Book recs anyone?

My son reads quite well. He likes the Rick Riordan books and books of that nature. He also like reality based books. He likes adventure and humor and he has little patience for romance. He’s in sixth grade. The issue is that his teacher wants him reading books at a ‘higher level’ that she approves, and I haven’t had a chance to talk to her about what that means, and my son doesn’t know either. He’s already read the Harry Potter books, and pretty much I let him read whatever makes him happy. He’s a fairly avid reader and so my philosophy is that as long as he’s reading, he’s golden.

But I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on book recommendations that might work for him. The current crop of YA books is difficult because they have romance and he finds anything remotely associated with that squicky. I was pondering the Shannara series, although my books are packed up in boxes, and possibly some of David Coe’s books. And come to think of it, Kristen Britain’s Green Rider books might work. I gave him Anne McCaffrey’s first three Pern books, but he’s not that interested. Doesn’t like all the weird names. I think it’s because he hasn’t got to the dragons yet, but then again, it might just be his taste.

So thoughts? I”m interested in anything and everything. Nothing’s off limits (except maybe horror since he shies from that), but he can deal with most everything else. Well, except romance. That one has to be fairly low key if he’s going to keep reading.


  • Douglas Meeks

    Try some Poul Anderson and Andre Norton books, there are many of them and the writing is above the level of Harry Potter I think (been many years since I read them )

  • CLNorman

    My son really liked the Pendragon series by D. J. McHale. He also likes the Fablehaven books by Brandon Mull.

    I also really like David Eddings’s Belgariad series starting with Pawn of Prophecy. I started reading them when I was a young teen. The Alex Ryder books by Horowitz and fun, young boy spy books that are also good.

    • Douglas Meeks

      “David Eddings’s Belgariad series” – another good choice but might be a bit too deep, just remember I loved them all

  • e_bookpushers

    David Eddings, Tamora Pierce, James Herriot (might be too old still), Mercedes Lackey, Robin McKinley (might be too romantic), Rudyard Kipling, Isaac Asimov, Susan Cooper, Diane Duane (Young Wizards), Brian Jacque.

    I hope those help.

  • Jen Adam

    My 6th grade son LOVES Greg VanEekhout’s books. KID VS SQUID is about a couple of kids who discover the sinister explanation for the strangely deserted boardwalk one summer, and must right an old wrong to keep from being drawn out to sea when the season ends. It’s a clever adventure with a fresh take on the myths and folklore surrounding merpeople. I loved it as much as he did. BOY AT THE END OF THE WORLD is about a boy and a robot and a post-apocalyptic world, but my son said it was funny and inspiring and made him think about friendship and courage. He also likes the Magic Thief books by Sarah Prineas, the Ranger Apprentice series, and the Artemis Fowl books.

    • Douglas Meeks


      I think we have a winner for a 6th grade boy …. Artemis Fowl would be exactly the kind of book he would enjoy I would think and reading level is perfect. I accidentally grabbed them only a few years ago not knowing the level and I was able to hang in for 2 books before some of the simplistic parts got to me 🙂


  • Julie

    Off the top of my head: Terry Pratchett, of course. The Hank the Cowdog series, by John Erickson. The Graveyard Book by Gaiman is awesome, especially if he reads The Jungle Books first. If he likes animal stories, then Albert Payson Terhune, Thomas Hinkle, and Col. SP Meek were wonderful. You might have a hard time finding those, however, because they are Old. Smokey the Cowhorse by Will James, and his other books too. The Black Stallion books. Watership Down. (Yes, I read a lot of critter books as a kid.) Heinlein’s juveniles were great; I loved The Star Beast.

    I cut my teeth on the Hardy Boys too, although I don’t know how dated they are. And now I’m probably really showing my age…

  • Adrianne

    I’ve got 2 boys, now in college. Here are a few of their favorites when they were younger:

    Anything by Tamora Pierce
    Timothy Zahn’s Dragonback series
    Jane Yolen’s Pit Dragon Series (This has some dark themes, but they ate it up.)
    Swallows and Amazons (series) Arthur Ransome
    They did a stint where Dad read the Dirk Pitt novels to them. They loved that.
    Hardy Boys
    Lawrence Watt-Evans Ethshar books were good for some laughs.

  • Mikaela

    Since I am from Sweden, I’ll suggest the Lionheart brothers and Mio My Son by Astrid Lindgren. ( With the caveat that they might be out of print)

  • Linaka

    Brandon Sanderson – his young adult novels. Great stuff for kids of that age, he’ll love it.
    Anything but Eragon, I’d say 😀

  • Kristy

    Not sure if you would consider them higher level, but I’ve enjoyed John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series, Megan Whalen Turner’s The Queen’s Thief series, and Robert Stanek’s Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches.

  • Kristi D

    As a children’s/YA librarian, here are some books that I would recommend.

    Septimus Heap series – Angie Sage

    Artemis Fowl series – Eoin Colfer

    Ranger’s Apprentice series – John Flanagan

    Eragon series – Christopher Paolini

    The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott

    Books by Gary Paulsen (like Hatchet)

    Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

    Alex Rider series – Anthony Horowitz

    • Douglas Meeks

      Every child should read Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card but I am not sure what age I was when I read it but it is one of those rare books that I can remember large portions of it 20 years+ later. Very few books fall into that category. It has been turned into a series I think I read but I never read anything more than Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead

  • Shonda

    My son hates to read, but for school he had to, and he actually liked the Gary Paulson book that was required, and asked for the others.

%d bloggers like this: