Got boys? Got books! Here’s a selection of stories with something for whatever kind of reader you have in your house, recommended by assorted editors, agents and D.C. librarians (girls allowed, too).


Diary of a Wimpy Kid (series) by Jeff Kinney.

Behold the power of the Cheese Touch, and other important playground lessons.

Origami Yoda →(series)

by Tom Angleberger.

The particular agony of creating a paper finger puppet, and having it become more popular than you.

The Secret Series (series) by Pseudonymous Bosch.

The adventures of the Terces Society are so super hush-hush that the books’ author really shouldn’t be telling you this story at all.

Popular Clone

by M.E. Castle.

A science whiz whips up a double to suffer the torment of middle school, while he stays home and eats Cheetos.


Percy Jackson and the Olympians (series) by Rick Riordan.

A logical answer to “What do I read after ‘Harry Potter’?” The book also doubles as an intro to Greek mythology.

The Maze Runner (series) by James Dashner.

A group of boys wake up in a maze with no memory of why they were put there — or what they need to do to get out.

Ranger’s Apprentice →→(series) by John Flanagan.

Originally written for Flanagan’s non-bookish son, the books are a fantastical version of medieval Europe.

Monster Blood Tattoo (series)

by David Cornish.

After growing up in an orphanage, Rossamund is selected to be a Lamplighter in a far-off land.


The Baseball Card Adventures (series)

by Dan Gutman.

A boy’s time-transporting superpower lets him hang out with Jackie Robinson, the Babe and Shoeless Joe — and change the course of history.

My Name Is America (series) by Various.

History witnessed through the fictional journals of young men.

Reliable Standbys

Captain Underpants →→(series) by Dav Pilkey.

What child wouldn’t want to live in a world in which monsters can be vanquished by shooting underwear?

The Fudge Books (series) by Judy Blume.

Two words: Uncle Feather.

Henry Huggins (series) by Beverly Cleary.

His pesky neighbor Ramona Quimby would eventually eclipse his fame, but Henry’s adventures still hold up.

Please add your own suggestions in the comments.

Monica Hesse