book recommendations from a sixteen year old boy


David, age 11 and Ethan, age 16

I would be most content if my children grew up
to be the kind of people who think decorating
consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.
~Anna Quindlen

My brother Dave sent David a book for his birthday.  It was a copy of a book that he enjoyed when he was David’s age, Danny the Champion of the World, by Roald Dahl.  David read the entire book over the weekend, finishing it in the car on the way home from church yesterday.

Watching David read his new book made Ethan think of all the books he has enjoyed over the years.  The other night he went through all the bookshelves in the house and selected his all time favorite titles.  As he went from room to room, his younger brother David was with him, too.  He brought the stack to the living room to show me and I laughed when he told me that David had already read quite a few of them because he “made him.”

Out of the all the books, David reminded him of the ones he had read, and Ethan gave him a few others that he still has to read (his brother will make him).  A couple of them, we agreed, were probably not suitable for his age yet but will be in the “someday” pile.

Here is the entire stack:



Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer, series by John Grisham.

Tucket’s Travels, by Gary Paulsen

The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (for older readers)

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards

The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan

Pathfinder  by Orson Scott Card  (for older readers)

The Lord of the Rings series, including The Hobbit, by J.R. Tolkien

Frightful’s Mountain by Jean Craighead George (and her other books, too)

Poppy’s Return by Avi

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl (Ethan preferred this one to Chocolate Factory)

Boy by Roald Dahl

Cryptid Hunters by Roland Smith

The Mad Scientists’ Club by Bertrand R. Brinley

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

The Black Pearl by Scott O’Dell

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimph by Robert C. O’Brian

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (Ethan said the movie was a big disappointment; the book is much better)

((Never judge a book by its movie. ~J.W. Eagan))


See also Ethan’s sister Grace’s list here.  (some of the books are repeats!)

(I am still reading Les Mis)

2 thoughts on “book recommendations from a sixteen year old boy

  1. I love book lists! I wish my boys were avid readers… my daughter is!:) I’m not sure I’ll ever be done with les mis.

  2. Love that he “makes” his brother read. We had a friend who used the same literature based curriculum as we did. We would read about 60 books a year, some on their own and some read aloud. My friend asked the boys to narrow the list to the must reads, and they only took out about 5 books. 🙂

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