7:22 pm // Reply

    Pendragon??? And the keys to the kingdom series

  35. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid,Lord Of The Ring,and The Hardy Boys, are the best!

  36. I’d advise The Mysterious Benedict Society Series. They are great books.

  37. i have read all the adventures of tintin and they are GREAT! the phantom tollbooth is great to but they are missing the hank the cowdog series. i have read about 20 on here

  38. I love the lord of the rings! I love artemis Fowl! I love the Hobbit! I love Narnia! I love the Phantom Tollbooth! I love Treasure Island! I LOVE TINTIN!!!!!!!!!!

    • Scouting 101 // July 28, 2011 at 6:13 pm // Reply

      I love the Lord of the Rings too. (The Hobbit is the first book in the series actually) I’ve read the Chronicles of Narnia Series about 5 times in the past 2 years. (I’ve pretty much memorized them with the audio series/movies to go with it!) All great books!

    • You mu friend, have great taste.

  39. I read Shilo and Hatchet and it was fun

  40. basketball hero // July 26, 2011 at 2:21 pm // Reply

    i read almost all the books on the list

  41. i love hardy boys, artemis fowl, hunger games, 39 clues, the giving tree, and EVERYBODY should read PERCY JACKSON series,and rick riordans other series called the heros of olympus and an egyptian one.

  42. Hay, they forgot Orson Scott Card’s books like The Tales of Alvin Maker and Ender’s Game.(:-()

  43. I’m not realy a big Narnia(though I admit that it’s not so bad).The best are probably Diary Of A Wimpy Kid,Lord Of The Rings and the Hardy Boys, then again they’re all pretty good. Well all-in-all this is an awsome list.
    P.S. Were’s The Dangerous Book For Boys?

  44. I have read 57 books.I did not see the art of war or the prisoner of zenda on the list.

  45. when I saw “100 Books For Boys” I’d think how to train your dragon series would be in there plus dangerous book for boys … oh well. I am looking forward to reading the lord of the rings books, Percy Jackson, the Hobbit and the hardy boys, it seems you never see to many hardy boys books floating around here in this world. I was never interested in reading 39 clues, harry potter and alot more of those old ones listed on here. I definitely think the eragon series should be in this list.


  47. I have either read, been read, or am reading 18 books.

  48. The Appropriater // September 22, 2011 at 4:58 pm // Reply

    I am embarrased to say that I love to read but I have only read 31

  49. bannana boy // October 2, 2011 at 8:20 pm // Reply


  50. 39 clues and diary of a wimpy kid are awesome but where is bone and amulet?

  51. I’ve only read 3 of them.

  52. Everybody needs to read Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Its High School reading, but an amazing book with great morals.

  53. Scouting 101 // November 15, 2011 at 7:46 pm // Reply

    I’ve read 16…but I want to read a lot of them if I can get my hands on them. :)

  54. I’ve Read 21.

  55. I’ve read 15 of the books (Not including the full series).

  56. I’m a girl scout and I’ve read a lot of these! I loved them all though!

  57. i have read 12 and 8 of them were series(The 39 Clues Percy Jackson & the Olympians and so on)

  58. I’ve read 12 and I am working on my 13th

  59. Boyscout138 // January 5, 2012 at 4:54 am // Reply

    If it was written by Rick Riordan, or Gary Paulsen, you better BELIEVE I have read it.

  60. i read 37..more or less

  61. Percy Jackson // January 29, 2012 at 1:23 pm // Reply


  62. I have read 100. None to go

  63. amazing person // February 1, 2012 at 5:14 pm // Reply

    read maybe half

  64. ive read a couple

  65. ive read 38 of them
    the missing seires should be on there

  66. Gotta read em all!

  67. 15

  68. coolman360 // June 8, 2012 at 4:30 pm // Reply


  69. pedro on a tuesday // June 9, 2012 at 1:52 pm // Reply

    HUNGER GAMES ROCKS 10/10 stars!!!!!

  70. anonymous*gal // June 11, 2012 at 5:50 am // Reply

    57. we did 4 as literiture books.

  71. Read “Knightley Academy”! It’s an awesome book! I was surprised that the Charlie Bone Series wasn’t on this list. They are awesome books!

  72. I’ve read 44 of these.

  73. Christopher // June 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm // Reply

    I think that The nick of time series should be there and the rangers apprentice series

  74. STINKY CHEEZ MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  75. Harry Potter // June 21, 2012 at 3:54 pm // Reply

    Harry potter series rocks!!!

  76. CubmasterJake // June 26, 2012 at 7:53 pm // Reply

    Must add: “If I Built a Car” by Chris van Dusen; “Ox Cart Man” by Donald Hall; “Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel” by Virginia Lee Burton; “Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe” by Vera B. Williams; “The Berenstain Bears go to Camp” by Stan and Jan Berenstain; and most shockingly absent Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book”!

  77. What about Ender’s Game?

  78. coolman360 // June 28, 2012 at 11:02 am // Reply


  79. Diamond Chopper // June 28, 2012 at 1:29 pm // Reply

    27. Sad to see so little Sci-Fi on the list. Almost anything from Robert Heinlein could pass the muster.

  80. Chuck Norris // June 29, 2012 at 1:14 am // Reply

    the Kane series by Rick Riordan should also be on there.

  81. harry potter man // August 15, 2012 at 3:00 pm // Reply

    harry potter ROCKS!!!!!! best series ever, it should totaly be on the list!!!!

  82. pedro on a tuesday // August 26, 2012 at 9:28 am // Reply

    They should have put Hunger Games (series) because there are 3 books in the series. I prefer the third, Mockingjay.

  83. 8-point buck // August 30, 2012 at 3:58 pm // Reply

    27! boom!

  84. someone random // September 22, 2012 at 5:41 pm // Reply

    Go Artemis Fowl! Although they all are amazing, my favorite is the Opal Deception.

  85. I’ve read 52, and a few more on are on my list. (And I should confess I’m a children’s librarian in a public library, a relatively rare guy among that breed.) This is a good list for recommendations, though a little light on picture books and shorter books for younger and beginning readers.

  86. This is a great list! Thanks for the ideas for my four boys! :)

  87. I’ve read so many of them, both the classics and the new popular ones

  88. I have read 83… what a list. I was looking for some books to share with my grandson, I have found the list I was looking for. Many of these classics , I had forgotten about but the stories came back to me from the cover pages and can’t wait to share them with him. Thank you Boys Life

  89. I love Maniac Magee.

  90. I have read 41, 59 to go

  91. The Breakfast Machine // February 23, 2013 at 2:36 pm // Reply

    Holes is probaly the best on this list

  92. I like its raning pigs and noodles

  93. Wow, I’ve only read 14 of these. By they way, thumbs up if you love Percy Jackson!

  94. Karate Kid // March 4, 2013 at 1:11 pm // Reply

    The Chronicles of Narnia AWESOME!!!!!

  95. the hunger games are cool

  96. 59+ of these, counting the following books in series’.

  97. The Hardy boys books ROCK!!!!!!!

  98. wimpy kid series rules

  99. Have read twenty-five. AND LORD OF THE RINGS SHOULD BE NUMBER ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    They don’t have red wall, or the Swipe series which both are amazing.

  100. They should add In The Reign Of Terror. great books!

  101. websamurai99 // October 25, 2013 at 4:43 pm // Reply

    where is The Hobbit, Redwall, and Peanuts?!

  102. #THEHUNGERGAMES!!!!!!!!

  103. Ranger's Apprentice // January 5, 2014 at 11:35 am // Reply

    Is Ranger’s Apprentice there? If not, it should be!

  104. I think the hatchet series is the best

  105. I started Tuck Everlasting and I didn’t think it was very good but then I continued and it got so much better!

  106. I just read a good e-book called The Boogeyman From Planet Lackawanna. It was very cool and a little scary. It’s a little R. L. Stein like, but I liked it better because it had a good ending.

  107. Read : I Survived series, Magic tree house series,and Bud, Not Buddy

    These books should be on here, preferrably 1,2,and3.ud, Not Buddy is pretty good so far

  108. JonchaTexas // June 10, 2014 at 10:49 pm // Reply

    “Men of Iron” by Howard Pyle

  109. Try the Codex Alera series (book one is called Furies of Calderon)

  110. Rogue Jedi // June 11, 2014 at 1:42 am // Reply

    I’ve read 35.

  111. Is there a single non-fiction book on the list?

  112. Mom of four boys // September 10, 2014 at 9:23 am // Reply

    I would add Robin Hood, the Howard Pyle version.

  113. The thumbnail versions of these books are great for visual interest, but how can I get a printable list of these books?

  114. can you make a printable list?

  115. “Two Little Savages” by BSA founder Ernest Thompson Seton

  116. The main thing wrong with this list is there is not a text list of each book and author. It would be great just to print the list and not just a picture of the cover. Book covers change and trying to view this on a mobile phone (computer broken) is frustrating.

  117. retired scout/scouter // September 10, 2014 at 11:03 am // Reply

    The Bible? The Torah? The Koran?

  118. I am happy to say my oldest son has read many of these already.

  119. I would add The Door in the Wall and EVERY young man should read The Count of Monte Cristo.

  120. Redwall as others have mentioned gets a vote from me too… as a mom! Also consider “All’S quiet on the western front”… ?

  121. Every boy and girl should read the KJV of the Bible.

    • Umm the KJV is soo bland and wordy, have them read The Message version of the Bible, clear and understandable. Also have them read other religious books, encourage diversity, and cultural understanding.

  122. I really think Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card should be in here. A very good Young Adult, Science-Fiction novel

  123. A Long Way From Chicago and A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck. There is a 3rd book in the series, A Season of Gifts but we are not familiar with it.

  124. They forgot the Frog and Toad series

  125. What’s going on down there?

  126. “What If?” by Randall Munroe is a great book. READ IT.

  127. Missing Enders Game

  128. Kind of curious “The Chosen” is on here. I had to read it for a conparitive religious studies class in college. It’s a drama coming of age memoir type book about a boy growing up in a super strict Jewish sect and another in a mainstream sect of Judaism. And them how they relate to each other and thier fathers. Lots of inside baseball, and if you don’t know anything about the Jewish faith the book will go right over your head. I don’t know that I’d recommend this for a preteen boy. It wouldn’t hold their interest or speak at their level.

  129. No love for Kipling, author of “The Jungle Book”and other adventure tales?

  130. I’ve read 24 of them, lot’s of them being series that contain many books! I think this list is great and I wish I had time to get to more or the books on that list!

  131. Where is The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway.

  132. I’d add Bill Wallace books like “Beauty”, “A Dog Called Kitty”, and “Trapped in Death Cave” among others that he’s written. All in all, a fantastic list!

  133. scout mom to 3 boys // September 13, 2014 at 3:43 pm // Reply

    I may not be a boy but I’ve read at least 63 of these. I also agree that Redwall should be included in the list.

  134. “South” by Shackelton

  135. The slight edge by Jeff Olson and Think and grow rich by Napolian Hill

  136. The Professor // September 13, 2014 at 8:07 pm // Reply

    No argument from this school librarian.

  137. Love and have read most of the list. Would love to see The swiss family Robinson and more SciFi Heinlein and I Robot.

  138. I was hoping for some Dragonlance Chronicles (series) by Tracey Hickman and Margaret Weis, Neuromancer by William Gibson, Dream Quest of the Unknown Kadath by Howard Phillips (H.P.) Lovecraft. Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories and Edgar Rice Burroughs Martian stories are classics too. I also highly recommend Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s Slaughter House Five.

  139. English Teacher // September 14, 2014 at 9:18 am // Reply

    A Separate Peace should be cut – it had it’s run, others are similar in theme, and it is approaching “unrelatable” to boys today.

    Also, how many Shel Silverstein does one need? If a boy reads one and likes it, he will find the others on is own.

    Laura Ingalls Wilder isn’t just for boys – Farmer Boy might be a good choice.

    Lovely list though – very complete.

  140. mom of 2 boys // September 14, 2014 at 1:36 pm // Reply

    My sons loved the diary of a wimpy kid series, would like to see Hatchet added to the list though

  141. I always loved The Outsiders by S E Hinton.

  142. Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder and On to Oregon (the true story of the Sager children on the Oregon Trail)

  143. TFC Coordinator // September 14, 2014 at 7:12 pm // Reply

    I’m in charge of the Trail to First program in my troop and I encourage all my scouts to look at the reading and scholarship merit badges. As a counselor for the reading merit badge, I absolutely love this list. Personally I”m a big fan of having The Hobbit on this list, it’s a great book for all ages and it introduces young men to adventures and to reading.

  144. Where’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn

  145. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s _Farmer Boy_ should be on this list.

  146. The Old Man and the Sea. A short tale of indomitable spirit. Definitely a manly story that can inspire.

  147. Since the list contains works such as The Lord of The Flies, it should also contain Atlas Shrugged. Critical thinking is a skill best developed early. This book fosters a lot of thought.

  148. Laura hillenbrand’s Unbroken has to be on that list. it is a must read

  149. Hatchet

  150. Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series was a very interesting collection of books. I absolutely loved the way he took some of the most famous greek myths and twisted them into modern life. Harry Potter, The Hardy Boys, Hatchet, The Hobbit, all good books. I would recommend books like Swiss Family Robinson and Eragon. Also some more classics would be nice.

Leave a comment

Please do not use your real name.