Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Books for a 13 year old boy: 10 exciting titles to keep him reading

The guest of honor
This morning my friend Trish asked me for book recommendations for her 13-year-old son. I love this age! It has happened to me more than once that someone will ask what I've read lately, I'll respond, gushing about a book, and then they'll nod and say, "My son likes that one."

Middle grade books are so great!  I'm really proud of myself for keeping this list to ten titles, because I feel like I could go on forever.

You can probably find many of these in your local library. But if you want to buy through my affiliate links I earn a small commission.

Trish said her son likes Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Fablehaven, Daniel X, and the Legend series by Mary Lu, among others. He "says he likes anything . . . [but] I feel like he's difficult to please. He likes books to be quick paced and exciting."

Well here you go! 10 exciting titles to keep him reading. 



Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Awesome steampunk series set in WWI. Great characters, great inventions, great pace and suspense. My full review is here, and Ashley's is here


Cold Cereal (The Cold Cereal Saga) by Adam Rex

The premise here is that the cold cereal company really is adding "magic in every bite" -- and that comes with some negative side effects and nefarious motives. I read and loved the first one; Jacob has finished the whole trilogy.



Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

Alcatraz Smedry has gotta save the world. Thankfully he's got some of the Smedry talent -- like the ability to always be late, the ability to break everything . . . this could get crazy. You might find this one as Alcatraz Vs. The Evil Librarians in the local library. That's the one I've got on my shelf. But if you want the later volumes of the story, they've only been published as part of the compilation. 
This one is a Newbery Honor and all around awesome historical adventure. Headed home from finishing school Charlotte ends up making the trans-atlantic journey alone with a crew of mutinous sailors and the formidable Captain Jaggery. It is the favorite book of my cousin Andrew.

Wildfire Run  by Dee Garretson

I love recommending this book. It is short, well written, and totally gripping. Our young protagonists are caught by the forces of nature. He is the son of the President of the United States, and she has a kitten to look out for that plays in to the story. This book has become the top seller of my website!


This one is non-fiction, just to mix things up a little. ;) It is an amazing story featuring a boy and his dad finding a crazy-old skull.  I read this book, re-read the best parts, and then I literally telephoned people and told them they had to read it. The book is loaded with color photographs, which I couldn't transfer over the phone.


Pirates! This is a series of graphic novels with an interesting style. The premise is that a dad is telling his sons the story of one of their ancestors -- and we get everything from pirates to patriots. Crogan's Vengeance is the first book, and Crogan's Loyalty is the second.


Bad Island by Doug TenNapel

Another graphic novel I love. (I also like TenNapel's Ghostopolis.) I'm consistently impressed with the work of this author. It's always interesting and adventurous and has family values. This is all I'm gonna say: Family vacation gone wrong.



This one is just silly. I love it! The premise is that Hakata Soy is headed to boarding school . . . in space. My full review here. The sequel is good, too!




I've lost count of how many times I've recommended this book (both on this blog and in person). I definitely put it in my list for 14 year old boys.  So crazy, so funny, so Boov. The premise is that aliens took over earth. That was horrible! Until other aliens took it over from them and we realized the first aliens were pretty darn awesome, actually.

I made some updates to this list for 2016: 

8 comments:

  1. I have always loved The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle! It's an awesome and adventursome story! I also loved The True Meaning of Smekday.

    Is A Wrinkle in Time the right age? Ender's Game?

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    1. Yeah, I think either of those would work! And they're both goo-ood.

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  2. I'm heading to the library today with my son to check out as many of these titles as possible!

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    1. i hope you found them ALL! :D Let me know what he thinks of 'em.

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  3. Thank you so much!!!! I have been at losing my mind looking for books my son has not read. I checked out a ton that my library had (even from Trish's son's recommendation. Will fill in the ones they don't have from your link and when we are done donate to library so the can have complete collections.

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    1. I'm glad I could help! And that's a great idea about donating to the library once you're done. Sharing the love!

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  4. I am 13, and your recommendations are great, but is there something for other kids, that do not read that type of novels?
    I like Tracy Chevalier, Kate Morton, Sarah Sheridan, Jane Austen, Jane Johnson, Marina Fioratto and many other historical novels. :)

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    1. Great question! I'm sure there is something for you. 100%. However I'm not sure if I personally know the best books for you. I do enjoy Jane Austen, but I hated Kate Morton's Forgotten Garden and didn't finish reading it. I'm not familiar with the other authors you name. I'll recommend again from this list **The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle** because it is great no matter what age you are and is straight historical fiction. Leviathan (and the rest of that series) are historical fantasy. I also recommend **Jane Eyre** if you haven't read it yet. Fantastic book, nice and thick, historical to the max. I also recommend **The Letter for the King** by Tonke Dragt. Hope this helps!

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