great books for boys

Inside: Have a hard time finding great books for boys? Use this list to grab already vetted books that your boys are sure to love!

I use reading to teach pretty much everything in our homeschool: history, math, science, vocabulary, and just about everything else.

Picture book reading usually happens before bed every night (after rambunctious, pull the book right out of my hand toddler is asleep).

My target picture book audience is currently my middle boys, ages five and three, although my daughter still loves to listen in, too. Maybe it’s just me, but I have a much harder time choosing great books for boys – books that truly delight and engage them – than I ever had choosing books for my daughter.


For my daughter, I easily found series she loved: Little House on the Prairie (she listened to this audiobook version), Beverly Cleary’s Ramona series, and the Boxcar Children. Keeping her in chapter books was simple.

Picture books were the same way. They didn’t have to be particularly funny or adventurous. She loved almost every book I brought home from the library.

The boys? They set the bar higher. “If a book doesn’t have at least three laughs, it’s not a hit,” my five-year-old said nonchalantly one day before bed. Books have to be either humorous or extremely engaging adventure stories.

If a book doesn’t have at least three laughs, it’s not a hit. – My 5-year-old Son

Finding great books for boys is a challenge – I know!

While I try to use this reading treasury to select books, I’ll be honest. These days, trips to the library look more like grabbing every single book the librarians decide to display on the shelves that looks even remotely interesting.

Side Note: I’m realizing that illustrators are the ones that actually sell books. Sometimes, I’ll quickly grab a book with amazing illustrations, only to get home and find the book itself to be very disappointing. It gives a whole new meaning to, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But that’s another post.

The point is that most of these books were happy accidents, discovered by grabbing huge stacks of books and hoping that a handful of them were hits.

The majority of these books are laugh out loud funny, with one or two gripping adventure stories thrown in as well. I hope you find these books to be great for your boys, too!

Miss the first set of unexpectedly awesome books for boys? Read it now: 17 Unexpectedly Awesome Books for Young Boys

Looking for great books for boys? Finding the best picture books can be so frustrating! Try these: they made my boys laugh out loud!

20 Great Books for Boys

1) How to Clean Your Room in 10 Easy Steps by Jennifer Larue Huget

2) Too Many Toys by David Shannon

3) Meet the Dullards by Sara Pennypacker

4) Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony

5) Miss Brooks Loves Books (and I don’t) by Barbara Bottner

6) The Younger Brother’s Survival Guide by Lisa Kopelke

7) The Magic Word by Mac Barnett

8) I Don’t Like Koala by Sean Ferrell

9) The Whopper by Rebecca Ashdown

10) I’m Bored by Michael Ian Black

11) Another Brother by Matthew Cordell

12) The Highway Rat by Julia Donaldson

13) Frog & Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel

14) Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming

15) Bob’s Hungry Ghost by Genevieve Cote

16) It’s Only Stanley by Jon Agee

17) I’ll Wait, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony

18) The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

19) Alexander, Who’s Trying His Best to Be the Best Boy Ever by Judith Viorst

20) Those Darn Squirrels and the Cat Next Door by Adam Rubin

20 More Great Books for Young Boys - the greatest hits with my boys from our library finds (ages 4-6, 6-8)

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  1. The Magic Word was a big hit with my boys! This week we discovered Chicks and Salsa, and Carnivores. Both really funny! Also, Tyranosaurus Rex and the Very First Chicken was too cute. Thanks for the suggestions!!

    1. Author

      I’m so glad, Melanie! I’ll have to check out the ones you mentioned – thanks so much for sending them. We’ll have another list coming soon. We’re finding some good ones lately! It’s interesting because they are branching out in what they love – there will be some semi-serious but super engaging ones in our next list, along with the usual hilarious ones. Stay tuned!

  2. Thank you for another great list! My son has been enjoying your selections from our library.

    1. Author

      You’re so welcome! This is great feedback – we’ll keep them coming as soon as we have enough awesome titles for another post! 🙂

  3. These are such fun books! My boys also love Doggone Dogs!, anything by Mo Willems, and Not a Box.

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