In today’s culture, finding quality classic books for tween boys isn’t as easy as it used to be. Long gone is a world with solid morals and clear lines of socially acceptable behaviors. Thankfully there is a time that we can draw back to that has persevered many of the values traditional families have held in high esteem without sugar-coating real life challenges. Today I want to share with you 15 classic books for tween boys that will not only keep their minds and creativity flowing – but will teach them valuable life lessons throughout each page.
15 Classic Books for Tween Boys
Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last!
But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!
Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Born to a family of humans, he lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. Though he’s shy and thoughtful, he’s also a true lover of adventure. Stuart’s greatest adventure comes when his best friend, a beautiful little bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life. He finds adventure aplenty. But will he find his friend?
Billy has long dreamt of owning not one, but two, dogs. So when he’s finally able to save up enough money for two pups to call his own—Old Dan and Little Ann—he’s ecstatic. It doesn’t matter that times are tough; together they’ll roam the hills of the Ozarks. Soon Billy and his hounds become the finest hunting team in the valley. Stories of their great achievements spread throughout the region, and the combination of Old Dan’s brawn, Little Ann’s brains, and Billy’s sheer will seems unbeatable. But tragedy awaits these determined hunters—now friends—and Billy learns that hope can grow out of despair, and that the seeds of the future can come from the scars of the past.
The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.
Nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it. Like the Skin Horse, Margery Williams understood how toys–and people–become real through the wisdom and experience of love. This reissue of a favorite classic, with the original story and illustrations as they first appeared in 1922, will work its magic for all who read it.
Bastian embarks on a wild adventure when he enters the magical world of Fantastica, a doomed land filled with dragons, giants, and monsters, and risks his life to save Fantastica by going on a very dangerous quest.
“We said there was no home like a raft. Other places do seem so cramped up and smothery…but you feel mighty free and easy and comfortable on a raft.” Sail down the Mississippi with Huck Finn and the runaway slave, Jim. Twain’s beloved tale, with its folksy language, creates an indelible image of antebellum America with its sleepy river towns, con men, family feuds, and a variety of colorful characters.
“Tom Sawyer liked adventures, which means he was always getting in trouble.” Searching for treasure, witnessing a murder, getting caught in a bat cave, tricking others into doing his work, running away with Huckleberry Finn–Tom Sawyer’s antics and mischief-making are sheer, child-pleasing delight. Every boy and girl should experience the joy and fun of this classic tale.
Pirates, buried treasure, and action aplenty–that’s what’s served up in this fine story, mates, and kids will eat it up. After Jim Hawkins finds the map to a mysterious treasure, he sets sail in search of the fortune. Little does he realize he’s boarded a pirate ship, and that surprises and danger await him…including a meeting with the inforgettable Long John Silver.
The classic story of social justice and outrageous cunning. Robin Hood, champion of the poor and oppressed, stands against the cruel power of Prince John and the brutal Sheriff of Nottingham. Taking refuge in the vast Sherwood Forest with his band of men, he remains determined to outwit his enemies.
From the strange case of ‘The Red-Headed League’ to the extraordinary tale of ‘The Engineer’s Thumb’, Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr Watson grapple with treachery, murder, and ingenious crimes of all kinds. But no case is too challenging for the immortal detective’s unique power of deduction.
Roald Dahl’s children’s classic will be rediscovered with wonder and delight in this handsome gift edition with all-new black-and-white illustrations by Caldecott Honor Book artist Lane Smith (who also designed the characters for the Disney animated film). How James escapes from his miserable life with two nasty aunts and becomes a hero to his new insect family, including Miss Spider, the Old-Green-Grasshopper, the Centipede (with his 21 pairs of gorgeous boots), is Dahl-icious fantasy at its best.
From the sword in the stone and the founding of Camelot to the famed Round Table and the Lake of Enchantment, the legend of King Arthur will never lose its magic. Though simpler, this version includes all the wonderful stories—such as King Arthur’s winning of Guenievere and Merlin’s tragic downfall at the hands of the evil Vivien.
Homer’s epic tale of the warrior Odysseus’s decades-long struggle to return home after the Trojan War is simply and beautifully retold, with all the drama intact. Young readers will thrill at Odysseus’s adventures with the man-eating Cyclops; the enchantress Circe, who turns his crew into pigs; and the angry sea god Poseidon.
Jess Aarons has been practicing all summer so he can be the fastest runner in the fifth grade. And he almost is, until the new girl in school, Leslie Burke, outpaces him. The two become fast friends and spend most days in the woods behind Leslie’s house, where they invent an enchanted land called Terabithia. One morning, Leslie goes to Terabithia without Jess and a tragedy occurs. It will take the love of his family and the strength that Leslie has given him for Jess to be able to deal with his grief.
We hope these 15 classic books for tween boys will get your son revved up for reading this summer and all year long! Tween boys are a precious commodity and reading the classics will help nurture them into wise young men!