25 top books for boys (7-12*)

I am very thrilled to have this guest post on the blog today. Not only does it give me a list to print out for the 8 year old to take to the library with him this week, but it is also a chance to highlight the first book in a new series written by Australian author A.L. Tait. The folks at Readings (famous Melbourne book store) reviewed with The Mapmaker Chronicles with glowing praise:

Part fantasy quest, part peril on the high seas, Race to the End of the World is rollicking fun. Not since Emily Rodda’s Deltora Quest series has there been such an exciting adventure tale from an Australian author. Echoes of Robinson Crusoe make this feel like a classic with a new twist, and it’s perfect for readers aged 8 to 12 who are looking for some escapism in the sea of contemporary stories. Monsters, stowaways, jealous courtiers and lost islands – this is a great start to a series that promises a lot to come.


The idea for The Mapmaker Chronicles came to me over the course of several conversations with my two boys, now aged seven and ten. I am lucky that they are both enthusiastic readers, and we often discuss such things as which dwarf from The Hobbit we’d invite around for a dinner party (my answer: none) and which wizard you’d want on your side in a crisis – Gandalf or Dumbledore (this is a very lengthy conversation).

In the case of The Mapmaker Chronicles, we were talking one night about space – how far it went, what was at the end – one night, and explorers the next. I explained to the boys that trying to imagine the world for those very first explorers was exactly like us trying to imagine the outer limits of space – and still they got into their ships and went to find out, all the time wondering when they were going to sail right off the edge…

And, in an instant, I could see a race to map the world – and a boy who would really much rather have stayed home.

When I sat down to write The Mapmaker Chronicles, I knew exactly what kind of book it needed to be and I set out to write a tale that was fun, adventurous, full of action and surprises and, as Mr10 put it, ‘a little bit funny’.

Exactly the kind of book that we like to read around here.

This list of books for boys takes in all of those things in some shape or form. They are books that we have either read or are on the ‘to be read’ pile. I hope you find something for your boys (and girls, because, really, what’s not to love about any of these for girls?) here.

Tried and true favourites

You might remember these:


New and exciting

For older readers

mapmaker chroniclesA. L. Tait is the author of The Mapmaker Chronicles, an exciting adventure trilogy for boys (9+). The first book in the series, The Race To The End Of The World, is on sale now, and you can find out more about it here.

*Choosing the right book for the right age can be challenging, because so much depends on your child’s reading ability and readiness for certain themes. If in doubt, ask your local bookshop owner or librarian for advice.


What books do your boys and girls like to read?

Please note as A. L. Tait points out these books are perfect for girls too. I asked A. L. Tait to write this list as I find there are certain types of books my boys have been drawn to and love having lists to keep them reading.

Also at the time of writing the The Mapmaker Chronicles was on sale at Booktopia, reduced from RRP $14.99 to $11.50.