My son is an avid reader. Anyone who knows my firstborn knows that he always has his head buried in a book. His love for reading series books started in the 2nd grade with Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone. My grandparents gave it to him when he was about two years old, long before he was old enough to read. Although my husband and I had tried reading it aloud to him at the time, for one reason or another (probably the birth of his little sister) we never got through it.
My baby boy turned 15 this month, and he has been reading series ever since he started that Harry Potter book so many years ago. He’ll read books that aren’t a part of a series, but he much prefers to follow characters and story lines across multiple books. He is truly ‘Serious 4 Series.’ So much so that when he gets in trouble the only punishment that really has an impact is not letting him read! Lucky for him I just can’t get on board with grounding him from reading. Video games, yes. Television, yes. Cell phone, yes. Reading, not for this mom!
Moms of boys (and his teachers, school librarians, etc.) are always asking me what he’s reading and how they can get their guys more passionate about books. So, in honor of his birthday we made a list of his 15 favorite book series out of all the ones he’s ever read. And let me tell you, he had a hard time narrowing it down to 15!
Some of these books girls would like too, but mostly they are geared for boys. In our list you’ll find out the title of the series, the author, how many books are included, and if the series is finished or ongoing. Like the movies (his other passion), he gave each series a completely unofficial PG or PG-13 rating. If you click on the link provided it’ll take you to the first book in each series.
Drum roll please………
1. Harry Potter. Of course! Written by J.K. Roling, there are 7 books in this series and it is, as you all know, complete. My son gave the series a PG rating, but the later books in the series are definitely moving into PG-13 territory. And if you’re really a fan you can watch all 8 of the movies and visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal in Orlando!
2. Gone. Michael Grant writes this series with 5 books so far and more to come. This series is for sure PG-13, with every person 15 and older vanishing in a California town. Too scary for younger readers, but a great series for teens!
3. 39 Clues. There are 11 books in this PG rated series written by a collaboration of authors and published by Scholastic. They are written at a 3rd grade + reading level. These books are short, making them a perfect introduction to series reading for kids who are turned off by long books. Although the original 39 Clues series is now complete, it continues in a second series entitled Cahills vs. Vespers. There are 4 books so far in the second series, with more on the way. There is also a web based interactive game, trading cards, and a movie by Steven Spielberg to be released in 2014.
4. Artemis Fowl. This PG series is written by Irish author Eoin Colfer. There are currently seven books in the series, with the eighth and final book set to be released this summer. This science fantasy novel is a must read for boys!
5. Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Another favorite is this PG series written by Rick Riordin. There are five books in the series and it is complete. But it was so popular that it has continued on with a second series, The Heroes of Olympus. With two books already, there are three more to go in this follow-up series. And if you’re a true fan, there’s even a movie!
6. Keys to the Kingdom. There are seven books in this PG series by Garth Nix and it is complete. It is a fantasy adventure that your boy will love. Much to my son’s irritation I am constantly confusing this series with Disney’s Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson. If you’re a Disney fan like me, you’ll want your kids reading that PG series too. There are five books currently, with two more on the way and an online game. Although it didn’t make his list, it would have been on mine!
7. Cryptid Hunters. So far there are only two books in this PG series by Roland Smith about twins sent to live with their archeologist uncle. According to the author’s blog, there are more books to come in this series. If you like his work, he has authored many other series books geared towards guys.
8. Michael Vey. There is one book in this series, with a second to be released later this summer. But this PG book by Richard Paul Evans has already achieved great success and a large following. It’s about a 14 year old boy who has Tourette’s syndrome AND special electric powers. Looking forward to book two!
9. The Hunger Games. This PG-13 trilogy by Suzanne Collins needs no introduction. I’ve read this one, and the post-apocolyptic scenario of children killing other children for sport was a bit much for me. Nevertheless, the series and movie are wildly popular and deserving of earning a spot on my son’s top fifteen.
10. I Am Number Four. Written by two authors under the pseudonym of Pittacus Lore, this PG-13 series currently has two books, with another set to be released this summer. These books are a great combination of teen action and science fiction. For diehard fans, there was also a movie released in 2011.
11. The Mysterious Benedict Society. There are three books in this amazing PG series written by Trenton Lee Stewart, plus a prequel about the “boy who started it all.” My son has loved these books and they are perfect for boys eight and up. Readers get to solve puzzles and clues right along with the characters in this mind bending series.
12. BZRK. No that’s not a typo, the actual name of this PG-13 book is BZRK! I think it must be pronounced like the word berserk, but that’s just a guess on my part. There is only one book so far in this series by Michael Grant (also author of the Gone series, which is #2 on our list) about the battle for control over the human mind, but it’s a good one!
13. Quantum Prophecy. This three book PG series by Irish author Michael Carroll is written for kids age 10 and up. Boys will love the plot, filled with more superheroes and supervillans than they could ever dream of.
14. Ender’s Game. There are two books in this science fiction series by Orson Scott Card. But after the two primary books, there are multiple other offshoots of novels and short stories if you really want to delve in. Although written for ages 10 and up, my son said it was more of a PG-13 to him. Go figure.
15. Lonesome Dove. Last but certainly not least is this classic four book series about two Texas Rangers and the Wild West. Although written by Larry McMurtry for adults, this PG-13 series can also be enjoyed by teens. Lonesome Dove is still my brother’s all-time favorite book, and I’m glad he introduced it to my son too.
Well, there you have it. 15 book series that will keep your sons interested and engaged in reading well beyond their teen years. In the comments section below, please feel free to share some of your favorite series for guys or girls. We’re always looking for something good to read . . .
Happy 15th birthday BWD. I love you more than you could ever know and am so proud to be your mom (even though your driving scares me half to death! JK!). Keep reading and always stay true to who you are.