Trumpteter of Krakow, Poland in the middle ages, adventure, duty, etc.
Mark Twain's books, some of them, especially The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Tom Sawyer’s Comrade (both of these last two links are to a free Kindle version).
Rudyard Kipling's adventure stories- Kim, for example I love this story of the lively little orphan Irish boy and 3rd culture kid who endears himself to nearly everybody he meets. Also The Jungle Book with Mowgli, Bagheera, and all the rest. The original is not the Disney version. Our oldest son-inlaw read this aloud to our oldest grandchild when he was just three (but he’s gifted), and Captains Courageous, a great boy story about a spoiled rich boy who learns to be a man and his shallow parents who learn to love their son. Plus sailors and fishing boats. In general I would say these are readable for boys about fifth grade and up.
Robin Hood, by Howard Pyle, almost anything else by him.
The Good Master, and other books by Kate Seredy. The Chestry Oak is a huge favorite at our house.
The Phanton Tollbooth, by Juster (this is a really fun book, but it's
very hard to explain. There is some magic, but I really think it might
be acceptable to many who don't ordinarily care for magic- most of the
'magic' is really a play on words. There's a mathemagician who rules
the kingdom of numbers, a 'which' named Faintly Macabre whose job is
to help people choose the right word, there are demons such as the demon
of insincerity, the horrible hopping two faced gorgon... do check it out)
Jules Verne's books
The White Mountains, When the Tripods Came, The City of Gold and Lead,
and The Pool of Fire by John Christopher- these books are science
fiction and tell the story of earth conquered by strange aliens, and
how a group of resistance fighters discover the alien's weakness and use it to overthrow them and regain control of earth-the resistance
fighters are boys;-) I love these books, especially When the Tripods
Came. **I do not like other books written by the same author***, but
this series is different and a great read for the science fiction
reader. Probably about sixth grade and up reading level. Good stuff
about freedom, liberty, responsibility, clear thinking.
The Dog of Flanders, by ouida
Other dog books by Terhune or Kjelgard (probably misspelling his name)
My Friend Flicka, a horse book
The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander (magic content makes these
unacceptable to some), these are witty and funny, and do not take themselves too seriously. Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper is just sure he is meant for bigger, braver, better things, and perhaps he is, but he is learning that being a hero is sometimes a scary thing that carries a lot of responsibility and tasks like cleaning the pig pen.
Gift from the Mikado, by Fleming (this was a fantastic booksale find.
It is the, I believe true, story of a missionary family to Japan at
the turn of the century. The story focuses on two brothers and their
father, and was just a delightful read)
The Great Brain books, by fitzgerald (The Great Brain is a money
grubbing, arrogant and very, very bright young man, and some may not
like these books. We think they're funny)
Sugar Creek Gang books (a series, and with all the shortcomings of a
series, but better written than most, and the characters rely on God)
The Giant, by Dubois (fun story of a giant baby, sounds odd, but it's
cute and the baby is a boy who loves to play with real cars just like
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Illustrated) tales of logic which encourage readers to use their brains. Also The White Company
The Gammage Cup, by Kendall (this one is also hard to explain. IT's
sort of fantasy and sort of science fiction, and awfully fun. Not everyone
will like it, but those that do will probably love it. I think maybe
4th grade and above reading level, The sequel as well).
Gentle Ben and other books by Walt Morey
Encyclopedia Brown books, by Sobol (another series, not for everybody,
but good for helping children think. Perhaps 2nd -5th grade?)
Eleanor Estes has written a lot of good books, some of which appeal
to girls than boys, but others appeal to boys too. We have the
Tunnel of Hugsy Goode, but there are others boys will like.
The Pushcart War, by Merrill (neat story of how pushcart businesses
stand out against giant industry- sounds odd, but it's really an
exciting story and lots of fun. You gotta read it;-))
Books by Clyde Bulla
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (fantasy/science fiction) and sequels, but this one is the best.
The Matchlock Gun
Tolkien's series (magic will be unacceptable to many)
The Thousand and One Nights and other myths and fairy tales (I'm
thinking especially of Sinbad)- magic content may be unacceptable to
And Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons series- these are terrific
fun, especially for any kids interested at all in sailing, but
to all little boys (and big ones, and girls, too) who love adventure.
He wrote in the beginning of this century, I believe, so the children
have much more freedom than we could allow our children today to