8 Realistic Fiction Titles to Recommend to Middle and High School Boys

November 10, 2017

Boys can be pickier customers than girls when it comes to choosing a book to read. They need just the right book to hook them. Here's 8 realistic fiction titles, separated into middle school and high school, that I've recently read and would recommend for boys. Click the title of each to read my full review and ideas for using it in the classroom.
Boys can be pickier customers than girls when it comes to choosing a book to read. They need just the right book to hook them. Is it that too many boys see reading as an activity "for girls"? Or do teachers, many of us female, read too many "girl books" and not enough ones "for boys", and are therefore unable to give good recommendations?

Whatever the reason, here's 8 realistic fiction titles, separated into middle school and high school, that I've recently read and would recommend for boys. Click the title of each to read my full review and ideas for using it in the classroom.

Middle School
1. Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
Jackie is from Kansas, but after his mother passes away suddenly, his father, an officer in the army post-WWII, places him in a boys boarding school in Maine. He eventually befriends Early, the only boy at school who is more of an outcast than he is. Their adventure, equal parts magic, pirates, and strange coincidences, leads the boys to find things they didn't even know they were looking for.

2. My Cousin's Keeper by Simon French
Kieran is pretty happy with his life with his mom, his soccer-playing dad, and his younger sister Gina. But in the midst of his fifth grade year, his cousin Bon arrives at the same time as the new girl Julia. Kieran struggles to decide if he wants to fit in with his friends or stand by his strange cousin Bon. What will it take for him to do what is right?

3. Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt
Doug is a fourteen year old boy with seemingly endless problems, both at school and at home. When he moves to a new town his troubles don't end, but he makes some new friends that make it all a little more bearable.

High School
4. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky AlbertalliSimon is a typical teenager, trying to figure out where he fits in and decide who he is; he just also happens to be not so openly gay and being blackmailed by a classmate for it. The themes of friendship, relationship, betrayal, and trust will draw in teen readers.

5. Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
Summer in a small town in Alabama is anything but dull when Cullen's cousin overdoses, his brother disappears, the most beautiful girl in town becomes his girlfriend, and the town goes nuts over the alleged sighting of a rare bird.

6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
This novel tells the tale of an outsider determined to make his own path in life. The novel also provides opportunities for teens to reflect on the loved ones they've lost.

Both
7. The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
This fast-paced novel written in verse. Josh, a 12-year old basketball player, must learn to balance school and basketball, as both family and friendships change.

8. Code of Honor by Alan Gratz
Kamran Smith used to have it all: a starring role on the football team, a beautiful girlfriend, the title of Homecoming King, a loyal best friend, and a spot at West Point in the fall. But after his brother is named as a suspected terrorist, Kamran and his parents are deatined by Homeland Security and Kamran must fight to prove to everyone, even himself, that his brother is innocent. 

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