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Books That Will Get A Reluctant 9-12 Year Old Boy to Read

MMO
The list author says: "Many children don't like to read for many reasons. The first thing to do is to think about your child's likes, personality and habits. If he finds reading difficult, go for shorter, easier books. Experiment from various genres (ACTION/ADVENTURE, CONTEMPORARY, FANTASY, HISTORICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL, HORROR, HUMOR, SCI-FI) to see if any grab his attention. Series books are especially good because if he likes one, he'll likely want to read more of the same.

AUDIO BOOKS
If he's an auditory person, look for books on tape/CD that you can listen to in the car or right before going to bed.

COMIC BOOKS & GRAPHIC NOVELS
For those who have a hard time reading, the comic book route is a good way to get kids started on reading. Mangas, essentially Japanese comic books bound like regular paperbacks, are especially good - and there are hundreds to choose from. The surprising thing about mangas is they use vocabulary that’s rated higher than an average book targeted for the same age but are more quickly consumed and understood by kids because they are so visual. You’ll want to carefully check the recommended reading age on each manga as content can be quite mature.

AWARD WINNERS
Check out my other listmania lists for Notable Books. You can also go to: http://www.ala.org/ala/awardsgrants/booksprintmedia/childrenyngadults/index.cfm

NON-FICTION
Some kids don't like fiction but find non-fiction really interesting. You might want to consider getting a subscription or checking out from the library a trade magazine in his area of interest. If he's into video games (what 11-year old boy is not?), there's Game Informer and Game Pro; sports - Sports Illustrated for Kids; animals - Zoobooks. Also, there are tons of kid "how-to" books for hobbies such as cooking, crafts, science, etc. that go beyond simple step-by-step instructions. These are a great way to get more reading in as well as do some fun projects together."
The Whipping Boy
The Whipping Boy
"HIGHLY RECOMMENDED AS AN AUDIO BOOK/AWARD WINNER This is the link for the book; see below for audio book link. Reminiscent of the Prince and the Pauper, this 1987 Newberry winner is a wonderful story about a servant boy whose sole purpose is to receive the punishment for a spoiled prince's misdeeds. This is especially good in the audio form. An Easy Read."
The Whipping Boy (Chivers Children's Audio Books)
The Whipping Boy (Chivers Children's Audio Books)
"HIGHLY RECOMMENDED AS AN AUDIO BOOK/AWARD WINNER This is the link for the audio cassette.  See above for the link to the book and its description. With Amazon's high price tag, you might want to look for this elsewhere or check it out at the library."
Eragon (Inheritance, Book 1)
Eragon (Inheritance, Book 1)
"RECOMMENDED AS AN AUDIO BOOK/FANTASY This is the link for the audio CD; below is the link to the book. If your child enjoyed the Lord of The Rings movies, the audio (NOT the movie) will probably be up his alley."
Eragon (Inheritance, Book 1)
Eragon (Inheritance, Book 1)
"RECOMMENDED AS AN AUDIO BOOK/FANTASY This is the link for the book; see above for the audio CD link and description. A long book, this is not a light read."
The Monsters of Morley Manor
The Monsters of Morley Manor
"HIGHLY RECOMMENDED AS AN AUDIO BOOK/HORROR A fun book with wacky characters, humorous dialogue, and a convoluted plot. Get the audio book.  Done by Bruce Coville himself, it is excellent. This link is for audio download which is handy if you want to burn it to CD or would like it in mp3 for an ipod.  It's also on audio CD (with another narrator) & cassette. Below is the link to the book."
The Monsters of Morley Manor: A Madcap Adventure
The Monsters of Morley Manor: A Madcap Adventure
"HIGHLY RECOMMENDED AS AN AUDIO BOOK/HORROR This is the link for the book; see above for the link to the audio download and the book description. An Easy Read."
Stormbreaker (Alex Rider)
Stormbreaker (Alex Rider)
"RECOMMENDED ACTION/ADVENTURE This series is about 14-year old boy, Alex Rider, who is a reluctant spy for MI-6.  Action packed and easy to read, it is very popular for this age group."
Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, Book 1)
Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, Book 1)
"RECOMMENDED ACTION/ADVENTURE Featuring ingenious criminal mastermind 12-year old Artemis Fowl, this series contains cleverly orchestrated plots and is set in today's world with fantasy, folklore & technology elements.  An Easy Read."
SilverFin (Young Bond, No.1)
SilverFin (Young Bond, No.1)
"RECOMMENDED ACTION/ADVENTURE Another popular, action-packed series with James Bond as a 14-year old, before his life as a spy."
Ben Franklin's Almanac: Being a True Account of the Good Gentleman's Life
Ben Franklin's Almanac: Being a True Account of the Good Gentleman's Life
"RECOMMENDED BIOGRAHY A 2004 ALSC Recommended Book for older readers, this biography of Ben Franklin is filled with all sorts of information and details that bring it to life."
Holes
Holes
"HIGHLY RECOMMENDED CONTEMPORARY A great story about a boy named Stanley Yelnats who is wrongfully accused of stealing and put into a juvenile detention camp that forces kids to dig "character building" holes.  The subplots threaded through the story are every bit as enthralling as the main plot.  The characters are vivid and the storytelling is humorous."
Loser
Loser
"HIGHLY RECOMMENDED CONTEMPORY Anything by Jerry Spinelli is excellent.  Most kids enjoy him.  Adults have been also known to sneak away his books to read while the kids are sleeping.  You might want to also check out Spinelli's Flipped and Stargirl."
Stranded
Stranded
"RECOMMENDED CONTEMPORARY Stranded is about 12-year old Koby who tries to rescue a wounded pilot whale even as she struggles to understand and come to terms with herself, her disability (a prosthetic leg), and her parents troubled marriage.  Great settings and the anti-heroine, Kobe is well-fleshed out."
Dr. Slump, Vol. 1
Dr. Slump, Vol. 1
"RECOMMENDED COMICS/MANGA This is my son's favorite manga series with its crazy body humor and slapstick."
Dragon Ball Z, Vol. 1
Dragon Ball Z, Vol. 1
"RECOMMENDED COMICS/MANGA Well drawn, it is heavy on action.  Please note there is also some cartoon violence."
Garfield at Large: His 1st Book
Garfield at Large: His 1st Book
"RECOMMENDED COMICS/MANGA My son says that the older Garfield comic strips are the best."
Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat: A Calvin and Hobbes Collection
Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat: A Calvin and Hobbes Collection
"RECOMMENDED COMICS/MANGA Calvin and Hobbes comics are classics loved by all."
Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone
"RECOMMENDED FANTASY This is the book that got my son to learn how to read.  We've read every Harry Potter out loud together ever since."
The Forest of Silence (Deltora Quest)
The Forest of Silence (Deltora Quest)
"RECOMMENDED FANTASY The Deltora Quest series of books are quick and easy reads with formulaic but well done plots. Rodda manages to keep the tension in the story and the reader engaged and wondering what will happen next. An Easy Read."
A History of US: The First Americans: Prehistory-1600 A History of US Book One
A History of US: The First Americans: Prehistory-1600 A History of US Book One
"RECOMMENDED HISTORY The first of an 11-book US history series, Joy Hakim series is kid friendly and oriented to the contemporary, tech-oriented kid."
The Haunted School (Goosebumps #59)
The Haunted School (Goosebumps #59)
"RECOMMENDED HORROR Over 200 books in this series, these are easy to read, light, horror stories.  There is some variance in creep factor, humor, and seriousness. An Easy Read."
Horowitz Horror: Stories You'll Wish You Never Read
Horowitz Horror: Stories You'll Wish You Never Read
"RECOMMENDED HORROR A little more intense than R.L. Stine's Goosebumps and intended for an older audience, Horowitz put together this book of horror short stories.  If your child likes this one, he might also enjoy Horowitz' 2nd book called More Horowitz Horror."
Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy Part 1: The Night of the Nasty Nostril Nuggets (Pt.1)
Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy Part 1: The Night of the Nasty Nostril Nuggets (Pt.1)
"RECOMMENDED HUMOR A ridiculously funny series with comic-strip like drawings throughout the book.  An Easy Read."
Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery
Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery
"RECOMMENDED HUMOR This is the first book in the horror series about Bunnicula, a vampire bunny.  It is more heavy in humor than fright.  Very funny and great for the kid who is a reluctant reader.  An Easy Read."
The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1)
The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1)
"RECOMMENDED HUMOR This series is about 3 children who have been orphaned and subsequently pursued for their considerable fortune by their evil uncle.  All the books reassuringly follow the same inventive formula. Kids will appreciate the dry, dark humor and intimate voice of the narrator.  Lots of great vocabularly is woven in the books too."
Oh, Yuck! The Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty
Oh, Yuck! The Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty
"RECOMMENDED NON-FICTION Some will love the grusome nature of this book as all sorts of gross facts and trivia fill this encyclopedia."
The Giver (Giver Quartet)
The Giver (Giver Quartet)
"HIGHLY RECOMMENDED SCI-FI This terrific 1994 Newbery Winner is set in an utopia where crime, hunger, pain, unemployment, and sadness no longer exist.  Twelve-year old Jonah is selected to become the next Giver and learns about the cost to create such a perfect world."
Uglies (The Uglies)
Uglies (The Uglies)
"HIGHLY RECOMMENDED SCI-FI Any thing by Scott Westerfield is terrific.  This series is set in the future where science has eliminated the need for war and conflict by making everyone the same: pretty.  Westerfield uses young adult science fiction to examine our society and culture in fresh and fascinating ways.  If you like this one, you might also want to check out Peeps and Midnighters."
The Rising Force (Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice, Book 1)
The Rising Force (Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice, Book 1)
"RECOMMENDED SCI-FI If your child likes the Star Wars Movies, he might enjoy reading the Star Wars Jedi Apprentice Series.  These are highly recommended by my son."