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Classic Books for Boys

boys with book

Classic books for boys are full of adventure, danger, morals and life lessons. Many are still loved centuries after they were first written. It can be exciting to see your young son discover reading, especially when he reads the same titles that entertained you as a child. Traditional classics are often studied in school, but modern day classics are also good for outfitting a home library. Whether your son loves to read about pirates, treasure or young wizards, instilling a love of reading early on makes it more likely he'll continue to read well into his adult years and understand how important reading is.

A List of Classic Books for Boys

Think about the books you loved as a child. Chances are, you'll find many of these same titles around today. Just because today's kids may be more technologically savvy than yesterday's kids, they can still enjoy reading about popular themes such as:

  • Bravery
  • Courage
  • Determination
  • Friendship
  • Good vs. evil

Most childhood classics involve some level of these timeless themes. What makes a classic boy's book? Usually, there's plenty of action, heroism and excitement. While these elements are also present in classic books for girls, popular boys' books typically feature a male main character.

Don't wait until your son is old enough to read on his own to introduce him to classic books for boys. Begin reading to him as a baby. Once he's old enough to read simple books, present him with classic books for boys suitable for young readers. Have him read to you. Act out scenes with him, especially exciting ones where the hero battles the villain. As he matures, supply him with books that challenge him, but let him return to "comfort" books when he wants.

Traditional Classics

The following books are often considered classics. They range in subject matter; it's a good idea to let a boy choose a book based on his particular interests, whether it's about wildlife, fantasy or island adventures. The reading levels vary, so you'll find books for budding readers and books that will take a boy into his teenage years.

  • A Bear Called Paddington
  • The Phantom Tollbooth
  • The Three Musketeers
  • Call of the Wild
  • White Fang
  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • James and the Giant Peach
  • Treasure Island
  • Kidnapped
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Around the World in Eighty Days
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • The Indian in the Cupboard
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Pinocchio
  • Peter Pan
  • Aesop's Fables
  • The Chronicles of Narnia
  • Tarzan of the Apes
  • A Christmas Carol
  • The Jungle Book
  • Little Bear
  • Swiss Family Robinson
  • Harry the Dirty Dog
  • The Last of the Mohicans
  • Robinson Crusoe
  • Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • Black Beauty
  • The Red Pony
  • The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
  • Dr. Seuss titles

Modern Classics

Maybe a boy prefers books written more recently about subjects he's more familiar with. These books may not be considered classics now, but are still well loved by many. In another century, they may well be considered "traditional" classics:

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Holes
  • Harry Potter series

Finding Classics

Fortunately, even prints of books written three centuries ago are available in bookstores and libraries today. You might have copies of your beloved childhood books to pass along to your sons. Because classics never go out of style, you can keep these books around indefinitely. Your son may then pass along his favorite books to his own kids one day, continuing a lifelong love of literature for the next generation.

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Classic Books for Boys