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Book Recommendations for 7-8 Year Old Boy?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I need some book recommendations for my 7 year old.  He likes the Captain Underpants and Diaper Baby books, but I'd really like something with a better message (they pull pranks a lot and use questionable language in these books).


He likes the Magic Treehouse series, but finds them easy and a little slow.


He does not want to read Harry Potter yet as he feels it's too scary.


Any recommendations?  He wants books for Christmas, but I have no idea what to get him and googling is not helping!


He likes sports a lot if that makes any difference.


I also wondered about the old "choose your own adventure" series, do they still make those?  (where it has different possible endings?).


Thanks in advance!


post #2 of 18

Ds is 9 and has read Cabin Creek books for about a year now. They're mysteries & the main characters are 2 brothers and their cousin, who's a girl. 

post #3 of 18

This might be too easy of a read for your son if he finds The Magic Treehouse Series too easy.

But, my son and daughter (both 7) started The Chalk Box Kid today.  The character's frustration and feelings, and how he deals with it, come together for a nice story.



edited for clarification

Edited by dbsam - 11/9/11 at 9:03pm
post #4 of 18

Check out the Melvin Beederman series (he's a kid superhero):



Sports Illustrated recently put out a line of graphic novels for kids. Here's one:



DS really liked the series about Stink (brother to Judy Moody):



Franny K. Stein is fun:



Hope this helps!


p.s. The only recent choose your own adventures I know of are the Star Wars ones called Decide Your Destiny. The reading level is probably more 3rd-4th grade, and I don't know how you'd feel about content. My son does love them, though. Oh, look what I found!


post #5 of 18

We've just started reading Terry Prattchets Johnny and the dead to DD, there are 2 further books about the same characters. So far she's enjoying it.



post #6 of 18

DS really enjoyed The Boxcar Children series in 1st & 2nd grade.  There are over 100 in the series, so no chance of running out anytime soon if he likes it smile.gif


He also really liked George's Secret Key to the Universe  & George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt by Stephen Hawking & Lucy Hawking as well as the Little House series.


He hasn't read The Chronicles of Narnia yet, but I'm going to suggest them soon.



post #7 of 18

The choose your your adventure books were a big hit around my house with both an 8yo girl and boy.  We got all of ours from the library but it looks like amazon.com has some individual ones along with some box sets.


The Geronimo Stilton books were a fave for awhile, they are a bit different as they have fun fonts throughout the book.  Check out one "Look Inside" books on amazon.  http://www.amazon.com/mn/search/?ref_=sr_tc_2_0&redirect=true&rh=i%3Astripbooks%2Ck%3AGeronimo%20Stilton&keywords=Geronimo%20Stilton&qid=1321235872&sr=1-2-ent&field-contributor_id=B002L9IMP8&rd=1


Although my little guy has started the Harry Potter series, he is in love with the Chronicles of Narnia right now. When he finished the first book he was just amazed at how good it was and couldn't stop talking about how much fun it was.  He is also reading supplemental books about the author C.S. Lewis to go along with the series.



The Mistmantle Chronicles have 5 books in the series that my son enjoyed.  From Amazon: Triumphant heroes and brilliantly wicked villains do battle in this heart-stopping adventure in the great tradition of Watership Down and The Wind in the Willowshttp://www.amazon.com/Mistmantle-Chronicles-Urchin-Riding-Stars/dp/B000O75I42/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1321236364&sr=1-4


We've gone through quite a few of the Animorphs books but interested seems to have died off (something like 50 books in the series!)


He's read all of the Percy Jackson books, haven't started on the new series yet.


All of the Roald Dahl and Beverly Clearly books were big hits too.

post #8 of 18

Childhood of Famous Americans series


I'd like to put in a negative for the Chalk Box kid.  As a kid, I found it a bit much...what with his drunk uncle and abusive father.  Nothing comes right out and says those things, but you get the feeling that his home life is pretty bad.  I felt pretty sad and mixed up when I read it.  I think I was a 4-5th grader, even.

post #9 of 18

If Magic Treehouse is too easy, perhaps this won't work, but DS really likes when I read with him the A-Z Mysteries...he is only 6, and is an almost-reader on his own, and longing for chapter books.  By 7 his big sister was reading Harry Potter -- she thought she would find them scary but didn't for the first few books...

post #10 of 18

My 7-year-old loves the Boxcar Children, all the Wimpy Kid books, Bone, Horrid Henry and the whole Horrible Histories series.  (Those last two might be British, I'm not sure, but I think you can get them on Amazon).  Horrible Histories is rather gruesome (it takes the most disgusting facts about history and presents it in a way that is utterly fascinating to most little boys, but they do learn A LOT of history from it!). There is also a Horrible Science series, which my son also loves. He also recently finished The Mysterious Benedict Society and the sequel (sorry, can't remember the name), which I also really liked, the first 39 Clues book and Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief, and he loved them all.  He's such a voracious reader I'm always happy when we find a series of books to keep him busy for a while!


You might also consider some Roald Dahl books (Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, James & the Giant Peach, Matilda, etc.)  Both my kids (7 and 5) love those.  Also E.B. White? (Charlotte's Web & Stuart Little).  If your son likes animals, he might enjoy the James Herriott series too (All Creatures Great & Small, etc.).  I LOVE those books and just started reading them to my kids. 

post #11 of 18

My 6yo and 4yo lads have been working their way through J.C. Greenburg's Andrew Lost series with my husband.  My 6yo can read the chapters.  thumb.gif

post #12 of 18

The Roald Dahl books are great.


My son loved the Wimpy kid series (read last year @ 8). He is reading a book called Justin Case right now, that he seems to enjoy.



post #13 of 18

my son is currently reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid and he is 7.  Reading level on report card said I think 24?  I googled it, it was considered like mid-second grade level.  He's 1st grade.  He also likes Junie B. Jones but I don't hear or see a lot of Magic Treehouse in his books at school or coming home from the library.


Wimpy Kid mentions the high school brother having a party while the parents are out of town, but in the end, both kids get in trouble for it, and it doesn't mention anything except that it happened and how they had to clean up before the parents got home, and eventually how they figure it out and they get in trouble.  He also hides in the bathroom to avoid swimming lessons and has an embarrassing moment involving accidentally going into the womens bathroom that turns into a 'cool story' around school.  I read the book DS brought home and decided i was OK with it, maybe you want to do the same with anything before giving it to your son?  Everyone's ideas are different after all.

post #14 of 18

*I* loved the boxcar children and little house!  not sure I knew there were HUNDREDS Of boxcar books I remember reading maybe 8 that the library had?  Another favorite book of mine, and it was really old back when I was about 9...I discovered it when I had to read a biography or autobiography (don't recall which) for a summer reading program the lib. had.  It was called "The Family Nobody Wanted" I think--or something very close to that.  About a woman who adopted I think 9 kids from all different places...probably ultra cool because I'm adopted?  I also loved Superfudge and anything by Judy Blume, way back.

post #15 of 18

My ds is 9 now but in the past couple of years he has read many of the ones people have already posted about.   One series that he loved was And then it happened by M & L Wade.  I think there are 9 books in the series.  I read parts of them when ds found particularly funny parts he wanted to share and I don't remember any language concerns or bad messages.  Just dramatic talk using big words to describe a crazy race down a hill on a sled and crashing into a house - but funny if you kwim.


He's also enjoyed reading some of the Hardy Boys series as he likes mystery books. 

post #16 of 18

Have to add in another vote for Roald Dahl -- James and the Giant Peach is a good one to start with, but my son loved them all.


Also another vote for Justin Case.  Excellent book -- sweet/innocent and funny at once, which is hard to find.  I wish more people knew about it!


Definitely try Nate the Great -- they've got the comic element like Capt Underpants but are geared slightly older.


The Horrid Henry books are pretty funny and easy/short reads.


My fourth grader looooved Strange Case of Origami Yoda, but it's more middle grade, on level of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, I'd say (which are also favorites around here).


If he likes the Magic Tree House series, he may like the Knights of the Kitchen Table series -- sort of similar (they magically visit other time periods) but more boy-geared.


Squish the Super Amoeba is fantastic if you don't mind how short it is (it's also a comic).  The Babymouse series, by the same writers, is adorable, but they geared towards girls, pink and girlish.  (My son still likes them but won't let his friends know, lol.)





post #17 of 18

You wrote:  He likes the Captain Underpants and Diaper Baby books, but I'd really like something with a better message (they pull pranks a lot and use questionable language in these books).


I completely understand your desire for him to move on to more worthy books, but in all honesty, I'd be careful! If he is still enjoying those, and wants to continue reading them, please let him. I teach struggling readers online, and for some, they lost interest when they weren't allowed to choose books for themselves. Others never found a series to love, and that held them back. 


Choosing a book on your own is a whole different thing that being told what to read. I include myself in that category. Books I read for someone else's sake or assignment didn't attract me or appeal to me, even if I did go back later, read them, and enjoy them thoroughly. Reading is an "in the minute" thing, and him wanting to read them is what will turn him into a lifelong reader! ;D


So absolutely introduce him to some new books, but don't take the others away. Someone suggested the Horrid Henry series, but I don't think it's for you (though he might love it!) as it involves a very horrible boy indeed! I suspect he'd like it. Also up his alley, as mentioned above: the Stink series, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.


Here are a few others that can hook boys, though not necessarily him:



The Secrets of Droon (series)

The Dragon Slayer’s Academy (series)

Geronimo Stilton (series) 

Time Warp Trio (series)

Hank the Cowdog (series)


Each of these series has hooked many young readers I know. Be sure the books you introduce him to are only a bit higher in difficulty. Too big a leap can really shut a kid down fast.


Good luck! And do consider just grinning and bearing those ridiculous books. He'll tire of them soon enough, and be hungry to find series or titles that will challenge him further, and many of his choices will be about more admirable topics. 


Best of luck! :D


post #18 of 18

Thanks, Lucky Mama! This was very useful for me. :)

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